April 9, 2003
WILL IT BE UNDER 'MILITARY OCCUPATION'?
** Most commentators say an "occupation regime" will
fail to "win the peace."
** Many view Blair as pushing the U.S. towards a more prominent UN
role as "hawks" and "moderates" in the Bush administration
battle over post-war policy.
** To many Arabs and Muslims, post-war plans are about
"spoils" and serving Israel's interests.
U.S. 'military occupation' could 'open the door to
extremism'-- Noting that winning the
war would open "a Pandora's box" in a country made up of "a very
complex set of ethnic groups and religious sects," editorialists warned
that the post-war transition will be "anything but easy." Though initially there will be "no
alternative to U.S. and British forces assuming control" of the country,
most dailies urged, as did Sweden's independent, liberal Dagens Nyheter,
that the "sooner the UN is given a prominent role, the better." Papers heeded Bush's announcement that the UN
would have "a vital role" in post-war Iraq, but wondered if the words
were "a semantic device or...olive branch" to countries like France
that favor a "central" UN role.
A few, including one Italian writer, discounted the UN as "impotent
and discredited" and said "it makes no sense" to talk about its
role in Iraq.
'Multilateralist' Blair advocates greater UN role, while
Washington is 'at war with itself'-- Though one Russian daily
took the contrarian view that Tony Blair "has chosen to follow in the
wake" of U.S. policy towards post-war Iraq, most saw the British
"coming round to the view that the UN must be brought back into the
picture." While Bush and Blair left
"political analysts scratching their heads" over the exact meaning of
"vital role," some believed "Bush is beginning to heed the
fact" that an interim Iraqi administration "will need bolstering from
the outside" to have legitimacy.
Some saw Blair as "countering Washington's hawks" in the
"permanent struggle between hardliner Rumsfeld and...Colin
Powell." Russia's reformist Moskovskiye
Novosti supported Blair's "efforts for a consensus" on the UN's
role, while an Italian daily contended "it is necessary...to resume transatlantic
dialogue, including France and Germany."
Arabs, Muslims see attempt to 'legitimize aggression' and
'plunder' Iraq-- Papers in the Arab and
Muslim world viewed the "U.S. gameplan" for Iraq as one drawn up
"with a Likud eye." The West
Bank's pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam declared the U.S. intends to
set up an Iraqi government "totally submissive to American policy"
with a single mission: "stealing
Iraq's wealth." Outlets in Egypt
and Jordan wondered why "the Pentagon has chosen an American general with
strong ties to Israel" who is "a personal friend of Sharon's" to
administer Iraq. They concluded that it
was part of "the original aims" of the war, "to clear the area
around Israel" so it would retain "its monopoly on weapons of mass
destruction." Lebanon's moderate,
anti-Syria An-Nahar similarly judged that "Pentagon hawks" see
Ahmad Chalabi as the "natural ruler" of Iraq. "America is pretending" to bring
democracy to Iraq, the paper stated, "but it is doing nothing but
attempting to bring peace to Israel."
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 85 reports from 45 countries, April 4-9, 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
An editorial in the centrist Independent stated (4/9): "This meeting [in Belfast] saw Bush
bending over backwards to accommodate his British partner. Of course the UN would play a role both in
humanitarian relief and the eventual civil reconstruction of Iraq. No problem, no dissension. What Bush did not say, and what his host
certainly did not press him on, is what this means in practice. Who is to appoint this interim administration? How long does the U.S. intend to maintain a
military presence in Iraq?... It’s all
very well taking generalities and using the language of accommodation but it is
in the details that we will see Washington’s true intentions."
"Picking Up The Pieces"
The independent Financial Times contended (4/9): "Iraq’s military conquerors are at least
moving in the right direction to win the peace.... The UN [should be] at the heart of rebuilding
Iraq.... The Bush-Blair statement could
just mean confining the UN to co-ordinating aid and rubber-stamping a 'Made in
Washington' administration of Iraqi exiles.
Nevertheless, it could mean that Bush is beginning to heed the fact that
whatever legitimacy he hopes to draw from involving Iraqis in aiding and
running post-war Iraq will need bolstering from the outside by the UN. Without UN approval, the 'interim Iraqi
authority' that the U.S. wants to create could find it hard to get
international recognition.... The U.S.
and Britain should aim to involve the UN from the outset. They will have only
one chance to get the peace right. They
should not blow it by ignoring the UN.”
"The UN’s Leading Role"
An editorial in the left-of-center Guardian stated
(4/9): "By handing overall control
to the UN , the U.S. and Britain would take an important step towards healing
the rift with France, Germany and Russia....
The reality is that the UN is still being offered a merely advisory,
walk-on role in determining Iraq’s future polity; that the U.S. is set on
having its own way; and that this Frank Sinatra approach to nation-building may
be but a prelude to a cacophony of discord and disharmony.”
"After The War Ends In Iraq"
The independent Financial Times stated (4/8): "That this will be a fragile transition
is beyond doubt. There is a unresolved
debate concerning whether it should be under U.S. or United Nations authority,
and in what shape government should be turned over to Iraqis. But all must agree that the ultimate goal is
to set up a legitimate regime that fairly represents the ethnic, religious and
political patchwork of Iraq. In the
early stages, there is no alternative to U.S. and British forces assuming
control of the country. Indeed, the
conventions of war make the occupiers responsible for stabilizing the country,
establishing the rule of law and ensuring the population has access to food and
medicine. As it sets about these tasks,
the U.S. would be well advised to heed its British ally and seek broader
international support to legitimize the transition.... However resentful the Bush administration
feels at the failure of the Security Council to back its war, it is in
everyone's interest, including Washington's, to phase in UN involvement as fast
as is feasible."
FRANCE: "Vital Is Not
Philippe Mudry editorialized in centrist La Tribune
(4/9): “Can we say there is the
beginning of a rapprochement over the role of the UN, ‘central’ for President
Chirac and ‘vital’ for Bush and Blair?
To say so would be taking a big gamble.... To maintain that the UN can take over is an
illusion.... America’s determination to
assign a humanitarian role to the UN leaves no room for discussion.... Washington’s public remarks have made things
clear as to its reticence to include [in Iraq’s reconstruction] those who, in
America’s view, have shown signs of complacency towards Saddam Hussein. French interests in the Gulf may suffer in
the next few months. Cold realism should
keep us from expecting a quick warming in transatlantic relations.”
Bruno Frappat held in Catholic La Croix (4/9): “Do the future winners of the war know what
they will do with their victory?... The
role of the UN is at the center of the debate.... Once victory is won, it may be that Tony
Blair will revert to a more multilateral approach, either from belief or
calculated interest.... President Bush’s
all-American logic may be confronted by a more European Blair logic, tinged
with a hint of remorse.”
Pierre Rousselin argued in right-of-center Le Figaro
(4/8): “At first, Iraq’s liberators will
need to establish a military administration....
The British and Americans are best in line to take over that
responsibility.... But very soon, like
all military administrations, theirs will look like a foreign occupation. Very soon they will need to transfer power
into Iraqi hands. And the six months the
Pentagon has given itself seems too long....
The U.S. cannot take the risk of giving the impression that the war was
led in order to put Iraq under foreign rule.
The Iraqis the U.S. is planning to put at the helm are more popular in
Washington than in Baghdad. An
occupation regime would have harsh consequences in the region.... Tony Blair...needs to convince George Bush
and to counter Washington’s hawks in order to lead the White House to adopt a
more multilateral approach, giving the UN its proper role."
"The U.S. Ready To Bypass The UN"
Charles Lambroschini contended in right-of-center Le Figaro
(4/8): “Tony Blair will be playing the
UN’s advocate. For him, the UN’s
involvement would be the only way to avoid seeing the liberators transformed
into occupants and unleashing a huge Islamic response. But the British Prime Minister has a very
small chance of being heard.”
GERMANY: "What Needs
To Be Restructured"
Stefan Kornelius judged in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (4/9): “It can no
longer be denied that the most difficult stage of the war is coming to an
end…. That is why it is now all the more
important that Iraq is restructured politically without any discord. But the war-waging nations are only slowly
approaching a joint policy. It is true
that Tony Blair and George W. Bush speak a joint language...but the question is
whether they also mean the same. It is
encouraging that the U.S. president concedes that the UN has a role to play. But it is less encouraging that the Bush is
unable to contain the trench fighting in his own government. While Secretary Powell is conveying the
impression that his post-war notions will gain the upper hand, Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld creates facts. A year
ago, Rumsfeld transferred unit after unit to the Gulf, today he is sending
selected political shock troops to Iraq, with the unbearable Achmed Chalabi at
the helm.... Before Bush makes
references to the future UN role in Iraq and plans a new political order, he
should first of all create order in his own government.”
"What They Want And What They Are Able To Do"
Christoph von Marschall opined in an editorial in centrist Der
Tagesspiegel of Berlin (4/9):
"[President Bush's] gesture and the diplomatic words can hardly
obscure the fact how different the views are on the role of the UN in post-war
Iraq. Humanitarian assistance and the
participation in setting up an interim administration, this is how President
Bush described it. UN sovereignty
instead of a U.S. military government--that is how France and Germany want
it. And the UN should have the final say
with respect to reconstruction and the income derived from oil exports, since
this would offer them a say that resembles a veto. This is brazen. Who, apart from the United States and
Britain, wants to offer soldiers who could create security in Iraq? And the United Nations must also be able to
fill the role they are to play in Iraq. Bush’s description fits the picture of the
really existing UN much more then Europe’s ideal picture.”
Michael Stuermer noted in right-of-center Die Welt of
Berlin (4/9): “Every analysis of the
deeply divided Iraq shows that only the military of the war coalition is able
to guarantee a reliable order for Iraq during the critical months of the
transition from an Arab Stalinism to a free form of living. This is the main condition in order to guarantee
the supply of drinking water, electricity, and medical care. The experience with the UN administration
does not create too much optimism.... It
is always important that Iraq, even though it is an artificial colonial
structure, sticks together, that the transition to an Iraqi responsibility is
being carried out with great vigor and that the Mideast neighborhood gains
confidence in the durability of the new power situation.”
ITALY: "The Battle For
Franco Venturini commented in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (4/9): “The military
success still needs consensus and undisputed legitimacy, inside Iraq as well as
in the Arab world and in important parts of the international
community.... It is necessary to work to
relaunch the strategic agreement among Europeans and to resume transatlantic
dialogue, including France and Germany....
The future Iraqi democracy should not sit on foreign guns, but should
rely on an agreed military presence of peacekeeping forces.... With all its defects, there are no
alternatives to the UN road, if we want to try and reach such complex
targets. We do hope that George Bush
will realize this, despite opposite advice from the Pentagon.”
"The Winner’s Right"
Mario Cervi contended in pro-government, leading center-right
daily Il Giornale (4/9): “You may
have approved or disapproved the war, but in either case we cannot deny that
those who bear the costs and risks--that is the U.S. with the support of Great
Britain--have the right to a decisive saying on the post-war. In their meeting in Belfast, Bush and Blair
gave…the UN some humanitarian roles in the immense task of reconstruction of an
exhausted country. But those who have
some good sense are aware that in the present condition, the UN is an aged simulacrum,
an impotent and discredited international organization.... Washington and London will do their best…to
give Iraq back to the Iraqi people and, if possible, to a democracy which never
existed. In the meantime, they will
establish a military protectorate, bearing heavy burdens and responsibilities.... The U.S. presence and preeminence in the
tandem that will...assure that the operation will not have any neo-colonial
connotation. America was born by a
rebellion against colonialism and it will never forget it.... Expansionism is not in America’s DNA.”
"Post-War, 'Vital Role' For The UN"
Ennio Caretto stated from Belfast in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (4/9): “What is not clear
is if Bush’s unexpected pragmatism is a semantic device or is really an olive
branch for the French, Russian and German group.... While accepting Blair’s request that the UN
have a role in the liberated Iraq, Bush refuses to give it any political
power.... Indeed, the agreement in
Belfast rules out a UN lead role in the post-Saddam Iraq. This is a prospect that Bush has never taken
into consideration, and on this Blair had to give in.”
"A Vital Role For The UN"
Guido Rampoldi reported from Belfast in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (4/9): “That empty
formula, ‘vital role for the UN,’ as it is so vague, might be open to some
RUSSIA: "Talks Proved
Easier Than Expected"
Yevgeniy Verlin commented in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
(4/9): "U.S. President George Bush
must be very pleased with his talks with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair. They proved less difficult than
the press had predicted, and differences between the Allies not very
significant. As agreed in Belfast, the United
States and Britain, as its junior partner, will take over control of Iraq after
the war. This is the principal outcome
of the summit. It has dashed hopes for a
return of the issue of an Iraq settlement to the UN.... Rather than taking into account his EU
partners' views, the British Prime Minister has chosen to follow in the wake of
the United States' policy."
"Talking of UN's Role Makes No Sense"
Nataliya Gevorkian wrote in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(4/8): "It makes no sense talking
about the UN's role in postwar Iraq.
This is not to say that the winners may not at some point try to reach a
compromise so that the UN is put on record as having taken part in reinstating
Iraq to peaceful life instead of being taken out of circulation right after the
"How To Reorganize Antiwar Coalition"
Vadim Razumovskiy held in reformist weekly Moskovskiye Novosti
(4/8): "We need to try to overcome
differences between Russia, France and Germany, on the one hand, and the United
States and Britain, on the other. It
would be proper to support the British prime minister's efforts for a consensus
on the UN's future role in an Iraq settlement.
After the war Iraq will need a transition government that could rely on
an international administration with a mandate from the UN Security
ALBANIA: "One Iraq And
A Different World After War"
Mustafa Nano argued in center-left Shekulli (4/9): "Is the war over by the end of war? Administering post-Saddam Iraq and orienting
this country to a democratic future is a far more gigantic and difficult
undertaking than any military operation.
It is a country destroyed further more in the last three weeks; a
country without any democratic tradition in its political history.... It is the Americans themselves who are aware
of this situation. It is exactly this
awareness that makes them insist on the idea that the post-war Iraq should be
administered by a harmonious administration, initially a military and later a
civil one. Bringing the UN in this gives
legitimacy to any political and diplomatic action, but cannot guarantee
efficiency, safety and stability."
AUSTRIA: "Bush Should
Watch Out For Rumsfeld"
Foreign affairs writer Stefan Galoppi wrote in mass-circulation Kurier
(4/9): “In the permanent struggle
between hardliner Rumsfeld and the more open Secretary of State Colin Powell,
reason and pragmatism will finally have to win.
And Bush’s faithful ally Tony Blair has offered the president an easy
way of achieving this. The British
premier wants to get the UN involved again as soon as possible.... It is now up to Bush to make the next move:
If he follows Rumsfeld, the USA will continue to enforce their interests alone
and, if needs be, with violence.
Short-term economic advantages will have to be paid for with
anti-American resistance. If the
president follows Powell, the USA will once again become part of the
international order and share its advantages as well as its problems.”
"Reconstruction Of Iraq"
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn held in conservative
Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (4/9): “There is only one logical means to
reconstruct Iraq: it must be done under the leadership of the UN. Only the UN has the expertise to deal with
such a problem. It is logical that the
Americans install an American provisional regime. But as soon as it has the situation under
control, it must hand over power to an interim UN administration--which, in its
turn, must leave the country to the only ones who are entitled to it: the
Iraqis themselves. That is the vision of
British Prime Minister Tony Blair--and he is right. By doing that, the United States would create
goodwill.... The hawks in Washington do
not want interference from others in Iraq--and certainly not from the UN after
the efforts they made to topple Saddam.
Yet, it would be the most serious mistake the Americans could make. If they rule Iraq alone, it would open the
door to extremism. No one needs
that--not even the Americans.”
"Illusions Of U.S. 'Hawks' Are Seductive, But Naïve"
Martin Novak wrote in business Hospodarske noviny
(4/9): "It’s safe to say that the
fall of Saddam’s regime will give the country a chance for a better
future. However, plans of the American
'hawks' about implementing democracy in the post-war region evoke some
doubts.... Even those Arab intellectuals
who have been influenced by Western culture claim that only a specific form of
Islamic democracy can successfully function in the region now. The parallel
with the U.S. involvement in the East European fight against communism doesn’t
work either. East European countries
viewed the U.S. as a country sharing the same values as they have, whereas many
Arab countries see the U.S. as a superpower that wants to impose itself on
them. Many supporters of the export of
democracy don’t see the Middle East for what it is, but for what they want it
to be. If the Iraqis begin to feel that the allies are conquerors rather then
liberators, plans for the Middle East’s better future will be shaky from the
"The West And Post-War Iraq"
Adam Cerny opined in centrist Hospodarske Noviny
(4/8): "Even as allied coalition
troops pass through Baghdad, Western politicians seem unable to agree on the
post-war setup of the country. UK Prime
Minister Tony Blair hasn’t diminished his support for the U.S., but he is
striving to persuade the Americans that the UN should not be left out of the
administration of post-war Iraq.
However, Washington believes that the one who risks lives of their
soldiers is entitled to hold the floor also after the combat. As long as the NATO partners argue about the
role of UN, it will be difficult to implement any kind of administration in
post-war Iraq. The Western politicians also know that any victory is
sustainable only after the local people have accepted it. And most Iraqis prefer their own flag to the
blue one or the one with stars and stripes."
"Cakes Behind Locked Gate"
Pavel Masa commented in center-right daily Lidove Noviny
(4/8): "If the Americans take the
exclusive responsibility for the fate of a big Arab and Muslim country (Iraq),
they are in danger of being trapped for a long time in an unexplored swamp of
antagonistic interests. On the other
hand, the so-called multilateral attitude whose main proponent is Secretary of
State Powell, offers them a decisive share in political and economic gain together
with shared risks.... The world of
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, or Perle with border barriers in American national colours
suits President Bush for now, White House experts say. The question is whether somebody convinces
him that a family business run in a patriarchal manner is more suited to the
times of early capitalism. Corporations
surviving today are not afraid of mergers, even at the price of compromising
which sometimes hurts."
DENMARK: "No Need For
Iraqi Reconstruction Power Struggle"
Sensationalist tabloid BT asserted (4/9): "There is no reasonable reason to
suggest that the U.S. is not committed to giving Iraq a fresh start. The UN will be involved, but this does not
have to develop into a power struggle that will deepen existing divides."
FINLAND: "End of
Battle In Sight"
Leading, centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized
(4/8): "Washington and London
appear to continue to be uncertain about how Iraq's post-conflict
administration should be organized...[but] are expected to meet their promises
of returning the country and its natural resources to the Iraqis and of
establishing a democratic system. This
task will be anything but easy in a state whose unity has been completely
artificial. Obvious differences in the
British and American views don't inspire great confidence."
IRELAND: "U.S. Sends
World Mixed Messages"
The left-of-center Irish Examiner contended (4/9): "After coming under intense pressure
from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush has promised the UN
would have a 'vital role' to play in post-war Iraq.... He is refusing to spell out in any detail
what role it would have in the aftermath.
Their marked reluctance to define how the UN would be involved reflects
the determination of the hawkish regime currently controlling U.S. foreign
policy. Despite its many flaws, the UN
remains the only agency capable of commanding respect and credence on a global
"The Confluence Of Remarkable Events"
The center-left Irish Times editorialized (4/8): "Unless the UN has a central role in
endorsing the government of Iraq, as well as in reconstruction and humanitarian
aid, the war's outcome will lack international legitimacy and reflect only the
interests of those who successfully prosecuted it."
"Prospects For Post-War Iraq"
The center-right Irish Independent contended (4/8): "The war is all but over.... The same, alas, cannot be said of the
prospects of postwar Iraq.... At present
Washington is firmly opposed to a meaningful UN role in anything but
relief.... The UN...has valuable
experience. The American may at some
future time find it expedient to draw upon it.
But they may find it equally expedient to deny that they are doing
anything of the kind."
Will Be Like Post-Hitler Germany"
A commentary in the pro-LDK Bota Sot
argued (4/9): “Chirac and Schroeder are
demanding a primary role for the UN in Iraq at the time when UN has lost its
credibility more than ever.... In the
meantime, for the same reasons it saved Old Lady Europe and Germany from the
hands of Hitler and Stalin...the USA will have the major role in post-Saddam
The business daily Verslo zinios commented
(4/8): "The topic of the day
is...not about restoring Iraq, but restoring the international relations
system. Animosity between the U.S. and
Europe is already revealing itself as disagreement over the UN role in
rebuilding Iraq. It wouldn't be wise of
Lithuania to take another path rather than that of EU requirement to relate
Iraq's future with the UN."
Jumping The Gun"
Svein A. Roehne commented in the independent VG (4/9)
: “Ahmad Chalabi is not just a
controversial figure in the Iraqi exile environment, where different leaders at
times have been more busy fighting each other than against Saddam Hussein.... Also the American Department of State and the
intelligence organization CIA are very skeptical of Chalabi. He is a charming and charismatic leadership
character, yes probably. But he has
lived overseas for 45 years, is educated in the U.S., has British citizenship
and is little known in Iraq. Besides
experience shows that Chalabi is not to be trusted. His analysis of the situation in the homeland
has repeatedly shown itself to match poorly with reality."
"New Dog Fight Target"
Independent VG offered this view (4/9): “As much as President Bush is set against a
political role for the UN in Iraq, as much Putin, Chirac and Schroeder are
eager for the same. Not first and
foremost because of their great love for the UN. But because they wish to hinder an American
occupation force that in reality can come to decide the oil-rich country’s
future while they are parked on the sideline.”
"Oil Power And International Law"
In the newspaper of record Aftenposten Kjell Dragnes
commented (4/8): "An American
occupation force that immediately sets in motion with repairing and upgrading
Iraq’s rich oil fields, gives contracts to American companies and increases the
production in order to pay both for the military occupation, for the civil
administration and the usual services a state renders...and that at the same
time procures the U.S. supplies of large quantities of cheap oil, will come up
against large problems.... [With] the
close ties both President George W. Bush and not least Vice President Dick
Cheney have to the American oil industry, every venture that can smack of
favoritism by the American companies in Iraq, can be interpreted as a sign that
the war in Iraq ultimately is a war about control of Iraq’s oil--not a question
about weapons of mass destruction and regime change for the good of the Iraqis,
such as Bush claims.”
Marek Ostrowski opined in center-left weekly Polityka
(4/9): “Despite tensions, and even
invectives, the first to reach out [to Europe] was Secretary of State Colin
Powell, who came to Brussels last week to meet with NATO and EU ministers. The right decision was not to live in the
past but to deal only with the future--including concrete talks on how to
organize post-war Iraq…. It is in
Europe’s best interest to join in this process.”
SPAIN: "Planning The
Left-of-center El País asserted (4/9): "The fastest way to transform a military
victory into a political defeat is by installing a plenipotentiary in Baghdad,
accompanied by a government which represents almost no one.... Instead, Bush should pay attention to his
staunch ally Tony Blair and give a primary role to the UN, as Europe and many
Arab governments want, as soon as possible....
The White House should assume that its presence beyond what is necessary
will contribute to inflame the aggravation of many Arabs and encourage armed
Muslim fanaticism. The way that post-war
Iraq is managed will be decisive for the whole, explosive region, where the
U.S. is seen exclusively as an imperial superpower."
SWEDEN: "Not Just the
U.S. in Iraq"
Independent, liberal Stockholm Dagens Nyheter editorialized
(4/9): "The EU has all the time
advocated a UN role [in post-war Iraq]...and at the Belfast Summit President
Bush said that he approves of a prominent role for the international
organization in the rebuilding of Iraq....
The task to rebuild Iraq is not solely for the U.S. The sooner the UN is given a prominent role,
the better. Only by a widest possible
international grounding will peace have a chance."
Victory And Political Defeat"
Hasan Cemal commented in mass appeal Milliyet (4/9): “There seems to be a difference of opinion
between the U.S. and the UK regarding the possible role for the UN to play in
post-war Iraq. On the other hand,
Washington is also the scene of a tiff between the Pentagon and the State Department
on the future of Iraq.... The new Iraqi
administration will emerge from an occupation, and it remains to be seen to
what extent it will gain legitimacy in the Arab world and the larger
international community.... The end of
Saddam is clear and definite, but Iraq in the post-Saddam era has
uncertainties. Let’s hope that we do not
see chaos in Iraq, but rather a speedy normalization process in the near
"End Of Military War, And The Beginning Of Political
Murat Yetkin opined in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(4/9): “The only way to achieve
political victory in Iraq is to establish an administration with the support of
the people instead of one imposed by foreign military powers. Yet there is no indication that the former
will happen instead of the latter. It is
irrational to believe that a former U.S. army general or a former ambassador
will be able to establish a new administration in Iraq with popular support. It is also risky to appoint a local figure to
head an American-led administration.
There are names circulating for the new administration, such as Ahmad
Chalabi or Bahram Salih, which are seen by the majority of Iraqis as either
‘crooks’ or ‘traitors.’... If Washington
wants to turn its military victory into a political triumph, it must create a
synergy with the UN system as well as regional countries and the genuine
representatives of Iraqi people.”
"Now The Real War Starts"
Serdar Turgut commented in mass appeal Aksam (4/8): “It seems that the CIA’s influence will
prevail over the view of other departments about Ahmad Chalabi. He will no longer be viewed as the key figure
in the restructuring of Iraq. In the
post-Saddam government, we should expect a group of Americans serving as
ministers in Iraq. The U.S. is very
determined to implement its ‘new world order,’ and the formation of the new
Iraqi government will demonstrate this fact....
A recent report by the Army War College clearly indicates that the U.S.
should stay in the region for a long time in order to finish the job.... Turkey should be prepared for living with
chaos in its immediate neighborhood for a very long time.”
"As Pandora’s Box Opens"
Sedat Ergin contended in mass appeal Hurriyet (4/8): “The U.S. will eventually claim victory as
expected, but the next phase of the Iraq issue--the restructuring--will be even
more critical than the war itself. Iraq
is made up of a very complex set of ethnic groups and religious sects.... However, the new Iraqi structure can only
function if all of the Iraqi elements reach a consensus. Yet finding a formula to achieve such a
consensus is certainly a very tough job....
It is also possible to see many players assuming a role of influence in
the future Iraq, which could mean competition and even conflict.... There is still a question yet to be answered:
To what extent will the people of Iraq accept the U.S.-imposed formula and move
on with things? How will the
restructuring of Iraq be turned to the establishment of democracy with
ISRAEL: "The Day
Senior columnist Nahum Barnea wrote in pluralist Yediot
Aharonot (4/9): "The true
victory in Iraq will only come about when a new and stable regime is
established.... The process that Iraq
undergoes will be fragile and vulnerable to shocks.... It is worth paying attention to the most
recent statements by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. He warned that an American victory in Iraq
would be a catastrophe for Hizbullah's and the Palestinians' fight. For him, this is a battle for the entire
pot. If a democratic regime is
established in Iraq, it will put other less democratic Arab regimes in an
WEST BANK: "Belfast
Summit: Agreement On War And Conflict on Spoils"
Hani Habieb opined in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam
(4/9): “The Belfast Summit is the last
attempt by Tony Blair to convince George Bush of the necessity of assigning
even a minor role for the UN in administrating occupied Iraq’s affairs. It is not because the British PM is seeking a
real role for the UN, but it is an attempt to respond to the demands of some
influential members of his government.
In addition, it is an attempt by Tony Blair to legitimize the
aggression…furthermore, he has been trying to play the role of the double
collaborator with the United States and the European countries, which are
"War Has Not Ended"
Mohammed Abed el-Hameed opined in independent, pro-Palestinian
Authority Al-Ayyam (4/8):
"Tailoring a new Iraqi government to fit the [American]
occupational measures needs a period of time estimated by the Americans not to
be less than six months. Such a
government will be totally submissive to American policy and will work in
accordance with American dictates. The
survival of such a government will also be conditional on American protection
and an American military presence.… The
direct or indirect American military presence [in Iraq] has one mission:
stealing Iraq's wealth under the pretexts of compensating for the expenses and
losses of war and the rebuilding of Iraq.”
EGYPT: "Who Rules
Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Atef El-Ghamry
wrote (4/9): “Why has the Pentagon
chosen an American general with strong ties with Israel to run Iraq?... There are words in Washington about an
Israeli involvement in planning the region after the war in Iraq.... Noticeably, there are many similarities in
the political thinking and applications between the aims of the war on Iraq and
what is happening in the Palestinian territories at the hands of Sharon’s
government.... There are opinions in
Washington--as voiced by Pat Buchanan--that this [war] aims to serve Israel’s
interests.... It is thus logical that
General Garner is chosen to coincide with the original aims of the war; which
are to clear the area around Israel from any weapons that could break its
monopoly of weapons of mass destruction, to formulate a regional situation for
Iraq and an new regional system that includes Israel, Turkey and some Arab
countries, so as to destroy the Arab League.”
"Not Recognizing The War Results"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Dr. Abdel Atti
Mohamed forecast (4/8): “The
repercussion of the war will be more serious and complicated than the status
quo before it erupted. Although the U.S.
entered the war unilaterally, it won’t be able to preserve a post-war
settlement too unilaterally. The
American administration is mistaken if it thinks the new situation will restore
freedom to Iraqis and peace to the region and the world.... The international community had a bitter
pre-war experience when the U.S. defied it and eliminated its
legitimacy... Consequently the U.S. will
not be able to provide international support for the political results of the
war.... A situation like this will make
the Iraqi crisis a chronic problem which poses a constant threat
internationally to the American empire.”
JORDAN: "A Zionist
Prepares To Rule Iraq!"
Daily columnist Fahd Fanek wrote in semi-official, influential Al-Rai
(4/8): “The chiefs of the U.S.
administration have disagreed on how to skin the bear even before it was
hunted. The State Department believes
that it should be the party concerned with ruling Iraq after occupying it and
ousting its regime, while the Defense Department confirms it is the one for the
task, and even went ahead and appointed one of the retired generals, Jay
Garner, for that position. So who is
this Garner? Garner was in charge of
supplying food and shelter for the Kurds during the thirty-country aggression
in 1991. He is now preparing to
supervise the operation of reconstructing Iraq through American companies and
international financing.... The Zionist
bulletin, Forward...writes, with a bit of pride, about the personal
aspects of this general, namely that he is a personal friend of Sharon’s and
one of Israel’s staunchest supporters....
This is the American plan: to
liberate Iraq from its national leadership and to appoint an American general
who is a personal friend of Sharon’s to manage Iraq’s affairs in accordance
with the requirements of Israel’s security.
Shall we live and see a Zionist occupying the throne of Aaron Rashid?”
"High Commissioner Garner"
Columnist Jamil Nimri contended in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab
Al-Yawm (4/8): “Why is there not
talk about a single political step that would confirm good intentions? Why does the United Nations, the European
Union and the Arab League not have a part to play? This is different. Iraq is a spoil of war for which the mouths
of the extremist right-wing group in Washington water. Iraq has been in the heart of the thinking of
this Zionist, right-wing America for while....
The proposal, therefore, is, simply, occupying Iraq and managing it to
serve a joint American-Israeli account.”
"The Occupation Is The Beginning!"
Mohammad Kawash opined in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab
Al-Yawm (4/7): “The Americans and
the British will eventually come to the realization that the occupation of Iraq
is not the end of the line, that it is not going to achieve security and
stability and open doors for investment companies. Occupying Iraq will be the beginning, because
Washington has no political solutions for Iraq that could overcome the
historical, geographical, political and ethnic complexities and
difficulties.... We are certain that the
occupation of Iraq and its tragic repercussions are going to lead to
entrenching the Arabs’ and Muslims’ feelings of hatred and animosity towards
the United States. This in turn is going
to lead to the creation of a state of instability inside Iraq that would extend
to a number of countries in the region.
This means that the entire region is at the threshold of a wave of
violence, the consequences of which cannot be predicted.... These measures and plans are part and parcel
of an America’s project to liquidate the Palestinian issue, to reshape the
Middle East, to nullify the Arab order, and to turn this region into small
sectarian and ethnic states, which would nullify the joint Arab action and the
LEBANON: "A Dubious
Sahar Baasiri judged in moderate, anti-Syria An-Nahar
(4/8): "All the questions now
revolve around the future of Iraq. The
war group at the Pentagon, is looking at this future with a Likud eye. Ahmad Chalabi from the Iraqi opposition, is
considered (by the U.S.) the natural ruler of Iraq following Saddam. However, his closest friend at the Pentagon
is Donald Rumsfeld, and his partners and those who support him are members of
the Jewish Institute for National Security known as (JINSA).... This group of the Pentagon hawks, who are
sticking to the theory that the Americans are 'sacrificing' for Iraq, for this
reason they are the only ones who have the right to make decisions regarding
Iraq after the war, want to appoint their friend Chalabi as the head of the
first Iraqi interim government.... By
appointing Chalabi...America is pretending that it is bringing democracy to
Iraq and the region, but it is doing nothing but attempting to bring peace to
Israel.... The future that is awaiting
Iraq and the region is extremely dubious."
"The Baghdad Wall"
Joseph Samaha wrote in Arab nationalist As-Safir
(4/8): "The war group in the U.S.
believes that occupying Iraq will have the same impact that was generated by
the fall of the Berlin wall.... They
believe that...the fall of the 'Baghdad wall' will help Arabs express their
'love' for the United States and its policy....
They also believe that if the Arab countries change their regimes and
become democratic, then they will suddenly discover that they have no problem
with their democratic neighbor Israel."
SYRIA: "The Logic Of
Sayyah Al-Sukhni commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(4/9): "Statements made by
extremist U.S. officials concerning the post-war stage, reflect great arrogance
and haughtiness and use a vocabulary that departs from standard political and
diplomatic ethics.... These statements
were meant to say that the U.S. is proceeding with its unilateral policy and
will not accept any discussion or objection to its goals in the region and the
TUNISIA: "If the
Government-owned French-language La Presse stated
(4/9): "The South, which is already
controlled by the Coalition, looks like a Hobbesian world, where serious crimes
and anarchy reign.... Iraq could emerge
as another Lebanon."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
Future In The Balance"
The business-focused Australian Financial Review
editorialized (4/9): “There are plenty
of good reasons both military and logistical, why a United States-led
administration will run Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the war--although
the U.S. should seek United Nations authority for this. There are just as many good reasons why the
U.S. should be willing to allow the UN to assume responsibility, as soon as
possible, for Iraqi peacekeeping, reconstruction and the transition to a representative
government…. Having fought the war in
the face of UN Security Council opposition, the coalition has to get the
occupation right first time…. The responsibility is theirs [to protect
civilians]--they can’t wait for the UN bureaucracy to creak into
action.... The difference between
getting it wrong and getting it right could be as stark as the difference
between a meltdown in the world’s most volatile region and its ultimate
"Position Vacant, Puppets Apply"
Columnist Hugh White contended in the liberal Age
(4/9): “Some very big issues are not yet
resolved--such as who will run Iraq when Saddam falls. And some even bigger ones are waiting down
the track--such as whether America's objective of a democratic, pro-American
government in Iraq is a contradiction in terms.... America has big objectives in Iraq. It wants
to turn Iraq into a major political and strategic asset for the U.S. in the
Middle East--a beacon of democracy, and a bulwark against Islamic extremism. To
do that it has faced down the UN and taken major military and political risks
in launching the invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration is not going to risk
throwing away its potential gains now, at the moment of victory, by handing the
prize to the UN."
Rebuilding Must Not Sideline UN"
Chong Zi commented in the official English-language newspaper China
Daily (4/9): “The United States is
embarking on a giant ‘privatization’ project for the rebuilding of post-war
Iraq. Though opinion is divided on the
role of the [UN] in the reconstruction of Iraq, the voice for U.S. dominance is
piercing.... The world body was
sidestepped when the U.S. and Britain launched military action to topple Saddam
Hussein's regime, which was legally and morally wrong. The U.S. design for a post-war Iraq is
putting the UN's credibility and authority once more on the line.... Whatever intentions the U.S. have, its plan
to install Pentagon generals to govern Iraq, however temporary, will make the
U.S. a de facto occupying force. This
will add to tensions in the region and further damage the UN.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"U.S. Declares Victory; UN Is In Decline"
The independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal
editorialized (4/9): "Under the new
Iraqi regime--propped up by the U.S.--it goes without saying who will benefit
most. Who will actually lead the
post-war reconstruction, the UN or the U.S.?
The U.S. military victory makes a U.S.-led Iraqi reconstruction
inevitable. For the U.S., the UN's sole
function will be to provide capital for reconstruction.... Otherwise, the U.S. would have to bear most
of these costs alone"
JAPAN: "UN Should Play
Vital Role In Post-War Iraq"
The liberal Asahi observed (4/9): "One of the focal points of the
Bush-Blair meeting in Belfast had been whether the British prime minister would
be able to persuade the U.S. President to give the UN greater authority in
ruling and reconstructing a postwar Iraq....
There appears to be no basic change in the U.S. position that the
'winners of the war' should take the initiative in ruling and reconstructing
Iraq.... If the U.S. attaches importance
to the UNSC, it should endorse policy cooperation through the world body in
facilitating Iraq's reconstruction."
INDONESIA: "Bush and
Blair Meet, Already Discussing Post-War Iraq"
Leading independent daily Kompas commented (4/9): “The Belfast Summit is obviously very
important for the two leaders, just when both are looking at the matter
differently. While Bush is finding the
reconstruction not as a matter of who points whom to be involved and Blair sees
the presence of the UN as the legitimacy [of the war], then the two allied
aggressors will find it important for them to sit together.”
"U.S. Has No Right To Administer Iraq"
Government-influenced Malay language Utusan
Malaysia judged (4/9): “When a great
power bashes a small, weakened country, they don't need surprise. War preparations can be out in the open. The attacker can take his time to gather his
forces and even order the world to watch.
With an end in sight to the battle for Baghdad, President Bush is now
moving to end two arguments that were never resolved before the shooting
started: One between the United States and Europe over who will run Iraq, and a
second between his own State and Defense departments over how to run it. But under Bush's plan, the UN would not play
a role in shaping the new government, especially at what the president and his
aides call the 'power ministries'-- defense, internal security --or in the
critical decisions about when Iraq is ready to be turned back to Iraqis. This would seem to put him at odds with
Blair, who favors a more prominent role for the UN, to bridge America's gap
with Europe and his own country.”
SINGAPORE: "Still Have To Go Back To UN
Pro-government major Chinese Lianhe Zaobao
editorialized (4/8): "U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has
made it clear that it is only natural for the U.S. to play a leading role in
post-war Iraq as it has risked the lives of its soldiers in toppling the Saddam
regime. The argument is understandable.
However, maintaining the long-term stability of Iraq is an arduous task. Without international co-operation and
support, the U.S. will certainly encounter more problems. Even if the U.S. is able to control the
political situation in Iraq on its own, the new regime, which would not be
recognized by the UN and the international community, would lack legitimacy and
legality. The Bush administration has
paid a price in its foreign diplomatic relations and international
reputation. It should stop having its
own way and ignore the role of the UN in safeguarding world peace."
TAIWAN: "U.S. Intends To Put Iraq In Its
The "International Outlook" column of
the centrist, pro-status quo China Times stated (4/9): "Iraq is the
land that U.S. military forces have conquered, and for that the U.S. has paid a
dear price. Washington not only tore
down its hypocrite's mask and kicked the UN aside but has also turned against
most of the European countries. Given
that, will it be possible for the U.S. to allow others to share a piece of post
war Iraq, especially after it had stubbornly insisted on conquering the Gulf
nation disregarding world criticism? The Pentagon waited no time in
establishing an Iraqi Interim Authority with members from all of Iraq's ethnic
groups, not even before Baghdad is conquered.
The Pentagon wants to use this rootless organization as its tool and
sees Iraq as the U.S.' exclusive domain, which not even Britain can lay a
finger on. Naturally, the purpose of the
U.S. military operations is to rule Iraq; how can it allow anyone else to
meddle with it? The U.S. does not care
if it is labeled as imperialism; after all, people are already saying that the
U.S. is implementing a new imperialism."
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
The centrist Hindu editorialized (4/9): "If the remarks of American officials
are a sign of things to come, it is unlikely that the UN will be given any
major role in the economic and political reconstruction of Iraq.... Any program of reconstruction and
rehabilitation, political, economic and social, will have little support or
little chance of acceptance in the region if it lacks the endorsement and
leadership of the UN.... The 'Iraq for
Iraqis' call conceals concerns that Washington might allow opportunistic,
friendly, returning exiles to take political charge of their country."
"White Man's Burden?"
The pro-economic-reform Economic Times took this view
(4/9): "The vision presented in the
joint press conference of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair in Northern
Ireland reflects a twenty-first century version of the White Man's
Burden.... By discarding the political
role of the UN and offering it a bureaucratic one, the world body is expected
to do little more than assist the United States and Britain in carrying the
White Man's Burden. It is doubtful if
France, Russia and China will accept a role for the UN that would in effect
legitimize the unilateral action of the United States and Britain. The UN bureaucracy may itself be wary of
being put in a position where it does no more than clean up the mess left by
the U.S. and the UK."
"Bush's 'Vital' Vow Foxes Pundits"
The centrist Telegraph wrote (4/9): "President Bush left political analysts
scratching their heads...after he pledged the UN would play 'a vital role' in
the interim administration of Iraq.... Analysts
immediately pointed out that a 'vital role' falls short of the pivotal or central
role for the UN that many, including the French and the Russians, are
demanding. Others said that Blair
appears to have won a compromise from Bush, who had earlier appeared intent on
relegating the UN to providing only humanitarian aid in post-war Iraq but with
no real political clout. Much will now
depend on what Bush means by 'vital,' a new word he had clearly agreed [upon]
The nationalist Rashtriya Sahara Urdu daily editorialized
(4/7): "The occupation of Iraq is
just the first stage of the implementation of unsavory designs the U.S. has for
the Middle East, which is evident from the dominant role assigned to the
military lobby and the pro-Israel elements in the post-war administration to be
installed by Washington in Baghdad.
Making the new government accountable to the Pentagon leaves no doubt
that the real goal of waging the war was nothing but to plunder Iraq's natural
resources for the benefit of American oil cartel...[and] only reaffirms the
apprehension that Iraq is not the last but the first stage of a larger plan of
aggression to be unfolded gradually."
The centrist Statesman editorialized (4/8): "We have a taste of the freedom reserved
for Iraqis. Umm Qsar port would be
operated by an American stevedoring company and an open-ended contract for
putting out oil fires is given to Vice-President Dick Cheney's company. Only a spurious religious fervor can sustain
such corruption and nepotism.... It is
made clear even to ally Tony Blair that America expects to recoup itself for
the billions spent on the war from sales of Iraqi oil."
"Assuming A Mandate"
The Guwahati English left-of-center Sentinel judged
(4/8): "The interim military rule
that U.S. President George Bush has in mind is likely to be extended for a long
time. And any colonial rule extended
through the U.S. Army--in another sovereign country over which the U.S. has no
mandate, can only mean eventual toppling of the U.S. regime through long-drawn
resistance movements that will again reduce Iraq to rubble like
"Iraq: Killing Field In The Making"
The Guwahati Assamese left-of-center Aji maintained
(4/8): "The U.S. would never be
able to secure stable governance in Iraq....
The Iraqi people are not going to live peacefully by accepting U.S.
intervention for long. This would
invariably result in turning Iraq into a killing field for years to come. Rebellion will raise its head slowly. What guarantee is there that the Iraqis won't
start a long suicidal warfare like their Palestinian brothers?'
"U.S. Proconsul For Iraq"
Mumbai-based, left-of-center The Free Press Journal took
this view (4/8): "The shape of
things in post-war Iraq has almost been decided. Washington's viceroy-designate to take over
as post-war ruler of Iraq is a U.S. general....
It is military occupation. The
proconsul...is answerable to U.S. commander Tom Franks and not to the State
Department. This decision has already sown seeds of confrontation between the
State Department and Pentagon. What
happens to the projected role for the UN?...
What immediately matters is the attitude of the Arab rulers. If any attempt is made by the U.S. to
interfere with oil prices outside the ambit of OPEC, there can be trouble. If the UN continues to be marginalized on
Iraq, that will be the beginning of the end of the UN."
PAKISTAN: "UN Role In
Karachi-based independent Dawn editorialized (4/9): "America's closest allies, including
Britain and Australia, seem coming round to the view that the UN must now be
brought back into the picture in relation to Iraq.... If that happens, it could mean a setback for
hawks within the U.S. administration and a triumph for sanity and reason. Whatever its shortcomings, the UN is a vital
world institution that enjoys global legitimacy and is perfectly equipped to
oversee complex exercises like the post-war transition in Iraq."
"Bestowing Legitimacy To Aggression"
Islamabad rightist English-language Pakistan Observer had
this view (4/9): "Kofi Annan has
stressed the UN role in post-war Iraq....
But what face is the UN left with to legitimize the U.S. invasion in the
name of the new Iraqi set-up, when the lone superpower had trampled the world
body and torn apart its charter guaranteeing states' sovereign equality? It will, in fact, amount to legitimizing the
concept of 'might is right' despite boasts of civilized behavior. Despite no reason or logic for it to wag its
tail, the UN is apparently going to once again accept the role of Capitol
Hill's subsidiary, with Kofi Annan acting as the puppet."
Amanat Ali Chaudhry held in the center-right national daily, The
Nation (4/9): "Democracy cannot
be installed by manipulation. It evolves
naturally out of prolonged processes.
Even if a so-called democratic regime is installed at the behest of
powerful countries, its remains a puppet drawing sustenance from outside
support.... People may be alienated from
Saddam, but they are not with the U.S. either.
They know that America...has a game plan for securing maximum advantages
for itself and Israel. Thus, there is a
huge perceptional gap between the Iraqis and Americans.... Any American attempt to balkanize Iraq would
entail disaster. Therefore, instead of arrogating to itself the right of regime
change, it should allow people to elect their leaders in a transparent exercise
conducted by the UN."
"Occupation Of Iraq By The U.S. Imperialist"
Leftist columnist Baddruddin Umar opined in largest-circulation
Bangla language Jugantor
(4/9): "There have been
disputes between the U.S. departments of State and Defense on how to deal with
the situation in post-war Iraq. Although
American control will be established following the fall of Saddam Hussein, it
will not be a happy moment for the United States. The crisis will deepen following resistance
of the Iraqi people. Initially, there
will be people to support the Americans, which is common in similar situations
in any country. But a large number of
people will unite against the imperialist occupation. The Iraqi people did not accept the
Anglo-American forces with flowers but considered them invaders. There is no reason to believe that the Iraqis
will remain silent when they will see control and plunder of their own
resources by foreigners."
Afrikaans language, centrist Die Burger
held (4/9): "With the military
battle in the war in Iraq slowly moving to a close, the focus now shifts to the
political future of that country....
Bush and...Blair met to discuss this, and it seems as if any future role
the UN will play received considerable attention.... Blair, like the rest of Europe, wants the UN
to manage the process of transition...while Bush is only willing for the UN to
play a humanitarian role. Judging from
the press conference which followed the talks...the UN will have a role but it
will not manage the transition process.
That will be handled by America....
This decision was preceded by a power struggle...between...Powell
and...Rumsfeld.... Powell wanted to give the UN a bigger role whereas Rumsfeld
seems to have been opposed to any UN involvement whatsoever. The result was a compromise.... The transition process will be tarnished when
viewed by the Arab world. The perception
that America wanted to install its own puppet regime in Baghdad...will be
strengthened. This will exacerbate the
polarization between Islam and the West, especially America."
"The UN Should Never Be Disregarded Again"
Kiswahili tabloid Nipashe commented (4/8): “After the war is over, the major issue will
be how Iraq is going to be administered.
There is already anxiety that America wants to occupy Iraq by appointing
its own military ruler. Britain is
worried about the American plan and wants this responsibility to be left to the
UN, which these two countries disregarded before they started the war. We want to emphasize that after ignoring the
UN, America and Britain should not make another mistake now. They should comply with the wishes of the
international community and put Iraq under UN administration, with an Iraqi
transitional government of national unity taking charge.”
CANADA: "Let The UN
Shape Iraq's New Regime"
The liberal Toronto Star opined
(4/8): "Symbolism matters. That's
why American tanks and troops ripped through Baghdad yesterday. They smashed into Saddam Hussein's
presidential palace, toppled a 40-foot statue and created a prisoner-of-war pen
on the palace grounds. They want Iraqis
to know that Saddam is finished. And so
he is. But in victory U.S. President
George Bush should be equally attentive to the symbolism of replacing Saddam's
hated regime with a new one. Bush
promised liberation, and democracy. Not
American colonization. Now he must
follow through.... The Security Council
must endorse any successor for it to have international legitimacy. Bush and Blair agree on that. But whether Bush will let the UN help shape
the new regime is far from certain....
That approach would require Washington to re-engage with the UN, to
resist the urge to handpick a new regime, and to replace the U.S. military
occupation with a UN.-mandated security force.
As soon as conditions permit.
This would be powerful, positive symbolism, after so much destruction. It would help heal the Security Council
breach caused by Bush's decision to topple Saddam without a proper UN
mandate. It would counter criticism that
Washington launched a cynical war to seize Iraq's oil. And it would bolster American claims to be
liberators, not oppressors."
"Iraq: The Day-After Challenges"
Khatchik DerGhoukassian commented in leading Clarin
(4/8): "Those who supported in good
faith the Operation Iraqi Freedom bet on long-term commitment. According to them, the thesis of making of
Iraq an example of democracy and sparking a domino effect on the region has
little credibility.... But they think
that a strong Pax Americana commitment is the only way to modernize the Arab
world and put an end to the cultural pathology of pan-Arabism utopia, the
victim's psychology and the anti-U.S. feeling of religious fundamentalism....
In spite of the strength of these arguments, it is very likely that no
modernizing project will be seen and Iraq is very likely to become a new
military base in the heart of the Middle East, which will allow the U.S. to
rapidly react whenever it perceives any threat jeopardizing its hegemony."
Force And Political Truculence"
Independent Jornal da Tarde editorialized (4/9): "The military power that the U.S. and
the UK have demonstrated in the invasion of Iraq is in proportion to the
shameless truculence that accompanies their first indications of how they will
build the new post-Saddam Hussein order....
The 'vital role' that Bush and Blair have insisted on giving to the UN
will be restricted to 'aiding' the transition in irrelevant areas, such as
agriculture--not in decisions on oil, reconstruction bidding, or a timetable
for handing over control of political institutions. If the French, Germans and Russians, among
others, are willing to participate, the U.S. will gladly accept bank deposits
to finance the reconstruction, but, of course, without offering any reward in
terms of reconstruction contracts."
"Washington's Veto To The UN"
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo held (4/9): "The U.S. has not the slightest
intention of allowing the UN to assume a substantive role in a post-Saddam
Iraq.... Bush went to Northern Ireland
to demonstrate how much he respects Tony Blair, who is trying to engineer a
rapprochement between America and Europe and to induce the U.S. to leave room
for the UN in Iraq.... The White House
would like Europe to share the costs of reconstruction, but the U.S. Congress
wants to bar the French, Germans and Russians from participating in the
bidding. As for the UN, Washington wants
it to work as a kind of 'subcontractor' to the occupation forces, to legitimize
the new regime in Iraq."
"A Role For The UN"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (4/8): "The two war lords, President Bush and
Prime Minister Blair, have already met to discuss the 'reconstruction' of
Iraq. The U.S. and the UK hold different
views, as do even Bush's top aides.
Blair, in concert with the European nations, supports UN involvement in
the post-war period. Bush and his
cabinet are more inclined to approve a U.S. administration in which the Iraqis
would have some voice.... Although he
has not advocated a leading role for the UN, Secstate Powell has said that it
is the only organization capable of giving legitimacy to the post-Saddam
administration. The hawks, for whom
legitimacy seems unimportant, urge that U.S. administration begin in the next
few days. It seems that that at least
for a while the hawks' position will prevail.
Many of them are linked to contractors and oil companies that would
benefit from profitable contracts granted by a U.S. administration.... Brazil should push for the UN to become the
chief player in the 'reconstruction.'"
MEXICO: "Iraq, Now
Alejandro Ramos Esquivel wrote in business-oriented El
Financiero (4/8): "As the
armed forces...go on defeating the Iraqi people, one can clearly see the real
struggle behind this war: interests. All
kinds of interests: political, diplomatic, strategic, but mostly economic, and
these will be triggered by the Iraqi reconstruction and the control of their
oil.... In the diplomatic arena,
Secretary of State Colin Powell is very active.
His goal is to legitimize the war in Iraq after it is over.... Through Powell, Washington seeks to set the
role of United Nation regarding Iraq, as if the world organization validated
the unilateral intervention and Hussein's virtual fall after they
"Post-War In Iraq"
Alfonso Elizondo stated in independent El Norte (4/5): "Everything leads toward a post-war
government in Iraq guided to divide Europe and to weaken the European Union’s
financial capacity as well as the Euro’s strength, preserving control over oil
profits in the Middle East.”
CHILE: "Looking Toward
Conservative, influential, El Mercurio observed (4/5): "Winning the war is just the beginning
of a gigantic task for the coalition forces.... It is also the beginning of a debate that
promises to become very complex.... And
it is at that point that we will see how much the U.S. truly values working
with its allies and the international community. Not taking into account the opinion of others
and basing its behavior on its power as an only superpower could deeply wound
its relations with the rest of the world and be counterproductive for its
policy toward the Middle East."
PANAMA: "Iraq And The
Tabloid Critica Libre held (4/6): "Evidently the United States plan to
install a government compatible with its strategic interests, and it is not
necessary to occupy Baghdad nor eliminate Saddam to carry out its mission in
Iraq.... An Iraq under Washington's
control would serve as a base to reduce the influence of Islamic fundamentalist
Iran.... The question is whether Iraq
will accept U.S. style democracy."