August 21, 2003
WAKE OF BOMBING, U.S. AND UN 'NEED EACH OTHER'
** The bombing of the UN headquarters was an
attempt to "wear out" the U.S.,
make outside support for the Coalition "impossible" and
increase resentment of the occupation.
** The violence confirms
the "importance" of the UN and the "failure" of U.S.
** The U.S. must reverse its policy of "exclusion;" it
is time for a new UN mandate
** Critics say attacks
confirmed predictions that a "unilateral" occupation would be a
'Murderous attacks' reveal weaknesses in U.S. occupation-- The increasingly
violent and "deliberately targeted pattern" of terrorism was intended
to intimidate the international community and discourage outside help for the
Americans in Iraq. Dailies worldwide
echoed the liberal Sydney Morning Herald's words that the
"audacious act of brutality" was designed "to portray the
Americans as incapable of securing Iraq" and delivering "promised
peace and freedom" to the Iraqi people.
Arab dailies condemning the "blind terrorism" argued that the
attacks "serve no purpose" other than to keep Iraq in a "cycle
of violence" which could extend the occupation. European dailies viewed the tragic attacks as
a reminder that the U.S. "cannot control the situation" and a sign
that chaos is growing. The priority must
now be, concluded Sweden's liberal Dagens Nyheter, "to restore the
tattered and torn country."
UN must 'continue its mission,' withdrawal is 'not an option'-- Insisting that the U.S. will have to revamp
its reconstruction strategy to include greater Iraqi and international
participation, editorials around the globe were nearly unanimous in calling for
a broader UN mandate. In a
"horrific way," noted London's Financial Times, the bombers
"confirmed the importance" of the UN.
No matter "how much they disagree," the U.S. and UN now
"need each other." Even those
who blamed the Coalition for the lack of security agreed that a withdrawal
would be "a disaster" and pressed the U.S. and its allies to
"stay the course." The
incident, as Indonesia's Christian-oriented Sinar Harapan observed, made
both those who opposed and supported U.S. policy in Iraq "agree that such
terrorist action must be faced together."
'Condemnable attack' confirms U.S. lacked 'post-war agenda'-- Critics, particularly in
the Islamic world, suggested that the Coalition was "responsible for the
attacks" by failing to guarantee security.
Warning of more resistance, Arab and Muslim papers claimed the U.S.-UK
"invasion" caused nothing but "instability and chaos." Dailies in Turkey and the Middle East
contended that the power vacuum and "fragmentation" in Iraq had
"created a very suitable atmosphere" for terrorists. They judged the situation "reminiscent
of Lebanon in the 1980s or Yugoslavia in the 1990s." Capturing the prevailing bitterness in the
Brazilian press, business-oriented Valor Economico said the
"barbaric" attack and death of Vieira de Mello had confirmed the
worst predictions about the "unilateral occupation," adding that the
"mystifying arrogance with which Bush and Blair justified the invasion is
being contradicted every day."
EDITOR: Irene Marr
EDITOR'S NOTE: This report
is based on 83 reports from 42 countries, August 20-21. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The Dilemma Of The UN In Iraq"
The independent Financial Times editorialized (8/21):
"The appalling carnage in Baghdad on Tuesday is primarily an attack
on Iraq's future. But it also faces the
UN and its member states--one of which, of course, is the U.S. --with the
problem of how to retrieve the situation before Iraq becomes some appalling
amalgam of Lebanon during its civil war and Afghanistan under the
Taliban.... In their horrific way,
therefore, the bombers have confirmed the importance of an organization that
many in the Bush administration had all but written off as an irrelevance...a
united Security Council should issue a broad new UN mandate, to give political
cover to countries such as India and France, and Muslim nations such as
Pakistan and Turkey, to come in and internationalize the attempt to rebuild Iraq. The Security Council must, however, hold out
for a clear multilateral legal framework and UN role. The bombing has sharpened the instinct to
work together but that should not lead to a dilution of the UN's
"Bloodshed In Baghdad"
The left-of-center Guardian editorialized (8/20): "If there is any organization in Iraq
about which it can be said unequivocally that it is there to help, it is the
United Nations. The bombing of its
Baghdad headquarters yesterday is thus doubly a tragedy, both for those who
lost their lives--including the UN's most senior envoy, Sergio Vieira de
Mello--and for the people of Iraq, whose future was as much a target in the
attack as was the world body.... The
ultimate solution, however, has to be an Iraqi one. Real security can only be achieved by the
coalition forces and the Iraqis working in tandem, in policing, in intelligence
and, eventually, in military action. In
its efforts to expand the Iraqi police and lay the basis for a new Iraqi army,
the occupation regime has recognized this truth, but there is unhappily a long
way to go.... Yet there is another side
to these events. They are not likely to
lead to a general repudiation of the occupation, and may even stiffen Iraqi
support for the Americans and British, albeit in a despairing way. Whatever the imperfections of the project to
bring stability and normality back into Iraqi life, it can be presumed to be
still preferable to the chaos and bloodshed which is all that the spoilers have
"This Is The Time To Strengthen The Role Of The UN In
The center-left Independent took this view (8/20): "It is precisely the importance of the
UN to the daily life of the Iraqis that gives this act its own perverse
logic.... It seems to be part of an increasingly
violent and deliberately targeted pattern of terrorism aimed at making the
outside administration of the country more and more impossible. The object is to increase the misery of the
population, and therefore their resentment at the occupiers, and raise the cost
in blood and money to the occupiers, thus discouraging others from joining
their effort.... If anything
constructive is to come from this bloody act---then it should be in a reversal
of this policy of excluding the UN."
FRANCE: "In The Middle
East, The Lords Of Chaos"
Baudoin Bollaert observed in right-of-center Le Figaro
(8/21): “A truck loaded with explosives
in Baghdad, a suicide attack in Jerusalem: in a single swoop the lords of chaos
have impacted on the ambitious U.S. plan to remodel the Middle East. America’s plan to turn the region into an
example of democracy, peace and progress is now seen in a different light: at
best it becomes a risky wager; at worst a diabolical utopia. President Bush and his advisors are often
accused of arrogance and clumsiness. The
same goes for PM Sharon. Much of the
criticism is well-founded. But what of
this blind terrorism that aims to destroy every glimmer of hope that rises in
the Middle East?... The lords of chaos
can be proud of their achievement: wasted effort in Iraq and a step backward
for the 'roadmap'.... Nevertheless the
solutions are known: Iraq must be placed under a legitimate international
mandate, diplomatic relations must be re-instated between the U.S. and Iran and
Israel’s security must be guaranteed while forcing Israel to fully withdraw
from the occupied territories. To that
list we must today add recognizing the full authority of the UN and its
"Avoiding A ‘New Saigon’"
Pascal Riche in left-of-center Liberation (8/21):
“President Bush cannot afford to let the situation in Iraq drag on, especially
if Islamic fundamentalists use it as a theater for anti-American operations…
Until recently he still had a way out: the UN.… By refusing to hand over the
administration of Iraq to the UN, President Bush has burned his bridges and is
now compelled to stick to his solitary strategy.”
Patrick Sabatier wrote in left-of-center Liberation
(8/20): “With this attack the terrorists
aim was twofold. First they wanted to
demonstrate that the Anglo-American occupation forces are incapable of opposing
the terrorists’ strategy of chaos.
Second they wanted to terrorize the international community to keep it
from helping President Bush. We may be
at a turning point.... The Americans,
through lack of preparedness, ignorance or arrogance have missed the chance to
conquer the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Iraqi people.... The number of coalition soldiers present is
insufficient to guarantee the country’s security.... The U.S. budget cannot cover the cost of the
reconstruction.... Every day that passes
brings a Vietnam-style quagmire closer....
There is the risk that President Bush might give up. But abandoning Iraq to civil war, a
dictatorship or chaos is the worst possible solution.... Washington’s defeat would have serious
consequences for the Middle East and the world.
The only solution, although uncertain, is a massive involvement of the international
community under the auspices of the UN.
But first President Bush needs to recognize his own failure before it is
"The Iraqi Chaos"
Gilles Bridier contended in centrist La Tribune
(8/20): “The Iraqi guerrillas are
sending a clear message to the international community...saying loud and clear
that they do not want any foreign power, particularly a western power. The perpetrators, former Baath members with
the probable help of al-Qaida, are becoming increasingly daring.... Their objective is to halt Iraq’s
reconstruction.... But yesterday’s
attack on the UN may well serve to cement the international community.”
Jacques Guyon remarked in regional La Charente Libre
(8/20): “This tragic attack is a
reminder to the U.S. that it cannot control the situation and that chaos is
growing. The attack will not encourage America’s traditional allies to
participate in the international force which Washington has been asking for…
The model of peace and prosperity that the Americans wanted to promote in the
Middle East is pushing the Iraqis into growing despair. And as everyone knows
such despair is the best possible source for recruiting terrorists.”
GERMANY: "More UN"
Stefan Kornelius opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung
(8/21): "Following the explosion,
the UNSC members...can no longer pretend that Iraq is solely a U.S.
problem.... With its invasion, the U.S.
has called up the demons that it pretended to fight…. There is only one chance to reverse this
ominous development: the U.S. must share
power, and the Iraqis must assume responsibility. The Bush administration chose the wrong path
for this war and now it is choosing the wrong path out of it. America must learn that it will even increase
unease with its dominant behavior. The
only thing that remains is a radical change of course: for greater Iraqi and
international participation, for greater UN role. The UN must be freed from this unacceptable
state that has so far characterized its mission in Iraq.... If the U.S. government wants to break this
vicious circle of sabotage and attacks, it must withdraw, pass responsibility
to the Iraqis and bring the UN as a broker into the play. The longer Bush hesitates, the higher the
Jochen Thies commented on national radio station DeutschlandRadio
of Berlin (8/20): "The only
conclusion can be that the Bush administration realizes the seriousness of the
situation and is creating the political preconditions that would allow
cooperation of the entire civilized world in reconstructing Iraq. If the supply of water and electricity does
not work in the long run, everything will be destroyed, paving the way for
fanatics who are obviously gathering in Iraq for the battle between cultures,
the final fight against the hated West....
This also means a German and European involvement. If there were ever a need for a special meeting
of the UNSC, that time is now."
Stefan Kornelius opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung
of Munich (8/20): "The attack has a
double effect on the political level.
The United States can no longer claim that Iraq is only its problem. No, the United Nations has now also been
dragged into the maelstrom of violence, it carries the same risks and
distributes not only food packages in its attempt to de-anarchize the
country. And the UN must bid farewell to
the idea of its presence having a pacifying effect. The attack made clear that the UN would not
automatically be accepted by the Iraqis if the United States gave the UN a
stronger role in the country.... The
attack against the UN building, which obviously was clearly targeted against UN
envoy de Mello, must now be interpreted even by the war opponents as a direct
challenge.... It is undisputed that the
United States will be unable to demonstrate the political legitimacy to deprive
Iraq of anarchy. And the UN will not
have the military power to assert its authority. The time has come to end this blockade. The United States and the UN need each other,
because they have the same interest: to stabilize and pacify Iraq. A second truck bomb should not go up before
this simple understanding gains the upper hand--in the White House but also
among the former war opponents in Paris and Berlin."
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg held
(8/20): "Despite this murderous
attack, the UN must continue to remain present in Iraq. A withdrawal would be a disaster for
political and economic reconstruction.
The UN did not support the U.S.-led war against Saddam Hussein, and that
is why it is very credible in the eyes of many Iraqis and war-skeptical
Muslims. Only the UN has the long-term
legitimacy to manage the transition period from an occupation zone to a
democratically and economically strengthened country. The attackers pursue a perfidious
strategy. They know that the UN does not
play a military role.... It is the
calculation of the bomb plotters to force the UN to withdraw and to wear down
the U.S. occupation force in a permanent confrontation with the
population. The consequence would be an
Iraq that would go down in chaos and would end up as a breeding ground for
terrorists. The United State and all
responsible states in the UN must resist such a development."
"A Bomb Against The Iraqi Population"
Martina Doering editorialized in left-of-center Berliner
Zeitung (8/20): "It may be
possible that, with the attack, the extremists achieved they opposite of what
they wanted to achieve. The United
States will now appeal to the international community. Washington will say that not only its forces
and installations have now become a target but the entire international
community has been hit...and together one has to fight Iraqi and other
extremists in the country, restore security, and reconstruct the
country.... The United States is right
in all aspects, but the conclusion must differ from the one from Washington. The U.S. and British forces must see to it
that security is restored in the country they attacked--in cooperation with the
UN, which must get the leading role in reconstructing Iraq right away. Iraq does not need more troops, no German and
French soldiers. The downtrodden country
needs democratic institutions, a functioning water and electricity grid,
well-trained judges and police officers, trade unions, and teachers. The Iraqis do not need an internationalized
occupation force but the feeling that they get assistance--on their path to
independence. Then they will do
everything to stop such attackers on their own."
Sandro Viola commented in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (8/21): “It is no longer the time to discuss who was right and
who was wrong on the war on Iraq. Now we
have to deal the issue of security.
Security of civilians in America, Israel and Europe, which this wave of
terrorism is putting at risk every day.
And here we have the issue of international relations and the divide
between Europe and America. Because this
divide is one of the breaches through which the bombs of the martyrs go and
will go. We need to gain a better
understanding of and a closer cooperation with the U.S...as there is no other
pillar around which we can organize an effective defense besides the military
and economic power of the U.S.”
"A Yugoslavia In The Middle East"
Alberto Negri opined in leading business Il Sole 24 Ore
(8/21): “Today’s Iraq is a powder keg.... There is an occupation force, that of
the world’s most powerful army, which is organized to fight against an army,
but which is not ready, at least from a psychological point of view, to deal
with guerrilla warfare and terrorism…. It is clear who wanted this war: a tiny
group of neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration that had been
systematically leaving out the UN and the NATO…. Indeed, the U.S. in Iraq is in
a dead end road…. In this Balkanized Iraq…the U.S. is getting ready to make
another mistake, that of considering Iraq only a problem of security, to be
dealt with by possibly sending more troops and trying to set up some Iraqi
forces ready to work with the occupiers. This is a tactic…not a strategy…The
real issue is a political one. The Bush Administration should make a step back
and give back the UN and its allies a role. It should also make its best to
talk with the Arabs with dignity and respect.”
"Iraq And Saddam’s Ghost"
Bernardo Valli held in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica
(8/20): “By striking at the UN
representatives, they wanted to show that the Americans are inept
occupiers. They are not able to grant
public order, they cannot ensure people water and electrical energy, and they
are not even able of protecting their guests.... We cannot rule out that the attack was an
indirect, bloody, insult by the invisible Saddam on George W. Bush.”
"The Massacre Might Speed Up Reconstruction"
Andrea Nativi opined in pro-government, center-right daily Il
Giornale (8/20): “The attack against
the UN headquarters...might help internationalize the reconstruction
effort.... Those who oppose the new Iraq
as it was designed by the U.S. need terror...to convince people that the change
does not bring any concrete advantage.”
Boris Biancheri remarked in centrist, influential La Stampa
(8/20): “It is very worrying that the UN
is identified with the West, or even, with everyone who has some power. Indeed, the attack is an extremist and
irrational action, which, perhaps, was also targeted against those moderate
Arab regimes that are strengthening their domestic security.”
"Enough With Divisions"
Stefano Silvestri observed in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore (8/20): “This latest attack reaffirms the need to
develop a wider and more open international debate on the future of Iraq and
the management of the difficult political transition of this country and its
reconstruction.... Today, at stake there
is not only Iraq, but the whole Middle East region.”
"What To Do For
Elite, classical liberal Il
Foglio editorialized (8/20): “We are
all very good at telling the Americans and the British what to do in
Iraq.... But, what should we, the
Europeans, do? Italy should raise this
question to our EU partners and it should convene an extraordinary EU foreign
ministers’ meeting. Indeed, there is
only one answer.... We need to develop a
political and military union, beginning with Iraq.”
They Do Not Forgive The UN"
Radical oppositionist Haykakan Zhamanak
commented (8/21): "It is not ruled out that Usama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida
organization stands behind this terrorist attack. It is noteworthy here that there has never
been such attack on the UN in the world over the past twenty-five years. It should also be underscored that UN
representative Sergio Vieira de Mello was a strong opponent of the Iraqi
war. He has saved many Iraqi lives from
starvation by means of the UN's 'Oil for Food' program. It is unclear to many political analysts why
the terrorists decided to target UN employees.
Most probably, the terrorists decided to attack the UN building because
the latter recognizes the legitimacy of the Iraqi Governing Council. It is obvious that supporters of Saddam
Hussein and regional forces who are not interested in building a stable and
democratic Iraq are doing their best to create chaos in Iraq."
AUSTRIA: "Determination, Not Cynicism"
Senior foreign editor Anneliese Rohrer argued in centrist Die
Presse (8/21): “Gloating and
cynicism often cloud the world’s vision.
However, we should see clearly the vicious circle the U.S.
administration is finding itself in and that it must break out of--however, it
does not have that much time: Without strengthening the role of the UN in Iraq,
it will be impossible to recruit the help of other states, especially in the
Arabic world; without the support of other countries, the U.S. will have to
increase the number of its own troops in Iraq in order to establish some kind
of order in the chaos--this would be an extremely difficult measure in terms of
U.S. domestic politics.... Those who
rejoice in the fact that U.S. foreign policy lies in pieces among the rubble in
Baghdad...should consider the consequences of all this. If the tight network of Islamist
extremists...will indeed find its ‘ideal
place’ in Iraq and its ‘ideal enemy’ in the U.S., and continues with its bloody
work in the country, there will be a lot more at stake than just Washington’s
"The UN, Agents Of The US"
In liberal Der Standard, foreign affairs editor Gudrun
Harrer wrote (8/20): “The stunned
question that remains open is: Why the
UN?... Because the concept is: chaos and
terror always and everywhere, de-stabilization at any cost. If somebody dies in Iraq, it is damaging to
the Americans, and therefore welcome....
These people--and they are not predominantly Saddam loyalists--don’t
want the UN in Iraq instead of the U.S.; they want nobody in Iraq at all. They have their own agenda with the
UN.... For the radicals, the UN is the
institution that kept Iraq under murderous sanctions for years, and lets
Israel, which has violated several UN sanctions, off scot-free. Today, the UN assists the U.S. in carrying
out its plans in Iraq. It refused to
legitimize the war, but it has sanctioned the occupation, most recently with
Resolution 1500 in the Security Council.
So, what is the UN? The UN is
nothing without the U.S.; the UN is the U.S....
It is a terrible realization that the radical forces in Iraq seem to
have been much better prepared for the post-war period than the Americans. They were the targets of the war, but in
reality, the war has given them an enormous boost.”
BELGIUM: "UN and U.S. Need Each Other in
Diplomatic correspondent Mia Doornaert remarked in independent
Christian-Democrat De Standaard(8/21):
“No matter how much they disagree, the UN and the U.S. will have to work
together if they want to prevent Iraq from sinking deeper into chaos.... It's not just the lack of security that has
made the occupying troops unpopular.
Their inability to restore water and power and restart services have
caused anger. UN teams with expertise in
nation building would probably have performed better.... A leading UN role in Iraq would solve a
number of judicial problems that slow down the reconstruction of Iraq. For instance, the World Bank and other
institutions hesitate to grant loans to a regime whose status and international
recognition are questionable.... A
withdrawal from Iraq is an option neither for the UN nor for the U.S. The UN has a positive image in the eyes of
most Iraqis. The U.S. has not. That is why an increasing number of Americans
believe that it is in their country’s interest to work together with or through
the UN in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.”
"Vietnam On The Euphrates"
Bart Sturtewagen observed in independent Christian-Democrat De
Standaard (8/20): “It is
almost incomprehensible that the UN has come in the line of fire. The United Nations are playing only a limited
humanitarian role in occupied Iraq. The
UN did not give a mandate for the war.
And a short time before he was killed in the attack UN representative
Sergio Vieira de Mello even said that the occupation was ‘humiliating’ for the
Iraqis.... [T]he most likely explanation
is that there are forces at work that want to create chaos at any price so that
the ‘infidel Westerners’ are dragged into a mortal quagmire: Vietnam on the Euphrates.... The participation of NATO as a peacekeeper in
Afghanistan was a first step on the road towards a more multilateral approach
through existing stable alliances. The
reconstruction of Iraq will be much more difficult. The earlier the Bush administration realizes
that it needs help, the better.”
"Will We Ever Know Who Hit The UN?"
Foreign affairs writer Frank Willemse held in conservative Het
Laatste Nieuws (8/20):
"President Bush has the choice now.
Either he restores order with a firm hand, learns to live with
‘incidents’ and ignores the body bags with ‘his boys’, or he finally does his
utmost to establish a really independent transitional government under UN
supervision--while limiting his own activities to electrical power in his own
country. The second option seems to be
the best--for both the United States and Iraq."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Bad
Jan Rybar wrote in the centrist MF DNES (8/20): "Yesterday’s explosion in Baghdad was
among the worst news coming from Iraq in the past three months.... The attack was of a new category [and] was
clearly aimed at all that is newly growing in place of Saddam’s tyranny.... The Americans and the British are viewed here
as the rogues.... The Iraqis’
explanation is: They made a deal with Saddam, bought him, hid him and got
access to our oil.... Yesterday’s attack
was not just a warning to diplomats, it also brought bad news to the Iraqi
people [because] it was aimed against their dreams of a better future."
"New War May Be Germinating In Iraq"
Martin Novak wrote in business
Hospodarske noviny (8/20):
"Many said...that the world became a safer place after the fall of
Saddam. No doubt that a majority of
Iraqis...have a better future than they did under the former regime. Unfortunately...[this positive fact] is being
overwhelmed by the uncertainty of what will follow.... The last attacks show that Iraq has become a
battlefield for many extremists that seek to fight their Western enemies, a new
venue for jihad."
"They Must Leave"
The lead editorial in second in circulation,
left-of-center, pro-GoG Ta Nea (8/21) said: “The Americans can’t convince that they
control the situation or that their policy can lead to a democratic
Iraq.... The terrorist strike against
the UN indicated that as long as there are occupation forces in place it will
be impossible for international organizations to contribute to Iraq’s reconstruction. Consensus is needed from all sides for the UN
to intervene and secure peace. Yet, in
Iraq there is only one side, the Americans, and apparently they can legitimize
no one. The sooner the U.S. occupation
ends, the more one can hope that things may likely improve
FINLAND: "Everything Is
Leftist Kansan Uutiset editorialized (8/21): "All hell is breaking loose in
Iraq. Terrorists target anything that
hurts the U.S. or Iraq reconstruction. As
an occupying power, the U.S. is responsible for Iraq's internal security. This is a responsibility that the U.S. is not
able to shoulder. The number of American
troops is likely to be upped but even after that soldiers will not be able to
stop attacks against themselves, not to mention guarantee overall security in
the country. The U.S. wanted a free hand
to take care of Iraq.... The U.S. will
have to ask for help from the rest of the world in order not to let terrorists
achieve their goals because that must not be allowed to happen.”
"UN Has Only Bad Choices Left"
Right-of-center regional Aamulehti editorial (8/21): “If the world organization pulls out of Iraq,
the mindless attackers will be able to celebrate victory. If the UN decides to stay, it will risk the
lives of its workers. If the UN stays, security must be upgraded significantly. So far, UN workers have opposed building
heavy fences around the Baghdad headquarters wanting to show the Iraqis that
the UN works transparently and unarmed.
If the building of fences begins, the reconstruction will begin to look
increasingly like continuation to like the military operation launched by the
US. The situation is also new for the
United States. It will have to start sending additional troops to Iraq, and
prolonging the occupation. "
IRELAND: "UN Role
After Baghdad Tragedy"
The center-left Irish Times observed (8/20): “It is difficult to see who can profit from
such chaotic disorder. Criticism has
been increasing of how the U.S. occupation forces have been running the country
after the war, along with their allies....
Resentment of the U.S. occupation authorities is mounting.... The rapid military victory last March did not
prepare the U.S. for the peacekeeping and reconstruction tasks involved in the
occupation. The Pentagon-dominated
administration running Iraq is presiding over an inefficient and ineffective
post-war regime; but the Bush administration is loath to broaden its political
base with a new mandate from the UN which would allow the involvement of states
with more experience of reconstruction like India, Turkey and even France. Despite this attack on the UN, such a
broadening of the mandate governing the post-war occupation is increasingly
urgent if Iraq is not to disintegrate.
President Bush once again denounced terrorist enemies in his statement
yesterday on the atrocity. But
resistance is being bolstered by the growing failure of the occupation to
tackle the most elementary tasks, as well as by those opposed in principle to
the United States presence in Iraq.”
NORWAY: "War’s Brutal
Social democratic Dagsavisen commented (8/21): "The U.S. has failed as an occupation
power. The Americans need all the help they can get. A strong UN engagement in Iraq is probably
the only solution to bring back civilization to the unhappy country.... There weren’t many tears shed in Baghdad when
the UNHQ was blown up. For the Iraqis
the UN and the U.S. have become synonymous.
"The Brutal Power Of Terrorists"
The newspaper of record Aftenposten commented (8/20): "Through the attack against the UNHQ in
Baghdad yesterday the unknown men behind it have attained two things: They have
marked that the U.S., UK and the rest of the coalition does not have control
over the country that they defeated militarily during only three weeks this
spring.... And also because the UN envoy
to Iraq, the Brazilian crisis veteran Sergio Vieiro de Mello, was among the
suicide bomber’s victims, yesterday’s terror attack gets an especially tragic
and symbolic weight.... The extra tragic
[fact] that one of the UN’s most highly respected men is among the victims--and
notably a man that had encouraged the U.S. and UK to take the Iraqi’s more into
consideration--contributes to make the chaos even worse."
POLAND: "Order Is Needed"
Liberal Gazeta Wyborcza stated (8/21): “For the time being, postwar hardships do not
push the Iraqis into the arms of terrorists....
This does not mean, however, that chaos and poverty will not ultimately
nourish terror. The Americans must institute
order in Iraq, and do it faster and better.
And to make this happen, they should cooperate on a larger scale with
other countries, including those against the war in Iraq. In turn, those countries should now
understand that the leftovers of Saddam’s forces and Islamic terrorists in Iraq
are not just the Americans' problem.
Washington and Paris, London and Berlin must assist Iraq together--and
together fight against terrorists.”
Bronislaw Wildstein wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita
(8/20): “The terrorist attack on the UN
headquarters in Baghdad seems to make no sense.
The UN did not agree to sponsor the U.S. intervention in Iraq. After the war, it is handling humanitarian
assistance to the Iraqis. However, we
see the same terrorist logic in the terrorist attacks both in Baghdad and in
Jerusalem, which can be summarized by the formula: the worse, the
better.... Terrorists sacrifice their
own lives in the name of an idea, so they don’t care for the lives of
others. The worse the situation for the
people, the bigger the odds their stance will become radicalized, so the easier
to put the blame on ‘others’--which increases the terrorists’ chances. Americans promised better living conditions, so
they are blamed for not improving the situation as fast as the Iraqis
want. Terror results in chaos and
increases problems--an ideal situation for revolutionaries.”
"The Last Victory Of Sérgio Vieira de Mello"
Bettencourt Resende, director of influential, center-left Diario
De Noticias noted (8/21): "It
is probable that the authors of the attack that killed Sérgio Vieira de Mello
committed a tactical mistake.... The
main objective of the attack seems obvious: send a strong signal about the
risks that all who become involved in the political and economic reconstruction
of Iraq run.... The first reactions of
Kofi Annan, as well as those of George W. Bush and Tony Blair point to the
conclusion that the sacrifice of Sérgio Vieira de Mello may not have been in
vain. Now there are conditions to
transform the controversial circumstances surrounding the removal of a
detestable tyranny into a concerted operation by the International Community,
guided by multilateralism and the search for peace that characterized the life
of that friend of Portugal who was brutally murdered last Tuesday in
Prove No One Is Safe"
Boris Jausovec in left-of-center independent Vecer
(8/21): "The entire world was
shocked by the attack.…[T]he question is what the...attackers...wished to
prove. Above all [they wished to prove] that the American occupational forces
in Iraq are not capable of protecting anyone.... On Tuesday, the attackers proved that nobody
was safe in Iraq: neither the Iraqis, nor the foreigners or occupiers. How can
one even think that the American occupation might bring any progress to
Iraq? Bush’s terminator-like adventure
in the Middle East is becoming more and more complicated.… After 9/11/2002,
Bush swore to provide for security of the U.S. and consequently of the entire
world. The method he chose has been
proving more wrong day after day.… A war against terrorism...is the
method. Whoever chooses war should not
be surprised when he gets war in return. The attack on the UN...is -- in an
obscure way -- just collateral damage of such a choice.”
"A Spanish Victim In Baghdad"
Conservative ABC editorialized (8/21):
"When countries take responsibilities with the international community and
they involve themselves in their actions, assuming all consequences, the
possibility of suffering pain and getting injured increases
considerably.... Spain has involved
itself politically and militarily in the normalization of Iraq...and in the
midst of all critics the government chose to be on the side of the allied power. This compromise had and has many risks; among
those, the material and human costs, an inevitable consequence of all armed
Centrist La Vanguardia commented (8/21): "It is not the lives of the soldiers or
those of Western world civilians that is in focus. It is the renewal of the war that continues
on various fronts making it clear that
the taking of Baghdad and the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime perhaps were only
pyrrhic victories for Washington and its allies."
An editorial in leading left-of-center El
Pais asserted (Internet version, 8/20):
"In Iraq, the era of general destabilization is rapidly turning
into one of well-planned attacks, using sophisticated means, capable of
terrorizing the international community and creating the impression that the
U.S. is still not in control of the country that took only three weeks to
defeat. The scale of yesterday's attack
against UN headquarters in Baghdad...indicates there are qualified, organized
elements with access to explosive weaponry....
The target of the war of attrition...no longer is just the United
States, but rather anything that can demonstrate to the world the incompetence
of the superpower, with its 140,000 troops, in its occupation of Iraq. Nothing has more of an effect on world
opinion than the sense of chaos in Iraq....
Instead of rhetoric, Iraq urgently needs a new framework, backed by a
UNSC resolution, that transforms the U.S. occupation into a collective,
international enterprise that legitimizes the physical, economic and political
aspects of reconstruction, with no time to waste."
SWEDEN: "The UN Must
Not Give In"
West Sweden's major, liberal Goteborgs-Posten editorialized
(8/21): "To counter ruthless
terrorism it is of the utmost importance that the U.S. and the UN widen and
deepen cooperation in Iraq.... To the
Americans, the Baghdad bombing attack constitutes a new challenge since the
Bush administration from the beginning did not want troops under UN command in
Iraq.... President Bush has ended up in
a dilemma. To preserve peace in Iraq requires many more troops than first
calculated...but deploying additional American troops in unruly Iraq would
(quickly) become a political impediment to the President in the White
"The New Threat In Baghdad"
The independent, liberal Stockholm Dagens Nyheter
editorialized (8/20): "The fact
that a bomb was set off in Baghdad on Tuesday is in itself not very
surprising. Acts of violence have been
common; the occupation force has not managed to uphold law and order. But what is surprising was the choice of
target. 'The UN symbolizes the
international solidarity with the Iraqi people and the willingness of the
international community to help in the rebuilding of Iraq,' as the Swedish
Prime Minister said in a comment....
There are many views on how the Iraqi war was carried out.... What resulted in criticism and opposition was
how it was accomplished. The U.S.
pursued its policy without taking much consideration of others, and the
Security Council members really had no choice.... However, setting aside the various opinions
on the war, its initial diplomatic phase, and the U.S. arrogance, the priority
must now be to restore the tattered and torn country.... Should peace have a chance, basic public
functions must be reestablished...which was exactly what the UN tried to
do.... The bombing attack against the UN
headquarters in Baghdad, therefore, is a threat against the vital rebuilding
process and, in a wider context, security."
TURKEY: "The Terrorists Were Created By Bush”
Soli Ozel argued in mass appeal Sabah (8/21): “The attack against the UN headquarters is
atrocious and treacherous. It was an assault
against an international organization that stood against the Iraq war. It was also an attack against the whole
world. This incident will only mean more
suffering for Iraqis.... But the Bush
administration, through its aggressive stance around the world following the
U.S. declaration of war against Islamic terrorism after 9/11, has created
suitable conditions in which its enemies can operate.... At the current stage, the best solution is
for the UN to assume more responsibility in Iraq. There should be an international force, and
authority should be gradually given back to the Iraqis. These issues also require an internal debate
in Turkey before making a decision on a possible deployment in Iraq.”
"Iraq Is Turning Into Lebanon"
Yalcin Dogan observed in the mass appeal Hurriyet (8/21):
“Unfortunately, Iraq has become hospitable ground for fundamentalist terrorist
organizations such as al-Qaida and Ansar-al Islam. The UN headquarters bombing seems to be the
first in a series of terrorist attacks designed to create an impact around the
world.... There is a power vacuum in
Iraq, which has created a very suitable atmosphere for these terrorist
organizations. But the fact of the
matter is that the vacuum is being perpetuated by the Iraqi people
themselves. Iraqis are not only standing
against the U.S. presence, but against any other foreign presence as well. They appreciated U.S. forces at the
beginning, because the U.S. ended the cruel regime of Saddam. However, the current image of American
soldiers in the eyes of Iraqis is that of an ‘occupation force,’ not a
liberator. This mentality creates a very
high risk for Iraq’s security, and has made Iraq into a place where terrorists
are supported by the locals.... Due to
the ongoing possibility of more terrorism, Iraq is rapidly moving towards
fragmentation. Terrorism and division is
reminiscent of Lebanon in the 1980s or Yugoslavia in the 1990s.”
"Baghdad And Jerusalem"
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(8/20): "There are two simple
lessons from the suicide bombings yesterday in Baghdad and Jerusalem: no one is
safe and there is no turning back.
Suicide terrorism is the plague of this century. It cannot be escaped, denied, or appeased. It must be defeated. So far, the terrorists have successfully
played divide and conquer. They have first succeeded in convincing the world
that terrorism against Israel, while condemnable, is somehow understandable,
and that it can be addressed by delivering on supposed 'root causes,' such as
the call for a Palestinian state. They
have also lulled the world into thinking that only those who stand up to them,
such as the U.S. and Israel, will be attacked, while those who are willing to
resist the war against terrorism will be spared. Terrorism will be beaten when these twin
myths are dispelled.... All it takes is
three, perhaps four countries -- the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany -- to
agree for the war against terrorism to finally become effectively universal and
serious.... Now is a time for unity and
determination. The UN must prove that it
cannot be bowed or beaten."
"The U.S. Administration Will Not Put Up With Many More Days
Washington correspondent Nathan Guttman wrote in independent,
left-leaning Ha'aretz (8/20):
"One cannot rule out the idea that the perpetrators of the
[Baghdad] bombing had in mind the 1983 bombing of the Marines HQ in Beirut,
which killed 241 Marines. That attack
managed to remove the United States from Lebanon. Therefore, Bush's primary desire Tuesday was
to convey one message: the U.S. is not deterred and it will not withdraw. Baghdad is not Beirut.... It is clear to Bush that his current test is
to show determination to stay [in Iraq] while pursuing the persons behind the
bombing. At this time, he has no
difficulty doing so. Although American
public opinion isn't enthusiastic about the way the U.S. runs the occupation
and reconstruction of Iraq, it is still early too talk about a popular demand
for a pullout."
EGYPT: "Absence Of
Agenda And Sound Vision”
Morsi Attallah wrote in leading pro-government Al Ahram
(8/21): “The impasse the U.S. currently
faces in Iraq is reinforced because it lacked a post-war agenda.... It is a mistake for America to deny its
impasse in Iraq because surrendering to the stubborn orientations of Pentagon
hawks will lead to one thing: the continued desire of these hawks to prevent
American decision-makers on Iraq from having a sound vision.... The world has now realized the invasion was
not for liberation, but rather the Americans are adopting the practices of a
foreign occupying force, violating human rights, and being disrespectful of
international laws and pacts.”
"The Cycle Of Blood From Palestine To Iraq"
Leading pro-government Al Ahram held (8/20): “Matters have grown more complicated in
Palestine and Iraqi than those responsible for the shedding of Arab blood
realize. Obviously the widening
deterioration approaches and the cycle of blood is broadening for clear reasons. Americans, with all their military power,
could not tighten their iron grip on Iraq as is demonstrated by the growing
resistance.... America tries to run the
hellish wheel of blood in Iraq with the same viciousness as Israel in
Palestine. Americans may also succeed in
deceiving the world and in tempting several countries to support them under the
pretext of reconstructing Iraq just as Israel deceives the world about [its]
destroying the terrorist Palestinian structure.... America, the greatest superpower in the world
and the strongest military power in history, will never succeed in subduing the
Iraqi people and in imposing the occupation."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Who
Perpetrated The Bombing Crime In Iraq?
Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazira editorialized (8/12): "Was it a message to the international
community represented in the UN to give up its role in Iraq and its assistance
to the Iraqi people?... Was it a message
addressed to anyone who tries to help the people of Iraq in order to prevent
and deter him from providing the desired assistance. The UN...is the major international body that
helps Iraq and its people now....
Demolishing the headquarters of the UN in Iraq and murdering its staff
will certainly reduce its activities there....
This criminal bombing is definitely not in the interest of Iraq and its
"The Goals Of Baghdad Crime"
Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra
(8/21): "The goal of this crime is
to harm the Iraqi resistance. The power
that masterminded this scheme aimed to pin this crime on the Iraqi resistance
so as to categorize it [the resistance] as terrorist--just as Israel
categorizes Palestinian resistance as terrorism--to justify the continue
Anglo-American occupation of Iraq under the pretext of combating
QATAR: "The UN And The Iraqi Test"
Semi-independent Arabic Al-Sharq declared (8/21): “The attack on the UN building in Baghdad
shows once more...that the American-British invasion caused nothing but instability
and chaos. The UN played a very negative
role from the beginning of the war. Many
Iraqis believed that the UN legitimized the war against them and consider the
UN occupiers like the Americans. On the
other hand many Iraqis believe that the UN presence and role in Iraq will limit
the American role and minimize their control of the day-to-day situation in
Iraq. This condemnable attack should not
force the UN to leave the Iraqi arena for the Americans to toy with. This would perfectly suit the Americans and
anger both Arabs and Iraqis. The UN
should take a firm moral stance and play its required role.”
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "The UN Must Not Be Cowed"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald stated (8/21): “The primary target in the bombing of the UN
headquarters in Baghdad was not the world body.... It was first and foremost the U.S. occupying
force in Iraq. By perpetrating such an
audacious act of brutality on a civil organization, the formless anti-U.S.
forces in Iraq are clearly determined to foment anarchy at any cost.... The new attacks, though not directed at U.S.
interests, seem designed to portray the Americans as incapable of securing Iraq
and delivering to the Iraqi people the promised peace and freedom which
justified the U.S.-led invasion.... A
blind, brutal campaign of terrorism can't be effectively countered without
considering the consequences of the global military and economic dominance of
the U.S. and Western nations, and how such power is perceived elsewhere.”
CHINA: "The August
19th Bombing: What it Means for Iraq"
Mu Fangshun commented in the official Guangming Daily (Guangming
Ribao, 8/21): “The terrorist attack
sends at least three messages: first, someone is dissatisfied with the UN’s
stance and policy; second, they are warning the UN not to assist in the
coalition’s reconstruction plans; third, they will use every means to drive the
coalition troops out of Iraq. This shows
the failure of the U.S.’ intention to export democracy by force and to reshape
the Middle East. It is also a major
frustration to its dream of building a ‘global empire. There is only one way for the U.S to settle
the Iraq issue. That is to withdraw its
occupation troops and completely and thoroughly return the leading role to the
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "UN Must Be More, Not Less, Engaged In
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
editorialized (8/21): "It is a
calculated and brutal assault on an institution which had been welcomed by many
Iraqis and was doing its best to help get the country back on its feet.... The question now is whether the international
community's sense of outrage will mark a turning point in the approach to
rebuilding Iraq. The attack has,
tragically, demonstrated the weakness of U.S. claims to be making progress in
restoring security and stability to the country.... But if any good is to come of the attack, it
will take the form of a renewed and more united effort to put Iraq back on the
road to recovery. Sidelined and divided
by disagreements over the invasion, the UN must now demonstrate its
determination to play a more prominent role in the rebuilding process.... The U.S. must be prepared to commit itself
fully to the task and do whatever is needed to improve security and to provide
the basic services that people need. It
must also build support among Arab states for what it is trying to achieve.... Bringing peace and stability is the best way
to counter the brutality of the terrorists."
JAPAN: "Terrorism Vs. World Community"
Business-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (8/21): "We regard the bombing of the UN
headquarters in Baghdad as a terrorist attack on the world community. The incident will further delay Iraq's
reconstruction work, lengthening the Iraqi people's suffering from the negative
effects of the war. The question is how
the U.S. can take the initiative in improving the security situation in Iraq
where acts of terrorism are on the rise.
President Bush will find it necessary sooner or later to revamp U.S.
policy toward Iraq. In doing so, Mr.
Bush should seek greater cooperation from the international community, as
Germany, France and Russia still refrain from sending their troops to
Iraq. Although Japan has enacted the
Iraq law which authorizes the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq, it is unable to
send even a fact-finding team to study the security situation there, a
requirement to be made before the actual dispatch of SDF personnel, because of
the deteriorating security situation in that country.… As things stand, there
is no immediate need to send SDF troops, whose activities are restricted
because of constitutional restraints, to Iraq on a logistical and
"Iraqis' Hatred Also Directed At UN"
United Nations correspondent Igarashi observed
in the liberal Asahi (8/20):
"Media reports on the deadly explosion at the UN office in Baghdad
sent shock waves through officials at the UN headquarters in New York.... The latest bombing dashed hopes that if the
UN takes the place of the U.S. in Iraq reconstruction, it would ease feelings
among those hostile to the U.S. There
are clear signs that anti-U.S. groups view the UN as siding with the
"Rising Acts Of Terrorism A Major Blow To U.S. Strategy"
The business daily Nihon Keizai published this view by
Istanbul correspondent Kibe (8/20):
"Tuesday's fatal explosion at the UN office in Baghdad clearly
showed that resistance forces in Iraq are directing their guerrilla-style
attacks not just at the U.S., but also at U.S. allies and international
organizations. The deteriorating
security situation in Iraq will further delay the war-devastated nation's
economic reconstruction. A rise in
anti-U.S. feelings will not only give moral strength to the resistance forces,
but also deal a crushing blow to the U.S. occupation strategy in Iraq."
“Noble UN Mission Should Continue”
Christian-oriented Sinar Harapan commented (8/21): “One must admit that the UN mission in Iraq
is not very clear and is forced by the U.S. and its allies and overwhelmed by
the problems after their aggression in Iraq.
The UN presence there poses a dilemma.
On one hand, the U.S. and its allies continue their military occupation. On the other, the UN role is limited to a
humanitarian mission without an accompanying peacekeeping force. No matter what, we should see the UN presence
as a symbol of the victory of multilateralism over [U.S.]
unilateralism.... But the incident has made
both those that opposed and those that support a [U.S.] attack on Iraq agree
that such a terrorist action must be faced together and the UN should continue
THAILAND: "The Baghdad Incident"
Makowsky S. Kras (pseudonym) commented in sensationalist,
business-oriented Thai language Phujatkarn (8/21): “The horrible bombing at the UN headquarters
in Baghdad was an extraordinary sabotage or terrorist attack. On one hand, it was not only a defiant
declaration that groups opposing the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq will not lower
their degree of violence, but also signaled that guerilla warfare and suicidal
terrorist attacks have taken root in Iraq.
On the other hand, the UN headquarters bombing was tantamount to a
declared objection to ‘the mediator’ who will rebuild Iraq in accordance to the
West’s way.… Paul Bremer has stated the likely perpetrators were fighters from
bin Laden’s al-Qaida and those who have clandestinely entered the country from
Syria. Seemingly, the statement is aimed
to project an image that opposition comes from outside.”
INDIA: "Attack On
U.S., Not UN"
Centrist Navbharat Times asserted (8/21): "The attack on the UN office in Iraq is
condemnable. The question, however, is
why expect law and order when an invading force continues to occupy Iraq after
overthrowing a regime?... Even after
four months of the war, the American attempt to win over the Iraqis have
clearly failed.... These attacks
demonstrate that the U.S. continues to be an unwelcome authority in
Iraq.... The U.S. is talking about
vacating Iraq after stabilizing it, but will it do so, when so much oil is as
stake? The Iraqis have obtained some
representation in the governing body, but how much authority they have is
The centrist Times of India stated (8/21): “Iraq is going desperately wrong for the U.S.
and nothing illustrates this as starkly as...the suicide bomb attack on the UN
mission.... And yet, it is not as though
the U.S. has been caught unawares by any of this. Large-scale Iraqi resistance
was inevitable given the way the U.S. went about the war.... The attack on the
UN building is a moment of truth for George Bush.... A commanding role for the UN in Iraq is now
all the greater. So long as the U.S.
labors under the delusion that Iraq can be managed by its central command, the
situation on the ground can only get worse.”
PAKISTAN: "There is Still Time For America to Stop"
Karachi's Urdu-language Ummat judged (8/21): "The explosion in UN office...indicates
that Iraqis shall not tolerate any foreign occupation and will continue
resistance. When America could not
control Iraq alone it requested other institutions like UN and countries for
help. Thus Iraqis started attacking them
also. Americans consider Saddam the
center of evil but they could not trace him so far. But they have killed thousands of
Iraqis. By doing this, America is not
only putting its army in danger but also its other allies. Iraqis, by attacking the UN office has given
a message that UN failed to give protection to humanity and especially to
Muslims. Since the UN failed to provide
justice and peace to the world it cannot be trusted anymore. The way America is targeting Muslims and
Muslim rulers are quietly tolerating this, it will result into more suicidal
attacks against their enemies."
"Iraqis Reject UN Role"
The Islamabad rightist, English-language Pakistan Observer
stated (8/21): "The bombing of the
UN Headquarters in Baghdad is despicable....
It, however, seemingly represents the indignation of the Iraqi people
against the world body's recent act of legitimizing the U.S. occupation of
their country. The U.S. had cleverly
manipulated the legitimization of its occupation of Iraq through the world
body.... If the UN Headquarters is not
safe in the process of their liberation struggle, the forces operating under
the UN banner too will be equally vulnerable in Iraq. It's also an unambiguous message to Pakistan
not to play any role in consolidation of U.S. control over Iraq by contributing
its troops in the name of peacekeeping
Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Radio 1 commented
(8/20): "Regarding the nature of
this operation, as stated [by others], it was a terrorist operation, because it
was carried out at a non-military location and against civilians. As to the motive of the perpetrators, it has
to be said that their intention, before anything else, is to prevent the
stabilization of the situation in Iraq and to perpetuate insecurity in that
country. As to the consequences, it has
to be said that this operation will have different consequences. For example, it will create problems for the
provision of UN aid in Iraq. It will
also harm the process of boosting the UN's post-war political position in
Iraq. The operation will also have
political and military costs for America, and it will mean that other countries
will act cautiously in joining the coalition forces and, at least, raise their
demands in their bargaining with America.
However, at the same time, experience has shown that the Americans try
to create opportunities on occasions like this, especially so in view of the
fact that the second anniversary of the 11 September incident is
approaching. And it seems that they will
try to use this operation to strengthen the axis of combating terrorism under
their own leadership. "
"As for the Attack"
Salvador Raimundo commented in the Independent
daily fax sheet Expresso da Tarde (8/21): "Today we cry most over the death of
Vieira de Mello. I also cried. But it's strange that the people who cry most
today over the victims of the truck bombing ignore the millions of children,
pregnant women and helpless men who have been affected by the enemy
bombs.... Isn't the UN being used by the
U.S. in this battle? Wasn't the UN
forced to be in Baghdad to legitimize the Anglo-American occupation? The UN bombing in Baghdad was
intentional. Its perpetrators aren't
crazies, they knew what they were doing."
UGANDA: "Wrong Target"
The government-owned New Vision editorialized (8/21): "Iraq has been plagued with sporadic
incidents of violence in the months since Saddam Hussein was defeated by a
U.S.-led coalition. There have been roadside
ambushes, suicide attacks and acts of sabotage as what increasingly looks like
an internal resistance against foreign occupation takes root. But the UN is not an occupying force. The international body is a non-ideological
organization mandated by the world community to make non-partisan intervention
in places in crisis. Iraq, evidently, is
one such place. The UN should desist
from scaling back its operations, because this would not only be giving in to
the terrorists, but also undermining the well being of many more well-meaning
and needy Iraqis who had nothing to do with the attack. It should take the bombing in its stride,
more conscious of the urgency to return Iraq to normalcy."
ZIMBABWE: “Will America Learn From Its Past Mistakes?”
Billet Magara noted in the pro-government weekly Business
Tribune (8/21): "If only
America could prick the big bag of misplaced pride it has in itself, if only it
could suture the wounds on the body of its own troubled conscience, if only the
desire for revenge was not a national policy, if only America could learn to
view its neighbors without suspicion, earth would be a wondrous planet to live
on and leave behind for our children....
Iraq is a mirror reflection of past American campaigns.... It would not be too much to ask from the
world’s most powerful President, for him to pray to the most powerful force in
the universe, to teach him the only word missing from his vocabulary, ‘peace.’”
CANADA: "Rebuilding Iraq Remains Crucial"
The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/21): "Horrific as
Tuesday's bomb attack was on Iraq's United Nations headquarters, no one who has
followed events in that country can be surprised that matters have taken a turn
for the worse. From the moment the United States attacked Saddam Hussein, it
was clear that handling the instability caused by his departure might be as
difficult as dealing with Iraq while he was in power, if not more so.... There
are any number of countries nearby with extremists to spare, including Syria, Iran
and Saudi Arabia. That is precisely why the United States and others involved
in the effort to rebuild Iraq should stay the course, if not redouble their
efforts to bring about stability as quickly as possible. Any sign of weakness -
any sign, for example, that President George W. Bush is wavering as a result of
simplistic criticisms that his country is in for 'another Vietnam'...will only
encourage anti-U.S. forces in Iraq and elsewhere.... Rather than pull staff or
troops out, the United States needs to provide more of both, and other
countries need to help as part of a broad UN effort.... Rebuilding countries -
or, rather, helping a beaten and starving populace to rebuild them - is not
easy.... American and international forces don't want to take too much on
themselves for fear of being seen as occupiers. Yet if they don't do enough,
quickly enough, they will be seen as uncaring. More than anything, they cannot
"A Truckful Of Evil"
The conservative National Post editorialized (8/21):
"The ongoing guerrilla war against U.S. troops in Iraq provides ample
proof that, contrary to the Polyannish predictions offered by some American
officials, a substantial number of Iraqis are bristling at the presence of
foreign troops in their land. But Tuesday's truck bombing of the United Nations
Iraqi headquarters in Baghdad...shows that the United States is dealing with
something far more pathological than militant nationalism. The function of
United Nations personnel in Iraq is to provide aid and alleviate hardship. Yet
the terrorists who struck on Tuesday were willing to slaughter these good
Samaritans merely so they could discredit the United States and its ability to
maintain order.... Despite the terrorists' best efforts, the United States must
win over as many Iraqis as possible by providing them with a better life -
which means food, clean water, dependable electric power and as much security
as circumstances permit. A homegrown army and police force should also be
trained and deployed as soon as possible. In blowing up foreign soldiers and
aid workers, terrorists can hide behind the conceit that they are martyrs and
patriots. Once they are forced to confront Iraqis in uniform, it will become
apparent to all that they are merely murderous thugs bent on denying the
country a better future."
"Mideast Carnage Tests Our Resolve"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (Internet version)
(8/20): "The limits of American
power were on raw display yesterday in the smoking rubble of the United Nations
headquarters in Iraq, and in the mangled wreckage of a bus in Jerusalem.... The
heavy-handed American occupation in Iraq is fast becoming the tragic shambles
the critics predicted.... The murderers'
aim? To persuade Iraqis chafing under
American occupation and privation...that Bush is losing control, and
'resistance' is intensifying. To gain
converts to Saddam's appeal for a war of attrition. To draw the U.S. into a Vietnam-style
quagmire. To drive out the UN. They must not succeed. Whatever the rights or wrongs of American
policy in Iraq, the UN is there to restore civilian rule after Saddam's
criminal rule, and to rebuild.... If the
UN is driven out, ordinary Iraqis will suffer most.... In Iraq, Bush should recognize that American
military rule cannot stretch out indefinitely.
He should begin to extricate the U.S. by seeking a new Security Council
resolution putting the UN in charge of a truly empowered Iraqi interim regime,
replacing the Pentagon's fumbling provisional authority."
BRAZIL: "Iraq's Future"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo commented (8/21): "The
worst attack ever suffered by the UN has given rise to more doubts about Iraq's
future. The Pentagon's idea of a short war followed by a short occupation seems
to be ever more distant. It is very unlikely that the U.S. will yield political
command of Iraq to an Iraqi administration before minimal security and
infrastructure conditions are reestablished. Preventing the resumption of this
minimal network is exactly what groups that oppose the U.S. military occupation
have been working to achieve. Paradoxically, due to the acts of this
resistance, the U.S. has been constrained to prolong its military presence in
Iraq and so postpone the only thing that could end the attacks: the
establishment of a civilian Iraqi government. The current wave of violence in
Iraq is another side effect of the major mistake, which was an invasion without
the UN's support.... Both the UN and the U.S. are obliged to help ensure that
the most dire predictions about the war's aftermath are not confirmed."
The lead editorial in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo
held (8/21): "Although no American soldier was killed or injured in the
terrorist attack against the UN in Baghdad, the attack was the most devastating
blow suffered by the U.S. since the invasion.... Among the many developments
resulting from the war that the Americans were unable to predict or face
effectively, one that was clearly expected was the fact that Iraq might become
a kind of Mecca of Islamic terrorism.... These potential murderers represent an
incomparably greater danger than the Baathist guerrillas who miss Saddam.... In
strictly military terms, suicidal terrorism is impossible to eradicate. What
can be done is to make the environment for its agents inhospitable. The
Americans seem to have done the opposite in Iraq. Terror is fed by popular revolt resulting
from the U.S.'s inability to meet the basic needs of personal security, public
order and utility services. The dimension of the challenge the U.S. faces is
frightening.... The blind alley that the Bush administration finds itself in
results from its inability to predict that Saddam's overthrow would be just the
first and easiest stage of this disastrous adventure."
"Vieira De Mello's Death And The Chance Of Peace In
Business-oriented Valor Economico commented (8/20): "The death of diplomat Sergio Vieira de
Mello has confirmed predictions that the unilateral occupation of Iraq by U.S.
and UK troops ran major risks of becoming a disaster. The mystifying arrogance with which Bush and
Blair justified the invasion is being contradicted every day by the
facts.... The barbaric and despicable
attack against the UN in Baghdad punished some of the Iraqi people's strongest
allies.... This terrorist act has shown
that contrary to the White House's optimistic view, the situation in occupied Iraq
is increasingly unstable.... The Bush
administration may react to yesterday's disgrace either with its usual
despotism or with political sensitivity.
[If it chooses the first course of action,] we might see the sending of
more U.S. troops to Iraq as well as an extension of their stay there, with
repeated and intensified combat between them and their enemies."
"It's Not Vietnam; It's Worse"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo political columnist Clovis Rossi
opined (8/20): "Since yesterday's
attack against the UN's headquarters in Baghdad, it has been more tempting to
think that the U.S. (and the West) has become involved in another Vietnam by
invading and occupying Iraq. It is a
tempting idea, yes, but also an inaccurate one.
There is no similarity between the two.
It is even possible to say that Vietnam was better for the Americans.
There were defined armies, although one of them was not a regular army, but a
guerrilla group.... That is not the case
in Iraq, where only one army is defined and has been transformed into a mobile
target.... The battlefield has been
extended from Baghdad to Bali, but also includes New York, Washington and God
knows where else.... There is not the slightest
chance that the U.S. will be defeated and forced to hastily abandon Baghdad, as
it did Saigon, by the attacks that have been occurring since the formal end of
the Iraqi war.... Terrorism today is
anonymous. Not even the authors of
history's greatest terrorist action--that of 9/11--have claimed
responsibility. Those who define its
authors are the victims, not the criminal....
Isn't it frightening?"
Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (8/20): "The death of Sergio Vieira de Mello is
a loss Brazil shares with the UN, which held him as one of the most dedicated,
capable officials of peace.... The
circumstances and moment in which the attack took place yesterday make it clear
that the Iraq's problems are getting worse everyday. Despite the death of Saddam Hussein's sons
and the capture of an important minister yesterday, not even the most
optimistic observer would say an Iraqi democracy is visible on the horizon....
Iraqi patriots would like mainly to get rid of Anglo-American forces through
weariness. Fatigue would end up by
forcing Bush and Blair to take their exhausted soldiers back. This seems to be an optimistic scenario. The attack that killed the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights demands that the international community
begin to have a much more significant presence than has been allowed so far by
the Americans and English."
CHILE: "Attack In Baghdad"
Leading-circulation, popular La Tercera declared
(8/20): "This was not just an
attack against the U.N., it was against the work conducted by the Bush
administration in the region.... The
Pentagon must now determine who is behind this subversive act.... The scenario would perhaps be simpler if the
Pentagon were to point its finger at Saddam Hussein's 'long arm,' because
Hussein's capture...would end the attacks.
But if violence is coming from isolated groups who oppose the occupation
or--worse yet--is the result of veiled action by other regimes, there are other
implications for stability in Iraq and the region. If that is the case, Bush will have to
reassess the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and face greater accountability in
his country for this military invasion."
Financial El Diario (8/20):"The nations directly
involved in the war...well know that pacifying Iraq has been a very difficult
task.... One of the immediate effects of
the conflict is related to increased oil prices, which concerns the entire
global economy. Thus, instability in the
Middle East is far from resolved and continues to be an element that must be
taken into consideration when making estimates on the recovery of the global
"Attack On UN As Military Objective Strikes Essence Of Body"
An editorial in leading El Tiempo
asserted (Internet version, 8/20):
"The unprecedented attack yesterday against the UN Headquarters in
Iraq, that cost the lives of special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello
along with 19 others...does not only reflect the prevailing chaos of that
country, but also demonstrates that the Iraqi resistance is also directed
against even those, considered neutral, that would appear to be immune to
terrorism. That the UN has become a
military target is something that strikes the very essense of this world
organization.... This is paradoxical
because the UN was only carrying out humanitarian and reconstruction efforts,
due to a mandate approved by the Security Council a month after the
invasion. The attack confirmed that this
mandate was interpreted by the elements of Saddam Hussein's regime as an
implicit legitimization of the U.S.-UK occupation, entangling the organization
deeper into the post-war conflict.... In
addition to provoking international outrage, yesterday's attack underscored the
enormous difficulties facing the occupying forces in maintaining order,
restoring governability and advancing the reconstruction of Iraq.... The
insurgents are creating an atmosphere of insecurity that is affecting reconstruction
efforts.... U.S. authorities estimate
they will need some 140 billion to put the country back on its feet. But before that it will need to have a
country that functions, a government that maintains order, and a society that
ECUADOR: “Despicable Attack Against The U.N.”
Center-left Hoy held (8/20): “The suicide attack against
the UN headquarters in Baghdad is a despicable crime because the truck loaded
with explosives was aimed at the organization that represents the international
community at a time when it is helping Iraq recover from the damages caused by
the war and the blood-thirsty regime of the former Iraqi dictator.... Despicable crimes like this one will not
deter the work of this international organization in Iraq, where, however, is
it imperative that the occupation be concluded and the path for elections be
opened so that the people are given the opportunity to chose their own
GUATEMALA: "Blood In Baghdad"
Leading Prensa Libre ran the following commentary
(8/20): “This occurrence is another
demonstration of the necessity of defending the civilized world against
terrorist attacks. Any attempt to explain or justify an action of this nature
is ridiculous. This evil act
demonstrates the seriousness of this curious situation: the war was won, but
the peace could be lost. To sustain it, the work must continue, especially
through humanitarian efforts…International support for the UN should be
strengthened, never weakened, and that means increasing the military and police
presence of the highest global organization, that, even though it could not
prevent the war, is an undeniable force in securing peace.”
"We Must Prepare For International Threat Of Terrorism"
Leading-circulation tabloid Critica Libre
(8/20): "We can now say we are in a
world war against terror, where no armies or military forces can deal with
those followers of religious radicalism or conservative ideologies that were
forgotten in the last century.… It is imperative that we prepare ourselves to
face the threat of international terrorism.”
"Attack On UN 'Ironic'"
Independent La Prensa stated in a
front-page editorial (8/20): “The attack
on the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad is tragic and at the same time
ironic. The UN did not endorse the
Coalition military operation against Saddam Hussein, and today, while the UN
was developing a humanitarian response, those who supposedly would have been
the beneficiaries [instead] killed the officials [of the UN]… Although the UN’s
objective is to provide a peaceful environment, during its existence it has
seen wars and genocides that it hasn’t been able to avoid, control or end. The United Nations is today more of a museum
piece than a world institution; it is very little respected...it is facing the
dilemma of restructuring and adjusting to the times, or just disappearing.”