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Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

October 8, 2003

October 8, 2003





**  Turkey's vote to send troops is a triumph for national interests and a "relief" for the U.S.


**  Domestic considerations and the minimal UN role make Indian military assistance unlikely.


**  Pakistan is resolutely opposed to lending a "helping hand," regardless of the UN's role.




'Turkey has done the right thing'--  Mass-appeal Turkish dailies lauded the vote to send troops to Iraq.  Analysts hailed it as a victory for national interests: "With this decision, Turkey will take its place in the western world."  Islamist outlets were skeptical, fearing a resurgence of PKK terrorism and questioning "who is going to pay the bill?" for Turkey's "adventure."  In the Czech Republic, center-right Lidove noviny urged Washington and Europe to "take off their hats" to Erdogan; Italy's centrist Corriere della Sera judged the decision a "relief" for the Bush administration.  Left-leaning European papers remained wary of Turkey's presence in Iraq.  According to Italy's La Repubblica, Turkey's return to its former colonial stomping grounds will complicate the "delicate" situation in northern Iraq. 


Indians stressed UN leadership would turn a 'no-win' situation into a 'win-win deal'--  Indian editorialists uniformly opposed military commitment without increased UN involvement, but diverged regarding India's role should the U.S.-backed resolution pass.  Centrist Navashakti declared the Iraq war "a sophisticated form of terrorism" and exhorted PM Vajpayee to resist U.S. pressure.  The centrist Asian Age derided Bush for living by the "principles of George Washington" at home and the "rules of Rudyard Kipling abroad."  Across the ideological spectrum, analysts cited domestic considerations to oppose involvement in Iraq without a UN mandate, but most contended that India "would not be averse" to sending forces under UN auspices.  With elections looming in five states, writers noted that "dead jawans...would not be good vote catchers" for the ruling BJP.  Others concluded that assisting the U.S. in Iraq would spark terrorism from Pakistan and further complicate the conflict over Kashmir.


Pakistan should not abet U.S. 'aggression and occupation'--  Pakistani writers argued that "national and regional insecurities" should dictate Islamabad's decision to commit troops to Iraq.  According to the centrist News, Pakistani assistance would incite domestic terrorism and be religiously "taboo" for the Muslim nation.  Echoing a common sentiment, mass-appeal Jang opposed an expanded UN role, calling it "contrary to the role of the world organization."  Elements of schadenfreude permeated Islamist commentary, with sensationalist Ummat asserting the U.S. should "face the punishment of its follies" in Iraq.  Several outlets decried President Musharraf's alliance with the U.S.  The News branded Musharraf "beholden entirely" to Washington and warned that the U.S. would only "dump" Pakistan in the future, while center-left Dawn dubbed the U.S.-Pakistani "strategic partnership" a "pipe dream." 


EDITOR: Andrew Borda

EDITOR'S NOTED: This analysis is based on 75 editorials from 5 countries, September 1 - October 8, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




ITALY: “Now Turkey Runs To Help America”


Ennio Caretto commented centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (10/8): “Turkey runs to help America in Iraq, while in Baghdad three U.S. soldiers were killed....  In Washington, Ankara’s vote...brings relief.  The Pentagon is counting on all 10 thousand men: this is the largest foreign contingent following the British (11 thousand units), three times the size of the Italian contingent....  The killing of three U.S. soldiers and the wounding of six others in Baghdad amplify the importance of Ankara’s ‘yes’"


“Turkish Soldiers In Iraq”


Marco Ansaldo opined in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (10/8): “In an Iraq which every day is devastated by new attacks against U.S. soldiers...Turkey enters the arena with all its weight.  Ankara’s Parliament has decided with a majority of votes to allow its troops to participate in the stabilization force as requested by the United States.  This will be Turkey’s most important military mission in its history....  To complicate the decision, which in reality was being considered for a long time to mend the delicate relationship between the U.S. and Turkey--at historically low-levels after Ankara’s abrupt ‘no’ to the imminent conflict-- was the harsh reaction on the part of a few authoritative leaders of the transitional government in Baghdad....  But for Ankara the game has become complicated since the days of the war. Recent secret documents regarding an agreement between the U.S. and Turkey which recently came out in the open, have enumerated one by one all of the advantages Ankara lost in saying no--and particularly the geo-political control of the north-Iraqi territory under the Ottoman influence for centuries, the income from the oil wells near Mosul and Kirkuk, the possibility to get rid of the five thousand PKK warriors in the bases located beyond the border.  This was the biggest reason that made Erdogan intervene. The economic situation in Turkey is still weak.”


“Turkish Soldiers in Iraq, Iraqi Government Alarmed”


Paolo Mastrolilli remarked in centrist, influential La Stampa (10/8): “Turkey wants to send its soldiers to Iraq to help the U.S. with the occupation, but at least one part of the local provisional government council does not want them there because they’re afraid they could end up getting their hands on domestic policy issues.  This is the latest peculiarity of this post war, that yesterday witnessed the death of three more U.S. soldiers and an interpreter....  On one hand, Ankara fears that Saddam’s fall will re-trigger the Kurds quest for independence....  On the other hand, the Kurds fear that Erdogan will try to impose his country’s influence on the new Iraq....  The Americans, however, need help, as we saw yesterday."




Michaela Rozov wrote in centre-right Lidove noviny (10/8):  "Not only the Americans, but also the part of Europe, which has not provided any assistance to Iraq yet, should take off their hat to Turkey whose parliament passed the proposal of Premier Erdogan to send 10,000 Turkish soldiers to Iraq....  However, considering the history of Turkish discrimination of Kurds, it is necessary to organize Turkey's engagement in Iraq in such a way as to not jeopardize the rights of Iraqi Kurds.  The Americans should also bear this in mind in fighting terrorists from the Kurdish separatist organization KADEK, which they pledged to the Turks to do in exchange for their help.  Otherwise the presence of the Turks could complicate even more the situation in Iraq."


TURKEY: “Turkey Begins Its Iraq Adventure”


Murat Yetkin wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (10/8): “Turkey has launched its adventure in Iraq following the parliament’s authorization.  Now the talk is about the upcoming meetings with the U.S. regarding Turkey’s mission.  Turkey is likely to control the area north of Baghdad with a brigade.  If other Muslim countries such as Pakistan contribute to the Turkish brigade, it would go a long way toward eliminating the current “crusader” image of the occupying force.  It is also obvious that Kurdish groups are reacting negatively because they fear losing their gains with the presence of Turkish forces.  Such objections will not have an effect in the long run, but let us hope that the Kurdish groups will not shed blood in the short run.”


“This Is The Nation’s Will”


Ertugrul Ozkok wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (10/8): “Turkey has made an historically important decision, and Turkey has done the right thing....  The same Turkish parliament’s previous decision was a negative one.  Today the parliament voted for the deployment of troops.  The former was interpreted as a ‘victory of democracy,’ but the latter should be viewed in the same context....  with this decision, Turkey will take its place in the western world and distance itself from post-cold-war turbulence.  Turkish forces will not serve in Iraq for the sake of the 8.5 billion dollars.  Turkish forces will protect Turkey’s regional interests and ensure regional peace by serving in Iraq.”




Fehmi Koru argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (10/8): “Both Washington and London have failed dramatically in their estimations and calculations for Iraq.  The Iraqis were happy to get rid of Saddam, but they did not welcome the occupation forces.  The Iraqi people’s reaction turned into resistance in a short period of time.  This is the main reason for the U.S. asking Turkey to join the effort....  Are we ready for the consequences if the calculations based on which the Turkish parliament based its decision are proven false?  Are we prepared for the consequences if the internal balances are turned upside down?  If we face a similar failure as the U.S. and UK, who is going to pay the bill?” 


“Iraq Is Not The Most Important Piece”


Hadi Uluengin commented in mass-appeal Hurriyet (10/7): “Regardless of whether or not Turkey deploys troops in Iraq, we should realize the fact that the gist of the Middle East issue does not stem from Iraq.  Actually, it never did.  The heart of the issue is the ongoing Israel-Palestine dispute, and it will continue to be so....  Normalization of the Middle East region will remain a far-fetched dream as long as the Israel-Palestine dispute remains unresolved.  The U.S. is the only power that can effect such a positive change, yet the Bush administration has no will to do so....  Unfortunately, the problem will likely grow even bigger in the days to come.  The whole world will once again realize that the  essence of the Middle East problem goes through Israel and Palestine, not Baghdad and Kirkuk.”


"Joint Action With The U.S."


Hasan Cemal commented in mass-appeal Milliyet (10/3): “The issue of PKK-KADEK has played a key role on the troop deployment issue.  Therefore, following the agreement on a joint action plan to eliminate the PKK-KADEK in Iraq, Turkey has come closer to sending its troops to Iraq....  The U.S. has never officially made a link between Turkey’s sending troops to Iraq and U.S. efforts to eliminate the PKK, yet according to my diplomatic sources, such a linkage actually makes sense....  Nevertheless, Turkey should be realistic about its expectations from the U.S.  There are limits even for the U.S. under the special conditions in Northern Iraq.  It goes without saying that these limits will be pushed back at some point, yet a realistic approach is best.  It is also very wrong to limit Turkey-U.S. cooperation in Iraq to the PKK-KADEK issue.”


“The PKK?”


Erdal Guven opined in liberal-intellectual Radikal (10/3): “Talks in Ankara with the U.S. about the fight against terrorism have moved into a strange context.  Ankara has raised the PKK once again as a military threat.  The fact is that Turkey is one of the very few places where a terrorist threat has been eliminated solely through military means....  But the military’s progress against the PKK has not been continued in the socio-political field, despite some recent steps taken to fulfill EU conditions.  In its talks with the U.S., however, Turkey seems to be working to resurrect the PKK as a military threat....  The way Turkey has handled the issue gives the impression that Ankara is asking the U.S. to make a choice between itself and the PKK.  This is a serious tactical flow.  It not only overlooks Turkish-American cooperation on the issue so far, but also pairs the PKK with Turkey in an odd way....  This may be a domestic political game of the ruling AKP.  The government might be working on public opinion to give the following message:  ‘Turkey will send its troops to Iraq, and in return the U.S. will eliminate the PKK from Iraq.’  It looks like this is the tactic that the government is trying to pursue.”


“Can Kurds In Iraq Be the Winner?”


Kamuran Ozbir commented in nationalist Ortadogu (10/1): “Before the war, Iraqi Kurds enjoyed a privileged status compared to the other ethnic groups in Iraq.  Now the Kurds have to decide whether they will support the plan for Iraq developed by the Bush administration.  The U.S. plan will likely ignore the expectations of the Kurds.  Before and during the war, the U.S. was in need of the Kurds.  Today, they are no longer necessary for the U.S., since American forces are in control of the country....  Once Iraq is fully reestablished, the Kurds will lose their autonomy.  Moreover the U.S. administration is not supporting the Kurds’ argument for independence, as is clear from U.S. official remarks about a unified Iraq....  It seems that the Kurds will be on the losing side.”


“Possibility Of Changing U.S. Policy On Iraq”


Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/30): “Is there any possibility that the U.S. administration will change its Iraq policy?  The Bush administration does not even consider changing the basics of the policy, yet Washington is also willing to give a greater role to the UN.  The Bush administration’s policy is based on unilateral, preemptive action.  This approach reflect the self-assured attitude of the United States.  Given the circumstances, no significant change is likely in American policy toward the region....  On the other hand, a change in the U.S. administration would probably not lead to much change either....  In the event of a Democratic administration, we should only expect more cooperation with the international community and some rhetorical changes.”


“The Cost Of The U.S. Loan”


Sedat Ergin wrote in mass-appeal Hurriyet (9/28):  “Turkey has apparently accepted a U.S. condition that Turkish troops not be sent unilaterally into northern Iraq in order to receive the $ 8.5 billion credit.  In fact, northern Iraq is not the only condition on the loan.  The loan will be suspended if Turkey does not cooperate with the U.S. in Iraq, and does not share efforts for the stabilization of the country....  The timing of the deal was also very interesting: the loan was signed two days following the expiration of the Turkish parliament’s authorization providing a mandate to the Turkish government to deploy troops in northern Iraq as needed."


“The Northern Iraq Condition”


Fikret Bila judged in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/28):  “The financial deal between Turkey and the U.S. is conditioned to keep Turkey out of northern Iraq.  This shows once again that the interests of the two Kurdish groups, PUK and KDP, are a higher priority for the U.S. than Turkey’s interests.  The agreement clearly indicates that U.S. policy is not to allow Turkey to use unilateral force in northern Iraq.  In fact, this condition is going to serve not only the interest of the PUK and KDP, but also the PKK/KADEK’s interests as well....  Turkey should develop new policies for both northern Iraq and Iraq as a whole.  The current Turkish policy is based on a rhetoric that suggests Turkey will use force in Northern Iraq as needed.  But this approach is no longer valid under the current circumstances.  The fact of the matter is that Ankara is incapable of shaping policies free of U.S. influence, and thus it should stop deceiving Turkish public opinion.”


“Sending Turkish Troops To Iraq”


Nuri Elibol wrote in conservative-mass appeal Turkiye (9/24): “Turkey’s military engagement in Iraq contains both advantages and risks.  The government will have to make an assessment of the pros and cons, and reach a final decision accordingly.  There are two main factors that will directly influence the decision-making process--the U.S. response on the PKK/KADEK issue, and the language of the expected UNSC resolution.  Things will be a lot easier for the Turkish government action if the U.S. can come up with satisfactory assurances about the PKK/KADEK and if the UN resolution establishes an international force under a UN umbrella.”


“New Situation In Iraq”


Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/24): “The situation in Iraq has changed in the post-war era as Turkey once again discusses whether to send troops there.  Compared to the situation before the war, the current conditions in Iraq are riskier for Turkey, and the advantages are less obvious.  In the event of a Turkish military presence in Iraq, the Turks will not be in charge of Northern Iraq, and Turkish troops will work under more restrictive terms and conditions than in a war-time situation....  There is one crucial aspect for Turkey, which is the elimination of the PKK in northern Iraq.  The resolution of this issue depends on the stance of the U.S.  If the Bush administration does not adopt a determined and transparent policy on this issue, sending Turkish soldiers to Iraq will once again be a tough decision for both the government and the parliament.”


“Everybody Has A Different Game Card”


Nilgun Cerrahoglu argued in social democrat-intellectual Cumhuriyet (9/22): “The Berlin summit ended in complete failure due to the fact that the three leaders had a different agenda for Iraq.  Blair, who continues to adhere to the Bush line, continues to look for a limited UN resolution that would pave the way for foreign troop deployments in Iraq.  On this subject, three prominent countries keep popping up: Turkey, India and Pakistan.  According to the Bush-Blair plan, the U.S. will retain political as well as military authority.  The German and French leaders do not support this approach, and their stance clearly demonstrates the diplomatic failure of the Bush-Blair duo....  Turkey, on the other hand, is a picture of weakness.  Ankara does not want to upset Washington, and economic benefits are playing a significant role in the decision-making mechanism.  In fact, the U.S. is in a helpless situation given the lack of international legitimacy and the absence of a real political strategy.   Under these circumstances, why should Turkey consider throwing itself into the fire?”


“Confusion Over Iraq”


Taha Akyol observed in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/19):  “Turkish troops have accomplished social successes in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan....  Those who wish Iraq to become another Vietnam are dreaming.  Iraq’s geography and demography do not provide a suitable ground for it.  Ethnic and religious civil wars might erupt in Iraq, which will mean catastrophe for all including Turkey.  Such a catastrophe would bring a politically costlier bill for the U.S. than the Vietnam war.  Turkey could play a significant role in bringing stability to Iraq, but such a contribution depends on an American assurance to eliminate the PKK presence in the region.”


“Turkey Going Into Iraq To Guard Turkish Currency”


Mehmet Ali Birand commented in mass-appeal Posta (9/19): “No matter how much Turkey will protest it, a sovereign Kurdish state in Northern Iraq will come into existence if Washington and Tel Aviv one day agree on it....  Our troops to be deployed in Iraq can neither fight against Kurds to block their independence, nor launch any operation against the will of the U.S. forces in the region.  In the same sense, Turkey cannot carry out plans such as supporting the Turkomen or eliminating the PKK militants.  All the Turkish troops might accomplish could be gaining prestige and throwing its weight around....  A negative development like drawing the anger of the Bush Administration will be enough to disrupt the already fragile Turkish economy....  Interest rates will rise, and inflation will soar again.  However, a Turkey ready to deploy troops in Iraq will easily find support to recover its economy.  A Turkey ready to deploy troops in Iraq will make Washington regard the PKK issue from a different viewpoint.  To sum up, Turkish troops will be going into Iraq to protect Turkish currency.”


“Sending Troops To Iraq”


Cengiz Candar opined in mass-appeal DB-Tercuman (9/18): “The U.S. Administration, concerned about the upcoming elections and the rising cost of the Iraq bill, is planning to bring troops to Iraq from Muslim Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India....  Even conservative Republicans point to the possibility that the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy might end up as a fiasco....  They believe that Iraq’s Sunni/Arab zone, which is to be left under Turkish peacekeepers’ mandate, will become a safe haven for the Baath Party supporters....  Republican conservatives warn that Bush will suffer a significant loss of votes if the U.S. brings ‘improper’ peacekeepers to Iraq.  After his meetings in Iraq, Secretary Powell had qualified the issue of Turkish troops in the region as ‘sensitive.’”


“Orientalist Rhetoric On Iraq”


Akif Emre noted in Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak (9/18): “Americans’ occupation of Iraq not only targeted the physical resources of the region, but also aimed at destroying the memory of a civilization that goes beyond Iraq’s borders....  The U.S. has brought back to the region something unseen in American history--colonialism....  The main question that should be posed regarding Iraq is the number of civilians who have lost their lives under occupation....  Robert Fisk says that about 1000 Iraqi civilians are killed every week....  A large majority of these Iraqis are killed by American soldiers during raids or at checkpoints.  Panicky Americans pull the trigger without much thinking while fighting the Iraqis....  Is there an international institution to define this humanitarian crime?...  Our government said it would not become a police force for the Americans in Iraq.  Who are we going to protect in Iraq--the American troops there, or the Iraqi people from the American troops?”


“Would Turkish Troops Face Attack In Iraq?”


Cengiz Candar asserted in mass appeal DB-Tercuman (9/17):  “A large majority of the Iraqis are against Turkish troop presence in Iraq.  However, Americans want Turks in Iraq....  Remnants of the old Iraqi regime, Baath followers, and fundamentalists including the Wahabi will not hesitate to attack Turkish soldiers....  Each attack resulting in a Turkish injury is likely to cause new cracks in Turkey--U.S. relations and in domestic Turkish politics....  It is not that important whether the Iraqis want Turkish troops or not.  No matter if our politicians like it or not, Turkish soldiers will go to Iraq as a police force....  Iraq currently needs a peacemaking mission, not a peacekeeping task....  As David Ignatius of the WP put it, the old Turkey-U.S. relationship was a remnant of the Cold War and died on March 1.  With their decisions regarding Iraq, the two countries are now outlining the principles of a new relationship.”


“U.S. Ought To Intervene On PKK”


Mustafa Karaalioglu contended in Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak (9/17):  “U.S. cannot talk the PKK into benefiting from the Repentance Law.  The U.S. must physically intervene on the PKK and remove it from being a threat in Northern Iraq....  The U.S., UK, Poland, Bulgaria and, although indirectly, Israel are in Iraq, and we cannot simply watch and do nothing, says Foreign Minister Gul....  Groups that have political interests in Iraq are uncomfortable that Turkey will be going to Iraq not as an ordinary member of the international community, but as a neighbor sharing the same religion and culture.  They won’t be able to enjoy a comfortable margin of movement while Turkey is there, and are concerned that a Turkey interested in the current situation in Iraq will not remain aloof to the country’s future....  Turkey’s duration of stay under a roadmap in Iraq is equally as important as the decision to deploy troops.”


“A Turning Point In The Turkomen Cause”


Cengiz Candar opined in mass-appeal Sabah (9/16): “Ankara’s Turkomen policy after 1993 was based on using the Turkomen as a trump card against the Kurds in Iraq.  The Iraqi Turkoman Front (ITF) was formed as an umbrella organization that had close ties with Turkey’s intelligence organizations, and particularly with our Special Forces....  The Turkomen thus bore the brunt of deteriorating U.S., Turkey relations.  Turkomen are underrepresented in the newly formed Iraqi governing bodies, and since Washington regarded the ITF as an affiliate of the military in Ankara, the Turkomen community is excluded from Iraq’s rebuilding process.  The ITF Congress held in Kirkuk has been a turning point in the Turkomen cause....  The two leaders of the ITF, Faruk Abdurrahman and Professor Sadetin Ergec have been elected as Turkomen representatives for Baghdad and Kirkuk respectively, and this time, not by instructions from Ankara.  The new ITF administration will not be Ankara’s pawn anymore.  And also, the Shiite Turkomen, who have been excluded by Ankara thus far, are being lured into the ITF by the recent congress.  After this turning point in Kirkuk, the U.S. has got to change its view of the Turkomen.”


“The Realities”


Sami Kohen analyzed in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/10): “The State of the Union address caused concerns in Ankara over the Iraqi Kurds issue due to President Bush’s mention of ‘self government’ of northern Iraq....  American diplomats clarified to their Turkish counterparts that there is no diversion from the U.S. policy for territorial integrity of Iraq, and Bush’s remarks should not be misinterpreted....  This incident should make us more aware of a reality as well.  Turkey failed to be capable of forming a long-term strategy for Iraq instead of showing reaction to every single remarks from or about northern Iraq....  There are red lines drawn by Turkey, which already lost their practical value.  Turkey should revise its policy based on new situations and establish a progressive policy as opposed to the current ‘reaction-based ‘ policy.”


“A Dual Game”


Zafer Atay criticized in economic-politic Dunya (9/9): “The anti-Turkish, pro-Kurdish remarks by northern Iraqi Kurdish figures are not just ordinary comments.  Turkey should not underestimate these remarks, because they could not be possible without U.S. backing.  The U.S. is very much aware of Iraqi Kurdish sentiment about Turkey.  On the one hand the U.S. overlooks the anti-Turkish statements by Iraqi Kurds, and on the other hand Washington knocks on Turkey’s door for the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq....  There are two ways to explain this odd situation.  Either the U.S. administration is not influential enough on the Kurds, or the U.S. is playing a double game by working with Turkey and giving concessions to the Kurds at the same time.  Both possibilities are very bad.”


“We Can’t Merely Watch”


Yasemin Congar wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/8): “Some in Turkey tend to see the Iraqi Kurds as ‘puppets’ of the United States.  They therefore evaluate Iraqi Minister Zebari’s statements of opposition to a Turkish troop presence as an effort by the Americans to ‘play the Kurdish card.’  But anyone who follows this relationship closely can see that the Kurds do not simply follow U.S. orders....  Turkey’s government leaders have made a correct analysis, and concluded that the success of the U.S. in Iraq is in Turkey’s interests....  The U.S. wants a unitary Iraq that is moving on a path toward democracy, an Iraq that does not shelter terrorism, and an Iraq that will become a source of stability in the region.  Therefore, Turkey must work against the powers struggling against the establishment of such an Iraq....  President Bush, in a televised speech today, will urge the international community to increase cooperation in Iraq.  Ankara is happy with the Bush administration’s U-turn....  Turkish diplomats believe that the U.S. effort at the UN might encourage the Turkish parliament to adopt a decision to send troops to Iraq....  The decision to be taken by Turkish politicians will bring to them an historic responsibility.” 


“Why Should We Go To Iraq?”


Ali Bulac commented in conservative/opinion maker Zaman (9/8):  “Iraq’s infrastructure has totally collapsed, and the majority of the Iraqi population is struggling against hunger to survive.  Infant deaths are rising significantly.  The occupiers are carrying out disgraceful operations in which they arrest and humiliate people every day, including the violation of Iraqi women....  Turkey cannot look at the Iraqi tragedy through the eyes of America and the West....  Turkey must go to Iraq to help its Iraqi brothers, not the occupiers....  We don’t have scholars who can establish a dialog with the holders of social and political initiative, the Sunni and Shiite clerics in Iraq....  Human rights organizations should have reported ongoing violations in Iraq.  Humanitarian aid organizations should have organized extensive programs to help the Iraqi people.  Our medical organizations should have rushed to the help of dying Iraqi children.  In short, Turkey must go to Iraq with its brain and its heart.”


“Get Ready For A Kurdish State”


Mehmet Ali Birand stated in mass-appeal Posta (9/5): “In Iraq, only the Kurdish zone in the north has established the necessary elements for self-governance.  The Kurds have developed an infrastructure as well as education, health, and defense services, and they await Washington’s nod and protection to declare sovereignty.  The possibility is growing that Washington will give a green light for Kurdish autonomy within a federation or confederation....  Syria is not powerful enough to counter such a development.  Iran will not be willing to further strain its ties with the U.S....  Turkey needs to develop a new and more realistic Kurdish policy in the face of changing global conditions....  Instead of drawing new ‘red lines’ for Northern Iraq, Turkey must adjust itself to the new conditions.”


“Troop Deployment And KADEK”


Koray Duzgoren commented in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (9/4): “The U.S. has demanded that Turkish troops be deployed in zones of Iraq which are causing trouble for the Americans....  The PKK/KADEK has announced an end to its cease-fire with Turkey.  This decision might negatively affect American efforts to see Turkish troops in Iraq.  Turkey, on the pretext of deploying troops to central Iraq, is considering keeping a certain number of troops in the North to maintain pressure on Iraqi Kurdish groups and KADEK....  Although the AKP government does not seem concerned, renewed clashes with the PKK/KADEK are possible....  The U.S. wants stability in the region.  Turkey also needs regional peace and stability to improve its economy.  The AKP government must swiftly change its position of ignoring the Kurdish problem.  The AKP must understand that KADEK is not merely a terror organization, but is closely related to the Kurdish problem.  The government must abandon its posture of seeing the troop deployment issue through the lens provided by the military and the elite rulers of the state structure.”


“We Cannot Remain Indifferent To Iraq”


Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass-appeal Posta (9/3): “There is a significant threat that Iraq might be dissolved into three parts....  The possibility for establishing a democracy in Iraq under a single administration is growing ever weaker.  Turkey is obliged to intervene in Iraq....  Terrorism in the Middle East is now concentrated in Iraq.  Turkey will either stand against terror or merely watch it.  It might be too late when it hits us later....  It is unlikely that the U.S. will withdraw from Iraq....  It might take long years and come at a great cost, but the balances in the Middle East will definitely change.”


“Should We Send Troops To Iraq?”


Hursit Gunes noted in mass appeal Milliyet (9/2): “The U.S. wants to station Turkish troops in central Iraq.  If the U.S. had not asked, Turkey would not be willing to go to Iraq.  Thus, such a deployment will serve U.S. interests rather than Turkey’s....  It would be wrong to correlate financial aid and military support, for the U.S. has provided monetary support for Israel and Egypt, the two countries it did not ask for help.  Iraq is increasingly turning into a military swamp.  Sending troops to Iraq would be extremely risky....  High-risk help that would bring low gains is irrational."


"Can The UN Bring Stability To Iraq?"


Sahin Alpay wrote in intellectual-conservative Zaman (9/2):  “Ankara should go to Iraq only through a UN resolution, and under a UN command....  Washington is not cold to the idea of UN peacekeepers in Iraq under U.S. command....  The question is whether a switch of mandate from the U.S. to the UN will bring stability to Iraq.  From an Iraqi viewpoint, it is questionable that the credibility of the UN, which imposed economic sanctions on Iraq for years, is higher than that of the U.S....  Some analysts think that such a change of administration will encourage the U.S. to undertake new military interventions in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.”




INDIA: "Promise Of India"


The centrist Asian Age remarked (10/4): “ India is reversing her own foreign policy....  A new foreign policy emerging from the bottom line: The U.S. is the superpower, and India has no choice but to accept this and accommodate it as the nucleus in its foreign policy....  Finally, the government got cold feet.  Not because there was anything unethical and immoral in sending troops to Iraq, but because the people of India were not supportive, and the parties in the government could lose the elections....  If this was not an election year, the Indian troops would have been in Iraq laying down their lives for the American cause!  Foreign policy sold for a song....  What is our policy?  Where are we going?  What does India stand for?   What does India believe in?  The obsession with unipolarity has colored India’s world view and silenced her rather strident voice for the developing nations.”


"Another Vietnam"


Chennai-based leftist News Today held (9/30): "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell may want India to send its troops to Iraq to help Washington restore law and order there, but he cannot refute India's view that the presence of those troops at this time would require a national consensus and the assignment of a relevant role to the UN in peace-keeping operations.  That consensus is not available because there is no prospect of a return to democracy in Iraq with Washington putting up a puppet government and an occupation force in charge of that country that trys to preserve peace by trampling on resistance by jackboots....  If Indian troops are sent there now, they would be ambushed like their U.S. counterparts or will be shooting Iraqis, provoking ill-will for India in place of a long record of goodwill."


Baghdad Blues"


The centrist Times of India concluded (9/29): “It might be premature to identify U.S.-occupied Iraq as George Bush’s political graveyard.  But if the president’s plummeting ratings are to be believed, there is serious cause for concern....  A chorus of American voices have joined the international criticism of Washington’s continuing role in Iraq....  What Bush needs to do is disinvest in Iraq as speedily as possible and put it under UN mandate.  This would take the heat off the president and win him support both at home and abroad, in countries as otherwise disparate as France, Germany and India.  Indeed, several countries, including India, have hinted that they would not be averse to sending in their troops if this were done under UN auspices....  Washington could accede to this without losing overall control of the situation....  This is Bush’s best bet to turn a no-win situation to a win-win deal for all.”


"Issues Clarified"


The centrist Hindu stated (9/26):  “Prime Minister Vajpayee appears to have killed two birds with one stone when he spoke of India's security concerns in the course of a conversation with...President Bush.  The essence of Vajpayee's message was that India had no troops to spare at this point in time. That should put Mr. Bush on notice that India will not contribute a military contingent to the U.S.-led occupation forces in Iraq....  The Prime Minister's reference to India's security concerns might also have helped focus Mr. Bush's attention on the persistent terrorist menace that India has to contend with. "


"Iraq Needs A Mountbatten"


The pro-business Financial Express commented (9/23):  The question of whether India can and should send troops to Iraq has once again come to centre stage with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee meeting United States President George Bush this week.  The arguments for and against India sending troops remain as valid today as they were a month ago.  Given the fact that India would like the U.S. to win the war against terrorism in the region, it must put its money where its mouth is and help the U.S. in its efforts.  No one wants to see the U.S. fail in Iraq....  India should offer to help the U.S. in Iraq if the U.S. moves to ensure that Iraq is governed by Iraqis. What this means is that Iraq needs a road map for the transfer of power to a local leadership and the U.S. needs the equivalent of a Lord Mountbatten who will undertake that responsibility.  The road map can have alternative time horizons depending on how things pan out and what happens on the ground.  No date need be set right now for the final transfer of power, but the milestones must be put in place so that the direction of the journey is clear....  Sure, a U.S. Mountbatten has no Nehru to deal with as yet, but the process must begin and this itself would ease the U.S. burden and enable India at least to step in and help.”


"America's Unreasonable Attack On Iraq"


Yashwant Joshi stated centrist Marathi Navashakti (9/22):  "Even if one were to believe that global terrorism started in 1990 and reached its peak on September 9/11 in New York, yet one cannot pinpoint a single instance of a terrorist center flourishing in Baghdad....?  It is now clear that Iraq's invasion was solely guided by the U.S.-British designs to grab Iraq's oil reserves and create a military base in Asia which would help them to control the Arab nations.  The invasion was a milder and sophisticated form of terrorism....  Although the open war between the coalition army and Saddam Hussein's forces is over, the British and American soldiers are being targeted in Iraq.  President George Bush had dreamt of a reconstructed new Iraq, but now he is seeking the help of other countries, including India, to better the situation that has gone out of hand....  Although India has refused to commit its troops, it is feared that President Bush will pressure the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to change his stance through the intervention of the United Nations....  India can only hope that its Prime Minister will not fall prey to the UN demand for military help in Iraq, since it will mean India's acceptance of America's persistence."


"Diplomatic Challenge"


The Hyderabad-based right-of-center English-language Newstime asserted (9/16):  "President Bush and the cabal around him may have cut awkward figures over the developments in Iraq.  The gruesome killings of the sons of Saddam Hussein, for instance, have not had the effect of toning down resistance to the American occupation of Iraq.  Mainly, the Bush administration is desperate for money to pay for the Iraqi occupation....  And the toll from resistance in Iraq has already surpassed the number of casualties during the actual war that was claimed as 'won.'... While the U.S. has failed miserably in getting other countries to send troops for deployment in Iraq and is trying to seek the UN umbrella for this purpose, the occupying power is still reluctant to share power.  It is unfortunate that the U.S. government is still trying to put pressure on India to send troops to Iraq.  Apparently, India has not been able to get out of this trap by expressing its inability to deploy troops except under the aegis of the international body....  President Bush apparently thinks that while his concerns in Iraq need to be attended to immediately, India's concerns must be sorted out by talking to Pakistan.  This seems to be a nasty way to nudge India towards talks."


"India Is Under No Obligation"


Pro-BJP, Urdu-language Pratap held (9/16):  “Apart from the cordial relations that India has always had with the people of Iraq, it has expressed its inability to provide its troops as asked by the U.S. on the ground that the security situation on its own borders would not allow its military to be deployed outside the country.  It is true that U.S.-India relations have been improving, which is largely a result of redefined U.S. interests in the region, especially in view of the emergence of China as a major international player.  However, the U.S. has done nothing so special for India that would make the latter obliged for sending its troops to face the Iraqi resistance on behalf of the Americans.”


"Handle With Care"


The pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer judged (9/15):  "Indeed, national interest dictates that the armed forces be first and foremost geared towards guarding their own frontiers before commitments are made to police another country....  The Indian Government is bound to view the renewed American request for troops with the circumspection that it deserves, since there seems little justification to put their lives at risk....  Indeed, peace and reconstruction in Iraq would be better achieved if India prioritizes provision of the goods and services that its people need over the military muscle that the occupying forces require.”


"Unstable Proposal"


Abhijit Bhattacharyya commented in the pro-BJP right-of-center Pioneer (9/13):  "Iraq's stabilization appears far from easy and quick.  Hence the need for additional garrison from India, whose unmatched experience in fighting Islamic terrorism and counter-insurgency operations along with the ability of all-weather and all-terrain operations make it an attractive substitute for the battle-fatigued U.S. forces in Iraq....  With internal resistance of various countries falling by the wayside, it would be interesting to observe how much can India withstand the external persuasion of the U.S. and the counter-pressure of its domestic politics since Pakistan too is being persuaded by the U.S. to send it troops to Iraq, its internal Islamic opposition notwithstanding....  It is said that iron cuts into iron.  Hence, the "terrorist state" of Pakistan is getting the kudos for ‘fighting terrorism’! Talk about myths turning to reality.”


"Better Late"


The centrist Telegraph opined (9/11): "Wars always have unintended consequences. When the United States of America declared war against Saddam Hussein, nobody quite anticipated the mess that now prevails in Iraq after what looked liked a remarkable U.S. military victory....  It cannot extricate itself from Iraq nor can it restore order and eradicate violence.  This is the context in which the U.S. has repeated its request to the government of India to deploy troops in Iraq to establish and maintain peace....  The request to send Indian troops to Iraq has come again from Washington.  The Indian response has been muted and understandably so.  The internal situation has worsened and the anti-U.S. vehemence of the Iraqi people grown beyond measure since the summer months.  The domestic compulsions that determined the original refusal hold now with greater force today than they did in the month of July.  There are assembly elections around the corner in five states, and bodies of dead jawans from Iraq will be very poor vote catchers.  Thus if the government is keen to be consistent with its previous stance, it should stand its ground. But a bad decision, even when repeated over and over again, does not change in character."


"Giving In Spell Trouble"


The nationalist Hindustan Times editorialized (9/10): “The renewed American request to India for sending troops to Iraq was only to be expected.  The situation there hasn’t improved....  It is clear that all that Washington wants is to use the UN’s involvement in Iraq as a fig leaf to persuade other countries to send their forces so that they may clean up the mess created by the Americans.  This is a trap that India must avoid....  Any country which is seen, therefore, to be supportive of the Americans will also court unpopularity and become the target of attacks.  Like the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorists, keen on pursuing their anti-American jihad.  As it is, India is a target of such fundamentalists.  An involvement in Iraq will simply make the situation worse for India in Kashmir and elsewhere.”


"Don't Send Troops"


The reformist, economics-oriented Economics Times held (9/10): “That India will not send its troops to Iraq except if there is an explicit United Nations mandate to do so.  That is a position that must be treated as non-negotiable....  The U.S.-sponsored resolution is seen as little more than an effort to rope in other countries into sharing the responsibility for the mess that post-war Iraq clearly has become, while retaining authority largely in the hands of the U.S.-British coalition forces.  There is no reason why the Indian perspective on this specific issue should be any different.  In the ultimate analysis, it should be clear that the war that took place in Iraq was not only not sanctioned by the UN, but was explicitly against the wishes of most member nations, including India. Those who imposed the war on Iraq cannot now unilaterally impose its unintended consequences on the rest of the world....  What New Delhi needs to make clear to Washington is that Indian lives are no less valuable, at least to India.”


"New Strategy"


Hindi-language Rashtriya Sahara asserted (9/10): "India turned down the initial U.S. request to contribute troops to Iraq, but also told the U.S. that it may reconsider its decision if the U.N. gets involved.  Now that is exactly what the U.S. is doing--trying to involve the U.N.  It is possible that U.S. will get a resolution passed in the UN soon, thereby roping in countries like India to become its partner in sin.  If that happens, then we may be forced to support the same U.S. demand we had opposed earlier."


"The Superpower's Concern"


Hindi-language Jansatta noted (9/8): "After the new resolution of the U.S., a plea can come to India to rethink on sending troops to Iraq.  But, the Indian government will face many hurdles in accepting the U.S. proposal.  The government's foreign policy was criticized in the monsoon session of Parliament for "tilting toward the U.S." So, there are political and diplomatic difficulties that still exist for the government.  Meanwhile, instead of moving a new resolution, the U.S. needs to convince the world that it is does not intend establishing political control over Iraq."


"America In A Fix"


Left-of-center Marathi daily Maharashthra Times contended (9/8):  "America's determination to reconstruct Iraq seems to have lost its decisiveness....  Due to the increasing number of attacks on the soldiers of the coalition forces, America is trying pitiably hard to call for troops from other countries.  America's new draft resolution for the Security Council demands 15,000 additional soldiers to be sent to Iraq.  But many countries, including those which had supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, have now opposed this resolution.  They are aware that America has approached the UN only after its request for troops were turned down by other countries.  These countries have rightfully made it clear that any such multinational force in Iraq should be under the aegis of the UN, and not the U.S.  France and Russia have, in fact, demanded an equitable distribution of the military responsibilities in Iraq....  The same America, which jeopardized international peace when entering Iraq, now has had to knock the doors of different countries and beg for their armed assistance."


"Franklin, Please, Not Theodore"


The centrist Asian Age held (9/7): "By removing Saddam, Bush released Iraqi nationalism from the avaricious grip of a despot. The paradox is obvious, or should be: Iraqi nationalism will not exchange a brutal Saddam for a colonist Bush....  The real reason for America's occupation of Iraq was to find a new home for American military bases.  We have been here before.  If self-interest has taken Bush to the door of the UN, then the self-interest of other nations will keep that door shut until America understands that it cannot live by the principles of George Washington at home, and the rules of Rudyard Kipling abroad.  Nor can America privatize or sub-contract its wars.  India, for instance, will not police an American colony; there is no price that will purchase the Indian voter, even if its government is tempted by the false lure of realpolitik.  Today, America is only the most powerful nation in the world.  It will become the leader of a free world only when it accepts that freedom is incomplete without equality.  America needs another Franklin, not Theodore, Roosevelt."


"U.S. Helplessness"


Hindi-language Rashtriya Sahara editorialized (9/6): "America's new resolution on Iraq shows the weakness, desperation and bewilderment of the world's sole superpower.  Although the approval of the resolution is not impossible, it is difficult....  Prime Minister Vajpayee will be in the U.S. during the last week of September.  The pressure will mount on him to send troops to Iraq.  However, Vajpayee has a readymade excuse to deny the U.S. request--the forthcoming Indian elections. Meanwhile, approval of the resolution can create a problem to India."


"The U.S. Now Wants UN Involvement For Peacekeeping In Iraq"


The left-of-center Free Press Journal judged (9/6): "The U.S. finds itself in deep waters in Iraq and is unable to ensure the security of  American forces against the guerilla tactics of Saddam's fidaheen who are regrouping....  The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan...also realizes that he cannot refuse the U.S. request.  After all it has been setup as a multilateral body to facilitate dialogue rather than take intransigent position....  What remains to be seen is the amount of concessions and contracts from the U.S. to fulfill the demands of those member states that will actually send their forces. The sticking point is that the U.S. wants to have the overall command of the UN forces in Iraq but this will be resisted by Germany, France and Russia in the Security Council unless they diplomatically persuade them.  If the U.S. gives up its stance of wanting overall command then it could be seen as conceding that its actions in Iraq were illegitimate.  What is of utmost importance is to see that Iraqis find peace and order after the traumatic war.  This, now, has become the prime concern of all countries and if a larger UN role will enable Iraqis to have a better life, no one should put a spoke on it."


"India's Iraq Dilemma"


The centrist Asian Age remarked (9/5): "Looking at the unfolding events in Iraq it would appear that the consensual position of caution and conservatism on the issue of sending an Indian military contingent to Iraq stands vindicated....  The bleakness of the picture has finally begun to register even in the U.S....  The key question here would be the extent to which the U.S. is prepared to accept an abridgement of its writ in Iraq....  It is likely that even while it negotiates with the UN it would still try to persuade India to share the burden of administering Iraq.  It is equally likely that even while it negotiates with the UN it would still try to persuade countries like India to share the burden of administering Iraq.  We are particularly important in that our capacity to contribute and play a constructive role is more than 10 other countries put together....  The view that emerged in India was that we could consent to send troops to Iraq only if the UN mandates....  But what if the world's sole super power turns out to be dependable and willing to commit more than thin air in a bilateral understanding before we agree to send our troops?  If we reflect on the events after President Clinton's visit to India at the time of the Kargil war, supporting the U.S. in Iraq at this stage may not be as illogical as some of us make it out to be....  Helping Iraq now is unrelated to the war.  Serving under the U.S. flag is certainly unacceptable.  But that is an issue that can be discussed with the Americans, and there is no reason to believe that they will not understand and respect our sensitivities."


"We Should Not Send Troops To Iraq"


The left-of-center Free Press Journal editorialized (9/5):  "The Vajpayee government faces the prospect of again having to make a grave decision on the question of sending Indian troops to Iraq, ostensibly for peace keeping but in effect to help the wily and now increasingly nervous Bush administration to handle the brutal mess it has created there....  Given this scene, given the totality of the sordid facts, what is the meaning of peace keeping for which the Security Council may now ask other countries to contribute their troops?  How can there be peace between subjugators and the subjugated?  If the UN does pass a resolution mandating a multi-national force for Iraq, one hopes there will be no takers, additionally since the overall command will still be that of the Americans....  Going by the present evidence, this war seems to be just beginning.  Surely, India cannot side with imperialist invaders?  To do so will be a disastrous shame.  In fact, it will be a shame even to consider the question."


"The UN Can Heal Iraqi Wounds"


The centrist Hindu expressed (9/3): “The UN could administer a healing touch in Iraq.  The world body alone can breathe legitimacy into efforts at Iraq's reconstruction, even though the U.S. occupation coordinator, Paul Bremer, has questioned the rationale of the idea....  Reconstruction is not simply about infrastructure alone.  In the case of Iraq, it is as much about healing the wounds of the occupation--by restoring Iraqi pride and dignity. The UN is best suited to achieve this....  The need to restore Iraq to Iraqis has never been felt more acutely....  From the Arab League, to the French to the Indians, the preference is for a UN umbrella for getting involved in Iraq....  Yet it is important not to expect miracles by this transformation alone.  The situation in Iraq is extremely complex....  Improving the security climate is therefore critical and is a prerequisite for not just holding elections but providing space for the UN and other aid agencies to play their rightful roles.  A higher political profile for the UN, one hopes, will come sooner for it can only advance the day when Iraqis will govern themselves.”


"Nasty, Brutish, Iraq"


The centrist Indian Express opined (9/1):  "Recent developments leave the extremely worrisome impression that the U.S.-UK led authority in Iraq endorsed by the UN is in a state of confusion if not paralysis amidst this growing chaos....  The situation in Iraq is rapidly deteriorating generating new challenges that were not foreseen even two months ago.  In a curious way, events are pushing India inexorably toward what may yet become the moment of decision, especially since New Delhi had offered to consider sending a peacekeeping force in case of an appropriate UN mandate....  Iraq seems to be sliding down an instability spiral and we must reassess our options under the changing situation.  Any decision to participate in stabilization arrangements must be based on an unambiguous conclusion that it would succeed in its goals at minimum acceptable costs.  And that conclusion must be derived from a bipartisan consensus.”


PAKISTAN:  "Should Pakistan Send Troops To Iraq?"


Dr. Moeed Pirzada editorialized in the center-left independent national English-language Dawn (10/04):  "Pakistani attitude towards the U.S. is explained less by the modernity and anti-modernity debate--often cited by American policy makers--and more by their national and regional insecurities.  It is the secular westernized Pakistani elite that has remained confused, insecure and paranoid about the U.S. role in this region and has over the decades successfully disseminated its fears to those sections of society whose fears take the form of slogans....  The Musharraf government operates in a complex domestic, regional and international scenario and has its limitations.  However, as it continues to explore ways and means to send Pakistani troops to Iraq, it must not fail to understand that the Middle Eastern issues merely provide a cosmetic uniting factor for Pakistan and the U.S.  If it needs to change the "domestic viewpoint" then it must be able to communicate something to Pakistanis that assures them on their national or regional concerns."


"Pakistan And Troops For Iraq"


Ijaz Hussain contended in the liberal English-language Daily Times (10/1):  "Even the UN which resisted the American attack on Iraq early this year and is at present engaged in a purely humanitarian work has been twice hit in about a month’s time.  No wonder the organization is in the process of downsizing its presence in the country. How can we expect the nationalists to spare Pakistani troops who would be in Iraq to support the occupation forces!...  The Pakistani troops are bound to come under attack....  We would conclude by reminding Musharraf of the objective of upholding Pakistan’s dignity and self-respect that he talked about so eloquently in the first speech that he made after taking power in 1999.  Would the deployment of Pakistani troops in Iraq in a mercenary role and as a result of which they are likely to get killed fit into that objective?  If the answer is in the negative it is in the fitness of things that Pakistan should refuse to send troops under any circumstances whatsoever."


 "Why Pakistan Should Become Scapegoat?"


Sensationalist pro-Jihad Urdu Ummat declared (10/1):  "The U.S. administration is trying its utmost to make others scapegoat in Iraq and save its own troops.  Since it could not influence any western, non-Islamic country, it is extending its pressure over the Muslim countries.  There is no justification for staking the lives of Pakistani troops just to save the U.S. troops in Iraq.  The U.S. should itself face the punishment of its follies in Iraq."


 "Troops For Iraq"


Center-left independent national English-language Dawn editorialized (9/30):  "Numerous statements emanating from Washington in recent weeks leave no doubt about the Bush administration's plan to induct Pakistani troops into Iraq....  It is important that Pakistan should make it unequivocally clear that it will avoid venturing into Iraq, no matter what the big powers decide."


"Pak Army Not for Sale"


Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt noted (9/25):  "President Musharraf has said that situation is not conducive for dispatching Pak troops to Iraq....  And to achieve this objective the atmosphere will have to be improved....  The Muslim world wants exit of the U.S. troops from Iraq and we are suggesting ways and mean to send in our troops, to strengthen the U.S. position in that country.  This is shameful."


"Musharraf's Prophetic Words"


Islamabad's rightist English-language Pakistan Observer asserted (9/25):  "The nation is bitterly opposed to involve Pakistan in the situation obtaining in Iraq, irrespective of the UN or OIC mandate. Pakistan should rather side with the nations, which are seeking early end to the U.S. occupation, expeditious transfer of power to Iraqi people and immediate restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty.  Pakistan should, in no way, be a party to the consolidation of U.S. occupation of Iraq.  That’s what wisdom and scruples demand."


"Myth of 'Strategic' Ties With the U.S."


Karamatullah K. Ghori opined in the center-left independent national English-language Dawn (9/20):  "Islamabad should cease deluding itself that it is in a strategic relationship with Washington.  That is a pipe dream with no truck with reality.  The U.S. has had a strategic partnership with its redoubtable ally, Israel for half a century.  Now a similar partnership is in the works with India because Washington regards both as victims of Islamic terrorism.  America's messianic mission is to save these 'secular' democracies (ruled by religious fanatics) from the 'scourge' of Islamic terrorist 'hordes.' Islamabad, at best, has a time-related tactical utility for Washington, just as it did in the '80s when the U.S. was bleeding the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.  It is an exact rehash of that role for the Pakistan army in the American-occupied Afghanistan of today: keep pulling American irons from the fire there, and be ready to do the same in American-occupied Iraq."


"Can UN Be Effective In Iraq?"


Ijaz Hussain editorialized in the Lahore-based liberal English-language Daily Times (9/17):  "The Iraqis also believe that a UN force will be nothing but a puppet in the hands of the occupation forces....  The lesson for Pakistan is that it should refuse to send its troops to the killing fields of Iraq whether or not there is a UN authorization, unless President Musharraf is bent upon helping Bush in his re-election bid which is the real thing at stake in the Washington’s current desperation to get an authorization from the Security Council."


"Iraq: Should Pakistan Help?"


Shahid Javed Burki stated in the center-left independent national English-language Dawn (9/16):  "If the Pakistani government is willing to lend a helping hand, it must be assured of at least two things.  First, is America prepared to accommodate the voices other than its own in developing Iraq's economic and political institution?  Two, what are the chances of success of the new Iraq project?...  If Washington heeded this kind of advice, Pakistan and its troops would essentially be serving in a direct manner the U.S. interests in Iraq.  Should Pakistani lives be put in danger if that were the case?"


"Say No to Troops Deployment In Iraq"


I. Hassan remarked in in the centrist national English-language News (9/16):  "According to the U.S. draft resolution, all the troops that might be poured into Iraq would be under the command of a U.S. general.  More than that, the U.S. Viceroy in Iraq, Paul Bremer, will continue to be the final arbiter.  The Iraqi talking shop created by the Viceroy, known as the Governing council will continue to be an irrelevance....  It is possible that U.S. may be able to get a watered down fig-leaf resolution passed whereby it will get such mercenary troops as those of Pakistan to bolster their own troops.  One use the term mercenary advisedly because no one with any self-respect will go to Iraq to shore up an illegal occupation and lend seeming legitimacy to an extremely unlawful act.  There are very few countries where the ruler is beholden entirely to the U.S. and has little legitimacy or support in his own country.  Such a ruler is compelled to act under the order of the U.S.  All he needs is a fig-leaf cover provided by U.S. contrived resolution of the UN.  Despite this, other people should stand up and forbid the dispatch of our troops to Iraq."


"President, Prime Minister's Visit To U.S."


Leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang wrote (9/9): "Circumstances and ground realities have proved that the Pakistani society, its military, bureaucracy and other forces that take decision are under tremendous U.S. pressure even after the unilateral demands that the U.S. had made to Pakistan in the post 9/11 days and for which President Musharraf had assured unconditional cooperation.  The noose has further been tightened around Pakistan by the growing political and military relationship between India and Israel and the anti-Pakistan elements sitting in the Hamid Karzai government.  The meetings held between President Musharraf and President Bush in New York, Washington and Camp David have not provided any practical benefit to Pakistan nor has any pressure been released from Pakistan.  It seems that the U.S. had decided to use Pakistan to the fullest and dump it later as it did in the past." 


"New Resolution On Iraq And Foreign Office"


Leading mass-circulation, Urdu-language Jang noted (9/8):  "Ostensibly sending of troops on 'peace mission' under the banner of the United Nations to Iraq seems to be a better option but in the present circumstances Pakistan should totally refrain from doing so."


"Issue Of Adoption Of New U.S. Resolution In Security Council"


Leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang contended (9/6):  "The U.S. leadership wants to involve other countries in the quagmire of Iraq so as to pull its own troops out.  The fresh U.S. resolution in this regard is totally unreasonable and contrary to the role of this world organization." 


"Decision Of Gulf Coordination Council"


Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Urdu-language Jasarat held (9/8): "The Gulf Coordination Council has declined to send its troops to Iraq over the request of the United States.  Pakistan, which had been tying its decision over the posture adopted by the Arab nations, should now openly refuse to send troops to Iraq." 


"GCC’s No to U.S."


The Islamabad rightist English-language Pakistan Observer declared (9/8): "The GCC’s scrupulous stand, however, has a strong message for other countries, especially Pakistan, not to fall prey to the U.S. machinations and manipulations and be steadfast to uphold supreme national interests....  It is hoped that Pakistan's Government will not agree to the deployment of its troops under U.S. command even under the UN mandate, as it will generate serious reaction in the public."


"A Flawed Move"


The center-right national Enlish-language Nation stated (9/6): "The draft, therefore, calls upon member states to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability of Iraq as well as provide assistance, including military forces.  Pakistan clearly is among the countries being viewed as a ready source of help in this regard.  We firmly believe that whatever the outcome of the UNSC debate after the resolution is tabled, whether it is pushed through as it is or in an amended form, we should not agree to become part of the so-called multinational security force as long as one single GI remains on Iraqi soil." 


"The Emerging Bloodstorms"


The centrist national English-language News observed (9/4): "The present alliance with U.S. has placed Pakistan, perhaps, in the most difficult scenario in its history.  A helping hand for U.S. after the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq is a taboo in the Muslim World.  What is happening in the way of terrorist activities in Pakistan are directly or indirectly related to U.S. moves in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.  Confining it to sectarian strife will be naive. The basic conflict arises from contradictions shrouded in the governance of a religious mass of people stoked by the anti-Russia Islamic Jihad, by a westernized secular elite."


"Should UN Bail Out Bush?"


The center-left independent national English-language Dawn asserted (9/4): "The UN should not dive into Iraq--at least, not yet. It is true that the Iraqi people are suffering under U.S. occupation, but the arrival of blue helmets would not fundamentally ease their lives.  Iraq needs money, investment, reconstruction, and democracy.  A UN dominated by America in its current mindset will not be able to deliver these.  But a UN in which America participates as an enlightened, sincere partner for Iraqi progress, might just achieve them.  The UN must hold back until that mindset (and/or administration) change takes place."


"Chaos In Iraq"


The center-right national English-language Nation commented (9/4): "The aspirations of the people of Iraq are freedom and end to occupation.  They must abide by their promise.  The UN must not be used as an abettor and tool of the U.S.-U.K. policy of aggression and occupation.  The attack on the UN compound and offices should be a lesson that the image of the UN must be that of an independent institution and not as a tool of the only superpower.  Pakistan may think of sending troops to help Iraqi people under UN mandate when its image is that of an honest broker, able to help smaller nations and people to regain their freedom."





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