International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

April 14, 2003

April 14, 2003





**  Syria is seen as the "next target" of the U.S.' "dangerous master plan" for the Mideast.


**  Washington is undertaking a "new form of imperialism and colonialism" worldwide.    


**  Pro-Israel "hawks are still dominating" the "Christian, rightist administration" in Washington.


**  Arabs and the world must join together to contend with the U.S.' "ideology of a unipolar world." 




'American self-confidence' means Syria 'might be next'--  Washington's "remorseless pressure" on Damascus intensified speculation that Syria will be the "next victim" of the U.S.' plan to "reshape the Middle East."  Leftist and Muslim observers alleged that the U.S. is "setting up Syria as the next threat to world peace and security."  Pakistan's Nawa-e-Waqt cited the American plan to "deal with all Islamic countries one by one" with Baghdad "being the starting point."  Arab papers in particular concluded that the "list of targeted Arab countries is clear" as Baghdad was "only the first piece in an chain of Arab countries that will fall."  In contrast, moderate outlets predicted that the "chaos and anarchy" in Iraq will "cool down fantasies" in Washington of attacking Syria.  Canada's leading Globe and Mail warned any such attack would "be viewed as American unilateralism." 


Iraq is 'just the beginning of U.S. expansionism'--  Latin, Arab and Asian papers expected "more catastrophes" given the "growing American avarice for subduing the world."  Brazilian dailies used the terms "classical imperialism," "Pax Americana" and "universal empire" to describe the new world order, while Mexico's left-of-center La Jornada predicted a "new era of oppression, destruction, occupation and sacking" by the U.S.  Tokyo's liberal Mainichi agreed that the "seizure of Baghdad" would mean more "new wars in a world dominated by the democratic empire of the U.S."  Chinese papers increased their warnings of U.S. "hegemony," adding that "if the U.S. controls the Middle East" and its oil, "the day that the U.S. imperialism controls the world is not far off." 


Washington's primary aim is 'guaranteeing Israel’s security and expansionist ambitions'--  Papers from Muslim-majority countries were especially critical of U.S. leaders and their strategy, alleging the "Zionist-run U.S. is out to implement Israel's expansionist agenda."  Hardline critics of U.S. policy accused the "junta of racist leaders, war-mongers and greedy gangsters" of only seeking to "maintain peace and security for Israel" by launching a "war on all Arabs."  Lebanon's nationalist As Safir concluded:  "The American Ministry of War is only an Israeli room of operations." 


'The fate of Iraq is a grim reminder' of the importance of global solidarity--  Arab and Asian papers emphasized the importance of "unity" in order to "stop the arrogance of the U.S."  Tunisian, UAE and Jordanian dailies urged Arab countries "to achieve their own union" to protect the "Arab identity."  Pakistan's center-right Nation said "Muslim countries...should waste no time in formulating a joint policy to defend" against the U.S.  Bangkok's conservative Thai Rath declared:  "Asia must close ranks with Africa and South counterbalance...Western oppression." 


EDITOR:  Ben Goldberg


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This survey is based on 82 reports from 46 countries over 7-14 April 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "America's Attacks On Syria Confirm Fears Of Middle East Intentions"


The left-of-center Independent stated (4/13):  "There is something unseemly, not to say alarming, about the way in which the U.S. appears to be setting up Syria as the next threat to world peace and security even before the guns have fallen silent in Iraq....  Having eliminated Iraq as a threat, the Bush administration gives the impression that is casting around for more enemies.  The risks of such public accusations were all too apparent in the failed international diplomacy that gave way to the war on Iraq.  The current disorder in Iraq similarly illustrates the dangers inherent in effecting a 'regime change' by force without sufficient planning.  There are those in the U.S. administration who have made no secret of their desire to re-order the whole Middle East.  Iraq is only the start....  One ill-conceived war with the potential to destabilize the whole region is already one too many."


"Iraq Will Preoccupy And Pin Down The U.S. For Years"


Martin Woollacott, a columnist with the left-of-center Guardian took this view (4/11):  "Victory in Iraq is at once a blow for freedom and a step into an unknown world in which the extent of American power and the wisdom with which it is used become more critical....  That the formidable nature of the American military instrument has been spectacularly displayed, albeit against a terribly disadvantaged enemy, is not the most important aspect.  What is more important is that the U.S. has embarked upon a project of change in Iraq and the region which will be, for quite a while to come, at the center of world politics.  Its success or failure will affect everything, from Moscow to Mecca, from Brussels to Beijing....  The Bush administration has set itself a very hard test indeed in the Muslim world and everybody is aware of the reasons it may not pass it....  Iraq will equally be at the center of things for the Europeans, the Russians, and others who parted company from America....  But France, Germany, and Russia...will surely not allow themselves to become the Rejection Front of the western world, something which would permanently rupture the UN, NATO,and the EU....  The question of how American society will absorb  this victory is rather mysterious.  Underneath the crowing of the 'let's stick it to the French' patriots, American common sense is working away....  It grasps there is a new burden in the shape of a whole country taken into American care, to be paid for and policed, at a time when the economic prospects of ordinary Americans are clouded."


FRANCE:  "The American Danger"


Former Minister Albin Chalandon noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (4/14):  “Must every nation succumb to or resist America’s hegemony?  The present crisis is serious not so much because of what it reveals, but because of what it has kept hidden....  America’s radicalization finds its origin in its ancient history:  America is religious, it is a theocracy....  Its egocentric conception of religion...legitimizes everything the U.S. does....  The quasi-metaphysical feeling of excellence that the Americans feel about themselves motivates their leaders’ actions....  While man needs religion, it is a great mistake to mix religion and politics.”


GERMANY:   "What Comes After Iraq"


Malte Lehming held in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (4/14):  “From the U.S. viewpoint, the Iraq campaign was a magnificent success...but does the success increase appetite for more?  Threats in the direction of Syria are on the rise, and Syria and Iran are within reach of U.S. guns....  Will bombs soon be dropped on Damascus?  This is highly unlikely, but cannot be ruled out either.  Washington wants to capitalize on its victory in the entire region.  States that support terrorists and/or strive for weapons of mass destruction are on top of the list.  In addition, it is no longer necessary to set up a threat scenario.   It gives people in Washington satisfaction to see how the knees of the rulers in Tehran and Damascus are shaking."


"Who Comes Next?"


Dietmar Ostermann argued in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (4/14):  “The case of Syria is complicated.  As a threat to the United States, President Bashar al Assad is even less credible than...Iraq.  Damascus is considered an active sponsor of terrorism, but these accusations refer to activities against Israel.  In the hunt for Islamic Al Qaida terrorists, the secular Syria, and even Washington recognizes this, cooperated more consistently with the United States than some other countries....  The Bush administration may keep all options open…but the current problems with chaos and anarchy in Iraq will cool down fantasies to march to Syria or even Iran.  Washington will now likely face the problems of every day business....  North Korea learned one lesson from this war:  even the U.S. security guarantees will offer no protection from U.S. first strikes.  This can be guaranteed only by setting up one’s own military deterrence.  And this is a hardly concealed reference to nuclear weapons--which could prompt Washington to intervene....  The Iraq war was not as successful as the United States pretends it to be.”


"A Chance For The Arab World"


Wolfgang Guenter Lerch judged in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (4/11):  “The planned restructuring of Iraq will show whether this Arab defeat will be another one in a long series of many disasters, or whether the Arab world will succeed in departing for pluralism....  Much will change in Iraq, but it is unlikely that a democracy of western nature will develop in the country.  This kind of vision is confronted with the inertia of history, culture, and religion....  Future changes in the neighborhood will have a chance only if the experiment of an open system in the not too distant future succeeds.  This will depend considerably on the attitude of the winners."


ITALY:  "Washington Now Accusing Damascus"


Marcello Foa maintained in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale (4/14):  “The accusations against Syria launched yesterday by Washington are taking on special significance.  For once, the U.S. administration seems to be united.  Powell, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz paved the way for Bush, who accused Damascus again of hiding chemical and biological weapons.  Over the next few days we will know whether we are heading for a new military crisis or whether Washington, for the time being, simply wants to frighten young President Assad.  The United States, in any case, believes that Syria has played a decisive role in supporting the former regime of Saddam Hussein, helping it survive longer than it should have.  Is it possible that Saddam may have found shelter in Damascus?   Rumsfeld yesterday ruled out this possibility, but the suspicion remains."


RUSSIA:  "U.S. Ready To Attack Syria"


Centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta carried a comment by Yuliya Petrovskaya stating (4/11): "It looks like the U.S. aviation is about to bomb Syria.  U.S. officials are preparing the ground for that.  No sooner had Baghdad fallen than Donald Rumsfeld pointed an accusing finger at a country that has offered refuge to members of Saddam's regime....  A new war would not add much to the United States' expenditures.   For an attack on Syria, the Pentagon and Congress could effectively use troops that are now stationed in vanquished Iraq and at U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf area."


"Next Targets Of Antiterrorist Coalition"


Leonid Gankin noted in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (4/11):  "The U.S. Defense Secretary's statement sounded like a verdict.  Of the several warnings the chief of the Pentagon has addressed to Damascus so far,this one is the harshest.   Secretary of State Colin Powell, following the Defense Secretary, has made it plain that now that the Iraqi regime is in the throes of death, Syria should be careful not to become the next target....  Analysts and diplomats have no doubt that Iraq is just the first step in Washington's plans for the Middle East, as it seeks to reduce the danger of international terrorism coming from that region."


AUSTRIA:  "Soon To Happen In Syria"


In liberal Der Standard, Gudrun Harrer commented (4/12):  “Even a short while ago, anybody who predicted a U.S. attack on Syria would have been declared totally insane, but by now the scenario seems really quite possible.  It is in any case noticeable that the people in the U.S. who are now uttering threats against Syria were also the first to publicly propagate the invasion in Iraq....  An aggravating factor is that the U.S. even praised Syria for its cooperation against al Qaeda after September 11.  It also wouldn’t be easy to accuse Syria of owning weapons of mass destruction, but--especially if nothing is found in Iraq--it might be possible to “suspect” (as has been suggested already) that Iraq shifted its weapons to Syria before the start of the war.  The Syrian option would be particularly interesting to the U.S. democratizers as Syria carries more political weight than corresponds to its actual power, and a political overthrow would therefore have more short-term effects on a regional level than the one in Iraq, a country that was politically isolated in the Arab world as well.”


BELGIUM:  "Confusion"


Peter Vandermeersch remarked in independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard (4/12):  "There is confusion.  First, among those who were convinced that Saddam really had weapons of mass destruction?  To date, the coalition troops have found nothing that justified a war for those reasons.  There is also confusion in the other camp--that was opposed to the war.  Paradoxically enough they have to admit that, thanks to the war, the majority of the Iraqi people are on the threshold of a new better existence.  Finally, there is uncertainty....  Will the Arab world swallow the humiliation of this war?  Won’t the ethnically and religiously divide Iraq succumb in a civil war?   Will the American self-confidence after this successful test of the preemptive action doctrine lead the United States to further military adventures in Syria, Iran or North Korea?  The coalition has won the war.  Will the world win the peace?"


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Armies On March"


Pavel Masa remarked in center-right Lidove noviny (4/11):  "The decision of George W. Bush to use Hussein's fall to establish pro-American regimes in other countries of the region is definite. Its realization can take various courses. The optimistic scenario would have the Syrian leader Assad and the Iranian ayatollahs trying to avert Hussein's fate and ceasing to support armed groupings abroad. Another variant is economic and diplomatic pressure. And if that pressure does not force Assad to ease up, the U.S. Army can set off on another march. The problem lies in the fact that after possible actions against Syria and Iran, the U.S. would stand at the gates of Moscow and Peking. Few would doubt that these two states play a role similar to that of Syria."


NORWAY:  “Risky Game Against Syria”


In newspaper-of-record Aftenposten, Per A. Christiansen opined (4/14):  “The war against Iraq also serves as a signal to the other countries in ‘the axis of evil’ that none of them should feel secure in case they continue to defy the U.S. The warnings to Syria can precisely be a bluff in this game, an attempt to pressure Damascus over to another course. In any case it is a dangerous game, because the Syrians have never shown themselves to be particularly receptive to pressure. And in a crisis situation President Assad will get considerably greater support from the rest of the Arab world than his ex-colleague Saddam Hussein could demand.”


“Pax Americana”


Peter Normann Waage commented in independent Dagbladet (4/11):  “The first country in the ‘axis of evil’ is conquered--and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld immediately reminds Syria that they have not taken consideration of his earlier warnings and stopped the help to the Iraqi authorities. To be sure Secretary of State Colin Powell denied just after that the war will now be extended to Syria, but Rumsfeld’s words point toward America’s overriding strategy, as President Bush explained already before the war started: To defeat Saddam was only the first step toward a restructuring and democratization of the entire Middle East.”


PORTUGAL:  "How to Avoid the Imperial Temptation"


Influential moderate-left daily Público foreign affairs editor Teresa de Sousa wrote (4/11):  "The message of [President Bush's] victory is not just about the invincible force of the American superpower.  It is also about its moral rightness....  The American president now has the historic opportunity in his hands to legitimize the conflict, showing that it was not waged to glorify America's imperial supremacy, but to better the fate of the Iraqis, open new opportunities for the peoples of the Middle East, and give direction to a world in disorder, danger and uncertainty.  This is the battle that Europe has to wage together with Washington, overcoming its frustrations, its divisions, its weaknesses and its own temptations....  What can Chirac, Schroeder and Putin do today in St. Petersburg?  Try to show that there is still an alternative 'pole' of power to American power in the world?  This... 'pole' can only be the European Union...strong, cohesive and determined enough to make itself heard in Washington."


TURKEY:  "Who Is Threatening World Peace?"


Semih Idiz declared in mass appeal Aksam (4/14):  "It's gradually becoming clear that this war has got nothing to do with the welfare of the Iraqi nation.  It is now understood that it is related with the 'black gold' and Israel, a country essential for America's regional interests.  The evidence for the latter is seen in U.S. statements that Syria might be next because of its support for Hizbullah, the enemy of Israel.  It seems that the Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle 'cabal' has developed an extremely dangerous master plan.  Those who claim that Bush, not Saddam was a threat to world peace are right."


UKRAINE:  "Bush Hasn't Committed A Mistake.  His Ends Are Different"


Anti-American weekly 2000 speculated (4/11):  "By splitting UN, NATO and EU, by provoking crises in those organizations, the U.S. transfers the resolution of international problems to an entirely different level.  For Washington, it is preferable...ideally to negotiate with each country individually.  In view of the American might, the U.S. will have no difficulty in 'persuading' any nation to take a 'right' decision....  The U.S. pursues a policy of creating 'managed crises'....  To be able in the future to act in pursuit of its strategic objectives, American global hegemony being the principal one, the U.S. needs the existence of dictatorial regimes, the spread of terrorism, proliferation of WMD, and the weakening of international organizations to the point where nobody can guarantee anything to anyone.  And the world will be forced to beg protection of the American military machine. And the Americans are always prepared."




ISRAEL:  "Washington Turns Its Sights On Damascus"


Zeev Schiff observed in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (4/14):  "Hardly a day has gone by recently without Washington lashing out against Syria....  These statements indicate a turnaround in Washington's approach to Damascus.  The previous policy of quiet operations was led by the CIA, which apparently got intoxicated by information that the Syrians had provided at some stage about Al-Qaida's operations in various countries, including Germany....  The leading concept in Syria today is that Iraq should be to the Americans what Lebanon was for Israel--namely, to cause terror attacks and suicide bombers and generate as many American casualties as possible....  Traditionally, Syria has pointed a finger at Israel, accusing it of inciting Washington against it.  In truth, Israel is doing its best to keep a low profile in the Iraqi affair in which Assad got himself entangled, but it, too, will have to reevaluate its policy vis-a-vis Syria under the rule of Assad Junior."


"Syrian Mental Repression"


Amit Cohen wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (4/13):  "Assad's unbearable willingness to be drawn into a clash, even if he is not truly interested in it, is what stands behind the decision to grant asylum to Saddam Hussein's people and to disregard the American warning....  It could be that the Syrians think that they will be able to emerge from his entanglement with merely a mild warning.  After the war in Afghanistan too the U.S. demanded that all of bin Laden’s men be turned over.  But in practice the al-Qaida activists spread out across the entire world.  Maybe this time too Syria thinks it can finesse things.  Nevertheless, the current situation is different.  After Afghanistan, the U.S. homed in on Iraq and did not want to expand the arena of conflict.  Now the United States has a free hand, encouraged by its success in Iraq.  Furthermore, if Saddam's engineers of death truly are in Syria, then that is precisely the kind of proof that the Americans need."


WEST BANK:  "War Against Iraq:  Where Are The WMD?"


Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (4/14):  "The United States can wage a war against Syria under the pretext of helping the Iraqi regime by sheltering Iraqi escapees or based on accusations that Syria possesses weapons of mass destruction, as some American officials have already stated.  The United States can also provide the Syrians with the same kind of freedom offered to the Iraqis, which means destroying Syria and depriving it of all of its cultural symbols in order to provide business opportunities for ‘poor’ American companies.  Also, an attack on Syria will be a chance for the compassionate and humane American administration to carry out vital missions of rebuilding the destroyed country and its leadership with the aim of achieving democracy.”


“The Cloud Of Aggression Will Clear Away”


Independent Al-Quds editorialized (4/11):  "After overcoming the effects of the shock of the bitter military defeat, the Iraqis will find themselves facing the brutal reality of occupation, which was forced upon their country under trivial pretexts and without legal or ethical justifications. The occupation forces will try to divide the Iraqi people in order to maintain their presence in Iraq. Thus, the real test for any national and patriotic movement in Iraq is its ability to deny the occupation forces the chance to divide the Iraqi people.”


“The Third Palestine”


Fouad Abu Hejleh commented in semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (4/11):  "Syria is also a target now after the Secretary of evil Rumsfeld started to impudently threaten Damascus. He is totally aware of the fact that Damascus can be easily isolated, especially during this lousy time for the Arabs. We agree with Rumsfeld and Sharon that the Palestinians and Syrians should learn from the Iraqi lesson. This lesson has shown that abiding by international law is of no use and much like slow suicide. It has shown that accepting inspection and eliminating weapons mean surrendering to death.”


EGYPT:   "A Slip For World Capitals"


Columnist Ahmed El-Guindy held in aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar  (4/14):  “The fall of Baghdad is a fall for all world capitals, but mainly a moral, human and political fall for Washington and London.  The most important consequence is the hatred of the Arab people to both of them.  This hatred will increase every day as the aims of this colonial war are revealed.”


"Baghdad, An Open City"


Aggressive pro-government weekly Al Akhbar al Yom columnist Nabil Zaki stated (4/12):  “Definitely the nature of the regime in Baghdad served the plots of those who decided to usurp and occupy Iraq....  A regime’s falling to the hands of the people of the country is different from one falling into the hands of a foreign power which doesn’t hide its ambition to usurp the country’s wealth, rule under colonialism and turn the country into a base to protect Israeli expansionist ambitions....  It is logical to expect more catastrophes after the fall of Iraq especially given an growing American avarice for subduing the world.”


“A Major Test”


Leading pro-government Al Ahram contributor Morsi Attallah remarked (4/10):  “The issue is not one of democracy in Iraq as outlined by American officials.  The issue is satisfying the American agenda by securing oil resources and the market and guaranteeing Israel’s security and expansionist ambitions...(and) to cover for the horrible crimes Sharon is committing against Palestinians....  Further proof of talk about an American desire to make radical changes in Arab infrastructure under the banners of democracy, civil society and human rights....  After this military war, we should expect another political, psychological and economic war against Iraq and others....  We are confronting a real tragedy wherein falsehood of America and Israel is commingled with Arab inability and hesitancy....  It is no longer a time to persist in blindness to Israel’s influence on American decision making.”


“Tragedy Between American Victory And Saddam’s Boastfulness”


Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya Editor-in-chief Samir Ragab opined (4/10):  “Whatever the American and British pretexts in Iraq, this is definitely an occupation, and an occupier must pay eventually....  That is why I suggest: There should be stress on the fact that Saddam deceived his people and the entire Arab region and that he only cared about his personal interests; the U.S. should regain its credibility and reform its relations with the Arab region by letting Iraqis themselves run Iraq’s affairs just as President Mubarak advocated yesterday....  There should be a serious and rapid implementation of the roadmap for the Palestinian issue which, we repeatedly say, is the core issue of the middle East dispute.  Definitely the fulfillment by Bush of his promise will have positive results--the simplest of which is refuting the charge he launched the war on Iraq for the sake of Israelis.”


JORDAN:  “Hurry Up Before It Is Too Late”


Hilmi Al-Asmar wrote in center-left, influential Arabic-language Al-Dustour (4/14):  “The usurpation of Iraq has lifted the cover off the Arab political regimes.  All are now candidates for the ‘liberation’ whether they like it or not.  It is best for the political elites to start changing their colors and taking cover with their people by ‘liberating’ their people from oppression and tyranny now when there is no pressure, before this issue becomes a pretext for bringing down the rejectionists and before their files are taken out of the CIA drawers.  It is a new age, the age of liberation and democratization by force.  So hurry up before it is too late for you.”


“The Occupation Is The Beginning!”


Mohammad Kawash argued in independent, mass-appeal Arabic-language Al-Arab Al-Yawm (4/7):  “The Americans and the British will eventually come to the realization that the occupation of Iraq is not the end of the line, that it is not going to achieve security and stability and open doors for investment companies.  Occupying Iraq will be the beginning, because Washington has no political solutions for Iraq that could overcome the historical, geographical, political and ethnic complexities and difficulties....  We are certain that the occupation of Iraq and its tragic repercussions are going to lead to entrenching the Arabs’ and Muslims’ feelings of hatred and animosity towards the United States.  This in turn is going to lead to the creation of a state of instability inside Iraq that would extend to a number of countries in the region.  This means that the entire region is at the threshold of a wave of violence, the consequences of which cannot be predicted....  These measures and plans are part and parcel of an America’s project to liquidate the Palestinian issue, to reshape the Middle East, to nullify the Arab order, and to turn this region into small sectarian and ethnic states, which would nullify the joint Arab action and the Arab identity.”


LEBANON:  "Occupying Iraq: The First American Target In An Israeli War!"


Talal Salman declared in Arab nationalist As-Safir (4/14):  "With the last bullets against Tikrit announcing the U.S. victory in Iraq, the American administration disclosed that only the first round is about to end and...specified a new target.  Yesterday, members of the American administration took turns in launching a massive campaign against Syria, using a lot of the vocabulary that was used before to justify their aggression on Iraq.  This was not the first time in which the U.S. warned Syria; however, the list of accusations this time was the biggest and the most violent....  What is also noteworthy, is President Bush's personal involvement in accusing Syria of harboring chemical weapons....  Knowing that the American Ministry of War is only an Israeli room of would be easy to conclude that Iraq was not the only target...consequently, this is a war on all Arabs....  It is a war of Israeli nature on all the Arabs....  It is an Israeli war with an American title."


“Wars In Iraq”


Sahar Baasiri declared in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (4/11):  “The happiness of the Iraqis over the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime should not blind their eyes from seeing the dangers that are threatening them and their future....  Happiness is legitimate.  The fall of every oppressor is a happy event....  However, what is important is what will happen next.  The Americans and British are talking about liberation, democracy and a great future, while reality is filled with many challenges....  The struggle is on several levels: On the level of the American command where there is conflict between the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department; on the level of the different factions of the Iraqi opposition; and on the level of Kurds...but the real struggle now is to keep Iraq for the Iraqis.”


“The Fall Of A Capital: Going Back To 1917”


Rafiq Khoury noted in centrist Al-Anwar (4/10):  “Baghdad fell on the heads of all Arabs...and all (Arabs) will feel the impact of this fall....  The dancing around Saddam Hussein’s statue is only a fleeting image in a dramatic scene which will have many dimensions....  This occupation is a new defeat for Arabs within the series of defeats in wars against Israel.  This time, however, defeat is more dangerous because the victor is the only super-power in the world, which has an imperial strategy that does not hide its aims....  What is left is some hope in the natural course of things.  Every occupation creates a resistance and every big force has its enemies...however, the first condition for a successful resistance is for it to be a popular/public resistance....  We have a great challenge ahead of us....  Baghdad’s defeat yesterday took the Middle East back to the phase that followed the first World if we are destined to work again for the independence we received at the beginning of the twentieth century.  The greediness of imperialism is enormous, however, our mistakes which were responsible for this tragedy are enormous as well.”


QATAR:  "Who Is Next, Syria Or Iran?"


Taha Khalifa opined in semi-independent Arabic-language Al-Raya (4/14):  "Which country will be next?  The easy fall of Baghdad made the war on Iraq looked like a picnic.  That might stimulate President Bush's appetite to settle the United States' accounts with 'international pockets of resistance.'  North Korea is not in focus now.  However, Iran, as a member of Bush's axis of evil, and Syria, which just joined the club, are the most likely to be next on Bush's agenda.  Syria, according to the USG, is offering safe haven to fleeing Iraqi leaders; allowed Arab fighters to cross into Iraq to fight against coalition forces; and most importantly is hiding Iraq's WMD and developing chemical weapons.  In addition, there is always the old accusation that it supports Hezballah and other Palestinian terrorist groups.  Any of the above could serve as an excuse for the U.S. to launch military action against Syria.  Minutes after the fall of Baghdad, senior American officials sent a message to Syria and Iran urging them to learn from the mistakes of Iraq....  Strong states in this region will be broken in order to maintain peace and security for Israel.  That is the ultimate goal of Bush's Christian, rightist administration."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Syria:  Just a Question!"


Jeddah's moderate Al-Madina editorialized (4/13):  "In the beginning, we (Arabs) missed an opportunity to prevent the war from erupting.  We failed to convince the U.S. to give UN inspectors more time, and we also failed to convince Saddam to leave the country and spare his nation the atrocities of war.  The political map of Iraq is being drawn now.  Are we going to miss the chance once again?  As part of self-determination, Arab nations have to reevaluate their past to disclose the reasons behind the current disgraceful situation.  The list of targeted Arab countries is clear and has been made public by the U.S.  Even before the war ended, U.S. media gave clear signs that Syria is next in line. There is no need to think hard about the reasons behind these threats.  American and Israeli hawks have many reasons to head toward Damascus.  But the question remains, are we (Arabs) going to stand still and wait for that to happen, and then convene at some summit to exchange accusations and bad-mouth each other.  Just wondering?" 


"Why Accuse Syria?"


Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh declared (4/13):  "Syria is the most important obstacle for Israel, due to its geographic position in the neighborhood, its nonnegotiable political stance, and its hard line in dealing with its own issues and Arab national issues.  Putting it on the hot issues list, after the fall of Baghdad, it then becomes a matter of consideration, because the Israeli hawks are still dominating the American hard line....  Therefore, Damascus has the same importance as Baghdad, if we assume that regional security is part of American political success."


"Iraq’s Future Post-Saddam"


Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad editorialized (4/10):  "Finally Iraq’s capital fell, and Iraqis breathed easy. For decades they were living under the mercy of harsh dictator who exploited the country’s resources for his own benefit. This sudden swift fall marks the beginning of a new stage in the future of Iraq....  President Bush and PM Blair’s recommendations of establishing an interim government is exactly what Iraq needs now. There is no harm in seeking American, British or even the UN’s help during this period. Iraqis are going to need a lot of help in this period until they can once again govern themselves. We hope that the international aid is not just going to be in the form of construction and rebuilding ruins, but that it extends to help Iraq set the basis of a new state."


SYRIA:   "Mass Destruction Democracy"


Riad Zein commented in government-owned English-language Syria Times (4/13):  "The liberation of Iraqi is an illusion since occupation perpetuates and is reminiscent of colonialism, and since many Iraqis are turned into slaves under the technology of war of the invading forces.  Human rights are protected in terms of massacring thousands of innocent people, bombarding civilian areas and destroying a whole country with internationally banned weapons of mass annihilation.  America's freedom and democracy are expressed in terms of encouraging people to loot and destroying government buildings and private property of maintaining unrest and creating disorder and instigating violence....  It is really the freedom of robbery and theft and the democracy of disorder and violence that America seeks.  This is actually the mass destruction of freedom and democracy....  What an immoral, criminal and brutal superpower governed and guided by a junta of racist leaders, war-mongers and greedy gangsters!"


“The Iraqi People’s Responsibilities”


Ali Nasarallah commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (4/11):  “Even though the US war-machine has been able to kill thousands of Iraqi people and demolish Iraq’s infrastructure, it will certainly not be able to kill the Iraqi people’s resistance. This is not theoretical, but is learned from the lessons of history....  U.S. Administration officials announce they will need 2 or 3 years of occupation to reorganize....  Iraq.  They talk about a transitional situation, which accords with the Israeli perspective and...Sharon’s logic vis-à-vis US claims about fulfilling security and stability...then about organizing elections and withdrawing US forces while still maintaining military bases to protect the oil fields and US interests.  But achieving security and stability in Iraq might not be achieved for two reasons: first, the US will not help achieve security and stability; rather it will encourage chaos and revenge, and will deepen disputes among Iraqis.  Second, the Iraqi people will feel the danger and will refuse to succumb to the invaders. This will extend the duration of occupation....  The Iraqi people will soon realize the tragic aspects of occupation and its catastrophic results.  They will realize that their national interest is in giving up internal disputes and maintaining their political and national unity....  The US and the UK should realize that they won’t be able to kill the feelings of freedom." 


TUNISIA:  "Privileging The Rational"


Editor-in-chief, Noureddine Hlaoui contended in independent French-language Le Temps (4/12):  "What is essential in these current events, is the fact to turn to the future and to get down to the task of reconstruction, labor and knowledge. In fact, the time is for another battle but of a different kind. Other countries have been through the similar circumstances and got out of it with great fortune.  We cite the examples of Japan and Germany that are today considered as the first rivals of the U.S. on the economic level. Bush and Blair have supposedly delivered a positive speech concerning the future of Iraq and its wealth. We should take them at their words and launch a call to the international community to take note of the American-British engagements. On the other hand Arab countries are called to achieve their own union, which should start on the economic side. They should take inspiration from the European Union example."


"War Against Iraq: It is Just A Delayed Action"


Editor-in-chief Chokri Baccouche stated in independent French-language Le Quotidien (4/11):  "The United States and the Great Britain have maybe won a battle, but they could never win the war. Because the hardest is to come and the occupation of Iraq opens up the door to chaos.  The invaders have gotten off on the right foot to undergo one heck of a change....  From being a weak and exploited country, Iraqis will obviously discover the other side of the coin, which is a country led by a puppet government that fully obeys the American administration. They will see the tankers full of crude oil moving under the control of the occupying army without receiving any dividend. Their lives will not be better for sure. The true reaction of the Iraqis won't take long to start and the 'liberators' of today risk undergoing one heck of a change."


UAE:  "Arab Policy Towards Iraq"


Dubai-based business-oriented Arabic-language Al-Bayan editorialized (4/13):  "The Arab league and Arab countries are requested to move towards protecting not only Iraq and Syria, but also all Arab countries that might sooner or later find themselves an American target."


"Iraq Is Only The First U.S. Target"


Sharjah-based pan-Arab Al Khaleej editorialized (4/11):  "When the U.S. threw its first bomb under its motto for the 'liberation' of Iraq, it was a new era of occupation.  It was the first bomb against all Arabs and their rights and it won't be the last.  Baghdad is only the first piece in an chain of Arab countries that will fall.  Choosing Iraq as the first target was not a random step since it is the biggest, richest, and most powerful country in the Middle East."




AUSTRALIA:  "The New Nuclear Diplomacy"


Geoffrey Barker noted in business-oriented Australian Financial Review (4/14):  “Judging by the cost of the war and the post-war problems facing the U.S. and its coalition partners, it may be some time before future U.S. intentions become clear.  Restoration of order...and the installation of a new Iraqi regime will be slow and expensive....  But perhaps the clearest signal that the U.S. might be trawling for more pre-emptive targets has been its remorseless pressure on Iraq’s neighbor, Syria, a regime probably no less brutal than Hussein’s....  It would be ironic and tragic if the Iraq war, which was supposed to disarm one dreadful regime, had the unintended effect of speeding other dreadful regimes towards nuclear weapons acquisition.“


CHINA:   "The Iraq War Will Influence The Middle East Situation"


Tang Zhichao and Wang Xiaole opined in official Communist Party-run international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (4/14):  “The U.S. will hold the sole hegemonic position in the Middle East.  Russia, France and Germany have lost an important chessman to bargain with the U.S.  The importance of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Jordan will decrease in Middle East strategy of the U.S.  Israel will be a big winner of this war.  The Middle East will still be the source of unstability.  Iran and Syria are worried that they will become the next targets of the U.S.”


“Seeing The Prospect Of The U.S. Hegemony From The Iraqi War”


Yuan Peng wrote in official Xinhua international news publication International Herald Leader (Guoji Xianqu Daobao) (4/11):  “The U.S. dream of imperialism has never been as obvious as it is now.  Although the U.S. has strong, comprehensive national strength, its strength of moral influence and cultural centripetal force are decreasing day by day.  This sole super power of the world is facing a dilemma it created itself. Now it is hegemony, not the U.S., which the other countries are opposing.  This is a chance for the U.S. to correct its mistake by giving up its unilateral strategy and adopting a practical attitude.”


“To Comprehend Bush's Strategy”


Peng Di commented in official Communist Youth League-run China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao)(4/10):  "In the attack to Iraq, how dedicated the Bush Administration is! How rushed its actions are! How strongly statements are worded! And, how rudely its diplomacy is!  These are all rarely seen in international relations....  Many people can see that the deeper goal of the U.S. is oil. But there is much more than oil....  If the U.S. controls the Middle East and the oil in the area, there is a great possibility that economic lifelines of many important oil-consuming countries will be controlled by the U.S.  Then, the day that the U.S. imperialism controls the world is not far off. How much the Bush Administration hopes to realize that!....  The first step of Bush’s ‘ambitious’ strategy is close to being accomplished.  His second step may still be in the Middle East, but possibly change another way to set up another pro-U.S. regime. The whole world is cautiously watching the next U.S. step.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "U.S. Hawks Are In Power, World Can Hardly Have Peace"


Independent Chinese-language Hong Kong Economic Journal wrote (4/12):  "The U.S. neo-conservatives who planned the war will become even more influential in U.S. foreign policy, with a greater impact on the international order.  These neo-conservatives and the U.S. Jewish lobby are closely related.  They highly praise Israel's right-wing Likud Party, with its military mindset and style of government.  Today, the U.S. emphasizes national security in justifying its pre-emptive measures, which is no different from Likud's strategy....  The situation today is different from the past as the U.S. hawks are in power.  Although they represent a minority view in international politics, their actions will impact the global situation.  Given an American victory in Iraq in just one month, the neo-conservatives may redouble their efforts to promote their philosophy.  It is feared that the world map may shortly be redrawn."


JAPAN:  "A New Era Of Wars"


Liberal Mainichi observed (4/11):  "The start of U.S./UK action against Iraq and U.S. troops' demonstration of overwhelming power in their seizure of Baghdad marked the start of new wars in a world dominated by the 'democratic empire' of the United States.  Although the original purpose of the U.S. use of force was to disarm Hussein of WMD, no such weapons have so far been found in Iraq.  Instead, the U.S. appears to be publicizing 'democratization' as the purpose of war in Iraq. Now, the U.S. can opt for the purpose of war at its own will."


INDONESIA:  “New Form Of Imperialism”


Muslim-Intellectual Republika commented (4/11):  "The Iraqis and the world community seem to have no choice but to accept the reality, the bitter reality of a new form of imperialism and colonialism.  New imperialism because no matter the form of the new government in Iraq, the U.S. will ‘force its will.’ At least they have to get ‘approval’ from the Uncle Sam....  But how many more democratic government have to ‘fall’ if they oppose U.S. interests?....  Even the fall of President Soekarno was reportedly also due to U.S. interference....  We and other civilized people certainly do not want the world to be made black and white by the president of one country, the U.S.  A president that forces the law of the jungle is one that opposes the world.”


MALAYSIA:  "The Future Of The Gulf Is Not In U.S. Hands."


Government-influenced Malay-language Utusan Malaysia contended (4/11):  "One of the Arab world’s concerns now is if the U.S. will live up to its promise of allowing the Iraqi people the freedom to rebuild their own nation.  Another is whether the U.S. will target another Arab nation for opposing the war in Iraq.  The is much speculation that the U.S. would not have attacked Iraq if it did not count on a positive ‘domino effect’--to enlarge its sphere of influence in the Middle East.  The fate of Iraq is a grim reminder to the other Arab countries that unity among them is important if they want to stop the arrogance of the U.S.  Saddam Hussein may have committed heinous crimes and alienated his neighbors, but to let foreigners topple him from power--is something that should not have been allowed to happen.  The Iraqi people need not share the same fate as the people of Afghanistan.  All Islamic countries should offer assistance to rebuild this oil-rich country.  We should also be aware that the U.S. and Britain will always start with economic sanctions, and then with the excuses of freedom, democracy and anti-terrorism, before they invade other countries."


PHILIPPINES:  "Might Does Not Make Right"


Sonny Coloma wrote in the leading business-oriented BusinessWorld (4/11):  "Beyond Iraq, the Arab world has been put on notice that awesome U.S. technology could be used against other recalcitrant regimes. What country will be next: Syria or Iran?....  U.S. unilateralism has created a serious rift between the Americans and the Europeans, principally the Germans, French and Russians.  To his credit, Prime Minister Tony Blair has been quite outspoken in his advocacy for a significant UN role in post-war Iraq. In contrast, the U.S. has already telegraphed in advance its plan to install a retired general as warden of Baghdad and put in place an American-backed transitional regime.  My own wish is to see larger crowds and hordes of jubilant Iraqi citizens dancing in the streets....  Beyond that, they should assertively establish their own government, not a government of puppet or stooges as feared by...prescient Arab observers.  But this could really end up as wishful thinking in the face of realpolitik....  Alas and alack, the resort to expedient unilateral military action has defined the parameters for the post-Saddam Iraqi and Middle Eastern political arena.  If there is no effective counterpoint to U.S. unilateralism, we may well be hapless witnesses to a new world order that will be built mainly on the platform of military might."


SOUTH KOREA:  "A Return To Barbarism"


Lee Young-ja opined in government-owned Daehan Maeil (4/14):  "The war in Iraq was a result of thorough planning and decision-making, not an event occurring by chance.  If Nazism had claimed the lives of millions of Jews in the past, 21st century 'Americanism' has taken the lives of countless Arabs as a sacrifice.  The U.S., having emerged as a powerful nation in the 20th century after a victory over Nazism, is now writing its own disgraceful chapter in history to surface as the superpower state of this century.  Regardless of whether the U.S. wins in the war or not, and even if the Iraqi people welcome the Americans as liberating them from an iron-fisted rule, the U.S. attack on Iraq can never be justified.  If, instead of introspection, the U.S. finds justification for its actions, then mankind's history will return to a helpless state of barbarism."


THAILAND:  “A Unipolar World--An American Dream”


The lead editorial in conservative, Thai-language Siam Rath read (4/10):  “American experts’ theory on the clash of civilizations sees U.S. culture as the standard for the west.  To survive and remain strong, western civilizations must have U.S. culture at their core....  Such is the principle of the U.S. ideology of a ‘unipolar world’ or an American dream, if you will.  The U.S. would have achieved its goal had it not been too cruelly hasty.  Apparently the western bloc is now splitting into two camps….  Asian countries that have been at odds, competing with one another and following in the west’s footsteps should rethink and reunite.  Asia must close ranks with Africa and South America so as to act as a counterbalance against western oppression.”


VIETNAM:  "War In Iraq And Its Long-term Consequences"


Dang Vu wrote in Ha Noi Moi, run by Hanoi city authorities (4/10):  "Politically, the war that the U.S. unilaterally waged against a sovereign country has seriously violated the UN Charter....  The US has immensely damaged the role of the UN....  The war of aggression against Iraq has made countries and regions adjust their strategies and policies toward the U.S.  Militarily, although the U.S. is able to gain control over Baghdad, the situation in Iraq and the region will be unstable for a long time, just like what happened in Kosovo and Afghanistan.  A government set up by the U.S. [in Iraq] will face opposition from the people who lost their families and who were displaced because of the war.  Ethnic conflicts will break out.  Terrorism will have an opportunity to mushroom in many places.  The conflict between the Muslim world and the U.S. and its allies will become more profound.  Countries will have to spend more on defense budget.  An arms race will begin."




INDIA:  "Fighting Imperium" 


The nationalist Hindustan Times carried a piece by Anand K. Sahay saying (4/12):  "It's not yet clear if Syria will go Iraq's way in U.S. planning, but America has already attacked two countries in the last 18 months.  Such a high frequency of military excursions has not been seen in modern times, or since the United Nations was established to prevent wars....  We can't yet be certain if Iraqi nationalism is cohesive enough to be reckoned as a factor in the current scenario; nor whether there exists such a thing as a wider Arab identity that the American imperium may have to contend with.  However, while the Arab Street may be an unknown quantity, a postscript can be appended to the U.S. invasion, namely, that 'shock and awe' failed as a military strategy."


PAKISTAN:   "If Hawks Have Their Way"


An editorial in the Karachi-based independent national Dawn read (4/14):  "Following on the heels of the universally opposed Iraq war, any further widening of America's doctrine of pre-emption in action could plunge the region into turmoil and further polarize a deeply divided world still seething over the unilateralist U.S. attack on Iraq.  Most of its allies, including Britain, France, Russia, Germany and the pro-U.S. Arab states, are urging Washington to shun further confrontation and move instead towards healing the rifts opened up by the war, restoring the battered credibility of the United Nations and putting the Palestinian-Israeli peace process back on track."


"Dawn Of A New Day"


Iqbal Latif contended in the Lahore-based Daily Times (4/14):  "Muslims seem fanatically devoted to their tyrants. Muslim populations virtually everywhere have protested against the war and supported Saddam Hussein....  I wonder why the Muslims demonstrate against the liberation of an Islamic population....  We have just witnessed the end of Saddam's regime following the U.S. invasion. But this is an invasion with a difference. Baghdad's surrender this time around has not ended in massacres. In fact the poor people of Iraq have been delivered from tyranny and will shortly be given the power to decide their own destiny....  The decline of Iraq was due to the absence of freedom. Welfare and freedom are interlinked, with freedom will come the fruit of prosperity. It can be hoped that the land will regain its lost glory. It will be a harbinger of progress in that region."


"The Next Patriotic War"


Shafqat Mahmood declared in the centrist national News (4/11):  "is it over for the United States? Indications are that the next target is already being lined up....  There is an eerie familiarity to the opening salvos in the Syrian game plan....  The stage will be set. Quislings will create a free Syrian army. A new coalition of the willing will be put together with Israel as a major partner and war unleashed.  Another Arab country will be 'liberated'....  It is not a surprise that Al-Jazeera, the independent Arab television station has been hit for a second time in two conflicts. It was hit in Kabul and now in Baghdad. This just indicates how vital it is for the U.S. to control the news....  The name of the game is controlling information....  This American administration is moving at a breakneck speed to reshape the world to its liking. It has no care or concern for other people or for the suffering that it leaves in its wake....  American troops are in every region of the world and in more than fifty countries. Pax Americana continues to extract a heavy price."


"Another Fall Of Baghdad"


Second-largest Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt maintained (4/11):  "America has completed the plan to deal with all Islamic countries one by one; the fall of Baghdad being the starting point.  In the garb of friendship, the U.S. is an enemy of the Islamic country (Pakistan) that went for nuclear testing despite the warnings of American president Clinton....  We wish we could sense the danger emanating from Baghdad."


"Fall Of Baghdad"


The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer said (4/11):  "Iraq's fate should, however, be an eye-opener for other Muslim nations. Irrespective of the denials by the United States, the fact remains that Muslims are the targets of President Bush's policies. His projected plans to reshape the Middle East map and to bring about democracy in the region obviously smack of his ultimate designs about the region....  It's a sad day because the fall of Baghdad will open floodgates of political intrigues, blackmail and turmoil in the Middle East, whose implications will also spillover to other regions as well....  Saddam's blunders have contributed towards encouraging Bush's vision to make the 21st century as the U.S. century. Difficult days are thus ahead of the world, as new doctrines and patterns have been introduced in the international politics by the U.S.  Might will be right in the 21st century as well!" 


"The Fall Of Baghdad"


The center-right national Nation maintained (4/11):  "As President Saddam Hussein lost his hold on power, the people were aided and abetted by the invading army to pull down his imposing statue in the heart of Baghdad, whose outstretched arm pointed towards Al-Quds (Jerusalem).  When a guiding motive of the whole anti-Iraq exercise was to make Israel the region's paramount power, any threat to Israel symbolized by this statue is anathema and to be removed.  Although U.S. troops took down the Stars and Stripes they put on it briefly, the lurking intention of imperialist occupation was not lost on TV viewers worldwide....  While the Iraqi campaign is not yet over, U.S. and U.K. warmongers have fired warning shots at other targets....  Muslim countries, which are undoubtedly in the line of fire, should waste no time in formulating a joint policy to defend themselves, lest they are taken out one by one. The Zionist-run U.S. is out to implement Israel's expansionist agenda. It has to be stopped in its tracks. Meanwhile, it is also essential that the international community move to prevent a U.S. quasi-colonization by pressing for the UN to take the lead role in the country's rehabilitation.  As a Security Council member, Pakistan must play an appropriate role."


"After Saddam, What Next?"


The Lahore-based Daily Times observed (4/11):  "How will the post-war, pre-peace situation unfold in Iraq and who, if any, is likely to be America's next target. Both questions are obviously interlinked....  Whether the U.S. now moves on to create more such "democracies" will depend on whether it takes its cue from the ease with which it has toppled the Iraqi regime or from the difficulties it is going to face in winning the peace. There are fears that it might use the war rather than the still-to-be peace as the benchmark to make that decision. That would be a mistake....  Most neo-conservatives think or hope that the Iraq war is really the beginning of a gigantic historical experiment whose purpose is to do in the Arab world what was done in Germany and Japan after World War II. This is a misconception. It equates two nation-states like Germany and Japan with over one billion "Islamic" people spread across vast swathes of the globe and politically, ethnically, nationally and in many other ways different from each other. This is the Huntingtonian fallacy that refers to an Islamic civilization in the same context as Western, Sinic and other 'civilizations', a kind of theoretical packaging that eschews the many fault-lines in an attempt not to lose the larger theoretical picture....  In the next phase, therefore, the U.S. and its war-allies will face...a multitude of interests, ethnicities, tribal loyalties and feuding, individual and group demands and so on." 


NEPAL:  "Lesson For N Korea And Others"


Dr. Shreedhar Gautam held in the centrist Kathmandu Post (4/10):  "The Iraq war is the most unequal, immoral, unjustified and brutal in nature....  There was a deep conspiracy and a long drawn out plan to attack Iraq and eliminate the leadership with a view of occupying the land directly, and to take hold of Iraqi oil wells.  Now the destruction of Iraq is almost over and the occupation of Iraqi soil by the outsiders is almost certain.  The moot question before other nations is to analyze the event calmly, and then to draw a definite lesson for the future.  Though many nations might meet the fate of Iraq, the immediate impact of the war will be felt by North Korea… The case of Iraq has helped us understand the reason why North Korea is not abandoning its nuclear policy, despite the U.S. threat… Now it is clear that the U.S. would have never dared to attack Iraq if the latter had either nuclear capability or adequate modern weapons to match the highly superior firepower of the former....  The U.S. action has shown that no country in the world can preserve its independence if its army and people are not one in defending their soil from the possible attack.  Now small countries are threatened and scared."




SOUTH AFRICA:  "Hollow Victory For The War Whores"


Intellectual weekly Mail & Guardian said (4/11):  "It would be a grave mistake to view the scenes of a post hoc sanctification of the United States' criminal invasion....  With no sign yet of Saddam's WMD, the 'justified pre-emption' argument is looking more and more threadbare....  The US and its jackal, the United Kingdom, have done the easy bit.  With the world's most sophisticated military hardware, they have overwhelmed a country savaged in an earlier conflict and bled white by sanctions.  Now they have the far more demanding task of winning the peace....  One can only hope Iraq's sovereignty is restored as soon as possible, and that somehow from this appalling mess a stable, legitimate government and integral state is salvaged.  For this, it is essential for the US to relinquish administrative hold of post-invasion Iraq to the United Nations.  The longer the invaders stay on conquered soil...the stronger the impression in Arab and Third world minds that this was a colonial resource-grab.  And the victory they proclaim will indeed be a hollow victory for the 'war whores'


TANZANIA:  “Iraq Should Be Rebuilt By Iraqis Themselves”


Kiswahili-language independent weekly Rai commented (4/10):  "After America and Britain failed to convince the UN to endorse military action against Iraq, these two countries took it upon themselves to invade Iraq. This action was condemned by the international community as an act of bullying. Hundreds of innocent civilians have lost their lives.  A big part of Iraq is now in the hands of foreign troops, and already the work of reconstructing the country has been initiated by representatives of these powerful countries.  The original purpose of invading Iraq, so as to disarm Saddam’s regime of its weapons of mass destruction, has changed. Even the second reason, which was to liberate Iraqis from an oppressive regime, has also changed. It is now becoming obvious that these countries actually wanted to topple Saddam Hussein and rule the country.  TV stations have been showing pictures of buildings and infrastructure that have been demolished by incessant bombings. They have fulfilled their purpose. Iraq is now in their hands.  It would thus be prudent, if they would rebuild Iraq politically, socially, and economically, just like they had promised. But in doing so, Iraqis should be in the frontline in supervising this work, which should not just be for the benefit of outside corporations.”


ZIMBABWE:  “What Next For 26 Million Iraqis After Saddam?”


The independent Daily News opined (4/10):  "The United Nations is justified to be concerned at the future of the 26 million people of Iraq after the United States-British forces have routed Saddam Hussein and set up a ‘colonial’ administration....  The world needs to restore its faith in the UN, whose efficacy as the final arbiter of peace in the world has been sorely challenged by the U.S.-UK adventure in Iraq....  The morality of the military action against Saddam Hussein will be debated for a long time to come, along with the new doctrine of the U. S. Government of ‘regime change’....  What does the future hold for what have been called ‘rogue regimes’ which ignore everything that can conceivably be seen as allowing for the freedom to the people to exercise their inalienable rights as citizens?  There are governments today, members of the UN, who can be slotted into this category.  The UN itself has no power to act against them, unless there is consensus for such action among the five permanent members of the Security Council.  If there is no consensus, what happened to Saddam Hussein becomes an option, a dangerous option, but an option nevertheless.”




CANADA:  "The Threat From Syria And The Right Response"


The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (4/11):  "There's good reason why the flags of Iraq and Syria are almost identical.  The neighbouring countries are like brothers, albeit bickering brothers.  They've been run for decades by separate arms of the Arab Socialist Baath Party....  Now, the U.S. military controls Baghdad.  Is the next stop Damascus?  One might think it possible, judging by accusations being exchanged by the Bush administration and the regime of Bashar Assad....  There's little doubt the White House would like to see regime change in Damascus.  The Syrian government has provided intelligence about al-Qaeda to the CIA.  And it voted at the UNSC last fall for Resolution 1441....  But these helpful steps, U.S. officials suggest, are outweighed by Syria's support of organizations such as Hezbollah....  But even the most hawkish members of the Bush administration know another war is unlikely.  The invasion of Iraq is commonly viewed as lacking a basis in international law, though Washington has defended it on grounds that numerous UN resolutions against Iraq hadn't been met.  There is not even that rationale concerning Syria, though; an attack would be viewed as American unilateralism, pure and simple."


"America In The Post-Saddam world"


Jeffrey Simpson reflected in the leading Globe and Mail (4/11): "In this unipolar world, post-Saddam Iraq, how does the United States use its power? Will it be Iraq today, Syria, Iran or North Korea tomorrow? Or will the U.S. have its hands so full rebuilding Iraq that it will lack the concentration, resources and will to turn to these countries? Was Iraq a one-off case, or the first of a series of confrontations that, by military and/or diplomatic means, the screws are turned by Washington? What lessons, in other words, will the Bush administration and the U.S. public draw from this easy triumph in Iraq? The answer, in part, lies in what happens next. Should all go well--Iraq restored physically and rebuilt democratically--the euphoria sweeping across the U.S. media (and their Canadian acolytes) will embolden the Bush administration to new targets. If, over time, things begin to go wrong--discord in Iraq, more terror, political instability, unexpected financial costs--then the euphoria will fade and questions will be asked about imperial America....  It would appear that the U.S. has an agenda, paid in blood for it in Iraq, emerged triumphant (as if a military victory were ever in doubt), and will now proceed as it chooses, superpower triumphant."


"Who Is Next On America's List?"


George Jonas commented in the conservative National Post (4/9): "With coalition forces converging on Baghdad, the Bush administration's warning to Syria to stop supporting Saddam Hussein's regime with military equipment seemed ominous....  I don't think it's incumbent on the democracies of the West to force people to live in peace with their neighbours. If they can't come to terms on how to share a strip of land, too bad; let them duke it out....  It's only when other cultures seek to involve us in their quarrels, whether by terrorism or by the development of weapons of mass destruction, that we're justified in sending tanks and warplanes to offer them tutorials in the benefits of democracy. The regimes that meet the criteria of intervention include any that aren't armed with WMDs at present if they attempt to develop them. They also include regimes that already possess WMDs if they exhibit hostile intentions, e.g., North Korea. Naturally they include all regimes or ideologies that sponsor, train, shelter, or reward terrorists, as Iraq's Baathists or the Taliban have done....  We might expose them to the usual consequences of belligerency, including blockades and invasions. Insofar as Syria's Bashir Assad or Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei flirt with developing WMDs or encouraging terrorists, they may find democracy being delivered to them by tanks and warplanes. This, incidentally, is true for Saudi Arabia's royals as well. They'd be safer on their oily thrones if, instead of funding and condoning Islamofascist terror, they stuck to such relatively benign expressions of their culture as stoning adulterers, amputating the hands of thieves and preventing women from driving."


ARGENTINA:  "A Crucial Piece In The Complex Middle East Chess Board"


Ana Baron wrote in leading Clarin (4/14):  "By saying that the US believes Syria has WMD, President Bush reinforced the position of those who think that the Syrian government will be the next target of the antiterrorist war. Nevertheless, just as in the case of Iraq, the argument of weapons would not be the most important one. Syria is a crucial piece in the geopolitical map of the Middle East that Bush wants to redesign and democratize....  Both Arabian and Western observers agree that the only thing that could stabilize the region after the war on Iraq is an Israeli-Palestinian deal....  In this framework, the US is reported to have promised Tel Aviv that it 'will take decisive action', which could include military action, to put an end to the Syrian help to Hezbollah....  With his eyes placed on reelection, Bush will hardly decide to strongly pressure Sharon, which could deprive him of the Jews' vote. But he could well pressure Syria for free from a domestic point of view."


"Who Is Next? Syria, Iran Or Northern Korea?"


Claudio Uriarte opined in left-of-center Pagina 12 (4/10):  "As of yesterday, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria border with a new country: the U.S....  The military victory of US-UK led troops has been conclusive and fast....  The denunciation made last year by George W. Bush of Iraq, Iran and Northern Korea as members of an 'Axis of Evil,' and the fact that Iraq succumbed yesterday under US-UK weapons should not lead us to think...that they will be used in the same way as in Iraq. Instead, they would rather have a role of strategic destabilization, political guarantee and military deterrence, and, particularly, for political destabilization....  For instance, Iran is the main country accused (by the U.S.) of sponsoring well as Syria....  Saudi Arabia does not have armed forces...but part of the money of its oil fed Al Qaeda....  And North Korea is the most enigmatic component of the 'axis of Evil.' In fact it is nothing else but a ghost of China. And China is the real power that allows filling out the image. It provided North Korea with the components of its nuclear weapons....  China was the author of the program used by Pakistan to build its nuclear arsenal, and China, not least, is the strategic enemy imagined by the Pentagon's hawks within the next 25 years."


BRAZIL:  "Who's Next?"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (4/13):  "The crushing U.S. victory over Iraq presents the world with a new geopolitical situation. The greatest risk is that the Bush administration's hawks might try to expand their field of action. The veiled threats that USG officials have been making to other nations with which Washington has disagreements are worrisome....  The worst thing is that such interventionist ideas have the support of the U.S. populace....  The Bush Doctrine supports preventive and unilateral attacks against nations or groups that represent or may represent a threat to the U.S.  A sensible administration, however, would avoid using arms whenever possible. In truth, following Iraq, the simple threat of attack could work as a dissuasive force. But common sense has not characterized the Bush administration, dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong-il or terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. As a result, the possibility of imprudent actions cannot be dismissed....  In the past few weeks, Syria has gained prominence among George Bush's 'major villains.' Washington is also profoundly unhappy with Saudi Arabia. Who will be next?....  The notion of preventive attack against future threats, not against imminent aggression, is unacceptable. If it were a 'right,' as the White House's ideologists see it, and all nations exercised that right, the world would live in a permanent state of war."


"Going Backwards"


Luis Fernando Verissimo contended in right-of-center O Globo (4/10):  "This war's dreaded figures may be lost in a convenient non-definition, because no one will be interested to know even why the war occurred, whether for a cheaper oil or any noble cause.  What difference will it make in the way Iraqis were liberated in the invasion of their country without provocation? To kill is also to liberate.  Another thing that may not survive these unbelievable days is our old habit to mistake technology with civilization.  A habit we should already doubt when one concluded that only a very civilized people like the Germans would be able to develop methods of mass extermination as efficient as those of the Nazis. Today, the world's greatest technological power is using all its ingenuity to go back in time 100 years to a colonial occupation of a country....  We're back to classical imperialism, to the hypocrisy of the Crusades, to the pure prepotency disguising plundering.  What other story are the intelligent missiles telling, the warriors with night-vision and the fantastic new doctrine of liberation bombing--not to mention, of course, Bush's election--if not the failure of civilization, or the means to measure it?"


"A Shock Of Civilizations"


Center-left Jornal do Brasil runs article by Leonardo Boff saying (4/11):  "Never mind the mystic, economic or political motivations, the fact is that Bush aims to establish the Pax Americana and fit the world to the American way of life.  After 9/11 it was decided that this would be done through the use of force.  No one should dare to challenge this pretension or else he will know the U.S. devastating power. Therefore, Bush prolongs and takes the intrinsic mark of the Western paradigm to the last consequences: the wish to subject the whole world, to establish a universal empire.  The so-called globalization is nothing but a Westernization or, poisoning of the world....  The West, namely, the U.S. may hold the control over capital production and technological and scientific knowledge.  But, no car will move...without the Arab petroleum.  Hence the pressure and surveillance of Western powers over the Arab countries, dividing them and maintaining them under severe control.  There exists a great disappointment and even anger in the Arab and Moslem people vis-à-vis the West and the U.S. Despite their essential role on the functioning of the world system they feel they don't count....  And their religion, the best, the  highest, is only seen as a focus of terrorism....  Today, under Bush's perception the threat is back under the spectrum of mass destruction arms and of ferocious terrorism.  Hence the need to face it militarily.  It's important to grasp [the idea of] those hidden structures in order to better understand the reasons of the current war."


"After Baghdad's Fall"


Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo opined (4/11):  "The quickness with which the invaders advanced in Iraq belied those pessimistic forecasts--in which even this paper believed--of the conflict's duration and intensity, in addition to showing the efficiency of Rumsfeld's strategy. But is it is also a fact that the doubts had been sowed by the Bush administration less for the warnings that the war would be long and difficult than for the alarm that Saddam could use his poisonous weapons anywhere....  The result of the attack is expected to raise Bush's popularity back to post-Sep. 11 levels, thereby increasing his reelection chances next year. It is also expected to stress the arrogance and self-sufficiency that characterizes the current U.S. administration's view of the world and behavior. The indications that Washington has not excluded the possibility of resorting to force once again, now against Syria, are notorious."


MEXICO:   "Preemptive Peace"


Miguel Angel Granados Chapa held in independent Reforma (4/11):  "North American hawks such as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have insisted in singling out the next victim, Syria.  Washington has identified an axis of evil whose members are on an ominous waiting list.  Against the war in Iraq, the ones promoted by unilateralism, we should organize preemptive peace."


"The Future After The Battle"


Olga Pellicer wrote in independent Reforma (4/10):  “The decision to maintain control of the reconstruction of Iraq is consistent with the principles that guided the international strategy of the Bush administration.  In the first place, it will head this ‘civilizing mission,’ that the Administration probably wants to take beyond the borders of Iraq.  In the second place, it will be possible for the Bush administration to firmly maintain the visibility of U.S. supremacy.  Now that he is at the point of completing the first stage of his intervention in Iraq, President Bush could pause for a moment to ask himself if the criteria he used to embark upon this military adventure, so opposed by the rest of the world, were the best, or if he should reconsider them.  Unfortunately, nothing seems to indicate that there is any willingness to engage in this kind of reflection.  By contrast, the future after the battle seems to be framed by the strengthening of American arrogance and the unease of those who fear a long period of instability.”


“Iraq: Balances And Perspectives”


Left-of-center La Jornada observed (4/10):  “The regimes of North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya are considered by Washington as its enemies; the story about the diplomatic pursuit and the invasion on Iraq is perceived by them as a sign of the uselessness of the UN, of its resolutions, and of its procedures; perhaps their conclusion is that the only solution to appease the US is the development of weapons of massive destruction capable of dissuading the White House. For international journalists who preserve a minimum of honesty and professionalism, it is clear that the murder of journalists committed in Baghdad is a clear indication that Washington considers the independent press as dangerous, a military goal and an enemy that must be destroyed and demoralized....  The end of Hussein’s regime is the beginning of an era of oppression, destruction, occupation and sacking directed by the U.S.”


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  “The Domino Effect"


Establishment, pro-business Listin Diario editorialized (4/11):  "“Once a new order is imposed in Iraq, the enormous task of political carpentry will bring many surprises to the Middle East....  It is not only a matter of handling multimillionaire deals to capitalize production and the economy.  It is about the political reconstruction that will set the foundations to reform a new state based on democratic principles, western-style....  When Iraq...ceases to be what it has been, Hussein’s and a powerful elite’s private preserve and bloodthirsty, and it uses its riches to promote development and freedom, the story of the Middle East will be a totally different one....  Hussein’s fall could open the doors to a, still unpredictable, democratic process in the Middle East.  A process already those Arab states that know that their short-comings and weaknesses will become apparent to the free world, when Iraq enters the new chapter of its history.  This war will undoubtedly have a domino effect, in the long or short-term.  Let’s wait for it.”


GUATEMALA:  “The First Hyper-Power Is Born”


Rodrigo Castillo del Carmen observed in moderate, leading Prensa Libre (4/11):  “The United States has gone from being a superpower to become the first hyper-power in the world.  With the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. government has said to all nations that, from its particular point of view, security outside the United States no longer depends on the consensus of countries that had interpreted the end of the Cold War as comfortable vacations from strategy....  There is no doubt that the invasion of Baghdad is just the beginning of U.S. expansionism in the Middle East.  Washington is ‘warning’ Iran, Syria and North Korea to learn their lesson.”


PANAMA:  "Sadam's Fall"


Sensationalist tabloid Critica Libre declared (4/10):  "The supposedly cruel enemies of the United States and of Western culture, were now waving the stars and stripes and were congratulating the Marines for having them liberated from oppress yoke.  The same scenes of happiness that manifested when the Berlin wall fell....  It is expected that United States and Great Britain will impose a provisional occupation regime....  The United Nations participation in this immediate reconstruction plan is necessary to ensure that the new government does not lose legitimacy before the international community....  Now it is necessary to carefully observe the reactions of other countries considered enemies of the United States....  Syria, Iran and North Korea.  As said by one of President Bush's advisors, the U.S. preventive war against terror can neutralize other countries."


PARAGUAY:  "The Dictatorship Of The Empire"


Business-oriented Asuncion-based La Nacion stated (4/13):  "The Emperor George W. Bush and his allies are sighing in relief after a victory, that, besides trying to hide censorship and the murder of journalists, caused more fatal victims than they thought.  That is, if those who carried out this war thought at some time about the deaths they could cause."


VENEZUELA:  "One Fewer Dictator"


National El Mundo commented (4/10):  "Saddam Hussein fell, and there is one fewer oppressor in the world.  Not a one of the Arab people arose to defend him.  There was talk of a fight between Islam and Christianity as during the Crusades, but now we see that Baghdad is not Constantinople, nor is Saddam Nebuchadnezzar.  Saddam's supposed courage vanished into smoke, into nothing.  The man who was so bizarre when he tried to massacre the Kurds, persecuted his own people and invaded Kuwait, has hidden like a frightened damsel.  God willing, if he is still alive, he will have the courage to face his defeat and assume his responsibility for the catastrophe his stubborness has wrought upon Iraq.  Have you seen how his statues fell yesterday?  There are dozens.  He thought he was in luxurious palaces, while his people scraped roots from the dirt to have something to eat.  Every despot should learn the lesson of his defeat, for this time will come to all."


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