International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

September 17, 2004

September 17, 2004





**  Media assert "deteriorating" security situation risks "a Lebanese-style crisis."


**  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 Turkmen out."        


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 recent date.


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."


"Security First"


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 times."


"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 Mind"


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."


FRANCE:  "Acknowledging One’s Impotence"


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 Vicious Circle"


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 defeat."


"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 in Iraq."




 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 exit strategy."


ITALY:  "A Belated Anathema"


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.”


"War Lords"


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 ‘fantasyland.’”


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 electorate manageable."


"Ankara Angry"


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 America's."


"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 humanism."


AUSTRIA:  "Iraqi 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."


"All Quiet"


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."


BELGIUM:  "Americans 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 Fatalities"


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.”


SPAIN:  "Black Perspectives"


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 it."


"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 Beyond"


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 solid basis.”


"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 Vietnam"


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 did."


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)


"Reconstruction In 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 translation)


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 solution."


"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."


MOROCCO:  "Go Home"


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.”


SYRIA:  "Between 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 Neighbor"


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 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 Hostage Question"


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 Removed"


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 Quandary"


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 people."


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 depleted uranium."


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