International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

October 29, 2003

October 29, 2003





**  Coordinated, "fanatical" attacks show the enemy is stronger than the U.S. "will concede."


** The "resistance" wants to discourage outside help, make life "as difficult as possible" for U.S.


**  Until the U.S. can guarantee security, extremists will be able to attract more recruits.


** Critics agree attacks "end all illusions" of progress, but U.S. "must stay the course."




Ramadan offensive shows 'resistance' proving stronger; pattern is 'chillingly coherent'-- This week's spasm of violence compounded the perception overseas that Iraq was "spiraling out of control."  Analysts judged that the "simultaneous" and "coordinated" attacks meant the resistance was "intensifying," and feared the U.S. had no clear understanding of the enemy.  Writers in Europe, the Mideast and Latin America warned the U.S. was falling into "a trap from which it will not easily be extricated.” As France's Catholic La Croix observed, "a relatively well-organized guerrilla is undermining a relatively powerful army."  There is "no explanation," added Egypt's pro-government Al Akhbar, except that it reflects "the inability of the American occupation force, despite a wealth of equipment and men, to control the situation." 


Perpetrators aim to 'discourage cooperation' with the Coalition--  European papers worried that the "fanatical" suicide attacks will plunge humanitarian organizations into a "deep crisis." Though still critical of the U.S. occupation, Arab and other Muslims papers condemned "massacres against humanitarian organizations that are not serving the occupation."  The bombings, by coinciding with the first day of Ramadan, were "an affront to Islam," intoned Jeddah's English-language Arab News, and it would be a "tragedy" if the Red Crescent and other humanitarian agencies "were now to decide to pull out because of this act of evil."


A 'stable and prosperous democracy' not possible while security remains 'parlous'--  The instability is becoming serious enough to "cast a shadow" over some the of the "visible" accomplishments the U.S. has made.  Critics found that the attacks "ended all illusions" of progress and made the positive assurances of U.S. officials more difficult to believe.  Capturing the typical pessimism, Slovenia's left-of-center Dnevnik reasoned that until the U.S. manages to improve living conditions, both secular Baathists and the "Koran-abusing Islamists" will continue to get "new recruits who will...strap explosives to their bodies."  Arab and other Muslim writers professed indignation over the lack of security, with the government-owned Syria Times declaring that the "U.S. soldiers' main mission has been confined to protecting themselves."


'Staying the course'; the  U.S. cannot simply leave the country to its fate--  A chorus of writers, including those that opposed the war, stressed that even though the post-war scenario is getting complicated, the U.S. must succeed and get Iraq "right."  Taking exception, a Pakistani Urdu daily demanded that America respect the principle of "live and let live" and "quit Iraq."  Placing Iraq under a "UN-mandated rule," advised Britain's center-left Independent, is needed to end the perception of the U.S. as an "imperialist, hegemonic occupying power."   


EDITOR:  Irene Marr

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 74 reports from 39 countries, October 27-29.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Suicide Attacks Misfired: Iraqis Now Know They Are On Front Line"


Associate Editor, Rosemary Righter, commented in the conservative Times (10/29):  "Monday's attacks misfired because they hideously proved to Iraqis that it is not U.S. troops, but they themselves, their families, their livelihoods, their hopes for the future and for their children, that are in the front line of terrorist fire....  The terrorists struck against order, and order is what Iraqis yearn [for]....  The U.S. is right not to have made Baghdad a maze of fortified bomb barriers.  Iraqis are struggling towards an open, free society.  That dream is their psychological defence against the terror visited on them this week."


"Terrorism's Battlefield"


The conservative Times took this view (10/28):  "By spreading terror across the city, the perpetrators are attempting to shock, outrage and demoralize weary Iraqis as much as the coalition forces in the country.  These are the classic tactics of fanaticism, which have, elsewhere and in the past, proved all too effective....  Terrorism will be defeated only if it cannot flourish in the fetid hothouse of hatred.  Iraqis must themselves understand that if they give way to despair and resignation, they will have neither freedom nor prosperity nor dignity nor human rights....  America should build on its recent support by the United Nations Security Council to convince Iraq's neighbors that they themselves will be the losers from an Iraq terrorized and destabilized.  The war against terrorism has now found its battlefield.  It must not be lost."


"America's Occupation Of Iraq Is Not Working"


The center-left Independent commented (10/28):  "Having fractured the Baathist regime, the Allies have still not been able to put anything in its place remotely resembling a strong civil authority with a monopoly on internal law and order.  Indeed, the Allies seem to be intent on keeping such matters to themselves; hence, perhaps, the number and frequency of terror attacks on Iraq police stations, sometimes will Allied soldiers inside....  It could be solved, or at least alleviated, by internationalizing the Iraqi state, that is placing it under some sort of UN-mandated  rule.  It is not guarantees of peace--after all, the UN has been a terrorist target in the past--but, crucially, it would end the perception, and to some degree the reality, of America as an imperialist, hegemonic occupying power.  It could--just--mark the beginning of a free, federal Iraq with a more representative government.  The alternative is an indefinite U.S.-led occupation more and more under siege and less and less in control of events."


"Ba'athist Bloody Swansong"


The conservative Daily Telegraph editorialized (10/28):  "The failure to contain the guerillas is primarily one of intelligence....  But better information would enable the allies to establish the nature of the enemy, then to devise a proper containment strategy.  There is much going for the occupying powers in Iraq--an educated population glad to be freed of Saddam, and the basis for economic prosperity in the world's second largest oil reserves.  But a stable, prosperous democracy cannot be created while security remains parlous....  The Americans came away reasonably satisfied with pledges of £19 billion, although it was well short of the £32 billion which the World Bank estimates Iraq needs over the next four years.  How many of those pledges will be fulfilled if Baghdad continues to be racked by explosions?...  The problem for the coalition is the negative impression which those convulsions give to foreigners who could help Iraq back onto its feet."


FRANCE: "A Costly Strategy"


Renaud Girard observed in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/29): “The Iraqi population has fingered foreign fundamentalist radicals as the perpetrators of the attacks on Baghdad.… But at the same time the Iraqis are extremely angry at the U.S. for having destroyed all the Iraqi institutions...which are essential to protect the country.… The Iraqi adventure was thought out and executed by the Pentagon.… Its ideologues were intent on destroying everything that stood as a symbol of the enemy. But in so doing the Pentagon’s strategists forgot one small detail: how to ensure internal security in a country torn by social, ethnic, tribal and religious tension. Today, the Iraqis cannot forgive the Americans for throwing the baby out with the bath water.… The Pentagon’s strategists, guided by their ideology instead of pragmatism, have locked the U.S. troops into a trap from which they will not easily be extricated.”




Patrick Sabatier wrote in left-of-center Liberation (10/28):  “Vietnam!  A word that triggers the worst nightmares in the American psyche is now being said out loud in Washington....  If that word comes to mind it is because the U.S. army is caught in a similar quagmire....  It is also because President Bush is insisting that things are going in the right direction.  He is as much a liar or at least as blind as his predecessors during the Vietnam war....  Inside the Bush administration the settling of accounts has begun....  Some hawks have already lost a few feathers.  And Secretary Powell has acknowledged that ‘the U.S. is at war’ although President Bush said six months ago that the war was over....  The terrorists’ goal is to make everyone leave Iraq, the UN and the Red Cross alike, and to instill fear in those who collaborate with the coalition forces....  Apocalypse Now is not playing yet in Baghdad.  But what about tomorrow?”


"A People Taken Hostage"


Dominique Quinio observed in Catholic La Croix (10/28):  “The attacks on Baghdad have just fulfilled their sinister mission: to instill fear, discourage international organizations and frighten away potential investors....  Meanwhile American officials are adopting a daunting determination: ‘the more successful we are, the more we will be attacked'....  The trap that was to be feared is proving to be real: a relatively well-organized guerrilla is undermining a relatively powerful army.  The temptation for the coalition would be to leave Iraq too quickly, before having implemented the institutions that will take over.  It is urgent to begin to establish these with the Iraqis and the UN.”


What To Do?”


Bernard Guetta on government-run France Inter radio (10/28): “What was feared has happened.… Without a police force, without an army, without national institutions, Iraq is not controlled because it is uncontrollable.… Iraq is thus turning into what Afghanistan was before the fall of the Taliban.… What had to be avoided has happened: a clash between civilizations. The situation is not serious; it is extremely serious.…  The U.S. army will have to barricade itself further behind its concrete walls.… The scenario was written ahead of time; but now that the stage is set and that the fundamentalists believe they can win.… what can we do? The answer lies in a political solution: an Iraqi government must be created and all foreign troops must be placed under UN command. This is the only way, not to stabilize Iraq - that will take some time- but to put a stop to the face-off between the U.S. and the Islamic fundamentalists. It is the only way to break a cycle of war between Islam and the West.”


"A Withdrawal Now Would Be An Error"


Joseph Limagne in regional Ouest France (10/28): “One can only hope that George Bush will not be tempted to withdraw his troops and abandon Iraq, under pressure from U.S. public opinion. It would be a disaster for the Iraqis, but also for the rest of the world. Such an out would leave the door open to a victory by the proponents of terror.”


GERMANY: "Without Protection In Baghdad"


Arne Perras argued in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (10/29):  "The bomb attack in Iraq's capital is plunging the humanitarian organizations into a deep crisis that does not offer an easy way out....  Dead helpers are no help for the Iraqis.  As long as the U.S. soldiers in the country are unable to create security in the country, every humanitarian mission remains a useless mission....  When the borders between soldiers and civilian helpers disappear, the credibility of humanitarian assistance is at stake.  The confidence of the people can be won at many places only if the gun is not part of the equipment.  But Iraq's problem is that slowly growing confidence cannot bear fruit among the people as long as fanatic suicide bombers attack humanitarian helpers.  Every organization must be allowed to assess these risks in Iraq.  It is false to exert political pressure on them.  Colin Powell pressed the helpers not to withdraw because the terrorists would otherwise win.  It would have been better for him not to have made this appeal."


"A New Vietnam?"


Karl Grobe argued in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (10/28): "This is not yet the Tet-offensive that broke loose when Washington's envoys, advisors, and soldiers considered the war to be won.  It began on a holiday in 1968, and the current attacks in Iraq escalated at the beginning of Ramadan.  But these are the only parallels....  U.S. papers, nevertheless, raise the question whether 'we are again in Vietnam.'  Not because of the war situation but because of the systematic measures with which the U.S. public is deceived and at a time when the U.S. leadership only proves to be selectively informed.  U.S. TV stations do not consider it worthwhile reporting on the protests of hundreds of thousands of people.  President Bush stressed that he does not read papers, but listens to NSR Rice.  Richard Nixon, too, did not want to read, to see and to learn anything."


"Retreat Out Of The Question"


Business Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg judged (10/28):  "Four months after the declared end of the fighting in Iraq, the latest attacks are evidence of the fact how little the Americans are able to guarantee security in the center of the country....  That is why there is increasing resistance in Washington to a long-term mission of U.S. forces in Iraq....  But the United States can now not simply leave the country to its fate and to diverse competing groups and neighboring powers.  A hasty withdrawal would be more than an embarrassing loss of face for the U.S. superpower....  The great majority of Iraqis is opposed to terror, especially if it is directed against neutral forces such as the Red Cross.  The majority are also better off today than before the war. That is why it must be the most important U.S. goal to win the confidence and support of this majority."


"U.S. Seems Close To Despair"


Center-right General-Anzeiger of Bonn declared (10/28):  "The guerrilla war is escalating in Iraq and the U.S. president interprets the latest series of attacks as desperate actions of Saddam's loyal supporters in view of the unstoppable U.S. success.  Even if we accepted long ago that brazen eyewash is a natural part of every political rhetoric, we can only uncomprehendingly nod our heads.  It is right that the situation in Iraq is confusing and the U.S. government seems to be close to despair rather than the unscrupulous and extremely agile Iraqi guerilla force, which is composed not only of Saddam supporters but also meets with support among Islamic terrorists.  Even in broad sectors of the Iraqi population the attackers can count on support, since the majority of Iraqi considers the Americans not liberators but occupiers."


"Blank Hatred"


Wolfgang Guenter Lerch argued in an editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/28):  "The latest attacks against the International Red Cross and other relief organizations in Iraq can no longer be described, let alone be explained, as resistance to the U.S. occupation forces.  The background of these attacks is hatred of everything that is western....  The International Red Cross has helped for more than 150 years people everywhere in the world irrespective of their person, nation or religion....  It is a scandal that, following the latest attacks from Baghdad, no Muslim politician, not even a religious leader, is condemning and disassociating from these activities filled with hatred.  Islam is good at presenting itself as a victim, and once in a while it is right, but when itself turns into a perpetrator, its representatives doggedly remain silent."


ITALY:  "America In A Trap"


Vittorio Zucconi judged in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (10/29):  “America is now entrapped in a maze that it built with its own hands, but the only possible way out is a victory which is further away with every step.…  When the TV announced that Bush [himself] was going to do a press was clear that the shock of the infernal weekend in Baghdad had been too violent for spokespersons and aides to reassure a nation called to make greater and greater sacrifices in terms of human lives and money for a war with no end in sight.  George W. Bush was the only one who could repeat seven times in a row that...‘they will not succeed in frightening us.’… But certainly, the George W. Bush that appeared...was not the moved, but the sure, arrogant and messianic [Bush] that we saw in the months leading up to the invasion.... There are no signs that he will cave in, because there can’t be any, because a withdrawal would be unthinkable and this is the dilemma of the trap in which he is enclosed.”


"Foreign Fighters’ Against The Red Cross"


A commentary in elite, center-left Il Riformista (10/28): “With a dramatic, but not sudden, escalation, Iraq appears to have become a hell for everyone: for U.S. occupying troops, and this is not new (even though the attack against Wolfowitz opens disturbing questions on the guerrilla’s potential and on the permeability of U.S. security forces); for the Iraqi police -- the hated ‘collaborators,’ and this is also a given; but also for the Red Cross, and this, however, is truly a new matter.… Its work, that is solely of humanitarian nature...did not save it from the attacks, which goes to show that the guerrilla wants to transform the entire country into a battlefield.… The coincidence in the attacks, and the fact that they came on the first day of the sacred month of Ramadan immediately led us to think of coordinated actions.  But the U.S. military command tends to minimize.”


"Ramadan Of Bombs In Baghdad: 40 Dead"


An article in provocative, center-right Libero (10/28): “The U.S. President has faced up to the inevitable criticism, questions, perplexities, and even the anguishing possibility of finding himself before a new Vietnam (an idea that was clearly put forth by a few Democrat senators), once again declaring that the ‘progress made in Iraq by the U.S.’ brought on greater ‘desperate’ attacks by the forces of terror.   And that therefore the operation for the pacification of Iraq must not stop. The reaction of the U.S. Administration was immediate and very resolute.  Bush was addressing the Iraqis more than the Americans when he said that the U.S. would remain committed to the work of reconstruction, that the liberated people must not fear being left alone.…  The clarity on the commitments to maintain is not, however, an excuse to cover up the mistakes of past evaluations."


"Only The UN Can Stop The Guerrilla War"


Italian General Mario Arpino commented in Il Resto del Carlino/La Nazione/Il Giorno conservative newspaper syndicate (10/27):  “The attack against Hotel Rashid once again gives rise to the problem regarding the ability to win the guerrilla war....  With the right forces, however, the guerrilla war can at least be controlled until it is exhausted.  But the point is that the U.S. does not have the right forces.  The Marines and Rangers are excellent in war, but they are not trained for peace.  The U.S. Military Police isn’t [the right force] either.  It doesn’t have intelligence and it can do nothing more than placate fights between sailors.  Then what?  The only hope is that the internationalization of control following the last UN resolution will at least be useful in furnishing adequate instruments, so that the ‘battle of Algiers’ will not continue to be studied in vain.”


RUSSIA: "Another Vietnam"


Andrey Zlobin remarked in reformist Vremya Novostey (10/28): "The victory in Iraq is beginning to taste like a new Vietnam.  Most leaders of the Administration in the White House have no personal knowledge of what that means (Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld even hoped that the Iraqi campaign would help America get rid of the 'Vietnam syndrome' once and for all).   Suddenly, the phantom has begun to materialize."


"Americans Confused"


Andrey Yashlavskiy stated in reformist youth-oriented Moskovskiy Komsomolets (10/28): "The intensity of guerrilla attacks has seriously confused the Americans, including people in George Bush's entourage.   As for his opponents in the Democratic Party, they accuse the President of playing roulette, with the lives of American soldiers as chips, and being unable to handle the situation in Iraq."


AUSTRIA: "Almost A Failure"


Senior editor Hans Rauscher commented in liberal Der Standard (10/28):  “Things are going badly in Iraq, because Wolfowitz and his team, although they drew up a brilliant concept – a free Iraq that would improve the situation in the entire Middle East – and although the war itself was planned and carried out brilliantly, the reconstruction of the country was not. The Americans have simply lost control over the situation. The intellectual Mr. Wolfowitz, and all the others, up to the not-quite-intellectual President George Bush, have not yet failed completely in Iraq – but they are not far off it.”


"Apocalypse In Baghdad"


Foreign affairs writer Thomas Vieregge wrote in centrist Die Presse (10/28): “The attacks in Iraq have taken on a threatening dimension that should set off the alarm bells in Washington. Already, the ugly V-word is popping up again and again: Vietnam. The situation in Baghdad is not caused by sporadic guerrilla attacks, but by a coordinated resistance movement.  If not even Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, can count on a safe night in the bastion of the Rashid hotel, the U.S. is already caught up in a new apocalypse. It is likely that those responsible for the war will have to spend quite a few more sleepless nights in Washington.”


BELGIUM: "War No Longer Against American Troops, But All Those In Reconstruction"


Foreign editor Frank Schloemer observed in independent De Morgen (10/29): “The American occupiers clearly don’t have a grip on the country and they can't eradicate chaos and unrest.... The perpetrators also crossed a threshold.  International aid organizations are considered accomplices of the occupiers and dragged into irrational violence.  The war is no longer waged against the American troops but, visibly, against all those who are willing to do something for the reconstruction of Iraq....  Bush’s war strategy has failed.  It celebrated the victory too early....  The Bush administration wanted this war.  Today, it does not know how to get rid of it.  Despite growing hate of the occupiers, the large majority of the 24 million Iraqis do not want to return to the old dictatorship.  It is the international community’s duty to help them on their road to peace and democracy.  However, that will require more than an arrogant military occupation.”  


CZECH REPUBLIC: "In The Skin Of Paul Wolfowitz"


Petr Pesek opined in the center-right Lidove Noviny (10/27): "The attack on the hotel in Baghdad, where Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz stayed, contained marks of cynicism, boldness, and coincidence.  Shaken, but still uncompromising Wolfowitz blamed 'criminals who refuse to accept the reality of a new, free Iraq' for the attack.  However, it is more that he refuses to describe things as they are.  As recent polls among Iraqis revealed, American soldiers are not a thorn in the side of only a handful of bandits.  The positives of the military action in Iraq prevail over the negatives, but they can easily gain a negative meaning without acknowledgement of reality, as happened in the justification for the war." 


DENMARK: "Bush Is Being Forced To Listen To World Opinion On Iraq"


Sensationalist tabloid BT commented (10/27):  Begin quote:  “Rumsfeld and the other hawks seems to have, to some degree, had their wings clipped.  Bush is slowly starting to listen to [world opinion].  Growing concerns within Republican ranks, and the country as a whole, is starting to reawaken memories of Vietnam.” 


FINLAND: "Pacifying Baghdad Not Proceeding Well"  


Centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (10/28):  "U.S. administration representatives have repeatedly said that the security situation is improving and that the media is exaggerating the difficulties, giving a misleading picture of the situation in Baghdad.  Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz saw in person that the opponents of the occupation can strike against the best protected targets in the city.  The bombs are by no means the only problem of the occupiers.  Opinion polls show that more and more Iraqis are against the occupation.  It is difficult to get reliable information on how the pacification of Iraq is proceeding.   American officials continue to stress that much positive has been accomplished.  These assurances are difficult to believe as long as violence, which erodes the moral fiber of the occupierss, continues to occur in downtown Baghdad."


HUNGARY: "A Peculiar History"


Foreign news writer Ferenc Kepecs asserted in pro-government left wing Nepszava (10/28): “The perpetrators [of the recent bomb attacks] are most probably Saddam Hussein’s men. Their thirst for revenge is understandable. They have not only lost their privileges but have become pariahs in a country for which they felt responsibility before.  Not only do they have a reason for wanting to take revenge but they are well prepared too to carry out their attacks.  Their allies are Islamists from all corners of the Arab and the Muslim world, who keep infiltrating through the quite porous borders of Iraq.... The United States now is suffering  the consequences of not allowing the Iraqis to liberate themselves.  It would have happened naturally a bit later.  But it would have been a true liberation.  It is in general a quite peculiar thing in history that foreign bayonets make the people of a country support that country’s previous rulers.” 


"Streets Of Baghdad In Ferment"


Foreign affairs writer Gabor Zord argued in right wing conservative Magyar Nemzet (10/28):

“Regardless of what aspect we look at the recent bombings in Iraq the conclusion is the same: things aren't going that well for the occupying forces.   It would be too early to predict [their] failure in Iraq yet.  But according to the figures the number of negative developments have become more frequent during the past couple of weeks.  The threat is visible and [the attackers] are becoming even more organized....  One automatically draws a parallel with the situation of the occupied Palestinian territories.  It is interesting to pay attention to the American reactions [to the developments in Iraq].  The American concept rests on the saying that ‘you either take [it] or escape’.  If the United States accepts the developments it has to bear the international consequences.  Or if the United States escapes [from the difficulties] the number of coffins covered with the Stars and Stripes will increase.”


IRELAND:  "An Alternative Approach In Iraq"


The center left Irish Times asserted (10/28):  “The targeting and the timing of yesterday's deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad reveal starkly that resistance to the United States-led occupation forces there is intensifying.... So far there is no indication that substantial new supplies of troops will be provided as a result of the UN resolution. Growing insecurity and continuing uncertainty about the timetable for restoring Iraqi sovereignty mean they are unlikely to be forthcoming in the numbers required.… An alternative approach may now have to be adopted if the occupation is not to come under more military and political pressure.... A recall of the Iraqi army and of the former public administration, most of which spontaneously dissolved as the coalition forces advanced last March, would send a signal to ordinary Iraqis that sovereignty can be restored within a reasonable timetable… What's certain is that the political dynamics of the U.S. presidential election will add urgency to the need for clear and demonstrable commitments to restore political sovereignty to the Iraqi people themselves over the coming year.”


POLAND:  "Waiting For Barbarians"


Bronislaw Wildstein wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (10/28):  “In the murderous wars of the 20th century even criminal states usually respected the convention guaranteeing the inviolability of the International Red Cross. Thus the choice of this organization’s headquarters as a terrorist target and use of an ambulance to this end...takes on a symbolic significance. This fact reveals one more time the character behind the actions that Islamists in Iraq conduct. Their aim is the civilian population. Permanent threat, destabilization, destruction of social order and material civilization are supposed to bring the Iraqi people to despair.  Terrorists expect that people will turn against the Americans as the only concrete force responsible for the situation in Iraq.... The fundamental problem, however, is that the West is torn apart internally.  The shortsightedness of some European states makes their leaders more interested in weakening the U.S. than overcoming the real threat, which is not reduced only to Iraq.”


GREECE: "Iraq’s Occupation (Becomes) Increasingly Difficult"


The lead editorial in elite influential Kathimerini claimed (10/28):  “As President Bush’s policy on the war and the administration of occupied Iraq has not managed to attract European interest, it is now obvious that Washington must undertake alone the mission of breaking down Iraqi resistance to the end.  Till then, it will keep paying nearly the entire cost in blood and money for the continued occupation, unless it changes tactics.”


"United States In Adventure" 


The lead editorial in centrist, pro-main opposition Eleftheros Typos stated (10/29):  “The situation in post-war Iraq verifies that prosperity, democracy, and stability cannot be imposed by force.  This is true particularly when the party using force has not made any provisions for postwar ‘peace’ management.”


ROMANIA:  "Total Confusion Reigns Among American Troops"


Foreign policy analyst Eva Galambos opined in business-oriented Curierul National (10/29):  “After the five suicide attacks in Baghdad on confusion reigns among the American troops, the Iraqi authorities and the various secret services regarding the ‘brain’ behind the attacks and their authors.  The most shocking thing about them was that they were simultaneous, which could indicate the existence of an organization, a big kamikaze group that is ready to sacrifice their lives to make life as difficult as possible for the American soldiers in Iraq.  The question is if the authors of the attacks, generally speaking, and those of the Baghdad attacks in particular, are foreign individuals or Iraqis loyal to former president Saddam Hussein.”


SLOVENIA:   "Lost Flowers"


Ales Gaube noted in left-of-center Dnevnik (10/28):  "While initial attacks against the occupation forces were ascribed to the remnants of the Hussein regime, no one doubts any more that Iraq has become a battlefield for all young and old [individuals] who had been offended and humiliated by America’s middle Eastern policy, and those who are not able to express their frustration with the underdeveloped Islamic world in any other way than with terrorist attacks....  Mostly secular members of the Baath party and the Koran abusing Islamists have found a common enemy in the occupation forces. Until the United States manages to improve living conditions of the Iraqis and gives them jobs, both groups will continue get new recruits who will grab kalashnikovs and attach explosives to their bodies rather than wave with flowers.  Although there is no alternative to the stabilization of Iraq, the danger exists that things will get out of the hands of the occupation forces… Namely, American soldiers get more nervous and trigger-happy with each new attack. With each collateral victim at check points, they will acquire new enemies. The spiral of violence known to Americans from the Palestinian occupied territories may quickly become a daily companion to the soldiers’ families.”


"Explosive Uprising"


Vojislave Bercko averred in left-of-center independent Vecer (10/28):  "Since Bush’s announcement of the end of major military encounters.… Iraq has been sinking into...chaos, organized resistance...and a very dangerous experience for the international community… Yesterday’s attacks are just more proof that not all Iraqis are satisfied with what has happened to their country....  There is no doubt that the attacks were carried out by extremists...but there is also no doubt that the Americans, the British, the Australians, the Poles, and other victorious allies have fulfilled almost none of their promises.… To put it simply: although it lacked the consent of most of the world, the United States first jumped and then said hop. Part of the Iraqi people blames the entire world...for this.  [A large amount of funds] was collected in Madrid...but average Iraqi citizens will get nothing from them. Neither will they share the better life that was promised to them after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  Therefore, they resist in the only way they know--with weapons."


SPAIN:  "Terrorism In Iraq"


Business Gaceta de los Negocios wrote (10/29): "It is well-known that this (situation) is not resolved with patrols.  Special forces are necessary, something that Washington should have foreseen from the beginning.  Now that the hypothesis of transferring control to the UN has been dropped, it's necessary to increase intelligence work guarantee to the population that, if they support the new authorities, they won't wind up alone facing a new totalitarian regime."


"This Third War in Iraq will Be the Most Difficult to Win


Independent El Mundo wrote (10/28): "Perhaps what's most worrisome about the ongoing situation in Iraq is the little that the allies know about their enemies.  Although there are many differences, Iraq, in this aspect, is similar alike to Vietnam....  If the current violence and the chaos continue, the occupying powers won't stand a chance of recognizing... that they are fighting a war after another war, a guerrilla war far more difficult to win.  Indeed, this third war in Iraq differs from the Gulf War and the one last spring fought with conventional weapons because of the nature of the enemy, its duration, and the allies' possibilities of success, now perceptibly reduced.  The U.S. should consider whether it's time to change strategy, time to strengthen the international support more than UNSCR 1511, time to gain Iraqis' trust with clear signs that its intention is not to grab the country's resources, but instead facilitate the path to democracy and prosperity."


"Terror As A Strategy"


Conservative ABC reflected (10/28):  "As Colin Powell himself has admitted, the persistence and the strength shown by Iraqi terrorism is greater than U.S. analysts expected....   Maybe the allied intelligence must be held accountable for its mistakes in its evaluation of the situation they were going to find after the destruction of Saddam's regime....   The post-war scenario is getting complicated, but there is no other alternative than the defeat of the terrorism... because Iraq has turned into the main battle front of the war declared on September 11, 2001 against western societies and values."  


SWEDEN:  "Enemies Of Peace"


Independent, liberal Stockholm Expressen asserted (10/29):  “The perpetrators of terror stop at nothing.  Even Red Cross relief workers are now targets....  The situation in Iraq is paradoxical.  On the one side there are signs of normalization...and on the other the opposition against the U.S. occupation is more deadly, and the armed attacks more sophisticated....  It is not a daring guess to assume that al-Qaida has interfered in Iraq to make the country the new frontier in the Holy War.  The aim seems to be to undermine the U.S. vision of Iraq becoming a model country in the region by obstructing the rebuilding process and spreading fear in the country.  Iraqis and relief workers should be discouraged from cooperating with the occupation force in order to make the U.S. stand naked and bewildered.  Calculations are to make the conflict a downright U.S. vs. Islam one.  Therefore it is very important for the U.S. to make everything right in Iraq.  The margin for error is extremely limited considering the massive anti-Americanism that exists all over the Arab world....  But the U.S. cannot yield to various kinds of extremists ranging from Saddam-faithfuls in the Sunni triangle around Baghdad to hot-tempered Shia-priests in the South.  However, their influence is decreasing and the U.S. is (slowly) gaining the confidence of the silent majority in Iraq.”


"Logic Of Death"


The conservative Stockholm morning  Svenska Dagbladet noted (10/28):  "Yesterday’s attack against the Red Cross is typical of the cowardly tactics of terrorist networks to murder innocent people to inflict the largest possible damage as an answer to the successful Donors’ Conference....  More of this will likely follow since the terrorists are in a hurry to claim even more victims before the rebuilding of Iraq has resulted in a new civil society and a peaceful Iraqi rule that can give Iraqis a decent life.  But instigating mass murder is a strange way to begin Ramadan, isn’t it?"


TURKEY:  "Time For Making A Decision In Washington" 


Mass appeal Milliyet’s Washington correspondent Yasemin Congar observed (10/27):  “The Iraq issue, however, poses a serious dilemma for Washington because of the growing public opposition and the increasing need for more soldiers and more money to ensure security.  It remains to be seen when and how this serious dilemma will be resolved by the Bush administration.… Given the circumstances, Washington is now close to a decision to change its earlier decision about dissolving the Iraqi national army.  There is growing speculation in Washington that the U.S. will ask the Iraqi army to return to the barracks.  Such a decision would not include Saddam’s Republican Guards.… The coming weeks will determine the Bush administration’s vision.  But in questions regarding the timing about these decisions, the most common answer is ‘sometime after Ramadan.'"




Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass appeal Sabah (10/27): “Things in Iraq, at least on the ‘micro’ scale, are not too bad.  There are many things visibly improved as far as social life is concerned.  But the fact is that the big picture is not encouraging.  The growing danger of instability is serious enough to cast a shadow over the accomplishments in other fields.  The Iraq issue is the number one priority on the agenda for Washington.  Policy makers have intensified their thinking to do something about Iraq so that President Bush can win the 2004 election.  It seems that whatever the details of the new policies will be, their essence will be to give more sovereignty to the Iraqis.”




ISRAEL:  "On The Road To Hell"


Veteran op-ed writer and the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assistant Eytan Haber opined in the lead editorial of mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/29):  "The American empire will not collapse as a result of the terror attacks in Iraq, but if these continue at the present rate--and they will probably increase--the Iraqis will wear the Americans out, and first and foremost President George Bush.... The sad conclusion is that America--with all of its billions, with all of the satellites and sensors, with the equipment that is unparalleled by any other country--is now on the defensive in Iraq, while the terrorists are knocking its soldiers around....  The most important conclusion from our standpoint, the Israelis, is that we must not even think about the possibility of an American defeat in Iraq, and must do everything permissible to help the Americans.  Their defeat in Iraq could, heaven forbid, have far-reaching consequences for the Middle East and the free world in the struggle against the Muslim world.  As far as Israel is concerned, there is only the American side, which must win--and impressively so.  Any other alternative is unthinkable."


"How Does One Get Out of This?"


Liberal op-ed writer Ofer Shelach commented in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (10/28): "Even those who believed that Bush went to war without justification or sufficient attention to its consequences must wish a good ending to this affair, somehow.  A hasty withdrawal from Iraq, which could be one single big bombing away...would spell disaster for the West and Israel.  It would show to the extremists in the Muslim world that it is possible to overcome the world's greater power through the force of cruel, determined and uninhibited men.... A war with no achievable aims could be lost to a much lesser adversary....  Less than a year after [the invasion of Iraq] Saddam Hussein is still alive, terrorism is striking under his direction or without it, and the greatest power on earth is scratching its head in embarrassment, and asking itself how one gets out of this."


EGYPT:  "The Dangerous Situation In Iraq"


Leading pro-government Al Ahram’s editorialized (10/29):  “Will the American people be willing to have their sons pay the price of a war when the causes of it have proven faulty?...  Iraqis do not accept American occupation.  The U.S., leader of the free world and sponsor of freedom, democracy, and independence, must live up to its principles.  It must give authority to Iraqis and involve the U.N. in Iraq until a national government is elected--that is, if Washington does not want to repeat the Vietnam scenario.”


"The Rest Is Yet To Come"


Galal Doweidar, editor-in-chief of pro-government Al Akhbar, advised (10/28):  “Who is responsible for the bloody happenings Iraq witnesses everyday and which reflect a chaotic security?  There is no explanation except that it reflects the failure and inability of American occupation forces, despite a wealth of equipment and men, to control the situation....  The only way out before this turns into a quagmire and trap is to restore authority to Iraqis as soon as possible.”


"America Follows In Israel’s Footsteps"


Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar columnist Soheir Gabr wrote (10/28):  “The war of liberation has turned into a security problem in protecting American soldiers.  Whole areas are being punished or there is retaliation against entire ethnic groups.  American soldiers have started mass punishments and they are now destroying crops to force farmers to turn in names of relatives who have enrolled in the resistance.”


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Lack Of Security"


 Mecca's conservative Al-Nadwa editorialized (10/29):  "The most dangerous aspect of the recent attacks in Iraq was that those attacks were not directly against the occupying forces--their victims included Iraqis.  The attacks might be aimed at starting a civil war among the Iraqi people, to convince them through violent means not to collaborate with the occupation troops, or to drag Iraq into total chaos.


"America's Biggest Mistake"


Abha's moderate Al-Watan observed (10/29):  "Although we reject these bombing operations, since they primarily targeted Iraqi civilians, they nevertheless sent a strong message to the decision-makers in the White House: that they are unable to control the security situation in Iraq.  Winning a conventional war does not mean full control of Iraq.'


"Targeting Compassion"


Jeddah's English-language Arab News observed (10/29):  "By attacking the Red Crescent, those behind this outrage seek to make the lives of ordinary Iraqis even more miserable....  To strike on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan is an affront to Islam....  Who are these bombers?  The U.S. has said that they may be foreigners, pointing the finger specifically at Syrians.  Given the state of U.S.-Syrian relations, this could be deliberate disinformation, designed to stir up Iraqi resentment against its neighbor....  It would be an even bigger tragedy if the Red Crescent and the many other humanitarian agencies working in the country were now to decide to pull out because of this act of evil.  Never has Iraq's need for them been greater.  If they do pull out, the killers will have won a major victory."


"Dangers Of The Current Iraqi Crisis"


Dammam's moderate, Al-Yaum opined (10/28): Since the incursion of American troops in Iraq, the security situation there has gotten worse and worse...  The states of the world, especially the major ones, should not adopt a passive attitude toward the dangerous events in Iraq but must undertake a peaceful initiative to save Iraq from its current dilemma


JORDAN:  "Wolfowitz Under Fire"


Jamil Nimri commented in independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (10/27):  “Paul Wolfowitz...was lucky to have had the experience of personally understanding the meaning of drowning in the Iraqi swamp, as 29 missiles were launched at the hotel where he was staying.  The operation indicates the effectives of the resistance and the high degree of its organization, and that was not the only resistance action that day....  Does this say anything to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz?  If his answer is no, it is not so for the American people....  The U.S. administration will definitely not conclude that it must pack its troops out and leave Iraq for the strongest to take over.  Yet, the U.S. administration may conclude that its mission is not to be victorious over the resistance, to squash it and put an end to its existence, but to pull the rug from under its feet through political steps that nullify the reason for its existence.”


LEBANON:  "More Than A Crime, A Political Mistake"


An editorial by Talal Salman in Arab nationalist As-Safir claimed (10/28):  “We have to voice our objection to the mass killing operations that were committed in Baghdad yesterday in the name of resisting American occupation....  It is imperative that we re-clarify the line between resisting occupation by taking united positions that would eventually lead to independence...and between committing massacres against humanitarian organizations that are not serving the occupation, or against the poor Iraqis who left their homes to work.  What happened yesterday in Baghdad is a crime fact, it is worse than a crime, it is a fatal political mistake....  Such political mistakes only help justify crimes committed by the occupation....  Accuracy in specifying a target is the best weapon for a resistance.  Furthermore, the credibility and reputation of resistance are linked to its concern for the life of its citizens.  But killing for the sake of killing without any distinction between targets only distorts the resistance.”


"What Resistance Project Is Confronting The Occupation Project?"


An editorial by Rafiq Khoury in centrist Al-Anwar (10/28):  “Ending occupation is a normal target for all the Iraqis...however, there is a big difference between a resistance that wants to end occupation in order to establish a national democratic regime, and a resistance that aims at bringing back the former dictatorial regime.  Such a resistance will get the U.S. occupation to stay longer in Iraq....  Going towards chaos and the unknown will not damage the U.S. and the west.  It will damage the Iraqis and the Arab nations that are really seeking democratic change.  It will also inflict damage on regimes that want to protect their current status quo."


SYRIA:  "Failure of Wolfowitz"


Khaled al-Ashhab commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (10/29):  "What is exceptional in the experience of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, is that a U.S. official like Paul Wolfowitz was targeted by the resistance....  Wolfowitz is not an ordinary official;  He is a mastermind of the U.S. policy who plays a pivotal role in the Bush administration along with Richard Pearle.  Both have formulated the sacred message of America in assessing and reforming the world and characterizing the 'good' and the 'evil'.  Both have designed the post-9/11 America, but both have failed, along with Dick Cheney, in designing America in the post-war Iraq....  The failure of Wolfowitz and other U.S. extremists began the moment they imagined that Iraqis would receive Americans with flowers at Um Qasr and that Iraqi clay can be reshaped and generalized among Iraq's neighbors in the region in a new Sykes-Picot."


"U.S. Failure In Iraq"  


Fouad Mardoud, chief editor of government-owned Syria Times asserted (10/28):  "Death may be around any corner in Iraq.... President Bush's post-war policy is an abysmal failure....  Iraq today has no security, or democracy.... U.S. soldiers' main mission has been confined to protect themselves. That is the bottom line for President Bush's record in Iraq.... Lots of politicians and presidents fail, but President Bush's failure under these circumstances is a matter of life and death. It has become necessary for him to reexamine the reasons for his failure and to realize that his failure has provided Sharon with the opportunity to implement his aggressive policy in the occupied Palestinian territories and to escalate threats against other Arab countries, mainly Syria. The fact is that the Bush Administration has much a harder time justifying war and occupation when the search for Iraq's WMD is making progress on the ground – and a harder time for giving excuses for the U.S. failure to control security.  Can anyone believe that this trend will be reversed by more U.S. measures? That is a message that U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, who is visiting Iraq now should be taking back to President Bush: There can be no security with occupation."


TUNISIA: "Iraq: A Dash Towards Vietnamization"


Manoubi Akrout charged in independent French-language Le Quotidien (10/28): “Americans know very well that they have trapped themselves in the Iraqi quagmire, but of course, as they did in Vietnam, they will continue their occupation without taking into account the number of killed and injured on both sides.…  We’ve been hearing about the increasing number of deserters among the U.S. soldiers who want to leave the Iraqi hell...the number of suicides among the GI’s is also increasing....  Unfortunately, this scenario is not new to the Americans when compared with their war in Vietnam.... The stories of national pride are always complicated, and persons who want to prove that they are right even when acting against logic.  It is also more complicated when it concerns the world’s superpower and even much more complicated, when considering what Iraq represents in terms of  strategic and cultural interests.”




INDIA:  "Reality Hits Rumsfeld"


An editorial in the nationalist Hindustan Times stated (10/27):  “President Bush’s decision to set up a panel under National Security Adviser Condolezza Rice behind Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s back to look after Iraq seems to have persuaded the latter to take a long, hard look at the war....   It is possible that Rumsfeld will now see why the German foreign minister had told him before the war that he was not convinced by the American case, and understand why there were so many anti-war demonstration seven in countries which supported the war, like Britain and Spain. Unlike the White House and the Pentagon, they all visualized the possibility of the Americans being regarded in the entire Muslim world as invaders out to garb Iraq’s oil and bolster Israel’s security at the cost of the Palestinians.  The writing was on the wall long before Rumsfeld saw it.”


PAKISTAN: "The Baghdad Hell"


An editorial in the center-right Urdu Pakistan (10/29):  "Not a day goes by in Iraq without a suicide attack....  America would have had a justification for its effort to remove Saddam Hussein and killing thousands of innocent Iraqis had it established complete control over Iraq and succeeded in running the occupied country peacefully.  But Iraq is vibrating daily with explosions, blood is being shed and this land of Thousand and One Nights has become a nightmare....  America must learn a lesson from history.  If that is not possible, it must look at what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan and review its policy of global dominance.  The world to need a 'live and let live' policy more than ever.  America must also respect this principle and quit Iraq." 


"Baghdad Chaos"


An editorial in Karachi-based center-left independent national English Dawn (10/29):  "The series of blasts that shook Baghdad and Fallujah on Monday and Tuesday shows in no uncertain terms that the U.S. occupation is facing determined resistance from the Iraqis....  Washington should prepare for an early and honorable exist by handing over Iraq to the UN in stages. Once in full control, the world body could then make arrangements to have the country policed by a truly international peacekeeping force followed by elections."


"Lesson From Iraq War"


Sensationalist pro-Jihad Urdu daily Ummat declared (10/28):  "The timing of these blasts, their target and the intensity are enough to prove that despite all the security arrangements of U.S. and allied forces, their sophisticated weaponry and intelligence gathering, the occupation forces are not out of the revengeful reach of the Iraqis."


BANGLADESH:  "Mounting Violence In Iraq"


Independent English language newspaper Daily Star commentd (10/29): "It is pointless to term the attacks on U.S. soldiers and other installations as the misdeeds of Saddam’s followers as long as the new Iraq administration is seen as a puppet in the hands of the occupying power. Washington should waste no more time in accepting the global demand that the U.N. be given the central role in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country, restoration of its sovereignty and evolution of a political system that will lead to democratic governance.  Only then can the Bush administration hope to get support of Iraqi people.  It will also help end the war that has so far proved very costly in terms of both men and material."




AUSTRALIA:  "The Anti-Terrorist Arms Race"


An editorial in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (10/28) stated:  “A shaken Mr. Wolfowitz was right to insist the U.S. would not be 'cowed' into retreat.  The only morally credible exit strategy for the U.S. is the substantial reconstruction of Iraq and its civil institutions.  That is a difficult and expensive long-term project which cannot be achieved unless the U.S. occupying forces restore law and order.  Yet, the U.S. occupation is the raison d'etre of the terrorists' escalating campaign.  Mr. Wolfowitz's promise to free the Iraqi people 'from these types of criminals' and to 'protect American people from this kind of terrorism' is an even more complicated proposition.  There is a fatal flaw in attempting to meet the amorphous terrorist threat--either locally or globally--by reaching for a bigger gun.  The increasing terrorist violence in Iraq despite a very large U.S. military presence makes this point."


CHINA:  "U.S. On The Horns Of A Dilemma"


Tao Wenzhao commented in the official English-language China Daily (10/29):  “The international community does not want to 'foot the bill' for the Iraq War and the burden of reconstruction still weighs heavily on the U.S.' shoulders.  The U.S. is facing a crisis in Iraq on all sides....  Unilateralism has not gone 'from victory to victory' in Iraq.  Instead, it is in a quandary.  How to get out of it is the American's next difficult choice.  If the U.S. insists on monopolizing all power there, it will have to take on the long-term burden....  Anti-terrorism and national defence used to be strengths of the Bush Administration, serving to shore up the president's approval ratings.  Now they have turned into weaknesses, much to the chagrin of his advisers.  If the U.S. agrees to share power with the UN, it would be tantamount to admitting to the failure of unilateralism.” 


INDONESIA:  "Blunder In Iraq"


Independent Koran Tempo commented (10/29):  “The recent waves of attacks and suicide bombings in Iraq only confirmed one thing: a blunder in U.S. foreign policy, one that the world community had warned of before the invasion, but that Washington had not wanted to listen to, a blunder that has forced the world community to be faced with the consequences....  Obviously the recent attacks have been directed at any party that seeks to 'reconstruct’ Iraq, a euphemism for occupation.  UN and international organizations are not seen as different from the U.S. occupational administration.…  The reconstruction and the democratization process in Iraq must be under UN, not U.S. control.  Otherwise, the UN would only serve as a ‘lackey’ of American occupation in Iraq.  And by not keeping its distance from the U.S., the UN will only become a target of the opposition’s attacks as it has thus far.”       


"Situation In Iraq Worsens, Red Cross Not Immune From Attack"


Leading independent Kompas commented (10/29):  “Instead of getting better, the situation in Iraq is quickly worsening....  Apparently, the attackers had intentionally targeted the Red Cross office to gain worldwide publicity.  The Red Cross was stunned, and so was the U.S. and world community.… No matter who the masterminds and the attackers, the series of bombing and sniping aimed at driving the U.S.-British forces out of Iraq and the U.S. seems to have lost control in dealing with the messy situation in Iraq.”


MALAYSIA:  "U.S. Struggling To Remain On Iraqi Soil."


Government-influenced Berita Harian opined (10/29):  "Clearly the protests by Iraqis against the U.S. occupation cannot be ignored.  The attacks on the hotel occupied by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and on the ICRC building is said to have been committed by groups loyal to Saddam Hussein.  However, President Bush stated that these attacks were committed by those who were not happy about the successes of the U.S. in rebuilding Iraq.  Though many Iraqis have been hurt in these attacks, the main target is the U.S. forces.  Bush has already given his troops the news that the U.S. military will remain in Iraq.  The terrorists in Iraq are ready to do whatever to block any efforts by the U.S. to rebuild Iraq.  We denounce terrorism and the violence that has caused many loss of lives, but we need to be wary of U.S. claims that Syrian nationals are involved in any of these attacks, because it may very well be a U.S. ruse to allow it to attack Syria."




CANADA: "Resolute In The Face Of Terrorism In Iraq"


The leading Globe and Mail opined (10/28): "The terrorists know that, despite their best attempts, things are slowly getting better in Iraq.... The aim of the terrorists is to crush this gathering sense of optimism. They know that if they sow chaos and terror, many Iraqis will blame the Americans for failing to provide security. Rather than step forward to take part in the transition, they will huddle in their homes. It will become harder and harder to recruit Iraqis to staff the new police force, to serve as administrators or to compete for political office. The Americans will be forced to take tougher and tougher measures to crack down on the insurgents, and those measures will further alienate ordinary Iraqis. This is the vicious circle that the terrorists are trying to create. There is nothing senseless about it. How does the United States, and the world at large, respond? To put it simply, by standing firm.... If the insurgents wrecked Iraq's transition to order and democracy, it would embolden terrorist movements around the globe. They cannot, must not, be allowed to succeed."


"Bringing Justice To Iraq's Terrorists"


The conservative National Post opined (10/28): "We have no doubt that the U.S. and coalition forces are taking this guerrilla war seriously. But it is time to get even more serious. Efforts to track down the sources of these well-orchestrated terrorist attacks must be ratcheted up. The organizers - no doubt a crew of Saddam loyalists joined by jihadis from Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran - must be hunted down. If it requires taking a page from the Israeli playbook and bulldozing the terrorists' homes, so be it. This is war."


"Iraq's 'Liberators' Need To Regroup"


The liberal Toronto Star commented (10/28): "U.S. President George Bush sees nothing more than the 'desperate' acts of a few renegades in the wave of Baghdad terror bombings that have taken 40 lives in the past few days and wounded 230. American military commanders, however, fear something much worse.... With every passing day, Iraq becomes a bigger challenge than many Americans imagined.  Having shattered Saddam's regime, to the delight of many Iraqis, they are making themselves unwelcome occupiers. Rather than deny that a problem exists, Bush should invite the U.N. to assume political responsibility for restoring Iraqi sovereignty as quickly as possible, backed up by U.S. firepower. The world should then provide the moral support, additional troops and resources needed to deny Saddam and his cronies a comeback, and to secure democratic self-rule."


ARGENTINA:  "A Direct Shot To The White House's Heart"


Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion, wrote (10/28): "Yesterday's brutal attacks in Baghdad were a direct shot to George W. Bush's heart.  The vulnerability of U.S. occupation forces in Iraq, which cannot break the guerrilla's resistance, can have a devastating effect on the president's political future....   In this framework, Bush appears today as a more vulnerable president than in the past. Last Saturday, there was a massive demonstration in Washington D.C. claiming for the return of U.S. troops and the end of the military occupation, which makes apparent a general feeling of anguish due to the effect and duration of war... Military experts think a likely scenario for Baghdad is the same of the endless Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This is to say, permanent and unstoppable suicide attacks.... The general feeling is that although Bush won the first stage of the war after having removed the Iraqi regime, he can now lose the other big battle, which is to rapidly transfer power--as demanded yesterday by France and Germany--without violence or chaos."


BRAZIL:  "Lost In The Iraqi Labyrinth"


Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo editorialized (10/28):  "The goals of the suicide attacks in Baghdad are clear: to prevent the normalization of life in Iraq and, especially, to demoralize the invaders by demonstrating that the Americans are unable to guarantee their own security, much less that of others....  There is no evidence that the Americans know how the insurgents work and who they are....  Secstate Colin Powell's admission [that the U.S. did not expect armed resistance to the occupation to last so long and be so intense] is unsettling after so many warnings by those who opposed the war....  The Pentagon's complete dominance when it comes to White House decisions has alienated the UN and diverted resources from the fight against the real enemy--Osama bin Laden's al Qaida--to eradicate the false Iraqi threat....  There are no easy ways out of the Iraqi labyrinth.  Those that exist, although difficult, will require a 'demilitarization' of U.S. foreign policy--more Powell, less Rumsfeld--and this is something unthinkable in the Bush administration.  But this is why the U.S. may have another president in 2005."


"Pressure In Iraq"


Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo remarked (10/28): "Violence in Iraq seems far from being controlled.... Theoretically, it is even possible, as President Bush wants [to see it], that the intensification of violence is a symptom of the despair of anti-U.S. forces in view of the progress achieved by the coalition. But Bush has not presented the facts to prove his hypothesis.... In objective terms, Iraqi guerrilla action has only increased since Bush declared the end of principal combat operations almost seven months ago.... The attacks carried out by the resistance have become more numerous and complex. Indications are that the guerrillas are becoming organized and are not dispersing.... The situation may go on this way for an indefinite period. Obviously, time does not favor Washington, which is spending US$1 billion every week to keep its army of occupation in Iraq."


CHILE:  "Death In Iraq"


Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion remarked (10/28):  "The Ramadan festivities had a bloody start.  Five attacks on Sunday...have left about 40 dead and 250 injured....  President Bush said yesterday that the attacks are a reflection of the Iraqi resistance desperation in the face of U.S. accomplishments.  This is a view that is hard to understand in light of the devastation....  But the bottom line is that since the war concluded, violence has steadily increased, which shows that the most powerful country on the planet was able to occupy Iraq but has been unable to control it.  And by what we are seeing, it never will....  The human cost of this adventure--that began with the excuse of preventing Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction that have not yet been found--has been too high.  The principal victims are the Iraqi people.  But so are the U.S. soldiers sent to fight a stupid war.  In this context, it is an illusion to believe that the reconstruction of Iraq can begin under U.S. occupation.  What is likely to happen is that the resistance will continue to be seen, as brutally as over the past hours, and that the donors will have to wait for Iraq to go back to being a sovereign nation." 


"Explosions In Iraq And The Need For A Less Exclusionary Administration"


Independent, leftist, on-line news service El Mostrador ran an op-ed by Juan Francisco Coloane stating (10/28): "It is increasingly evident that pacifying the Arab country involves resorting to greater political wealth rather than to greater military might.  The problems lie in Paul Bremer's decision to eliminate the Baath party and any manifestation of resistance."



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