August 11, 2003
UN 'MANDATE' MIGHT YIELD PEACEKEEPERS, FINANCIAL AID
political-economic transformation in Iraq is "more difficult" than
** The U.S. needs
international support but is "vacillating" over a new UN resolution.
** An "enhanced UN
mandate" could yield troops and financial assistance for reconstruction.
'The U.S. needs help'-- Commentators judged that
"Washington is beginning to appreciate" that the U.S. needs help in
Iraq. Continuing violence and
uncertainty, said a centrist German paper, means the U.S. and Britain "are
less and less able to implement something that deserves the term
left-leaning, influential La Repubblica asserted that post-war
management has been "failure after failure" while Iran's pro-Khatami Mardom
Salari held that "the experience of the past three months has...cast
doubt on America's optimistic forecasts for Iraq's political future." The business-oriented Australian Financial
Review stated that the U.S. mission in Iraq "is under strain" and
that "rather than liberators, Americans are increasingly coming to be
viewed as an ugly and unwelcome presence."
U.S. seen as 'reluctant to cede control'-- Despite what one Russian daily termed the U.S.'
"desperate pleas for stabilization troops" from other countries,
editorialists held that "the Bush government is hesitating in its search
for assistance" from the UN. The
main reason, according to China's official intellectual Guangming Daily,
is that "the U.S. worries that too much Security Council interference in
Iraq will weaken U.S. dominance over Iraqi political and economic
reconstruction." Writers in Germany
and the Netherlands suggested that "the wounds are too deep" still
for the U.S. to accept help "under a UN flag" and that the
"pressure...is probably not great enough" to overcome the
"resistance among the conservatives" in the Bush administration. Lebanon's English-language Daily Star
argued that the UN "retains the legitimacy for nation-building" that
the coalition partners lack.
The U.S. 'must relinquish some power' to get international
help-- Saying that "the
occupation needs to be widened into a genuine peacekeeping and nation-building
exercise," independent and center-left British papers advised the U.S. to
"get a new mandate" from the UNSC, stating that major European
countries "remain loathe to help out" as long as "the U.S.
continues to oppose an enhanced mandate for the UN." France's Catholic La Croix agreed that
"only under the aegis of the UN" will countries such as France,
Germany and India "contribute financially or militarily to building
peace." European papers also
contended that "whatever we may think of the war, it would be
shortsighted" not to help the U.S. and UK "get out of this
fix." Indian papers called for
everything from "a specific UN mandate" to a "UN cover of some
sort" before New Delhi sends troops to Iraq. Turkey's mass-appeal Hurriyet said any
Turkish military presence "must be implemented under an international
umbrella" but Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak argued that
"Turkey should not contribute to the ongoing occupation."
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis
is based on 50 reports from 21 countries, July 30-August 11, 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The U.S.
Needs Friends In Iraq"
An editorial in the independent Financial Times held (8/8): "It is bad enough that at this stage the
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)--the Anglo-American administration that
purports to govern Iraq--has so little grip on the country, where people still
await basic services such as regular power and water, as well as security. Self-delusion about the reality on the ground
is no improvement. The reality is, as
Washington is beginning to appreciate, that the U.S. needs help if there is to
be any chance of making a success of Iraq's transition from tyranny, it is to
be hoped towards a representative democracy.
The U.S. is reluctant to cede control over the occupation. But faced with the failure of the
Pentagon-controlled CPA to establish a grip on the country, it will have no
choice. It is just a matter of time--and
the longer it takes, the more Americans and Iraqis will die and the more
irretrievable the situation will become."
"Washington Needs To Rethink Iraq"
The independent Financial Times argued (8/5): "The occupation needs to be widened into
a genuine peacekeeping and nation-building exercise--meaning the U.S. must
relinquish some power in Iraq to the United Nations and get a new mandate from the
Security Council.... The internal aspects
of political legitimacy need to be addressed too. Here, the U.S. has been hesitant and nervous
about surrendering control to Iraqis, anxious lest the wrong sort came to the
fore. An elected constituent assembly,
drawing members proportionally from Iraq's 18 provinces, would build a bridge
from the émigré council to internal forces, giving them a stake in the success
of the transition and some safeguard that it will not be manipulated by outside
"Voting Hopefully: Iraq Election Timetable Is Optimistic"
The left-of-center Guardian editorialized (8/4): "The sooner Iraq has its own,
democratically elected, sovereign government, the better. But the announcement by Paul Bremer, the
chief U.S. administrator, that elections could be held by the middle of next
year looks optimistic. Security concerns
are the first of many obstacles that must be overcome if such an ambitious
target is to be met. Major European
countries and international organizations remain loathe to help out by sending
peacekeepers or training personnel and--prospectively--election monitors while
the U.S. continues to oppose an enhanced mandate for the UN.... Nothing in U.S. politics is more damaging to
a president than the apparent squandering of American lives in badly run foreign
adventures. Such worries may help
explain Mr. Bremer's burgeoning interest in a swifter handover. Iraqi elections next summer and subsequent
troop withdrawals could come just in time to boost (or rescue) Mr. Bush's
November re-election bid. It is this
U.S. domestic political timetable, rather than any sudden, altruistic urge to
push for full democracy, that may be Iraqis' best hope of an early deliverance
from their liberators."
Dominique Quinio commented in Catholic La Croix (8/5): “The thirty or so allied countries that are
taking part in providing troops for the peace-keeping efforts in Iraq...do not
have the experience necessary for this kind of mission and their human and
logistical means are so minimal that their involvement cannot be considered as
anything but symbolic.... As for more
seasoned countries such as France, India or Turkey it was always clear that
they would not participate in the war without UN approval and it is only under
the aegis of the UN that they will contribute financially or militarily to
building peace.... For the U.S., beyond
the controversy around the reasons for a military intervention in Iraq, there
is also the concern over the morale of the troops and the cost of the operation
that may lead the U.S. to rediscover the advantage of multilateral
diplomacy.... Let us hope so. Yet those who had clearly stated their
disagreement with the U.S. must avoid the ‘I told you so’ impulse. And keep from wishing, even if it is just for
the satisfaction of having been right, that the situation in Iraq
worsens.... It is only the Iraqis that
would suffer from this attitude: they are the ones to bear the pitfalls and
uncertainties of the post-war.”
GERMANY: "Bush Praises
Schroeder Because He Needs Him"
Christoph Schwennicke maintained in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung (Internet version) (8/11):
"At the NATO summit the U.S. president did everything to show the
German chancellor his cutting contempt.
Even French President Jacques Chirac, Schroeder's companion against the
threatening Iraq war, was treated better....
Since then, absolute radio silence.
The German Government did not find out about the start of the Iraq war
from the White House but from television.
Now, Bush goes before his ranch in Texas and praises Germany. He is already glad that he will be thanking
Schroeder personally for the Afghanistan deployment of German soldiers. Gone up in smoke is the anger over Hitler
comparisons by the then German justice minister, forgotten is Schroeder's
election campaign agitation.... Not
sentimentalities but flinty calculation determine the relations between
nations. That is also the way the
signals from Texas should be interpreted.
Bush does not suddenly find Schroeder more appealing. He only needs him more urgently after the war
than before.... Bush has said something
inconsistent. It is not true that
Germany is now doing more in Afghanistan than months ago.... An expansion is planned, to be sure, but not
yet decided. Nevertheless, the message
is clear: Bush is praising Germany
because he wants to win over the NATO partner for the reconstruction. The U.S. Government was forced to realize in
Iraq: it has strained itself. The imperial overstretch is there. The United States can no longer afford to
divide Europe into old and new, to pick Poland as a partner when France and
Germany are acting coyly. The finality
of its own resources teaches the lesson:
it is not a matter of Poland or Germany, it is a matter of Germany and
Poland. The end of this U.S. hubris
should not be contemplated with a cheap feeling of triumph. The Federal Government must now participate
militarily in Iraq, although it was against the war. Reconstruction is still right even if the
preceding war was wrong."
Centrist Badische Zeitung of Freiburg had this to say
(8/8): "With every violent act,
uncertainty and despair will grow. At
the same time, the United States and Britain are less and less able to implement
something that deserves the term 'reconstruction.' Without safe roads, without energy, schools
and work, the Iraqis cannot be won for a western oriented, democratic
state. Regardless of the dispute over
pretended or real reasons to go to war, this would be tantamount to a fiasco
for the United States. What
possibilities does the Bush administration have: change course--from military offensives to
civil efforts, from acting on its own to joint activities under the roof of the
United Nations. If we interpret
yesterday's talks in Moscow correctly, the signs of such a move are
favorable. A light in the tunnel on this
day or mourning."
Right-of-center Thueringer Allgemeine of Erfurt opined
(8/8): "The hope for normalcy in
Iraq has now been seriously shaken. The
series of attacks will not stop soon.
And it will not change even if Iraq embarks on the path of a
democratically elected government. Whatever we may think of the war, it would
be shortsighted to wish to the Americans that they may get bogged down with
their pacification attempt. The 'Old
Europe,' if there is a new [UN] resolution, will be forced to help organize the
post-war times anyway. Even if the price
is the loss of lives."
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich observed
(8/5): "While U.S. soldiers die in
Iraq on an almost daily basis and reconstruction has get bogged down because of
the security situation, the Bush government is hesitating in its search for
assistance from the United Nations....
The pressure felt by the U.S. administration is probably not yet great
enough and resistance among the conservatives is still too high in order to
upgrade the community of nations, which was downgraded before. But the United States could only win if it
brings the UN into the picture: It could
expect fresh soldiers from states like Turkey, India, Pakistan and probably
also France and Germany and would also get financial assistance for Iraq's
reconstruction. The Bush administration
could silence its domestic critics by saying that there is now a fairer
burden-sharing of the Iraq adventure.
And to the outside, Washington would signal that it knows to appreciate
consensus and cooperation. With such an
approach, it could take the sting out of anti-Americanism in the Arab world in
particular. And if everything should go
wrong in Baghdad, the United States could even have a scapegoat: The UN failed again. But despite these advantages, the hawks in
Washington have great difficulty moving back to the UNSC. They do not want to surrender any terrain for
the benefit of the UN.... And this
approach is provoking Democratic Senator Biden to wonder: 'What do we give
up? The right to be shot on our
Jacques Schuster opined in an editorial in right-of-center Die
Welt of Berlin (8/5): "Many
things speak for the move of the British and a few important Americans to have
the UN adopt a new UN resolution on Iraq.
It would make it easier for India, Pakistan, and Turkey to send soldiers
to Iraq.... Accusations...that the
'crusader' in Washington planned to set up a colonial regime would be
disputed.... In addition, international
trials against the minions of Saddam's regime would get a greater degree of
credibility. And finally, the
internationalization would relieve the burden for Iraq's reconstruction from
U.S. shoulders.... And those who have
common sense will quickly realize that a new resolution also offers chances for
Europe. The key for an improvement of
transatlantic relations lies in Iraq. Europe's
assistance would remind people in Washington of the significance of the Old
Continent and fill the formerly so vivid transatlantic relations with life
again. Those who think this is not
enough should think of the influence Europe could regain in Iraq."
"Mission In Manhattan"
Moritz Schuller editorialized in centrist Der Tagesspiegel
of Berlin (8/5): "Pre-war
parameters are still used to assess the quick U.S. victory and its slow failure
in Iraq. With a new UN resolution, i.e.
the offer to find a broader legitimation for the mission in Iraq, this would
change. Those in particular could not
reject it who have pressed for a long time for UN participation--and criticized
the isolationist policy of the United States.
The Europeans would then again be faced with the decision of whether
they would be willing to risk lives in Iraq.
Even if the UN forces confined their activities to reconstructing Iraq,
they would be exposed to snipers as the U.S. soldiers are. Why the Europeans should do this is something
the Americans must still explain to the Europeans. But the answer to such a call for help is
much more difficult than the all previous answers Europe has thus far given to
the Iraq issue."
"In A Deep Fix In Iraq"
Markus Ziener argued in a front-page editorial in business daily Handelsblatt
of Duesseldorf (8/5): "General
Richard Myers called the Sunni triangle west of Baghdad a 'war zone.' But this will not change, not even with the
arrival of fresh forces from Poland, Spain, Ukraine, and other countries. The U.S. leadership considers the
capabilities of the new units to be too unprofessional, and if the situation is
getting serious, the United States will rely on its own forces. But if the United States and Britain, against
this background, really work for a new UN resolution that removes all obstacles
for the 'unwilling,' then this chance should be seriously examined. The United States is well advised to recall
the support of its reliable partners, and they should, in turn, not be so
coy. One need not consider the war in
Iraq to be correct if one helps the most important friend and partner get out
of a fix now. And the United States is
in a fix right now."
"Blair's Blow Of Liberation"
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg maintained
(8/4): "Tony Blair failed with his
political strategy in Iraq.... Now the
British prime minister has reacted. His
government is considering a new UN resolution on Iraq. With it, Blair is, for the first time, openly
confronting Washington. This move
deserves applause.... This move will
give the British PM the chance to show an independent foreign policy
profile. He could become a mediator
between the Americans and countries such as India, which are willing to take
part in Iraq's reconstruction under the roof of the UN. Problems would not have been resolved with a
new resolution but the use of forces and reconstruction would get a better
legitimation. But as urgently as U.S.
forces in the Gulf need support--the path via a new UN resolution would mean a
foreign policy defeat for President Bush."
"Welcome To Reality"
Peter Muench judged in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (8/1): "The
idea of establishing a Shiite religious state in Iraq or of setting up even a
moderate religious regime runs counter to all U.S. plans. It shows that democracy transfer to Iraq is
much more difficult than a military victory against a hopelessly inferior
opponent. First of all, the Americans
thought they could install a few puppets at the top of the new Iraq. Then they wanted to do everything on their
own, but now they finally seem to have arrived in reality. In view of the ethnic-religious fragmentation
of the country it is difficult to build a new nation, an effort that could also
fail. But this can easily be too much
for a well-armed but badly legitimized protector. The participation of the UN, something UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan again called for, can certainly not resolve all
problems. But for the Iraqis, who are at
odds with each other, it would at least be an informative example to see that
the world is getting its act together to help Iraq."
Jochen Siemens had this to say in left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau (8/1): "Why does the
United States make the sending of a peacekeeping forces to Liberia dependent on
a UN mandate, while it attacked and occupied Iraq without an approval of the UN
Security Council? Of course, all
politicians know that the United States pursues totally different interests in
Iraq and in Liberia.... But the
ambiguity of the foreign policy of the U.S. president is creating endurance
tests again and again for inter-state relations.... The only organization that can legitimize a
troop mission is the United Nations."
ITALY: "New U.S. Nightmare: Baghdad Like Saigon"
Prominent commentator Aldo Rizzo opined in
influential centrist La Stampa (8/11):
“The United States is having nightmares.
In the night, it dreams that Baghdad has turned into a new Saigon...or
into a new Beirut...or better into a new Kabul, in an Afghanistan invaded by
the Soviet Army.... I believe that U.S.
liberal-conservative analyst Charles Pena was right when he told Maurizio
Molinari...that the real U.S. nightmare is the Afghanistan of the
eighties.... Also in this case, we
shouldn’t exaggerate with similarities.
In fact the Soviets never had control of the territory...while Iraqi
local factions, despite their internal disputes, know that they owe their
freedom from Saddam to the Americans. In
this case, there is an ample margin to escape from the nightmare, but on one
condition: that the United States doesn’t repeat the same mistake as the USSR,
that is, wanting to do it all by itself, or just with the British, and that, at
this point, Americans should understand the importance of an international
‘collaboration,’ including the UN, to save Iraq, as well as themselves. Some signals in this regard are looming
ahead, and Europe should support them.”
"100 Days Of Fear In The After War"
Deputy managing editor Paolo Garimberti commented in left-leaning,
influential La Repubblica (8/8):
”The attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad...is the latest sign
that, 100 days after the end of the conflict, the Americans are losing control
of the situation.... Indeed, the
post-war management has been failure after failure. This is due to the American inability...to
ensure security in the country, as they are too busy in trying to ensure the
security of their soldiers.... Since
there is no security...it has been impossible to seriously begin
reconstruction.... The main mistake was
to think that that most of the Iraqi troops, especially the elite ones...would
have shifted to the American side, helping them to grant security, together
with the old Iraqi policy.... The second
wrong assumption was that the war would have helped getting rid of the Iraqi
government while maintaining the main pillars of the administration unchanged,
and that the big problems in the post war period would have been humanitarian
and not economic and administrative management.... Indeed, a name--Coalition Provisional
Authority--and a man--Paul Bremer--are not enough to fill the gaps of arrogant
and amateurish management. Now the
Americans themselves are beginning to think that Iraq...is comparable to Bosnia
or Kosovo, where however, both NATO and the UN played a decisive role.”
"Punishment To Jordan, But The Challenge Is Against The
Lorenzo Mondo opined in conservative, top-circulation syndicate La
Nazione/Il Resto del Carlino/Il Giorno (8/8): “Whatever the reason for the attack in Iraq
are, there is no doubt that there is not too much respect for the American
presence in Baghdad.... Indeed, it is
really time to change in Iraq. It seems
that also Washington is realizing this.
The ill-treated UN is rapidly becoming fancy again, if we are to believe
in William Burns’ statements from Moscow.
Better late than never.”
RUSSIA: "U.S. Is Not
Aleksandr Samokhotkin contended in reformist Vremya
Novostey (8/11): "The United
States' desperate pleas for 'stabilization troops' are evidence of a serious
security problem in Iraq. The Americans
can't control the situation even in the capital.... Remarkably, U.S. President George Bush,
speaking in Crawford last Friday, stated that Iraq has become a far safer
place, and the economic situation there has improved noticeably."
"100 Days After Victory"
Aleksandr Reutov commented in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(8/8): "The 100 days since the
official end of the war in Iraq have proved enough for the U.S. military to
realize that large-scale mop-up operations are not improving its relations with
the local population. A rise in the
national liberation movement bears that out.
From now on Iraq's security committee will be in charge of punitive
operations. In the longer term
Washington hopes to see the UN international forces take over responsibility. Russia seems to agree with that."
"U.S. Looks For Helps"
Andrey Zlobin wrote in reformist Vremya Novostey
(8/7): "America refuses to admit
publicly that things aren't going smoothly in Iraq at all. Visits like William Burns' to Moscow are
probes to find out about the possibility of carefully enlisting the support of
even those who will not send their peacekeepers to Iraq other than on condition
of a new Security Council resolution....
Moscow does not mean to use diplomatic niceties for disguising its
desire to get the Iraq crisis back into the UN fold."
"U.S. Out To Shift Burden To Allies"
Vasiliy Safronchuk contended in nationalist opposition Sovetskaya
Rossiya (8/5): "In the face of
a long guerrilla war, the United States seeks to pass the burden of occupation
on to its allies. According to
Washington, 30 countries have expressed their desire to join the 'stabilization
forces' in Iraq. War opponents such as France,
Germany and Russia are not among them.
They demand a new UN Security Council resolution to deploy a new force
in Iraq replacing the U.S. occupation troops.
Regrettably, the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine want to be in the
'stabilization force,' too."
BELGIUM: "New UN
Baudouin Loos wrote in left-of-center Le Soir speculating that the
U.S. and UK might submit a UN resolution to appoint a UN mission to supervise
the Iraqi governing council (8/11): “For
Washington and London, it is going to be a tight game: they intend to give the
Iraqi Government Council an international legitimacy that would facilitate the
intervention of other armies--French, Indian, Pakistani, and even Arab
troops--without losing anything of the almost absolute power that a previous UN
Resolution...gave them to manage the post war in Iraq. Because the United States wants to share the
burden of Iraq’s occupation [with others], but not the responsibilities.”
"Dead End Street"
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten wrote in financial daily De
Financieel-Economische Tijd (8/8):
"In Bush's view, the war in Iraq was over on May 1. One hundred days later, however, that appears
to be slightly too optimistic. The U.S.
forces’ tough actions lead to acts of retaliation by the Iraqi people. Virtually every day, American soldiers are
killed in those raids. Those attacks
increase the feeling of insecurity among the soldiers so that they become even
more nervous and hit back even harder....
The way out of this dead end street is obvious. Through a UN resolution the international
community must be involved in the management and reconstruction of Iraq. But that means that the Americans must give
up their right to act unilaterally--which is probably a step too far for the
hawks in the Pentagon. At this moment, a
rapprochement between the U.S. and the UNSC seems to be a very difficult
problem. The gap between the standpoints
is still immense. Maybe, a major
diplomatic effort in the fall could yield a breakthrough. Or, perhaps, the situation in Iraq
itself. The question is: how long is
Bush willing to run a political risk with his troops? The growing number of dead soldiers clearly
begins to have an impact on the American state of mind. If, another hundred days farther, the death
toll continues to increase at today’s rate, the United States may be forced to
opt for a different, international effort to rebuild Iraq."
"A Fragile Peace"
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten observed in financial daily 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.”
Now Want UN In Iraq"
Foreign affairs editor Jurica Korbler commented in Zagreb-based,
government-owned Vjesnik (8/7):
"The allies need military and financial assistance, they recognize
that the situation is difficult, and could become even more difficult. Anti-Bushism is spreading through Britain as
well, and a hot fall awaits Blair, unless the international community quickly
gets involved in regulating the situation in the Iraqi adventure. As much as the Americans shuddered at the
slow UN strategy on the eve of the war--when the Bush administration was the
happiest to see inspectors leave as soon as possible, and the UN to remain
aside--now they are eagerly expecting the organization to return to Iraq
immediately in one form or another. A
shamefaced and weakened Security Council is facing a large doubt. It can once again send a message to the
allies that they should resolve what they have stirred up themselves, or accept
the reality, and have the international community, disunited as it is, get
engaged in Iraq once again.... And
Iraqis can only affirm that they were not fine yesterday, but that they are not
fine today either."
DENMARK: "Wanted: New UN Mandate In Iraq"
Center-left Politiken editorialized (8/8): “The U.S. and Britain are looking
increasingly like...armies of occupation (rather than liberators). Not only do the two coalition countries have
problems controlling the country, but they lack the legitimacy that would have
resulted from a new UN mandate.”
SPAIN: "Spain Arrives
At The Hornet's Nest Of Iraq"
Independent daily El Mundo judged (7/30): "It seems like a slight that Spain,
which is making an important economic efforts in Iraq, is putting its soldiers
under Polish commanders, who are subsidized by the U.S. The Spanish role is less understood than the
conflict itself, whose objective and end date seem less clear each day.... The force that the U.S. is using to finish
with the 'remnants of the regime' creates new offenses that feed new
hatreds.... The handpicked Iraqi
Governing Council represents only the arbitrariness of the occupant.... Each day it is more clear that the honorable
way out of the hornet's nest our country is enmeshed in is to cede interim
control of Iraq to the UN to protect the process so that free elections can be
held to return sovereignty to the country."
Fehmi Koru argued in the Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak
(8/7): “Iraq has turned into a quagmire,
and Turkey should stay away from it. Yet
there is no harm for Turkey in helping and advising others on how to ‘dry the
quagmire'.... Turkey’s presence in Iraq
should only be considered after the withdrawal of foreign troops and the
handing of control to the United Nations....
The U.S. so far has not shown any sign of change in its current policies
in Iraq. Bremer, whose position is that
of a typical ‘occupation Governor’ is not optimistic about cooperation with
indigenous Iraqi groups. Washington is
not very optimistic about Bremer’s success either.... Turkey should not contribute to the ongoing
occupation by sending its troops there.
Instead, Turkey’s mission should be designed to persuade the U.S. and
the UK to correct their mistakes. Both
the U.S. and UK should leave Iraq to the Iraqis, and leave the region to
regional countries. It is in their best
interests to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.”
"Differences Between Afghanistan And Iraq"
Ferai Tinc wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet (8/4): “Iraq, as far as Turkey is concerned,
presents a very different picture from that in Afghanistan. Unlike Afghanistan, Turkey has not
established a relationship with all the Iraqi groups and clans on an equal
basis. For the people of Iraq, Turkey
represents both positive as well as negative images. Thus it is not possible to believe that all
of the Iraqi groups will happily accept a Turkish presence in the peacekeeping
mission. A Turkish military presence in
Iraq must be implemented under an international umbrella. Otherwise, it will harm not only Turkey, but
the U.S. as well.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "No To
Arabs' Involvement In Iraq"
Jeddah's moderate Al-Bilad editorialized (8/11): "If Arab forces were to listen to
Washington's call, what role would they assume in Iraq?... Any Arab force would have a vague role. But current hints now indicate that these
forces, if they were to be deployed into Iraq, would allow the foreign forces
to relax and take a break from the continuous strenuous resistance. This is just another application of the
famous saying divide and conquer.... The
U.S. request to send Arab forces to Iraq must be rejected. The U.S. forces should also leave Iraq
according to a plan set and administered by the UN to prevent any vacuum of
power upon their departure."
JORDAN: "Arab Foreign
Ministers: Thank You"
Columnist Musa Hawamdeh argued in center-left, influential Arabic
daily Al-Dustour (8/7): “The Arab
foreign ministers' decision to reject participation with the American forces in
the occupation of Iraq should be given its due attention.... After all that has happened in Iraq, it would
not be in the interest of the Arabs to save the United States from its current
dilemma and problems, namely the occupation of Iraq..... We praise this courageous Arab decision. We also fear that some Arabs may in the future
backtrack from this decision and become involved in the swamp of the American
occupier, who must now alone reap the fruits of what it has sown.... The Arabs, as well, are not required to
acknowledge the new governing council or any other organization brought forth
by the Americans. The best way out for
the Americans is to announce their withdrawal, lift their hands off Iraq
completely, refer the issue back to the United Nations and the Security
Council, apologize to the Iraqi people, and leave them to exercise their right
of determining their destiny without imposing anything American.”
LEBANON: "The Ugly
Specter Of Regional Tensions In Post-War Iraq"
The English-language Daily Star editorialized (8/8): “The longer that the Anglo-American-led
occupation of Iraq goes on, the more obvious it becomes that only a United
Nations-led effort can do the required job.
The UN retains the legitimacy for nation-building that the U.S. and UK
"Occupation And Security"
Sahar Baasiri opined in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(8/8): “There is no doubt that the
United Nation (not the U.S.) is needed to fully supervise the transition of
Iraq to the Iraqis.”
QATAR: "Mr. Bremer
Will Leave Soon!"
Zourouf wrote in semi-independent Al-Watan (8/4): “The United States is forced now to involve
the UN in Iraq. This proves that the
United States failed in bypassing the UN and leads to the conclusion that
international legitimacy will always prevail.
This act by the United States might be seen by others as America’s last
chance to correct its mistake of invading Iraq with no justification except
removing Saddam. Bremer and his army are
occupying Iraq and facing tough resistance, and that will push the Bremer to
advise the administration to get out of Iraq, otherwise the killings of the
American soldiers will increase day by day.
It is time for Bremer and the Americans to leave and let the Iraqis
Mohammad Kheir Al-Jamali opined in government-owned Al-Thawra
on (8/7): “The American insistence to
involve Arabs and the world militarily alongside the American-British presence
in Iraq is to give legitimacy to the foreign occupation of Iraq.”
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "The U.S.
Needs Help In Iraq"
The business-oriented Australian Financial Review observed
(8/11): “It would be foolish to pretend
that U.S.-led attempts to remake a country traumatized by war and the Hussein
regime are proceeding according to a brisk timetable that envisages democratic
elections within about a year. If this
timetable is adhered to it will be something of a miracle.... With each passing day it becomes clearer that
the U.S. mission in Iraq is under strain with the reality that, rather than
liberators, Americans are increasingly coming to be viewed as an ugly and
unwelcome presence.... In recent days,
not only France and the Soviet Union, among Security Council members, but also
Britain have been arguing for a new UN mandate to provide a broader international
framework.... Senior administration figures are...reluctant to facilitate
greater French or Soviet involvement, since there would surely be a price in
terms of a share of commercial opportunities.... It seems like a small price to pay for an America
that needs all the help it can get.”
CHINA: "One Hundred
Days After The Iraq War, There Are Still Many Difficulties"
Ren Yujun commented in the official Communist Party People’s
Daily (Renmin Ribao) (8/11):
"In military terms the ‘war’ in Iraq has already ended, but people
still can see and smell the smoke of gunpowder in post-war Iraq.... As for reconstruction, since from the very
beginning the U.S. has discarded the UN, many difficulties have emerged that
U.S. officials had not predicted. In
terms of time and expense, the realities exceeded what was originally
planned. There is still a long way to go
before the U.S. digests the bitter fruit of unilateralism."
"The Vacillating Bush Administration"
Wu Jianyou commented in the official intellectual publication Guangming
Ribao) (8/7): “Through the
contradictory information released by U.S. officials, one can see that the Bush
administration is vacillating about whether to push for the passage of a new
Security Council resolution. The main
reason is the U.S. worries that too much Security Council interference in Iraq
will weaken U.S. dominance over Iraqi political and economic reconstruction.”
"To Respect Sovereignty And To Enhance The Function Of The
Xin Quan commented in the official intellectual publication Guangming
Daily (Guangming Ribao) (8/5):
“In recent years, the U.S. has put forward various fallacious theories
like ‘sovereignty is out-of-date’, ‘human rights superior are to sovereignty’,
‘Axis of Evil’, and ‘failed country’.
Its intention is to find excuses to interfere with other countries’
internal affairs.... The international
community commonly recognizes the position and the role of the UN. Although the UN does not conduct its duties
and responsibilities perfectly, its role is irreplaceable. The U.S. passed around the UN to launch a war
against the Iraq and returned the UN for help when it hit troubles. It is an example (of the U.S. hegemony).”
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "Question Time
Gautam Adhikari wrote in the centrist Times of India
(8/7): “The U.S. needs help. Other nations can oblige--including France,
Germany and Russia--provided there is a UN cover and that the U.S. should
arrange one. That's where India crops up
often in conversations these days. Some
say India lost an opportunity to show the U.S. it was a friend in need when it
declined to send forces to Iraq without a UN cover. But India has not acted differently from,
say, the World Bank .... However, with a
UN cover of some sort--there may be one worked out if Colin Powell has his
way--India should perhaps seize the opportunity to project power on an
international scale in a key area of the world away from its zone of direct
influence. It is not just the U.S. that
needs help. Iraq needs it, badly. A significant peacekeeping intervention by
India can make a huge difference for stability in a volatile region.”
"In A Mesopotamian Muddle"
Columnist and member of Parliament Mani Shankar Aiyar wrote this
analysis in the centrist Indian Express (8/5): "The fact is the Americans have neither
given up their desire to get our jawans (Indian troops) to do their dirty work
for them, nor has the Vajpayee government given up its arch Jaswant
Singh-driven desire to impale once-independent India in a subsidiary alliance
with the United States. The fig leaf now
being suggested is a 'UN mandate' under which our boys can be dispatched to
Mesopotamia.... Every military move of
the Americans is a 21st century version of what the Brits did 80 years
ago. Then, we, as a hapless colony of
the Brits, were compelled to send our finest young men to death and disgrace in
Iraq in aid of the League of Nations Mandate.
Now we are being sounded out on sending our young men to death and
disgrace under the fig-leaf of a United Nations mandate. The difference between the two is that the
League's Mandate was with a capital M; the proposed UN mandate will be with a
small m. But unless and until the UN
itself replaces the U.S. as the authority in Iraq to restore independence and
sovereignty to that country, sending Indian troops to Iraq under a UN mandate
will be no different to sending them with a League Mandate. They will die and be disgraced in someone
else's cause. The time to say, 'No' is
"In Iraq's Interest"
K. Subrahmanyam contended in the centrist Times of India
(8/4): “India, when requested by
Washington to provide troops for the stabilization operation, rightly took the
stand that it would consider this only if there was a specific UN mandate for
that purpose.... Now the task before the
international community is to stabilize the situation in Iraq, restore
sovereignty to the Iraqi people as early as possible and help in its
reconstruction.... What happens if the
U.S. is not given help and other major nations ride the high horse of morality
and talk of not lending legitimacy to the occupation?... The recovery and reconstitution process will
be prolonged.... The nature of our relationship
with Washington will have a significant bearing on our economic growth and
access to high technology.... Our
political class should not be allowed to sacrifice the country’s permanent
national interests in the name of ethical principles that they hardly practice. Therefore, the decision on sending troops to
Iraq should be taken on the basis of our national interest alone.”
"Indian Position On Peacekeeping"
Diplomatic correspondent Amit Baruah commented in the centrist Hindu
(8/3): “As New Delhi awaits an
'explicit' United Nations mandate to consider the possibility of deploying
troops in Iraq, previous positions taken by the Vajpayee Government at the UN
are instructive.... These positions...reflect
a degree of clarity that is missing in the current context.... The requirements of an improved relationship
with the United States appears to have led to major departures from previously
held Government positions.... If the
Indian positions referred to earlier are to serve as guiding principles, then
the possible ‘enhanced’ UN mandate will still not allow deployment of Indian
peacekeepers in Iraq. Flexible
arrangements, with a UN veneer and nebulous command, however, remain in the
realm of the possible.”
Columnist Prem Shankar Jha noted in the nationalist Hindustan
Times (8/2): “The rising casualty
rate shows that the resistance is not coming from 'remnants of the old regime',
but from a resistance movement that is gaining new recruits. The only way the U.S. can reverse the
remorseless escalation of violence is by announcing a program for the
restoration of Iraqi self-rule by the end of next year at the latest, make it
part of a new UN mandate, and hand over administration in a phased manner during
the period of transition, to the United Nations.”
PAKISTAN: "Back To
Dr. Jassim Taqui opined in the Islamabad
rightist English daily Pakistan Observer (8/11): "Turning over control of Iraq to the UN
would be in the best interests of Americans.
American soldiers continue to die every day in Iraq.... It is unlikely that the Bush administration
will be able to bring to power a new Iraqi regime that has the support of the
majority of the Iraqi people. The
ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq, particularly the killings of Iraqi civilians
by American soldiers, is resulting in the growth of anti-American sentiment
throughout the Arab and Islamic world.
This could increase the ranks of extremist groups like the terrorist
"U.S. Dilemma In Iraq"
The Islamabad rightist English daily Pakistan
Observer editorialized (8/9):
"There are indications that things are getting out of hand in Iraq
and circumstances have brought the Americans to a blind alley.... We feel that Americans have themselves to
blame for this dilemma.... They are well
advised to see the writing on the wall, pull out immediately and hand over the
task of putting together the scrambled country to a UN supervised mechanism."
"The Arab Snub"
An editorial in the center-right national English daily, The
Nation judged (8/7): "As the
Arab League has ruled out sending troops to Iraq in response to a U.S. request,
there seems little likelihood of the OIC or the GCC providing cover to an
initiative by any Arab state preparing to 'play policeman' in that war-ravaged
country.... Pakistan's position was
clarified by General Musharraf at his Lahore briefing on Monday, that Pakistan
would not send troops to Iraq as an 'extension of occupation.' This makes sense because without a
multilateral mandate, the only way to justify sending troops is a call for such
help from the Iraqi people, which is not visible. Not even Iraqi leaders presently cooperating
with the occupation forces have made such a demand. Sending troops seems an even worse idea for
Pakistan than before."
Karachi's center-left independent, English-language Dawn
declared (8/5): "Any elections held
under the American umbrella will lack credibility. Consequently, a set-up that comes into being
as a result of U.S.-sponsored elections will give nothing but instability and
chaos to Iraq."
IRAN: "Has America
Reached A Dead-End In Iraq?"
Javad Vand-Nowruz held in pro-Khatami Mardom
Salari (Internet version)
(8/10): "America has now
formed an Iraqi governing council while it faces popular challenges in that
country. The announcement...was somewhat
unexpected.... America's policy in Iraq
and its victory over the Saddam regime was based on the idea of taking control
of the decision-making process in Iraq and giving the opposition the largest
possible consultative role. The sudden
return to favor of the United Nations and 'Old Europe' prompts a number of
questions like, what could have led America to change its mind again. America's rapid and relatively simple victory
in the Iraqi war led it to think that it could also maintain peace and begin
Iraq's reconstruction without extensive domestic and foreign
participation.... The experience of the
past three months has shown that the problem is in America's policies not its
choice of executors. Washington and
London's failure to restore stability and security, rebuild infrastructure and
restore water and electricity supplies, restart the administration and ordinary
economic activities, have cast doubts on America's optimistic forecasts for
Iraq's political future. Its failure to
hand public affairs to the Iraqis and granting of international projects and
tenders to Americans have in turn led America to make radical changes in Iraq,
and occasional about-turns. Whatever the
pressures and necessities that have forced Washington's internal and external
changes, their continuation and logical conclusion will be an impasse and
subsequent correction of America's unilateral policies. But the Iraqi experience will show more than
any other the limitations of the policies of American conservatives, and place
the need to amend them on policy-makers' agenda. Clearly the change of such a policy will place
the process of peacemaking, stabilization, reconstruction and formation of
state structures on a less troublesome path, and discourage all those regional
forces that do not welcome the positive developments in Iraq. The defeat of American unilateralists in Iraq
and potential increase in United Nations and international involvement in that
country's affairs are also in line with the national interests of Iran and
democratization efforts here, and thus welcome."
"Knocking At The UN's Door"
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo editorialized (8/9): "It is clear that the Iraqi people do
not want the Ba'ath Party's despots or the 160,000 troops of the U.S.-UK. They want freedom, dollars, jobs and self-government.... The U.S. should not expect that other nations
are willing to share the burden and the cost of the occupation without having a
voice and a vote in the administration of Iraq and without participating in the
reconstruction.... France, Russia and
Germany will certainly not agree to that.
Regardless of the fact that the European nations that opposed the war
want to reconcile with the U.S., one should not expect that they will do so
without compensation.... The longer the
U.S. remains in Iraq, the higher the price it will have to pay."