International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

June 10, 2004

June 10, 2004





**  Pro-resolution papers say the "big diplomatic victory" creates a "chance for positive change."

**  Cautious dailies term the new resolution a "window for hope" but no "panacea."

**  Naysayers assail the resolution as a "smokescreen."

**  Developing world critics demand the U.S. "relinquish its stranglehold" over Iraq.




From 'occupation to cooperation'--  Papers cited the U.S.' "conciliatory and pragmatic tone" to explain the "obvious success for President Bush" in the UNSC.  Conservative dailies such as the Australian hailed the resolution's passage as a "major step towards an independent and democratic Iraq," while liberal outlets said the "important breakthrough" highlighted "encouraging signs" of Iraq's "gradual normalization."  Euro and Asian observers noted the "new climate of understanding among the powers" that will "pave the way for greater international involvement" in reconstruction, asserting that the U.S. and Britain are "moving from unilateralism to multilateralism."


'The key struggle remains on the ground'--  Numerous analysts emphasized that the solution to the "whole sorry saga" of Iraq "will be played out on the ground, not at the UN."  Spain's left-of-center El Pais reflected widespread opinion that the resolution is a "window for hope" but no "panacea."  The "raging security crisis" was one of the "enormous problems" that Iraq still faces; Germany's center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine warned that "the security situation will not ease just because the UN adopted a resolution."  Since Iraq remains a "fragile country," moderate Arab papers such as Lebanon's centrist Al-Anwar backed the resolution's approval of an "interim phase with a mixture of sovereignty and occupation" 


A 'fig leaf' to create the 'fiction of an equal partnership'--  Leftist skeptics judged that the resolution consecrated "nonexistent Iraqi sovereignty" for a government that "sorely lacks democratic legitimacy."  Bangladeshi and Argentine writers said the "handpicked government of appointees" consists of "Washington puppets."  Malaysia's government-influenced New Straits Times scorned the "cloak of legitimacy" the resolution purported to give a situation where the "U.S. will be calling the shots."  Other dailies noted the resolution "fails to clarify who is ultimately responsible for ensuring domestic security."


The U.S. should transfer 'all power in Iraq to the UN'--  Muslim, African and Latin analysts stressed the "need for the U.S. to withdraw its troops."  Tunisia's independent Ash-Shourouq blasted Iraq's continuing subjection to "direct colonization and the most oppressive of military forces," while Ghana's government-owned Daily Graphic urged the creation of an "all inclusive multinational force under UN authority" to maintain security.  Argentina's financial El Cronista opined that the U.S. has "lost the moral authority to put Iraq in order," joining other papers that sought to give a "central role to the UN."  Pakistan's centrist News alleged the "mere farce" of a resolution proves the U.S. "never intends the Iraqis to get full power."


EDITOR:  Ben Goldberg


EDITOR'S NOTE:  Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment.  Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion.  This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.  This analysis was based on 92 reports from 38 countries over  5 - 10 June 2004.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "The Way Ahead"


The conservative Times commented (6/10):  "The UN resolution is important not only for bestowing international legitimacy on the new interim government....  It also brings to an official end the pointless bickering among the Western allies over the future of Iraq, much of which appeared to be motivated by political pride and pique among those who opposed the war in the first place....  As the UN vote showed, what matters is greater prosperity and stability in the region.  For both, democracy is a prerequisite."


"A Fragile New Consensus, A Resolution Lacking Clarity--But At Least The UN Is Back"


An editorial in the center-left Independent read (6/9):  "This is a thoroughly positive development, one of very few pieces of unmitigated good news since the whole sorry saga of the war in Iraq began....  The resolution is a constructive start to what will still be a difficult and uncertain period in Iraq....  The real test of that will be not the words of approval that Iraq's newly chosen president and ministers are uttering now, but what happens after 30 June, when real power is set to pass into the interim government's hands.  Will the violence against U.S. and foreign forces then subside, or will the insurgency continue and find a new target in the UN?"


"Welcome UN Success"


The conservative Daily Telegraph declared (6/9):  "America and Britain can be rightly pleased with the outcome of their diplomatic efforts at the UN....  The key question is how the interim government will perform in its brief period of office before elections to a transitional national assembly next January.  Here, inevitably, security is the prime concern....  Diplomatic success in New York is welcome, but the key struggle remains on the ground in Iraq."


"Modest Resolution"


The left-of-center Guardian opined (6/9):  "The latest resolution could be no different to its still-born predecessors.  It is unlikely to make Iraq a safer place for foreign troops to operate.  Nor will it alter Iraqi perceptions about the nature of the occupation.  But if it works, it could give more credibility to Washington's case that real sovereignty will be transferred to Baghdad at the end of this month and that in turn increases the likelihood of a stable sovereign government emerging from the whole sorry saga."


FRANCE:  "Chirac And Bush Opposed On The Iraqi Debt"


Luc de Barochez wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/10):  “The UN resolution on Iraq, which was heralded as a victory for American diplomacy, has not changed the nature of the transatlantic debate....  Behind the scene at the G-8, the number one subject of discord is the Iraqi debt....  President Bush pleaded in vain in favor of almost totally erasing the debt, a proposal opposed by France....  Another bone of contention revolves around NATO’s military involvement in Iraq.  France is extremely reserved over this issue.”


"Armistice At The UN"


Bruno Frappat opined in Catholic La Croix (6/10):  “The other war, the diplomatic war over Iraq is coming to an end....  The unanimous vote on the UN resolution is an obvious success for President Bush.  In fact, things are going rather well these days for the U.S. president.  Three planned events, D-Day, the UN vote and the G-8 have offered him an avalanche of positive results.  Another unplanned event, former President Reagan’s death, is also giving the American people an opportunity to show patriotic fervor.  Will this positive atmosphere last?  The reunion at the UN happened because everyone made concessions.  But by asking for NATO’s involvement in Iraq, is President Bush not opening a new diplomatic 'front'?”


"Four Tests"


Patrick Sabatier wrote in left-of-center Liberation (6/9):  “It has been a while since President Bush enjoyed such glory....  He will be able to enjoy the beaches of Sea Island...after having convinced all, including Chirac, to stop all criticism of the occupation of Iraq. Everyone has accepted to vote for a UN resolution which grants President Bush’s endeavor the international legitimacy which he lacked so cruelly, at the start of the operations. The liberation of the Italian and Polish hostages confirms his political success. It would be ridiculous not to be pleased with the resolution and the liberation of the hostages. It is just as ridiculous to think that a resolution will resolve the Iraqi crisis as if by magic. The solution will be played out on the ground, not at the UN....  Four tests await the players, before and after June 30. Will the process be able to survive car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations? Will the Iraqis see in this new government something other than a puppet government? They can see through the supposed 'sovereignty’ which has been granted to their government, and they know that power is in the hands of those who carry the weapons, whether it is the Americans or the anti-American resistance fighters. Will the new government survive the contradictory forces of ethnic rivalry? Or will it let Iraq become another Lebanon? Finally, and this may be the toughest test, will President Bush know how to resist the double temptation of every occupying force: will he impose his law or give up and withdraw his troops, once his re-election is secured, leaving Iraq open to a new dictatorship, and/or a civil war?”


"UN Resolution Unites International Community"


Jean-Louis Turlin noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/9):  “France could not be more demanding than the new Iraqi authorities. But the positions it fought for at the UNSC were most probably instrumental in reaching the final agreement."




Patrick Sabatier noted in left-of-center Liberation (6/8):  “The leaders meeting at the G-8 are set on not giving the impression that their summit is a board of directors meeting of the ‘World Company'....  The only concrete objective of the summit seems to be to give the impression that world affairs are in the hands of well-educated leaders, although they do not agree on anything....  President Bush, the host, in order to be re-elected, needs to prove that he has not turned the U.S. into a nation to be avoided like the plague. As for his guests, it is not in their best interest to be on poor terms with the U.S. We can therefore bet they will agree to sign one of those soporific final press releases promising to work for peace and democracy....  Their desire for a consensus will be a substitute for the fact that there is no consensus (because of President Bush’s policy.) Iraq will be the bone of contention proving this postulate. The G-8 summit will be taking place while in New York the UN will vote on a smokescreen resolution. It will consecrate an nonexistent Iraqi sovereignty, which the Iraqis cannot exercise because they cannot ensure the country’s safety without the coalition forces....  But necessity will prevail. Diplomacy’s role is to bring imperfect answers to issues that are practically unsolvable, by marrying necessary compromises with unavoidable hypocrisy, in order to move forward on the road to the possible.”


GERMANY:  "Wind At His Back"


Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg editorialized (6/10):  "Bush is flying in a good tail wind since the UN approved the U.S. resolution on Iraq.  He is now trying to use this momentum and demands a stronger NATO role in the crisis region.  Bush is selling it as an opportunity to end the quarrel of the recent year, but finding a solution for the logistic problems of the occupation force seems to be his first priority.   His partners will not help him out of this scrape.  It is less a matter of political will, but capacity.  The alliance might have more members after the recent expansion, but only Germany, France, Italy and Spain are able to deploy troops, theoretically speaking.  NATO cannot even achieve its goals in Afghanistan and it cannot close the gaps in Iraq as long as its partners must beg for every single helicopter in an operation.  The coalition must bear the responsibility it took when it started the war and increase the number of its troops to stabilize the country.  The war opponents cannot do more than offering symbolic support, e.g., by training the Iraqi forces.  But they should not do less either.  To close ranks with the U.S. in Iraq would not just be a message to NATO, but also to the Arab world."




Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger said in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (6/9):  "One year after Saddam Hussein's ouster and an occupation regime that created a long shadow but only a few highlights, the UN is back in business, from which it was pushed out by Washington, even though the UN itself did not always do a brilliant job.  Iraqization makes progress and--this is probably the most important aspect--America takes on a conciliatory and pragmatic tone, thanks to the high cost that have now resulted in political consequences.  Contrary to all disaster forecasts, the future for the country is not that bleak.  But the security situation will not ease just because the UN adopted a resolution....  There will continue to be forces that are planning to destroy a future perspective with violence against the occupation troops and terror against the Iraqis under the disguise of national resistance.  UN envoy Brahimi said it would take years until Iraq will have mastered all challenges.  Since this is probably not exaggerated, Iraq needs assistance from its neighbors, the creditors, and the UN.  And this is something Brahimi also said:  He even stressed the stabilization need by using the term 'urgent.'  The unanimous adoption of the UN resolution is, therefore, a welcome beginning."


"Avoiding Clear Answers"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich stated (6/9):  "In Baghdad, it could soon become obvious that the new UNSC resolution has a flaw:  It avoids a clear answer to the most controversial aspect.  While the Americans want to keep the last word on the operation of their forces in Iraq, countries like France advocated granting the Iraqi transition government a right to veto large-scale military missions.  The resolution now provides for cooperation between the U.S.-led coalition and the government in Baghdad in all security-relevant questions.  But what does this mean in a dispute? What should be valid if the Americans want to reconquer a city from the hands of a militia leader, while the transition government is opposed?  Then it will become obvious that the sovereign is still the U.S.  And this insight could rekindle the revolt among the Iraqis."


"Carte Blanche For The Occupation Power"


Roland Heine judged in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (6/9):  "The Iraq resolution is a certificate of poverty for the members of the UNSC.  It is certainly right that the Iraqis are unable to create peace in their own country, and a civil war, for which the U.S. would be responsible, cannot be in the interest of the war opponents. But especially because President George W. Bush is faced with a confusing situation and needs the UN, the majority in the Security Council should have avoided granting the occupiers a carte blanche.  Did they, out of delight about the fact that the colossus has finally moved, ignore the fact that this movement was only a minimum movement?  This is possible, but the main interest is probably to strike deals.  The U.S. is obviously about to correct its practice for awarding large-scale contracts for Iraq.  This means that companies from nations that rejected the war should get a chance to take part in the reconstruction business in Iraq."


"Contradictions Remain"


Pierre Simonitsch opined in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (6/8):  "In the end, all sides involved will celebrate the UN resolution as a victory....  Now the opponents of the war...are trying to make the best from the faits accomplis.  But rarely before did UN decisions influence the course of history.  They frequently served as a fig leaf.  The goal of the Iraq resolution is to legitimize the Iraqi transition government…and the stay of the multilateral force under U.S. command.  What the U.S. has accepted as amendments are only retouchings.  The draft is based on the fiction of an equal partnership between the U.S. and Iraq. But how can an elected Iraqi government whose survival depends on occupation forces pursue a sovereign policy?....  What is pleasing is that the U.S. again seeks a consensus in the UNSC.  The attitude of the Iraqis will show whether the resolution will reach its goal.  [If not] the individual ethnic groups can be mobilized with the push on a button if their leader see their position threatened."


"Struggling Over Nuances"


Center-right Lausitzer Rundschau of Cottbus judged (6/8):  "At least in the diplomatic arena, peace will return with respect to Iraq.  In the UNSC, all sides involved are now only struggling over nuances....  The basis for this agreement is the hope that the people in Iraq will succeed in a relatively brief period of time in taking their fate into their own hands.  But all sides overlook the fact that it will not be enough to oust a dictator and rely on the self-healing forces of a downtrodden country.  The main issue is allegedly to pave the way for the people in Iraq to create a future based on self-determination.  But as a matter of fact it is becoming obvious that no one wants to engage himself in Iraq any longer.  What has now begun is that all sides want to escape their responsibility as quickly as possible."


"Makeshift Programs"


Center-right Thueringer Allgemeine of Erfurt said (6/8):  "Compared to the ideal views of the Americans, these are only makeshift programs.  None of the interim rules for the Iraqi government...can guarantee a peaceful future to the country.  The fact that within two weeks, the U.S. declared its willingness to rewrite the draft for a UN resolution four times, conveys the certainty that time is really pressing.  By June 30, President Bush wants to leave the front lines. At least in the presidential election campaign, he can then pass on responsibility for all the things that happen afterwards to the Iraqi government.  That is why it even seems to be possible that the French demand will be included in the UN resolution to give the Iraqis a say over the operations of the remaining international forces in the country."


ITALY:  "A Timed Victory"


Vittorio Zucconi commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (6/10):  “If in Europe there remains the sense--or the illusion--that France, Germany and Russia forced Bush to bow his head and to finally accept UN control over the U.S., the events of the last week are being read by Bush’s entourage in the exact opposite manner.  The [Sea Island] summit is being sold and talked about as ‘the vindication’ of a president who survived a year of trying times and horrors, which he exited as the owner of the world, on the threshold of an ‘American century.’...  Bush’s real enemy is no longer France, Russia and the UN; it’s this timed victory, this success, which is dictated by deadlines and formal appointments within which there are explosive charges that the UN’s unanimous resolution did not defuse.  The UN and Europe did not give Bush a blank check.  Terrorism has not surrendered.  The timelines remain.  The calendar to transform a fake regime into an electoral government is still lingering in the shadows....  The fact that Bush obtained the UN’s imprimatur, but not NATO troops, both legitimizes and binds him.  He will no longer be able to violate the mandate to govern Iraq.  He has tied the others to him, but he is now also tied to the others.  The essential thing for Bush is that this timed victory doesn’t explode in the next five months--until the presidential elections, in order to obtain a few more votes.”


"Bush’s About Face And The Return To The Rule Of Law"


Bernardo Valli noted in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (6/9):  “The road to Baghdad is long and tormented. Along the path, which is filled with ambushes, in order to make it on time and not alone with only a few allies or faithful or reluctant subjects, Bush has sought a vast and official international consensus, and he obtained it. His success is undeniable. He will make the June 30 appointment...with a new image. He will no longer appear like a president who, overestimating the possibilities of a powerful America, launched himself into an adventure that he is not able to exit; but as the commander of a coalition who has been endowed with a clear mandate by the UNSC, which is the holder of international legality. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bush decided to personally attend the [transfer of power ceremony] in Baghdad on June 30. He would transform that day into a personal triumph before the November elections....  The Security Council’s resolution must be accepted with satisfaction also because it signals a return to the international rule of law. The U.S. president diverged from it, he turned his back on it, but he had to return to it in order to obtain the consensus that will lead him down the road to Baghdad. He realized that he couldn’t make it alone. And with an abrupt turnaround, due more to need than to conviction, he dedicated himself to bringing about a multilateral consensus....  His imperial interpretation of power has been humiliated.”


"Double Result"


Stefano Silvestri held in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore (6/9):  “The definitive approval of the new resolution on Iraq and the liberation of the three Italian hostages are more than a happy coincidence: they are the tangible signs of the much sought after positive turnaround in the handling of the crisis. It came thanks to the precise and ongoing military and political engagement of the coalition forces, which opened to the return of the UN and to the recognition of Iraqi sovereignty. This in turn gave way to the re-establishment of a common European-American front against terrorism and gave the new Iraqi government the necessary instruments to bring about peace....  Significant progress has been made even though the situation on the ground is not all that clear and a great deal will depend on the credibility and the effectiveness of the new Iraqi government. For example, it will have to demonstrate to the Iraqis that it is not a puppet of Washington, without cutting off cooperation that remains essential for security and reconstruction....  We don’t know how things will turn out, but in the meantime the international system seems to be working better than it did yesterday. And that’s already something.”


"New Resolution On Iraq, Voting Today"


Ennio Caretto observed in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (6/8):  “John Negroponte announced that the resolution would be voted on by today and added that he was ‘very optimistic.’ Bush has reached his objective, which was to begin the G8 summit tomorrow with a resolution in hand, as a crowning of the political shift that took place last week in Rome and Paris, and to go from a state of occupation to cooperation with Iraq. His success could very well facilitate a compromise with the allies on the reform plans in the Middle East, which is contested by a part of Islam....  The debate at the UN began on the trail of the interventions of Annan and Brahimi....  According to the White House, if the resolution is approved it will produce immediate results. Three countries, that are still not engaged in Iraq, have supposedly already offered 4,000 men to the force that will protect the UN in Baghdad, and that will work alongside the Anglo-American forces.”


"The World Won’t Change In One Day"


Boris Biancheri wrote in centrist, influential La Stampa (6/8):  “The U.S. and Great Britain have presented a new draft resolution to the UNSC and the general feeling is that it will be approved soon....  It is primarily the result of a change in relations between the U.S. and countries like France and Germany....  Naturally, everyone had to yield something--the Americans in the first place, who had to resign themselves to seeking a multilateral approach that they had so disdained earlier. The French, Germans and Russians had to corroborate what happened and legitimize the presence of the coalition as well as an interim government that was in large part established by Washington....  It seemed impossible even to those who opposed the war to abandon Iraq.”


RUSSIA:  "The Kremlin Helps The U.S. 'Win' In Iraq"


Yulia Petrovskaya wrote in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (6/10:  "The resolution puts a formal limit to the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf.  This is a key element that made it possible to settle differences in the UN Security Council....  The consensus on Iraq will help the U.S. leader achieve the necessary propaganda effects in the war on terrorism and plans to reform the Middle East, implying more regime changes there....  The Kremlin can hardly believe in the Iraqis having gained all sovereign rights and Bush blindly following UN Security Council resolutions.  For Moscow the important thing to do now is to keep down its serious differences with America on nuclear cooperation with Iran and thestate of democracy in Russia....   Russia is really concerned over the conflict spilling across the Iraqi border and the export of 'Iraqi terrorism' to Chechnya.  But by identifying with Washington at the top level, Russia lets itself be drawn into the crisis, becoming a 'legitimate target' for the Iraqi resistance."


"Nobody Wants To Say No"


Sergey Merinov stated in official government-run Rossiyskaya Gazeta (6/10):  "None of the Security Council members said no or abstained.  But that  does not mean that the hard-won 32-point resolution has removed all problems or won't cause new ones."


"U.S. Blitzkrieg In UN"


Andrey Zlobin commented in reformist Vremya Novostey (6/9):  "The new UN resolution will help Paris and Moscow save face, as they are trying to keep up with the settlement process in Iraq, wresting tiny concessions on the text.  Washington has won a big diplomatic victory.  It has done it, which goes for the subject of the resolution (the U.S. troops will stay in Iraq, but will no longer be called occupation) and the timing.  Adopting the resolution before June 30 makes the provisional government internationally legitimate.   So, coming to the summit on Sea Island, U.S. President Bush must feel like a leader with a consistent strategy on Iraq.  Bush has showed to the American voter that he can act in league with the UN."


"Power Hand-Over Unconvincing"


Maksim Novikov contended in official government-run Rossiyskaya Gazeta (6/9):  "It does not look all that optimistic when it comes to the promised prosperity of Iraq under the interim government.   Many experts are inclined to see the Allawi cabinet as lacking in independence and credibility, which makes the sovereignty transfer look unconvincing.  Paradoxically, with the foreigners proposing to transfer control over the armed forces to the local government, as enshrined in a UN resolution, cabinet members openly vote for U.S. control."


"New Resolution To End Divided World Into Winners And Losers"


Sergey Strokan commented in business-oriented Kommersant (6/8): "It is not whether the new Iraqi government has the veto right.  It is who is in the government.  Iraq's future depends not on the resolution, but on who takes the upper hand in the fight for power in that country and how tolerant they will be of the foreign presence, military, economic and humanitarian. Also, it may well be that, as they stay on, the U.S. troops, using all sorts of pretexts, will refuse to change the way they have been acting to this day.   And this is what will most probably happen.  When UN resolutions cause problems instead of helping the United States, the UN, so it seems, ceases to exist, with no one paying much attention to it.  No doubt, the new UN resolution on Iraq is important as it will virtually put an end to the world having been divided into winners and losers, the peace party and war party, since the beginning of the Iraq war.   It must help the world feel like one whole.  But all that will be of little consequence to Iraq itself."


AUSTRIA:  "The UNSC Has Yielded To Reason"


Martin Stricker observed in independent provincial Salzburger Nachrichten (6/9):  “The compromise shows that the U.S., and the European anti-war camp alike opted for a more pragmatic approach this time....  No one would want Iraq to succumb to chaos, nor to become the center of an autonomous al Qaida region. The new unity at the UN will not save Iraq over night. Stability would finish off the terrorists. Therefore, they will bomb and kill, in order to hold their ground. Still, their chances at success have become smaller.”


"Faith Is Not Enough"


Gudrun Harrer wrote in liberal Der Standard (6/9):  “With all due respect for the UNSC resolution on Iraq, the fact remains that it does not say anything on how things are going to progress in Iraq. Thus, it does not seem likely that the former anti-war camp is now prepared to participate in a mission to stabilize Iraq. Nor will the resolution lead to the re-integration of even a single rebel fighter. At least, though, the new Iraqi government has been given something akin to international legitimacy.”


BELGIUM:  "The UN Codifies The Transfer Of Power In Baghdad"


Baudouin Loos asserted in left-of-center Le Soir (6/9):  "Observers will probably speak of another American diplomatic victory: indeed, it is unanimous that the UNSC was expected to vote the Resolution on the transfer of power in Iraq last night....  The Bush Administration has every reason to be pleased, since its short term objectives have been reached. On the one hand, an Iraqi interim government that includes a majority of exiled Iraqis--Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is actually a CIA contractor--will take over in three weeks with the UNSC's approval. And on the other hand, occupation forces will keep their autonomy.  But the fact remains that this 'transfer of sovereignty' is not likely to enjoy popular support. Indeed, it is very likely that a large part of the Iraqi population will consider its new government, which sorely lacks democratic legitimacy, with great distrust. The expression 'full sovereignty' that Washington and London are using for the transfer of power will be met with skepticism in Iraq. But it is true that faultfinders have been considering for a long time that the expression 'full sovereignty' was mostly meant for worried American and British public opinions. On the contrary, optimists will point out that Germany and Japan became democratic while they were being militarily occupied."


"Good News For The Iraqis"


Gerald Papy remarked in independent La Libre Belgique (6/9):  "The consensus on the new UN Resolution on the transfer of power in Iraq is a turning point in international relations. It marks a kind of reconciliation among big countries, with the U.S. and Great Britain on one side, and France, Russia, China, and Germany--those opposed to the war--on the other. Their disagreement on the Iraqi question over a year ago had led to one of the worst crisis in recent transatlantic relations....  The vote of the UN Resolution does not mean that, tomorrow, French, Russians, and Americans are going to work together in Iraq. But at least, the dialogue has been restored.  The analysis of the negotiations that took place to reach this outcome shows the long way the U.S. and Great Britain have come, moving from unilateralism to multilateralism, which was yesterday an obstacle for them and now serves their interests. It is sad that one had to wait for the political and military situation in Iraq to be bogged down before they made that philosophical turnaround. It does not mean that the United States will never make similar mistakes again, but at least Iraq is henceforth on better bases."


"The D-Day Truce Is Over"


Catherine Mommaerts held in financial L'Echo (6/8):  "In early 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush considered that he could ignore the UN and his European partners that were opposed to the war in Iraq. But today, almost three weeks from the transfer of power to the Iraqis, violence still prevails in a country that is on the brinks of the abyss. Bush therefore needs the UN and the support of the international community to try to get out of a quagmire that is increasingly difficult to justify domestically....  Because, although international issues traditionally do not matter much in U.S. elections, George Bush's falling popularity as a result of the situation Iraq does not bode well for him. The Europeans--to begin with the French, the Russians, and the Germans--are fully aware of this, and they took advantage of their position of strength to impose some 'improvements' to the proposed UN Resolution....  But these countries are also fully aware of the fact that, without the 150,000 coalition soldiers in Iraq, that country would fall into a chaos whose shock wave would spread to neighboring countries before inevitably hitting Europe. This awareness will not lead these countries to send troops to Iraq, even through NATO--and the Bush Administration knows this very well--but it will lead them to be more open to Washington's requests for economic and political assistance in Iraq."


BULGARIA:  "Burying The Hatchet"


Center-right Dnevnik stated (6/8):  "It looks like June is about to turn into the month when the hatchets will be buried....  So far so good.  France, Russia and China will agree to the new UN resolution through clenched teeth....  With only a few months before the presidential elections in the U.S., some people in 'old Europe' are secretly hoping that the resolution will help John Kerry win the election, but it is not clear how they would respond if he does and next year demands that the Europeans send troops and money to Iraq.  The hatchets may be buried, but no one has smoked the peace pipe."


IRELAND: "UN's Role Restored"


The center-right Irish Independent declared (6/10):  "The unanimous UNSC vote on the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government is a sign of great hope for the country, the region, and world order....  It does send out two enormously important and welcome signals. President George Bush and his critics have reached a compromise; and the role of the UN has been restored. The compromise favors the U.S....  It means, in particular, that control of the security forces has been left somewhat vague. In practical terms, the U.S. will of course insist on retaining considerable freedom of action.  At least equally unclear is what will replace the U.S. forces when they leave Iraq. Mr Bush envisages some ill-defined role for NATO.  Of greater consequence is the question whether, within some reasonable timescale such as 12 months, reconstructed Iraqi forces will be capable of keeping order.  Such a prospect appears remote at present. Violence is widespread. At least one major city is in rebel hands. But political progress, spurred by popular desire for a peaceful settlement, could transform the scene.  The interim government, though unelected, has shown evidence of independent thinking....  Not long ago Mr Bush displayed almost open contempt for the UN.  Evidently he has now been brought to recognise its value. That is a massive step forward.”


NETHERLANDS:  "Opportunities In Iraq"


Influential independent NRC Handelsblad editorialized (6/9):  "The new Iraqi resolution turned out to be a document that brings sovereignty for the Iraqis and internationalization of the military operation.  Compared to the first draft, this UN resolution turned out to be a document the coalition partners, who care about a multinational cause, should not be ashamed of. In this respect, the Netherlands can be relieved at the eve of deciding on extending its mission in Iraq....  It is worth noting that opponents of the war--France, Germany, and Russia--support the resolution.  This alone is a reality and a huge step forward, which cannot be ignored....  Even though these do not remove the disgrace of the American misdeeds in the Abu Ghraib, the key reservations against extending the military mission in Iraq have been removed....  Reconstruction is a joint responsibility; if the resolution emphasizes anything then this is it.  To stay in Iraq under these rules is not a shame.  There are risks, but the resolution offers countries which have troops in Iraq a better opportunity to handle things their way and not the American way.  And that is through peacekeeping."


"Iraq:  A New Chapter"


Influential liberal De Volkskrant stated (6/10):  "The new UN resolution is an important breakthrough in the Iraqi crisis.  Even though there was a global UN mandate for the U.S.-led military forces, this mandate has now been detailed and more precisely defined....  In the negotiations about the draft  text, the U.S. showed more willingness to make concessions than it has in the past.  This indicates some shifts in Washington.  The White House came to realize that UN assistance is inevitable to cope with the enormous problems in Iraq.  A not unimportant side effect is that President Bush made himself less vulnerable in the election campaign to being blamed for having damaged the U.S. with his unilateralist policy."


"Unity About Iraq Required"


Centrist Algemeen Dagblad editorialized (6/9):  "The UN resolution on Iraq is a good basis for a new chapter in the not so pretty book on Iraq. The Dutch cabinet will decide to extend the Dutch mission in Iraq on Friday....  Parties which had expressed doubts about the extension, such as labor party PvdA and Democrats D66, should not allow emotions about the American misconduct and sometimes bold actions influence their decision. The Iraqis want the Dutch to stay and the Netherlands makes a good contribution to stability and safety in al-Muthanna....  It is very important that the three coalition parties fully support the Cabinet's decision."


NORWAY:  "A Way Out Of The Mire In Iraq"


Erik Sagflaat commented in social democratic Dagsavisen (6/9):  "The new UN resolution points to a possible way out of the mire. Maybe the only one possible. But there are enormous problems to be overcome. The Kurdish dissatisfaction and threats about breaking away from Baghdad do not bode well....  The temporary government is well received and supported by a great majority of the Iraqis. However, there are strong forces in Iraq and the surrounding region that would like the democracy process to fail....  The Americans came as occupants, and have by their conduct also made it certain that they are perceived as occupants and oppressors, not as the liberators they wanted to be....  The U.S. has accepted that it must continue to bear the majority of the burden in Iraq. But this they brought upon themselves when the Bush administration decided to cross the UNSC and start a war on their own, based on false assumptions."


POLAND:  "Good And Bad News"


Joanna Krawczyk opined in right-of-center Zycie (6/9):  “Mixed news came from Iraq. The depressing and tragic news was that Polish soldiers were killed on a dangerous mission....  But good news arrived on that very same day. First, a Pole abducted [a week ago] was rescued. Second, we have a UN resolution that will create a new Iraq, will change the role of the international troops, and, undoubtedly, will offer a serious chance for positive change in the region.”


SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO:  "If Only The War in Iraq Were Not Going On"


Gordana Logar commented in independent Belgrade-based Danas (6/5-6):  "President Bush should not be reprimanded for using his trip to Normandy for the current policy needs....  His speech last week at the Air Force Academy, when he compared the war against terrorism with WW II, indicated that he will talk with his French, German, Russian and other allies about the Iraqi war and new arrangements through the UN.  There are more indications that the U.S. will cooperate more closely with Moscow, Paris and Berlin and that they will be offered good projects in the reconstruction of Iraq....  The American public and official Washington are discussing WW II with due respect.  In addition, debates on whether this is a good or just war are occupying the American public, as well as the dilemma on whether America went too easily to war....  The relations between the U.S. on the one side and France and Europe on the other side are much stronger than the sporadic conflicts which will be overcome at the moments of serious crisis."


SLOVENIA:  "More Sand In The Eyes"


Middle East correspondent Barbara Surk argued in left-of-center Delo (6/10):  "Brahimi's favorites were, one after another, crossed off the list of candidates for the interim Iraqi government.  Even before the new resolution on Iraq was passed by the Security Council, the new Iraqi government had nullified its contents.  After [the resolution] had been passed, the representatives of the international community and the leaders of the occupation coalition were welcoming their concurrent support for Iraqis, rather than toasting a united Iraq.  They overlooked the fact that no one had applauded them in Baghdad, Falujah, Mosul, Basra, Najaf, Irbil, and Sulaymania....  Iraq is crying for national, rather than international, legitimacy....  By blessing the interim Iraqi government and sealing the symbolic end of the American occupation, the international community has just thrown sand in the eyes of the Iraqis."


SPAIN:  "Much Better Than Nothing"


Left-of-center El País maintained (6/9):  "The new Iraq resolution is an advance from the critical situation suffered by the Arab country....  It's above all a window for hope, but very far from being...the panacea some want to see.  It does not contain...the conditions Rodríguez Zapatero set for keeping troops in Iraq, which does not contradict Spain's favorable vote once its soldiers have been repatriated....  The end of 2005 is then the hour of truth for Iraq, and the possibilities of this resolution will be tested on the road.  For the moment, both besieged Bush and Blair can breath easily after the unanimous approval of the turnover of powers....  Bush can show off before the G-8 a united front of the West and Russia after the gravest international crisis in a long time.  The immediate trial by fire for the UN agreement is on Iraqi soil....   The hurdles race has only started."


"Unanimity In The UN Iraq Resolution"


Independent El Mundo declared (6/9):  "The resolution is a victory of Powell's arguments over unilateralist Rumsfeld....  The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, by announcing his support for the resolution, tried to make up for time wasted without the government getting any international political capital for its decision to withdraw troops from Iraq.  He affirmed that we have 'triggered' the agreement, but it is not clear the use of triggering for the union of two parties that don't need our services anymore and are not going to recognize the ones rendered.  Paradoxically, Zapatero's Government is voting for a resolution that...does not fulfill any of the two conditions he set and supports the presence of troops, although ours are not there anymore.  The control of time in diplomacy is essential and Spain has not been able to exercise it: Aznar's government went to the U.S. aid too early, and Zapatero's recognizes that it 'went ahead in time' by withdrawing troops.  Now, Spain is not going to get anything out of either.  Even worse, both mistakes will cost us very dear."


"The New Iraq"


Conservative ABC opined (6/9):  "If the course of the negotiations to close this resolution showed anything, it was that the role the world demand of the UN, that of peacemaker and worldwide legislator, still depends on the coincidence of interests of the five permanent members of the UNSC....  To obtain peace and defeat terrorism, the best political instrument is democracy, and its extension to all the regions in the world should be the main objective of this new climate of understanding among the powers....  The UN resolution must also build a victory for the millions of Moslems that are fighting for the democratization of their states, whose aspirations for freedom and progress are the first victims of violent fundamentalism."


"A Decisive June"


Centrist La Vanguardia editorialized (6/8):  "[T]he vote in the UNSC on a new Iraq resolution,  which could happen in the next few hours, represents a magnificent opportunity to weld old cracks and heal old wounds.  Irrespective of how the situation in Iraq evolves, it is evident that the zone of the Middle East and Central Asia constitutes the focal point of the world crisis or, at least, that which could have the gravest consequences for the international community....  In the short term new UN resolution would follow an announced which nine militias...have agreed to dissolve....  But on the other hand, it id difficult to find in history a U.S. Administration as unpopular in Europe as this one."


"A Resolution That May Make Zapatero Look Bad"


Independent El Mundo stated (6/8):  "If Aznar was judged by the results produced by his political commitment to Bush, Zapatero should also be measured by the objective consequences of the withdrawal of troops before June 30....  Taking into account what happened in the last weeks, it seems that it would have been more sensible to wait until the end of June before making the decision.  This would have given huge room for maneuver for our diplomacy, which could have even politically capitalized on the new resolution.  And this would have saved the affront by the U.S. of elevating Morocco to 'preferential ally,' thus facilitating the rearmament of the Moroccan regime....  The rapprochement between France and the U.S leaves the [Spanish] government in an uncomfortable position, bordering on isolation."


SWEDEN:  "End Of The Beginning"


Conservative Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet editorialized (6/10):  “Let us hope that in a few years this (UN resolution) will stand out as the decisive turning point....  It may be the end of the beginning on the path towards democracy for the Iraqis....  What is important now is that Iraq turns into a country where living conditions are decent.  It is therefore gratifying that the UN Security Council has managed to unite on part of the path towards this goal.”


"Bury The Hatchet"


Liberal Stockholm-based Dagens Nyheter opined (6/10):  “The fact that the UN finally managed to unite on a resolution on Iraq might be an important step in the right direction....  The long-standing grudge must be buried, and even among those who opposed the war there should be a willingness to win the peace.  But the world will not be totally accommodating.  Europe, with the exception of Great Britain, has not, for example, even hinted at the possibility of contributing additional or new troops.  Military responsibility still rests with the U.S.  But the unity seems to be alarmingly momentary, and there is nothing which indicates that this recently gained unity will withstand any severe strains.  There is nothing that says that this is not just another expression of the Bush administration’s wish to put into practice ‘multilateralism à la carte.’ “




EGYPT:  "Mending Fences For Elections"


Mohammed Sid-Ahmed observed in leading, pro-government Al-Ahram (6/7):  "Bush's attempt to mend fences with his European critics and involve the UN more closely in the decision-making process in Iraq, as evidenced by letting UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi influence the selection of the new Iraqi interim government, is closely related to Bush's desire to clean up his image prior to the November presidential election....  This may not serve Bush, as China has joined France, Russia, Germany and Spain in demanding a fixed date for the withdrawal of the US-led multinational occupation forces in Iraq.  Disagreements remain between the US, France, China and Germany over a proposal before the UNSC, with the latter group demanding the insertion of language granting Iraq full sovereignty after the June 30 deadline to transfer power....  If a deal cannot be reached regarding full sovereignty...the only acceptable alternative to foreign occupation is a UN peacekeeping force answerable to the UNSC."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Iraq Resolution"


The pro-government English-language Arab News held (6/9):  "The unanimous support for last night’s UN Security resolution on Iraq is the first time since the invasion that the outside world has spoken with one voice on the country’s future. It must be hoped that this is the start of a continuous process which will give Iraqis the backing and strength to seize their own destiny and rebuild their country as a peaceful and pluralist state....  The subtle adjustments to the wording of the resolution are however less important than the understandings that have been reached among world leaders, understandings which hopefully be reinforced at the G-8 Summit....  President Bush’s administration has come a long way from its assertive mood of a year ago. Washington has had to accept that Iraq is not the straightforward task it fantasized. The French meanwhile, who have been most consistent in their criticism of Washington and by extension coalition policy, have accepted that there is no further point in saying what is wrong. Now is the time step in and see what can be done better.  Nevertheless, it is already being argued that even with this vote, Paris and Moscow are not prepared to become more involved. It must be hoped that this is wrong. The only solution that is going to work is one that is multilateral....  As the political process gathers pace, the security situation, dire though it still is, will assume a secondary importance. The men of violence who are struggling to destabilize Iraq have flourished in the power vacuum caused by the coalition occupation and its endless blunders. Their very existence is challenged by the emergence of a workable political consensus among Iraqis themselves. The killing will not stop and the violence may even increase. The hope must now be, however, that as long as Iraqis stay resolute and the international community stands firmly behind them, the resentment against an unchecked, ill-prepared and ill-informed occupation force which has been the main reason for the violence will ebb away."


"The Future Of Iraq And The Security Council"


Makkah’s conservative Al-Nadwa editorialized (6/9):  "Iraq’s independence will not fully materialize when the UNSC approves a resolution that would give back Iraq its sovereignty.  Iraq still needs full control of its security and armed forces.  But as long as Iraqis still prefer to have coalition forces in to keep the peace in the country, the cooperation should be conducted in a framework that guarantees Iraq’s sovereignty.  This is exactly what the UNSC has discussed and put in the proposed report.  It is our hope that this becomes the first step towards a more active role of the UN in the future of Iraq and the region."


JORDAN:  "Important Resolution"


The elite, English-language Jordan Times declared (6/10):  "The unanimous adoption of Resolution 1546 on Iraq by the UNSC marks a turning point in the Iraq conflict....  The adoption of the US-British-sponsored resolution demonstrates that there is a meeting of minds by all the major players in the council on how to restore full sovereignty to the Iraqi people and their legitimate government. The Iraqis are now on the threshold of regaining not only sovereignty and considerable control over the deployment of forces within the country but also full control over oil revenues....  The stage is now set for the restoration of security and normalcy within the country, especially in the wake of the agreement to disband all militias operating on Iraqi soil. With the resolution of the Iraqi situation now at least within view, the Middle East may at last be able to breathe a sigh of relief."


LEBANON:  "Full Sovereignty With Deficient Decision"


Rafiq Khoury commented in centrist Al-Anwar (6/10):  “There is no short way for a quick move from occupation to sovereignty, neither in Iraq...nor in Palestine.  There should be an interim phase with a mixture of sovereignty and occupation before reaching total independence and governments elected by their people.  This is why the resolution that was issued by the Security Council over security in Iraq is extremely important.  There is no doubt that the resolution is not perfect...but it is a roadmap towards the future of a new Iraq:  A national convention, elections next December, an elected Government, a constitution, a referendum over the constitution, then elections that would complete this political process.”


"Iraq’s Future Must Be Underwritten By Law And Order"


The moderate English-language Daily Star stated (6/10):  “The UNSC voted unanimously to endorse a resolution that will determine the future of Iraq....  The Security Council vote, and euphoria on the part of the G-8 group of industrial nations are proof, if more were needed, of the responsibility the developed world must shoulder to put Iraq on a stable footing and on the path to peace and prosperity....  U.S. President Bush owes a debt to the men and women of the interim government who have accepted responsibility for presiding over Iraq’s rehabilitation.  It is Bush’s turn to do all in his power to ensure they succeed....  The U.S., especially, and the G-8 and the UN--must supply material and tangible assistance to immediately institute a strong, responsible and independent judiciary.  This mission is a doubly urgent one because the interim government will dissolve itself by the end of January 2005 to hold democratic elections for a new government.  The promise is both unique and tantalizing, both for Iraq and the region.  Firm foundations of law and order are a prerequisite--to take the first bold steps into what is bound to be a precarious election period without such foundations would be courting disaster.  And, like the promise, a disaster for Iraq will be a disaster for the entire region.”


QATAR:  "UN Mandate On Iraq May Not Mean Much"


The semi-independent, English-language Gulf Times held (Internet version, 6/10):  "While the new Security Council resolution on Iraq...has attracted international praise, many Iraqis remained skeptical about whether it would have any real effect on the security and economic problems they are facing.....  Many ordinary people there reportedly feel that the resolution fails to give Iraq full independence and, consequently, will not end the violence.  For President George W. Bush, who had contemptuously dismissed the UN a year ago, the 15-0 Security Council vote was a 'great victory' for Iraq....  And, of course, the world is united in its desire for a better future for the Iraqi people and its desire to make the best of today's realities....  [But] if the suggestion is that the resistance is now illegitimate because the U.S. and UK have Security Council backing, the corollary would be that prior to the vote the resistance was legitimate and the occupation was not....  In reality, the UN vote was not about the legitimacy or otherwise of what has happened, it was about doing whatever the Security Council could to bring peace and stability out of chaos....  Whether it will make much practical difference to the tide of events is doubtful.  That was underscored yesterday when President Bush urged NATO to play a role in Iraq.  Clearly, the allies have taken on a larger task than they realized and are desperate to spread the burden.  However, it is doubtful whether the new legitimacy provided by the UN vote will be sufficient to persuade France and Germany to agree to a NATO deployment in Iraq."


TUNISIA:  "Is It A Necessary Evil?"


Raouf Khalsi opined in independent French-language Le Temps (6/9):  “With this resolution on the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, will the UN embrace, at this stage, a real and decisive role in regard to international relations?....  The UN seems to be assuming a crucial role that responds to the desires of the U.S.--and not the role recommended by Old Europe....  Undoubtedly, the final version of the project requires that the Iraqi government and the multinational force maintained after June 30 cooperate on the questions of security, including  on sensitive offensive operations. Let’s be reminded simply that in the name of the international law of interference, these ‘sensitive offensive operations’ were, some time ago, relegated to the blue helmets mandated by Boutros Ghali. The mess, which resulted, could be described as worse than the holocaust: a genocide of Bosnians. And who stopped this genocide? Well, simply the U.S. army. As part of this new equilibrium of is important that the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis not result in emptying the country of its natural resources and causing the upsurge of a certain religious radicalism....  This Iraq, the cradle of civilization, has to be protected from itself. It is important to build its sovereignty on a real federal system of government, which has virtually been the essence of its formation from the beginning, and its ethnic diversity that existed before the Baathist centralists devoured Iraq with its totalitarian machine. Iraq will remain for a long time a fragile country."




Nourredine Haloui concluded in independent French-language Le Temps (6/7):  “Conscious that it is trapped in the Iraqi quagmire, the U.S. is doing everything possible to get out of it by looking for guarantees to maintain order in this country.  Washington is trying hard to show to the international community that it made the right decision in invading Iraq. Yet, despite the important military presence...the coalition has not managed to impose their law. On the contrary, for more than one year now, the law of violence is prevailing....  The reality is different. Instead of establishing democracy, freedom and respect for Human Rights as they promised, Americans have acted in a totally different way....  After the tortures exerted on the Iraqi prisoners with the approval of high ranked military officials, one wonders if is it still possible to trust U.S. leaders?....  President Bush’s effort to make up for it by trying to rally Europe is useless....  It is only by giving a central role to the UN that he will gain back the trust of the Arab world and the majority of the international community.  By trying to suppress the Abu Gharib’s scandal...and persisting in unclear discussion on the return of power to the Iraqis in accordance with democratic rules and in a transparent manner, the U.S. administration will never reach a real success."


"Contradictory And Misleading"


Radhia Ziadi wrote in independent Arabic-language Ash-Shourouq (6/5):  “The position of the representative of the new Iraqi government in the Security Council was contradictory and misleading; on the one hand he calls for full sovereignty for the Iraqi people, and on the other hand he considers that Iraq cannot survive without the assistance of the coalition forces in Iraq.  This statement is also contradictory because it comes from a group that for many years targeted real Iraqi sovereignty--its nation, its organizations and its wealth. This group used all illegal means necessary to subject the country to direct colonization and the most oppressive of military forces. Hence this call seems foolish. How can the Iraqi Representative call for a return to sovereignty after he gave it away to his enemy?"




AUSTRALIA:  "Iraq Reaches An Important Tipping Point"


An editorial in the national conservative Australian read (6/10):  “Those who have been feasting on every setback in Iraq are going to have to swallow some good news. The unanimous acceptance by the UNSC of Resolution 1546 - the blueprint for the political future of Iraq, co-sponsored by the US and Britain--is a major step towards an independent and democratic Iraq. Perhaps just as important, it is a sure sign the international community is slowly putting behind it the divisions opened up by the war....  When Reagan proposed that the Soviet communist empire should, and could, be replaced by democracy, he was ridiculed by intellectuals of the Left, as well as by "realists" within the conservative intelligentsia. The fact we see the same response now to George W. Bush's plan to seed democracy in the Arab world does not mean his mission, too, will succeed. But it is not a bad portent. “


"Better Late Than Never"


Tony Parkinson maintained in the liberal Melbourne Age (6/10):  “The unanimous resolution passed on Tuesday by the UNSC pretty much consigns to historical debates the strategic split among global powers that both complicated and compromised the liberation of Iraq. That the UN took 14 months beyond the deadline to achieve this solidarity of purpose is regrettable--but better late than never. The symbolism is self-evident. The UN will now be pivotal to the rehabilitation of Iraq, as it should always have been....  From today, the project to see post-Saddam Iraq through a traumatic political evolution has the undiluted imprimatur of the world body. This was way overdue. For George Bush, Resolution 1546 represents a much-needed breakthrough. Full-spectrum international support has been the missing link, politically and diplomatically, in the US mission....  It need hardly be said that the Security Council resolution will not, of itself, quell the raging security crisis in Iraq. The puerile notion that the UN can sprinkle some magic dust to resolve the world's ills has been long discredited…. Psychologically and politically, however, a direct, unambiguous UN role should have positive effects over time.”


"Iraq Policy" 


Michael Fullilove held in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (6/8):  “Recent weeks have seen several overdue but welcome shifts in U.S. policy, including the involvement of the UN in the selection of the Iraqi interim government and the application of a lighter touch in trouble spots such as Falluja. This trend must accelerate: the times require skilful and subtle statesmanship. The current imbroglio is saddening to those of us who are instinctively sympathetic towards the U.S.:  the great democracy's mistakes are corroding the massive international goodwill built up towards her between D-Day and September 11.”


CHINA:  "Operation In Iraq Faces Bumpy Road"


The official English-language newspaper China Daily concluded (6/10):  "Yesterday's unanimous adoption by the United Nations Security Council of the U.S.-British resolution on Iraq sent a united message to the world that the international community supports the transfer of full sovereignty to Iraq's new interim government and an end to the formal military occupation of Iraq by the end of June....  Hopefully the resolution will serve as a good start to revive Iraq's sluggish post-war reconstruction.  Adoption of the resolution also gives legitimacy to the new caretaker government and boosts its international stature as it struggles to win acceptance and cope with a security crisis at home....  The United States therefore gained its much-needed UN support for its extended stay in Iraq.  By obtaining the UN mandate, Washington circumvents being relegated to a legal no man's land with regard to Iraq's reconstruction.  History cannot be undone, but this does not mean what happened in the past will become justified with the passage of time....  Though approval of the resolution demonstrates the UN's role in dealing with international affairs cannot be ignored, a rocky road remains for the UN to restore its authority by giving the Iraqis a peaceful, stable and self-governed country and playing a part in safeguarding the international rule of law.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "UN Resolution Offers Hope To Iraqi People"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post observed (6/10):  "The unanimous adoption by the UNSC of a new resolution on Iraq will not provide a magic solution to the country's many problems.  No resolution could.  But the agreement reached by the 15-member states after weeks of intense negotiations marks a crucial--and most welcome--turning point.  It gives the long-suffering people of Iraq a rare glimmer of hope after decades of dictatorship and more than a year of war and occupation....  The security council's seal of approval will also pave the way for greater international involvement in the rebuilding process, from the provision of peacekeeping troops to stepping up humanitarian aid.  Already, NATO and the European Union have reacted positively to the vote....  The resolution at least ensures that there will be a huge political backlash should the U.S.-led multinational force embark on major military operations in defiance of the new government.  It is to be hoped that this deterrent will mean any such actions will be taken only with the consent of the new sovereign power....  The interim government will not be able to solve these problems before elections in January.  But it must at least ensure the environment is sufficiently safe for those polls to take place."


JAPAN:  "We Need To Support Iraq By Strengthening International Cooperation"


Top-circulation moderate Yomiuri editorialized (6/10):  "We welcome the new UN resolution as a pledge by the international community to strengthen its unity.  The global community needs to do its utmost to rebuild Iraq because stability in the postwar nation will contribute to peace in the Middle East.  Under the current circumstances, it is inevitable that the U.S. will control the multinational force.  Washington needs to work closely with the Iraqi interim government in order to gain the Iraqi people's understanding of the leading role by the U.S. in the multinational force."


"Start Of Uncertain Future"


Liberal Asahi said (6/10):  "Although the UNSC has unanimously adopted a new Iraq resolution, a gap still remains between the U.S. and Europe.  Washington's failure to respect the sovereignty of Iraq risks undermining international unity and alienating France and Germany.  The U.S. must learn a lesson from the failure of its war on Iraq in order to ensure the success of reconstruction plans."


"France, Germany And Russia Should Cooperate In Iraq Reconstruction"


Conservative Sankei opined (6/10):  "We welcome the new UN resolution as a symbol of restored international cooperation.  We also hope that the resolution will accelerate the reconstruction of postwar Iraq.  It is regrettable, though, that France, Germany and Russia remain negative about participating in a multinational force.  The international community will not support or respect the three nations if they seek business opportunities in Iraq without cooperating in reconstruction efforts.  Their endorsement of the new Iraq resolution entails a great responsibility for the UN-mandated multinational force."


"Substantial International Cooperation Needed"


Liberal Mainichi editorialized (6/10):  "Although the new UN resolution might not be perfect, we welcome its endorsement as a significant step to bring about peace and stability in Iraq.  To promote the rebuilding of the postwar nation, it is important that the U.S. and U.K. reflect on the 'failure' of their Iraqi occupation, and that other UN Security Council members--France, Germany and Russia--make a substantial commitment to the restoration effort."


"Interim Government Can Claim Victory"


Top circulation, moderate Yomiuri's Cairo correspondent reported (6/9):  "The latest UN resolution on Iraq pays due respect to the Iraqi interim government by acknowledging that the Iraqi people have some degree of authority over a U.N.-mandated multinational force.  The transitional government can claim that 'full sovereignty' has been given back to Iraq and hence address concerns held over limited power by Grand Ayatollah Sistani and certain anti-American Iraqi people.  However, with the resolution unclear about the scope of authority accorded to the interim government, and the strong reaction of Kurds to the resolution's failure to mention the Basic Law stipulating their right to self-governance, the resolution might cause internal dispute within the caretaker government."


"Discontent Rising With New Resolution"


Liberal Mainichi's Cairo correspondent observed (6/9):  "The new UN resolution fails to clarify who is ultimately responsible for ensuring domestic security in Iraq.  Militant groups waging an anti-occupation struggle will certainly be opposed to the resolution, claiming it is designed to allow the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq.  It is unlikely that the resolution will help stabilize internal safety drastically."


MALAYSIA:  "The Cloak Of UN Legitimacy"


Government-influenced, English language daily New Straits Times had this to say (6/10):  "After weeks of negotiations and four major revisions to the text, the United Security Council voted yesterday in favor the American and British resolution endorsing ‘the formation of a sovereign Interim Government of Iraq’.  In the context of resolutions on Iraq, where consensus has been extremely difficult to achieve, the unanimity of the decision was significant.  Nowhere was this more apparent than in the contentious issue of control of the U.S.-led coalition forces, re-labeled the 'multinational force' in the resolution.  Despite the cloak of legitimacy that the resolution seeks to give...there is no masking the fact that the U.S. will be calling the shots.  It is not likely to change the perception of the nature of the occupation, as the multinational force is not about to become more international and less American.  Iraqis will have little actual sovereignty, at least not while the multinational force 'shall have the authority to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq.'  Certainly not when there is going to be the biggest U.S. embassy in the world operating in Baghdad rather than larger international involvement, including that of the UN in the rebuilding of Iraq."


"Still On A Knife-edge"


The government-influenced English-language New Sunday Times editorialized (6/6):  "Equally important is the need for the U.S. to withdraw its troops, as both Washington and London have conceded at the UN.  If there is one necessary condition in the creation of self-rule for Iraq, this is it.  The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has succeeded in uniting Iraqis in their hate towards the U.S.  In the eyes of most Iraqis, American forces have long since ceased to be nation-builders and instead are occupying forces that knock down their homes, bomb their mosques and abuse and humiliate their fellow citizens.  The occupation, like others throughout history, has generated a growing popular resistance that cannot be defeated militarily.  The UN should arrange, as U.S. forces leave, for an international group of peacekeepers until the new Government is able to carry out its own military and security operations.  This government should have authority over the economy and oil revenues, as well as the right to set terms for the operation of foreign troops on its soil.  Washington should announce that it will pay reparations towards the rebuilding of Iraq to compensate for the devastation wrought by the invasion and occupation."


NEW ZEALAND:  "'Partnership' In Iraq Just A Small Step"


The moderate New Zealand Herald editorialized (Internet version, 6/10):  "The UNSC's unanimous adoption of a resolution charting Iraq's path to self-government and self-determination bore grim testimony to that country's parlous state. So desperate is Iraq's plight that divisions and bitterness prompted by the United States-led invasion simply had to be consigned to the past. Compromises needed to be made....  Tellingly, however, the White House retains power which, if misused, will render the newfound international unity worthless. The key aspect of debate at the UN was the degree of control that Iraq's interim Government would have over major U.S.-run military operations after it takes office on June 30. Regrettably, the chain of command set down in the resolution is oblique....  Left unsaid was what would happen if there was a major disagreement between the American military command and the Iraqi leadership. This very situation has already happened. American commanders ignored the qualms of Iraqi leaders when they launched their ill-conceived attack on Fallujah....  And there might yet be another Fallujah if the U.S. deems it essential. At European behest, an attempt has been made to provide a safeguard against such excess. The resolution gives the interim Government the right to order American troops to leave at any time. This, however, is an empty gesture. If the Iraqi Administration is to survive a destabilising terrorism campaign, it will do so only with American military backbone. And if there were to be another Fallujah, the damage to the interim Government's reputation would be so severe as to make a belated ejection of the Americans virtually irrelevant. All, however, is not necessarily lost. The unanimity at the UN indicates a corner has been turned. The U.S. has displayed a new willingness to countenance the opinions of its critics. For once, confrontation was absent....  Iraq's future may not be so bleak if Washington remains willing to respond to the international community, rather than plough its own, self-righteous field."


SINGAPORE:  "Baby Step For Iraq"


The pro-government Straits Times opined (6/10):  "A world polarized by the Iraq tragedy has cause to be grateful for the unanimous adoption by the United Nations Security Council....  The fact that France and Germany, and to a lesser extent Russia, joined the other 12 members in endorsing a process of Iraqis deciding their own fate--albeit a long, uncertain process--can mean that reconstruction and healing can begin where waste and hate have prevailed.  The unanimity should restore to the UN the considerable role it ought to be playing in helping the broken country back on its feet.... The UN alone has the moral standing to act on a member country's behalf without having its bona fides questioned....  Especially welcome is the French agreement on the resolution after opposing as a matter of principle what it called an illegal war.  It should mean, perhaps, that Europe ex-Britain and America could begin to repair their bruised relationship.  This is no romanticized figment about a fraternity of nations, but is essential to consolidating the rational world's forces and talent in facing common dangers.... That said, there should be no illusions that putting the UN's imprimatur on the interim Iraqi government is anything but a baby step.  U.S. President George W. Bush called the 15-0 agreement a triumph for the Iraqi people.  He can be permitted some extravagance at a time of mounting personal discomfiture, but the truth is that the anarchy will worsen before Iraq can be stabilized....  Securing civil order is thus the critical role the government and the coalition command have to share.  For the moment, the Iraqi people should not be too concerned about the inchoate sovereignty granted.  Without an army and the security apparatus, and the power to reinforce border control, the concept is relative....  Elections for a transitional government are to be held at the latest by January next year, and a full-status government is to be installed a year after that, following another round of elections.  The test of the UN resolution is to ensure the right conditions on the ground for these events to happen."


VIETNAM:  "Not Easy To Give Up That Oil Reserve"


Thanh Hien wrote in official Ha Noi Moi, run by the local government of Hanoi (6/5):  "On June 1, the U.S. and Britain submitted to the UNSC a modified draft resolution on restoring sovereignty for Iraq after June 30....  In fact, the draft resolution does not offer any hope for the Iraqi people to change their lives.  It is just another dying effort by Bush to win some support from the international community for the U.S.' wrongful plan of occupation.  The final draft resolution once more affirms the insincerity of the U.S. government.  How can Iraqis govern their own country while U.S. troops are still present everywhere there and all the power of the new government is limited to the minimum level?"




INDIA:  "Liberation Party"


The Kolkata-based centrist Telegraph editorialized (6/10):  "Pulling out of a conquered country is always a messy business....  The duration of the U.S. dominance of Iraq is inversely related to the mess the U.S. will leave behind.  It is evident that the establishment of the rule of law is a distant dream in Iraq.  One major reason for this is the U.S.'s own violation of the rule of law--and even some of the rules of war--in the way the U.S. occupying forces and protem administrative set-up have conducted themselves....  Officially, the transfer of power will take place in Iraq on June 30....  But a UN resolution will in no way alleviate the miserable conditions in which the Iraqis live today.  There is no guarantee that a new regime, more humane and more representative of the popular will than the tyranny of Mr. Saddam Hussein, will be able to bring to Iraq a modicum of peace and establish conditions which provide the hapless people of Iraq with the basic amenities for existence and survival."


PAKISTAN:  "UN Iraq Resolution And Its Implications For Pakistan"


Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt held (6/10):  "This is the first time in the last two years that the U.S. has given importance to Security Council member countries, especially Russia and France, and accepted repeated amendments in its draft of the resolution. That is why the new resolution has not only recognized the UN authority, but has given importance to Iraqi sovereignty to the extent that the resolution gives importance to Iraqi government's opinion in the event of any major military action by coalition forces....  America wants to achieve its objectives through UN, Russia, China, France and Muslim countries.  The Iraqi resistance has distressed coalition forces....  Pakistanis are not willing to allow their army to help the coalition forces in Iraq in their bid to crush the resistance of their Muslim brethren and become a target of their (Iraqis) bullets....  Currently the Parliament is in session, the government should place the issue of military dispatch to Iraq before the parliament so that it could be debated.  In the light of the opinion of parliamentarians we should convey our regrets to America with the demand that it should ask for Pak military in future."


"Security Council Resolution And Iraq's Future"


Ataur Rehman wrote in second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt (6/10):  "This is kind of consensus resolution in which no one member could prevail upon the opinion of others.  However, if you go deep in the text then you smell compromise rather than consensus....  Pakistan being a non-permanent member of the Security Council voted for the resolution. Pakistan's permanent representative to UN Munir Akram has given an incomprehensible statement that if Iraq's interim government unambiguously requested then Pakistan could consider dispatching its troops to that country.  This interim government is not in any manner a representative of the Iraqi people and it does not have any authority over U.S. military actions.  Why should we offer helping hand to American military against our Iraqi Muslim brothers?  Pakistan should not send it troops to Iraq on any pretext.  Principally and morally America has been defeated in Iraq, why should we provide backing to it."


"UNSC Vote On Iraq"


The center-right national English-language The Nation remarked (6/10):  "While Mr. Tony Blair has described the resolution as an 'important milestone for a new Iraq', the strong resistance put up by the Iraqis signals a marked difference between the coalition's and the people's definition of sovereignty.  With prolonged occupation turning into humiliation for the U.S., the only way to restore peace there is for U.S. forces to withdraw and leave the Iraqis to decide their own destiny."


"UN Resolution On Iraq"


Karachi-based center-left independent national English-language Dawn held (6/10):  "The consensus reached among Security Council members on the new resolution on Iraq is a welcome development....  But those who are today resisting the occupation--like Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr and Ayatollah Sistani--do not seem in a mood to cooperate with the new provisional government (PG).  The PG, like the Interim Governing Council (IGC), consists of men loyal to the U.S. ...  The resolution is a well-meaning document, and seeks to extricate America out of the Iraqi quagmire.  But one doubts if the provisional government will be able to deliver what is expected of it."


"UNSC Resolution On Iraq"


The centrist national English-language The News (6/10):  "When the new interim government in Iraq assumes its role as the 'sovereign' authority in the country, it will become starkly clear what the U.S. was molding through this resolution.  It never intends the Iraqis to get full power, and wants to retain its indispensable 'military' and 'organizational' persona to maintain harmony in the country.  This also highlights the U.S. intentions of not leaving the Iraqi soil on, before or even after the due date, i.e., January 2006.  It is obvious that the hype created by the U.S. president regarding the dawn of democracy in Iraq may turn out to be a mere farce."


"U.S.-Britain New Resolution At UN"


Populist Urdu-language Khabrain declared (6/7):  "In the new resolution before the UNSC, the U.S. and Britain have given Iraqi Interim Government the authority to ask America to withdraw its forces from the country....  It would have been better if the newly nominated Iraqi Prime Minister Alawi would not have expressed the desire for keeping the coalition forces in Iraq after June 30, 2004....  This fact cant be overlooked that Mr. Alawi is just a nominated prime minister with no real authority in his hands, thus he can't speak against America....  The U.S. and Britain's effort for working on a respectable exit from Iraq shows that both the countries have felt their mistake of the Iraq invasion.  Both the countries should be given opportunity to find this exit; it is possible that they might be able to take some important decisions to compensate for their mistakes."


BANGLADESH:  "UN Resolution On Iraq"


The independent English-language Daily Star commented (6/10):  "The UNSC has voted to endorse the U.S.-U.K.-sponsored resolution outlining the terms of the end of the formal occupation of Iraq and the transfer of sovereignty to an interim government on June 30 of this year.  To the extent that the U.S.-U.K. alliance now appears to have understood that it must act through the UN in order to gain legitimacy, and that consensus was reached, this was a welcome event.  There is a long way to go.  The interim government is by no means representative, and it remains to be seen how smoothly the transition from a handpicked government of appointees to a democratically elected Iraqi government will go."  


"Rays Of Hope For Iraq"


Independent English-language News Today observed (6/10):  "At long last, we see rays of hope for Iraq getting back its full independence and sovereignty following unanimous adoption of a UN resolution. The resolution in fact is a roadmap for return of the war-ravaged and strife-torn country to return to an era of peace and stability.  As the UN has stepped into the scene, it is time for all divisive forces inside Iraq to support its initiatives because the world forum is now the lone credible institution on which Iraqis can repose their faith and confidence. Bangladesh, considering all aspects, has welcomed the current developments with regard to restoration of sovereignty of Iraq. It is time for the Iraqis to stay calm without being provoked by any vested group and support the moves by the UN"




GHANA:  "Is The U.S. Stuck In Iraq?"


A.B.A. Fuseini observed in the government-owned Daily Graphic (6/7):  “Given the setbacks suffered by the coalition with the withdrawal of Spanish Honduran and other nations troops from Iraq and the acceleration of the tempo and scope of the insurgency resulting in mounting coalition casualties, the U.S.-led coalition as presently constituted, does not appear capable of putting the resistance down as speedily and effectively as possible and creating the peaceful and stable environment required for democracy and development to flourish.  The U.S. must be prepared to relinquish its stranglehold over Iraq, cede more power to the Iraqis and the UN and thus facilitate the formation of an all inclusive multinational force under UN authority.  Such a return of the UN from a position of strength and legitimacy, would among others help stabilize the situation and provide a safe passage for coalition troops to exit the country....  In a world of varied and sometimes conflicting interests, the pursuit of unilateral measures anchored on the narrow interests of the U.S. without taking on board the interest and aspirations of others, cannot be successful let alone be sustainable.  A policy based on the trading of compromises help and the balancing of interests would help build trust and consensus for common international action with the U.S. as active participants, if not the leader."


NIGERIA:  "Iraq: Sovereignty In Limbo"


Abuja-based independent Daily Trust concluded (6/10):  "Battles contribute to the aftermath of wars, but the strategies for ending them have far more decisive long-term impacts on the warring countries' post conflict prospects.  The question of how best to end wars should therefore preoccupy political leaders, military strategists and historians far more than why and how wars break out.  The UK/U.S. leaders are currently paying the price for their failure to work out viable strategies for disengaging their forces from Iraq; but there is a profound message in that for the Iraqi resistance.  The task of rebuilding Iraq begins in earnest with the expulsion/withdrawal of the occupiers, when the resistance forces would have to become constructive.  Unless they work out viable strategies for transforming their insurgency accordingly, they would seriously jeopardize their domestic and external support bases.  It behooves them therefore to conduct themselves even now in consonance with the Iraqi people's hallowed traditional values and collective aspirations".




CANADA:  "Building A New Iraq"


The conservative National Post commented (6/10):  "The UNSC resolution approving Iraqi self-rule, passed unanimously on Tuesday, bodes well for Iraq. It is also a significant victory for the U.S.--even if the new political structure it heralds is not what the Bush administration envisioned when it invaded in 2003....  Given the hash the UN has made of things in Rwanda, Kosovo, Sudan and the Congo, we were also gratified to see that the Security Council was prevented from appointing a UN bureaucrat as chief foreign overseer of Iraq's transition to full democracy. Instead, the Iraqi President, Prime Minister and Cabinet will be largely responsible--as they should be. The Americans would have preferred different people be selected to head Iraq's new interim government....  Since it is Iraqis who have to live with these choices, it is undoubtedly best that the nearest thing Iraq has to a representative government get the last word....  Still, things could have been much worse. At the very least, it now appears that Iraq will avoid the slide into anarchy that, until recently, many predicted would be its fate."


"Cold Resolution"


Serge Truffaut maintained in liberal Le Devoir (6/8):  "In the days leading up to the celebrations commemorating D-Day, the White House hoped that the deadlock on Iraq would be resolved....  During the press conference held by presidents Bush and Chirac, more than one observer noted that the latter's reference to the 'precarious situation' in Iraq had somewhat irritated the former. To the point where he abruptly ended the conference....  For 24 hours, it was believed that the speech given by Chirac the next day represented a warming of relations between the two heads of State....  Until it was learned that representatives from Germany, China and Russia, as well as, obviously, France, had asked for clarification on certain aspects of the resolution drafted jointly by the US and Britain and submitted to the UNSC....  The French ambassador...was requesting veto power be given to the Iraqi Interim Government, effective June 30. The diplomat, along with several of his colleagues wanted, and still wants the sovereignty of Iraq to be full and complete....  At the same time, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi struck a deal....a 'coordinating authority' will be created to work with the multi-national force. This gives the military much more leeway than hoped for by the Élysée....  The amendment proposed by France was not selected....  Given the present state of affairs, it is highly likely that the resolution will be adopted. At the very least, it is certain that no veto will be given. And just as certain that some members will abstain. In short, the mood of the world's leaders is tepid."


ARGENTINA:  "Bush Makes Concessions And Obtains UN Unanimous Support For Iraq"


Ana Baron concluded in daily-of-record La Nacion (6/9):  "Yesterday, after tough and tense negotiations, the UNSC unanimously approved a resolution granting Baghdad the sovereignty and control over its financial and natural resources, oil included, as of June 30. The resolution legitimizes the Iraqi government taking office on that day, which will be appointed by the U.S. and controlled by it, provides detailed information related to the stages leading to elections in January 2005, and sets forth that the occupation forces' mandate will expire when the political process is over. President Bush sighed in relief. With a slumping popularity rate and his credibility damaged, this resolution will provide him with some valuable maneuvering margin on a domestic and international level....  On an international level, the resolution will enable Bush to continue speaking of how important it is to democratize not only Iraq but also the whole Middle East....  Nonetheless, the U.S. had to make a series of military concessions in order to get the UNSC approval....  France and Germany managed that the resolution set forth that the new Baghdad government would have the right to ask the multinational force to withdraw from Iraq. This is a key point. The Iraqi governments, both the current and the next one, are Washington puppets, but through this resolution the European countries will be able to add their influence on those non-representative regimes. Vis-a-vis the U.S. weakness due to the chaos in Iraq, Paris and Berlin know well to what extreme they can use this tool."


"Iraq Is Not D-day"


Financial El Cronista opined (6/7):  "Last weekend, the allied countries during the World War II celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Allied forces' landings in Northern France on June 6, 1944....  Many political analysts in the U.S. and the UK attempted to establish a parallel between those days and the current situation in Iraq....  But it is not the same. From the intellectual and historic viewpoint, the Nazi regime cannot be compared with the Hussein regime in Iraq....  Sixty years later, George W. Bush and Tony Blair have demonstrated their inability to predict that, among other options, the country could face its current war of guerrillas. The U.S. and UK still have time to correct their mistakes and settle the situation...which will only be solved when the international community, led by the UNSC, intervenes in the country. The U.S. has lost the moral authority to put Iraq in order, and it should realize of the need for expanding its mission to other countries."


GUATEMALA:  “Full Sovereignty To The Iraqi People”


Oscar Clemente Marroquin said in left-of-center La Hora (6/9):  "Yesterday President Bush had tremendous success by obtaining a unanimous approval by the return full sovereignty to the provisional authority of Iraq on June 30....  The UN has the opportunity to rescue its trampled reputation and to restore the rule of law...something that the U.S. shattered when Bush, Blair and Aznar decided to go to war without a favorable resolution by the UN’s Security Council."


"Bush’s Many Defeats"


Haroldo Schetemul commented in leading Prensa Libre (6/6):  "The 60-year celebration of the arrival of allied forces in Normandy was not precisely satisfying for President Bush....  The image of U.S. forces emerging as a super power after World War II is not the same now....  The scandal of tortures inflicted upon Iraqi prisoners followed him to Europe....  The scenery does not seem positive for Bush.  Six months away from the elections (Bush) is in a tight spot....  There is no political solution, unless Bush realizes his mistake and he immediately transfers all power in Iraq to the UN.”


PARAGUAY:  "Encouraging Signs"


A commentary in third-largest, left-leaning Noticias read (6/7):  "Although the picture in Iraq is not yet sufficiently clear, at least there are encouraging signs of its gradual normalization and internal pacification, which will fundamentally  depend on the degree to which its sovereignty and political independence are restored....  For now it is up to the UNSC to approve a second resolution which will legitimize the new government and request the deployment of an international force, under U.S. command, to maintain the country's security.  Completing this step does not signify an automatic end to the crisis, but it will be the beginning of the end."



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