International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

March 21, 2003

March 21, 2003





** Commentary remains predominantly negative, but pockets of war supporters in conservative Western and East Asian outlets back the effort to "free the Iraqi people."

** Writers are hoping for "quick end" to war, anticipating the "real challenge" will be in the "postwar occupation."

** Many are skeptical that removing Saddam by "dropping bombs" will "usher in democracy" and a "new order" in the Middle East, and fear new waves of terrorism lie ahead.




War opponents maintain war is 'unjustified'; reject 'wanton bombardment of Iraq'--

Though some conservative outlets considered the war "justified," most European dailies continued to characterize it as "illegitimate," "wrong" and "a risky gamble" that threatens to "sink" the U.S.' reputation "to the same low it had" during the Vietnam war.  Thai, South Korean and Indian dailies excoriated the U.S. for "flouting UN laws" in a "unilateral and barbarous act of aggression."  Islamic and African commentary was typically vitriolic, condemning the invasion as "immoral," "barbaric" and an act of "banditry of the highest order."  Pakistan's sensationalist Ummat accused Bush of "targeting one Muslim country after the other," labeling him "more barbaric than Genghis Khan."  Writers in Egypt, Qatar and Morocco claimed Washington "violated international legitimacy."  Latin American press portrayed the U.S. action as either an "arrogant" act of "neoimperialism" or a kind of "holy war."  They largely agreed with Lima's center-left La Republica that "taking control of a country by force does not mean peace."


For or against war, most hope for a 'quick end,' say postwar is the 'real challenge'--

European dailies held it was time "to look to the future," with some calling for more "European unity in providing assistance to postwar Iraq."  Most concurred with Italy's centrist Corriere della Sera that "those who opposed Bush now find themselves in the strange position of hoping that he will win" quickly.  Others shared a center-left German daily's pessimism that the U.S. would not have the "stamina" to stay in Iraq long enough to establish a stable, democratic regime.  London's Financial Times likewise looked to the postwar occupation as the "real challenge" which would "reveal whether the U.S. has the staying power to match its fire power. " Several Asia-Pacific papers were among the most supportive of war, welcoming it as a chance to "free Iraq from oppression." The conservative Australian said the "momentum of U.S. power" has moved the global "pendulum of support behind Washington," while the independent Manila Standard praised the U.S. for doing the "dirty work" of toppling Saddam. 


Skeptical of 'preventive war,' nervous about U.S. 'domination' in 'new world order'-- Many editorials saw the offensive as heralding "a new world order" that "for good or ill" will "shape the future...of all nations."  A rightist German paper claimed Bush "has nothing less in mind but the restructuring of the political landscape...on a global scale" while a Finnish daily feared "a new era of imperialism...more brutal than the earlier one."  Islamic writers assailed "America's war against Muslims," alleging that the U.S. is leading the world "back to the heyday of imperialism."  The West Bank's independent Al Quds criticized the U.S. plans for "occupying Iraq, imposing imperial domination..and abolishing its independence."  Others, such as the independent Ghanaian Chronicle called upon the UN "to forestall the periodic waywardness of such superpowers as the U.S.”  Some shared one Brazilian paper's cynicism that the West could give the Arabs a "formula for its progress," carping that "the last thing that could work [in Iraq] is a 'democratic project' brought from the West in a box."


Fear of war's unpredictable consequences-- Pessimists worried that the attack would turn Saddam into a "martyr" and sow "the seeds of hatred in the hearts of millions."  France's Catholic La Croix argued "the war in Iraq has been launched by shortsighted men" and predicted that "humiliation, the feeding ground for terrorism, will seep from everywhere in the East."  Chinese outlets warned the war will "make the Middle East...more unstable" and "lead to even more terrorist attacks."  Taking note of Iraq's history and the "evidence of the present," the business-oriented Jamaica Observer suggested that "the removal of Saddam by war will re-ignite ethnic and religious nationalism."


EDITORS:  Irene Marr, Ben Goldberg, Steven Wangsness


EDITORS' NOTE:  This analysis is based on 119 reports from 60 countries over March 20-21. Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date. 




BRITAIN:  "Into Battle"


The conservative Daily Telegraph took this view (3/21):  "The novelty of this campaign consists not only in the sheer size of the allied arsenal, but in its strategy and tactics....  Not only are the allies trying to minimise casualties, but they also intend to spare as far as possible the Iraqi infrastructure, which they would otherwise need to rebuild after victory.  The allied attempt to 'decapitate' the Ba'athist regime by killing Saddam Hussein, his two sons and military top brass...fits perfectly into this strategic concept."


"Into A Fearful Future"


The left-of-center Guardian argued (3/21):  "It is certain that the American and British offensive will shape the future not just of Iraq and the Arab world, but of all nations and all peoples now living, all across the globe, whether they are directly engaged in this war or not....  It is also a moment when the whole world will be reordered, for good or ill, perhaps for our lifetime....  [PM Blair's] belief that...that the global consequences of [the war] can be equitably controlled, lie not in his hands but in President Bush's.  And that, yesterday, today and tomorrow, whatever happens in the desert, is the world's real fear."


"Opening Shots"

The conservative Times took this view (3/21):  "The strike against Saddam Hussein personally might not have succeeded but that in itself did not make the attempt a failure. It was certainly trying to curtail the war by eliminating the small group who are primarily responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction."

"Remaking The World After The Iraq War"

The independent, pro-business Financial Times argued (3/21):  "The postwar likely to present the real challenge and reveal whether the U.S. has the staying power to match its fire power. Reconstruction is not the only area in which Washington will need friends to help.  [The U.S.] will still end up having to hold the country together, while keeping predatory neighbours such as Turkey and Iran at bay and devising a government framework in which all Iraqis will feel represented."

"After All The Doubts"


The center-left Independent contended (3/21):  "The liberation of the Iraqi people is, on its own terms, a desirable and laudable aim.  The more the Bush administration and its allies focus on the welfare of the Iraqi people, the better it will be....  The unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state sets an uncertain precedent....  We can and should be sceptical, therefore, of George Bush's motives.  While this conflict may not be 'about oil' is likely that the desire to secure diversity of supply is a factor."


FRANCE:  "A State Of Emergency"


Michel Schifres argued in right-of-center Le Figaro (3/21):  “If [Bush's] ‘decapitation’ phase succeeds, the international community will soon quiet its criticism.  If the operation fails, he can always say that the objective was Saddam not his people.  This explanation is all the more necessary because this war is still, in the eyes of international law, very much illegitimate....  The war, now that it has started, must be as quick as possible....  While the desire not to be ‘punished’ for its stand, or left out of the reconstruction process are evident, France is also convinced it can play a specific role, in part because of its beliefs and its commitments.”


"And Then What?"


Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (3/21):  “Beyond ‘liberating’ the people...and disarming Iraq, the Americans plan to stay....   This is a more responsible attitude than leaving Iraq to its fate....  As long as everyone agrees on certain points: first, acknowledging the magnitude of the task...and most of all accepting the role the UN can play....  Nothing gives America the right to short-circuit the UN in the reconstruction of Iraq....  While war is always full of surprises, post-war in Iraq is sure to be full of landmines.”


"Ruins On Ruins"


Bruno Frappat opioned in Catholic La Croix (3/21):  “America’s triumph in Iraq, were the Americans to be welcomed as liberators, will be perilous.  Because humiliation, the feeding ground for terrorism, will seep from everywhere in the East....  The security of one’s people is paramount, but not if it leads to a darker future.  The war on Iraq has been launched by shortsighted men.”




Claude Cabanes held in communist l’Humanite (3/21):  “One of the worst paradoxes of this war is that it has turned a horrible tyrant into a hero, a martyr for millions....  The pre-war days turned into a political and diplomatic disaster for the Bush administration...[which] continued yesterday with the condemnation which emanated from Moscow, Beijing, Ankara, Berlin and others."


GERMANY:  "Bush Feels Chosen"


G. Pape commented on regional radio station "Westdeutscher Rundfunk" of Cologne (3/21):  "We are now witnessing how the U.S. violates international law and how it sows the seeds of hatred in the hearts of millions of people...and all this in the name of freedom....  And the most fearful aspect is that the U.S government really believes in the things it is now spreading.  Bush feels chosen to bring the ‘good’ to the world, and if necessary this also includes the death of thousands of people."


"Dangerous Words"


Alan Posener concluded in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (3/21):  “In his address to the nation, Chancellor Schroeder talked about a peace order in Iraq following the war.  He did not find the courage to tell the truth that this peace presupposes a U.S. victory."


"Cycle Of Anger"


Stefan Kornelius opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (3/21):  “The second U.S.-Iraqi war lacks the political, legal, and military basis, and it lacks a credible vision for the time after....  America will not have the stamina to stay for many years in Iraq to set up a stable, democratic government.  It will fail with its claim to create peace and stability and to be accepted as a benevolent hegemonic force.  Bush will rather cultivate anger which will haunt the United States for a long time to come.”


"The False War"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin opined (3/21):  “This war is wrong....  We can only hope that this war will be shorter and will result in fewer casualties than many people fear.  We must take part in the rebuilding process and the pacification of the region, and we must try to repair fragile alliances."


"Texas Ranger"


Center-right Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung (3/21) judged:  “George W. Bush has begun a war, which is wrong and superfluous....  The U.S. president acts like a Texas ranger who has greater trust in his own revolver than the advice of his friends....  The U.S. reputation is threatening to sink to the same low it had during the time of the Vietnam war."


"On A Global Scale"


Right-of-center Nuernberger Zeitung contended (3/21):  “The U.S. president has nothing else in mind but the restructuring of the political landscape first in the entire Mideast region and than on a global scale....  By being absolutely sure that...the American way of life is the guarantor for peace and the prosperity of peoples, Bush’s guiding intellectual forces subordinated almost all concerns to this goal.”


"Memories Of A Multilateral U.S."


Center-right General-Anzeiger of Bonn judged:  "The decision to wage war without UN mandate is a model example of unilateralism....  The thought of the historic merits of the United States acting as a midwife for birthing international organizations and multilaterally accepted rules creates nostalgic memories.”


ITALY:  "The American Front"


Ferruccio De Bortoli, managing editor of centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (3/21) commented:  "We ought to agree...that those who have opposed Bush now find themselves in the strange position of hoping that he will win.  And quickly....   The face of America is not made only by Bush...or by the culture of the preventive war.  A great nation threatened and scared by terrorism should be understood and helped to choose tolerance and rediscover...its European roots, and reject the temptation of isolation and unilateralism.”


"The Final Act Begins"


Enzo Bettiza contended in centrist, influential La Stampa (3/21):  “What we are witnessing is not the beginning, but rather the final act of a war that began a long time ago on a political, diplomatic, propaganda, intelligence and military level....  Evidence of that is the fact that the current military campaign in Iraq is going hand in hand with simultaneous anti-guerrilla operations in Afghanistan."


"The ‘Shock And Awe’ Campaign"


Vittorio Zucconi commented from Washington in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (3/21):  “There is no doubt...that Saddam Hussein is the target, that his head and the heads of his sons represent the victory that George Bush’s son is desperately trying to achieve, in order not to duplicate the tragic comedy of the hunt on Usama bin Laden and the escape of Mullah Omar.  To devastate a nation and Baghdad and fail to get the dictator would be a huge propaganda defeat....  But the personalization of the the most dangerous enemy.  Each day that the ‘Hitler of Mesopotamia’ manages to survive is a victorious day for a man who only wants to survive and lead an impatient America to the limit of its patience."


RUSSIA:  "First World War Of Globalization Age"


Yevgeniy Verlin held in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (3/21): "The Americans will have to prove...that they are [really] acting in the interests of their security, as well as in the interests of global security and stability.  They will have to prove that they have been acting so because they have a 'sacred right' given by God himself, since there is no one else to get it from, with the United Nations degraded into an extra and wearisome irritant, an obstacle to America performing its messianic mission.  The split among allies in the international coalition will cause serious complications in relations between the U.S., on the one side, and Russia, China and the EU, on the other, on many aspects of the current world agenda.  Washington's behavior is a very bad example for countries that have long sought to settle scores with their old foes (the worst scenario is a punitive operation by nuclear India against nuclear Pakistan)....  The Americans, as they pursue the goals only they want and understand, are finding themselves increasingly lonely and look more like the Soviet Union, which strained to force everyone into a 'bright future.'"


BELGIUM:  "A Terrible Responsibility"


Chief editor Beatrice Delvaux argued in left-of-center Le Soir (3/21):  “Paradoxically, after having opposed the idea of this automatic preventive war, one can only hope that the U.S. Army will be efficient and that the war will be short....  War is the very last solution, and those who decide it bear a huge responsibility.”


"Bush's Mission"


Chief editor Yves Cavalier contended in financial L’Echo (3/21):  “If, after 9/11, President Bush did not feel vested with a mission of public health to free the world from ‘a great threat,’ if the UN had not waited so long to show determination to disarm Iraq, and if the EU had managed to be more united, this long, difficult, and extremely violent war would only be a bad dream.”


"Look To Future"


Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn wrote in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (3/21):  “Now that Bush has made his move, we must look at the future.  The crucial day is not the day when Saddam falls, but the day after.  On that day, the reconstruction of Iraq has to start.  On that day, Bush will have to give his vision.  A liberated and democratic Iraq must be the cornerstone of a new Middle East.  It sounds nice, but it is far from reality today.”


"The American Empire"


Yves Desmet commented in independent De Morgen (3/21):  “The U.S. is defending its own interests and there is nobody in this world strong enough to stop it.  The situation is that simple and poignant.  But, it becomes totally grotesque when the White House says that its version of the Roman Empire is the best form of democracy for us all.”


BULGARIA:  "A Requiem For Modernity"


Center-left daily Sega commented (3/21):  "Until recently the permanent U.S. military actions seemed temporary....  Whether the hyperpower America is defending itself, or fighting terrorism, is a matter of opinion.  But it is beyond doubt that it has unceremoniously begun to get rid of regimes that do not obey its orders."


"Bush Opened The Door To The Unknown"


Leftist Duma held (3/21):  "There is no longer doubt that the regime in Baghdad will be defeated.  This, however, seems to be the easier part of the task.  The hardship will come after the war.  This is because abandoning the established world order is too high a price to pay for the disarming of Saddam.  It is certain that the balances on which it is based will be destroyed.  It is very unlikely that the removal of the dictator in Baghdad will be the starting point of a new and democratic order in the Arab world."


"President, Dictator, Terrorist"


Center- right Dnevnik commented (3/21):  "President Bush...thinks in black and white, deeply convinced that he's doing good and that the price of inaction is higher than the price of action."


CROATIA:  "It’s Not Clear to Anyone Why U.S. Is at War"


Zagreb-based mass-circulation Jutarnji list held (3/21):  “One cannot neglect the fact that...a new world order is shaping up in this war, which has overcome both Yalta and the United Nations....  The United States has, instead, offered global feudalism, in which the President in Washington is a large white baron, referring to God and collective responsibility, but determining on his own whom he will beat, whom he will grant amnesty to, as well as how and how much he will charge for it.  Also, whom he will proclaim a bandit and impale on a stake, as a lesson to possible slow payers."


"Uncle Bush Shapes the World"


Zoran Vodopija commented in Zagreb-based Government-owned Vjesnik (3/21):  “The worst is that the war will not reside just in Iraq, because completely new and unexpected terrorist responses anywhere in the world will follow for sure."


FINLAND:  "Those Who Started The War Should Take Care of The Civilians"


Leading centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (3/21):  "For most rationally thinking people warfare always signals a failure, and the dismal failure of the clumsy and indifferent diplomacy of the U.S. leaves a lot to be cleaned up afterwards....  The countries that went to war will together with the UN, and by following its principles, be the first and most suitable for handling the situation of the civilians, who always suffer the most in wars.


"The Era Of Civilization Comes To An End"


Leftist Kansan Uutiset contended (3/21):  "President Bush started a new era of imperialism which may be more brutal than the earlier one.  International law and the UN will be crushed under the military boot, perhaps forever."


"The First Shot Of A New World Order"


Right-of-center Aamulehti argued (3/21):  "The Iraq war is the first test of the new U.S. military doctrine...the Bush Doctrine....  Many countries are afraid that the Iraq war will become a precedent. "


 "Finland Worries About Sidestepping UN But Also About WMD"


Social Democratic Demari stated (3/21):  "The UN and the EU must pull their ranks together and prepare for humanitarian operations to help the Iraqis."


HUNGARY:  "Is This It Already?"


Columnist chief Gallo Bela stated in liberal Magyar Hirlap (3/21):  “Thursday morning the (post) -Yalta world has collapsed once and for all and something new has begun....  That’s it for the international political institutions of the 20th century.  Or, if we ask it this way: is this already the age of Pax Americana?  The answer is clear.  Yes, it is.”


"Baghdad Has Learned From The Mistakes Of The First Gulf War"


An air-defense expert predicted in leading Nepszabadsag (3/21):  “The Americans will have an extremely difficult job in Iraq because Iraq has learned a lot from the previous war.  There will be very few clear targets....  An even bigger problem is that Saddam Hussein...has built up his defense in civilian locations, in towns and cities....  The destruction of these posts could bear serious risks and cause heavy civilian casualties.”


"America’s War"


Foreign editor Gabor Stier held in right-wing conservative Magyar Nemzet (3/21):  “The attack against Iraq is the first test of powers in the new world order.  It can also  become the introductory phase to long  lasting American leadership role.  A second American century might begin, for which President Bush is paving the way by this illegitimately launched war.”


IRELAND:  "Consequences Of The War"


The center-kleft Irish Times editorialized (3/21):  "Even though the UN has been wrongly and unacceptably sidelined by their decision to go to war without explicit Security Council authorisation, the world organisation should have a central role to play after the fighting is finished....  It would minimise the dangers inherent in the policy of regime-change pursued by the Bush administration....  That task would be made much more realistic if there were to be a more coherent EU approach to foreign policy. This has been one of the great casualties of the Iraq crisis."


NETHERLANDS:  "Unfortunately"


Conservative De Telegraaf judged (3/21):  "The war against Iraq started.  Unfortunately but inevitably.  There is only one person to blame for that: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein....  That is why the actions taken by the U.S. and its allies are justified."




Conservative De Telegraaf contended (3/21):  "After a quick military victory, efforts should also be focused on the post-war period.  Not just the Americans, but the Europeans, too, should help build a democratic Iraq in which unity will be maintained.  The collapse of this country into several parts would not be of any benefit to anyone."


"Bush's Gamble"


Influential liberal De Volkskrant had this view (3/21):  "Many did not want Bush's war...[and] have expressed hope that the war will not last long....  That is the only way to limit damage to the Iraqis, the Americans, the British, international relations.  However, this cannot be guaranteed.  The war...remains a risky gamble."


"Fait Accompli"


Left-of-center Trouw editorialized (3/21):  "Now that the fact of a war [which we opposed] is here, we hope that it will be a short war that will quickly liberate the people of Iraq.  We join UNSG Kofi Annan who called on all warring parties to spare the Iraqi citizens and also call on the European leaders to aim for more European unity in providing assistance to the people."


MOLDOVA:  "There Are More Important Things Than Peace"


Petru Bogatu wrote in pro-Christian Democratic Popular Party Flux (3/21):  “The armed action against Saddam Hussein has no alternative.  The fundamentalist fanaticism and leftist extremism have already unleashed world terror.  The glove has been thrown.  Civilization has not been in a state of war since today or yesterday.  In this situation the free world has been forced to get involved in the fight in order to stop tyranny from continuing to make history.”


POLAND:  "No Other Way"


Editor-in-chief Adam Michnik wrote in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (3/21):  “Every war is a disaster [but...we must remember what this war is about.  It is war against a despotic regime, which is dangerous to the world and deadly to the Iraqis themselves."


ROMANIA:  "New Realities"


Petre Mihai Bacanu wrote in leading opposition Romania Libera (3/21):  “Mankind will have to confront new political realities.  Three centers of power will emerge:  the U.S., the E.U., and China."


"The Propaganda War"


In intellectual weekly, Dilema political analyst Magdalena Boiangiu opined (3/21):  “We can assume that, regardless of the situation on the battlefield, the Americans will lose the information and the propaganda war:  they are the aggressors, their equipment is overwhelmingly superior, and collateral damage will easily take center stage, as the images of the suffering by the civilian population will be stronger than any speech against tyranny.”


SWITZERLAND:  "Hoping for a Quick U.S. Victory"


Andreas Z'Graggen, chief editor of the Berner Zeitung, argued (3/21):  "Saddam Hussein is a criminal who deserves to be hung from the nearest tree.  Nevertheless, one had to be against this war.  Because innocent people will die; because it's never been proven that there is a connection between Saddam Hussein and bin Laden; because the war has no legitimacy in international law; because it is intolerable that the U.S. misuses its power to do whatever it wants to do; and because people like George W. Bush, who are motivated by religious--that is to say irrational--impulses are unpredictable and dangerous.  But now the war is reality and one has to hope that the U.S. will achieve a quick victory."


SPAIN:  "The Worst Is To Come"


Left-of-center El Pais wrote (3/21):  "The hours are numbered for the coexistence of a real low intensity war with a war of high propaganda.  There should be no illusions that the U.S. appeal to enemy forces will work, before they start a devastating attack to the very end....  His troops would better serve their nation by abandoning their arms rather than by resisting, when the only possible end is collective tragedy."


"Restoring Diplomatic Relations"


Conservative ABC judged (3/21):  "The failure of diplomacy to avoid the outbreak of war does not mean [diplomacy] has become a useless instrument....  The European Council, instead of going in for mutual reproach, should open a new stage where each one should take note of his real weight....  Finding points of agreement to alleviate the profound moral and political damage that the crisis has left us is the inescapable obligation of those leaders capable of rising to the level of statesmen."


"A Mad War That Must End As Soon As Possible"


Independent El Mundo editorialized (3/21):  "The introduction in practice of the idea of preventive attack is a serious danger for humanity and will deserve our scorn if it causes one hundred deaths and finishes in one hundred hours, or if we have to count victims in the thousands and it lasts for months.  There can be extenuating or offending circumstances, but the crime was committed yesterday the moment that troops crossed the frontier."


TURKEY:  "Pluses And Minuses"


Sedat Ergin held in mass appeal Hurriyet (3/21):  "The results of the bargain between Turkey's AKP government and the U.S. administration can be summed up as follows: The most important and valuable gain for Turkey is the agreement with the U.S. on the political principles of reshaping Iraq....  When it comes to the political losses, it would require another full-page commentary.  Due to the fact that Washington is now implementing 'Plan B' for the Iraq operation, there is a serious 'crack' in the way Washington now sees Ankara....  Given the current picture, we can conclude that Turkey's strategic importance has also suffered an erosion."


"The Wrong Calculation"


Sami Kohen commented in mass appeal Milliyet (3/21):  "The current war poses a series of dangers to the international community, including the U.S. ...  From the political point of view, the U.S. action...puts the U.S. gradually in a state of alienation and also alters existing international balances.  From the economic standpoint, the repercussions of the war will be on a global scale, and weak economies will be most badly affected."




ISRAEL:  "No Choice But A War Of Choice"


Dan Margalit noted in popular, pluralist Maariv (3/21):  "So, al-Qaida and Iraq aren't linked?  But they are, in the same way cancer grows.  Without the terror that struck New York and Washington, America wouldn't have declared a world war on terror....  It is obvious that the U.S. is no innocent lamb....  But in the global picture, America is a beacon for modern mankind.  Without her, tyrants would be ruling most of the world.  Since the 'Pax Romana,' which all quality history books view favorably, there hasn't been anything like the 'Pax Americana,' if only it is allowed to live on."


"Permitted And Prohibited Targets In Iraq"


Zeev Schiff wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/21):  "Anyone who considers the possible targets for attack by the U.S. in Iraq should not ignore a number of strategic limitations in the light of which the Americans will undoubtedly act.  Anyone who declares repeatedly that his intention is to 'rebuild' Iraq after the war will not destroy the Iraqi infrastructure in order to build it again.  He will damage only those parts of the infrastructure that Saddam Hussein needs to conduct the war....  Superior technological capabilities are not sufficient, but there is also a necessity, first of all, for accurate and precise intelligence.  America's technological intelligence capabilities are highly praised, but they are not enough."


WEST BANK:  “‘Iraq’s Freedom’ [Can Be Achieved] When They Leave It Alone”


Independent Al-Quds opined (3/21):  "It is an ironic contradiction to see the Anglo-American coalition unleash its aggression against Iraq yesterday morning under the codename of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ as if occupying Iraq, imposing imperial domination over it and abolishing its independence and national sovereignty would make Iraq free.  This is nothing less than weird logic.  However, it is not very strange behavior for Washington and London, which have supported the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, providing it with weapons and aircraft to be used against the Palestinian people....  Another contradiction, which is not any less bizarre than the first one, is the fact that the mighty occupation forces have announced their intention to rebuild Iraq, but only after destroying it.”


EGYPT:  “Condolences For International Legitimacy”


Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar Editor-in-chief Galal Dowidar declared (3/21):  “President Bush speech indicated feeble reasons for Washington’s violation of international legitimacy and launching its unjust and inequitable war against Iraq.  Despite beating about the bush concerning thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties…Bush tried to evade his responsibility by claiming that Saddam is using human shields....  For further deceit, Bush did not hesitate to claim that 35 countries have joined the alliance....  There is no explanation for this country, which is supposed to be the guardian of justice and guarantor of world security and stability, except its desire to control, and at the same time its support for Israel’s antagonistic tendency....  No one in this world supports Saddam Hussein, but the rejection of the war is derived from eagerness for international legitimacy and allowing for peace efforts to protect the Iraqi people who have been suffering for 12 years….  Amid this gloomy situation, it is important to secure the domestic Egyptian front to guard our supreme national interest….  God help the Iraqi people and the Arab world and condolences for international legitimacy.”


 “Arabs And Lost Opportunities”


Farouk Goueda noted in leading pro-government Al Ahram (3/21):  “Arab independence from foreign imperialism has not lasted for long.  Oil has been an economic miracle in the history of the Arab world....  Cultural development has been the most important achievement after independence.  Arabs could have used all these capabilities to play a greater role [in the world], but they failed, mainly because of the Zionist entity that was planted at the heart of the Arab world and has drained its wealth and threatened its security....  Catastrophes followed since the Gulf war and the intervention of foreign troops....  Amid this gloomy picture, Palestine has swayed between drams and blood....  Can history return to the age where the Arab world falls in foreign hands again?....  It is a mistake to think that the invasion of Iraq requires all such troops. It is a mistake to think that all these troops will leave once Saddam Hussein falls.”


JORDAN:  “Invading The World”


Yaqoub Jabel observed in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour (3/21):  “The invasion of Iraq by the United States is nothing but part of a wide-scale invasion to control the world.  The plan to invade Iraq is not a direct outcome of the September 11 attacks, but rather an old plan put in place by the hawks of the current U.S. administration before they came to power....  The United States controls most of the oil routes and now seeks to control what left of these routes under the pretext of combating terrorism.  Invading Iraqi is nothing but part of this hellish scheme, which must be resisted via a coalition including Europe, China, Russia and all countries keen to protect their independence and dignity.”


“The American Aggression Against Iraq And The End Of The World Order”


Fahd Fanek stated in semi-official, influential Arabic-language Al-Rai (3/21):  “The American missiles launched by U.S. President George Bush against Iraq do not suggest a change of the Iraqi regime only, but also a change in the world order that has prevailed and guaranteed relative peace in the world for five decades....  The U.S. administration chose to leave the world order, to bash international law and international legitimacy, to take the world back to the law of survival of the fittest, simply by ignoring the United Nations and the Security Council, and to launch an aggressive attack against Iraq in contradiction of the simplest rules of international law....  As of now, world countries must realize that they no longer live under the umbrella of international law, but under the law of power and the rule of the jungle.  Therefore, their national security is gone."


KUWAIT:  “Saddam And The Third Picture”


Awad Al-Mutairi wrote in independent Al-Qabas (3/21):  “After few days, Saddam will be gone--either killed or defeated.  Saddam will be remembered as a person who only loved himself, and who suffered from an ego complex.  Throughout his leadership in Iraq, he attempted to make himself a historical figure. He presented himself to the world as a knight and an intellectual, but he was not successful in presenting both of these images. Therefore, we advise Saddam to leave Iraq and to apologize to the Arab nations and the Iraqis for all the crimes he has committed against them.”


MOROCCO:  "War Against Everybody's Will"


Said Rahim opined in semi-official Arabic-language Assahara (3/21):  "U.S. interests in Iraq are now known to everybody: Oil, strategic positions to control the area and protection of Israel. Since the U.N. could not have avoided the aggression on Iraq, it is obvious that the fate of Iraqi war victims will be unknown as no one now has the right to use the veto; not to talk about Arabs, because U.S. war on Iraq has started against the will of everybody."




Independent French-language business-oriented L’Economiste editorialized (3/21):  "International legitimacy does not exist anymore. The majority stand is senseless. Public opinion needs only slogans and words. The U.S. lack of popularity does not move the U.S. government. The U.S. draws a new map of the Middle East that only follows the oil circuits. The present world has become really tough in which one must learn how to live. It is a tough world where the rule is the one of power. In any case, it is not the right time for one to shoot oneself whatever feelings of injustice and frustration that the U.S. strikes may generate. Revenge could be possible only when we see ourselves sufficiently powerful."


TUNISIA:  "A War Imposed...Is A War Rejected"


Mohsen Zoghlami observed in independent Arabic-language As-Sabah (3/21):  "This war launched by the U.S. without Security Council approval is officially and popularly rejected by the international community....  It is an opening of a new era in the history of international relations that may reverse events and bring us back to the pre-UN international era, before the organization and compliance with international legality existed....  Why this hurry to war?  Isn't the American decision to go to war made on purpose to place an obstacle in the way of UN efforts to peacefully disarm Iraq?....  One wonders if the international community, which sacrificed a great deal since the end of the Second World War in order to set up international civilized principles and laws, has ended up accepting illegal means."


QATAR:   "Foolishness Of Power Will Never Win"


Babiker Essa remarked in semi-independent Al-Raya (3/21):  "We all agree that this war is a big political mistake.  The U.S. is actually violating international legitimacy.  But what can we do as Arabs and Muslims?  Should we only, as usual, sit still and watch the American massacre against Iraq on TV?  The U.S. should be stopped because Iraq is only the first number on the list and no one will survive this American tornado unless we all united against it."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Will The War Be Prolonged?"


Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazira opined (3/21):  "There is a growing fear that the war might be prolonged for a long time.  This is what we understood at least from the address of President Bush declaring the beginning of the war.  He has alluded to an expanded campaign, which might not end quickly....  A matter that may dramatically increase massacres among civilians including women, children and elders.  This is a hideous war in all of its stages and even more ugly since it could have been avoided."


"The Most Modern Civilization Destroys The Oldest Civilization!!"


Riyadh’s conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (3/21):  "It is a strange historical irony that the most modern civilization is engaging in war with the oldest human civilization, on the basis of greed for resources....  Barbarism is not only related to cannibalism or primitive jungle dwellers but also related to the, who while eating pork surfs through monitor screens, ordering the means of deliberate destruction in the name of humanity, civilization and to free nations from dictatorial regimes and terrorism.  Because the person who kills thousands of Iraqi people under those pretexts, his behavior is similar to a butcher like Saddam."


SYRIA:  “To Stop War”


Mohamd Ali Buza commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (3/21):  “The U.S. Administration decided to invade Iraq after its failure in the international arena to get cover to justify its destructive war and flagrant intervention in the region’s domestic affairs, all of which is motivated by Israel’s carrying out the Zionist scheme of destroying the Palestinian cause with minimum losses....  Washington decided to work unilaterally without UNSC authorization, thereby marginalizing the UN’s role and provoking threats and warnings against it....  The U.S. has placed the international community in front of its great challenge since WWII.  International relations are being exposed to enormous disorder and a flagrant case of unilateralism and the insurgency of a superpower.  This superpower has removed its mask and openly shown its greed in a huge show of might expressed by occupying Iraq and robbing it of its wealth, despite broad objections to U.S. hegemony and rejection of the U.S.’ cowboy culture.”


UAE:  "Lack Of Respect"


Dubai's business-oriented Al-Bayan declared (3/21):  "The most dangerous element in the American aggression against brotherly Iraq is the lack of respect for international law.  In fact, America has abandoned all international norms and charters, and the entire world has come under its control.  We do not exaggerate if we say that what America did yesterday was a death certificate for the UN sealed with an American stamp....  The world is in chaos, and for us, Arabs, it was a sad day, and, at the same time, one of those black days that we add to our history records.  We remain at a standstill, disabled, yielding as if we are satisfied with what is happening."




AUSTRALIA:  “Global Support Shifts Behind Assault”


Greg Sheridan commented in the conservative Australian (3/21):  "The momentum of U.S. power and the compelling case for the need to disarm Saddam Hussein of WMD have moved the international, and probably domestic, pendulum of support behind Washington and the coalition of the willing....  While anti-U.S. sentiment has flourished around the world, this is substantially because of the way France undermined Washington and tied it up in endless questions of process....  The war has only just begun, but Washington now is much more in control of events and much more able to influence the debate.  The war, inherently unpredictable at many levels, has a long way to run.  It's difficult to imagine that support for preserving Hussein's regime has not passed its peak.”


“Nimble Start, But Hard Days To Come”


Hugh White had this analysis in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (3/21):  “A key challenge for the coalition commanders will be to resist the temptation, both for themselves and for their troops, to underestimate their Iraqi adversaries....  The coalition cannot assume that Iraq’s forces will do as badly in 2003 as they did in 1991.”


CHINA:  “The Iraqi War: The First U.S. War Under The ‘First Strike’ Strategy”


Yu Xiaokui observed in official intellectual Guangming Daily (Guangming Ribao) (3/21):  “Analysts have pointed out that the Iraqi war may be Bush's biggest gamble.  The war involves several major interests of the U.S., the U.S. position as a leader of the world, the political trend of the Middle East, the final result of the anti-terrorist war and the U.S. domestic situation.  This Iraqi war will probably lead to even more terrorist attacks targeting the U.S. in the world, which will further weaken U.S. relations with its allies and intensify the Middle East political chaos.  Moreover, U.S. economic confidence will be impacted if the war does not come out as expected.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "No Sound Reason To Send Troops; Price Will Be Heavy"


Independent Chinese-language Sing Pao Daily News wrote (3/21):  "Once the war is over, the problem will...become more complicated.  The U.S. has ignored international law and taken military actions against Iraq.  Power politics has been 'revived'....  Using power to realize democracy is, in fact, undemocratic.  Bush Junior's arbitrary acts will not only hurt America's international image, they will also cause it to miss the opportunity to establish a peaceful world....  His 'cowboy' behavior, using his fists to settle problems, may not free the Iraqi people; on the other hand, he may make the Middle East region more unstable.  The Islamic world will hate the U.S. more.  Terrorist acts will increase.  In the meantime, he has upset the international cooperation which was built up with much effort....  The U.S. will become more isolated diplomatically."


"Unnecessary War; Casualties Hard To Bear"


Independent Chinese-language Apple Daily News noted (3/21):  "This is an unnecessary war because Iraq does not pose an immediate or major threat to either the U.S. or the world.  This is an unnecessary war because the UN weapons inspection team had already made some progress in their inspections.  This is an unnecessary war because there are still opportunities to settle disputes through peaceful, diplomatic means....  If military action causes heavy civilian casualties, not only will this cripple the grounds for U.S.-British military action, it will also increase difficulties in post-war governance and restoration.  Iraq will plunge into long-term instability, forcing the U.S. to spend devote heavy financial and human resources to Iraq.  This will negatively impact both global and U.S. economic stability."


JAPAN:  "U.S. Begins The Attack:  Hoping For A Quick End"


Moderate Yomiuri opined (3/21):  "The fault for the war lies with Iraq....  It is predicted that all sides, the American and British and the Iraqi, will have many casualties.  These are extremely unfortunate circumstances.  But, they were unavoidable....  As for this attack, it comes after the Hussein regime for 12 years, has consistently deceived the international community and ignored UN resolutions....  Last November, the UNSC unanimously approved a resolution giving Iraq a last chance to implement its duties to disarm.  But in spite of that, Iraq did not truly cooperate....  Looking at the events since the Gulf War, it is not true that the U.S. and its allies have acted against international law....  The American military is seeking to topple the Hussein regime quickly....  Under Hussein's rule, the Iraqi people have suffered under a despot's tyranny for almost 40 years.  Nobody likes war, but this is a chance, not a day too soon, to free the Iraqi people from oppression, and we hope to embark upon a period where they can seek to create a rich, democratic country.  Over 40 countries are supporting the U.S. action.  It is not true that the U.S. is isolated from the international community....  It is true that the disagreements among the international community have had a bad influence upon the hopes to create a future order to guarantee global peace and stability, as well as postwar reconstruction under international cooperation.  But it is necessary for the international community to be aware, instead, one more time of where the source of the Iraq problem lies.  The U.S. and Britain were not lazy in their efforts to gain more support among the international community."   


TAIWAN:  "The U.S. Launches Military Action At Last"


Centrist, pro-status quo China Times observed (3/21):  "Now the ball is in the hands of those countries that have expressed opposition to the U.S. military action against Iraq.  Are these countries determined to continue opposing the U.S, or even, make a proposal at the UNSC to condemn the U.S. and British 'invasion' of Iraq?  The answer is obviously 'No.'  Chirac and Putin, having given their remarks about the war and won the admiration of the whole world, still need to think about how they are going to maintain their relationship with the U.S. in the long run....  This will be a war of combat will against advanced military technology.  Whether Saddam Hussein is able to inspire the combat will of all Iraqi people, or instead, the Iraqi people will simply welcome the presence of U.S. military, is the key to the success of the war."


INDONESIA:  “Bush Against The World”


Bara Hasibuan commented in leading independent Kompas (3/21):  "It is very dangerous for the U.S. to be lulled by a conviction that after Saddam falls, Iraq will be easily built into a democracy and pave the way for democratization in the Middle East.  The aftermath of the war that might cause disaster to the U.S. later on.  For the post-war reconstruction, the U.S. will have to stay  for a considerable time, which will be costly.  And the U.S. might not continue to be committed [to it]....  The mission to spread democratization in the Middle East indirectly exposes Bush's imperialist behavior....  The Iraq war could as well become the beginning of an overreach that could cause difficulty to the U.S. in the future.”


LAOS:  "Paying No Heed"


The English-language government-owned Vientiane Times stated (3/21):  "America pays no need to the voice of opposition to the war and to that of the peace loving people in America as well as in other parts of the world....  The U.S. and its allies launched attacks against Iraq, an independent and sovereign state, under the pretext of getting rid of WMD....  The attacks by the U.S. and its allies, which received no authorization from the Security Council, are an unprecedented breach of the UN Charter, international laws, and an act that undermines the world order."


MALAYSIA:  “America’s War Against Muslims”


Government-influenced English-language Utusan Malaysia editorialized (3/21):  "It is of vital importance that the Muslims of the world are aware of the reality of America’s intentions and what our response should be....  It should be clear that America undertook these actions only to further their material interests.  Bush failed in his attempt to veil his real intentions under issues such as Iraq’s so-called WMD and the possibility of it acquiring nuclear weapons.  The entire world knows that America’s interest in Iraq is due to its vast oil resources....  We regret that the war is actually an attack against Islam, not the original objective of wiping out international terrorism.  On the whole, it is actually the Muslims who will lose the oil, and if the U.S. succeeds in toppling  Saddam, then, Baghdad will be replaced by a puppet government."


PHILIPPINES:  "The Dirty Work"


Jullie Yap Daza contended in independent Manila Standard (3/21):  "At the end of the day...even those who opposed the war will be glad that someone--someone else--did the dirty work....  The biggest problems and challenges (will) land on the lap of the winner.  Iraq may lose the war, but her people will win billions of dollars worth of political and economic reconstruction, reform and development."


SINGAPORE:  "War Will Saddle U.S. With Prickly Mideast Mandate"


Janadas Devan held in the pro-government Straits Times (3/21):  "Whether or not one believes existing UNSC resolutions provide the U.S. with adequate grounds to forcibly disarm Iraq, it is difficult to make the case that the notion of pre-emptive war has been carefully defined in international law....  For now, the U.S. will have to worry about the more immediate consequences.  From this day forth...Washington will become intimately responsible, as it has never been before, for the entire Middle East.  Every problem in the region will become its domestic problem; all the hopes and fears of the Arab/Muslim world will become its province....  Rarely in history has a war been fought for an end so universally desired and with so little support....  In the 18 months since Sept 11, he (Bush) managed to convert near universal support for America to near universal suspicion....  He has achieved the impossible: He has made U.S. power, not Iraq's WMDs, the issue....  The U.S. botched the pre-war diplomacy hopelessly."


SOUTH KOREA:  “Age Of Savagery”


Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun declared (3/21):  “Numerous voices of conscience around the world are denouncing U.S. military action against Iraq as a unilateral and barbarous act of aggression....  With this war, the U.S. has abandoned its time-honored democratic values and moral authority.  We strongly urge the U.S. to reflect and to realize that the 9/11 terror attacks are not ‘a license to kill'....  In addition, there is no reason for the ROK to participate in this savage war.  The ROK’s support for U.S. use of force against Iraq will only undermine its basis for arguing for a ‘peaceful resolution’ of the North Korean nuclear issue. ”


THAILAND:  “The War The UN Lost”


Top-circulation Thai Rath opined (3/21):  “When the superpower wages war without a resolution from the UNSC--the one and only world organization having the authorization to approve the use of force--the UN becomes the loser....  We only hope the world body will not degenerate to the point when it is no longer acceptable as what happened to the League of Nations before the eruption of World War II."




INDIA:  "Attack On Iraq"


Conservative Rashtriya Sahara opined (3/21):  "So, finally, the U.S. took off its democratic mask and declared war on Iraq....  The outcome of this war was a foregone conclusion.  But, on the moral side, it can be said that the U.S. has already lost.  By flouting UN laws, Bush has stripped his fellow countrymen of their democratic credentials....  The world had never supported Saddam's autocratic rule; today the same Saddam has the world's sympathy."


"A Meaningless War"


Nationalist Dainik Tribune said (3/21):  "Everyone expected America, the world's most vocal democracy, to set high moral standards to strengthen international democratic traditions.  Our hopes have been shattered....  President Bush might have his own justification for launching the offensive against Iraq, but is it convincing enough?  Has the democratic U.S. the right to eliminate a leader it does not like?  Wasn't this a matter for the UN to tackle?  What then, pray, is the sanctity of the world body?  Regrettably, by its unilateral action against Baghdad, Washington has bypassed its own great liberal traditions on which the very foundations of American society rest."


PAKISTAN:  "A Sad Day In World History"


Samiullah Koreshi opined in Islamabad's rightist English-language Pakistan Observer (3/21):  "The law of the jungle, of brute force of colonial powers of 18th century, is now revived and the UN Charter is in effect a dead letter as far as U.S. is concerned.  Pity the Arabs did not show themselves alive to the situation.  The Middle East is now Israeli dominated.  The Axis of Evil is going to rule the Middle East, its oil and its wealth.  Back to the hey day of Imperialism!"


"More Barbaric Than Ghengis Khan And Hulagu Khan"


Sensationalist Ummat thundered (3/21):  "Right now President Bush is not demonstrating his animosity towards Saddam Hussain or Iraq but he is jeopardizing the future of his own people by his wrong decisions and stubbornness.  President Bush seems to be implementing his policy of killing the Muslims the world over by targeting one Muslim country after the other."


SRI LANKA:  "Now Showing!"


Pro-opposition Sinhala-language Divaina commented (3/21):  "George W. has planned this war for a long time and Saddam looks happy to receive it....  For each missile that Bush sends, Saddam will reply with a missile of smallpox, yellow fever, etc.  We have absolutely no regard for Saddam, a bloody dictator....  But if Bush is using this situation to take control of Iraq's oil reserves, or to realize some other hidden objective, we condemn that, too....  Saddam didn't show prudence in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait.  George B. isn't showing it today."




SOUTH AFRICA: "Suffering The Innocents"


The moderate Pretoria News commented (3/21):  "The guessing game is over...the war on Saddam...and Iraq has started.  Once again it is the innocents who, having suffered severely under Saddam's regime, will suffer under the war....  At the core of the problem is Saddam, a fanatic convinced he is destined to unite and lead the Arab world and who...would rather die than lose face.  It is impossible to feel sympathy for a ruthless dictator under whose rule it is claimed that more than a million Iraqis have died and who is prepared to subject his suffering people to a fearsome onslaught by the U.S....  If the war does serve any useful purpose, we hope it is that the people of Iraq are freed of Saddam's brutal dictatorship and are able to improve their mostly miserable lives.  We also hope that the world does not suffer too much as a consequence."


"The World Waits With Bated Breath"


Liberal Cape Argus editorialized (3/20):  "This is not a popular war....  But now that the first missiles have been fired countries will be anxious to put their cards on the table to avoid possible retribution for attempting to block America's path to war.  South Korea too has gone on high alert, as the bigger threat to world security--North Korea's growing nuclear ambitions--looms larger....  It will be important for our own government not to be seen to be supporting the leadership of Saddam Hussein, who has not been especially kind to his citizens.  Support for the Iraqi people, however, is correct....  While the world waits with bated breath, we hope for an early end to the war with minimal damage and suffering being inflicted on innocent Iraqi citizens."


GHANA:  “The US Will Win The War, But…”


Pro-ruling party (NPP) Accra Mail  commented (3/21): “Yesterday, in the Iraqi desert, the first shots were fired in anger by the 'Coalition of the willing' led by the U.S.… We hope Saddam Hussein would realize the folly of trying to stand against the kind of fire power ranged against his country.… Of course the U.S. and its coalition would win the war, but what scars would they be leaving?  Saddam would be sacked, perhaps even killed, but that would not bring security to the world.  Instead of one big recognizable Saddam which we can see and deal with, now the world would be infected by little 'Saddamlets' who would be invisible, and like the AIDS virus spread in every part of the world and make life most uncomfortable for us all.  There is a saying which goes this way: 'You cannot use a gun to kill a germ.'  True, you can’t and that is our fear.”


“On America’s Attack On Iraq” 


The independent Ghanaian Chronicle stated (3/21):  “The U.S., Britain and Spain...have ignored all pleas, warnings and counsel not to strike at Baghdad.  News of Thursday’s strikes rocked the whole world as people in every country, including those who launched the onslaught, panicked in fear of worse thins that could follow.…The use of democratic methods, including diplomacy, in dealing with other nations, seems to have been sacrificed in America’s determination to use force to dislodge Mr. Hussein from power. That is paradoxical, coming as it does from a country that professes to be championing the expansion of democracy and the tenets of the charter of the United Nations Organisation to the very ends of the globe.... All that it takes to stop the war or bullying started by the US must be done by the UN and without any delay....  As a long term measure, the UN must begin to think of instituting measures to forestall the periodic waywardness of such superpowers as the United States.”


NIGERIA: "An Immoral Act" 


Lagos independent This Day  (3/21) ran an editorial saying: "The wider implications of this war are so grim for the world order, erected on the ashes of the Second World War, that it takes an irresponsible superpower to ignore them.  By setting the reckless precedent of waging a war on another country without a United Nations resolution, America and her few European epigones have indeed castrated the world body politically, diplomatically and morally.  This war has redefined international law for the worse.  This mindless recourse to unilateralism on an issue that requires a deft multilateral approach has deflated whatever remains of the integrity of the United Nations.... Meanwhile, this war has proved that although America is strong in hard power of bombs and cruise missiles, it is indisputably a weakling in the soft power of diplomacy and moral authority."


TANZANIA:  "Shame, Shame Bush!"


Friday's edition of the Islamic Kiswahili weekly tabloid An-Nuur carried an editorial commenting (3/21): " America prides itself as a democratic, civilized country that is committed to the rule of law.  But it is avoiding international courts of law.... This same America enabled Saddam Hussein to develop weapons of mass destruction.  Today it is invading Iraq and destroying the infrastructure there, including the water supply system, so that many Iraqis can perish, more than the one and a half million that died as a result of the sanctions imposed on that country.  The whole world is now condemning this war and demonstrating against Bush, for having started it.  By attacking Iraq, Bush has totally disregarded world opinion, including that of his own countrymen....  Initially, President Bush expected to be supported by Christian countries, which he thought were enemies of Islam.  He thought that the hate he has planted through his crusade had taken root.  But by God’s grace, the opposite has happened.  Christian countries like France, Germany and the Vatican have opposed the war in Iraq....  Another thing that Bush was counting on was the support of his fellow whites.  The fact that it was Arabs that were going to be attacked made him think that his fellow whites would support him.  Here too, he failed.  He tried to use the UN to justify his oppression.  It didn’t work.  President Bush says he loves the people of Iraq.  But on the other hand, it is only America that has ever used weapons of mass destruction – see Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  Therefore, Bush and Blair are doing nothing more than banditry of the highest order."


"Halt U.S. Unilateral Invasion Of Iraq" 


An editorial commentary in state-owned English broadsheet Daily News charged (3/21): "The decision by US President George W. Bush to order missile attacks on Baghdad early yesterday in complete defiance of the United Nations and the broader international community, has received deserved round condemnation worldwide.  Initial reports reported one civilian killed and at least 14 others wounded, but both Washington and London have bragged that this was 'preliminary operation' to prepare the ground and that the battle was yet to begin. The bragging is obviously uncalled for.  The superiority of US and British military capability over Iraq is absolutely clear, Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction notwithstanding....  The blatant, unguided use of force by the world's only superpower will inflict untold damage to the world economy and tear apart the international security structures.  And if Iraq should be so wantonly bombarded with the civilized world doing nothing, no state, least of all those in the developing world, will be safe."


ZAMBIA:  "Incredible Act Of Barbarism"


The Independent Post editorialized (3/21):  "We have just seen on television images of the brutal way in which the United states and Britain are murdering Iraqis.  And these are governments that try to deceive the world by calling themselves defenders of human rights....  The United States wants to play the role of a new world-wide Roman super power, which, of course, will last much less than the Roman empire; and it will meet with universal resistance....  It must be said that this war, of which no sensitive or sane person can be proud, is a barbaric war. Whatever victory they may claim from this war will be morally Pyrrhic and the war genocide. Why do we say it is genocide? What is genocide? The attempt to exterminate a population. You either surrender or face extermination....  The terror of bombings produces lifelong trauma, much more so in a child of three, four, five, six, seven, eight who remains day after day and every night hearing the noise of sirens and the explosions..... It is clear thatin order to live with dignity in this world one has to struggle.   And it is very shameful to see how the Japanese are exchanging principles, their dignity for interest or convenience. 


ZIMBABWE: "Bush, Blair Must Learn From history"


The government-controlled Chronicle intoned (3/21):  "There is no justification whatsoever for the Americans to use morality as a reason for ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when it is clear that their desire is to control oil production....  While we appreciate Bush's zeal to redeem himself after the disastrous campaign in Afghanistan, where he has failed to track down Osama bin Laden, we feel that by attacking Iraq, he has taken matters too far. The U. S., which has since assumed the role of the world's policeman like Hitler tried to do, has defied the United Nations - thus showing the irrelevance of the body in policing superpowers...  It is sad that the U. S., which is fighting to control Iraqi oil, has in the past lied to the world that it was concerned about human rights issues in the Middle East country.  The truth is out ...!  The Americans, in a clear fear of the unknown, have said that they fear reprisals from terrorist organizations.  We say that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  Here will be a typical case of violence begetting violence.  For as long as the Americans bully other nations and ignore the United Nations, we do not wish them well.  We wait with anticipation for those who have declared a jihad on America to remind George Bush et al that the oil he wishes to control is not worth the blood that will be shed in the war against Iraq.  America must not be allowed to bully the world.  We are not all American."




CANADA:  "The UN's Loss. The World's Gain"


The conservative National Post opined (3/21):  "Much of the UN's dysfunctionality is rooted in its anti-U.S. bias....  We realize, of course, there is little chance the United Nations will actually be formally dismantled any time soon. Internationalism has become a secular religion among Western elites, particularly in Canada and Europe....  But at least until the Bush administration is replaced, Americans are likely to ignore the United Nations; and the body's Security Council and General Assembly may drift into irrelevance.  Few ordinary people would be inconvenienced by this--certainly not the soon-to-be-liberated citizens of Iraq."


"Give UN Tools To Help Iraqis"


The liberal Toronto Star contended (3/21):  "As the American and British troops advance...they must guarantee the safety of Iraqis who come under their control....  As zones are secured the American commanders should invite UN workers in under their protection, along with those from the Red Cross and other aid agencies.  The troops should act as genuine liberators, expanding safe zones where people can camp and aid can be provided.  And Iraq's neighbours — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran--should offer refugees safe haven.  Most are keeping the borders open.  Those that do, should get generous UN help.  The world failed to prevent this war.  It must do what it can to mitigate the suffering it will cause."


ARGENTINA:  "An Open Mind"


Liberal, English-language Buenos Aires Herald editorialized (3/21):  "Weighing the all too tangible cons against the intangible pros, most of the world says no to war and quite rightly--for now.  If this war goes horribly wrong...President Bush will have no excuse except paranoia but what if a quick war yields some significant benefits such as rebuilding Iraq as a democratic beacon or even a fairer deal for Palestine?  There might then be a massive shift in world opinion--also quite rightly."


BRAZIL:  "Stupid War"


The lead editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (3/21) held:  "If every war bears the stigma of brutality, the current conflict in Iraq is in addition marked by arrogance....  For some private reason, Bush seems to believe in the extravagant idea that by dropping a huge number of bombs that will certainly kill innocent civilians, he will help to establish a democratic Iraq.  And to have the opportunity to demonstrate such an absurd theory, he did not hesitate in faking pretexts for the war and breaking with most of the international community....  War is not an ordinary tactic that can be used against any dictator who has differences with Washington.  A systematic application of the Bush Doctrine would launch the world into a permanent state of war at least as harmful as the tyrannies it has promised to eliminate."


"The Eagle's Left Claw"


Columnist Joao Mellao Neto opined in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (3/21): "The U.S. 'holy war' against Iraq has begun.  America will simply smash its adversary....  But is this a just war?  Is it the least bit necessary?...  Bush has gone to war in the face of international public opinion, but he knows very well what he is doing.  He is defending U.S. interests and security and to do so he does not need anyone's consent.  The time for the eagle to show its left claw has come."


"Saddam And Islam"


 Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (3/21):"The tragic American adventure in Iraq forces the West to re-think the  Islamic question.... Would the U.S. be hitting the heart of the Islamic world by attacking  Saddam?  The most correct answer is 'no....' Saddam comes from a line that wanted to put an end to Islamic  theocracies.... One must think about these facts when a George Bush talks about taking  Western values - especially democracy - to the Prophet's lands.  Nothing  could be more representative of the incompetence, once again, in treating  the Islamic question. Saddam, as Israelis like to remind us, is just  another tyrant who hides behind the Koran.  But the last thing that could work there is a 'democratic project' brought from the West in a box. The Islamic world has nothing to do with our political history.  It's  undergoing a strong moment of its religious cycle....  But if the West (one should read Bush) has the illusion that it can give the Arabs a formula for their progress, it will only provoke the demons of an ancient resentment, and cause new disasters like that of the  Pahlevi dynasty, imposed to Iran by the U.S. and England." 


"What Has Bush Done?"


Theologian Leonardo Boff brings Christ on Corcovado to life in his opinion  piece in center-left Jornal do Brasil (3/20): "And suddenly the Christ from Corcovado trembled and gained life.  What was cement and stone became flesh and blood.  Opening his eyes he saw the crowds in the streets and squares of the entire world, carrying white  flags and claiming: we want peace, no more war.  Then, filled with tenderness he opened his mouth and said....: Woe betide you, terrorists of fear who under the excuse of disarming a  tyrant have armed yourselves with weapons of mass destruction..... A curse on your preventive war that has brought preventive fear.... A curse on your intelligent bombs.... Woe be to them, those intelligent minds who concocted this machine of death against all forms of life.  You have opened the doors of hell and  set free the demons of terror and massacres.  What have you done with your brethren?  What have you done? You have opened the doors of hell and set free the demons of terror  and massacres."


MEXICO:."Neo-Imperial Ambitions Put To The Test"


Rafael Fernandez de Castro held in independent Reforma (3/20):  "Because it cannot dissuade terrorists, the USG is wiling to intervene in any part of the world and at any moment to destroy anticipated threats.  With the commencement of a war in Iraq, neo-imperialism has been put into practice and will be put to the test.  This new war transcends Iraq.  We are facing the emergence of a new hegemony and an unknown stage of the international order."


"God's War"


Sergio Sarmiento argued in independent Reforma (3/20):  "I have listened and read too often the argument that the USG has launched a war against Saddam Hussein to take control of his oil...the truth is that there is no indication that this is the purpose of a war against Iraq.  The fundamental reason for the war could be simpler, but more disturbing.  Bush is trying to overthrow Hussein's regime because he is convinced it is his moral obligation...the fact that Bush is a born-again Christian could be one of the crucial factors for the decisions he is making as a president...and history tells us that the worst wars are those invoked in the name of God, which has no validity."




Adolfo Sánchez Rebolledo intoned in the left-of-center La Jornada(3/20). "They will crush the odious dictator taking sorrow to the usual innocents, but they will find themselves naked, unable to hide what they truly are: gunmen who kill in the name of God."


"A War Of Unknown Consequences"


José Luis Reyna commented in the nationalist Milenio (3/20): "The fruitful relation that was initiated a couple of years ago by the chief executives of the United States and Mexico has been diluted. It calls alternatives to face the negative consequences stemming from the fact that Mexico did not openly support the American desires.... The prospects are not good."


“In Peace”


Jesus Arreola railed in independent Palabra (3/20): “The derangement caused by President Bush’s bellicosity and his blindness and intolerance for a peaceful solution regarding Iraq, monopolizes time and space.  Danger cause us to yearn for those years of relative peace and tranquility propitious for the development of personal projects… Unaware (people) say that war is positive for the economy, that on the long run, our fragile economic dependency will be victorius. I believe that relying on what peace represents...has never been so valuable.”


CHILE: "U.S. Motives"


An editorial in leading-circulation, popular La Tercera held (3/21): "The war against Iraq should have had only one legitimate and internationally shared goal: to disarm a regime that has failed to comply with 17 U.N. resolutions through force as a last resort.   Had this been Washington's argument, perhaps the U.N. and the international community would not have opposed it.  But the Bush government...extended its mission to a questionable goal involving the principle of preventive attacks as part of the war against terrorism - a goal that was clear in Afghanistan, but is not in Iraq.  The policy of anticipating threats before it is too late to fight them back might seem legitimate to the U.S. in the context of September 11, 2001, but this is not the case for the rest of the international community....  There is no doubt that the world would be safer without Hussein and other similar governments, but who decides if a leader must stay in power?  What happened to the legitimate right to self-determination?  The opposition the U.S has partly due to its own mistakes about how to persuade the world....  The world, or a large portion of it, would have joined the U.S. in its goal to disarm Iraq by force, had Washington not strayed from U.N. guidelines."  


"War In Iraq:"


Conservative, influential, Santiago newspaper-of-record El Mercurio (3/21): "Hussein has lied systematically to United Nations since 1991...and has once again refused to comply with UN directives.  To allow that country to continue with its policy would have encouraged other terrorist regimes or groups to follow his steps, as Europe enabled Hitler's strength to grow 65 years ago....  The long process of non-compliance of 17 U.N. Security Council resolutions is what began this war."


JAMAICA: "The Peace Beyond Saddam"


The Editor-in-Chief of the centrist, business-oriented Jamaica Observer argued (3/20): "Hardly anyone would doubt that America, with its vastly superior technology and military might, will easily overcome Iraq in the war that President Bush has ordained against Saddam Hussein....  But that is the easy part -- winning the war...The real difficulty will be winning peace and ensuring, to paraphrase a title of a not too well- known book on the Middle East, that it is not a peace to end all peace....  In the context of Iraq's history, and the evidence of the present, the removal of Saddam by war will re-ignite ethnic and religious nationalism, with the first wave likely to come from the Kurds in the north.... America has also argued that the removal of Saddam will usher in democracy and a new order in the Middle East.  We are not clear though if this democratization will apply to its allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates and how it will manage this process.... And with anti-Americanism swelling in the Middle East, President Bush will have to do more than talk about a new road map to peace in the region and for an independent Palestinian state....  The best bet for America is that this war goes swiftly and, in so far as war can be, cleanly.  Otherwise the peace, when it comes, may be elusive."


NICARAGUA: "Each Sheep With Its Partner"


An editorial in Managua's center-right La Prensa argued (3/20): "In reality the survival of Hussein's regime is a grave threat to world peace....  Hussein is part of the international terrorist conspiracy that tries to impose a new totalitarian  imperialism in the world....  Hussein himself is to blame for the failure  in the UNSC to disarm Iraq and to convert it into an inoffensive  and pacifist state....  Hussein has left no alternative but war."


PANAMA: "War, History, Panama"


Conservative El Panama America ran a front-page editorial that asserted (3/20):  "The United States seems condemned to always to to war against its allies of the past.… Noriega and Cedras, for example, were creations of the United States and both were removed by invasion.  Osama Bin Laden is another example.  Now it's Sadam Hussein's turn...who the U.S. armed and used to attack and neutralize the Iranian Ayatollah's threat in 1980… While Orange alert is announced, we must envy Switzerland, who without saying a word, maintains its policy of absolute neutrality."




Pro-government La Estrella de Panama's front page editorial column stated (3/20):  "War is an instrument that always generates protest because of the fear of its consequences.… George Bush is facing what his country considers a serious threat to not only security, but also to humanity.  Once Hussein's long night of terror ends, the Iraqis can make use of their liberty to elect democratic leaders committed to human rights."


PERU:  "An Ominous Day For Humanity"


Center-left daily La Republica judged (3/20): "We cannot hide the seriousness of [President] George Bush's decision: for the first time in almost 60 years...a powerful country decides to challenge all nations and go to war without authorization of the Security Council...leading to a crisis of the international order that has prevailed since the end of World War II and establishing an ominous precedent....  Taking control of a country by the force does not mean peace.... The Middle East has always of the most unstable areas in the world.  Entering into Iraq in the brutal way the U.S... is doing it entails the risk of worsening the permanent threats posed [by the situation] in the region.... Muslim fundamentalists... could start a war against Christians... and no country would be free from such a threat... This war lacks of legal and ethical basis...percent of the people of the world condemns it."


"Does It Start With Iraq?"


Serious tabloid Correo  argued (3/20): "September 11...awakened the expansionist goals of the U.S.  It has...taken off its diplomatic disguise and imposed the political and geographical hegemony it holds as a result of the Soviet collapse.... Today it is the Islamic fundamentalism's turn.  Tomorrow it could be the 'Andean narcoterrorism, responsible for the moral destruction of the U.S. youth and for the appearance of potential enemies of the free world'...  Peru and Latin America must not ignore they plan their future.  Certainly, it would be a mistake to revive anti-imperialist formulas which had only led us to the worst populist and authoritarian [regimes], but their political leaders must be aware of the need to be cautious and intelligent... [Peru] should be a partner [of the U.S.], but only if it is not forced to give up its inalienable rights and... sovereignty."


VENEZUELA:  "No War Is Wished For"


Conservative national 2001 editorialized (3/21):  "Wars are costly and excessively painful.  Nonetheless, there are times when they can't be avoided....  While one cannot doubt the sincerity of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, what is debatable is the position of some countries that spare nothing in talking in the name of peace, echoing the arguments of the fossilized far left to defend a tyranny that has made a myth favorable to itself of the embargo, when the reality is quite different....  The regime of Saddam Hussein, a protector and supporter of terrorists, is as inadmissible as the terrorism of the Colombian narcoguerrilla.  It's desirable that the war has the least possible human cost, particularly among innocent civilians and be brief.  Its objective is that humanity rid itself of one of the bloodiest tyrants in history, and obtain security and peace for the whole world."


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