August 7, 2003
IRAQ: 'NET AROUND SADDAM CLOSING IN.'
** Capturing Saddam Hussein
would quell the "myth" that his regime could return and would be a
"gift from the gods" for Bush.
** Media call for Saddam to
be "put on trial" if captured, so Iraqis can "face their
** Some predict that
"armed resistance will continue" even if Coalition forces nab the
Eliminating the 'ghosts' of Saddam's terror would be a
'psychological victory'-- The recent release of
the "Saddam tapes" sparked concern in some outlets such as the
moderate Riyadh Daily, which held that the tapes could influence his
diehard supporters and contribute to the "common man's" fear that he
could return to power. European papers
agreed that capturing Saddam would dispel these fears and expressed confidence
the "steel network being drawn" would "not allow many to
escape." Poland's mainstream
Catholic Tygodnik Powszechny surmised that "it's only a matter of
time before he shares the fate of his sons."
Bush determined to 'hunt down' Saddam-- Critics contended that Bush focused on the
killing of Uday and Qusay and the search for their father in order to divert
international attention from the WMD controversy. Some observers pointed out that Saddam's
capture would not only be a "political success" for Bush, but would
also validate his stance that the U.S. has the "situation under control." The "early elimination" of Saddam,
according to a Belgian writer, could prompt Iraqis to be "friendlier"
to the "foreign occupying troops."
'Alive is better than dead for Iraqis seeking justice'-- Global media urged the U.S. not to "make
the same mistake" with Saddam as it did with Uday and Qusay, arguing that
a "properly constituted court" is the best mechanism to
"demonstrate the terrible power of evil" and allow Iraqis to
"lay ghosts to rest." South
African dailies condemned the U.S.' "selective assassinations"
carried out without the "umbrella of international legitimacy" and
expressed concern about setting precedents that contravene justice. A foreign editor at the conservative Ottawa
Sun emphasized that "however odious" the leader of a sovereign
nation may be, he should "stand trial at the International War Crimes
Tribunal in the Hague" rather than die in a "Bonnie and Clyde-style
shoot-out" with U.S. forces.
Killing Saddam "without giving Iraqis the opportunity to deal with
their former leader," a German writer hypothesized in left-of-center Berliner
Zeitung, would only "provoke new resistance and distrust."
Iraqi resistance will persist 'regardless of Saddam's fate'-- Foreign observers maintained that it was the
"battered Iraqis'" frustration with the U.S. occupation and the
"appalling conditions of life" that motivated the armed
resistance. These circumstances led a
Russian writer to criticize the "lack of vision" in Bush's
"deck-of-cards approach" and Argentina's leading Clarin to
question whether the capture of Saddam and the "elimination of his key
figures" will really bring peace.
EDITOR: Sandra Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 31 reports from 20 countries over July 28 - August 6
2003. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
Stephan-Andreas Casdorff opined in centrist Der Tagesspiegel
of Berlin (7/30): "Yes, America is
still at war: At home where President
Bush must reject attacks on himself and his closest aides, and also in Iraq.... An increasing number of U.S. soldiers are
killed and the forces must put an end to this development. The best would be they would finally capture
Saddam Hussein. Many of his supporters
would then lose the myth that Saddam could return.... That is why a fight house for house will
begin in the hunt for Saddam on the road between Baghdad and Tigris. The sons, his bodyguard, a Fedayeen
commander--a network of steel is being drawn which will not allow many to
escape. Previous successes give reason
for hope and in this case there is no doubt that what is good for Bush is also
good for the United States and for the world."
Frank Herold noted in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(7/30): "The opponents to the
United States in Iraq are protesting against falling from one tutelage to
another. The United States still does
not want to recognize this as one of the reasons for resistance against its
occupation. But by ignoring it, the
Americans seem to repeat this mistake by removing the real Saddam without
giving the Iraqis any opportunity to deal with their former leader. This will inevitably provoke new resistance
and distrust. But the decapitation
strategy has had its hoped-for effect elsewhere: In Washington.... All of a sudden, the Democrats found their
critical voice again when discussing a topic that formerly enjoyed a national
consensus...and all of a sudden the powerful U.S. nation is infected by the
idea that this war could be lost in the end.
The latest attacks are nurturing doubts that Bush has the situation
still under control. With the execution
of Saddam's sons, he was able to silence his opponents for a moment. But only a success in the hunt for Saddam
would consolidate his position even more."
Lose Peacetime Battle"
Olga Ivanova stated in official parliamentary Parlamentskaya
Gazeta (7/30): "The occupation
authorities are losing a battle on the 'peacetime front,' of course, unable to
introduce elementary order in the country and ensure jobs for hundreds of
thousands of angry people who know well how to handle guns. The Iraqis wonder why the Americans do not feel
obliged to restore the water and electric power supply systems that they
themselves have destroyed. The
conditions of life for ordinary people are just appalling, much worse than in
Hussein's days. But the Americans don't
seem to care, concerned mostly with searching for Saddam and combating
terrorism. Under the circumstances, the
armed resistance will continue even if the Coalition forces kill [Saddam]
himself and all his 'fedayeen.' The
only way out of the situation is a power handover to the Iraqis, a new
'Marshall plan' for Iraq, and specific dates for the withdrawal of the
"Lack Of Vision"
Sergey Strokan commented in reformist
business-oriented Kommersant (7/30):
"The deck-of-cards approach lacks strategic vision. The idea behind it is that getting the most
dangerous criminals will be a happy ending to the affair. Some 50 years ago, Ariel Sharon, a brave
army officer with a list of 100 Palestinian terrorists in his pocket, thought
so, too, as he was scouring the country in a jeep for his enemies. Sharon killed them all. But Israel is still
fighting. It turns out that the 'Sharon
list,' miraculously, can reproduce itself.
The same applies to the 'Bush list.'
The Americans confuse cause with effect.
It is not that certain people cause problems. It is that a war causes a problem that makes
certain people act. Some Iraqis refuse
to believe that Saddam Hussein and his regime are gone forever. They may do so because they see no bright
future for their country. So if there
had not been Saddam's third son, he would have been invented."
"Nawaf Al-Zaidan’s Dollars"
Pol Mathil opined in left-of-center Le Soir (8/5): “The amount of $30 million is the largest
reward ever paid by the U.S. State Department under the 'Reward for Justice’
program. Before September 11, the
largest amount was $5 million for credible information about terrorist threats.
It was not a booming success: only 24 beneficiaries for a total of less than
$10 million.... But here, money does not
matter. The war in Iraq is costing $4
billion per month. The publicity on the
Nawaf family’s bright future must demonstrate that the Americans are keeping
their word and that, consequently, the one who knows and gives Saddam Hussein’s
address will have 25 million reasons to go to the nearest U.S. Army post. The Americans consider that obtaining
Saddam’s address is likely to reduce the cost of the war and that it is
therefore what we call a good bargain.”
"A Fragile Peace"
Jean Vanempten observed in business-oriented De
Financieel-Economische Tijd (8/2):
“The number of dead American soldiers continues to increase. The attacks against the U.S. occupying troops
cause the domestic U.S. support for the war effort to dwindle equally
steadily.... Bush has diverted all the
attention for weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein himself.... The U.S. government is counting on an early
elimination of Saddam.... The reasoning is
simple: when Saddam is eliminated the Iraqi people will promptly become much
friendlier to the foreign occupying troops.
We will have to wait and see.
Apparently, it is much easier to conquer a country in a blitz war than
to establish permanent calm and order.
Among Saddam’s Iraqi opponents the resentment against the American actions
is beginning to grow, too. The desire
for self-government and self-determination is growing day-by-day--and expressed
more vigorously, too.... At this moment,
the Untied States is trying to find allied troops to protect the fragile
peace--without a UN flag because the wounds are still to deep there and, above
all, because the United States does not want to give the initiative out of its
hands. It is still unclear whether a
compromise is possible. International
diplomacy may manage to find a compromise in the fall. But, in that case, a lot will depend on how
the summer in Iraq went and whether Saddam is captured or not.”
"Capture Of Saddam Would Be Gift From The
Frank Schloemer contended in independent De
Morgen (7/30): “If they are to be
believed, the Americans almost captured Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The
question, however, is: can we still believe the Americans? Weapons of mass destruction that could be
deployed within 45 minutes and uranium that was purchased from Niger to produce
an Iraqi nuclear bomb: these were also true American stories.... The United States has the largest army of
spies in the world and, with its numerous satellites, it can, so to say, look
inside our bathrooms. So, it is quite
unlikely that it will not capture Saddam soon.
Although there is still the peculiar precedent of Osama bin Laden who is
still at large. The word ‘soon’ is a
applicable in this situation. Indeed,
George W. Bush is in a hurry and the arrest of Saddam would be a real gift from
the gods. Although the hawks in his
administration underscore that the operation in Iraq is a major success,
genuine panic reigns inside the U.S. administration.... George W. Bush...urgently needs a political
success for domestic use. The capture of
Saddam would be ideal, but there is another possibility: the
internationalization of the Iraq dossier.
If other countries come to the rescue of the United States, that would
not only be a relief for Washington, but it would also make the world gradually
forget that Bush and Tony Blair played cavalier seul in Iraq.”
"It's High Noon For Saddam's Sons, But That's No Way To Confront
Ronan Mullen commented in the left-of-center Irish Examiner
(8/6): “There is a real danger that the
American military, still understandably in a gung-ho state, will make the same
mistake with Saddam as they did with Uday and Qusay. Even if they do take Saddam alive, they'll
probably make a mess of it by whisking him off to some offshore military base,
shaving his head, and issuing pictures of him manacled in a cage. Such short cuts to justice always end in
tears. There is no alternative to a
properly constituted court if you want to demonstrate the terrible power of
evil.... The law is an area where we
(Europe) are streets ahead of America.”
Wojciech Pieciak wrote in mainstream Catholic weekly Tygodnik
Powszechny (7/30): “The mills of
justice grind slowly. If only Saddam
Hussein...is hiding in Iraq among Sunni tribes loyal to him, then it is only a
matter of time before he shares the fate of his sons. An irreversible departure of the tyrant and
his successors is the best thing that can happen to the Iraqi people.... The objective of the war was to oust Saddam
and his clan. Their death...may not end
the guerilla war of local ‘militants,’ but it will dispel the fears of the
majority of Iraqis that the dictatorship will return. Saddam and his sons have no chance to become
icons of the ‘resistance movement.’ For
the Iraqis and Arab countries, it is also evidence that the allies treat
seriously another objective of this war, namely to create a new Iraq.”
SPAIN: "The Net Around
Saddam Is Closing In"
Center-right ABC urged (7/30): "After locating and killing the
dictator's sons and the U.S.' response to the attacks by the remnants of the
deposed regime's military and security apparatus, arresting Saddam Hussein has
become a priority objective for Washington.
In a society totally permeated by terror in which the outrages and
crimes of the former Iraqi president and his sons took place with the utmost
brutality and impunity, doing away with the emblems and ghosts of this terror
is more than just a publicity coup. It
is a psychological victory that cannot be underestimated.... But Iraq's stability is not just Iraq's
problem. It is clear that the progress
that has been made in the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians
is a product of the allied action against Saddam Hussein. The Baghdad regime was a stimulus to
terrorism, a challenge to peace agreements and a threat to its neighbours. If the action against Saddam Hussein does not
give way to a democratic government that respects international law and is
committed to peace in the region, a great opportunity will have been
SAUDI ARABIA: "Saddam
Riyadh's English language, moderate Riyadh Daily held
(8/2): "Saddam's tapes continue to
work the TV channels. Though these tapes
serve little purpose, it could still influence the people who are still
supportive of the former president.
While the U.S. can do nothing about the tapes, it should make every
effort to convey to the Iraqi people that the Ba'athist regime is indeed
gone--even though Saddam may still be around.
The common man is still fearful of Saddam and the possibility of his
returning is truly terrifying. The tapes
only add to these fears."
EGYPT: "Fear For Iraq
From The U.S."
Aggressive, pro-government Al-Akhbar opined (7/30): “The U.S. is still looking for Saddam--who is
dead even if still alive. He committed
suicide when he took his troops to Kuwait and, before that, to Iran... There is no fear from Saddam...but the fear
is from America, which occupies Iraq.
This occupation creates legitimate public resistance, called terrorism
by the U.S.... America wants to bring
back the age of colonialism.... Yet, no
matter how angry the people of Iraq are, they will never permit Saddam to come
back because, to them, he is already dead.”
JORDAN: "The Fate Of
Bater Wardam argued in center-left, influential Al-Dustour
(8/04): “True, what happened to the
family of President Saddam is major drama, but it is no different from what
thousands of families in Iraq faced under his rule. There is not a single Iraqi family that did
not lose a son or a father or more to the haphazard wars, the oppression of the
opposition, the snitching, the executions, the fleeing from the country, the
hunger, and the disease. The Arab media
did not show sympathy to these Iraqi families as much as it is showing now to
the family of President Saddam. This is
despite the fact that this was forced upon normal Iraqi families while the fate
of the Iraqi president’s family was clear for a very long time. President Saddam ruled with the power of fear
and with an iron fist. This meant the
people’s submission, but it could not have meant love at all…. The fate of President Saddam and his family
is not important, and it should not be focused upon, because what is important
is Iraq’s fate as a state and people under the occupation. The roles of President Saddam and his family
are totally terminated from the life of Iraq.
The useful and proper analysis for the fate of the Iraqi President’s
family should be a lesson learned by those who rule with iron fist. People should not create a legendary tragedy
out of this very natural fate drawn by the men of the [President’s] family.”
KUWAIT: "Kuwait, Enjoy
Waleed Al-Jassim remarked in independent Al-Watan
(7/26): “Kuwait, you have the right to
enjoy the deaths of Udai and Qusai. Four
months after their escape from one den to another in women’s clothes, they were
finally killed. Now, the journey is over
and the allied forces succeeded in chopping off Saddam’s wings. If Saddam is lucky, he will end up...running
and hiding from one place to another. The
other option, which most people wish, is see him in custody and put on trial
for all the crimes he has committed.”
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA: "Bush Tries To
Ride Out Intelligence Crisis"
Wu Yixue commented in the official
English-language China Daily (8/01):
“U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged on Wednesday his
responsibility for the discredited U.S. charge that former Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa for his nuclear weapon program.... Bush’s accepting responsibility can be seen
as an attempt to ease the immense pressure he is under as a result of the false
intelligence.... On the eve of the U.S.
presidential election, doubt over the credibility of a candidate will have a
negative impact on his race for the presidency.... It still remains unknown whether Bush's
efforts can extricate him from the damage wrought by the intelligence
crisis.... But one thing is sure: the
U.S. is determined to hunt down Saddam whether Washington's charges against him
are true or not.”
HONG KONG: "Who Is
Major Enemy Of The U.S. Forces In Iraq?"
The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked
(8/05): "The U.S. civil
administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, told the press that Saddam Hussein would
soon be captured, thereby reducing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. This last thought is overly optimistic. If Bremer and his senior officials are not
completely ignorant on the U.S. situation in Iraq, then they are trying to
paint a rosy picture to appease the American public.... Most Iraqis have no love lost for Saddam, but
neither do they want U.S. forces to replace him. Iraqis feel it is a national humiliation for
Americans to be occupying Iraq. They
demand that the U.S. let the Iraqis govern themselves. The longer U.S. forces remain in Iraq, the
stronger this national sentiment will become, creating a breeding ground for
all sorts of anti-U.S. military feeling.
This sentiment is the most reliable shelter for the fighting groups. It is also the major enemy of U.S. forces in
Iraq that cannot be conquered. The U.S.
forces are digging their own graves as their very presence prompts the Iraqis
to reject, hate and confront them."
"Alive Is Better Than Dead For Iraqis Seeking Justice"
The independent English-language South China
Morning Post editorialized (7/27):
" The killing of Saddam Hussein's sons has boosted the morale of
the American occupation force in Iraq, criticized for its ungainly efforts to
get the war-scarred country functioning and under attack from resistance
fighters. Iraqis are not rejoicing as
heartily, though, as they have been robbed of their best chance for retribution
for mistreatment by the ousted regime....
By killing the men with overwhelming firepower instead of capturing
them, the U.S. has taken from Iraqis the chance for justice. By putting the men before a court, the Iraqi
people could have had answers to the many questions troubling them about Mr.
Hussein's brutal 24-year presidency....
Washington and its allies are doing their best to improve Iraqis' lives.
Efforts to show success through the killing of ranking figures of the regime
may placate objectors to the rising cost of the reconstruction effort, but will
do little to win the support of Iraqis.
If Mr. Hussein is located soon, as officials are predicting, he must be
captured and put on trial. Only by
facing their oppressor and having questions answered will Iraqis be able to lay
ghosts to rest."
"Don't Allow Iraqis To Idolize Saddam As Hero!"
The conservative Sankei observed (8/4): "Middle East TV stations have broadcast
audiotapes carrying what was believed to be the voice of Saddam Hussein,
eulogizing as martyrs his two sons who were killed in a firefight with U.S.
troops. Whether or not the taped voice
proves to be that of Hussein, there is an apparent attempt to idolize Hussein
and his two slain sons as Iraqi heroes.
The 'Saddam tapes,' if broadcast uninterrupted, will have a tremendously
negative effect on not just the rebuilding of postwar Iraq but also on plans
for setting back in motion the stalemated Middle East peace process. The tapes could also act as an incentive for
Hussein-backed Palestinian radicals or other Islamic radicals to resume acts of
terrorism. The U.S. and other parties
concerned must track down and capture Hussein, no matter what. Their failure to seize him would only send
the wrong message to Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator."
"Restoration Of Public Order Is
Prerequisite To Aiding In Iraq Reconstruction"
Japan's leading business and economics Tokyo
Nihon Keizai Shimbun held (7/27):
"Almost three months have passed since U.S. President Bush declared
that 'the major battles are over.'
However, we cannot say that public order has been restored. The casualty toll of U.S. soldiers has
surpassed that of the Gulf War. What is
necessary now is the restoration of public order. That is the condition for the global
community to cooperate in reconstruction.
It is not a totally pessimistic situation. If the death of former President Saddam
Hussein's two sons means that Hussein himself is being cornered, then that is a
blow to the Hussein supporters who are mounting guerilla actions against the
U.S. and British troops."
Lahore-based independent Din editorialized (8/4): "In an interview with an American TV
network, Libyan President Moammer Qaddafi has warned that 'Iraq will prove to
be another Vietnam for the U.S.,' because the Iraqi nation is resisting the
occupation regardless of Saddam's fate....
The populace of the Islamic states has come to the conclusion that the
U.S. occupation of Iraq is illegal, immoral illogical. In this perspective, international observer
and analysts are terming the Iraqi guerilla war as being extremely dangerous. What's more, even General Myers has admitted
'we might face guerilla war for the next four years.' Ignoring Moammer Qaddafi's warning as a
madman's outbusst would be dangerous."
"Queasy Over Uday"
The conservative Citizen argued (7/28):
"While debate rages over whether the U.S. was justified in publishing
photos of dead Iraqis, and whether the two were indeed Saddam's sons, another
issue demands attention. What right do
Americans have to continue this campaign of selective assassinations now that
the 'war' is over? Were genuine attempts
made to capture Uday and Qusay alive?
Even if the brothers were evil, did they not deserve a trial? We hold no brief for Saddam or his ilk. But there should be concern about precedents
being set.... If this goes unchallenged
what's to stop the super power, or any other country, drawing up more lists,
picking off perceived enemies wherever they may be?"
"Show Us Weapons, Not Bodies"
Liberal Sunday Tribune opined
(7/27): "It has been a week of dead
bodies.... The U.S. has been parading
its own human prey. Uday and Qusay are
dead and their faces painstakingly reconstructed for the cameras, amid much
jubilation. We have to remind ourselves
that these are sober men committed to the rule of law doing this. It is perhaps well to remember that Iraq
never declared war on the U.S. The U.S.
army sauntered into Iraq without a UN mandate.
The U.S. is therefore killing people without the umbrella of
international legitimacy. In a word, it
is terrorism.... Parading dead bodies
does America's reputation no credit. The
world wants to see the U.S. producing the weapons of mass destruction the
purported reason for the invasion.
That's what Bush must display, not ghastly pictures of bodies."
Conservative Rapport noted (7/27): "The death of Qusay and Uday is a
psychological breakthrough in attaining the one goal that can be accepted as
legitimate in the attack [of the U.S. on Iraq]:
the destruction of Saddam's horrifying regime. The former dictator's days are obviously
counted.... The grotesque images of the
end of the two sons that America has been showing the world does not differ in
principle from the barbaric ways in which the Saddam regime paraded in front of
the cameras dead Americans and British troops during the war."
"Myth Behind U.S. Hunt For Saddam"
Joseph Walunywa took this view in the independent pro-business Standard
(8/2): "The overthrow of Saddam
Hussein, the killing of his two sons, and the imposition upon Iraqis of a
governing council made up of locals, but controlled by the U.S. reflects
America’s desire to replace the myth of 'Saddam' with the myth of 'America.'... If the West is more 'powerful' than the rest
of the world, it is because it is more adept than other parts of the world at
using the power of myth to advance its global interests. Behind America’s current power is a corpus of
mythologies of 'superiority' that are as old as Western society itself.... Today the incredible power inherent in these
myths can be detected in the current glamour of America. When foreigners 'go to America,' they are
driven by the desire to sample 'the American dream' and to experience life in
'the land of the free and the home of the brave.' Had it not been for these myths America
would probably not have replaced Europe
as the world’s most powerful nation, nor would she have won the Cold War
against the Soviet Union."
"Uday, Qusay Shift Iraqi Focus To Regime
Kwendo Opanga contended in the independent
pro-business Standard (7/27):
"The point, however, is that the killing of Uday and Qusay and the
hunt for their father are being used by London and Washington to divert
attention from the crucial issue in the Iraqi affair. It is that increasingly more and more people
are getting convinced that U.S. President George Bush and British Prime
minister Tony Blair misled the world about Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological
arsenal. The shift from the search for
the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) to the killing of Uday and Qusay and the
hunt for their father is meant to focus attention on regime change in Iraq.... It must be remembered that Bush and Blair
time without number charged that Saddam’s nuclear, biological and Chemical
weapons posed a grave and immediate danger to America and the West…Regime
change, while it is becoming increasingly clear was the real reason for going
to war, was not sold the UN as the justification for war.”
"U.S. Wants Saddam, But Dead - Not Alive"
Eric Margolis wrote in the conservative tabloid Ottawa Sun
(8/3): "Chances are Saddam, like
his sons, will be killed in a Bonnie and Clyde-style shootout. He is unlikely to be captured, unless
incapacitated. The Bush administration
will be delighted not to put Saddam on public trial. Dead dictators tell no
tales.... Saddam should be handed over
by the U.S. to the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.... But the Bush administration, in one of its
most shameful acts, has refused to join this tribunal or co-operate with
it. Should Saddam be gunned down, like
his two sons, there will be glee among many Americans and rejoicing in the
White House. But Saddam Hussein is not
John Dillinger or a prize elk. However
odious, he was the leader of a sovereign nation and a government recognized by
the U.S. Killing foreign heads of state violates international law and the
directives made by three American presidents.... America, the world's greatest democracy, has
no business murdering foreign leaders.
Such behaviour is criminal, immoral, undemocratic and reeks of the law
of the jungle. Past U.S. attempts to murder foreign leaders have proved
self-defeating.... George Bush may yearn
to drape the body of Saddam over his Jeep and show it off to the folks around
Crawford, Texas, but he should be forcefully reminded that the president
represents the laws of the land. Bad enough the White House waged a totally
unnecessary, unprovoked, undeclared war on Iraq based on spurious charges. This egregious offence should not be
compounded by cold-blooded murder, no matter how odious the intended
"The Danger Of 'The Talion Law'"
Narciso Binayan Carmona suggested in daily-of-record
La Nacion (7/28): "The U.S.
has hardly ever faced an unprecedented situation as the one presented by the
invasion and occupation of Iraq. And
these days, the deaths of Uday and Qusay...may present an ancient, pre-Islamic
precedent: the 'eye for an eye revenge.'...
Now, the ousted dictator--hidden and persecuted--has been challenged
with the death of his sons. An impatient
man, Saddam legitimized his warlike actions based on a millenary culture of the
Semites and has even incorporated its religion.... For many years, Saddam pretended for himself
and his sons the category of 'Sayyid' (lord), as - doubtful -- descendants - of
Mahomet. And with this, he also finds
protection in Mahomet's words 'He who slays any of my descendants will never have
a right to my intercession.'... This
means, the Talion Law.... The death of
Uday and Qusay may, in sum, lead to the most unpredictable reactions. Maybe not, but Saddam has never shown
tolerance or a soft hand."
"After The Corpses"
Claudio Uriarte opined in leftist Pagina 12
(7/27): "What a lucky man! Precisely when George W. Bush seemed cornered
by polls indicating the lowest popularity percentages, the scandal of lies
aimed at justifying war in Iraq, the slow but constant deterioration of the
conditions surrounding the occupation of the Iraqi territory and the
downfall--constant and sharp--of the U.S. economy, this week his troops
presented him with the two most wanted dead bodies: those of Uday and Qusay
Hussein, sons of the ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. With them, 37 of the Pentagon's 55 figures of
the poker cards are dead or captured, and of the aces, only Saddam himself is
missing. The achievement mustn't be
overlooked, but it must also be placed in perspective, because, as is the usual
case with a President who's usually inclined to giving answers that do not
correspond with the problems that really exist, this week's corpses divert the
pressures but don't necessarily solve the ongoing difficulties.... The two issues, the chaotic situation in Iraq
and the downfall of the U.S. economy become an explosive cocktail when
presented with the most blatant contradiction: Bush launched his country to an
imperial war to redesign the world, without the economy to back it.... The future of Bush's November re-election
remains as jeopardized as before."
"Tribute to Imperial Lords"
Oscar Raul Cardoso held in leading Clarin
(7/26): "Everything suggests that,
if Saddam's capture takes place in the following days or weeks, George W. Bush
will be able to make another compelling announcement like the one he made from
a huge carrier, with great mediatic display, on May 1, when he declared the end
of war in Iraq. This time he will be
able to say that the most important stage of the painful and dangerous
'cleansing tasks' that invariably follow any major military operation--such as
an invasion--has been left behind. God
and opinion polls know that Bush and Tony Blair urgently need such an
announcement--or any other--, similar to the ancient custom of the warlords of
the past, who displayed the dead body of the defeated enemy.... But the possibility of this new victory by
the allies in Iraq--the capture or death of Saddam--has a less pleasant side
for the occupying powers: the one in which Washington and London's main
hypothesis doesn't take place, and peace doesn't come after the removal of the
old regime and the elimination of its key figures. The answer to the question 'Do the occupants
really know what they're doing in Iraq?' may shed light not only on the
question regarding the future of battered Iraqis, but also on how the Iraqi
tragedy will reflect on the rest of the international scenario."
"The Death Of Saddam's Sons"
Ambassador Antonio Amaral De Sampaio commented
in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (7/31): "The death of Saddam
Hussein's sons may close one of the final chapters of the U.S. military
intervention in Iraq.... The only thing
lacking in the Iraqi post-war scenario is the capture of Saddam, so that the
U.S. may immediately install in Baghdad a responsible civil administration free
of the Ba'ath Party, in an attempt to introduce democracy in a not-yet-civilized
nation.... The implementation of a
Western-style democracy in such a primitive environment is expected to be much
more difficult than overthrowing Saddam....
Let us hope that Washington succeeds in this endeavor, because a failure
would permit the return of the Ba'ath Party to power and the emergence of
another leader similar to Saddam Hussein."
"What If Sadamm Dies?"
Kahhat noted in independent Reforma (8/06): “What would be the effects in Iraq if they
arrest Saddam Hussein? By the U.S.’
official reasoning, Hussein represented not only the incarnation of evil but
also the personification of the political regime that prevailed in Iraq for
more than 25 years.... Perhaps the
effects of showing to the world the deformed faces of a corpse--shot with a
machine gun--do not affect seriously the will and the capacity of resistance of
those who confront with the occupying troops.
However it is possible that the constant military operations to capture
Hussein could have a collateral effect on the rebels, at least it could make
them fall back.... Maybe the only
effective action adopted by the occupying authorities had been political: to
designate a Government Council which has certain representative degree and to
call to elections before the established period.” ##