International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

March 27, 2003

March 27, 2003





** Overseas media treated reports of "mounting" civilian casualties, the capture of Coalition POWs and the Baghdad market "tragedy" as harbingers of a longer, more "conventional" war.

** European writers disputed earlier claims that a "high tech" war could spare civilian deaths.

** Many Islamist outlets cited "killed Iraqis" as proof of U.S.-UK "genocide" and military casualties as evidence of U.S. "failure."

** Critics chiding the U.S. for "wanting to impose democracy at gunpoint" stressed that Washington's "fantasy" of "jubilant welcomes" for Iraq's "liberators" had not yet happened.




Euros berate smart bombs' 'silly mistakes';  worry the 'worst is yet to come'--  Though many had been banking on a swift resolution to the war, observers grew increasingly skeptical of seeing a positive outcome at minimum human cost.  The latest civilian casualties prompted speculation that despite the U.S.' "state-of-the-art technology" and expectations of a "high tech" warfare, the conflict was turning into a "conventional war."  Dailies agreed with London's center-left Independent that the campaign to remove Saddam "swiftly and almost without bloodshed was at best wishful thinking, and at worst a deliberate effort to delude."  Others shared Rome's center-right Il Giornale's dismay that in today's "high tech era," the Pentagon took "ten hours before giving its version" of the market "tragedy in Baghdad."  Most concluded that freeing Iraq from Saddam was proving more "complicated" and some echoed a Madrid daily's Cassandran predictions of a civilian "catastrophe of colossal dimensions."


Islamist papers decry 'dirty war'--  Denouncing the U.S.-led war as "conquest and colonization," outlets in Muslim-majority countries cited the market blast to accuse the U.S. of deliberately "targeting" civilians.  Qatar's semi-independent Al-Raya alleged the "haphazard attack" was "nothing compared to the huge number of killed Iraqis which TV cameras could not reach."  Outlets in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Pakistan offered similar accounts of "hideous massacres" and "carnage."  Algeria's independent El Watan sneered that since the U.S. strategy had "failed," the U.S. had decided to "take the next step in this unjust war" with "blind and massive bombardments." 


Writers elsewhere mourn deaths of 'innocents,' accuse U.S. of 'double standards'-- Dailies in Asia, Africa and Latin America fear a looming "humanitarian disaster of mammoth proportions." A number joined a Taipei daily in reproaching the U.S. for "missile raids on one hand" and boasts of "reconstruction on the other."  Ecuador's center-left Hoy scoffed at "the leaders of the world" who "try to cover death in a shroud of peace."  Others, like Tanzania's moderate weekly Express, accused the U.S. of "hypocrisy" by asking for "humane treatment" for its POWs, "while ordering the killings of hundreds of innocent Iraqis."

EDITOR: Irene Marr


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 91 reports from 50 countries, March 25-27.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Mounting List Of Casualties... A Salutary Corrective To Modern View Of War" 


The center-left Independent stated (3/27):  "If Iraq really constituted as deadly a threat to world security as the  Prime Minister and others had warned, why were they so confident that a war could be swiftly won? And if the campaign proved to be harder and  longer than had been hoped, if victory could only be won at the price of many casualties, could the imperative of sparing civilians really be honored?  Now, with the war a week old and casualties--including civilians--mounting, these questions need to be posed, even if they cannot fully be  answered.  It is already clear that the impression given by our politicians that the  regime of Saddam could be removed swiftly and almost without bloodshed was at best wishful thinking and at worst a deliberate effort to delude. The prospects of such an outcome have narrowed by the day. If only Saddam had  definitely been killed in the first "targeted strike", if the port of Umm Qasr had been handed to the US and British without a fight, if the people of Basra had spontaneously welcomed the forces as liberators, if they had  risen against their Baath Party rulers... If only just one of those plans had been realised - but it was not."


"Aid Caught Up In The Battle" 


The independent, pro-business Financial Times commented (3/26):  "Humanitarian aid was to have been the clincher in the U.S.-led campaign to  win the hearts, minds as well as stomachs of the Iraqi people.  Kill President Saddam Hussein and his leadership with missiles, and then the Iraqi people with kindness.  President George W. Bush promised food aid would start flowing into Iraq within 36 hours of his troops' invasion.  This strategy has now gone seriously awry.  What is at stake is not aid such as that provided to poor African countries, but what Iraq has paid for out of its own oil revenues....  Aid distribution is probably out of the question until control of the southern ports is clarified.  But the Security Council should act now to endorse Mr Annan's pragmatic approach, allowing soldiers to distribute aid supplies if there is no alternative, so that a humanitarian crisis can be  averted."


"A Fresh Script"


Kirsty Milne commented in the conservative Scotsman (3/26):  "They said it could be over in a week.  The army would collapse, the streets would teem with cheering Iraqis....  This is not the smooth rescue operation we were led to expect.  It does not accord with the 'Liberation update' on the White House website, recording Iraqi 'joy and relief.'  This is a frightening, messy and chaotic experience for invaders and invaded alike....  The prospect of Iraqi hostility was rarely canvassed...[but] the air of indignation and surprise is in itself astonishing.  Are we so cushioned that we cannot imagine fear and desperation?  No huge effort of empathy is required to comprehend that it might be hard for Iraqis to love their liberators....    The terrible Baghdad fireworks of Friday night, and of successive nights since, will have traumatised even where they have not killed....  If we could hear the soundtrack and see the children crying, we would not wonder that some of the troops approaching Baghdad will be received with hatred."


FRANCE:  "Impatience And Restraint"


Bruno Frappat commented in Catholic La Croix (3/26):  “If the Baghdad regime did not collapse in the first hours or days of combat, it is essentially for two reasons...the capacity for 'resistance' from certain Iraqi troops [and]...the assailants’ strategy....  It appears that the British and American troops are looking to spare Iraq and its cities....  We can safely believe that the targets are purely military or tied to the regime.  All in all, without going as far as approving this war waged without a mandate and with tragic consequences, it is strange to have to say that those who condemned this war seem to be reproaching the assailants for their slow advance....  Let us continue to hope that this restraint will not change at some point into fury.”


"Going For It"


Pierre Rousselin held in right-of-center Le Figaro (3/26):  “This will not be a quick war...[but] the first signs are positive....  Human losses have been limited, including in the civilian population....  The offensive against Saddam is on track, even if everything did not go as planned....  The moment of truth is near.  In this very political phase of the war, coalition forces cannot wait for very long.  They will have to go for it soon and wage war.”


GERMANY:  "A Conventional War Despite High-Tech U.S. Weapons"


Bernd Ziesemer observed in an editorial in business  Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (3/27): "Many of the assessments on German television are tremendously naïve from a military standpoint.  No battle plan survives the first encounter with the enemy, as any experienced general knows.  What is so astounding about the fact that the Americans and the British had to revise their plans several times in the first days of the war?  The same holds true for allied losses, which had to be expected in a campaign of this size.  This much is certain after the first week:  This is a conventional war despite high-tech U.S. weapons and swift progress on the ground.  Everything is pointing toward what Carl von Clausewitz identified as the mark of a large-scale war one decisive battle."


"In Cover"


Guenter Nonnenmacher editorialized in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (3/26):  "It is part of the U.S. hopes...that advancing U.S. forces are enthusiastically welcomed as liberators by the Iraqis.  There is the experience from the first Gulf war, when the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein, were left in the lurch by the Americans.  But there is another factor that plays a role:  The Baath regime that had months to prepare for the war is now pursuing a different tactic than 12 years ago.  Militia groups and fighters who unconditionally support Saddam and his clique pursue a guerilla tactic for which the allied forces were not prepared.  It is true that this will not stop their march on Baghdad, but the longer the supply lines and the more pockets of resistance exist in the back of the forces, the more vulnerable will be the allied moves.  And as long as the civilian population must fear the terror of the regime, it will not cheer but wait in cover who will come out of the war as the stronger side."


"Americans Received As Anything But Trustworthy Liberators"


Center-right Nordsee-Zeitung of Bremerhaven (3/26) had this to say: "It is really surprising to see the naiveté that the Americans are showing when they expect to be received with gratefulness by the Iraqis.  It is correct that the population in wide parts of Iraq want to see Saddam go to hell.  But the Americans are for many anything but trustworthy liberators.  The people in southern Iraq have not forgotten that Washington encouraged them to revolt during the first Gulf War, but then refused to give any support."


"The Worst Still To Come"


P. Flocken commented on regional radio station Norddeutscher Rundfunk of Hamburg (3/26): "Even the most modern weapons technology cannot prevent civilian casualties, and the bombs are having a detrimental effect.  Resistance is growing and the U.S. government is coming under time pressure.  The longer the campaign takes and the higher the death toll, the less support there is in the United States.  The U.S. troops and the Iraq population still have the worst in front of them, because Saddam will not surrender the capital without a fight."



ITALY: “Those Ten Hours Of Delay Were A Present For the Dictator”


Foreign affairs editor Marcello Foa opined in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (3/27): “Intelligent bombs. Silly mistakes....Yesterday, America lost several points in the media war. It has lost them even if one day it will be proved that the U.S. Air Force - as the Pentagon made clear - did not cause the tragedy in Baghdad.... This is why the Pentagon waited  ten hours before giving its version.... Ten hours are an eternity in the high-tech era. Ten hours which proved advantageous to Saddam, the pacifists and the anti-Americans in Europe, and, above all, to the Arab world where Bush hopes to bring democracy. Also on the military front the day was not satisfying for the Pentagon.... It is indeed complicated to free Iraq from Saddam’s dictatorship.”




Lucio Caracciolo commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (3/26):  "America is now fighting a guerrilla warfare, its historical Achilles' heel.  Its huge strategic superiority doesn't allow alternatives to the outcome of the conflict.  However, before giving way to its full strength... the U.S. giant prefers to slow down....  President Bush's best way out remains a secret negotiation with Saddam's people to convince them to abandon a 'lost cause' by provoking a collapse of the regime from the inside.  However, time is running out.  The United States only has a few more weeks.  And after that, the impasse would be considered a political defeat, unredeemable even by a (final) military victory."


"'I Don't Know How Long It Will Last, I Know How It Will End'"


Maurizio Molinari wrote in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (3/26):  "The prospect of a 'swift and successful' war, which was suggested many times on the eve of the attack, seems to have vanished: coalition forces are encountering resistance and are suffering losses.... President Bush...outlined the war scenario: ...'we are now fighting an enemy who does not respect the rules, who is dressed in civilian clothing....'  The reference to the enemy in 'civilian clothing' was intended to explain to the American public that the war has entered a new phase: guerrilla warfare, with the risk that American soldiers may have to open fire on enemies without uniform.... But there is not only the Iraq front.  Another 5 billion dollars are in fact destined to countries on the front line in the fight against terrorism....  Bush wants to send a clear message: even though the U.S. is fighting in Iraq, he will not forget the other fronts on terrorism."


RUSSIA:  "End To Saddam Is Near"


Aleksandr Bovin commented in reformist youth-oriented Moskovskiy Komsomolets (3/26):  "Saddam Hussein's rule is nearing its end.  The world's bloodiest and most ruthless and aggressive regime will soon be no more....  We should not be confused by fanatics singing praise to and dying for Saddam.  Totalitarian propaganda maims human souls and turns people into zombies....  True, what America is doing is against the law.   But that's the way Vietnam acted when it invaded Cambodia in late 1978 to save the Khmers from butcher Pol Pot.  Tanzania did that, too, in 1979, when it used armed force to drive dictator Idi Amin out of Uganda.  A quarter of a century since, who will blame Le Duan and Nyerere for what they did?"


"Poor Intelligence"


Sergey Ptichkin had this in official government Rossiyskaya Gazeta (3/26): "Incredibly, the coalition, primarily the Americans, are losing war at the level of intelligence services.   With a fiasco in assessing Iraq's military and political potential and in planning its own tactical operation, U.S. intelligence thought it best to blame the coalition's military setbacks on two Russian companies, one in Tula and the other near Moscow.   This is more proof that the Pentagon's view of the situation in the area of the military

conflict it started itself is rather distorted."


AUSTRIA:  "This Is Not The Time For Gloating"


Foreign affairs writer Stefan Galoppi commented in mass-circulation Kurier (3/26):  "This is not the time to gloat over the coalition forces' setbacks in Iraq:  The more successful the Iraqi resistance, the more massive and aggressive the allied attacks, and the more devastating the consequences for the Iraqi people.  It is alarming that the town of Basra has been declared a 'military target' by British forces.  Up to now, the allied troops went for a pinpoint approach in order to preserve the country's infrastructure....  Should the U.S.--after a grueling campaign--be forced to withdraw from Iraq, the Iraqi dictator would triumph and become an Arab super hero....  The situation in the politically highly instable Middle East could get completely out of hand."


BELGIUM:  "Hope Bush Finishes The Job Quickly"


Paul De Bruyn argued in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (3/26): "The fall of Saddam is a guarantee for a second term for Bush.  The  opposite means his political death.  He is chained to Saddam.  For the time being, he cannot but hope that his troops will finish the job quickly, that the number of casualties will not be too high, and that the Americans have sufficient patience.  Bush has no doubts about the outcome of the war--but every setback is one too much....  If George W. Bush does not achieve a splendid victory in Iraq soon, he may become the second Bush whose presidency ends without glory after one term.”


"Optimistic Expectations"


Foreign affairs writer Marc Van de Weyer commented in conservative Christian-Democrat Het Belang van Limburg (3/26):  "The impression was given that Saddam’s regime would disintegrate very quickly, that there would be massive desertions, and that the Iraqis would welcome the invading troops with cheers and flowers.  Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may deny now that he ever sparked such optimistic expectations, but it is a fact that there were initial statements that Saddam’s army was no match for America’s supremacy.  That may still be the case, but the Americans, too, must admit today that the condemned regime is playing its last cards in a shrewd manner.”


CZECH REPUBLIC: "Iraq - Another Clash Of Cultures"


Pavel Galik wrote in the mainstream MF Dnes (3/26):  "Common sense suggests that the architects of the Iraq war plan to turn Iraq into a base for missionaries of Euro-Atlantic culture. Saddam Hussein has not done anything more reprehensible than he did in the past, so why do the allies send their army on him now? It must be that he simply came in handy, after the failure to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan; Iraq has become a welcome replacement. The allies explain the attack by saying that it will introduce democracy in Iraq. But if that's what the Iraqis really want, that's an altogether different matter. The presumption is that despite the rebellious Kurds and ill-humoured Shiites, the otherwise relatively civilized Iraqis can adjust their lives to implanted norms. But is this forceful shaping of different cultures to fit the Western mould ultimately a good thing for the world? I am sure it is not."


CYPRUS:  "The Objectives of Ruthlessness"


Centrist, independent, influential Phileleftheros editorialized (3/23):  "It is the smell of oil and the prospect of world domination for which innocent people are dying."      


DENMARK:  "Post-Saddam Attitudes Depend On Casualties"


Centrist Kristeligt Dagblad editorialized (3/26):  "The Iraqi people's attitude to the administration after the war will to a large extent depend on how many Iraqis died during the conflict." 


KOSOVO:  "War Must Go On!"


Pro-PDK Epoka e Re daily commentator Imer Mushkolaj wrote (3/26):  "Iraqis today leave in poverty, with the razor's edge on their neck.  And America is fighting to liberate a people from a regime, from a dictator.  The war of the allied forces in Iraq should not be conceived as a war against the Iraqi people at all, so much less as a war against Islam--this is a war against a regime, against a dictator.  U.S.A. bombs and allies will bring freedom to Iraq, as they brought to Kosovo.  All dictators are same. Saddam is same as Milosevic....  Now that the Europeans are demonstrating impotence and the U.N. losing credibility, the U.S.A. once again shows courage and firmness to get rid a people of oppression.  Of course, every war has its price.  But the freedom of a people does not have a price.  'All pacifists are the same, they always spit on America,' Pascal Bruckner would have said.  And we add to that: 'War must go on!'  Yes, yes, the war must go on!"   


NORWAY: "War's Face Unmasked"


In the social democratic Dagsavisen (3/27) Erik Sagflaat commented: "War is no video game... In the days that come we will probably get to see new hugelosses, civilian Iraqis as well as military on both sides. For some this can be unexpected. In three wars in a row the U.S. and its allies have comethrough with minimal losses... It can has led some to believe that modern war is 'clean,' in any case on their side, and that military technological superiority makes their own forces invulnerable....  The Generals certainly knew better, but Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and their new conservative civilian advisors had apparently lived in a fantasy world that the Iraqis would notdefend their homeland, with jubilant welcomes for the invasion forces that would free them... This war should never have started. Now that it hasbegun, it is impossible to stop. The hope must still be that it soon can be over, and with the least possible [amount of] loss and suffering, so thathumanitarian assistance and reconstruction can begin."


PORTUGAL: "The Images That Are Missing"


An op-ed in influential moderate-left Público, Social Democratic Party (PSD) European Parliament member José Pacheco Pereira observed (3/27): "[...] Never has any army in combat allowed such televised transparency....  In a conflict like the current one it is easily understandable that the majority of journalists are against the war, and this conditions their reporting.  But American political and military leaders, who essentially created this scheme, did so totally conscious of the risks.  Maybe they think -- and this is as risky as all innovative things are -- that only in this way could there be a relegitimization of the need for military action by democracies.... If, in an ideal world, television showed the reality of both sides, in the same way and with the same criteria, we would understand the enormous difference in the way war is conducted by a democracy and a dictatorship.... It is a strange Western journalism that says that Al-Jazira represents the 'Arab perspective'...when it shows civilian victims and doesn't ask itself why, at press conferences with Iraqi leaders, no one -- not even those with an 'Arab perspective' -- asks the same kind of cynical and tough questions that American journalists are used to doing at the Pentagon....  This model of antiglobalization journalism, so lauded by our anti-Americans, is disinformation.  The missing images aren't in there.  Saddam's violence isn't in there."


"Democracy By Force"


In a signed editorial in influential moderate-left daily Público, associate editor Manuel Carvalho thundered (3-26):  "According to the new visionaries in Washington, democracy does not depend solely upon the will of citizens convinced of its superiority, but can be imposed coercively like some totalitarianism....  In wanting to impose democracy at gunpoint, the Bush administration is revealing symptoms of the same attitude that the Soviet Union had regarding communism in Afghanistan or Prague.  At the end of the conflict, Saddam will be overthrown and pass into history--but after the bombs and the victims, it is doubtful the United States will spring forward in the eyes of Iraqi--and general Arabic--public opinion as an example of the democratic virtues...."


POLAND: "The Price Of Shock"


Krystyna Szelestowska wrote in leftist Trybuna (3/27): "The outcome of this war is certain. It will bring a military victory to Goliath--that is, to the U.S.  Confronted with state-of-the-art technology and the immense force of the enemy, Hussein's army has no chance in the long run. But the question remains: What will be the price of victory? The price counted not only in billions of dollars, but also in fatalities, in wounded and crippled, in damaged infrastructure and lasting imprints in people's minds? It seems Pentagon strategists did not take this into account."

"Pandora And Tomatoes"


Krzysztof Skowronski opined in cultural weekly Przekroj (3/27): "I believe that aside from selfish objectives--controlling oil deposits, boosting the economy, mobilizing and consolidating the public-America's genuine objective in this war is also to defend the system that recognizes the freedom of an individual as a foundation on which society is based.  I believe that when Baghdad is taken, President Bush will announce a peace plan for the Middle East, and an assistance program to help starving Africans. I believe that he will stop feeding dictators and start feeding the hungry.... The power and determination with which Americans started this war proves that they are aware they opened a Pandora's box. Their tanks are rushing across the desert toward Baghdad, because Baghdad must surrender before America's opponents manage to consolidate. I hope the allied forces will succeed, and that the U.S. Administration will change a Pandora's box into a box of tomatoes."


SPAIN:  "Worst Fears Become Reality in Seven Days"


Independent El Mundo wrote (3/27): "Bush promised a surgical action to eliminate a dictator, but what he has achieved in one week is to cause real 'shock and awe' among the Iraqi population and a justified global alarm about the course that this war without legitimacy or proportionality is taking."  


"The Defenseless"


Left-of-center El País judged (3/26):  "Over Iraq, as inevitably in all wars, the specter looms of a catastrophe of colossal dimensions for the civilian population....  In these circumstances the humanitarian force should be as formidable as it is urgent....  [Kofi Annan's plan for reinstituting the Oil for Food Program] must pass over the deep wounds on the Security Council after its absolute discord with respect to war.  It must respect at the same time the demands of those who are opposed to a war and who don't want the United Nation's massive involvement in meeting Iraqi's most urgent needs to end up legitimating the attack or reducing the U.S. and British responsibility for the fate of the civilian populations under their bombs."


"The Route To Baghdad:  A High Military, Humanitarian And Economic Cost"


Independent El Mundo editorialized (3/26):  "From an operative point of view many of the premises--more political than military--have been debunked by reality, raising doubts about the quality of the pre-planning and creating fear that the conflict will be prolonged.  The population has not greeted their 'liberators' so far....  The possibility of a popular revolt in Basra is a hope that the American strategists are hanging on to in order to recover part of their initial plan.  Maybe this is, in the end, more important to winning the doubtful peace, then in the medium-term to win a war that inevitably will go towards the coalition side....  If the allies don't make use of the opportunities to show with facts their humanitarian intentions...they will have missed their best hope of being able to end well what promises to be an extremely complicated post-war situation."


TURKEY:  "The U.S. In Iraq:  An Invader Or Savior?"


Mehmet Barlas argued in mass appeal Sabah (3/26):  "Currently the people of Iraq, regardless of their being pro-Saddam or not, consider the U.S. army as an invader.  The psychology is much different from that of the days of Desert Storm.  Iraqis were well aware of their mistake in invading Kuwait.  Therefore the Desert Storm operation did not experience any resistance on the Iraqi side....  However, the situation is not the same at present.  The U.S. seems to be fighting to capture Iraq after toppling Saddam.  The Iraqis are fighting against the power which invades their motherland.  In the eyes of Iraqi people, to be saved from Saddam cannot be an excuse for being invaded by the U.S.  It is clear that once the war is over with American victory, the U.S. identity in Iraq will be 'occupying force' not 'savior.'...  The wise step at this point for Washington policy makers would be to realize the two following facts: This war will last longer than planned.  And the invasion must be kept shorter than planned."




ISRAEL: "Lessons From a Crowded Marketplace"


Senior columnist and chief defense commentator Zeev Schiff wrote on page one of independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (3/27): "The incident in which two guided missiles hit a crowded marketplace in Baghdad should make it easier for the Americans, particularly the military experts among them, to better understand what happened during the heavy fighting in which the IDF was involved in the Jenin refugee camp almost a year ago. This holds particularly true with respect to the American general who was supposed to head the UN committee looking into the Jenin battle and who said that Israel had committed war crimes there, even though he had not visited the site to investigate the battle.  What happened Wednesday in the Baghdad marketplace was not surprising; it was predictable.  It happened a few times during the war in Afghanistan too.... This type of incident is likely to repeat itself if the battle for Baghdad widens in scope.  If U.S. troops enter residential areas of Baghdad, their losses will likewise increase.  This is war, and this is the price of war; but small nations like Israel have to be more cautious than great powers."


"A Different Strategy For Saddam"


Zeev Schiff wrote in independent, left-leaning Haaretz (3/26):  “The Iraqi opposition has probably given the U.S. information assuring it that rebels would actually emerge from elements within Saddam's loyalist Revolutionary Guards, who would exploit the opportunity to rebel against him....  The rebellion has not happened, so the information was incorrect from the outset and led to an erroneous intelligence evaluation.  Perhaps the fear of Saddam is greater than many believe....   Unlike the early stages of the campaign, it will be impossible to avoid losses among the civilians in Baghdad or the attacking forces unless they succeed in a quick and direct strike on Saddam.”


WEST BANK:  "Liberation War Or Campaign Of Destruction?"


In its main editorial, moderate Al-Quds commented (3/27):  "The world watches the attacking warplanes and the intercontinental missiles inflicting destruction and fear upon civilian neighborhoods in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra, terrorizing children, women and the elderly, and committing massacres, causing thousands of casualties among innocent civilians. The whole world has the right to wonder: Did these colonial invaders come to liberate the people of Iraq or to kill them?"


"For Whose Sake?"


Khairi Mansour commented in semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (3/27): "Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, who was described by Newsweek after his most recent interview as a zealot for confrontation with Iraq, claims that this massive military campaign, which the U.S. has been working on for the past year, is wholly for the sake of Iraq... Many people have wondered for whose sake this war is, but there isn't one who would be so naïve to say that it is for the sake of Iraq. The Deputy Secretary of Defense himself is not naïve, but he becomes so if he thinks that people would be so stupid as to take this bait... There is no doubt that this campaign is first and foremost for the sake of the U.S., which has clearly declared without any diplomatic cover that it puts its interests before anything else... The campaign is also for the sake of the Zionist regime even though this has not been declared publicly... It is more honorable for the U.S. and its executioners in its administration and Pentagon to take off their useless masks, which have failed to hide their fangs and the faces that are pale from inhaling the smell of our blood. They are killing us in our name; indeed this is the worst kind of torment that can ever be witnessed in the horrific history of crime."


"These Positions Threaten The Arabs' Future" 


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (3/26):  “It has become clear to all Arabs, who are furiously following the developments of the Anglo-American war against brotherly Iraq, that most of the Arab regimes, if not all, have adopted a negative position toward this war, with some even going as far as participating in the aggression.  We can conclude that the invading forces would not have been able to wage their hostile operations...without the assistance provided by Arab countries known to have grudges against the Iraqi regime....  The indisputable fact about the Anglo-American aggression, regardless of its outcome, is that it will instigate complications in the inter-Arab relations, causing the Iraqi people, who are facing this aggression, to express more hatred and rancor toward other Arabs.  This will have catastrophic consequences for future developments in the Gulf region that neither coalition forces nor other foreign countries will be able to control.”


EGYPT:  "Destruction, Not Liberation"


Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar Editor-in-chief Galal Dowidar noted (3/27): "Is it not a farcical tragedy and irony that while the Anglo-American missiles are destroying and killing in Iraq with pre-determined intent, officials from both countries speak blatantly in press conferences about reconstruction?.... American troops are not acting for the sake of Kuwait or any other but only to serve American and Zionist interests.... The coalition troops' open appetite for killing innocent people in Iraq and destroying their homes and utilities is proof of a loss of nerve and contradicts the principles to which they lay claim."


"What Is The Difference Between Hitting Palestinians In Jenin And Iraqis In Baghdad?"


Small circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya's editor-in-chief Samir Ragab stated (3/27): "We want human conscience, if is still alive, to tell us by God: What is the difference between Israel's lowly and treacherous crimes against Palestinians and what the American masters are doing now with Iraqis?.... What is happening in Baghdad refutes all allegations that the invading troops came to liberate Iraqis....  We concur with President Mubarak that there still is an opportunity to end this bloody war...because... all humanity is threatened."


 "America’s Plans Are Stumbling"


Leading pro-government Al Ahram columnist Hazem Abdel Rahman observed (3/26):  “Apparently, the American-British military campaign on Iraq is facing obstacles, largely because of the Iraqi army and public resistance.  American and British military plans seemed confused due to unexpected resistance....  Iraqis--with limited equipment--deliberately foiled American plans to challenge the invading troops in open desert...and preferred to remain in civilian areas which shackled the operation of planes and missiles in fear of dramatic casualties.  The most serious weak point in the American military campaign is that it rushed into Baghdad...leaving dangerous weak points in the hands of Iraqi troops....  We are witnessing a real war....  Who can deny Iraqis such heroism?”


ALGERIA:  "The Massacre"


French-language independent El Watan editorialized (3/27): “There are no white flags, no population exodus to neighboring countries. Although the humanitarian staff is inactive, this is not the case of the U.S. airforce that is well equipped to carry out ‘surgical strikes.’ Unfortunately the airforce is targeting civilian areas; we do not want to hear about errors because this explanation would be too easy. We are witnessing the failure of a strategy that expected a rapid and clean war. Since they have failed, the Americans have decided to go to the next step in this unjust war using blind and massive bombardments. A long war would negatively affect the economy, which is the principal electoral issue in the US and Bush knows this. He cannot say that he does not have the choice of arms. This would be absurd because the US President launched his army against a country that has been methodically disarmed and whose defenses have been systematically examined, tested and then dismantled or even destroyed. In spite of a whole decade of allied preparation, Iraq has altered all US plans.”


"Dirty War"


Independent, French-language Liberte held (3/25):  "The war of images hurts more than arms and missiles.  America has been shaken by images of coalition detainees but it is not sensitive at all to the daily nightmare of the Iraqi population.  Americans who were against this useless and expensive war are now blaming their President, who nevertheless finds time to enjoy his weekend.  The media war is shaking America.  Bush’s war is countered by Iraqi media programs.  When the U.S.-British forces announce that they have captured thousands of fictitious Iraqi prisoners, the Iraqi authorities exhibit just one prisoner, but a real one.”


LEBANON:  "America Started To Divide Iraq"


Charles Ayoub commented in independent, non-sectarian Ad-Diyar (3/26):  "The American leadership realizes fully that it will not be able to occupy Baghdad without destroying it through using the air force and killing thousands of people....  For this reason it is beginning to talk about battles that might continue for months....  Meanwhile, the U.S. started to divide Iraq into sectarian areas...with the ultimate goal of dividing Iraq into three areas: the Kurdistan areas, the southern Shi'a areas and the west-northern area where the majority are Sunni....  However, the Iraqi people are not only Shi'a, Sunni, and Kurdish people and can never fall for that plan....  The Americans forget that the Iraqi people are patriotic and there will be no difference in the resistance whether it is in Najaf, Basra, or Karbala."


JORDAN: “A Bloody Escalation Of The War On Iraq”


Center-left, influential Arabic Al-Dustour (3/27) editorialized:  “The United States and Britain escalated their brutal aggression against brotherly Iraq and the war operations launched by these two allies took a serious destructive and bloody turn when missile attacks and air raids started to target civilian areas and civilian infrastructure that claimed the lives of many….  The world watches with shock and awe the field developments of the American war on Iraq.  On one hand, the world admires the honorable resistance of the Iraqi people and their armed forces.  On the other hand, the world is worried and pained by these horrific attacks against the Iraqis and by Washington and London’s insistence to turn their backs to all calls for stopping this bloody episode and for listening to the voice of reason and logic.”


“The Freedom Of Killing Iraqis”


Chief Editor Taher Udwan wrote on the back page of independent, mass-appeal Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm (3/27):  “The Bush-Blair war can be called anything but a liberation of the Iraqis....  What freedom is this that carries within it unspeakable atrocities, and what freedom is this where more than 74 billion dollars are going to be spent on weapons to kill Iraqis and destroy their cities?  A good description of this war is a war of lies....  I felt bad yesterday when I saw the cheers and applause with which the American President was received as he was promising the Iraqi people a long war that would not stop until the head of Saddam Hussein rolls.  I felt bad because the scenes of the dead people in Hyy al-Sha’b in Baghdad revealed all about the truth of the ‘freedom’ that Bush is promising the Iraqi people via missiles and bombs....  The Bush-Blair war can be described as illegitimate, criminal, colonialist, brutal, but not as a war for freedom, unless the freedom to kill Iraqis is meant.”


MOROCCO:  "Lifting The Embargo On International Legitimacy"


Pro-government Arabic-language Al Ittihad Al Ishtiraki held (3/25):  "U.S.-British aggression against brotherly Iraq continues and on a daily basis.  The dirty war takes a new form where perpetrators do not hesitate to use weapons and bombs against civilians and against artworks of Arab and Islamic civilization in Iraq.  People must ask their government to activate the diplomatic machine and support, at least, international legitimacy which suffers from the embargo imposed by the militarism of new colonialism."


QATAR:  "The Dirty War"


Semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Raya observed (3/27): "The haphazard attack, which targeted a civilian neighborhood and killed tens of innocent Iraqis is nothing compared to the huge number of killed Iraqis which TV cameras could not reach. The rapid escalation in this war indicates that all talks about a 'clean war' that will not affect innocent civilians was just nonsense. This free killing operation against Iraq should be stopped. The world should not commit itself to humanitarian and medical assistance only; but it should work harder to stop this war. The consequences of this madness will affect the whole region for decades to come." 2. "Wrong Calculations for Week '2'"

the Palestinians."


"Smart Bombs Do Not Differentiate Between Military And CIvilians"


Semi-independent Arabic-language  Al-Sharq  remarked (3/27): "The military preparations for the "Iraqi Freedom" operation were with laptops, big screens, and military planners and wizards. The plan was easy--just sent two hundred fifty thousand soldiers with a very simple mission: 'The Iraqi people are oppressed and we should liberate them.' They thought, and we also thought, that it was going to be a picnic. But even before Week '1' ended the Americans were shocked when the Iraqis put on TV the footage of American POWS and dead soldiers. The situation requires that Washington re-study the outcome of the first week in order to stop its stupid adventure in Iraq. The Americans have changed their strategy and their tone. Now they are talking about the tough war the Iraqis are fighting and how the coalition forces cannot determine how long this war will take. The problem now is with the Iraqi people themselves. The smart bombs now do not differentiate between military and civilians as was shown in Basra and Baghdad, thanks to Al-Jazeera's coverage, which provides us with the other side of the picture. Washington should listen to the wise voices and get back to the UNSC to solve Iraq's WMD issue. But if the hard-liners inside the White House decide to go on with this dirty mad war, then the situation will get more dramatic and more innocent people will die--and all this just to save the face of the administration. What a cost to be paid by the blood of innocent people."


SYRIA:  "Very Smart Weapons"


Ahmda Dawa declared in government-owned Al-Thawra (3/26):  "What is surprising is that the U.S. has justified the fall of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties and the targeting of residential areas by saying that some of the missiles had missed their target.  This contradicts the statements made by U.S. military leaders who confirm that these weapons do not miss their targets.  The crystal-clear fact the aggressors are trying to hide from the world community is that the U.S.-UK missiles and warplanes have not missed their targets as Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld claim.  In fact, they are deliberately targeting Iraqi civilians in their homes....  The evidence is that U.S. warplanes targeted the Syrian bus in a non-military area, which resulted in the martyrdom of five Syrians and many other injuries.  The evidence also in that U.S. military experts confirm that cruise and Tomahawk missiles [sic] do not miss their targets, that they are programmed to head upward and detonate themselves in such cases....  The hundreds U.S. missiles, which have been showering Iraqi cities on a daily basis for seven days, are quite smart, especially those which are deliberately and brutally targeting Iraqi civilians....  The U.S. and UK deliberate aggression against Iraq and the shelling of its civilians, is not only an armed robbery, it also constitutes war crimes and genocide against humanity."


"Iraq: The Resistance Is Digging In"


Ahmad Hamadeh wrote in government-owned Al-Thawra (3/27):  "They [coalition forces] lusted after oil but they never thought that they would be burnt by it.  While the world community talks about hideous massacres committed against innocent civilians, and while diplomats in the East and West are talking about destruction, killing and the danger of humanity and children being shelled by cluster bombs, George Bush appears on TV saying his forces control Al-Rumeillah oil fields."


TUNISIA: "War Against Iraq: Burglary Plus Law-Breaking"


A commentary by co-editor-in-chief, Fatma Karray, in independent Arabic-language Ash-Shourouq read (3/27):  "Washington wants to influence the people minds without any morality...Only a few hours after the carnage that took place in Baghdad yesterdaymorning, the American president addressed the military forces in his countryto boast about killing Iraqis and preventing them from defending theirnation against the invaders.  Bush has the right to love America by droppingprohibited bombs and depleted uranium on the Iraqis, but Iraqis have no right to reject colonization and the acts of burglary that their wholecountry is being subject to. If the world principles have changed after thecold war, where the invader became human and the one who defends his proudand territory became a terrorist, then down with a world order headed by aforce boasting about building its power on others craniums."


"'Liberation' Or Colonization?"


An editorial by Noureddine Hlaoui, in independent French-language Le Temps (3/27) stated:  "The Iraqi army and public resistance is very strong and heroic. Luckily, this time there is media other than CNN to show photos and to provideindependent information, free of theAmerican leadership pressure.Actually, we don't 'liberate' a people against his will. This is purely andsimply called a conquest and colonization, considering that theAmerican-British invasion is taking place without the UN endorsement, following the law of the strongest."


UAE:  "The Dilemma And Fear"


Dubai-based business-oriented Al Bayan editorialized (3/26):  "During this dilemma (for the U.S. military), it is not far from truth that U.S. forces might use 'destructive methods' outside normal war planning.  Some reporters mentioned yesterday that the U.S. forces used cluster bombs on Basra....  What is frightening is that the Americans have begun to consider using militarily banned material, and if that happens, the 'shock and awe' will not only hit Iraq and the Arabs but the world as a whole."


"U.S. Plans To Remold The Region"


Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al-Khaleej opined (3/26):  "In Palestine, a war of liquidation has been waged using American weapons.  In Iraq, an American-British war of liquidation is being waged against the Iraqi people using Israeli weapons....  The region is being remolded with Arab blood while Arabs are watching and counting the missiles that fall on Iraqi people, just as before with the missiles that fell and are still falling on




AUSTRALIA:  "Low Casualties For Big Victory"


The national conservative Australian stated (3/26):  "No battle is won until the shooting stops, however there is little reason to think that because some Iraqi troops are fighting back, the campaign against Saddam Hussein is in trouble....  The objective of this war is not only to end the risk of an Iraq armed with or aspiring to weapons of mass destruction, but to do it with few casualties and minimum damage to infrastructure.  It is a very different definition of military achievement to those that applied in the two great wars of the 20th century....  The challenge facing allied commanders is not just to win by defeating the enemy but to do it with the minimum death and suffering among ordinary Iraqis.”


"A Just War Must Be Fought Justly"


The liberal Age observed (3/26):  "A just war is not only one fought in a just cause, but one fought in a just manner, which means, among other things, that there should be no intentional killing of non-combatants.  The Age believes that the aim of disarming and deposing the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein is certainly a just cause; those who are waging the war, however, will need to be constantly vigilant to ensure that as little suffering as possible is inflicted upon a people who have already known too much misery.”


CHINA:  "Tears Are The True Illustration Of The Iraqi War"


Bai Ruixue commented in official Xinhua Daily Telegraph (Xinhua Meiri Dianxun) (3/26):  "The politicians who have initiated this war may not shed any tears.  However, the politicians should not forget the tears of those soldiers and officers fighting in the war as well as the tears of their mothers, children and friends.  Tears are the true illustration of such a war filled with truths and lies.”


CHINA (MACAU SAR):  "U.S. Troops Start To Encounter Difficulties"


Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (3/25):  "U.S. military setbacks in Najaf and their failure to make progress are enough to demonstrate that the Iraqi strategy is succeeding.  The closer U.S. troops get to Baghdad, the more difficult the fighting will be....  The war is undergoing some changes.  President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld have toned down their rhetoric and admitted that the difficult fight has only begun.  Anti-war sentiment in the U.S. is on the rise....  If U.S. troops continue to suffer setbacks and their casualties increase, the administration will confront even greater anti-war pressure.  If broad war-weariness breaks out among U.S. soldiers, the Bush administration will have a big headache."


TAIWAN:  "Little Bin Ladens"


The "Black and White" column of the conservative, pro-unification United Daily News observed (3/27): "The U.S. is bombing the major cities in Iraq with its missile raids on one hand and boasting of the reconstruction in post-war Iraq on the other.  Doesn't it occur to the Bush Administration that those Iraqi soldiers who are fighting unexpectedly and unrelentingly against the U.S. and British army may not necessarily do it to defend Saddam Hussein?  Instead, they fight because they believe they are guarding their homeland and resisting the invaders.  By the same token, those Iraqi children who have managed to survive in the besieged cities today may possibly turn out to be the 'little bin Ladens," who will swear to retaliate against U.S. hegemony in the future.  Will the U.S. still feel safe while these orphans of the war are bent on terrorist retaliation against the U.S.?"


 "A War Of Liberation, Or A War Of Invasion?"


The conservative, pro-unification United Daily News noted (3/26):  "For the U.S. and Britain, they naturally believe that it is a war of liberation.  But the severe pain and misery resulted from the twelve years of sanctions against Iraq...have actually put the Iraqi people in a devastating state.  The Iraqi people may not like Saddam Hussein, but neither do they like to see their country being humiliated and persecuted by international hegemony.  Besides, for the Muslims, even if they don't do anything to defend Saddam, they cannot disobey the teachings of Allah.  Thus, it remains a question for the U.S. and Britain of how to make the Iraqi people not interpret their 'war of liberation' as a 'war of invasion.'"


MALAYSIA:  "The End Of The West"


Farish Noor contended in the English-language business-oriented Edge (3/24):  "The aims of the U.S. political, military and business elite are clear, despite their protestations of goodwill and nobler intentions.  But along with the destruction of Iraq has come the destruction of the very Western idea itself.  Never again will the world believe that America stands for human rights and democracy, for how can one serve the cause of human rights at the end of a bayonet?  From today, none of us will live with the delusion that America is a force for good in the world.  Nor will we be able to live in peace, security and comfort again, knowing this maverick power is lurking out there, constantly in search of enemies--real and imagined--that it has to eliminate."


PHILIPPINES:  "Reality Check"


Ana Marie Pamintuan wrote in the independent Philippine Star (3/26):  "Every photo of a displaced Iraqi child or wounded civilian fuels more anti-war rallies around the world.  Which makes you wonder: if the Iraqi claim is true that 200 of their civilians have been killed so far, where are the photos, the video footage?...  The coalition suffers from the unreasonable global expectation that this war would be over as soon as Saddam heard the first cruise missile explode in his backyard.  That was less than a week ago.  We're not even sure yet if the missiles hit Saddam and disabled him or took him out.  How much longer before this war is over?  Let's wait for the coalition forces to reach Baghdad."


VIETNAM:  "The Opening Shock"


Manh Tuong held in in Vietnam People's Army-run Quan Doi Nhan Dan (3/26):  "Iraq's resistance is beyond expectation....  Iraq's counter-insurgency tactic is effective right in Um Qasr, an industrial port with plain terrain, therefore, it must be much more effective when it is employed in the suburbs of Baghdad, where the terrain is much more complex....  In fact, the U.S. scenario of 'fast battle, quick victory' for the opening stages of the war has not been realized.  In the time ahead, the longer the war lasts, the more dead bodies will be transported back to the U.S....  And another thing to worry about, the weather.  In just one month, when winter ends, the harsh summer heat in the Iraqi desert and sand storms may diminish weapon advantages of the U.S.  The opening stages of the war are apparently a shock for Washington and London."




INDIA:  "Saga Of Destruction" 


Hindi-language Dainik Jagran opined (3/26):  "Murdering of innocents is being touted as success by America.  To add legitimacy to this naked aggression, the U.S. has very cleverly labelled this war as an effort to liberate the Iraqis....  Notwithstanding the American blitzkrieg, it is clear that Saddam's boys are giving a tough fight to the U.S....  Having pushed the whole world into this crazy war, George Bush has emerged a villain not only internationally, but also in his own country." 


"The Human Cost"


The centrist Asian Age contended (3/26):  "The casualities are mounting with the men in London and Washington being forced to admit that the Iraqis are not going to just melt away and let the invaders move into their territory as benign liberators.  The indomitable Iraqi spirit is standing up to the formidable weapon power currently on display in their country, and American and British troops are paying the price.  Suddenly the rules and laws of international justice that had been ignored for long by the United States have become relevant.  It was quite a sight to see U.S. and British leaders talk of the Geneva Convention on television, the same people who had rejected all human rights please to apply the Convention's provisions on the Afghan prisoners being kept prisoner in Guantanamo Bay....  It is time now for the world to step in and stop the madness.  For while the Iraqis are putting up an honorable fight, they are also bearing tremendous casualties and suffering."


PAKISTAN:  "Geneva Convention: Double Standards"


An editorial in independent Urdu-language Inquilab said (3/27): "The American president now wants the Geneva Convention to be followed in dealing with the US prisoners of war in Iraq. Has the criminal gang of murderers ever cared for Geneva Convention?  Is it under this convention that the savage war has been waged, civil residential areas are being raided with bombs and missiles and hundreds of innocent people are being mercilessly killed? The inhuman treatment meted out to the Taliban prisoners and the alleged Al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, was it also under the Geneva Convention? ... They always have double standards which allow every injustice to others while arrogating all benefits exclusively to themselves. They remember international conventions only when they are adversely affected. This is what the tyrants have always been doing in the history."


"The Fallout Of The Iraq War"


Tariq Rahman argued in the centrist national News (3/26):  "The most essential thing at the moment is that the war should come to an end.  People should not be killed; their homes should not be destroyed; the air they breathe should not be contaminated by the poisons released in the atmosphere.  This is what humanity needs....  If, however, the war continues killing thousands and causing the burning of more oil wells, this war will be both a human disaster and an environmental one.  It will be remembered as the day when America turned its back on civilization."


SRI LANKA:  "Save The Civilians"


Pro-opposition English-language Island commented (3/26):  "A basic miscalculation made by the Americans and British appears to be that the invading troops would have been welcomed as liberators.  However, despite the atrocities committed by President Saddam Hussein on his people, Arab nationalism and the bonds of the Islamic brotherhood are keeping not only the Iraqis together but have resulted in emphatic expressions of solidarity in other Islamic countries as well....  People...don't like armies of occupation.  If it comes to a choice between their own tyrant and a foreign army, they would prefer their own abomination.  A long time military occupation of Iraq is bound to create severe problems for the Americans and the British."




SOUTH AFRICA:  "Human Shields"


The liberal Star held (3/27):  "There is no ignoring the fact that humans have throughout history been prepared to stand up and be counted for their beliefs - both religious and political...  The war is ostensibly against Saddam...but for many it is also a war being waged by the West on Muslims... People are dying in Iraq.  The moral position of those opposing this reprehensible US-led war is not to be questioned, but perhaps mixed with the idealism of the human shields there is also a little naivety."


"U.S. Double Standards"


The liberal Star commented (3/26):  "The US has shown little respect for multilateralism.  It has eschewed international obligations such as the Kyoto treaty and has shunned the International Criminal Court.  But perhaps even more importantly, the war on Iraq is a violation of international law....  To add insult to injury the US also fired cruise missiles on areas in Iraq populated by civilians including women and children.  Surely the very Geneva Convention that the US wants observed prohibits the targeting of civilians in conflict?  Americans are know for their double standards...  The US...has kept hundreds of prisoners of war that it prefers to call 'detainees' in appalling condition in Guantanamo Bay...  While it is important to have rules that govern everything, including a war, the U.S. should learn that its bullying tactics can only earn Washington more enemies.  The Bush administration should begin to respect multilateral obligations.  Until then, it can hardly point a finger at Iraq's abuses."


KENYA:  "Infidels Or Liberators"


Independent, pro-business Standard editorialized (3/27):  "Pro-war comments in the Western media have argued that the war is an intervention to free Iraq, and becuase of hate many who will be liberated from Saddam's hold it doesn't matter how many civilians are killed.  Freedom, it is argued, is priceless.  The justification goes as far as it does, without understanding the psyche of the Iraqi people, who are resisting alien invasion."


MALAWI:  "Iraq"


Desmond Dudu Phiri judged in the independent Nation (3/25):  "The Rubicon has been crossed.  The war is on.  The best we can hope for is that the Iraq president will do what he did during the Kuwait war and sue for peace before too many Iraqi lose their limbs, lives and property.  Bush and Saddam have one common trait, they do not yield to public opinion.  They are obstinate men.  Are there rights and wrongs on both sides of the deadly conflict?  Undoubtedly there are....  What Bush has done could be the beginning of World War III....  While we must continue to regret that two great democratic nations of the West...should attack a small Middle East nation, we must not forget that Saddam is himself not a man of peace.  His aggressive ambitions have already involved his country in two wars."


TANZANIA:  "Warmongers Expects Fair Play"


The moderate weekly independent Express (3/27):  "U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's statement that Iraq was in breach of the Geneva conventions governing the accepted rules of war by showing the film of dead troops and prisoners, is probably the biggest joke of this century, pathetically so.  That the US expresses outrage over breach of an international convention while it has defied the very UN and the entire world, seems undeniable by the mere term hypocrisy.  President Bush said he expected prisoners to be treated humanely.  This is at the same time he is ordering killings of hundreds of innocent Iraqis....  It should be highly alarming for any citizen to be witnessing the arrogance of a single person who can destroy any country - by mere hearsay of accusation minus evidence."


"What Wrong Have These Iraqi Children Done?"


Kiswahili-language pro-government tabloid Mwananchi declared (3/26):  "The American-led invasion of Iraq has had major repercussions, including the deaths of innocent people.  From the picture emerging now, it is not true that this war is about disarming Saddam of weapons of mass destruction and liberating the people of Iraq.  What we are witnessing now is the targeting of civilian residences and the killing of innocent people, including small children, instead of targeting military installations.  Western media propaganda tells us that Iraqis are welcoming the invasion and rejoicing at the prospect of Saddam being removed from power.  The truth is that, Iraqis are grieving at the sight of their children being killed or maimed.  What is incomprehensible is America’s assertion that they want to liberate the people of Iraq, while at the same time they are using missiles and other heavy weaponry to kill them.  How shall we distinguish between liberation and murder?  What is happening now in Iraq should be a lesson to America and its allies.  Bypassing the UN was a bad idea....  The UN should take urgent steps to stop this war.”


ZAMBIA:  "Conscience Is Stronger Than Terror And Death"


An editorial in the Independent Post judged (3/27): "As we have already seen, military actions in Iraq are fraught with dangers....  The U.S. military are usually very well versed in their trade.  It is absolutely impossible for U.S. strategists to overlook such a substantial risk. Yet every bomb dropped on Iraq, every picture of dead children or people dying or suffering terrible wounds, compounds that risk....  The way the United States is trying to end the Saddam Hussein regime by murdering its leaders will lead to the creation of altars where those murdered in this invasion will be worshipped as saints by millions of men and women....  We are aware that the need for some relief from the awful situation their countries are facing, has made many of our African leaders, and others from Third World countries, not oppose and denounce the United States' invasion of Iraq. We sympathize with them, but we cannot renounce our convictions, and we feel the more candidly we tell the truth about the United States and British genocide in Iraq, the more possibilities there will be to change things for the better."


ZIMBABWE: "Humanitarian Disaster In Iraq"


The pro-government Daily Mirror editorialized (3/27): "The stories and reports of U. S. and Britain carpet bombing Baghdad and other Iraq cities...are graphically compelling.  With 'live' television coverage of the war from the 'embedded' reporters and cameramen and women, the media have apparently forgotten to tell us the grim realities of the other side of the story--the immense suffering of civilian men, women and children during the course of this war....  Iraqi civilians and not those from the invading countries - are facing tremendous hardships as the war has disrupted their access to food and water which forces them to join hundreds of thousands of people already displaced from their homes....  What is unfolding in Iraq is a humanitarian disaster of mammoth proportions....  Although war had been predicted for months, donor governments and UN agencies have not openly prepared for the humanitarian emergency....  The international community must fight to...address the humanitarian consequences of this war that could have been avoided had sense prevailed."




CANADA:  "Iraq Fights Back:  Why Be Surprised?"


The leading Globe and Mail opined (3/25):  “The news that Iraqi troops are fighting back, that they are inflicting casualties and capturing soldiers, has surprised a lot of people watching the invasion from the comfort of their living rooms.  They've also been shocked by the first deaths attributed to ‘friendly fire.’...  Both the stunning optimism of last week and the deepening pessimism of this week are misplaced....  Wars are always violent, bloody and ugly affairs, full of accidents, mistakes and miscalculations....  Coalition troops have made a concerted effort to keep Iraqi military and civilian casualties low...treating captives with care and avoiding damage to crucial infrastructure.  It is vital that the military not be swayed from this policy by the painful pictures of captured or killed U.S. and British soldiers.  It is equally important that the public watching this war, practically in real time, not overreact when things get messier.”


"Where Angels Fear To Tread"


National affairs writer James Travers commented in the liberal Toronto Star (3/25):  “As difficult as the march to Baghdad is proving, the post-war period will be more dangerous.  There will be more casualties, crises and conflicts that together will dramatically increase risks....  President George W. Bush is promising this war will lead to a renewed peace effort. But it is new suicide attacks that are, sadly, certain....  Any lingering, deluded hope that the U.S. would be welcomed as a conquering hero is now vanishing in the smoke over Baghdad and in the willingness of Iraqi troops to die resisting invaders, not defending a dictator."


ARGENTINA:  "Myths and International Order"


Jose Ignacio Garcia Hamilton, lawyer, historian and academic, writes in business-financial Infobae (3/27) "Does the war against Iraq mean that international legal order has disappeared?... The present confrontation, with its deplorable quota of death and destruction, mustn't favor the disappearance of the international system, but improve its performance and, perhaps, tailor it for the new times."


"Saddam Now Relies On Guerrilla Warfare"


Gustavo Sierra wrote from Baghdad for leading Clarin (3/25):  "Saddam Hussein seems to have learnt the lesson in 1991....  Saddam's military forces have placed their highest stakes on urban guerrilla warfare.  The idea is waiting for enemy troops to move towards the periphery of the city and attack them on the streets and in the neighborhoods.  Then, everything will depend on whether the Baath Party militia and the15,000 elite troops of the Republican Guard are ready to fight till the end, as they've been promising for months....  In addition, the Iraqi regime relies on a very long war.  This will complicate Bush's domestic front--as well as that of his allies Blair and Aznar--enormously.  For the time being, the U.S. offensive appears to be working half-steam, against all previous plans which had said it would deploy troops 'from the north, the south and the east, and very quickly.'  The rain of bombs promised by Bush didn't take place either....  The decisive battle of this war will take place in the millenary city of Baghdad, like in the past, when Alexander the Great and his troops conquered Macedonia."


BRAZIL:  "One Defeat" 


An opinion piece in right-of-center O Globo held (3/27): "Even if the marines win a brilliant victory...and the American soldiers are received with flowers in Baghdad's streets. Even if everything goes right for the American-British coalition forces in the sands of Iraq.Even if the bloody dictator Saddam Hussein is quickly sent to history's trash can.  Even so, the weight of business interests or this war will always raise suspicions about the USG.And it's the fault of the Texans in Washington, starting with Vice-President Dick Cheney.  He left Halliburton three year ago.  But he won't convince anyone he has nothing to do with the firm's selection to participate in the billion dollar reconstruction of Iraq."


"The Political Price Of Military Success"


Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (3/26) editorialized: "To remove Saddam Hussein from power, it will be necessary to take Baghdad first. The world will be amazed if this can be accomplished without death and destruction on a large scale.... The rhetoric used by both President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair during the weeks before the attack suggested that the people Saddam has been oppressing for 23 years would receive the invading troops with open arms.... It is hard to believe that Bush and Blair had such expectations, as if the Iraqi people's presumed aversion to Saddam could be stronger than their rejection of an invasion by two nations that are abominated in the Arab world.... The stage for a costly military victory is already set, and it may turn into a political defeat for Bush, especially if Iraq's arsenals of mass destruction, which would justify the use of force against Saddam, are not found... Neither will the White House be immune to the boomerang effects of its decision.... The promised democratization of Iraq will have to wait, if indeed it is to happen at all."


"Humanitarian Catastrophe"


Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (3/26) maintained: "The remarkable technological advances of the arms industry may have led some people not to notice the obvious: wars continue to kill people - not only the military, but also civilians - and create humanitarian catastrophes.  Several such catastrophes are currently taking place in Iraq. The most serious of them seems to be the situation in Basra.... The impact of the conflict in Iraq on civilians may be worse than that of the Gulf War because one decade of sanctions directed at Baghdad has left the nation greatly weakened. As a result, its population is now much more dependent on the government. Advances in arms technology do not assuage the impacts of such catastrophes. The only way to prevent them is not to initiate wars."


MEXICO: "Genocide in Iraq"


Governor Jose Murat judged in nationalist El Universal (3/27):  “The days go by and the weapons of mass destruction-the excuse for the war-are nowhere in sight.  The hypothesis that oil is the basis of the invasion is reinforced.  In any event, what is clear is the genocide of a people in the name of civilization and peace, an unrequested intervention to overthrow a tyrant-an intervention that has been repudiated by the people it aimed to defend.  History repeats itself: democracy is not an export good.  A number of other interventions come to mind, here in the hemisphere: the overthrowings of governments in the Dominican Republic, Chile, Granada and Panama-all of them in the name of democracy, although the reason was U.S. geopolitical interests.”


 "Humanitarian Disaster / Our Concept"


An editorial in conservative El Siglo de Torreon (3/26) read: "The bellicose states and those that supported the determination to go to war regardless of the UN...shouldn't add an act that can be labeled as an offense to humanity (referring to cutting water and electricity supply to the inhabitants of Basora, Iraq), since there is no reason to threaten the lives of civilians that have no responsibility in this absurd conflict."


"Pyrrhic Victory"


Sergio Sarmiento contended in independent Reforma (3/25):  "From a military point of view, there is no doubt that the coalition troops will finally triumph.  The question is, at what cost and at what human price?  There are those who being to speak of a pyrrhic victory:  a triumph that comes with such a high costs that it becomes a defeat.  President Bush has continued to insist that the purpose of the war is to liberate the Iraqi people from their oppressor.  But there is nothing to suggest that the Iraqis will be grateful to their liberator."


“Political Pulse”


Francisco Cardenas Cruz states in nationalist El Universal (3/25):  “U.S. troops are not having a field day.  After bombing Iraq for a week, it is harder for them to reach Baghdad, and the ‘surgical military operation’ is full of mistakes.  Civilians continue to be killed, British planes are shot down, and Saddam Hussein is nowhere in sight-although the Iraqi people continue to support him.”


"Rules Apply Only To Powerless"


A report in flagship newscast El Noticiero (Televisa, national Ch.2) stated: "President Bush requested that Iraq treat prisoners with dignity, even though 12 years ago U.S. television violated article 13 of the Geneva convention, which establishes that prisoners of war shall be protected from acts of violence, intimidation and public curiosity, and at that time U.S. television frequently broadcast images such as these (coalition Afghani soldiers are seen kicking and beating prisoners) of the Iraqis who were captured.  There was no margin of consideration for the Taliban prisoners captured in Afghanistan either: they were bound hand and foot and had their eyes bandaged over when they were transferred to the base in Guantanamo.  It's a case of rules applying only to the powerless."




Conservative, independent El Caribe expressed in its editorial (3/25):  "Press conferences magnify victories and hide defeat.  But in this back and forth of statements, it becomes obvious that the dirtiest parts of a war are the thousand and one atrocities committed in the name of peace and the suffering inflicted on the civil population."  Today's editorial, one of the most critical since the war began, laments the loss of life on either side but especially calls for the powers that be to take into consideration the suffering of the civilian population.  "Between these two fires, these people urgently need humanitarian assistance... Help could come from the United Nations, multilateral organizations and friendly nations..."


ECUADOR: "The End Of An Era?"


An opinion column by Jorge Vivanco in Guayaquil's centrist Expreso (3/25): "September 11, 2001. . . certainly marked the end of an era ...after the savage terrorist offensive aimed at the heart of this most powerful country, the world will never be the same again.... Launching a war against Iraq, a defeated, disarmed, and malnourished country, accusing it of possessing weapons of mass destruction, although the UN inspectors could not prove it. . . . provoked  rejection by a majority of people, including a  high percentage of Americans.  This means the U.S. has lost the war morally, regardless of whether wins it materially with its incalculable power.  And that has a profound effect on the world'sconscience:  the sinister and detestable figure of Saddam Hussein is being turned into a martyr.  Did strategists in The Pentagon and White House think about this in their historical projection?"


"War Games"


Rodrigo Tenorio Ambrossi judged in center-left (influential) Hoy (3/25):  "The leaders of the world try to cover death in a shroud of peace.... The dove of peace has become a huge swarm of bombs ready to explode....  Peace can be achieved if all of us replace violence with dialogue, insults with respect, the insatiable thirst for power with representative democracy. Peace is work, not empty and useless statements."


PARAGUAY: "This Is How You Build A Nation"


Conservative and second-largest Noticias ran an anti-coalition policy commentary stating (3/27): "It is true that Saddam Hussein is a bloodthirsty tyrant, and that his people are fed up with him, but it is also true that these same people do not trust Americans.... the liberators have made it clear that when Saddam falls, the opposition will not take power, (Americans will.)"  It also states that the reconstruction effort "will be assigned to American companies, some of them with dubious financial and political backgrounds."



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