September 17, 2004
SECURITY, LEGITIMACY ESSENTIAL TO A BETTER FUTURE
** Media assert
"deteriorating" security situation risks "a Lebanese-style
** Arab outlets condemn
terrorist targeting of civilians--and U.S. "massacres."
** Conservative papers say
"security must be stabilized," even if it means more casualties.
Iraq 'now verging on chaos'--
Editorialists worldwide judged the stakes in Iraq are "very high,
likely crucial" for the future of a country that some characterized as
"increasingly going down in chaos and anarchy." The "sheer savagery" of attacks on innocent
civilians makes it clear there are elements "determined to ravage Iraq
totally and systematically." The
"apparently uncontrollable events" prompted an Austrian daily to dub
the war "unwinnable," while a German observer termed Iraq "a
bottomless pit" that will "likely disintegrate in the near
future." Sensing the "specter
of civil war," Spain's independent El Mundo recalled hopes that
transferring sovereignty would dampen violence, but saw "the lights at the
end of the tunnel turning off."
Papers identified security and legitimacy for the interim government as
the "indispensable elements" for a stable Iraq, even as they worried
that lack of the former gave "good reasons to doubt" that elections
to obtain the latter could take place on schedule.
'Stop wrecking Iraq'-- Some
Muslim dailies asserted that the U.S. "has expanded its targets... to
include every town" in Iraq with "alleged" insurgents, causing
"horrific massacres" of civilians.
Morocco's independent L'Economiste asked, "What gives [the
U.S.] the right to continue to kill scores of people?" The U.S. "must leave," it stated,
contending disorder would not worsen because there is "no greater disorder
than that caused by" the presence of U.S. troops. Iraqi and UAE outlets instead rebuked the
"so-called resistance" for targeting "innocent civilians." Baghdad's Al-Bayan demanded that
"those who call themselves resistance" stop "ruining Iraq"
by killing Iraqis and foreigners alike.
An Islamist journal in Turkey meanwhile charged the U.S. had played
"a dirty game" in the assault to retake Tal Afar from insurgents,
implementing a plan that favored the Kurds and "leaves Turkey and the
If it means more troops, 'so be it'-- Conservative broadsheets in Britain, Canada
and Israel agreed that "the sheer number of terrorist hits" and
civilian casualties raised the question whether security was getting worse, but
their answer was to meet the challenge "head-on." Britain's Scotsman reproached
President Bush and PM Blair for making "a pretense that the Iraq problem
is solved," terming it "morally indefensible." Israel's Jerusalem Post, while asserting
Iraq "is not yet a quagmire and need not become one," chided the
Coalition for waging war "in slow motion." Canada's Ottawa Citizen argued the
policy of "cutting local peace deals" in Fallujah and elsewhere
"has backfired badly" and contended the U.S. must now retake and
"clean out properly" the towns of the Sunni Triangle "regardless
of casualties" or else "go home, beaten by the jihad."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888,
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
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. Some commentary is taken directly from the
Internet. 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 58 reports from 24 countries September 11 - 17, 2004. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most
BRITAIN: "Verdict On
Illegal War Demolishes Blair's Last Line Of Defense"
The center-left Independent editorialized (9/17): "What we have here is the head of the
United Nations completely disassociating himself and the UN from the U.S. and
British military action.... It is in
Britain that the potential damage is greatest, because it was here that the war
was most contested.... The lethal
reality for the Government is that this was not just another highly qualified
international lawyer expressing a contrary view. This was the well-regarded Secretary General
of the United Nations--the head of the very organization whose authority the
U.S. and British supposedly waged their war to uphold. And the fact is that there, in that one
crystalline word 'illegal', went Mr. Blair's last justification for the
war--and with it a little more of his credibility."
"Look To Iraq's Future"
The conservative Daily Telegraph commented (9/17): "If Iraq is going to damage the
Government, it will be over what happens between now and the end of next year,
when the country is due to hold elections under a new constitution, not over
the interpretation of Resolution 1441....
It might be said of Iraq that all hands should come to the
rescue.... In stark terms, the choice is
between a polity in which Iraq's ethnic and religious diversity is properly
represented and a failed state that becomes a breeding-ground for terror in a
core strategic location."
"The War Was Illegal"
The left-of-center Guardian argued (9/17): "Blair would like to see the UN take on
a bigger role in Iraq but Annan is resistant, partly because of the bombing of
the UN headquarters last year and partly, according to one of his advisers,
because he does not feel an obligation to sort a mess of someone else's
making.... While Annan's verdict on the
war is welcome, the pity is that he did not have the courage to make it last
year, before the U.S. and Britain embarked on war."
The conservative Times took this view (9/17): "In hostage crises triggered by
fanatics, a tragic outcome--like that in Beslan--is almost inevitable. But in general the approach of law enforcement
and employers alike must be to minimize the hostage-takers' hope of a reward,
and maximize their risk.... In Iraq this
will require security, which, in the end, must be locally enforced. This is why, for all the undoubted courage of
those foreigners risking their lives to be there, the country's foremost heroes
are those queuing to enlist at its police stations.... There is no higher priority in Iraq than
security for its own police. Without it,
the supply of recruits will dry up, and with it, the country's hopes for better
"Iraq Needs An Open Political Process"
The independent Financial Times concluded (9/17): "There is an urgent need for military
restraint by the U.S., and for a much more inclusive political process that
opens up a game now monopolized by hand-picked expatriate politicians to
opponents of the occupation, including Sunni nationalists and Shia
insurgents. There will be no path to
even tenuous stability without this.
Whether or not it turns out to be possible to hold elections on the
envisaged timetable, what is important now is to build a process leading up to
elections that wins the support and rekindles the hope of Iraqis. Instead, there are already signs of another
stitch-up by the Americans and their Iraqi nominees, whereby pre-agreed
national lists of allies of the current appointed politicians would be put to
what would be a referendum rather than a contested election. That could become the final U.S. mistake in a
long litany of errors and misjudgments.
The two indispensable ingredients for a better future for Iraq are
security and legitimacy, and it is about time Washington understood the
relation between the two."
"What We Owe The Iraqis"
The conservative Scotsman of Edinburgh argued (Internet
version, 9/15): "The security
situation in Iraq is now verging on chaos, yet neither the White House nor
Downing Street seems concerned, no matter how high the body-count in the
streets of Iraq. President Bush faces
re-election in eight weeks’ time and must make a pretense that the Iraq problem
is solved. Yet the popular mood is
turning sour in Baghdad. The ordinary
people of Iraq hated Saddam...and, by and large, are prepared to support the
new regime.... But if, every morning,
people get blown up, and America and Britain do nothing about it, Iraqi
sentiment will swing the other way. In
this dangerous context, Mr. Blair’s decision to prioritize a domestic agenda,
including the banning of fox-hunting, is transparently self-serving.... To leave our troops to defend an increasingly
chaotic country while Mr. Blair pretends nothing is wrong is morally
indefensible. It also smacks of
panic.... What should be done? First, the administrations in the U.S. and
Britain need to focus on Iraq as their number-one priority. Ignoring the problem will only make it
worse. Second, elections must go ahead
as soon as possible, in order to isolate the insurgency. Third, the security situation in Baghdad must
be stabilized as soon as possible. If
that means more coalition troops being deployed, so be it. There will be more deaths yet in Iraq. But the way to minimize them is to meet the
security problem head-on."
"Aftershock And Awe"
The left-of-center Guardian commented (9/15): "The persistence of such profound
European divisions--despite June's UN resolution mandating a multinational
force to support the Baghdad interim government--make it even harder to sort
out the postwar mess, as shown by disagreements within NATO about modest plans
to train Iraqi security forces.... The
apparently uncontrollable events in Iraq are now putting an almost intolerable
strain on anyone, including the British government, who continues to justify
the war. It is very hard to disagree
with Mr. Chirac's comment as the Old Europeans gathered: 'We have opened a Pandora's box that none of
us are able to close.'"
"Iraq Is Out Of Sight But Not Out Of
The conservative Daily Telegraph editorialized (9/15): "The government and the American forces
on which it relies face a double dilemma.
First, the insurgents' challenge is becoming bolder. Second, the hotter the conflict, the greater
the risk of alienating moderate Iraqis though the deaths of civilians caught in
the crossfire.... As before the June
handover, Iraq has reached another key stage in its stumbling progress towards
democracy. Don't be fooled by the lack
of headlines and the taciturnity of the British Government. The stakes in the West's most daring venture
in the Middle East remain as high as ever."
Pierre Rousselin remarked in right-of-center Le Figaro
(9/17): “In the French hostage
situation, it might be time for everyone to acknowledge one’s
impotence.... While the mobilization of
the French Muslim community was a reaction to a domestic policy need, our more
traditional diplomacy was active like never before. This was obviously not enough.... Despite the confusing Islamic messages, one
thing must be clear: all the hostages
were taken because they were foreign.
Their nationalities are of little importance.... The hostage takers’ goal is to rid Iraq of
all foreigners, whether they belong to the coalition or whether they are
civilians. Ever since Arab television
stations have begun to broadcast, Western journalists have lost their only
protection: they are no longer the
useful witnesses to a war that needs to be denounced. The terrorists’ weapon is a terrible weapon,
because contrary to the situation in Lebanon twenty years ago, where the stakes
were known, in Baghdad today confusion reigns:
the Sunni hostage takers want to precipitate Iraq into chaos. They are waging a deadly war in order to
preserve their minority power. The Sunni
minority believes the first step is to chase away all foreigners, before a
settling of accounts among Iraqis. In
the face of such plans, diplomacy has no weapons.”
"Speaking Of A Pandora’s Box"
Ivan Rioufol wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(9/17): “By using this metaphor Chirac
wanted to remind all that France was right to fear the intervention in
Iraq.... It is a fact that might is not
the only valid argument to contain Islamic ideology. The difficulties facing the Americans are a
point in fact. But refusing to use force
and adopting instead an angelic stance is no better. Islamists, instead of our diplomats, are
negotiating in favor of our hostages....
Since the start of the Iraqi crisis France’s stance has been
characterized by a de facto convergence between anti-war proponents and the
Islamists, who demonstrated together against the war, some because of their
'anti-Bushism,' the others because of their anti-Americanism and
anti-Zionism.... This rapprochement can
once again be made between France's indifference towards the Iraqi Prime
Minister, said to be 'the Americans' man' and the magnitude of the Muslim
support France has received, including from groups which are hardly
respectable. Herein lies another
Pandora’s box which should not be opened any further.”
"Knowing How To End A War"
Renaud Girard remarked in right-of-center Le Figaro
(9/15): “When President Chirac used the
metaphor of the Pandora’s box for Iraq, he was not, unfortunately,
exaggerating. By improvising an expedition
that was supposed to spawn democracy in Iraq, the neo-cons have done more harm
than good. In Iraq the American
administration continues to pay for its mistakes.... With yesterday’s attack, the terrorists were
once again coherent with their own past logic:
to discourage the Iraqis from supporting the new pro-West Iraqi
government.... This violent context and
the scrutiny of the media make it impossible for the American democracy to
fight on an equal footing.... The
officers of the Marine Corps never understood why the politicians in Washington
ordered them to stop their offensive last spring against Fallujah, four days
after it began. Wars are never
clean. But if a democracy, for whatever
domestic reason, is not ready to pursue a dirty war, it should never start it
to begin with.... But Kerry’s promise to
withdraw from Iraq is a mistake. The
Americans will have to stay the course to save their honor.”
GERMANY: "The Iraqi
Washington correspondent Michael Backfisch argued in business
daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (9/17): "Step by step, the U.S. government is
bidding farewell to its rose-colored scenario of a rush democratization of
Iraq.... With its current strategy,
resistance cannot be broken, can Iraq not be pacified. The U.S. government should take the necessary
steps and change its attitude. But one
reason why it does not happen is that George W. Bush and his advisors consider
every new orientation to be too risky in the election campaign.... Not only in the United States but on a global
scale the debate has begun over whether U.S. forces in Iraq are part of the
solution or part of the problem. If Bush
continues to muddle his way through, he must expect an intensification of terrorist
attacks. It will not be enough to bomb
pockets of resistance...and if U.S. military presence is drastically increased,
the number of U.S. casualties is likely to increase. This would be poison for the election
campaign...but he cannot afford a withdrawal either, since it would be admitting
"End Of Staying Out"
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg noted
(9/17): "Two phrases embrace the
pictures of ongoing violence and hopelessness in Iraq. Kofi Annan described the war as an 'illegal
act.'... 'There is a plan,' a phrase
Secretary Powell made a few days ago with a view to the pacification of rebel
cities and the planned elections in January.
Is there a plan? The appeasement
of the Bush administration is increasingly an act of despair, obviously
contrary to better knowledge. Iraq is
not under control and will not be under control in the near future. These are not the official but intelligence
reports from Washington.... They no
longer rule out a civil war.... At the
latest now, the Europeans should be alarmed, not as U.S allies. Out of its self-understanding, Europe can no
longer idly watch the bloody chaos. The
issue is no longer who was in favor and who was opposed to the war. At the latest the forecast of a looming civil
war in Iraq forces all Europeans to take a stand. If we cannot expect a pacification of Iraq in
the near future, the EU must become aware of the fact that it is a territory
that may be situated at the borders of an enlarged EU some day in the
future. The issue will now be to develop
a coordinated strategy for a way out of the chaos with the new [U.S.] government.... Admittedly, a solution is not in sight, but
the hopelessness forces the Europeans to side with the Americans. It will be increasingly difficult to keep out
of the war."
"Truth Instead Of Election"
Peter Muench judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of
Munich (9/17): "All appeals to hold
out in Iraq are linked to one date, a day in January 2005. Officially it was a generous [offer] but
unofficially it was sheer despair that forced the United States to get the
United Nations into the boat for the preparations for the Iraqi elections. Kofi Annan accepted the bid, because he had
no other choice. Now he realizes that he
is unable to do what he was saddled with.
In view of the fighting, the attacks, the kidnappings, the UN secretary
general has good reasons to doubt about 'credible elections' in four
months.... War and chaos are no fertile
ground for democracy. Elections can be
hold only once the security situation allows this. Like the rash installment of the transition
government the fixation to the date in January is part of Washington's
political strategy to get us top believe that there is progress where in
reality it is trying to hush up things.
Annan is well-advised to reject such election campaign games and to tell
the truth. The truth, however, also
includes that not only the United States sent the United Nations to this
'Mission Impossible.' The Europeans,
too, with the war opponents at the helm, heaped praise on the UN when it
decided to return to Baghdad. But when push
came to shove to make troops available to safeguard the UN mission, a move that
was promised in the same resolution, not a single hand was raised."
"Plaything United States"
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg noted
(9/16): "U.S. President Bush
admitted that the United States has lost control in Iraq, not with words but
with deeds: the U.S. government plans to
spend 3.5 billion dollars that were provided for water and energy supplies,
will now be spent on security.... When
many people are killed on a daily basis and terrorists continue to destroy the
country's infrastructure, reconstruction is simply impossible. It is not Iraqi transitional Prime Minister
Allawi or the occupiers, but the insurgents, who have things firmly under control.... In his Iraq policy, George W. Bush can no
longer act, but he must react to developments.
Washington can insist as much as possible on the elections taking place
in January as planned. In the end, the
security situation will determine election day.
If the United States does not succeed in creating stability soon, the
elections will inevitably be postponed, and the United States will be come the
plaything of the interests of others."
Nicholas Busse argued in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine
(9/16): "Nobody in NATO is
interested in another great crisis over Iraq.
That is why the controversy over the supreme command over the training
of Iraqi officers is only a rearguard battle after the big row from last
year. In the end, it does not play a
role which general will have the command over NATO's trainers.... But all sides involved got what they wanted
right before the start of the talks:
Germans and French got the certainty that they need not send soldiers to
Iraq, and Americans the possibility to have NATO take part in their currently
most comprehensive and important mission.
We cannot say that the--on paper--most powerful military alliance in the
world has found its mission in the era of terrorism by playing sandbox
games. But for the time being, NATO is
no more than a coalition of the unwilling."
"A Bottomless Pit"
J. Thies Commented on national radio station DeutschlandRadio of
Berlin (9/16): "These days it is
becoming increasingly clear that Iraq is a bottomless pit and will very likely
disintegrate in the near future. That is
why Chancellor Schroeder was very lucky that his tactical attitude not to send
forces to Iraq will have turned out as the right strategy. Nevertheless, German but also European policy
is faced with a great dilemma. If one
does not like U.S. dominance, it will be necessary to strengthen multipolar
structures, in the end, to strengthen the United Nations. But how should the UN return to Baghdad and
organize regular elections if its members must fear for their lives and do not
enjoy the protection of soldiers? This
question must also be answered by those nations that are not militarily engaged
Dietrich Alexander had this
to say in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (9/15): "One term is increasingly creeping into
the Iraq discussion: exit strategy. What can such a strategy for Iraq, which is
increasingly going down in chaos and anarchy, look like without Washington and
its allies losing face, without Islamic terrorists propagandistically speaking
of a victory of Islam over the superpower?...
The latest figures of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
stand in crass contradiction to unimpressed optimism of the U.S. administration
that looks like a whistling in the dark.
The complaints about Iraq could easily be continued: attacks on pipelines let oil exports
stagnate, bombs at random kill civilians, al Sadr's militia forces have not
been 'tamed'...and now Turkey is threatening to give up its support of the
United States. Nobody dared to say that
post-Saddam Iraq would be an easy task.
But it is, unfortunately also true that the situation is deteriorating
instead of improving. In the fight
against a fanatic-resolute guerrilla force, the United States is in a no-win
situation. It is time to think about an
ITALY: "A Belated
Vittorio Zucconi commented in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (9/17): “The anathema
pronounced by the misleadingly docile Kofi Annan will not have repercussions,
also because it arrived too late, when subsequent UN Security Council
Resolutions had already basically authorized the military presence of the
occupiers he described as ‘illegal.’ The
UN Secretary General could be accused of talking too much, going beyond the
authority of the Security Council, or of speaking too late. His condemnation, in fact, could be
interpreted as interference in the presidential campaign, a U.S. internal
matter. Annan knows very well that his
words will not change Bush.... The
arbiter of the world cannot dictate terms to the parties involved; he can
simply set limits and rules.... His
remarks are a distressing demonstration of the extent to which hostility
towards the U.S. is growing beyond the borders of a mesmerized America...a
hostility which Washington hysterically denounces as anti-Americanism while at
the same time doing all it can to encourage it.”
"The Risk Of A Lebanese-Style Crisis"
Marcello Foa commented in pro-government, leading center-right
daily Il Giornale (9/17): “The
fact of the matter is that, in today’s Iraq, no one is in a position to exert
power in a stable manner. Neither Prime
Minister Allawi nor moderate Shiite leaders like Sistani or extremist leaders
like al-Sadr. Neither those who look
back on Saddam nostalgically, nor young supporters of Usama bin Laden. Everyone has managed to achieve a certain
degree of power, enough to maintain visibility and not to be overpowered by
others, but a clear winner has not yet emerged.
Thus the hostage drama increasingly resembles another tragedy, that of
Lebanon 1975 to 1991: 16 long years of
civil war, characterized by the kidnapping of foreigners, particularly
Westerners.... As in Beirut, the time
needed to achieve normalization...and the release of the hostages...runs the
risk of being endless.”
Deputy Managing editor Paolo Garimberti editorialized in
left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (9/15): “The stakes are very high, likely crucial for
Iraq’s future: overall control of the
territory...regular elections in January....
U.S. military commands began a spate of offensives to re-conquer lost
positions, from Fallujah to Sadr City, and Tal Afar, while leaders of the
guerrilla war are responding with an escalation of attacks.... According to Harith al-Dari, chairman of an
important Sunni religious association, ‘elections are not important to
Iraqis. What really counts it is that
the Americans set a date for their withdrawal (from Iraq)’.... Political analysts at the White House as well
as the Pentagon, along with Iraqi PM Allawi, continue to think that the
elections will have a healing effect....
A picture, which historian Francis Fukuyama...characterized worthy of
RUSSIA: "UNSG Says
Iraq War Was Against Law"
Mikhail Zygar wrote in business-oriented Kommersant
(9/17): "Yesterday UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan...said that the invasion of Iraq had contravened the law and
the UN Charter. That way he may have
been trying to prevent an attack on Iran.
It took the Secretary General 18 months, the time that has elapsed since
the Coalition invaded Iraq, to formulate his position on the war in Iraq. Even before the hostilities started, Kofi
Annan claimed that he was not against war as such."
"Iraq May Become A Police State"
Ivan Groshkov wrote in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
(9/15): "Halfway to democracy,
Iraq, according to observers, risks becoming a classic example of a police
state, with the social complement of official policy reduced to the minimum,
priority given to special services, the opposition suppressed, and the
Aleksey Ventslovskiy said in centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda
(9/15): "The other day Turkey
demanded that the United States should stop violence in the Iraqi city of Tal
Afar where ethnic Turks account for the majority of the population.... Ankara's indignation is understandable and
stems from national interests.
Previously, those interests more often than not coincided with
"An Era Of Humanitarian Catastrophes"
Aleksandr Tsipko held in literary weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta
(9/15): "As they are watching the
humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, many realize that modern Western civilization
is in a deep crisis, dominated by emotions, petty considerations, and selfish
interests. An era of humanitarian
interventions has given way to one of humanitarian catastrophes. President Bush needed a little victorious war
to get re-elected and avenge his father.
Mr. Wolfowitz and some of Mr. Rumsfeld's aides sought to destroy a
sponsor of Palestinian terrorists. That
despite the fact that Mossad knew that Iraq, weakened by then, had no weapons
of mass destruction and that Saddam Hussein's regime was close to falling apart
on its own. Still, they went ahead with
the criminal plan. The war started,
though the dictator was about to give up and let the UN bail his country
out.... Liberal values and 'democratic
regimes' being imposed through air raids by NATO and the United States kill
innocent people and have nothing to do with Christian civilization and European
Calamities And Bitter Truths"
Foreign affairs writer Thomas Vieregge contended in centrist Die
Presse (0/17): "With regard to
the U.S policy debacle in Iraq, it seems vain to judge with hindsight. And nevertheless it is necessary to learn a
lesson from this disaster as Kofi Annan indicated in his BBC interview.... Americans and Britons showed him the cold
shoulder and ignored him--now the humiliated UN head reads them the riot
act: a bitter truth for George W. Bush
who is in the midst of an election campaign.
But the UN has such a bad image anyway in the U.S that this criticism
might actually benefit the war leader--that is, if the situation does not
deteriorate dramatically.... Academic
discussions about right or wrong, guilt or innocence, as they are currently
going on among the Western public are of little interest to the Iraqis. They want to finally see results achieved,
promises kept: peace not only on paper,
but in their streets where, as Kofi Annan once described it, the 'law of the
jungle' still prevails."
Senior editor Hans Rauscher commented in independent Der
Standard (9/15): "The war in
Iraq is unwinnable. Do the American
voters acknowledge this? Is there a
debate about it in the media? And where
is John Kerry? Kerry does not take the
president to task about the war that was begun with lies and an incredible
nonchalance with regard to its consequences.
Kerry is not saying that the war is a catastrophe. He is instead talking about jobs and income,
the topics that would normally help him win the election. He will probably lose. And some time next year, the Americans will
notice that they reelected someone who led them into a disaster."
Get Caught In Iraqi Morass"
Foreign affairs writer Erik Ziarczyk contended in independent
financial daily De Tijd (9/15):
"The Americans are reacting increasingly nervously to the
continuing violence in Iraq. The
administration clearly wants to have the situation under control before the
November 2 elections. President George
W. Bush cannot afford that a major part of Iraq escapes the control of the U.S.
armed forces. The presidential elections
in Iraq also play a role. Those
elections will not take place until the end of January, 2005, but their
postponement is more and more taken into consideration--a postponement perhaps
only in the regions where the insurgents prevail. That would be a new setback for
Washington. The U.S. administration
knows that the re-election of President Bush is in jeopardy. That is why the White House is using all its
means: it has proposed to the Congress
to make an extra amount of 1.8 billion dollars available for the reinforcement
of the Iraqi armed forces and police.
However, it is very much the question whether that money will be well
spent. It has been clear for long that
Iraqi military personnel and policemen are a bunch of good-for-nothings. On top of that, the Americans themselves
claim that many soldiers are conspiring with the resistance. The origin of that money may be an extra
problem.... These are funds that were
kept available for the repair of water supply systems, power networks and sewer
systems. That means that the
reconstruction of Iraq will have to wait for Washington. Observers fear that the postponement of the
reconstruction will increase the Iraqis' discontent."
CROATIA: "Army Of
Hungry And Desperate Ones"
Military correspondent Fran Visnar remarked in Zagreb-based,
government-owned Vjesnik (9/16):
“And while the...bloodshed, chaos and despair are not good news for
Bush’s election campaign (ugly pictures from Iraq brought by the leading
American dailies and electronic media do not fit into the White House’s
optimistic style), one should ask a different question. What is the motive which is pushing all these
people, aware that they are risking their lives, to stand in front of police
and military recruitment offices and pull Americans by their sleeves? What motivates them is survival. There is no secure job in Baghdad any more,
there is no lucrative job.”
POLAND: "One Thousand
Wojciech Pieciak wrote in mainstream Catholic weekly Tygodnik
Powszechny (9/15): “This is one of
the most clear-cut signals of how radically the September 11 events...changed
the American way of thinking. Only ten
years ago, the deaths of 18 American soldiers in Somalia coerced the U.S.
president into withdrawing from that UN mission.... Today America is responding differently. Even though the number of Americans killed in
Iraq exceeds a thousand...the president who sent soldiers to this war is moving
significantly ahead of his competitor in pre-election polls, rather than losing
popularity in the eyes of the American people.... The American public is apparently ready to
accept the casualties. A thousand
fatalities is still ‘only’ one-third of the September 11 attacks.”
SLOVAKIA: "Anyone Is
Good Enough For Kidnappers"
Miloslav Surgos commented in influential center-right Pravda
(9/17): “Terrorists are not even
pretending that they have a sense of honor.
The cowards are hiding behind splendid words about holy war and
martyrdom as high-minded things. Many of
them realized that attacking soldiers is too risky. So they got this other idea, which says
something about their real nature. In
the last few months, there has been no week when there has not been news about
the capture of foreign civilians. That
is what defines a coward’s reasoning--to attack the weak ones. But that’s not all. They have sunk even lower. French journalists disappeared in
Iraq--people from France, which is against the war and does not have any
soldiers in Iraq, and even Italian humanitarians who tried to help ordinary
people. Although the kidnappers demand
the departure of foreign troops, they actually want the exact opposite. If they stopped doing these things, the
presence of foreign troops would be unnecessary. There would be the peace in Iraq that most of
the Iraqis are so yearning for.
Terrorists don’t want peace. It’s
not suitable for their demagoguery.
Instead of admitting it, they pretend they want something else.”
Left-of-center El País editorialized (9/17): "Instead of improving, the security
situation in Iraq is visibly deteriorating.
It's not surprising that the always cautious UN General Secretary, Kofi
Annan, has considered 'unlikely' that a 'credible' election can be held in Iraq
in these conditions.... What is
extremely worrying is the visible absence of a strategy from the Bush
administration to get out of this hornet's nest. Not only was a war started that Kofi Annan
declares without hesitation to have been 'illegal,' no one seems to have any
idea of what to do now.... If Bush made
this huge mess, there's no sense in counting on his knowing how to resolve
"Specter Of Civil War Over Iraq"
Independent El Mundo contended (9/16): "One by one, the lights at the end of
the tunnel are turning off. First, hope
was based on the transfer of power to the Iraqis, but it was dispelled the same
day that the transfer took place amid attacks.... After the discredited transfer, hope was
placed in elections planned for January.
But, if there are regions were even troops can't go, how can the
politicians campaign there?... Finally,
there are those who cherish hopes on the withdrawal of the invading
troops. However, the U.S. knows that if
they pull out of the country now, they will be leaving Allawi at the mercy of
the insurgents and radicals.... The
withdrawal of troops is unrealistic, because in Iraq it is not just nationals
pitted off against foreigners.... With
the Iraqis killing themselves, the specter of the civil war is more and more a
real possibility. After fifteen months
of the Bush’s victorious celebration, no one, as Chirac said, knows how to
close this 'Pandora’s box.'"
TURKEY: "Tal Afar And
Zafer Atay argued in the economic-political Dunya
(9/17): “There is only one community
that the U.S. can trust in the midst of the growing chaos and instability in
Iraq, and that is the Kurds. The Kurds
have been in close cooperation with the occupation forces from the very
beginning. Now the U.S. intends to
create direct ties with the Kurds and make them dependent on Washington by
establishing a pro-American Kurdish state in northern Iraq. The recent Tal Afar incident is no
coincidence. It is one of the latest
indications regarding well-planned U.S. moves toward an independent Kurdish
state. The Tal Afar incident should be
interpreted from this perspective.”
"About Tal Afar"
Cengiz Candar argued in conservative Dunden Bugune Tercuman
(9/17): “It is very interesting to read
U.S. Ambassador Edelman’s statement in the press regarding the details and
purpose of the Tal Afar operation. This
information is virtually the opposite from what we have been reading in Turkish
press reports. This creates a rather odd
picture. It is also very clear that
there are some circles that are trying to push Turkish-American ties into a
period of conflict by distorting the facts....
Tal Afar is a Turkmen city with a population of around 250,000. About 70 percent of the population is
Turkmen. Is it really rational thinking
to believe that that many Turkmen will be forced to leave and Kurds will be
settled in their place? Such a scenario
would require so many Kurds--where would they come from? Why on earth would Kurds leave their homes in
Erbil, Zaho and Dohuk to settle in Tal Afar?
It seems what we have here is some very imaginative writing without any
"Global War In Iraq"
Erdal Safak noted in the mass-appeal Sabah (9/16): “Some used to characterize the opposition to
the U.S. operation in Iraq as 'resistance' to the occupation. But today, even strong opponents of the
U.S.-UK operation have started to view the current violence, bloodshed, and
chaos in Iraq as illegitimate. The
French president, for instance, observed that a ‘Pandora’s box’ has been opened
in Iraq. The French foreign minister is
worried about ‘a black hole’ that he believes will spread from Iraq to other
areas in the Middle East and around the world.
If you ask the Arab League’s opinion about Iraq, Secretary General Amr
Musa describes the situation in Iraq as ‘the gates of hell’ being opened. The most correct diagnosis...comes from Iraqi
Prime Minister Allawi, who says that ‘Iraq has become a part of a global
war.’ The main goal of the terrorists is
to make Iraq collapse, move further into the Middle East, and eventually
destabilize the whole world. The ongoing
war is indeed between the civilized world and the terrorists.”
"Hard Truths On The Turkmen Issue"
Semih Idiz opined in the mass-appeal, sensational Aksam
(9/15): “Turkey and the U.S. are not
happy with each other, but, because of their strategic relationship, they can
express these feelings only indirectly.
Neither country wants these tensions to reach a critical point. As a result, the Turkmen should not have any
illusions about Turkey’s support.....
The U.S. has not forgotten Turkey’s decision from March 1, 2003.... When Turkey draws attention to Kirkuk, Tal
Afar, and similar issues, the U.S. response is always the same: ‘If you had such sensitivity to issues in
Iraq, why didn’t you explain these clearly in parliament prior to the March 1
vote?’... At least for now, it is clear
that Turkey cannot protect the interests of the Turkmen.”
"Tal Afar-Tel Aviv Line"
Mehmet Ocaktan commented in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni
Safak (9/15): “What kind of an
alliance is this? Weren’t Turkey and the
U.S. supposed to be strategic partners?
Our ally and strategic partner bombs the Turkmen population in Tal Afar
and people are forced to flee the city.
Now the city is fully under the control of U.S. occupation forces. Most dramatically, the Turkmen who left the
town during the bombing are not being allowed to return. Most likely, Kurdish peshmerga will be
brought into Tal Afar, as they have been in every other region in northern
Iraq. Belatedly, Turkey has realized the
mistake of its strategic partner. In his
statement the other day, Foreign Minister Gul gave a harsh message to the
Barzani-Talabani duo, to the United States, and to the puppet administration in
Iraq. From now on, U.S. plans in
Northern Iraq will be implemented without Turkey.... Just as the British tried to divide Iraq, now
the U.S. is planning to divide Iraq into three.
No one can convince us that these are innocent plans to remove terrorist
groups from the region, because there is always mischief when Barzani and the
Israelis get together.... The occupation
forces are playing a dirty game in Tal Afar.
It looks like a plan that leaves Turkey and the Turkmen out, and allows
the U.S. to control this very strategic region for the transport of oil from
northern Iraq to the Mediterranean.”
ISRAEL: "Learn From
Conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized
(9/15): "America's conduct in Iraq
is beginning to look like its conduct in Vietnam, and in a way that ought to be
particularly unflattering to the Administration.... Bush is certainly right [that]...withdrawal
now would be a catastrophe for the nascent Iraqi government, for U.S. prestige,
and for the overall effort against terrorism.
But as-long-as-it-takes should not become an excuse for waging a war in
slow motion. That is what the U.S.
appears to be doing.... America lost in
Vietnam not because Vietnam was an inherent quagmire, but because Lyndon
Johnson turned it into one. Similarly,
Iraq is not yet a quagmire and need not become one, its complexities as a
multiethnic society notwithstanding. But
in his effort to achieve multiple and in some ways conflicting
objectives--building democracy, destroying the insurgency, involving the UN and
so on--George W. Bush risks turning it into one. If the president doesn't pause for a rethink,
he'll lose more than just Iraq, just like the last Texan-born president
IRAQ: "Enemies Of The People"
Weekly Al-Bayyinah, published by the Hezbollah movement in
Iraq editorialized (9/15): "Why
does the government not lay bare all the facts before the public eye so that
everyone knows who the real enemies of the people are? Why is all this procrastination in the
reconstruction process, where any progress made will certainly mitigate
violence? Why are those who have taken
to kidnapping foreigners allowed to go free although they have been identified
and are known to be a limited number of dissenters? Furthermore, the government is accused by
some of having excluded several well-known national figureheads and of giving
government posts to certain individuals closely affiliated with the toppled
regime. These are all legitimate queries
requiring explanation from the prime minister, who, despite the extremely
chaotic situation he is facing, has shown strong determination to stand up to
the enemies of the homeland and crush them at any cost." (UNAMI translation)
"Not All Americans Are
Devoid Of Human Feelings"
Islamic Al-Da'wah Party-published Al-Bayan observed
(9/15): "We do not claim that all
Americans are devoid of human feelings, nor can we imagine that it is in
America's interest to deepen anti-American sentiment by killing innocent
civilians, but we have learned the hard way that Americans are not completely
trustworthy. However, is this not to say
that we should blame all our calamities on the Americans alone? Does our interim government bear no
responsibility at all for certain cases of escalation, or for giving the
Americans a free hand to decide who, where and when to bomb?" (UNAMI translation)
"Hostage-Takers Must Pay For Their Crimes"
Fattih Abdulsalam editorialized in independent, London-based Azzaman
(9/13): "The first to have their
heads chopped off are the hostage-takers and not their innocent victims. Those abducting foreigners are lackeys and
traitors because through their barbaric actions they block the reconstruction
of the country by delaying return of stability.
The abductors pursue a blind theory which makes the shedding of the
blood of all foreigners and those cooperating with the U.S.-led occupation
justified. They have become so blind
that they no longer distinguish between civilians who have come to help Iraqis
in their predicament and combatants.
Otherwise how come that the so-called resistance groups would kidnap
Italian aid workers and French reporters who were opposed to U.S. policies in
Iraq? If these groups’ intention is to
terminate the presence of U.S. troops in the country, they are wrong. They in fact provide the additional grounds
to lengthen their stay. Who is then a
lackey of the foreigners?... So long as
violence continues and these groups take the law into their own hands there
will a need for the foreign troops....
The kidnapping of Iraqi citizens and foreigners is an indication that
the country is facing a serious security problem. But our politicians apparently do not want to
admit that. It is time they acknowledged
that the crisis is too serious for them to solve." (UNAMI translation)
"Stop Wrecking Iraq"
Islamic Al-Da'wah Party-published Al-Bayan held
(9/13): "We neither accuse nor
acquit anyone but whenever the government is responsible for the escalation, we
have to face it with its responsibilities, and whenever the Americans are
responsible, we say: enough of
manipulating Iraq's security. However,
if those who call themselves resistance are responsible, we tell them: stop ruining Iraq and killing Iraqis and
non-Iraqis. Stop wreaking havoc with
Islam. We say to the government: do your best to drive the non-Iraqis out and
contain the areas of tension, but, for God's sake, without exposing the
innocent to horror, death and destruction." (UNAMI translation)
Iraq Could Absob Unemployed"
Qays al-Azzawi contended in independent Al-Jaridah,
provisionally published three times a week (9/13): "Starting the reconstruction of Iraq
despite the deteriorating security situation could drain the sources of
violence in the society through absorbing large segments of the army of unemployed
people. Instead of resorting to the
military option with its material, human and cultural cost, the language of
reason should be used and dialogue should be sought to establish the aspired
peace. These huge funds should be
expended to improve the life of Iraqis rather than destroy their cities and
take their lives." (UNAMI
SAUDI ARABIA: "The
Massacres In Iraq"
Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazirah editorialized (9/16): "The U.S. has expanded its targets in
Iraq to include every town and city where there is an alleged
resistance.... Of course, there are
those who benefit from this chaos to achieve certain objectives on their
agendas. The list of those who would
benefit from the turmoil in Iraq includes Israeli intelligence agencies, which
are discreetly operating under U.S. cover and protection. The end of these horrific massacres does not
seem to be near. Instead we see an
escalation of violence at a time when a constitutional solution is being
considered. Those who are stirring up trouble
in Iraq are doing it intentionally to obstruct any peaceful and democratic
"Iraq Is The Model For Deterrence By Killing"
Riyadh’s conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (9/16): "Sharon and Bush, with the Zionist
extremists and the neo-conservatives behind them, committed an ideological
mistake by adopting the principle of killing as deterrence. The United States is refusing to listen to
the increased criticisms of the war and the destruction it has caused. That is why the situation in Iraq exploded
and battles spread to include every town in Iraq. Iraq has become an uncontrollable war
zone. But the U.S. would rather demolish
the whole country than to admit that it has committed a mistake. A U.S. defeat is not an option at the White
House and the Congress."
Abdelmounem Dilami penned this editorial in French-language
independent L’Economiste and in Arabic-language sister publication Assabah
(9/15): “The Americans have to go, they
must leave Iraq. They invaded this
country with the excuse that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They were wrong. They invaded Iraq because the regime was
dictatorial. Saddam Hussein is no longer
in power. In the name of what does the
U.S. continue to bombard Iraqi towns?
What gives them the right to continue to kill scores of people ['scores
of innocents' in the Arabic version] every day?
It is wrong to think that the Americans’ departure would increase the
disorder. There is no greater disorder
than that caused by their presence....
Despite being a Muslim country, Iraq has an already ancient secularist
tradition. It’s impossible to imagine
that Islamists could become dominant overnight.
On the other hand, the presence of the U.S. Army and its violent actions
legitimize and reinforce the Islamist takeover.... The current offensive against the Iraqi
people (who no longer have an army to defend themselves) constitutes a crime
that history will not forgive.”
Damascus And Washington"
Chief editor Mahdi Dakhlallah noted in government-owned Al-Ba'th
(9/15): "The knights of the Syria
Accountability Act started suffering from a headache three days ago when
[Assistant Secretary of State] Burns' visit achieved positive results.... There is agreement between Damascus and
Washington over: first, stability in
Iraq. Washington seeks stability to
cement its hegemony quietly, while Syria seeks stability for the good of the
Iraqi people and to ease tension in the region.
Second, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity. Damascus wants it for the good of the Iraqi
people, while Washington does not want to open doors for new conflicts, mainly
with Turkey. Third, emphasizing the
importance of Iraqi elections. Damascus seeks elections as a prelude for
liberation and sovereignty, while Washington seeks them as a prelude for
creating a bond linking Iraq with U.S. regional policy forever."
UAE: "Love Thy
The expatriate-oriented, English-language Khaleej Times had
this to say (Internet version, 9/16):
"Seventy-three lives lost in a single day...another normal day of
blasts and bedlam in the life of Iraqis....
So who are these forces that are targeting Iraqis?... The sheer savagery and insensitivity of the
attacks that targeted innocent civilians...leave no one in doubt that these
elements are determined to ravage Iraq totally and systematically. They, blinded by their hatred and fury, do
not even discriminate between the Iraqis and the Americans anymore. In fact, it appears as if there is a
conscious attempt to target the Iraqi population thus generating a general
sense of fear and terror across the country.
The Arab foreign ministers, who met in Cairo...are conscious of the
challenges the Arab world faces in Iraq....
Cooperation of Iraq’s neighbors is key to restoring peace and stability
in the country. Iraq's Prime Minister
Allawi has hinted that the hellraisers in Iraq mostly include infiltrators from
neighboring nations. Moussa should work
to persuade Syria, a member of the League, to step up vigil along its border to
check infiltration. I ran is another neighbor which has to cooperate with
Iraq's new rulers.... For the continuing instability in Iraq would have
dangerous consequences for the region including Iran and Syria.... If the interim administration is to go ahead
with the January elections, peace and stability must return to Iraq. The poll offers a rare opportunity to the
Iraqis...to free themselves from their
troubled past and make a new beginning.
And hopefully, the democratic transition would bring peace to the
war-weary country. The Iraqis must not
allow anyone to spoil their first and perhaps only date with democracy."
AUSTRALIA: "Facing The
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald argued (9/15): “It is Iraq's tribal and Islamic leaders, not
Western diplomats or expert hostage negotiators, who hold the only potential
levers of influence over extremists groups.
This means their assistance must be urgently sought. Many tragic lessons have been learnt in Iraq;
none, perhaps, more important than the folly of inadequate preparation. The overwhelming strategic advantage which
handed the U.S.-led forces a swift military victory was almost immediately
undermined by the coalition's scant understanding of the complex web of
religious and tribal alliances which define the fault lines of power and
influence in Iraq. Iraq's terrorists
inhabit this daunting maze. This means
an intimate knowledge of Iraqi society, and the local contacts this
facilitates, are as important in securing Australians as fortified compounds,
security patrols and guns.”
"Policy Must Never Be Hostage To Terrorists"
The liberal Melbourne Age maintained (9/15): “The risks of buckling before terrorism are
obvious, but there are also risks in being locked into a policy by
terrorism. Security policy, by its
critical nature, has to be reviewed on its merits. Nor should giving in to terrorists, which is
appeasement, be conflated with attempts to remedy the conditions in which
terrorism takes root. Whenever
terrorists take hostages, political leaders carry a heavy burden of
responsibility. While all of them must
remain clear about not buckling to terrorists, they also need to acknowledge
the legitimacy of political differences about the best ways to tackle an evil
and complex threat.”
JAPAN: "WMD Threat
Conservative Sankei editorialized (9/17): "The U.S. has already acknowledged its
failure to locate Iraq's alleged WMD stockpile.
Pinpointing such deadly arsenals in a vast desert is surely a difficult
task. But it is a proven fact that the
Hussein regime possessed facilities, human resources and technologies for the
development of such weapons.... The Iraq
war was a success in toppling the oppressive regime and crushing Libya's
nuclear ambitions. The elimination of
terrorism has yet to be completely achieved, but it is acknowledged that the
threat posed by the dictatorial state has been removed."
"Prime Minister Must Explain Iraq Issue"
Liberal Mainichi insisted (9/17): "Iraq's WMD is a serious matter because
the alleged presence of such arsenals constitutes what President Bush called a
'gathering threat' at the onset of the Iraq war. The allegations were also a primary factor in
swaying much of the international community in favor of launching the war
against Iraq. Secretary of State
Powell's congressional testimony should be taken as an admission of U.S.
responsibility for presenting incorrect intelligence and as a show of
Washington's intention to rectify its mistakes.... There is no doubt that the Japanese
government supported the U.S.-led Iraq war on the grounds that Iraq possessed
WMD. Such support, in fact, enabled
Japan to send troops to Iraq. Prime
Minister Koizumi must provide an explanation on this issue."
"Need For Serious Reflection On U.S. Misjudgment"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (9/16): "Comments made by Secretary of State
Powell to a Congressional session saying that stockpiles of WMD are unlikely to
be found in Iraq demonstrates the Bush administration's intention to 'close the
book' on the issue of U.S. allegations about Iraqi WMD. President Bush has claimed that the presence
of weapons is not a crucial issue because the U.S. made progress in the fight
against terrorism by eliminating potential threats such as Saddam Hussein. However, the end of Saddam's rule does not
excuse Washington from its accusations that Iraq possessed a WMD program. The U.S. is responsible for proposing that
the UN adopt a resolution calling for the abolishment of Iraq's WMD. Secretary Powell is also responsible for
stressing to the UN last year that Iraq posed an imminent threat. Although Washington launched the war without
UN endorsement, allies of the U.S., including Japan, explained to their people
that the war was necessary because of WMD threats. As a result, the world has been betrayed and
the lives of many people have been lost.
Washington needs to sincerely reflect on its misinformation and
misjudgment regarding the need for the Iraq war."
NEW ZEALAND: "Kiwi
Soldiers In Dangerous Places"
The Manawatu Standard commented (Internet version,
9/17): "In Iraq the violence that
continues to take such a horrendous toll of any locals who look like they might
be collaborating with Americans, is showing few signs of abating. Afghanistan, in contrast, appears almost to
be a sea of tranquility.... In Iraq the
picture seems hugely different because of a much more complicated internal
situation and that country's strategic position in the region.... In Iraq, the Americans invaded in defiance of
the UN and most world opinion..[and] did the world a favor by getting rid of an
odious regime, and in so doing uncorked a genie that seems to have run rampant
since. So New Zealand, even if it is
present in Iraq under the belatedly resurrected authority of the UN, is putting
its nationals at severe risk by remaining there to the extent that withdrawal
looks not just desirable but inevitable.
It may well be that the current administration in Baghdad will snatch an
unlikely peace from the bloody defeat that seems to surround it and if it does,
Washington will certainly be in a position to then tell the world that it was
right to do what it did even at the high price the Iraqi people are
paying. But what are the ends being
sought in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Pro-Western democracies that will keep the oil flowing, presumably. But what happens if the people vote for
something else, something more inimical to Western, and specifically American,
interests in the region?"
INDIA: "A Deepening
The centrist Hindu editorialized (9/16): "The Iraqi resistance...has now gone on
the offensive by launching a wave of apparently coordinated attacks in many
parts of the country.... It is true the
attacks have claimed the lives of many more Iraqis than Americans.... For the most part, those who are uninvolved
in militancy express the view that these deaths are attributable to the fact
that the country is under occupation....
A public response of this nature has deepened the quandary that the
occupying powers find themselves in.
They cannot use all the force at their command to batter their way into
and take control of the insurgent enclaves since a large number of innocent
bystanders are very likely to be killed....
At the same time the occupation forces cannot afford to leave the
militant groups undisturbed in their sanctuaries.... With the situation going rapidly out of
control, the occupation forces now hope that the nascent Iraqi security
services will do what they were themselves unable to. That appears forlorn. There is no shortage of men who are willing
to join the Iraqi military and police forces mainly because there are few other
employment opportunities. However, on
almost every occasion so far, the interim government's troops either melted
away or refused to fight when ordered into battle against their
compatriots. The U.S. has diverted to
security operations $3 billion out of the $18 billion that it had allocated for
reconstruction work. That diversion
could have only diminished Allawi's capacity to win the hearts and minds of his
CANADA: "It's Time To
Boot The Fox Out Of The Hen-House"
Columnist David Warren observed in the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen (9/15): "The sheer
number of terrorist hits in Iraq, and of civilian casualties resulting from
them since the weekend has raised the question:
are things getting worse? The
disturbing answer is, we don't know whether this is, as it were, the grand
finale of a fireworks display, or a sustainable escalation.... The terrorists may realize they have open
season until the U.S. election is over, for President George W. Bush cannot
wish to commit the U.S. military to more fighting, and thus more casualties, at
the height of the campaign. Meanwhile,
the systematic targeting of Iraqi police is designed to make the country
permanently ungovernable, except by the barbaric theocracy the terrorists will
impose, if the U.S. cuts and runs. The
Americans have made one big mistake since entering Iraq. It was to cut local peace deals in Fallujah,
and elsewhere, which left the fox in charge of the hens. The idea was not as stupid as it now
looks.... The risk may have been worth
taking, in hindsight, for what the U.S. learned from it. We now know the policy backfired badly. The territories put off-limits to U.S. and
allied patrols became terror havens....
Election or no election, the Americans must now undo their mistake. They must, regardless of casualties, retake
every town in the Sunni Triangle, and clean each out properly. Or, go home beaten by the jihad. There really isn't a third option."
MEXICO: "Slow Death
And Dirty Bombs"
Juan Gelman wrote in nationalist Milenio (9/11): "In fact, there are weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. Not those from
Saddam Hussein, which were never found; but the weapons that American and
British armies use as projectiles, coated with depleted uranium, which also
protect their tanks and vehicles coated with that product, a sub-product of
enriched uranium used to make nuclear weapons.... Depleted uranium has consequences, not only
for the Iraqi or Kosovo people who were affected, but also the American troops
affected, who suffer from the Persian Gulf War syndrome. Doctor Andràs Korényi-Both, one of the first
researchers on this disease, believes that around 28% of veterans from the
first Persian Gulf War suffer chronic diseases, as a consequence contact with