International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

March 20, 2003

March 20, 2003





** World media largely expressed regret at the outbreak of conflict; despite some optimism for a "swift conclusion" many worried about the war's unpredictable effects and "winning the peace."

** Dailies urged the U.S. to accept a strong UN role in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, which they argued could help "repair" U.S. relations with much of the world.

** Most favored ousting "the tyrant" Hussein, but judged the process for removing him "seriously flawed"




EUROPE:  Hopes for a quick war and 'few casualties'; U.S. will need help to 'win the peace'-- Dailies decided that "the debate about the rights and wrongs of this war is over."  They expressed the hope that the war would be "as quick and painless as possible" and reminded the U.S. of its "serious moral responsibility" to minimize "the level of bloodshed."  While a Romanian daily reproached Saddam's willingness "to expose his own people" to war, Britain's center-left Independent called on the U.S. "to retain the moral high ground" by eschewing the use of certain weapons, including cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells.


Most writers held "the outcome of the war itself is not in doubt" and focused on the need to "contain the tragic consequences to come" to avert "ethnic and religious conflicts."  They agreed with Spain's center-left El Pais that the U.S. must "win the peace afterwards" and will need "both the UN and Europe" for this "more complicated" task.  Papers in Italy and Lithuania stressed forgetting "disagreements" among the western nations to "help rebuild" Iraq, while outlets in Spain and Germany called on the U.S. to "repair its relations with half the world." A number urged international cooperation in humanitarian aid, which France's right-of-center Le Figaro judged to be "the way to put the UN back in the saddle and start the healing process."


ISLAMIC WORLD:  'War will not stop with Baghdad but will spread to the entire region'--  Many opined that the U.S. was using this "colonial" war to become another "Roman Empire."  UAE-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej saw Iraq as just "a starting point" for "reshaping the future of the region."  While Pakistan's Islamist Ausaf alleged that "Washington is set on the path of fascism," Malaysian and Indonesian dailies labeled Bush a "lunatic" and "gangster."  Algeria's government-run Eshaab blasted the U.S. decision to "slaughter Iraqi children and destroy their homes."  Other papers hoped the war would help educate the world of "the dangers of American dominance" and impel them to create "other centers of power" to challenge the U.S.


ASIA:  Many worry war will simply increase global 'instability'--  Critical voices focused on how this "most tragic and awful precedent" of pre-emptive war will create global "instability."  Australia's liberal Age predicted a "unified Western Europe and an economically powerful China" would challenge "U.S. hegemony."  Moderate Tokyo Shimbun thought that President Bush "sacrificed the UN-based international order that has held the key to solving post-Cold War conflicts."  While some papers denounced the U.S. as a "warmongering country," the independent Philippine Star stood out, praising the "decisive action" to secure "the democratic future of modern civilization."


AFRICA:  'U.S.' raison d'etre for war not disarmament', regime change will invite more terror--  Many dailies portrayed the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq as a "war of bullies" and a "war that divides the world."  Some shared the regret of South Africa's liberal Cape Times that a "tragic and awful precedent [was] set when the U.S. launched that first strike on Iraq."  Papers in Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania made similar points that Bush's "insistence on war at all costs...will incite rather than diminish terrorism the world over."


WESTERN HEMISPHERE:  Some accept Iraq is the 'right target,' more fear U.S. 'hegemony'--Conservative and financial dailies in Canada, Argentina and Paraguay defended the "plainly just cause of liberating Iraq."  Many other outlets in those countries and in Brazil, Chile and Central America fretted that a "stage of uncertainty" has begun which could have "unpredictable consequences."  Writers concluded that "U.S. hegemony has been replaced by a doctrine of maximum security."  Taking offense that "Bush ignored the strong international rejection of war," some professed a "loss of trust" in the U.S.  Critics, like Brazil's right-of-center O Globo, bristled at the Bush administration's "intention" to "impose, worldwide, [its] unilateral monitoring because [the U.S] is the uncontested superpower and, morally, the center of 'good'."


EDITORS:  Irene Marr, Steven Wangsness, Ben Goldberg


EDITORS' NOTE:  This report is based on 80 reports from 50 countries, March 19-20.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date































BRITAIN:  "War And After"


The conservative Times argued (3/20):  "The ultimate success of this conflict will depend less on the speed at which tanks can sweep towards Baghdad than on three other factors.  These are the sensitivity with which the Iraqi people are treated during the war itself; the political blueprint adopted for Iraq once Saddam Hussein has been overthrown and Washington’s skill in refining the concept of 'pre-emption' skill so as to reassure the law-abiding; and its speed in addressing the Israel-Palestine question....  The diplomacy of the United States in the past few months has not always been what friends and allies might have hoped for.  This has assisted the drawing of a grotesque caricature....  The Bush Administration would be wise to recognise that this distorted picture exists and address it."


"Hope Against Hope"


The left-of-center Guardian contended (3/20):  "This war is wrong.  It did not need to happen; it is unnecessary and was avoidable....  This is a political war, a war of power largely orchestrated by the ideologues and zealots who surround that most implausible of presidents, George Bush. This recourse to war is a substitute for thought and understanding, divisive in conception and enormously damaging to the international order....  All that remains is the sad, fretful hope that it will soon be over....  The aims of this war have been unclear all along.  That confusion must now end.  The objective is not a U.S.-run Iraq or some grandiose, U.S.-designed regional reformation.  It is an independent, integrated state led by indigenous Iraqis empowered by free elections and working in partnership with the UN.  Tony Blair's assurance yesterday that Britain will seek agreement to establish a leading role for the UN is welcome.  Getting in is much easier than getting out; but get out quickly the U.S. must.  Whatever Dick Cheney and his far-right friends may think, they have no business there." 


"The Nation Must Unite"


The conservative Daily Telegraph editorialized (3/20):  "The political importance of this war is...perhaps greater than any since Vietnam.  This time even more is at stake than the liberation of a people, the foiling of a genocidal dictator or the fall of a terrorist stronghold.  The overthrow of Saddam Hussein and his regime will combine all these aims, but it intends to do much more besides.  What we, the Americans and our other allies are trying to achieve is still encompassed in the unfulfilled promise of the first Bush administration: a 'New World Order.'...  The establishment of a democratic Iraq would demonstrate that America is not only pursuing its own interests, but is also seeking to extend the benefits of freedom across the Middle East, a region that has for too long known only tyranny, poverty and bigotry."


"When Democracies Do Battle With A Despot"


The center-left Independent editorialized (3/20):  "The debate about the rights and wrongs of this war is over....  Politicians across the political spectrum are united in the conviction that the time has come 'to support our troops.'  This newspaper agrees, and fervently hopes for a swift conclusion with as few casualties on both sides as is possible....  If the Allies are to minimise the resentment that the war will cause in the Middle East, and among Muslims elsewhere, the level of bloodshed needs to be minimised....  When democracies do battle with despots it is essential they retain the high moral ground....  If care must be taken with some weapons [like MOAB, e-bombs], others [such as depleted uranium, cluster bombs] should not be deployed at all....  In the Commons yesterday Mr Blair insisted that 'any weapons or munitions that are used will be in accordance with international law.'  He concluded by saying: 'We will do everything we can to minimise civilian casualties and indeed maximise the possibilities of a swift and successful conclusion to any conflict.'  To achieve both those aims would be ideal.  The real test will come when the two collide."


FRANCE:  "War And Reconstruction"


Pierre Rousselin argued in right-of-center Le Figaro (3/20):  “France did all it could to get Iraq to disarm peacefully....  Now all we can hope is for the war to be as quick and painless as possible.  This conflict is a failure for everyone.  Now, everyone’s responsibility is to contain the tragic consequences to come....  The first priority in Iraq will be humanitarian aid.  France and Europe must prove to be generous.  This is the way to put the UN back in the saddle and to start the healing process for Franco-American relations.  Even for Washington, the post-war period cannot be considered outside the UN....  The pre-war days have caused too much damage to see reconstruction stop at Iraq and the Middle East.  Transatlantic relations demand emergency treatment.  Resentment in Washington has reached such levels that going back to a calm form of dialogue will be difficult.  One thing is certain: the slightest misstep in comments about how the war is being led will not be forgiven.”


"Saving The UN"


Serge July wrote in left-of-center Liberation (3/20):  “Contrary to the Serbian and Afghan situations, this time President Bush wants the post-war period to be a U.S. exclusive.  While the war carries its own load of uncertainties, the post-war era carries even more of them....  We may be opposed to this war, but it is no reason to abandon Iraq and the Americans to their fate.  The UN must get back in the game....  The UN must take over from the Americans in an Iraq we wish to see liberated.”


"Falsehood To The Test"


Bruno Frappat judged in Catholic La Croix (3/20):  “When cannons speak, alliances either become stronger or fall apart.…  The intense accusations against France have reached a level unimaginable a week ago....  The fact that France differed about the means [to disarm Iraq], not the end, has been quickly forgotten....  President Bush has chosen a narrow version of the truth… From now on we will have to be not only wary of war, but also of the lies that accompany war.”


GERMANY:  “Marching Toward Baghdad”


Josef Joffe noted on the front-page of center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (3/20):  "The U.S. has never been as lonely and as powerful as it is now.  If a good many nations prefer putting up with a monster like Saddam to entering a coalition with the superpower, the U.S. has a problem that even a glorious victory against Baghdad cannot solve.  That is why Washington, once the war is over, has to pay attention to the 'co’ in coalition, cooperation, and consensus....  ‘Nation-building’ means police and administrative responsibilities; it means repair work and investments.  Anyone who does not rely on others in such a project has no chance of winning the peace.”


"After The War"


Center-right Luebecker Nachrichten (3/20) stated:  “If the Iraq war is short, then George W. Bush will have won more than a military conflict.  Then there will be a new world order according to the will of the U.S., a Pax Americana, for who could stop the U.S.?  As far as military factors are concerned, there is no counterweight any longer.  And as far as politics is concerned, Bush has all arguments on his side.  Was the war in accordance or against international law, was it a war of aggression or a preventive war?  Who should seriously discuss these questions in view of a quick victory, which will, at best, result in the ouster of the dictator, the destruction of his weapons and the liberation of the Iraqis?”


"Isolated America"


Center-right Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of Essen (3/20) noted:  “As far as the military is concerned, the U.S. is as powerful as never before, but as far as foreign policy is concerned, it is more isolated than ever.  Regardless of the outcome of this war, the U.S. will no longer be the undisputed supreme power in the world, at least not during George W. Bush’s term...[even] if Bush wins this war quickly."


"Post-War Middle East"


Center-right Rheinische Post of Duesseldorf (3/20) judged:  “The U.S. will be able to smooth the angry emotions in the Arab world and its fanatics only if it gets serious about the midwifery for a promised Palestinian state as part of a better perspective for the Middle East.”


ITALY:  "The No Of The Reason"


Franco Venturini opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (3/20):  "The war already bears a heavy load of political damage, lasting resentments, bitter rifts among government leaders, and of unusual divisions between governments as well as public opinions....  The duration of the war is certainly fundamental....  However, a rapid war would not be enough.  After (the war), it will be possible to win the peace only on condition that everyone (the international community) face their conflicting going back to the negotiating table.”


"Broken Ropes"


Mario Platero observed on the front-page of leading economic daily Il Sole-24 Ore (3/20):  “Once everything is over, there will be a strong temptation to separate the ’victors’ from the ‘vanquished.’  In the U.S., they are already discussing some kind of boycott against France, and anti-American flags are already waving in Europe....  This is why, no matter how things go, it is essential that the ‘victors’ be generous with the 'vanquished.’...  America will need both the UN and Europe, while Europe will have to give up its reticence."


"The New World Is Born"


Massimo Teodori commented in leading center-right Il Giornale (3/20):  "There are a number of signs that the Iraqi crisis will mark a turning point in the new international system.  The UN’s crisis of impotence highlights the anachronism of the permanent five's UNSC veto....  The division of the European countries, triggered off by France and then Germany, signaled a revival of national ambitions played in an anti-American key, very far from being a premonitory sign of a common European policy.  The impotence of the UN pointed out that the principal multilateral instrument used thus far is no longer capable of carrying out--due to political divisions--duties of security and international stability.”


RUSSIA:  "U.S. Chooses Death"


Vitaliy Tretyakov held in official government Rossiyskaya Gazeta (3/20):  "America has made a choice.  It has chosen death....  After America routs Iraq...anti-Americanism will intensify greatly across the world, particularly in Islamic and Arab countries....  America, as a model of democracy 'for itself' and 'for others,' is no more....  It is still very strong.  It can buy allies with fear and money...[but] it will increasingly feel lonely."


BELGIUM:  "The Price Of The New Pax Americana"


Foreign affairs writer Roger Huisman commented in conservative Christian-Democrat Het Belang van Limburg (3/20):  “We saw them again on our TV screens: cruise missiles, laser-guided bombs, stealth bombers, statements that the number of innocent victims would be limited, that the war would be over before we even realize.  Nothing is less true, of course.  The White House warned that the war might last longer than expected.  That means more people killed, more refugees, more human misery.  That is the price of the new ‘pax Americana.’”


"Moral Responsibilities"


Foreign editor Jean Vanempten argued in financial daily De Financieel-Economische Tijd (3/20):  “The U.S. has a serious moral responsibility in this war....  The U.S. will have to act so that the vacuum does not lead to ethnic and religious conflicts that may cause useless bloodshed.  The defeat of the Iraqi army is not enough.  The U.S. must turn the victory into a democratic state for the Iraqis.  Above all, the Americans must wage this war in a careful manner.  A war can never be ‘clean’ but the undeniable superior strength must not be exploited to hit the defenseless people even harder.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "What Do Kosovo and Iraq Have in Common?"


Pavel Tomasek commented in centrist Hospodarske Noviny (3/20):  "IThe moral reason for the attack on Iraq will be definitely confirmed once Saddam is gone and new institutions ensuring a better future for the Iraqis are built....   Many feared that [intervention in Kosovo] would set off a new era of global interventionism with unpredictable results.  These fears have not been realized. On the contrary, Milosevic is behind bars in the Hague and the people in former Yugoslavia, despite all problems, face a better future.  If the war in Iraq has similar result, the shots will not be fired in vain."


"Bad Good War"


Martin Denemark wrote in centrist Hospodarske Noviny (3/20):  "Optimists say that the war will be over soon and that the emotions will settle down shortly afterwards.  Even if so, changes within international relations will take place and we should have no illusions--the 'new'"What Do Kosovo and Iraq Have in Common?" world will be no better that the one we have now."



GREECE:  “The Threat”


Top-circulation pro-government Ta Nea said (3/19):  "Although early for conclusions from the war on Iraq, one could draw some even today:  First, the international community was unable to prevent an unjust war carried out against the will of the vast majority of citizens that will not solve a single problem.  Second, the UN could not resolve the Saddam problem for over a decade thus proving unable to render itself an efficient mechanism that can guarantee international law.  Third, countries opposing this war were marginalized and unable to influence developments positively.  It seems that the end of the Cold War left the planet neither wiser not safer!”


HUNGARY:  "Bush's War"


Leading Nepszabadsag editorialized (3/20):  "Problems will not go away with the outbreak of the war, they will only change....  If the war with Iraq ends up being successful...(not only on the level of propaganda but for real) then we can indeed observe what it means to have a single superpower in the world.”


IRELAND:  "The Quicker The Better"


Center-right, populist Irish Independent argued (3/20):  "The outcome of the war itself is not in doubt....  But seldom has a military enterprise of such magnitude been undertaken in conditions of such uncertainty about the long-term intentions of the main belligerent....  It is not clear that [the Americans] have in place, or can create, a satisfactory Iraqi civil any kind of reasonable timescale.  It is surely most unlikely they can hand over to a local regime before pacification, plus progress on reconstruction and ensuring the safety of oil supplies.  All that may be more difficult than they realize.  Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions are acute.  There is a risk of not one, but several, civil wars.  The aspirations of the Kurds, the interests of Turkey and Iran, are not well understood in Washington.  Nor are the rights of the Palestinians.  The Americans will win the war.  They must learn, and learn quickly, how not to lose the peace."


LITHUANIA:  "The Truth Revealed By The War"


Second largest daily Respublika commented (3/20):  "The day the war began has brought clarity to all of us: it has become evident that it is power that counts, not legality."


"Help Rebuild Iraq"


Top-circulation Lietuvos Rytas editorialized (3/20):  "If the U.S. calculations and plans turn out to be exact, not only will the world be set free from this dangerous threatening dictator, but we will have a chance to overcome the crisis....  Forget the disagreements, help to rebuild this country and solve the regional problems."


NORWAY:  "The Difficult War"


The independent VG commented (3/20):  “The war can bring unpleasant surprises, and above all is the uncertainty about what will happen in Iraq and the region once the war has been won.  A great deal will depend on finding a fair solution to the conflict in Palestine.  The ability of the international community to come together on a solution to the challenges will be decisive.  That is why we must overcome the lamentable divisiveness that preceded the war.”


ROMANIA:  "Saddam's Expensive Tribute:  Iraqi Casualties"


Horia Alexandrescu commented in the aptly-named Independent (3/20):  "Unfortunately for Iraqi citizens, the war will result in casualties among the civilian population, an expensive tribute paid...due to the stubbornness with which the Baghdad dictator holds on to power....  Saddam is willing to expose his own people, and this should make it clear to the Iraqis that instead of being protected by the state, they are being used by it as a shield, in a war, not which the U.S has started against Iraq, but that Saddam himself started many years ago against other countries, including America."


SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO: “Defiant Merciful Angel”


Pro-government Politika’s foreign analyst D.Rancic compared the similarities and the differences between the bombing of Iraq and of Yugoslavia (3/20): “There is similarity in precedent: if you avoid the Security Council once, then you can do similar things several times and completely diminish the authority of the United Nations.... Our ‘Merciful Angel’ [name of NATO’s military operation in Yugoslavia in 1999] was presented as the savior of a minority nation, which was oppressed by another, majority nation. This operation had the golden image of a righteous warrior who punished with a sword those who used force. We [the Serbs] were demonized and accused of many crimes and we were without support of influential friends and allies…Iraq’s position is different, maybe better.... Iraq’s issue divided the world, the Security Council, the West, NATO and Europe....there were no important divisions about us.… The biggest difference is that four years ago we were one of the few nations...that experienced the full power of American arrogance. Now, America’s closest allies and partners can feel that arrogance.... This is not about Iraq but about the perception of truth:  America went too far in oppressing the world in accordance with its global strategy of dominance....  Is there a danger that the UN will have the same destiny as a League of Nations? In the case of Yugoslavia, the Security Council was bypassed and ignored but now it is completely neglected.” 


SPAIN:  "Baghdad Burns"


Left-of-center El País (3/20) judged:  "This war, which should never have happened, has been started with the absolute contempt for international public opinion....  If Bush succeeds in winning quickly, he will have to win peace afterwards.  And this will be very difficult in a country as big and politically fragile as Iraq if he does not count on the collaboration of many of those whom he has ignored....  The first task of Washington, once its conquest is over, should be handing over of the management of the Middle Eastern country to the UN.  Whether Bush and his close advisors believe it or not, Washington needs friends and allies....  Its diplomatic fiasco in Iraq...should teach the White House that one of its most urgent matters is to repair its relations with half of the world as soon as the echo of the last shot of this wretched war disappears."


"A War For A Lasting Peace"


Conservative ABC concluded (3/20):  "If war is the confirmation of diplomatic failure, one will have to come to the conclusion that the Iraqi crisis has shown in all its crudeness the inability of the current order to effectively defend peace through an international security pact."




ISRAEL:  "Back To 1956"


Ari Shavit wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/20):  "This is...a war to renew colonialization....  It is the war of two Western powers that reached the conclusion that the only way to protect the success of the West from the failures of the Near East is to once again unfurl the umbrella of imperial patronage and send it into a long process of re-education.  It is highly doubtful this amazing attempt will succeed....  It is difficult to see how the soldiers of the airborne divisions will manage to impose a foreign democratic vision on a harsh desert land suffering from an identity crisis.  But the need that gave birth to this terrible war is a real need, and the challenge is a worldwide challenge: how to extricate the Middle East from its deep crisis, how to save the Middle East from itself."


"The Spirit Of Israel"


The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (3/20):  "Observers of our scene both seasoned locals and visiting outsiders must be struck by the composure with which most Israelis are gearing up for the war in Iraq.  This is not the fatalistic resignation of an apathetic people.  Israelis, in fact, are anything but passive....  The absence of hysterical fear and foreboding doesn't negate the existence of tension and unease, especially as we realize that for us it will not be over with the last air raid over Iraq.   At that point the U.S. will need to win back alienated Arab hearts and this might be most readily accomplished by squeezing from Israel concessions that will put Israeli civilians at potentially greater risk than ever.  Odds are, then, that our existential struggle will merely move to other arenas and take other forms."


WEST BANK:  “Hostile Mentality”


Independent Al-Quds opined (3/20):  “The American administration, along with its follower the British government, did not bother to heed calls of international and public opposition to the unjust aggression on Iraq from all over the world.  They insisted on finishing the job...using various trivial pretexts, which have later been proven to be illegitimate and fabricated....  It should not be a source of pride for the U.S. to achieve victory over Iraq, especially considering the U.S.’ military and technological superiority over Iraq with its limited capabilities weakened as a result of continuous international sanctions and wars....  Nevertheless, the conclusion of this war and all other wars of aggression that follow will help educate the world’s nations of the dangers of American dominance and will encourage these nations to act in order to contain these dangers and prevent their damaging effects and consequences."


ALGERIA:  "Biggest Treachery"


Pro-government Eshaab editorialized (3/20):  “All of humanity is looking disdainfully upon those who have decided to slaughter Iraqi children and destroy their homes, schools and gardens with the bombs Bush is testing on Baghdad.  The aim of this operation is to establish control over the oil wells. History will not forgive the ‘over-fed Gulfy elite’ who appear from time to time on TV to express shamelessly their deep sorrow for the victims of this war, knowing that they have given their lands, territorial waters, air space and finances to the enemy to burn Iraq.  The war will end today or tomorrow, but its results will still have continuing effect.  Washington’s war plan could have been avoided if the Arab leaders had reacted to oppose it.  War will not stop with Baghdad but will spread to the entire region.”


EGYPT:   “Beginning And End”


Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Reda Helal wrote (3/20):  "The U.S. unilateral decision to launch war destroyed the world order...for the sake of the American imperial tendency....  For the Middle East, the stage that has ended is the national independence stage that started after WWII, when tyrannical regimes emerged in order to sacrifice personal freedom for the freedom of the nation, but instead, they occupied nations and repressed their citizens.  Saddam Hussein’s regime is a salient example.  However, the American occupation of Iraq will mark the beginning of a new stage where Arab nations link between resistance to occupation and the demand for freedom of both the nation and the citizens.  Strangely, this tie between independence and freedom was the call of national movements, such as the Egyptian movement to tie the constitution with independence, before the era of military coups--with American help--started.  History will move on.”


"All Is Unclear"


Mohamed Sherdy remarked in pro-opposition Al Wafd (3/20):  "No one is capable of saying when will this war stop and no one would be capable of saying what will happen when Saddam disappears.  Now everything is possible and any thing could happen.  The world is moving towards the unknown.  Conflict is leading everybody."


JORDAN:  "Who Will Control The Fire In Iraq?"


Bater Wardam noted in center-left, influential Al-Dustour (3/20):  “The great danger lies not in the change of the Iraqi regime, but in what might follow.  We do not know if the Americans have a plan to control Iraq, and how they would deal with the sectarian and ethnic mosaic of that country, which will be the main element in their success or failure.  Everyone is responsible for the human tragedy in Iraq, starting with the gang in Washington that is obsessed with war, equally the Iraqi regime that has made non-stop mistakes since 1980, and Arab weakness.”


LEBANON:  "Searching For Great Men During These Fateful Hours"


Gebran Tueni wrote in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (3/20):  "President Bush  announced the beginning of war on Iraq following the launching of the first missile on Baghdad....  We are living fateful hours...everything will be different following the war on Iraq on the regional and international levels....  All of us are against the war, but we are also against the regime of Saddam Hussein who is responsible for the state his country reached....  What comes after toppling Saddam Hussein?  There is no doubt that America will use a carrot and the stick policy on parallel lines: a military line along the Iraqi front, and a political line along the Palestinian front....  America has decided to try to appease Arabs by the 'road map' project which will definitely pass through Baghdad.  The phase of opposing the war and crying for what could have been should be left behind by all of us.  We have to move forward, think about bolstering our countries and positions, and try to think ahead about what we want for the future of our countries in the Middle East....  This change should be based on democracy....  We tell Palestinian groups in Lebanon that we really respect their cause but Lebanon has already paid a dear price for their cause in addition to their mistakes in Lebanon....  We are living through historic hours and we need great men to be up to the standard of this important phase.  We do not want other countries to decide our destiny."


MOROCCO:  "The Seeds Of Greater Terrorism Are Being Sown In The Middle East"


Mohamed Ben Salah noted in pro-government Arabic-language Al Alam (3/20):  "The war might have started even before this issue reaches the readers. What war lords, war hawks, don't know is that their permanent war against Arabs and Muslims will lead to greater terrorism after the large aggression. America believes that it will win over Iraq and achieve its schemes in the Middle East. This war, from which America will come out victorious, will have its impact on millions of people who will protest against America's victory in many countries and peoples from the Middle East. When invaders achieve their victory, then another battle will start and other secret protests that America calls terrorism will follow. America is incapable of fighting terrorism and even governments tailored by America could not do so. No one could eliminate large and dangerous terrorism spread in all parts of the world. So this will lead to security, political, economic and social chaos that will bring the world back to Middle Ages. The world will enter the hell of terrorism whose victorious sides do not care about but who will suffer from it."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "The Mother Of All Wars"


Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina exhorted (3/20):  "The purpose of this war is most likely to enhance the U.S.' tendency to unilaterally run the affairs of the world according to Washington’s desires and its interests only....  Dealing with a war which has as its aim to change the whole world becomes the concern of the entire world....  Therefore, it would be useful for the Arab regional system, which is apparently very close to demise, to answer a vital question about a possible role of Arabs in the next world order....  To insist on waiting for the favors of people with good intentions will not lead Arabs anywhere, except to harvest results of evil actions by others."


SYRIA:  “War Speech; Political Hypocrisy”


Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (3/20):  “The political hypocrisy practiced by the U.S. under the masks of false concern about world peace, and bright promise to the Iraqi people, is too weak to hide the reality of this war, being a colonial and aggressive war.  Therefore, the Iraqi people with their national and pan-Arab consciousness and historical experience in deterring all forms of invasion, will confront the Hulagu of the modern age and will protect their homeland from the fiercest invasion that jeopardizes the Arab region, its neighborhood and the whole world.”


UAE:  "A Road Map Is Penetrating Arab Capitals"


Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al-Khaleej declared (3/20):  "What comes after it and how long will U.S. troops stay in Iraq?  The most dangerous question is the level of coordination between Washington and Tel Aviv in...reshaping the future of the region.  It has become known that once U.S. troops enter Iraq they will not depart, which has been confirmed by numerous American officials under the pretext of cementing peace and stability, the elimination of WMD, and curtailing any ethnic disputes....  Iraq will only be the starting point to re-mapping the Middle East, and Israel will play a fundamental role....  Statements of American officials clarify that the war against Iraq is only the first step.  The list of nations and organizations which the U.S. insists on labeling as 'terrorists' is extremely long, except for Israel.  Therefore, the American military presence was not meant to 'liberate' Iraqis, but to achieve a new American strategy in the region."




AUSTRALIA:  “The Real Reason America Is Invading Iraq”


Kenneth Davidson argued in the liberal Age (3/20):  “Bush personifies the American quest for absolute security.  Americans don't yet understand or care that this status can only be achieved by making everybody else absolutely insecure.  This is why the most lasting thing to come out of the war with Iraq is likely to be the faster development of a unified Western Europe and an economically powerful China to challenge U.S. hegemony.”


CHINA:  “The UNSC Should Not Be Reproached For Doing Its Duty”


Li Xuejiang noted in official Communist Party-run People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao) (3/20):  "It is a pity for the people of the world that the war could not be avoided.  It shows contempt for the status and authority of the UN....  Such behavior sets a bad precedent that a powerful country can act willfully, that the UN exists in name only, that international norms are like waste paper and that the law of the jungle is practiced in the world.  This is not what the people of the world, including U.S. citizens, want to see.”


CHINA (HONG KONG & MACAU SARS):  ""A War That Will Not Make The World Safer"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post opined (3/20):  "The war to drive Saddam Hussein from power in Baghdad runs directly against diplomatic efforts involving most of the world's great powers--including China, Russia and Germany--as well as the United Nations.  It marks too the first violence associated with the U.S. notion of pre-emption, the hastily-created 'Bush doctrine'...the idea--forged in the turmoil after the September 11 attacks--that the U.S. has the right to strike first against a state that may not be an immediate threat, but could prove to be one in the future....  Inflaming much of the Muslim world -- possibly the most important partner America has in the war against extremist terrorism....  This newspaper believes this doctrine not only to be dangerous, with ramifications far beyond the sands of Iraq....  War represents the failure of diplomacy....  It will be up to the diplomacy of these nations to keep the world order intact in the aftermath of the coming conflict, however strong the triumph out of Washington.  When unity and a sense of purpose is needed, Mr. Bush has sewn and exploited discord....  Many more people could be at risk by the instability created by this hasty conflict."


JAPAN:  "Attacking Iraq:  Despite Everything, We Cannot Agree"


Moderate Tokyo Shimbun observed (3/20):  "The U.S.-led atttack on Iraq has apparently begun.  Even if the U.S. is able to occupy Baghdad, we cannot give our consent after considering the deep chaos it invites for both the Middle East as a whole and international conflict resolution in the future....  Clearly, Saddam has commited serious crimes and never meant to carry out the UNSC resolutions.  But he had not engaged in massive military prepartions to threaten neighbors like he did in the first Gulf War....  To start a war at this time in this manner, we cannot approve....  After the war, the U.S. military apparently plans to remain in Iraq to establish an occupation similiar to that in Japan after World War II, but the societes are completely different.  The threat of disintegration is stronger than the potential for unity.  It is also certain that anti-U.S. feeling and sympathy with Iraq will rise among the masses of Muslim people in response to the attack without UNSC sanction....  Iraq is not the only tyranny in the MIddle East.  Coutnries that fear an upswell of anti-U.S. mass feeling include Iraq's regional pro-U.S. oil-producing neighbors.  Post-Saddam anti-tyranny mass movements for democracy could very well take aim at Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Gulf states.  Such instability could create serious consequences for Japan, which imports 87 percent of its oil from this region....  The UN inspections provided results.  It is undeniable that U.S. military pressure played a large role in this.  But it would have been better if the U.S. had waited for the diplomatic solution supported by unanimous UN votes....  This war is unilateral and preemptive.  If we allow the U.S. to engage in such internationally illegal actions, maybe other countries will also undertake preemptive strikes in the conflicts in Africa, Kashmir and elsewhere, .  President Bush has sacrificed the UN-based international order that has held the key to solving post-Cold War conflicts.   


INDONESIA:  “Bush Needs A Lunatic Asylum”


Independent Media Indonesia commented (3/20):  “It is very crucial that all people in this country view the U.S--Iraq war proportionally. This war is not war of religions. It is also not a war of the West against the East. This war has absolutely no relation to any religion; it has no relation to any ideology likewise....  The war breaks out simply because a superpower country is led by a lunatic president, who turns a deaf ear to world opinion, who does not care about the U.N, because he is a self-righteous person.”


MALAYSIA:  "Bush A Gangster To The World."


Government-influenced, Malay-language Berita Harian declared (3/20):  "President George W. Bush looks set to launch a war to topple Saddam Hussein without the support of the UN.  In handling the Iraqi crisis, the UN chose to follow the path of diplomacy.  However Bush has thumbed his nose at the efforts of the weapons inspectors, and has ignored the strong protests of the French, Russians, Germans and Chinese as well as the seven smaller nations who sit on the Security Council.  While undermining the UN, Bush and his allies have also ensured the cooperation between the U.S. and European countries has been damaged.  The smaller countries who relied on the UN as a institute for peace and justice have seen international laws flouted, and cannot again hope for any consideration for their concerns at this world body.  With this war, Bush has not only ignored the protests of his own countrymen, but that of the world.  He has damaged the good image of America through lies and manipulations.  Iraq does not have the nuclear weapons nor the connection to the September 11 tragedy, as Bush has claimed.  After this, the world will never hold anything but hate for America for wanting to test its own weapons of mass destruction."


PHILIPPINES:  "Political Will"


Alex Magno wrote in the independent Philippine Star (3/20):  "The source of prolonged threat must be neutralized now. The haven for international terror must be overrun....  Bush, Blair and their partners in this grand coalition of militant democracies do not mind losing their political careers if that is the cost of doing what if right. They do not mind going down in flames if that is the price to pay for taking the decisive action required by the moment....  Tony Blair defied what is currently fashionable in public opinion in order to follow moral conviction. Chirac bowed to what is momentarily fashionable and turned out the cowardly villain....  The present leaders of France and Germany...vacillated in the face of polarized public opinion. They sought convenience when the moment required courage....  The least we could have done was to have adopted a position of acute moral courage. We could have taken a position defined by political will...and better invested in the democratic future of modern civilization."


THAILAND:  “Against The U.S.; Against The War”


Elite, Thai-language Matichon said (3/20):  “The invasion of Iraq will reflect where the flaws are in the balance of power and how we can rectify them.  Will the UN continue to be the world community’s hope?....  And what shall we do to a warmongering country that resorts to war to solve its problem without listening to anybody?”


VIETNAM:  "An Unjust War And A Dangerous Precedent For The World's Security"


Trung Chinh commented in Ho Chi Minh City's Police bi-weekly  Cong An Thanh Pho (3/20): "The world considers the US and UK's actions of waging war against Iraq a blatant violation of the UN Charter and international law. It sets a very dangerous precedent for the world's security in the 21st century. The US is repositioning  the Middle East region for its own, and is taking over Iraq to control one of the richest oil countries. " 




INDIA:  "Liberal Contortions" 


The centrist Telegraph contended (3/20):  "If an American attack is justifiable because of the 'wider common good', regardless of the UN, then the question of whether Iraq is disarming sufficiently or not is irrelevant.  Even if it were disarming, the U.S. would still be justified in forcibly carrying out a regime change.  In which case, the U.S. Government is being thoroughly hypocritical in trying to pretend otherwise.  It is wrong to want a UN cover, and liberals supportive of the U.S. behavior on these grounds should openly say so, and at the very least, criticize the U.S. for its dishonest and unnecessary dissimulation vis-à-vis the UN and the general public, American or otherwise."


PAKISTAN:  "Is Saddam The Only Dictator In The World?"


Islamabad-based Islamist Urdu-langauge Ausaf opined (3/20):  "The U.S. intensely loathes the Iraqi dictatorship. Apparently this hatred stems from the U.S.' commitment to democratic values and aversion to dictatorial regimes. But is Saddam Husayn the only dictator in the world who is repugnant to Washington? If this feeling of hatred is genuine then why does the United States support dictators in other countries and help them to consolidate their rule? Is its complacency in promoting and strengthening dictatorship not a heinous crime?....  The United States has a skewed criterion for judging who is a dictator. It supports any dictator who is subservient to US interests and follows US policies. It turns a blind eye to such dictatorial regimes....  The United States loves its freedom and liberty, and has no qualms about killing thousands of people to maintain its freedom. But it has no regard for others' freedom. Washington has left a trail of brutalities in the world history: it launched a nuclear attack on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and turned the two cities into rubble....  Washington is set on the path of fascism; it is unmindful of the fate of fascists....  The U.S. may perpetrate any brutality but it cannot get away with it. It is bound to meet a dreadful end. The United States will ultimately face divine retribution."


"The World After The Iraq War"


Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad held in center-right national Nation (3/20):  "Opposition to the role assumed by U.S. of a world policeman could become formidable in days to come....  The war could also get prolonged on account of the tenacity of the Iraqi people.  Large-scale casualties of civilians, failure of the occupying forces to control the conquered country, violation of human rights, possible destabilization of the neighboring countries--all these could contribute to American problems.  These issues will be used by the critics of the U.S.  Iraq policy to further coordinate their activities in the UN and other world fora.  This could deter the U.S. from attacking other countries.  The people of Iraq are thus fighting a war on behalf of the rest of the mankind.  Two developments are bound to emerge in days to come. First there would be determined efforts by countries to form a number of other centers of power countering the U.S. Second, movements opposing the imperialist policies of the U.S. would forge closer links and thus constitute a challenge to the U.S. desire to become another version of the Roman Empire."




CANADA:  "Even As War Starts, Think Of War's End"


The leading Globe & Mail editorialized (3/20):  "Deemed irrelevant by the United States days ago, after Washington failed to win specific authorization for an invasion of Iraq, the UN now seeks to make itself central to reconstruction.  It is a role the Bush administration should support.  The U.S.-led military forces are capable of winning a war on their own, but winning the peace will be more complicated.  The international community must come together during rebuilding--most importantly so that the suffering of Iraq's 25 million citizens is minimized, but also because the countries in the Western alliance which disagreed so vehemently at the UN must put their differences behind them....  The United States, no doubt, will take the upper hand in the first months after fighting ends.  Multilateralism will be a hindrance then, U.S. officials say.  But reconstruction will be a long process.  The UN has a big role to play, and should be allowed to play it....  In Iraq...Americans shouldn't try to do it alone.  There's a coalition of the willing ready to be involved after fighting ends."


"The War Canada Missed"


The conservative National Post had this view (3/20):  "As the war to liberate Iraq took shape yesterday, millions of Canadians were struck by pangs of Prime Minister envy.  The object of their affection: British PM Tony Blair, who on Tuesday delivered an impassioned and convincing call to arms against Saddam Hussein.... Meanwhile, here at home, our own PM was giving Canadians the opposite message....  Inspections were working, Jean Chrétien said, and the war now unfolding is 'not justified.'  Caucus members clapped wildly at these words.  But their giddiness will no doubt dissipate in coming months, as the United States realizes what has become of Canada--formerly a good friend, but now just an unusually whiny European nation, transplanted stateside....  And so, while delivering our prayers for a speedy and relatively bloodless conclusion to the war that is now upon us, we would also like to send this message to our U.S. friends: Mr. Chrétien speaks for the Canadian government, but he does not speak for all Canadians....  The war will be over in days.  But the damage done this country in U.S. eyes will likely linger on for years.  By placing our self-serving multilateral pieties above our alliance with our greatest ally and the plainly just cause of liberating Iraq, our government has damaged Canada's international position."


"Target Saddam Not Iraqi People"


The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (3/20):  "The true 'success' of this war will be measured not by how speedily Saddam is crushed, or how many Iraqi targets are hammered in the first blitz.  It will be measured by how successful the U.S. and British commanders are in sparing civilians, and in aiding those caught in the fray.  Saddam is not disposed to make it easy....  By wreaking havoc and courting high casualties Saddam may hope to inflame Muslim and world opinion against the United States....  This puts a heavy moral burden on Bush, as America's commander-in-chief, to restrain his military machine.  For he chose this war....  How many Iraqis must now be sacrificed, for Saddam's head?  In Washington's corridors of power, these arguments and calculations hold no sway.  So Iraqis, and the world, must pray that this war is over quickly, with minimal loss of life.  And then Bush and his military governor must patch together, what they are about to break."


"A Precipitant War"


Chief editorialist Jean-Robert Sansfaçon wrote in the liberal Le Devoir (03/20): "Unlike Bush, Saddam Hussein does not have the support of his people...Shiites and Kurds have been waiting tobe freed from the claws of this murderer since the first Gulf War.... That being said the Americans were unable to show any proof to justify the emergency of any military intervention.... The Americans may solve a problem by ridding the world of a thug, but at the cost of a step backward in recent efforts to make international law and multilateralism the only acceptable avenues to settle dispute between countries.  The world has just lost a wonderful opportunity to test the tools at its disposal to make tyrants buckle."


ARGENTINA: "Saddam, Dead Or Alive"


Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading Clarín commented (3/20): "The target is Saddam Hussein, dead or alive. This is why Washington's military strategy against Iraq is much more like the one used in the 1989 invasion of Panama rather than in the 1991 Persian Gulf.... In the same way the ones in charge of capturing Noriega were the green berets and Navy Seal elite commands, the ones who have the difficult mission of trapping Saddam are, this time, the Delta Force elite commands.... The White House prefers Saddam to die rather than be captured. The reason is simple: if he is captured, Bush already promised Saddam would be tried for crimes against humanity. And if this happens, the anti-US feeling could increase even more in Arab countries."


"The New Bush Doctrine"


Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion commented (3/20): "The Bush administration implemented a new national security doctrine, whose main focus is the pre-emptive attack if it feels threatened, and which abandons the rule of military action as the last resource vis-à-vis a foreign attack.... Bush looks to the world as a bible representation of the good against the evil, and this perception has increased during the last weeks, when he not only talked about destroying the Iraqi WMD but also about freeing Saddam's people... When President Bush announced the start of war, he took the most audacious step of his presidency, which is also the most conclusive defeat for the UN diplomacy and which marks the end of an era in the relations among nations.  A stage of uncertainty has started and it could have unpredictable consequences.... Bush ignored the strong international rejection of war and grounded his action on the need to guarantee the US people's security."


"The Current War And Perpetual Peace"


Business-financial InfoBae carries an opinion piece by international analyst Carlos Escude, who opines (3/20): "Saddam demonstrated his expansionist willingness when he invaded Kuwait and he did not want to disarm afterwards. He demonstrated his ability to develop WMD, his readiness to use them in a genocide way even against his own Shiite and Kurdish people and his inclination to export terrorism.... Because of all this Iraq is a legitimate target, regardless of the fact that it may not be the most dangerous country in the world. But precisely because it is near other potentially dangerous countries, Iraq is also a useful target... This war means the inauguration of a new world order, which is the only one that can protect humanity from the dangers emerging from the WMD proliferation. This is why it is good. (However), this goes against the interest of countries who believe they have a right to 'grandeur,' like France."


BRAZIL: “The Decisive Hour”


Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo Chief Editor Otavio Frias Filho remarked (3/20): “U.S. hegemony has been replaced by a doctrine of maximum security. The elimination of the Iraqi regime will be its first real test following the rehearsal that swept the Taliban from Afghanistan. The reasoning is that the U.S. is expected to assume its police role without scruples or hesitation about becoming vulnerable to nuclear blackmail by ‘one, two, a hundred Iraqs’.... Given Saddam's background and his relative weakness, Iraq is about to be immolated as an example for North Korea. It is not a stupid or thoughtless strategy, as many might believe. In addition to being inhumane, it is risky – because violence always generate more violence, which will not be easy to step back from in the future.”


“The World And Brazil In View Of The New War In Iraq”


Business-oriented Valor Economico opined (3/20): “If disrespecting UN declarations were enough to justify a military attack, then India and Israel, among other nations, might suffer the same treatment.... It is not difficult to figure out who will win. If the victory comes quickly and cleanly, i.e., if the casualties among civilian Iraqis and U.S. troops are not many, the trauma will tend to be small.... Politically, especially if it can be proved that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, Bush and Tony Blair will have a good chance of regaining their prestige. Otherwise, the U.S. and world economies will experience a long period of instability.... It is reasonable to suppose that following the conflict the U.S. will feel the need to legitimate its unquestionable hegemony, which will be harmed from an ideological point of view. Therefore, the U.S. will be much more likely to try to engage the UN and the largest number of nations possible in plans to reorganize Iraq and to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The GOB should let this supposition guide its behavior in these decisive moments of contemporary history.”


"To Reconstruct"


Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (3/20): "Now we have to wait to see if U.S. troops are more competent than their diplomats and if overwhelming U.S. military superiority accelerates  the outcome.  But while the military phase may be concluded quickly the peace consolidation phase will demand laborious work and great patience.... Since Bush's ultimatum Saddam's fall has become irreversible.  But the old tyrant won't fall alone in an open field, like a corpse one can dispose quickly.  Other bricks of the complex world order building will  fall with him....When he decided to go to the Persian Gulf alone.... Bush seriously hurt  the authority of the UN.  NATO and the European Union...were also wounded. Not to mention sacred principles such the multilateralism on decisions  that affects the welfare and security of all.... Great challenges will come after the new Gulf war and none is Bush's exclusive affair.  It will be necessary to continue fight  disarm erratic regimes that really do have nuclear protect  the environment - a lost cause without U.S. collaboration.  And, above all, to restore U.N.'s authority and the primacy of diplomacy."


"The Iraq War And The U.N."


Right-of-center O Globo carries byline by sociologist Helio Jaguaribe (3/20): "In the case of President Bush and the small, dogmatic team around him,  you can see the same profound ignorance of what is really in play, and the  same basic fundamentalism that drives the 'forces of good' as those 'of  evil....' What is in play, above all, is the intention of the Bush government to impose, worldwide, the unilateral monitoring of the U.S. because it is the uncontested superpower and, morally, the center of 'good.' The true result of the war will have catastrophic aspects.... In the short and medium term, the U.N., under the leadership of countries like France and Germany with the support of China and Russia may  and should administrate what is left of international legitimacy.  They can summon the American people, with their profoundly democratic values and the extraordinary commitment to such values and reject Bush's  adventurism, compelling this same government or more likely his successor,to resume the course of international legitimacy."


CHILE:  "The FTA And The War In Iraq"


Conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record El Mercurio (3/20): "Chile was the only of the 'undecided' countries in the Security Council that openly defined its position on Iraq.... The United States is our main trading partner and a country with which we share the values of democracy and freedom....  But it is evident that the advantages of the FTA are less tangible for the United States than for Chile.... This does not mean the GOC must sacrifice its deepest beliefs over the possibility that the U.S. will delay the approval of the agreement...but it is in our interest to have a solid bilateral relationship and that all the necessary diplomatic efforts be made to prevent the most recent slip from having a more severe effect."


COSTA RICA: "Loss Of Confidence"


Costa Rica's most influential La Nacion judged in an op-ed today (3/20): "The absolute opposition by many of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, emerges from a total lost of confidence in George W. Bush’s team, an act achieved in just 26 months of governing.…In less than two years, Bush Jr. unilaterally cancelled the Russian anti-ballistic missile agreement, renounced commitments to decrease worldwide warming as defined in Kyoto and, as if some were 'more equal than others,' rejected the authority of the International Criminal Court for his people.  In less than two months, with exemplary diplomatic lack of skill, he also weakened, possibly fatally, NATO and made the UN Security Council irrelevant.  This Monday, ill-advised by his advisors, his ultimatum topped off a series of diplomatic failures that characterize his presidency....  If it was previously difficult to trust in the U.S. will now require an act of faith.… Maybe as the conflict moves forward, the real reasons for which the U.S. sacrificed worldwide confidence will emerge, and with this maybe, will begin its slow recovery."




Establishment, pro-business Listin Diario's columnist Cesar Medina asserted (3/20):  "What seems totally unjustifiable from all points of view is that the local focus, i.e., the Dominican interest in this crisis, is so detached from our own reality to the point that, everywhere you hear and read different pundits from opinion-makers, people with political and economic power and even well-respected intellectuals, that do not start to understand that this war is our war, even if we don't like it, don't understand it, don't want it or have not caused it.  When America is at war, all [of us] Americans participate in it even against our will and consequently, our region, the Caribbean, becomes a strategic war zone.  That is why when the U.S. starts the war - which might be happening as we speak - we Dominicans also become involved in it with all the consequences it brings."




Columnist Cesar Duvernay wrote  in establishment, pro-business Listin Diario (3/20):  "No matter what are the results of the Middle East crisis...the Dominican Republic will no doubt feel the effects of the conflictive atmosphere.  In under-developed economies such as ours there is no need for a single bullet to be shot for us to suffer economic consequences....  A knows how it starts, but not how it ends.  Right now, U.S. investment priorities, our main trade partner, point to weaponry and that reflects in our economy...besides, globalization, makes the consequences of a conflict persist long after the war ends."


GUATEMALA: “Saddam, The Dictator”


In its main editorial, largest-circulation morning tabloid Nuestro Diario  commented (3/20):“If anyone wishes to praise Saddam Hussein because of his defiance of the United States...they would change their mind if they knew Hussein’s biography.…  Nevertheless, all countries in the world, to a greater or lesser degree, are opposed to the U.S.’s firm decision to attack Iraq.  This opposition does not imply sympathy for Hussein.  Even renowned Americans are against the President’s decision… because they firmly believe that the objectives that the U.S. has chosen to attack Iraq… may be achieved through peaceful means.”


“The World is at War”


Influential morning El Periodico  argued (3/20):  "It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong, if they have to kill to validate their views.… This war may bring us terrible and tragic consequences, such as disease, pestilence, hunger, and environmental contamination.… In this time of great tribulation, the only thing left to do is to pray…  May God have mercy on us!”


PARAGUAY: "In the Name of God, I Kill You!"


Leading Paraguayan ABC Color's lead editorial contended (3/20): "All the peoples of the world DO have the right to a legitimate defense, and, in the name of it, to use force in order to prevent being a target of clever attacks like the Twin Towers.... When the allies' armed intervention ends with the tyrant's regime, the population of Iraq will recover its hopes for a life of liberty, without and fear and with respect for human rights."


"The Weakening Of The International Order"


Left-leaning Asuncion Ultima Hora's lead editorial opposed U.S. actions, quoting a Western political scientist saying that the U.S. wants to be the model of a superior culture that (3/20):"its people and government deserves intellectual and moral respect.  This will be difficult to achieve with this pseudo-war that will be more characteristic of genocide.  A barbarity that humanity has always condemned and will never forget."




SOUTH AFRICA:   "By Any Means Necessary"


Liberal Cape Times commented (3/19):  "What is that Saddam is a tyrant.  The end result of a war in Iraq is therefore clear: to remove a cruel despot.  Such a pity, then, that the process embarked on to achieve this objective was so seriously flawed....  Bush and Saddam will be gone one day.  But a most tragic and awful precedent [was] set when the U.S. launched that first strike on Iraq."


CAMEROON:  "Bush Ignores United Nations, Declares War Against Iraq"


The Yaounde-based opposition English-language Star Headlines carried an article from Peter Abo Nyi stating (3/20):  “What many people do not understand is why America embarks on a war when they have more weapons of mass destruction than Iraq? Does George Bush not know that thousands of innocent souls will perish in his war against Iraq?  How then will he be helping the people of that country, by killing them in a senseless warfare? America, as the so-called world policeman, must think twice about not doing anything so stupid. If this does happen, then George Bush and his family will live to regret the error....  If the UN Security Council does not stop America then it will simply mean that America has become the United Nations, where they have no one to question them about their wrong doings. Many people are also continuing to ask damnable questions such as why Iraq must always cry when a Bush is in power in America.”


GHANA: "Bush's Unjust War And The Future Of The UN"


A.B.A. Fuseini in the government-owned Daily Graphic with national circulation stated (3/20): "Barring any miracle, the United States, under the orders of President George W. Bush, will push 250,000 or more troops currently massed up in the Gulf into Iraq to begin Gulf War II...The family honor of the Bushes are also at stake here.... The son must, therefore redeem the family honour. The U.S. President also believes that a war against Iraq, which he has desperately and fruitlessly tried to link with Al Qaeda and September 11, will help restore U.S .global prestige, rehabilitate his administration and improve his chances of re-election....  War by the United States and its allies, without the authority of the UN, is undemocratic, indeed, antidemocratic and present war mongers and blood thirsty leaders of this world who harbour territorial designs and ambition over others or who have global hegemonistic ambitions to cite this illegal war as a worthy precedent....  President Bush's move is clearly a reckless move fraught with grave dangers for the world. The shattering of the global coalition against terrorism after the September 11 incident engendered by Bush's unilateral action has dealt a severe blow to an otherwise credible attempt at maintaining consensus in the fight to protect and promote global peace, security and justice....  Let leaders of conscience in the world stand resolutely against this new despotism of Bush who, on the altar of profit and self interest, wants to set the world on fire."


“War Of Bullies”


The government-owned  Evening News with national circulation stated in an editorial (3/19): "The ultimatum to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to leave his country for another country is as intolerable as it is irritating. What does the United States of America mean? This is the 'War of the Bullies' which must not be accepted by all true democrats. How can the United States under the leadership of President George Bush order the seating president of a country into exile because it is believed that he is in possession of weapons of mass destruction? If President Bush has enough evidence against President Hussein for possessing these weapons, is war the only reasonable solution to the problem?… On the local scene, we are delighted to learn that all the major political parties including a cross-section of the public have appealed to the US not to attack Iraq. This is a positive re-awakening of the people of this country to sample truth from falsehood. “The Evening News” believes that military attack on Iraq will in no doubt bring hardship to many Iraqis, especially the civilian population and those in the Gulf regions who do not even understand the essence of this war…We once again urge President Bush and his cohorts to respect the decision of the Security Council of the United Nations and allow time to disarm Iraq through peaceful procedure instead of this bellicose stance.”


NAMIBIA:  "The War That Divides The World"


The independent English-language Namibian commented (3/20):  "There could hardly be a more divisive war than the one that the United States, along with its ally, the United Kingdom, is about to embark upon. This newspaper, along with many other newspapers the world over, is of the opinion that the channels for diplomacy had not yet been exhausted and that the Iraq disarmament issue could have been resolved by peaceful means. Quite simply, we believe that the raison d' etre for the U.S. going to war is not disarmament, but rather regime change in Iraq.  There are other countries in the world with nuclear, biological and chemical weapons capability and several of them are states that are not friendly to democracy.  Yet they have not been singled out for attack by the U.S. There are also many regimes with horrific human rights records--some of them are allies of the United States. George W. Bush's insistence on war at all costs has simply served to further divide an already divided world, and even worse, in our opinion, will incite rather than diminish terrorism the world over."


TANZANIA:  "History Will Judge America And Britain"


Kiswahili-language sensationalist tabloid Dar Leo commented (3/20):   "The war, which some observers prophesize could be the Third World War, has begun....  Experts say that the effect of the war is not only damage to the infrastructure and economy, but will also have great effects after it has ended.  After a war has ended, people will continue to live in great poverty, because it takes them years to build up their infrastructure.  America and Britain will be blamed for any bad effects that come from this war, and history will judge Bush and Blair, who think that the easiest way to solve a conflict is through military action--something that is dangerous for human life."


ZAMBIA:  "United States Arrogance"


The leftist Independent Post editorialized (3/20):  "It is clear that although the Cold War has ended the arms race continues and military and nuclear hegemony is being perpetuated. But how long do we have to wait for the complete proscription of all weapons of mass destruction, for universal disarmament and the elimination of the use of force, arrogance and pressure in the context of international relation?  We want a world without hegemony, without nuclear arms, without racism, without nationalists and religious hatred, without outrages against the sovereignty of any country, and with respect for peoples' independence and free self determination. We want a world of peace, justice and dignity, in which everybody, without any exception, has the right to well-being and to life.  None of the present problems of the world can be solved by force. The world cannot be saved unless a path of international peace and co-operation is pursued with absolute honesty and avoiding hegemonic interests or national ambition....  The Security Council shouldn't be pushed to give legal support to hegemonic and arbitrary decisions made by the ruling Power, which violate the Charter and International Law and that trespass on the sovereignty of all states....  Today the Security Council, a hostage of the United States, could only exercise a selective, capricious, arbitrary and ineffective dictatorship, instead of the moral leadership.


"The Iraqi People, Not The U.S., Should Decide"


Government-owned Zambia Daily Mail said (3/20):  "It must be said that it is quite bizarre that a President of a country could order another President to leave his own country....  Our fear, since this whole stand-off begun, has been that America would not stop at removing President Hussein from office for whatever wrongs he has committed. Our fear is that President Bush would go ahead and impose a surrogate President on the people of Iraq. This war is beyond what the American President wants the world to believe....  The world knows it all, and whether what has been said about him demands leadership change, it is up to the Iraqi people to decide. How they effect that change, nobody knows, after all no leader is immortal....  Bush's position should be questioned and held responsible for the consequences of this war. The world is watching."



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