International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

October 17, 2003

October 17, 2003



Key Findings


**  Bombings at the Baghdad Hotel and Turkish Embassy highlight continuing insecurity in Iraq.


**  Demonstrations and attempts to set up a "shadow" government indicate diminishing Shia toleration for the CPA.


**  Creation of the Iraq Stabilization Group under NSA Rice prompts speculation as to who is in charge of Iraq policy.


**  Turkish, Pakistani, and Korean outlets fear that their forces will join U.S. troops as targets of terror attacks.


Major Themes


Two major bombings are evidence that the security situation is out of control--  Analysts judged the bombing of the Turkish embassy a "loud and clear message" and a "precise signal" for Ankara to reconsider the wisdom of dispatching troops to Iraq.  Austria's Neue Kronenzeitung stated that while Bush is "trying to sell" a successful reconstruction, scenes of "fire, smoke and injured victims" paint a different picture.


Coalition now faces an openly hostile Shia majority--  Qatar's Doha Gulf Times stated that recent mistakes by the U.S. have increased the risk of "losing the cooperation" of the Shia majority.  Other commentators have already seen disturbing signs that "Sunnis and radical Shias are cooperating" in opposition to coalition forces.  A Hungarian analyst posited that Iraqi Shias are working on creating "their own autonomous state."


The formation of the ISG raised questions of who is setting Iraq policy in the U.S.--  Writers saw signs of instability within the administration's Iraq team and interpreted President Bush's selection of his close advisor Rice to head the ISG as a sign that he finds himself "alone at the helm."  Germany's Die Welt opined that "Rumsfeld’s military misjudgments and diplomatic blunders" have cost him his leadership role on Iraq.  The Irish Times concluded that "the buck doesn't stop anywhere in Iraq; no one is accountable."


Media enthusiasm for committing troops to Iraqi peacekeeping is scarce--  Kosovo's mass circulation Bota Sot, with an eye towards mass unemployment among Albanian youth, saw an opportunity to recruit "tens and hundreds of thousands" of volunteer troops from among their ranks.  Pakistani papers fear Iraqis will interpret the dispatch of troops by Islamabad as a "hostile act," with the centrist News declaring that "the farther away from [Iraq] that Pakistan stays the better."  Turkey's economic-political Dunya opined that to believe Turkish troops would not be viewed as occupiers would be "wishful thinking."



EDITOR:  James Deacon

EDITORS' NOTE:  This analysis is based on 76 reports from 32 countries over 9-16 October 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Ordinary Iraqis Are Defying Terrorist Intimidation"


The conservative Times editorialized (10/14):  "Iraqi civilians...have been killed in attacks calculated to hamper reconstruction, cripple Iraq’s essential services and demoralize the millions of people trying to rebuild decent lives after 25 years of tyranny and brutality.  The most recent came on Sunday, when six Iraqis were killed by a massive car bomb outside the hotel used by the Iraqi Governing Council.  The agencies now rely on locally employed Iraqis.  That they function at all says more about Iraqi determination not to be intimidated or to let slip the chance to rebuild their country.  They are the real heroes--they and the police, engineers, teachers, doctors and administrators who daily risk their lives to go about their jobs.  Few of those shot, bombed or assassinated are remembered by name.  Their sacrifice deserves to be saluted."


FRANCE:  "Let’s Douse The Fires"


Former Socialist Minister Claude Allegre held in right-of-center weekly L’Express (10/16):  “Today the U.S. finds itself in an extremely difficult position in the Middle East.  In Iraq, it is perceived as the occupier, not the liberator....  Even if the Bush administration carries a huge responsibility in all this, we cannot adopt the arrogant attitude of he who has been proven right.  The U.S. belongs to the community of free and democratic nations which defend human rights....  We have a fundamental agreement with the U.S.; we belong to the same side.  This is the time to say it loud and clear out of solidarity and friendship for a nation France owes so much to....  For Iraq, the solution, acceptable to all, must come from the Americans....  While in the U.S. everything in politics can change quickly, the scar of 9/11 will stay.  We need to show the Americans our solidarity, our friendship, including in the misfortunes they created.  This is where true friends can make a difference....  France must work towards this end, but for once it must do so with modesty and discretion.”


"Terrorism Is Everywhere"


Jean Daniel remarked in left-of-center weekly Le Nouvel Observateur (10/16):  “The latest attacks in Baghdad should be able to lead all the proponents and opponents of the war in Iraq to a common observation: Iraq has turned into a refuge for all suicide bombers.  We opposed the the way it was led...but we also distance ourselves from those who today wish for America’s defeat.  We do not side with the Iraqi dictatorship.  The French government has run the risk of looking suspicious because it did not assert these two positions of principle clearly enough.”


"Security At An Impasse In Iraq"


Francois d’Alancon remarked in Catholic La Croix (10/15):  “The lack of security in Iraq is not helping the U.S. nor the Iraqi Governing Council.  Every Iraqi, whether he is Shiite, Christian, Sunni or Kurdish is wondering what he has won or lost.  They are all caught in a mix of contradictory feelings.  Everyone expects everything from the Americans, but at the same time everyone is proclaiming his disappointment, frustration, exasperation, and at times hostility, with the situation.  As a Baghdad University Professor said, ‘everyone agrees that the Americans need more time, but everyone also believes that Iraq is plunging into chaos.’”


"Signs Of A Concerted Terrorist Plan"


Renaud Girard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/14):  “The Iraqi population is beginning to understand that the target of violence in Iraq is the Iraqi political institution established by the Americans....  The invisible enemies of the U.S. are pursuing their Jihad against America.  Their aim today in Iraq is to attack all the Iraqis who accept to collaborate with the Americans....  While the various groups are not necessarily organized, everything is happening as if there was a concerted effort against America’s presence....  The groups’ targets are ‘soft targets'...because the Americans present are barricaded in bunkers, without any real contact with the local population....  The problem is that the Iraqi government is paralyzed by fear and that the U.S. administration in Iraq is totally cut off from reality....  The question therefore is how, practically speaking, Washington’s democratization of Iraq can be implemented under the circumstances.”


"Baghdad In The Throws Of Terror"


Renaud Girard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/10):  “In theory, violence was supposed to be circumscribed to within the ‘Sunni triangle' in an area between Baghdad, Tikrit and Faluja.  But this theory is no longer true....  Paul Bremer is facing a new challenge: the Shiites and the Kurds, his best allies, are fervently opposed to the arrival of Turkish troops, which the Pentagon considers as essential in order to improve security in Iraq.”


GERMANY:  "Points In Favor Of The UN"


Karl Groebe editorialized in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (10/14):  “The council chosen by U.S. overseer Paul Bremer himself is apparently looking to distance itself publicly from its sponsors.  This is due to the pressure exerted by broad parts of the Iraqi population....  Of course, many members of the council are hardly in touch with reality.  Some are losing their supposed basis, in part to political resignation, in part to radical populists grouped around young Muktada as-Sadr.  The fact that he is not ordained is not important; he mobilizes those without hope because he does not belong to any kind of establishment.  Time is working in favor of radicalization.  Iraqi self-government only after the sell-out of the country has been completed will lead to uprisings.  In order to avoid that, there is only one way [to go]:  Transfer of responsibility to the UN and self-government as soon as possible.”


"Sister Nation"


Dietrich Alexander judged in right-of-center Die Welt (10/13):  "Anything new in Iraq?  Yes!  The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) intends to recognize the Provisional Iraqi Council as the official government of Iraq.  If the OIC’s heads of government were indeed to re-appraise the governing council in Baghdad, it would, indeed, be recognition from an important side for the stabilization efforts in Iraq....  The OIC could do even more, i.e. send troops...and cease ideological debates on whether by doing so one would help the Americans occupy a sister nation....  It might be the only sign pointing a way out of the deadly impasse Iraq has now become.”


"The Taming"


Michael Stuermer opined in right-of-center Die Welt (10/11):  “Was Secretary Rumsfeld well advised to vent his anger about his setback during talks with journalists?….  In order to maintain peace, the White House felt it necessary to state that the Pentagon was still responsible in matters Iraq.  Militarily, it may be true, politically it is not.  Rumsfeld’s military misjudgments and diplomatic blunders have aroused anger among senators and representatives.  But from now on, the State Department...will have a strong say.  And the final say [is with] the president, assisted by Condoleezza Rice.  The Europeans should be prepared that Washington will return to alliance diplomacy.  It is a gain to win allies and coordinate with the UN, something which Rumsfeld sees as a loss.”


"Rumsfeld Poses Question Of Who Is In Charge"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich judged (10/10):  “President Bush knows that the likelihood of his re-election decreases with an increase in the horror news from Baghdad.  Therefore, Iraq must disappear from the news, from the national psyche.  This will only succeed if the administration radically changes course: towards more UN, more internationalism, more responsibility for the Iraqis themselves.  The greatest hurdle on this path is not rebellious Shias or insidious Baathists, but cabinet members Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.  If Bush were honest, he would have to include Vice President Cheney in the axis-of-evil list.  Now the power struggle has openly broken out.  Rumsfeld is to relinquish responsibility, but ignores the order....  He is asking who is in charge, and the president must reply.”


ITALY:  "The Challenge Between Ankara And The Kurds"


Alberto Negri wrote in leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore (10/15):  “The attack against the Turkish Embassy comes one week after Ankara’s decision to send troops in Iraq, which had been met with immediate opposition by the transitional government in Baghdad....  Turkey’s intervention is part of an ample strategic and geopolitical plan.  Ankara has four strong points: its military power; the political primacy as the only mature democracy in an Islamic country; its economy; and finally the strategy elaborated by the Bush Administration for the post-Saddam, synthesized by the Defense Department’s number two man Paul Wolfowitz....  Turkey, a faithful NATO stronghold, is getting ready to reaffirm its weight as a regional power in Iraq....  But why are the Turks intervening only now?  The deeper reason is the prominent role played by the Kurds and Shiites on the Iraqi political scene.  The fundamental reason behind Ankara’s decision to participate in a highly risky mission of an uncertain outcome is to contain Kurdish independence and Iran’s influence.”


"Nostalgia For The Ottoman Empire"


Marco Guidi judged in Rome's center-left daily Il Messaggero (10/15):  “The suicide attack against the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad is a precise signal which is being launched on the eve of Ankara’s decision to send troops to Iraq....  If we consider that yesterday Americans and Turks signed an agreement to eliminate the remaining PKK forces, then we understand why none of the participants in the Iraqi drama view in a positive way the arrival of Turkish soldiers.  After all, a good percentage of the Turkish population and of Turkish political world does not want interference in Iraqi affairs....  The impression is that this will not be the last ‘warning.’”


"Baghdad’s Maze"


Boris Bancheri opined in centrist, influential daily La Stampa (10/14):  “What is striking in the Iraqi situation is that the guerrillas lump all of their enemies together: the Americans first, and alongside them the UN and all the Iraqis who are in some way involved in the reconstruction of the country, or who at least are not opposed to the present government, whether they be Shiite, Sunni, Christian or Kurdish....  One has the impression that this is not simply a general uprising against the foreigner, but rather a foreign presence which has furnished bait to the civil war....   Will it be enough for the Americans to go away, or that a date for the transfer of powers to the local institutions be announced, for peace to magically return?...  No matter how things go, it will be a long walk for the foreigners through the Iraqi maze, before the country regains security and stability.”


"The Foreign Press Is Unaware Iraq Is Free"


Elite, classical liberal daily Il Foglio held (10/14):  “The double car bomb that exploded on Sunday in downtown Baghdad...was an attack against the Iraqis who are beginning to self-govern....  The bomb aimed to strike and hit the new liberated Iraq....  There are a handful of Saddam loyalists, who together with the Arab-Islamic fascists, want to reinstate the dictatorship and kill whoever is working towards a free and democratic Iraq....  Six months ago there was no freedom of expression in Iraq....  Today the Ministry of Information no longer exists and 170 newspapers have been founded.  Foreigners are free to move around and Iraqis are buying satellite dishes.  Six months ago there was a dictatorship, today Baghdad residents chose 88 consultative councils....  Correspondents don’t talk about [this].  One of two things is true: either Bremer’s information is American propaganda or the silence of foreign journalists is anti-American propaganda.”


"Bush: I Had To Stop That Crazy Man Saddam"


Stefano Trincia noted in Rome center-left daily Il Messaggero (10/10):  “Bush has asked for help from those Americans that are looking at the ‘black hole’ of the Iraqi war with growing alarm....  Yesterday’s speech is the second phase of a media offensive launched by the White House in an attempt to improve the fate of the administration....  Just as though nothing had happened in the meantime, both Rice and Bush insisted on the WMD argument: despite the fact that the CIA commission, headed by the expert David Kay, has returned from Baghdad without concrete evidence, the President attacked skeptics....  Bush accused the mass media of furnishing a distorted picture of Iraqi reality....  While Bush is trying to solve the risky Iraqi trap...he is dangerously nearing a showdown with Syria.  The proposal for economic sanctions against Damascus has begun the path towards approval.”


"The Long Shadow Of The Untraceable Dictator"


Bernardo Valli opined in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (10/10):  “Today, Iraq is both a liberated and occupied country.  It was liberated from a bloodthirsty dictator and occupied by a superpower whose presence annoys national sentiment and whose inefficiency creates vast dissatisfaction and brings scarce consideration.  In the liberated Iraq there is no longer the oppression of a dictator who drew inspiration from Stalin....  There is freedom of opinion, of expression, of association...and economic freedom....  But there is the anguish of the occupied Iraq...the suspension of national sovereignty....  The proud society does not easily recognize the invaders’ right to decide who should govern their country.”


RUSSIA:  "It Must Come Off"


Alfred Kokh wrote in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (10/10):  "It is a cinch that privatization in Iraq will give rise to the same charges of corruption as in Russia....  Everything will come off if the Americans can handle the press covering their xenophobic privatization in Iraq.  U.S. corporations may cause some trouble, though, if they demand 'honest' privatization with access for foreign investors.  But even they must see benefit in xenophobia as a conflict-free option, knowing that they can buy up stock from the Iraqis later on."


AUSTRIA:  "End Of The Probation Period"


Foreign affairs editor Gudrun Harrer wrote in liberal daily Der Standard (10/14):  “The name of the new group that issued death threats against the members of the governing council and all the Iraqis that cooperate with the U.S. occupation force, is somewhat perplexing: The group is named after the nephew and son-in-law of prophet Muhammad, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who is the fourth Caliph after Muhammad for the Sunnis, and the first Imam for the Shias, and so important that he is even mentioned in their creed....  It is possible that the name signifies a compromise: a signal that radical Sunnis and radical Shias are cooperating in their campaign against the occupiers.  The good thing about such a shoulder-to-shoulder stance is that the Shi’ite mainstream continues to stay away from the armed fighting; the bad thing is that the terror would still spread from the ‘Sunni triangle’ to the Shia areas.  Furthermore, the U.S. countermeasures will then make sure that even those Shias who up to now were not active on a military level will get involved in the conflict.”


"Attacked From All Sides"


Senior columnist Ernst Trost commented in mass-circulation tabloid Neue Kronenzeitung (10/13):  “The invisible enemy can strike from anywhere, and sometimes he hits the very heart of the matter.  This time, a concrete barrier outside the Baghdad Hotel was able to prevent a large-scale catastrophe.  While President Bush is investing money and energy in trying to sell the successful reconstruction and democratization of Iraq to the American people, the pictures of fire, smoke and injured victims around a hotel which housed members of the new administration, and possibly also the CIA, are a drastic denial.  Safety has become an unaffordable luxury item in Iraq--not only for the occupiers, but also for the Iraqis themselves.”


BELGIUM:  "The Infernal Logic Washington Had Not Anticipated"


Baudouin Loos opined in left-of-center Le Soir (10/14):  "Of course, not everything is going wrong in Iraq.  Iraqi children are going back to school, freedom of expression is a reality with the existence of numerous media, internet and mobile phones are booming, and, this week, Iraqis will see the arrival of a new dinar....  Besides, an interim government--although with limited power--has been put in place, and 40,000 policemen have been trained.  Yet, nothing really happened according to the plans that the U.S. administration imagined during the preparation of Iraq’s invasion....  The plans for the occupation show an impressive number of mistakes.  The first one is not to have anticipated that the fall of an authoritative regime that was extremely centralized would leave the country in a state of total confusion, with services to the population no longer being assured and lootings becoming systematic.  Rumsfeld’s decision to operate with a minimum of troops...paid off to conquer Iraq, but it turned out to be catastrophic when it came to controlling the country."


"The Debate On Cost Of Post-War In Iraq Raging In U.S."


Nathalie Mattheiem wrote in left-of-center Le Soir (10/10):  “The appointment of Condoleezza Rice to coordinate efforts in Iraq is perceived as a clear indication of the impatience of the U.S. President, of whom she has the ear, more than anyone else.  And although Donald Rumsfeld--apparently surprised by the president’s decision--downplayed its importance, it nevertheless underlines that, for the White House, it is urgent to receive some ‘good news’ from Iraq.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Iraqi Peace Trap"


Viliam Buchert noted in the mainstream MF Dnes (10/13):  "The explosions at Hotel Baghdad in the Iraqi capital on Sunday can have the same devastating consequences for many politicians in the world, including George Bush, who is already bracing for a new presidential campaign next year, and Tony Blair, who is trusted by less and less British citizens.  But Iraq is now a 'peace trap' for the allies, which has started to resemble the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It seems to be an insurmountable problem to win the trust of a majority of Iraqis.  It will require a strong hand as well as willingness to compromise and perhaps even to make concessions.  But these can be hardly expected from the participating soldiers and politicians."


HUNGARY:  "At Odds With Facts"


Current news editor Miklos Ujvari editorializes in liberal Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap (10/13):  “Sure! Absolutely!   These are the words the that members of the Bush team are shouting out loud, when it comes to explaining whether the war was illegitimate or not in Iraq.  The Bush team is pro-active in public relations now that the facts have turned against them.  Bad news is for the facts only.  The worst predictions, it seems, have come true in Iraq.  There seems to be hardly any chance of successful reconstruction after the war in Iraq, not to mention the chances of healing the wounds caused by the Saddam regime.  Why?  Because hell has broken loose [in Iraq]....  The problem is that the longer the American tenure lasts, the more organized and the more fanatic the local forces that keep the international forces at bay [will] become.”


"Dozing Martyrs"


Foreign affairs writer Laszlo Szentesi writer from Karbala, Iraq in right-wing conservative Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet (10/11):  "The Iraqi Shiites are indeed working on creating their own autonomous state.  But a Shiite state would hardly receive a warm welcome in the rest of the world (Iran excepted).  One thing though should not be ignored.  The United States is considered as much an ‘alien body’ in this region, (which is controlled by the Kurds on the North and by the Shiites on the South), as the Baath Pary and the fallen dictator, Saddam Hussein used to be.  Anti-Americanism, consequently, could soon developed to a degree never seen before in the ancient land of Mesopotamia.  The occupying forces seemingly don’t make any efforts to understand the local conditions and to offer a solution, a life free of fear and war to the people who live in this region.”


IRELAND:  "An Irishman's Diary"


Kevin Myers commented in the center-left Irish Times (10/16):  “The U.S. is not in a Vietnam....  The truth is that much of Iraq is relatively peaceful, and according to a Gallup poll, 62 per cent of Iraqis agree with the use of war to get rid of Saddam, and 67 per cent are optimistic about the future....  The tenacity and courage of those Iraqis who are prepared to work for the allies suggests they, and much of the rest of the population, see the bigger picture: unless democratic structures can be forged out of the chaos of post-war Iraq, then the Iraqi people will be doomed to revert to that murderous anarchy from which they are emerging....  Nobody could countenance everything that U.S. forces have done since their arrival.  There have been tragic mistakes, and perhaps a fairly predictable heavy-handedness.  U.S. forces don't seem to do peacekeeping all that well....  It is now in the U.S.'s vital interests that terrorism doesn't succeed in Iraq.  The U.S. has no choice but to be successful in creating stable government there.  Similarly it is also in our interest.  Yet across Europe, and even within the U.S. itself, there is apparently a widespread desire to see the U.S. fail, to see it humiliated: and this hope seems to color a great deal of commentary about events in Iraq....  The military operation against the satanic regime of Saddam Hussein was one of the most morally justified wars in history.”


"Bloodbath Slows But Doubt Persists Over US Intentions"


The center left daily The Irish Times, Lara Marlowe commented (10/14):  “America's road to hell in Iraq is paved with good intentions, the promiscuous use of lethal force, and the absence of a coherent strategy.  If there is a well-defined plan for restoring security, rebuilding the country's infrastructure and achieving the transition from occupation to self-determination for the Iraqi people, U.S. officials are doing a good job of keeping it secret....  The lawlessness that claims hundreds of civilian lives every month is the primary concern of Iraqis.  The mass rehiring of policemen has slowed the bloodbath, but not enough to convince the population that the U.S. really cares about their safety....  The U.S. wants to bring more foreign troops in, though numerous examples show the near impossibility of imposing a solution through military means....  The proverbial buck does not stop with Mr Bremer.  The problem is that the buck doesn't stop anywhere in Iraq; no one is accountable.”


NORWAY:   "When Outsiders Try…"


Roger Hercz commented in the social democratic Dagavisen (10/15) : “The Americans understood something that maybe wasn’t understood by Europe to the same extent: In the Arab Middle East there isn’t a single democracy, and the lack of anything that resembles democracy is part of what creates militant extremism.  Now one can discuss whether war was the right 'means,’ or if democracy can be imposed from the outside.  One may also discuss if it is really America’s job to democratize the Middle East.  But this is exactly what Norway has been trying for almost ten years in the Middle East.… However, there are no short cuts to a solution.  But it is crucial that the risky experiment in Iraq succeeds, because otherwise the strong reactionary, anti-democratic and militant forces will take over.  The consequences of this will be tangible, also outside the Middle East.  It is therefore important that European countries, in their own interest, make a clear decision on Iraq and in what way they can contribute."


SERBIA & MONTENEGRO (KOSOVO):  "Jobless Albanian Youth Can Support American Army In Iraq”


Elida Bucpapaj commented in pro-LDK, mass circulation Bota Sot wrote (10/15):  “Ten million Albanians who live in 5 state units in the Balkans have supported the U.S. since President Bush declared war on the international terrorism....  One cannot consider a 70 strong commando unit from Albania (currently operating in Iraq) to be the fulfillment of their support….  The Albanians...are only waiting for is for the Bush administration's request.   The issue here is not 1,000 or 2,000 volunteers, but tens and hundreds of thousands of them.  From Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Eastern Kosovo (Presevo Valley).  Keeping in mind that the unemployment rate in Kosovo reaches 70% and mostly affects the youth of Kosovo....all this unemployed army (that keeps in their hearts the deepest gratitude for Americans) could voluntarily replace a considerable part of the American troops in Iraq.  On the other hand, an Albanian presence in Iraq would not cause any reaction among the Iraqi population, as it would the contingents of Serb troops (being an occupying and bloodthirsty army) that have perpetrated ethnic cleansing and genocide in the territory of former Yugoslavia” 


SPAIN:  "More Protection"


Left-of-center El País contended (10/15):  "The fact that the murder of the Spanish military officer was claimed by an unknown armed organization called Martyr of Mehrab indicates that there could have been a political element directly behind the crime....   Although the difference between resistance and terrorism isn't always easy to see, what's clear is that before the U.S. invasion there was a dictatorship in Iraq, but there weren't terrorism problems; but now the country has become of the epicenters of Islamic terrorism against the U.S. and its closest allies.  Faced with dim prospects for peace, one can imagine realistic scenarios of an increased threat against Spanish troops....  More UN involvement is necessary, much more than the U.S. wants, not because the UN is going to resolve the security situation, but because it will give legitimacy to the presence of the forces there, including the Spanish.  In the current circumstances, a withdrawal of U.S. forces would generate more chaos and anarchy, but fixing a deadline and an exit strategy could contribute to a faster restoration of stability, and a quick return of the Spanish forces." 


"Iraq And The UN"


Centrist La Vanguardia took this view (10/15):  "Washington has persisted in making decisions on its own, without offering any explanation to the international community....  The United States is making a virtue of necessity and is preparing to transfer power to an Iraqi Government Council that until now has shown an absolutely docility.  The real power will be in Washington, but the mother country will consider a partial and progressive withdrawal of troops that must clear Bush's path to re-election.  Meanwhile, the UN is preparing to bless the new status quo, though it is little different from the current one."


"The Future Of Iraq And International Consensus"


Business daily Expansión noted (10/15):  "More troops are needed and, above all, more international cooperation under the umbrella of the UN, which will give the operation the legitimacy it did not have because of its unilateralism.  Bush should know that the support of other parties has a price, and he will have to make more political concessions if he wants the Spanish example to the Madrid Donors Conference.  The development of a prosperous and democratic Iraq which can transmit modernity to the countries of the region depends on that."


"Deterioration And Doubts In Iraq"


A column in Spanish daily El Mundo opined (10/13):  "Chaos is taking hold of Iraq, while the inability of Paul resolve the problems is becoming more obvious by the day.  Yesterday was another black day.  Six Iraqis lost their lives in a suicide attack with two car bombs on the Hotel Baghdad, where leading U.S. officials live, including the CIA's top brass in the country....  Almost at the same time as this terrorist action occurred, the Shia religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr, son of a cleric assassinated by Saddam in 1999, proclaimed himself head of a government in the strip of territory where that belief is in the majority.  The Shia representatives of the provisional government in Baghdad themselves dismissed the initiative of Al-Sadr, whom they do not consider to be representative because of his fundamentalist ideas.  But nobody can rule out a burgeoning of similar initiatives in an ever more fragmented Iraq....  The large military force deployed in Iraq theoretically supports the provisional government that is trying to bring life in the country back to normal, but the problem is that U.S. support delegitimizes that government project....  Nor do the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA agree about the strategy to follow, so Bush has had to appoint Condoleezza Rice to take over the coordination of the U.S. administration in Iraq.  The U.S. carefully planned its military strategy to put an end to Saddam, but since the fall of Baghdad it has done nothing more than adopt improvized measures to resolve short-term problems."


TURKEY:  "Iraq And America"


Taha Akyol commented in the mass appeal Milliyet (10/16):  “Normally it would expected that immediately after a parliamentary decree such as that passed last week, the U.S. would begin negotiating with Turkey about the terms of its troop deployment.  Yet we see that this is not happening....  Turkish officials believe that Turkey should use the route from Turkey to Iraq, the same route used for oil and food deliveries to American troops.  The U.S. seems to rely solely on the Kurds in Iraq.  The Arabs are very annoyed about the U.S.’s favoritism, and they are now making efforts to isolate the Kurds.  The U.S. should act with a better vision and greater common sense.  The turmoil in Iraq will harm Turkey, but it will be the U.S. who will suffer from terrorism more than anyone else.”


"Will Ankara Step Back?"


Murat Yetkin held in the liberal-intellectual Radikal (10/15):  “After the terrorist attack against the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, the question of the day has become whether or not Turkey will still send troops to Iraq.  American officials condemned the attack, and noted that it highlighted once again the gravity of the security and stability issues in Baghdad....  On Turkey’s role in Iraq, the U.S. goes no further than some generally positive remarks about the Turkish parliament’s authorization for the deployment.  The Turkish ambassador in Washington had some important meetings with U.S. officials on that issue, and he underlined that Turkey expects the U.S. to convince the IGC about the necessity of Turkish troops and to take some tangible steps in the fight against the PKK/KADEK....  Recently, the Turkish MFA gave this same message to U.S. Ambassador Edelman in Ankara....  The U.S. hesitation on this issue might be explained by a number of factors: the fact that the approval of the decree for sending troops came faster than the U.S. had expected; the rise in terrorist attacks in Iraq; Kurdish efforts to oppose the deployment of Turkish troops even if this would result in a confrontation with the U.S.  However, the ongoing uncertainty has a negative impact on Turkey’s decision-making process.  The recent attack in Baghdad and possible new attacks will certainly put more pressure on the government....  Turkey has done its part.  Now it is the U.S. that stands at a turning point.  The U.S. must act quickly.  It must prove that the fight against terrorism is not just rhetoric intended to legitimize American global interests.”


"The Iraq Reality"


Zafer Atay commented in the economic-political Dunya (10/15):  “Believing that Turkey will not be viewed as an occupation force but only as a force to protect peace and stability is nothing but wishful thinking.  Let’s face it--all foreign troops are considered part of the occupation force by the majority of Iraqis.  Peace and security cannot be preserved there, because there is none....  The possible areas of responsibility for Turkish forces are not very encouraging, because all of them are places with high risk....  Having said that, we also have to face another reality.  This time, Ankara did not have the chance to say no to Washington.  Leaving aside the 8.5 billion dollar credit, Turkey must be present in Iraq because of the issues of PKK terrorism and the Kurdish groups in the north.  Turkey should be in a position to make a hard bargain with the U.S. about its military contribution.  That is the best Turkey can do under the current circumstances.”


"Turkey And The Future Of Iraq"


Ramazan Gozen wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal (10/14):  “History has proven that any negative development in Iraq is immediately and inevitably reflected in Turkey....  Current developments between Turkey and Iraq are so important that they can influence the entire region.  Thus, Turkey should be able to use this opportunity by carving out a pioneering role for itself.  This role requires Turkey to act as a model for the region as well as for Iraq--that is, a democratic, multicultural Turkey that protects the rights of its citizens.  Achieving such a goal will require Turkey to abandon its fears of being ‘surrounded by enemies,’ which dominated Turkish thinking in the 1990s.”


Middle East


EGYPT:  "More Deterioration for Conditions in Iraq"


An op-ed piece in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram stated (10/9):  "Six months after Iraq's occupation, conditions there are still getting more complicated and deteriorating by the day.  During these six months, there have been consecutive promises by U.S. and British politicians and military personnel to the Iraqi people that all the problems and obstacles that used to hinder their progress, prosperity and freedom were about to come to an end.  However, the situation on the ground in various parts of Iraq...demonstrate that nothing of the sort had materialized....  Perhaps the most recent complication that threatens to drive Iraq into a new arena of conflict and deterioration is the US-Turkish agreement to send Turkish military troops to Iraq.  This move is being rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people led by the provisional Governing Council that has been appointed by the U.S. Administration....  At the same time, it is clear that a mounting rejection of the provisional Governing Council and the interim government it has formed is beginning to crystallize among many sectors of the Iraqi people.  This was reflected in the decision taken lately by one of the Shiite leaders to establish another Iraqi government parallel to the current interim one and putting it to a popular referendum....  The only solution to start getting Iraq out of its ordeal is to bring the occupation to an end and hand all forms of political, security and economic powers to the people of Iraq.  This should be preceded by an interim period during which the UN would supervise the transfer of all powers to the Iraqis."


JORDAN:  "Meaningless Conferences"


Chief Editor Taher Udwan wrote in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (10/15):  "Without a conviction by all parties in Iraq that the U.S. occupation is just temporary and not here to stay, chaos and bombings are just going to continue.  Moreover, the Turkish military presence will be an incentive to expand the circle of domestic wars.  In light of this fact, the conferences that are being held outside Iraq to discuss the reconstruction of Iraq are deemed meaningless.  This is because they seem like venues for ministers from the Iraqi Governing Council to exercise their abilities to present proposals and ideas after it has been proven that they are marginalized and they can do nothing when they are in Baghdad because Administrator Bremer is there and he is everything and he only listens to ideas from Kissinger, Wolfowitz and Thomas Friedman.”




Daily columnist Urayb Rintawi maintained in center-left, influential Al-Dustour (10/15):  “It is truly regrettable that Turkey’s decision to cross the borders into Iraq as dictated by the United States comes at a time when Islamists are in power and in parliament....  They shoulder the burden of a decision that could neither be taken by the (Turkish) military institution nor by its National Security Council.”


"A Turkish Decision That No One Approves Of"


Mahmoud Rimawi judged in semi-official, influential Al-Rai (10/10):  “The Turkish parliament’s vote in favor of sending Turkish troops into Iraq is an important development in how Turkey is addressing the Iraqi issue....  Most likely, this step by Turkey aims at establishing a foothold on Iraqi territories, and participating, by the force of a de facto situation, in the process of determining Iraq’s fate....  What underscores fears about this Turkish move is the fact that Turkish forces have crossed Iraqi borders hundreds of times over the past two decades, which suggests that this move is a resumption of the violation of borders and sovereignty and the establishment of a relationship based on flagrant and crude intervention, which forewarns problematic relations in the future.”


QATAR:  "Viewpoint: US Military Should Respect Iraqi Clerics"


The independent, pro-government Doha Gulf Times editorialized (10/13):  "Rapid developments are taking place in Iraq, where hundreds of citizens marched in Najaf yesterday in support of the shadow Cabinet announced by Moqtada Sadr, a young Shia cleric.  The firebrand preacher's proclamation, made during his weekly sermon in the holy town of Kufa, is a direct challenge to the occupying powers and the interim authority appointed by them.  The U.S. forces, whose presence has been tolerated by the Shia community as the necessary alternative to Saddam's oppressive rule, have made a number of mistakes which risk losing them the co-operation of the dominant religious group in Iraq, with potentially disastrous results....  Six months after the fall of Baghdad, the situation remains unstable, city streets are unsafe and explosions or attacks can happen at any time.  On Thursday and Friday, more than 10 Iraqis were killed and 20 arrested by the U.S. on suspicion of financing activities linked to anti-coalition attacks.  Yesterday, more than 10,000 Shias marched in a funeral procession for the victims of a shootout in Sadr City during which they denounced the Americans.  The U.S. military in Iraq has shown a lack of understanding of the local culture including a failure to appreciate the respect accorded to religious leaders....  If U.S. commanders in Iraq fail to comprehend the role religious leaders play in Iraq they could quickly be caught in an escalating spiral of violence."


SYRIA:  "Dilemma Of The 'Supreme' Mind"


Khaled al-Ashhab commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (10/15):  "The current U.S. impasse in Iraq is not caused by a lack of an appropriate strategy for post-war Iraq, nor caused by the growing Iraq anti-occupation resistance operations....  The real U.S. dilemma is in the 'superior U.S. mind,' which seeks to manage the world by the motto of 'the U.S. chosen people of God,' who are sent to humanity for a 'divine mission' of killing, occupation and hegemony under the belief that they are doing good to humanity.  Removing the Iraqi file from Donald Rumsfeld to Condoleezza Rice does not mean getting over the U.S. impasse in Iraq, rather, it is changing entrances while the Zionist Supreme mind continues to govern the U.S."


TUNISIA:  "The Bush Administration Is Disintegrating"


Editor Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane observed in independent French-language Le Quotidien (10/15):  "In the face of criticism...the American president announced that his administration has a strategy in Iraq.  A strategy that he summarized in three words:  'It is I Who Govern.'  The failure of the American army to restore order in Iraq is not the only thing that led up to Bush’s announcement....  George Bush is finding problems in restoring the order not only in Iraq but also within his own administration.  An administration that starts to misfire as SecState Powell has given in to the Hawks, weakened by his failure to rally the UN to the American cause....  Today the Hawks themselves are being singled out.  Their chief of war, Rumsfeld, who is the instigator of the Iraq war, has to confront the pitfalls of the aftermath of this war.  Hence, with a forgotten Powell, a tottering Rice and a Rumsfeld in the line of sight of criticism, President Bush finds himself alone at the helm.  His claiming today to be the only one who governs Iraq, is considered as a kind of acknowledgement of his government’s failure to come out of the war unscathed."


East Asia/Pacific


JAPAN:  "Iraq Weighing Heavily On Bush And Koizumi"


The liberal Asahi predicted (10/16):  "During their meeting on Friday, PM Koizumi will brief President Bush on Japan's 'independent' decision to provide 1.5 billion USD in grants to Iraq's reconstruction, and the president will welcome the offer....  Such a scenario is highly likely, given the close working relationship between the U.S. and Japanese leaders.  But the current Iraq situation, which is stuck in the mud, will weigh heavily on President Bush, who is seeking re-election in 2004, and on PM Koizumi, who is also seeking a victory for the LDP in the November 9 Lower House election to maintain his position as prime minister."  


"Japan Under Behind-the-Scenes U.S. Pressure"


The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri observed (10/16):  "The GOJ's announcement on Wednesday of a 1.5 billion USD grant aid package for Iraq, which comes two days before President Bush's visit to Tokyo, was a demonstration of Japan's independent decision to actively assist in the reconstruction of Iraq.  However, the government has actually been under repeated U.S. pressure through various channels to actively help rebuild Iraq.  Prime Minister Koizumi said Wednesday evening 'I've told President Bush to please count on Japan.  Japan will do without fail what it says.  Japan is well aware of what it is supposed to do to help Iraq.'  PM Koizumi's remarks indicate that Japan has been under U.S. pressure to make an active contribution." 


SOUTH KOREA:  "Undisguised U.S. Pressure For Troops for Iraq"


The nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (10/16):  “In the run-up to the ROK-U.S. summit talks early next week, Washington is openly applying pressure on Seoul to send combat troops to Iraq.  U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has said that the U.S. is confident that the ROK will continue to support American policies in Iraq, based on the strong bilateral alliance.  President Roh must not allow a few U.S. officials’ remarks to influence his stated resolve to give careful consideration to the troop dispatch issue....  Even though government officials are denying a recent New York Times report that Secretary of State Colin Powell was angry with Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan when the latter linked the dispatch of Korean troops to the U.S.’s attitude toward North Korea during their meeting last month, the report clearly shows the two-faced U.S. attitude of being active in getting the ROK to send troops to Iraq while being lackadaisical in dealing with the North Korean nuclear problem, an issue that is directly related to security on the Korean peninsula."


"U.S. Requests For Additional Troops"


The nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (10/10):  “If Washington gives up pursuing a UN resolution on Iraq, Seoul will likely be under stronger U.S. pressure for additional Korean troops for Iraq, as the ROK is among the few countries--including Pakistan--which the U.S. is intensively asking to send troops to Iraq....  The situation in Iraq is becoming more and more like the past situation in Vietnam.  If Washington truly wants a rapid rehabilitation of Iraq and the restoration of order in the country, it must immediately admit its wrongdoing and hand the war-torn country over to the Iraqi people, which is the only way for the U.S. to shed its image as an occupier.  It is really deplorable to see certain quarters of our government even discuss the need to send ‘our elite troops’ to Iraq in order to reduce possible casualties of our forces.”


INDONESIA:  "U.S. Superpower Finds It Difficult To Handle Iraq Alone"


Independent leading daily Kompas editorialized (10/16):  “The situation in Iraq is obviously confusing, not only for those who do not follow developments there, but even for the U.S. which has occupied the country since April.  A poll by Gallup found that more than two-thirds of the residents in Baghdad want the U.S. troops to stay on longer than just several months.  But they still have mixed feelings about the occupational forces.  As another finding indicated, one in every five residents of the capital city said attacks on the occupational forces are justified....  In this regard, the U.S. should turn to other parties.  And bearing in mind that the restructuring program in Iraq is very costly, it is clear that it will be very difficult for the U.S. to bear the cost alone.  But, asking other countries will obviously demand a compromise from the U.S.  Even as of last Tuesday, the U.S. still insisted that its forces keep full authority in controlling Iraq.”


THAILAND:  "Troop Deployment Takes Some Big Risks"


The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative, English language Bangkok Post read (10/12):  “The news that the Turkish Parliament had reversed its policy and agreed to send a sizable number of peacekeepers to Iraq incited deep divisions in Turkey and Iraq.  On the face of it, it seems a very good move.  The significant presence of a neighbor and a fellow Muslim country in the peacekeeping force, which is dominated by Western Christian nations, seems to make good sense.  But the interim Iraqi Governing Council initially condemned the deployment of Turkish troops, saying that they do not want soldiers from any neighboring countries....  Though security is still the overriding issue, Bush and Bremer are right to point out that there are many positives.  And regardless of their stance on the war itself, nearly all world leaders agree that there is no going back, that the political and economic transformation of Iraq must be carried on.  In that spirit, the Turkish troops, and all others, should be welcomed, and hopefully all the fears and dire predictions will prove groundless.  The biggest hope is that, someday soon, all foreign troops will be able to leave the security of Iraq to the Iraqi people.  It is probably too much to hope for, however, that that day will come before the one year troop commitment made by the Turkish government is up.”


South Asia


INDIA:  "America's Gradual Retreat"


The Mumbai edition of right-of-center Marathi daily Tarun Bharat judged (10/15):  "America had virtually sidelined the UN while invading Iraq....  But despite winning the war in Iraq, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the U.S. to win the confidence of Iraqis.  Reconstruction of Iraq is also a costly affair which cannot be managed single-handedly by America.  Therefore, the U.S. has gradually realized the importance of the UN as a safety shield in Iraq.  Similarly, those countries which had opposed America on the Iraq issue have slowly realized their dependence on the American economy.  A depression in the American economy will inevitably result in a worldwide slump.  For these obvious reasons, the detractors of the U.S. in the Security Council have shown willingness for a compromise.  However, this co-operation among the feuding countries is welcome when seen in the context of the UN getting its due....  The atmosphere of co-operation is also manifest in the fact that the foreign affairs minister in Iraq, naturally an American appointee, has been allowed to speak at the ongoing convention of Organization of Islamic Conference in Malaysia."


"Three Blind Men"


Seema Mustafa contended in the centrist Asian Age (10/11):  "Bush is getting hit, and getting hit hard in Iraq.  He is speaking of the Iraqis now as Ba'ath Party remnants and foreign terrorists. It is strange how remnants have a way of haunting the U.S. president and his men in arms....  It is impossible for him to admit that the resistance in Iraq is from the people who will not and cannot accept U.S. occupation.  Why is this single fact so difficult for Bush, and even the Americans to accept?  That they are not seen as liberators by the rest of the world....  Many countries...see them as oppressors and occupiers.  The ordinary Iraqi is picking up the gun that he had put away, against the occupation forces.  This is the truth that Bush just cannot even acknowledge let alone digest....  Bush cannot crawl away. He has to keep fighting in Iraq, for in this he still has some hope of keeping some of the people with him....  Just as the U.S. was applauding the Turkish decision to send troops to Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council rejected the move....  The fact remains that the U.S.-supported body now also appears to be moving out of its control....  But for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, oil and power are a blinding combination.  Sovereign nations do not matter, leaders do not matter, the people do not matter."


PAKISTAN:  "Turco-U.S. Dilemma"


An editorial in the centrist national English daily, The News held (10/16):  "Tuesday’s suicide bombing of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad has underscored the fact that its troops will receive no welcome from the resistance either....  Regardless of its perceived interests, the undeniable fact remains that its troops are not welcome in Iraq and would very much be a part of the illegal and oppressive occupation forces there with the future unknown.  In this context, it is encouraging that Pakistan has moved away from its initial 'agreement in principle' to send its troops to Iraq under a UN resolution and with OIC or GCC support....  To avoid future grief, it would be wiser to follow Saudi Arabia in demanding that the welcome mat be extended by a genuinely representative Iraqi government, and not the puppet Governing Council.  Iraq, as is becoming increasingly obvious, is a veritable mess and the farther away from it that Pakistan stays the better."


"Iraqis Reject Turkish Troops"


The Islamabad rightist English daily, Pakistan Observer judged (10/16):  "Tuesday's blast outside the Turkish mission is a loud and clear message to all those who are bracing to assist the United States in its bid to consolidate its hold over the vanquished Muslim State.  We wonder if Pakistan will still be willing to send its troops to Iraq in the given circumstances particularly in the wake of increasing Iraqi resistance against the occupation forces.  There ought to be no illusion that contribution of forces by any country to assist the U.S. at this stage will be taken as a hostile act by the Iraqi people."


"Iraq in the Fore"


The center-right English-language Nation commented (10/15):  "While Turkey has committed to send troops, it is not being seen as an example to follow by the other OIC members, with even Qatar, which was U.S. CENTCOM headquarters for the Iraqi invasion, calling for a clear and quick timetable for the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty and the withdrawal of foreign forces.  This seems to be the consensus emerging from the OIC: a call for 'foreign forces' to withdraw at the earliest."


"Friends in Need"


A letter to the Editor by S. Omar Ahsan in Karachi's center-left English-language Dawn read (10/15):  "Are our troops really all that eager to go?  The state is unwilling or unable to employ them to protect people being slain on streets and in mosques or from raids by tribesmen sweeping into the little hamlets of Sindh.  But before we send our jawans, let them be warned that they will be entering a quagmire.  In addition to the fully justified wrath of the Iraqi people, they will also be in danger of being cut down by their American comrades who, by all accounts, need instruction in the safe conduct of firearms around both civilians and allies."


"Iraq's No To Turkish Troops"


An editorial in the Islamabad rightist English daily, Pakistan Observer held (10/10):  "The perception that dispatch of troops to Iraq will consolidate U.S. occupation and will be an act to justify American aggression against Baghdad with far-reaching bearing on peace, security and stability in the Middle East is gaining momentum the world over.  The nations have seen through the U.S. game and are not ready to fall into its trap once again....  Washington can no more hoodwink the world community with its deceptive slogans of WMD, which have not been found in Iraq even after months of intensive search by its own inspectors.  Pakistan will hopefully take the message in right earnest that Iraqi Governing Council as well as the Turkish people have conveyed to the international community.  Islamabad should not send its troops to Iraq even under UN cover in the absence of a time frame for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty over its oil resources.  It’s hoped that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will not succumb to any pressure and will refuse to bail out Washington in the absence of time frame for U.S. withdrawal."


BANGLADESH:  "Another blast"


An editorial in English-language The Independent stated (10/13):  "In the latest of a series of suicide car bomb explosions seven people were killed and scores wounded at the Baghdad Hotel.  This hotel in the Iraqi capital is used by US officials and the Iraqi Council.  The latter is generally considered as a puppet organisation of the U.S. and there is deep resentment against it among many Iraqis.  While there has been little in the way of a popular uprising the fact remains that the U.S. forces are generally considered an army of occupation....  The U.S. is blaming Iraqi and foreign extremists--those supposed to have poured into Iraq to fight U.S. and British troops.  But nothing so far has conclusively been proven.  In the midst of all this confusion one thing is clear.  The significant section of Iraqi people--whether aided by foreigners or not--are opposed to continued U.S. and British presence in their soil.  What can be potentially alarming for the Americans is the fact that the remnants of Bath party activists seem to have joined forces with fanatics.  The Bath party has always been secular but at present its members have found common grounds for their struggle.  These suicide bombings are a great hindrance for any lasting peace in the region but on the other hand America's attitude leaves a lot to be desired....  American troops have proven to be trigger happy and have resorted to extreme measures at the slightest hint of provocation....  The death toll in Iraq continues to rise and there is little hope of things cooling down anytime soon....  Already there are signs that America may find itself in a Vietnam like quagmire yet again."




KENYA:  "Please Help Us To Help You"


The independent left-of-centre Nation noted (10/15):  “The Iraqi President had 'accumulated' only conventional weapons without which a state cannot be called a state.  This fact has since swung world opinion drastically away from Mr. Bush....  The only problem is that Mr. Bush himself makes it difficult for many to sympathize.  By continuing to insist that his invasion was right and that Saddam remains the problem, he does not seem to accept his errors.  He seems to believe that, by harping on what has become a non-problem, he will continue to drum up world sympathy.  Few are interested in where Saddm is.  Stopping the killing and getting Iraq back on its feet is what concerns them.  It is in this cause that Mr. Bush needs to seek help.”


Western Hemisphere


CANADA:  "The Tough Challenge Of Peace"


Lysiane Gagnon wrote in the centrist La Presse of Montreal (10/14):  "So far there have been few constructive suggestions.  The most loquacious has been President Chirac, who recently enjoined the Americans to leave Iraq within three months by gradually shifting power over to the Iraqis.  As if the Americans had the inclination of staying for good on this wretched land.  Granted, the United States is an empire but it is not a colonial power.  The Americans are trying to transfer power to the Iraqis, but the state of anarchy is such that it will take more than three months.  (This process took seven years in Bosnia, two years in tiny East Timor and is not even completed in Kosovo.)  As French philosopher André Glucksmann pointed out, the Chirac ultimatum did not lack piquancy, when one remembers that Chirac, only a few months ago, was denouncing the governing council as a puppet regime....  Unfortunately Iraq is not ready to start its metamorphosis towards democracy." 


BRAZIL:  "Limits of Force"


Right-of-center O Globo editorialized (10/13):  "Six months after the U.S. intervention in Iraq, what seemed to be a victorious campaign has the appearance of a nightmare for occupational forces.  It's not only about the many deaths...but especially the scenario that becomes harder every day.  The last warning on this sense came from the Russian President, Vladimir Putin....  He reminded that the U.S. now faces in Iraq the possibility of a long, violent war that will have a useless result just like the one the Soviet Union had in Afghanistan.  He noted Iraq could become a magnet to all destructive elements spread out in the region and also the remote ones....  Putin has suggested that the Americans should act fast to re-establish Iraq's sovereignty, and obtain a UN resolution to clearly define the permanence of the international occupation forces in the country.  It seems like good advice."






Commentary from ...
Middle East
East Asia
South Asia
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