International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

April 30, 2003

April 30, 2003





** Gen. Jay Garner's arrival in Baghdad marked the U.S.' "official occupation" of Iraq.


** The Iraqis are right not to "trust" the occupiers and will not accept a "quisling government."


** While Shiite demonstrations signal the danger of religious radicalism, the meeting of the "far from united" Iraqi leaders highlights the reality of the post-Saddam "power struggle."


** The push to lift sanctions and the awarding of reconstruction contracts to pro-Bush administration companies imply that the U.S. seeks to "monopolize" post-war Iraq.




Garner must 'restore order amidst chaos,' but lacks 'public acceptance'--  Global observers stressed that Washington's "viceroy" must bring some semblance of order to Iraq and not permit "confusion to prevail."  Calling him a "Caesar clone" with "practically unlimited powers," Russia's neocommunist Slovo claimed that Garner can "turn Iraq into an equivalent of a docile colony."  Skeptics, citing the "wall of public unrest" in Iraq, held that Garner faced a "Titanic challenge" and, as South Africa's liberal Natal Witness noted, would need the "wisdom of Solomon" to establish an interim administration.  Emphasizing the "foreign ruler's" Israeli ties, Arab and Muslim writers treated Garner's presence as marking the "shameful and painful truth" of a U.S. occupation.  Malaysia's government-influenced Berita Harian concluded: "Whatever steps he takes to restore order," he will be "viewed with suspicion and skepticism."


A U.S.-engineered transitional government will lack legitimacy--  An interim Iraqi government imposed by the U.S. would both lack "legitimacy" and be tainted as a "puppet government."  Writers worldwide agreed the Iraqi people had reason not to trust the U.S. and criticized Garner's "belated attempt" to bring "would-be Iraqi politicians" to the table.  Giving power only to Iraqis "wholly dependent on the U.S." would confirm allegations that the U.S. was planning a "classic colonial occupation," and a prolonged U.S.-UK presence would fuel Iraqi hostility and resentment.  Outlets in Muslim countries accused the U.S. of choosing Iraqis to serve as "agents for America."  With Pakistan's independent Dawn they vowed that the Iraqis will never accept a government run by "a stooge of the occupying Americans." 


U.S. is playing a 'winner takes all grab,' wants to lift sanctions to 'loot the oil'--  The "showdown" over awarding reconstruction contracts to "hand-picked" companies with ties to the Bush administration proved the U.S. intended to "call the shots" and prevent other countries and the UN from "interfering" in post-war Iraq.  Turkish and Mexican dailies saw a "fragmented" and "subjugated" Iraqi government as enabling the U.S. to take the "biggest chunk from both the oil and the rebuilding."  The West Bank's pro-PA Al-Ayyam reiterated the U.S.' "real aim is to steal Iraq's oil wealth, provide American companies with contracts" and prepare Iraq to serve "strategic U.S. interests," adding that Israel also "expects to benefit" from the spoils.

EDITOR:  Irene Marr

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This report is based on 87 reports from 45 countries, April 21-30.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:   "The Race To Establish Security And Stability"


The center-left Independent commented (4/29): "Yesterday's gathering, held in central Iraq on what previously would have been a national holiday for Saddam Hussein's birthday, produced both positive and negative signals.  On the plus side, attendance was more than four times the 60 or so who attended the first conference 10 days before, and included representatives of the Shia Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which had boycotted the earlier meeting.  The meeting also agreed to make 'all efforts' to hold a national conference to select a transitional government within four weeks.  That is an ambitious timetable. On the minus side, however; the SCIRI is split about the role of the U.S. military administration; nor can the group claim to represent a majority of Iraq's majority Shia population.... There is evidence, too, of friction between the U.S. and British about how to proceed.... What is increasingly apparent is that the respect of Iraqis for the U.S. and British now depends entirely on how soon security is established and basic services restored.  The longer this takes, the more tenuous their authority will become and the more likely it will be that others not to their liking will move to fill the vacuum."


"The Real Looting Of Iraq May Just Be Beginning"


Patrick Cockburn wrote in the center-left Independent (4/28):  "The failure to stop the looting has damaged American prospects for restoring even temporary stability....  But if a U.S. occupation develops long-term weaknesses this will not have a lot to do with looting, spectacular though it is, or the breakdown of the Iraqi administration.  It will stem rather from whether or not Washington is, in effect planning a classic colonial occupation, giving power only to Iraqis wholly dependent on the U.S.  In their current triumphant mood, George Bush and Tony Blair show no sign of appreciating the morass they have entered.  Six months ago an Iraqi friend told me he was all in favor of the U.S. going to war to get rid of Saddam, but he added, 'My only fear is that, before it starts, the U.S. will realize that this war is much against its own best interests.'"


"Without The Promised Money, Iraq Will Become Another Haiti"


Niall Ferguson commented in the conservative Daily Telegraph (4/23): "How much will it cost to reconstruct Iraq's economy, exhausted by decades of dictatorship, disrupted by an Anglo-American Blitzkrieg and now seemingly in the grip of anarchy? The sums involved already sound worryingly large to American voters: up to $17 billion a year just for the costs of occupation, according to one estimate, plus 'several billions' more for humanitarian assistance....  Money will also be needed if the rule of law and civil society are to be rebuilt in Iraq. Bush is allergic to mentions of the hugely expensive post-1945 Marshall Plan for Europe. Nevertheless, this is precisely what the United States needs to come up with.... A policy which focuses exclusively on today's bottom line and tomorrow's exit strategy is a recipe not for Iraqi recovery, but for Port-au-Prince on the Tigris."


FRANCE: "Iraqi Opposition Is Far From United"


Commenting on the conference in Baghdad under the auspices of Jay Garner, Christophe Ayad wrote in left-of-center Liberation (4/29): “How to impose some kind of order in the midst of chaos? This is the task awaiting the Americans in Baghdad. As one looks at the representatives present, it is difficult to assess which criteria guided the Americans in their choices.”


"Baghdad’s Explosion"


Thierry Oberle observed in right-of-center Le Figaro (4/28):  “Whatever the true explanation of what happened in Baghdad over the weekend, the explosion is a sign of what the Americans can expect in the future.  The tragedy has underscored the anti-American gut-reaction of the Iraqis.  The liberators do not enjoy the benefit of the doubt and must constantly justify themselves without ever managing to fully do away with local skepticism. In the event that terrorism is proven, the prospects are alarming.”


GERMANY:  “No Power To Donkeys”


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (4/29) noted: “For the first time, a large-scale conference talked about the future of Iraq....  By arresting the self-appointed mayor of Baghdad, the Americans made clear that they want to control events.  Where civilian structures have formed, U.S. forces cooperate with religious organizations, political leaders, or tribal chiefs.  But only those will get authority who cooperate with the U.S. administration.  The meeting in Baghdad shows that the different Iraqi opposition forces are beginning to orient to Garner’s policy.  This is a precondition for the chaos of the past few days to give way to a new order.  Only if the United States now reins in, can it prevent individual groups from carrying out their power struggle by using force.  In this transitional stage, only the United States will help, in order to allow the Iraqis to do without less America in the near future.”




P. Zierut commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (4/28):  “The U.S. government is not credible when the future of Iraq is involved.  The U.S. administration is speaking with twisted tongues when the issue is Iraq’s reconstruction and the political post-war order in the country.  And the Iraqis are right not to show any trust in the occupiers.  While U.S. interim administrator Jay Garner must try to sell U.S. activities as a carrot, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is swinging the stick....  If an occupying force, which presents itself as a liberator, excludes certain groups right from the will suffocate the gentle plant of freedom, which it pretends to promote....  This is the arrogance of invaders.  What is even worse:  With such a policy it makes impossible the political part of the work of its man in Iraq, Jay Garner.... And the fact that the U.S. government has already awarded U.S. companies with contracts for the project ‘reconstruction’ is only further small evidence that it will speak with twisted tongues if it makes Jay Garner say:  Iraq to the Iraqis.”


"United Nations As Subcontractor"


Stefan Kornelius noted in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (4/26): "The war-critical Europe, and France in particular, is faced with an new realpolitik lesson:  the United States will take the international community as sub-contractor to Iraq, and the contract is to be concluded with the United Nations in the form of a resolution.  And the signatories should not harbor too many hopes about the contents....  There is only one way to influence U.S. policy, and it functions according to the old principle that those who pay also determine future events.  Only if America’s allies agree to offer reconstruction assistance with peacekeepers and civilian support, will they have a say.  The Bush administration is greatly interested in this support, because it is slowly comprehending the enormous dimension of this new foundation of a state.  In this situation, the sub-contractor is able to negotiate the price--but it is unable to place orders.”


“War And Post-War”


Erik-Michael Bader opined on the front page of center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (4/22): 

“With the arrival of...Jay Garner, the post-war time has begun.  In view of the difficult task of leading the beaten country to an independent, stable, democracy where the rule of law prevails, U.S. politics is required to do a good job, since the stain clings to the United States of having waged a war of aggression without the UNSC approval....  But this stain cannot totally disappear, even if Iraq is rebuilt...  And the states that not only, for mere reasons, opposed the U.S. war against Iraq, are faced with a another fundamental problem.  They must try to heal the alienation not only for their own interest but also because the resolution of many problems in the world for the benefit of the people requires well-functioning cooperation among the most important nations in the world.  But they must also reject a ‘forget-it’ tolerance which fosters the softening of painfully achieved principles in international law.”


"Lifting Of Sanctions On Iraq"


Patrick Leclerq commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late evening newscast Tagesthemen (4/22):  "At fist sight, it is grotesque.  The dictator is ousted, the war almost over, Iraq needs assistance--and the UNSC is arguing over whether the UN sanctions should be lifted....  But the UN is also supposed to play a role when its very own goals are involved: nation-building according to criteria laid down in international law.  I think, this is in order, but it should happen swiftly, because twelve years of embargo and sanctions cost the lives of half a million children.  The visible decline of the country should not be extended by small-minded bickering.  The people in Iraq will measure the work of the war coalition against whether and how fast they are better off....  The great strategists in the UNSC should remember this fact before Iraq drifts away into religious radicalism."


ITALY:  “Garner: A Month To Create A New Government”


 Alberto Pasolini Zanelli observed from Washington in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (4/29): “The only thing on which they all agreed was not to send birthday greetings to Saddam Hussein.... But they sent their best wishes to Iraq, the youngest country in the world, at least in this new form, while it is also the cradle of the oldest civilization. American governor Garner recalled this when he opened the meeting among the main leaders from several Iraqi factions in order to begin forming a new state.…The Iraqi transitional government might become operational in 6 weeks. What America fears is that the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ might degenerate into ‘a man, one vote, only for one time.’ And this would be a major denial of what President Bush promised yesterday, that Iraq will be an example for democracy.”


"Rumsfeld: 'We Will Remain In Iraq To Help Democracy'"


Washington correspondent Bruno Marolo held in pro-Democratic Left Party (DS) L’Unita (4/28):  “U.S. troops are in Iraq to stay.  This is what U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said at the beginning of a visit to the Gulf area that will deeply change the U.S. military structure.  Now that the war has been won, Rumsfeld finally has a green light for the realization of his plans.  He wants a smaller, more mobile and more aggressive army.  He is planning a reduction of

‘difficult’ bases in Saudi Arabia and a strengthening of the bases in the countries that are more willing to cooperate, including perhaps the new Iraq."


"Northern Iraq Celebrates In Light Of Garner's Promises"


Marco Ansaldo reported from Dohuk in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (4/23): "A federal Iraq, with Kurdistan as a model.  This is the example that America has in mind for Baghdad after the war.  An audacious proposal that will prompt a debate, but one that was discussed without mincing words and with determination yesterday in northern Iraq by General Jay Garner, the U.S. civil administrator of Iraq, and two Kurdish leaders now allied....  Garner's decision to visit Iraqi Kurdistan was much appreciated by the Kurds, who have known him since 1991, when he was the protagonist of Operation Provide Comfort, that gave some relief to the areas in the north of the country, brutally attacked by the Saddam Hussein regime, with chemical attacks first and then with a genocide project."


"Democracy Cannot Be Born In One Day”


In front-page commentary in centrist, influential La Stampa,  U.S.-based correspondent Maurizio Molinari argued (4/22): “Garner’s task is to establish a strong dialogue with the Shiites, since it is from this seed that democracy can blossom in Iraq.  The task of the Shiites is, instead, to prevent hasty solutions that would create problems for the reconstruction process.  A decision depends on their religious leaders, who are at a crossroads.  They can exploit the power vacuum to try to lay the bases for an Islamic state similar to the one that the Hezbollahs are pursuing in Lebanon.  Or they can take a new road - revolutionary for the Middle East - i.e., creating a representative system where there will be no preferences among the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds.”


“Garner In Baghdad: ‘We Will Stay Only As Long As It Is Necessary’”


Lorenzo Cremonesi wrote from Baghdad in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (4/22): “The first impact between former General Jay Garner and the country that he is supposed to govern for an undetermined period of time was traumatic to say the least....  In addition to try to restore essential services, Garner will have to try to govern chaos.”


RUSSIA: "A Step Forward"


Georgiy Stepanov wrote in reformist Izvestiya (4/29): "America has set out to build a new Iraq.   While the Americans may have to ask for outside assistance to restore that country's infrastructure and facilities, they think they can manage its political revival on their own....   The current talks in Baghdad seem like a step forward, compared to the al-Nasiriyah meeting of April 15, which drew only 80 participants."


"Bush Didn't Learn History Lessons"


Boris Volhonskiy had this in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (4/29): "Talleyrand once said with reference to Napoleon that you can lean on the bayonet, but you can't sit on it.   With emperors gone, their place has been taken by the Texan cowboys....   Of the invited 400 people, only a half attended the 'conference of Iraq's best sons,' which was called by  interim U.S. administration.   Even as they were in session, reports came of the arrest of Mayor Mohammed Zubeidi, the only man who could maintain at least a semblance of order in chaos-stricken Baghdad....   Officials in Washington have had increasingly to point out in their statements that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is not forever and will end soon....   That George Bush is poorly versed in international politics was known even before he was elected president.   Now it appears that he did not learn his history lessons well either."


"Garner As a Caesar Clone"


Vitaliy Gan filed from the United States for neo-communist weekly Slovo (## 16-17, 4/25):  "The U.S. appointee, given his practically unlimited powers--virtue of his patron, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld--can turn Iraq into an equivalent of a docile colony.  A strong character, he might just as well be a Caesar clone, there being no one else like him in all of the Pentagon. In the days of a fierce fight in Washington over the Persian Gulf 'pork barrel,' Rummy knew what he was doing when he named the general as his choice.  In the past several decades Washington has more than once had a chance to admire a spectacular blend of qualities in Garner that makes him a stand-out in the capital, which seethes with ambition, political intrigues and selfishness."


"Failure To Find WMD Will Compromise Military Operation"


Gennadiy Sysoyev held in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (4/22): "The Americans, as they have set about rebuilding vanquished Iraq, may have a cabinet and cabinet members of their own choosing in Baghdad.  They may keep their interim administration there as long as they want, too.  The winners, they call the shots in postwar Iraq.   But the label of a puppet government will forever stick to a new Iraqi cabinet, and the civilian administration will forever remain semi-occupation in the eyes of the world, unless the Americans prove that they were justified in using force.   They must find evidence that the former Iraqi regime had weapons of mass destruction. They must do it soon or have the entire brilliant operation compromised."


BELGIUM:  "U.S. Has Not Made Any Friends Yet"


Senior writer Hubert van Humbeeck in liberal weekly Knack commented (4/24):  “Reality in the Arab desert is not as nice as George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld had promised in their simple messages.  The United States has not made many friends in Iraq yet.  Those who were in the way were eliminated.  Shoot first, and then ask.  Americans still believe that you can bomb a city first and that the people who live there will be happy to see you afterwards....  It is true that, at this moment, there is no other effective means to topple a dictator than the use of massive violence.  An institution like the UN could make itself useful by finding an answer to the questions: as of when should a dictator be worried?  Are there objective criteria to define the degree of dictatorship?  How, by whom and on which scale can violence be used?  The events in Iraq are not doing any good to the Pax Americana.  The entire Middle East is living in fear of what is going to happen next....  If the Arab world is forced to accept more openness it will rather be the work of intrepid TV stations like al-Jazeera than the result of an arbitrary shower of bombs.  The region needs cameras and TV dishes that show the world to the Arabs as it is.”


CZECH REPUBLIC: "The Area After Battle"


Pavel Masa wrote in centre-right Lidove noviny (4/28):  "The invitation extended to the Czech Republic to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq, including the possibility of sending advisers to government offices, is good news for businesspeople, and it must also please the Czech Foreign Minister, Cyril Svoboda, who had to face anti-American stands of Czech politicians. The scars the Czech Republic suffered in the home political battle cannot be hidden rosy layer of allied thanks. Maybe our 'tribal' chiefs should stage a mini-conference to seek ways out of the chaos and to launch a targeted policy."


HUNGARY: "Garner In Baghdad"


Senior columnist Endre Aczel editorialized in leading Nepszabadsag (4/23):  "Jay Garner, the retired General...can't escape the big challenge of making the Shiites and the Sunnis become used to peace in Iraq....  It is hard to envy General Garner.  And there is one more thing for which Garner can't be envied.   He ought to give back to the Iraqi people the basic criteria of normal life in a couple of days: water, electricity, transportation infrastructure and hospitals, as well as law and order.  The American General, to my belief, can win the will of cooperation of the 'native' Iraqis  more or less as quickly as he manages to normalize life [in Iraq].  A great majority of the Iraqi people are well-trained and educated individuals, by Arab standards by all means.  They are slowly going to team up around Garner, which is the option for them."


IRELAND"  U.S. Doesn't Seem To Get The Iraqi Psyche"


Lara Marlowe observed in the center-left Irish Times (4/29): "Gen Garner and his Washington mentors seemed to believe it was enough to topple Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi people would be eternally grateful and instinctively gravitate towards the sunlit uplands of democracy....  Gen Garner has promised to kick-start Iraqi government this week. Yesterday, he resumed belated efforts to encourage Iraqi leaders to emerge, hosting only the second gathering of would-be Iraqi politicians since the U.S.-British invasion.  Like Saddam Hussein before them, U.S. forces are attempting to co-opt Shia clergy, asking them to issue fatwas - religious decrees - in support of the U.S. presence.....   As Ahmad Chalabi, the US- backed banker tainted by an embezzlement scandal, is finding, U.S. support may a political kiss of death....  A worst-case scenario would be Iraqis uniting to drive out U.S.-British forces, then turning on each other in civil war.... Yet a more moderate tone in some Islamist movements gives slight cause for optimism. Iraqi Shias are aware of the economic and human rights disaster in Iran and they want to avoid replicating the neighboring revolution's errors."


"The Baghdad Building Bonanza Fuels Anger"


The centrist Sunday Tribune carried comment by U.S. editor Marion McKeone stating (4/27): "The White House is facing an embarrassing showdown over its allocation of billions of dollars worth of construction contracts in Iraq to a small number of handpicked companies who have close ties to the Bush administration....  The Bush administration's decision...has fuelled anger among the congressional Democrats and government watchdog groups.... The White House has responded to its critics by justifying that the need for expediency justified the decision to bypass the normal procedures relating to the rewarding of government contracts which allows U.S. and international corporations to submit tenders."


LITHUANIA: "Short Euphoria Followed By Fight Over Power"


Arturas Rozenas, observed in the main political-economical weekly  Veidas (4/24): "The more messages of this kind we receive from Iraq, the more it becomes clear, that what comes next is sisyphean work for Americans.  As one could have expected, the U.S. is seeking to consolidate 'temporary' rule, but these intentions are also facing the wall of public unrest. The fall of Saddam's regime created even quite comic Iraqi fights for political posts.... But formally, the United States have appointed retired General Jay Garner to coordinate Iraq restoration.  Gen. Jay Garner and his team of 500 people are responsible for Iraq's 'civilian matters.'  In 1945 General Douglas McArthur entered Japan as a leader of the occupation army and was met with extreme anger. However, history tells us that after six years he was seen off with tears - he was that effective in putting a hostile country on its legs.  If Gen. Garner is able to do something similar in Iraq, he will be seen off with tears not only by the people of Iraq, but by all the population of the Middle of the slowest developing regions in the world."


MALTA: "Iraq Should Now Be Allowed To Sell Its Oil"


An editorial in the independent, English language Malta Independent held (4/25):  "Even now that the latest Iraqi war is over, France and Russia are continuing their course of self interest - at the expense of the nation they have all along been playing a charade of pretending selflessly to protect....  Because of this Franco-Russian intransigence, Iraq is currently sitting on millions of gallons of oil that it is forbidden by the UN to put on the world market.  It urgently needs the income this sale would create in order to start financing the desperately needed supply of water and food, and to rebuild schools and hospitals for the new nation.  The U.S. meanwhile is no longer keen to involve the UN, which was hampered from supporting it, and without whose assistance it launched the invasion. Its perhaps fairly reasonable attitude is that a substantial investment of dollars and human lives deserves some kick-back, at least in the first round.  France and Russia, on the other hand, want the profits without the pain.... Transatlantic ill-feeling and squabbles, especially between France and America, may take some time to repair and overcome, but they must not be allowed to impede the reconstruction of a country whose future and freedom all this fuss has been about."  


NORWAY: “Iraq And The U.S. Need The UN”


Erik Sagflaat assertedin social democratic Dagsavisen  (4/23): "An administration controlled by an occupation force has no legitimacy apart from what it has given itself.  There are consequences when other countries are asked to contribute with soldiers in order to create security and uphold law and order.  Without a UN-mandate with status as a peacekeeping UN-operation, such forces will become a part of the occupation army....  Also Security Council Resolution 1441 is still in effect.  It was not nullified by the U.S. invading Iraq.  Resolution 1441 assigns the UN’s weapons inspectors the task of checking if illegal weapons are in Iraq.  Only the UN’s weapons inspectors have the international authority to decide whether such weapons are there, or eventually declare the country free of WMD.… It is important that such weapons be found....  It was fear of Iraqi WMD that gave the war a certain legitimacy....  It is in America’s own interest that the UN’s weapons inspectors are called back to work."


POLAND:  "Gratitude And Patriotism"


Milada Jedrysik argued in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (4/28):  “Will Americans succeed in helping create a government in Baghdad that is friendly to the U.S.?  In practice, they probably will.  After all, they have helped, and even financed, the Iraqi opposition for years.  Whether such a government will be supported by the people, is a different thing.  To maintain popularity, any authority in Baghdad will have to emphasize at every step that it distances itself from Washington--even if these are empty declarations.  The American plan provides for establishing an interim government in Iraq, adopting a constitution, and holding free elections within two years at the latest--whose outcome the U.S. will not be able to steer.  Therefore, much depends on how the U.S. behaves now--whether it will withdraw its troops as soon as possible, will not interfere in Iraq’s internal issues too openly, and will invest enough money and effort in the country’s reconstruction for the Iraqis to see.”


PORTUGAL:  “The Big Choice”


Prof. J.A. Azeredo Lopes, director of Catholic University's International Studies Center, argued in an op-ed in influential moderate-left Público (4/28): “The United States, without even hiding the game, is trying to establish an international legal order at two speeds:  a legality for all of the states of the globe and the relations which these establish among themselves, [and] a super-international legality, applicable to the United States and its relations that it develops with the rest of the world.... Treatment deserving of prisoners of war? Obviously, for others.... The rules of the United Nations Charter on the use of force?  Notable, applied to others....  The day-to-day work of maintaining peace and humanitarian actions in peripheral countries of little strategic or economic weight, as in Africa?  Magnificent, others do it. The United States is not promoting any democratic transition whatsoever in international relations.... In the Iraqi case, I understand that the North Americans should assume in full their status of occupying power and not transfer to others the duties of the day-to-day management of the country.  They already have all the advantages, it is good for them to assume the problems.  Or as it has already been said: They created the child.  They should take care of him.”


SPAIN:  "Hawks of Peace?"


Centrist La Vanguardia held (4/28):  "It surprising that the leading role for Iraqi's reconstruction and the stabilization falls on the Pentagon and not on the State Department, with Colin Powell on the sidelines....  The reality is that in Washington Powell's half-year of diplomatic failure, when he couldn't obtain UN endorsement for war, is compared to a month of Rumsfeld's military successes.  From this perspective, the logic of war presides over the post-war and even the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  The hidden objective is to take unilateralism to its final conclusions and go in without the UN, the European Union or Russia.   It's a dangerous path on which [Bush's] main allies, Aznar and Blair, disagree....  American diplomacy should recuperate its leading role and this demands that the other European allies, starting with France and Germany, help Powell.  If not, in the third millennium international relations could stay on in the hawks' hands."


"The Arrival Of The Viceroy"


Centrist La Vanguardia wrote (4/22): "Jay Garner...has arrived in Baghdad...Praised by some thanks for his work during Gulf War I in Iraqi's Kurdish region, criticized by others because of his presumed business connections with the Pentagon, Garner showed yesterday signs of some realism by making his maximum priority the restoration of running water and electricity.  Certainly, he won't be lacking problems...Never has a post-war period been the object of so much previous planning.... The problem is that nobody dares predict how long this stage will last."


SWEDEN: "Garner In Baghdad"


Senior columnist Endre Aczel editorializes in leading Nepszabadsag (4/23):  "Jay Garner, the retired General...can't escape the big challenge of making the Shiites and the Sunnis become used to peace in Iraq.  Because an entire nation though can't be  dismissed or replaced. It is hard to envy General Garner [for his current task]. And there is one more thing for which Garner can't be envied.   He ought to give back to the Iraqi people the basic criteria of normal life in a couple of days: water, electricity, transportation infrastructure and hospitals, as well as law and order.   The American General, to my belief, can win the will of cooperation of the 'native' Iraqis  more or less as quickly as he manages to normalize life around himself [in Iraq]. A great majority of the Iraqi people are well-trained and educated standards by all means.

They are slowly going to team up around Garner, which is the option for them."


TURKEY:  “Rebuilding Iraq”


Turgut Tarhanli wrote in the liberal-intellectual Radikal (4/29): “It seems that the U.S. is inclined to keep the United Nations out of the picture in the future of Iraq’s political structure.  As for the rebuilding, it is odd to see that American firms are given the major share in construction projects by the U.S., which happens to be the occupying force in the country.… It remains to be seen to what extent the U.S. will be successful in establishing a legitimate political and administrative structure in Iraq while at the same time remaining as an occupation force.  Initial signs are not promising though, because Washington is busy with correcting the remarks by a retired American general who is designated to be the chief of the Iraqi restructuring mission. … The question yet to be answered: How will the U.S. be able to legitimize the restructuring process even though the operation itself was suffering from a lack of legitimacy to begin with?”


“Turkey-Iran And The Turkmen”


Asli Aydintasbas wrote in mass-appeal Sabah (4/28): “The Turkish foreign policy mechanism has become isolated on the Iraq issue.  Even today, Turkish foreign policy makers continue to produce ‘worried’ statements instead of producing new policies in the light of colossal developments in our immediate neighborhood.… For instance, Jay Garner talked about Kirkuk as being a Kurdish city, and received a harsh reaction from Ankara, which resulted in Ambassador Pearson being summoned to the Foreign Ministry.  Ankara is right to react, and Garner’s statement is certainly unpleasant.  However, Turkey has also failed to present an active policy on the Kirkuk issue, contenting itself instead with declaring ‘red lines.’… While Turkey fails to be an active player in the game, Iran continues to push the limits.... Iranian influence is a fact, not only in the Shiite areas in the southern Iraq, but also in the north and in Baghdad.... There was even an indirect negotiation between Iran and the United States in order to give final shape to the statement at the Erbil meeting.  Iran is certainly one of the major players during the transition period of Iraq, and will remain so in the upcoming administration.  Meanwhile, Turkey is simply not seen at all.”


"The Transitional Administration In Iraq"


Mustafa Balbay argued in social democrat-intellectual Cumhuriyet (4/25): "Watching Jay Garner in Iraq gives a clear picture about the intention of the U.S. for the future of Iraq.  Iraq will be divided among three major groups: Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.  There will some contributing factors to these groups, such as Turkmans.  This is the only way for the U.S. to be able to control the groups and manipulate them as needed.... The United States is not interested in the disagreements or disputes between the Iraqi groups, as long as oil business remains secure and under U.S. control.  U.S. policy for Iraq can be summed up as follows: The new Iraqi administration should be as fragmented as it can be and the United States should take the biggest chunk both from the oil and the rebuilding."


"Garner Faces The Realities"


Ilnur Cevik commented in English language Turkish Daily News (4/22):  "It was the Pentagon that flew Chalabi and his men into Iraq and made sure they had a political head-start.  Now is the Pentagon naming a governor for Baghdad while the U.S. administration is bringing in Mr. Garner as the new boss in the interim Iraqi administration?  The U.S. should not allow such confusion to prevail in Iraq.  It has to get its act together from the very start, or else Mr. Garner may be faced with more confusion and may find it impossible to forge some kind of order in the country.




ISRAEL:  "Just Before 'Enlightened Occupation'"


Senior Middle East affairs analyst Zvi Bar'el wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (4/27):  "Direct U.S. control in a foreign country cannot be equated with Israel's occupation of the territories or with Syria's influence in Lebanon.  The status that the U.S. has in the region has direct bearing on that of its allies, like Israel, Turkey and Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and may impact countries that might be contemplating a change in allegiance, such as Iran and Syria.  Strong liberal factions in the Arab world may still be keeping a low profile, but are nevertheless eagerly awaiting the opportunity to copy the Iraqi example as presented by President Bush, and are greatly concerned that the outcome might turn out to be more like Afghanistan.  The swift victory in Iraq shocked the region, but the duration and mainly the nature of the occupation will determine whether fear of the U.S. will play a role in creating a new reality, or whether this fear will eventually wane and American rule in Iraq will follow Israel's track in Lebanon or the Soviet Union's in Afghanistan."


WEST BANK: “Will Sharon Succeed in Exploiting the War Against Iraq?”


Mamdouh Noufal wrote in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (4/27): “It seems that the Bush administration is determined to adopt the Israeli position [regarding the peace process] and in implementing the system of civil administration in Iraq. This system is being tried by Israel, which failed to implement it on the Palestinians. The Bush administration appointed Israel’s friend Jay Garner as a governor in Iraq to head a civil administration. Although the declared mission of this administration is to help Iraqis improve their life, its real aim is to steal Iraq's oil wealth, provide American companies with contracts to rebuild Iraq and prepare the country for the servitude of strategic American interests.”


"Israel to Gain From American Occupation of Iraq"


Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote in independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam (4/21):  "Through the American-British occupation of Iraq and their intention to establish permanent American military bases in Iraq and form a puppet government, Israel has gotten rid of the strategic danger posed on the Israeli eastern front by Syria and Iraq....  Also, Israelis are looking forward to economic gains from the indirect or direct participation of Israeli companies in the rebuilding of Iraq through American companies, which might need Israeli technology.  In addition, Israel expects to benefit from the effects of the period after the collapse of the Iraqi regime on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially since the Palestinians supported the defeated Iraqi regime."


EGYPT: "Separating Lines"


Editor-in-chief Samir Ragab opined in small circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya (4/23): "No matter how Kurds hated Saddam Hussein, their grant reception of the High commissioner of the invaders Jay Garner is astonishing.... Garner had a boastful if saying, 'we Americans have become the owners of this country and others are guests'....  if that is the position of an Iraqi faction, how can the others demand independence and expel the aggressors?  Obviously, the U.S. is plotting a civil war in Iraq."


“Separating Lines”


Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya’s editor-in-chief Samir Ragab (4/22): “The occupying government has officially arrived in Baghdad.  Unfortunately, with the arrival of Jay Garner, the scenario has become a painful and shameful one believes Garner’s and Chalabi’s statements that the mission of American troops is temporary...while the world watched how the Iraqi army was destroyed and [Americans] have started building their military bases....  How can Iraqis regain their freedom after being deprived of their most precious psychological and material tools?.... Those helpless Iraqis who for 34 years were unable to change, are now under someone who is forcing a more desperate life on them.  The light is still far especially with the tyranny of the tanks, and heavy weapons.  From experience, it is not unlikely that their case will be just a file with a number shelved at the U.N. or the Arab League.”


“America And Political Thuggery”


Leading opposition Al Wafd’s columnist Mohamed Elwan (4/22): “As soon as America got rid of Saddam and occupied Iraq...the occupying force was able to control the country so as to facilitate Iraq’s recognition of Israel... we are trapped in an American military, economic, and political hold, which aims to achieve a plot for the Middle achieve International Zionist dreams, which seek to control the eastern front, namely Iraq, and now Syria is the other end of this front.... Syria’s position on the American aggression on Iraq was not in defense of Saddam...but was responsive to the peace-seeking and legitimate Arab, Islamic and international position....  Syria’s positions do not deserve punishment and war against it.  Syria’s positions defend Arab national security from Zionism and American imperialist power.  Egypt shares this position with Syria because Egypt is the shield of the Arab world.... Unlike Iraq, America will find no Arab or Islamic support for its hallucinations against Syria and the American decision makers should reconsider their positions away from Sharon’s influence.”


SAUDI ARABIA:  "Rumsfeld In Baghdad"


Jeddah's moderate Al-Madina editorialized (4/28):  "The arrival of Secretary Rumsfeld to Baghdad...will mark the end of the war.  However, the liberation of Iraq will not be complete until Iraqis are free to choose their own administration and governing body, not a government imposed upon them by the U.S.  The road to a free self-governing Iraq, which guarantees the birth and growth of peace and prosperity, might be a long one.  We understand that Iraq requires time to rebuild its democratic authority structures.  However, the American attitude today, during the meeting with the four hundred significant Iraqi representatives, could shorten that time period, or it could prolong it.  Of course, it is not in the U.S.'s best interest to prolong the interim phase, or to waste time in the process of creating an example of contemporary democratic government.  Because if that is the case, then America would lose its victory in the war on Saddam's regime, and we do not think anyone in Washington wants that."


"The Future Of Iraq And Reality


Jeddah's moderate Okaz editorialized (4/27): "Baghdad's battle is not over yet. The challenge that awaits the actual force governing Baghdad now (i.e. the U.S.), is more important. These forces are expected to carry Iraq through the transition from a pre-war era to a post-war future in record time. We would like to remind the United States here that Iraq is not just oil fields and strategic locations; the future of Iraq is also the future of its people, who for many decades have been deprived of progress and now are eager to have it back. The UN also has a major role in Iraq's future. In a few days when the Security Council convenes, the UN must assume its rightful role. This transition period must end as soon as possible, otherwise there will be more painful surprises--like the one yesterday in Baghdad at the weapons warehouse--will be repeated.


The War Is Over, But The Chaos Continues


Riyadh's moderate, Al-Jazirah editorialized (4/27):  "It is imperative to accelerate the formation of a national Iraqi Government, as the appropriate means to handle the current crisis and future tasks. Moreover, the mere announcement to erect a national regime will restore hopes to the Iraqis, to administer their country and move it away from all the nightmares connected to the occupation. Along with a national regime agreed to by all Iraqis, it will be possible to identify mistakes and put on trial, the ones who made them. But at the present time, the people are not able to identify those who made the mistake of storing ammunitions in civilian quarters to explode and kill tens of peoples in a matter of seconds."


"General Garner And The Mysterious Mission"


Mecca's conservative, Al Nadwa editorialized (4/22): "The arrival of General Garner into Iraq marks the beginning of the first day of official occupation. Iraqis who object to foreign control of their affairs have no choice in the matter. The ousted former President of Iraq paved the way for this tragic future. His reckless policies, ruthlessness and torment of his own people are what lead Iraq to this outcome. This new phase in Iraq's future, as short as we may hope it will be, was a result of Saddam's actions. But after that the Iraqis should be left alone to govern themselves. Iraqis are not ignorant. Their country was the cradle of many ancient civilizations. Iraqis have the ability to run their own affairs. Longer than anticipated US and British presence in Iraq will increase Iraqis' resentment of Americans and create another restless spot in the region. This is what General Garner should understand and work with accordingly to make his mission as short as possible."


ALGERIA: "American Democracy -- A Historical Trick"


Principal Arabic-Language independent El Khabar commented (4/28): “The democratic operation that the United States is imposing on Iraqi society through tanks and missiles will not fulfill the aspirations of the Iraqi people as much as it seeks to achieve the aspirations of an industrial oil and military complex allied with Zionism.... The democracy being imposed on the Iraqi people, or any country with American strategic interests, not only in the Arab region but also the whole world, is no more than a type of behavior/policy adaptation of a regime to global American interests. Hence, the democracy that is being promoted by the United States is not a true democracy nor an institutionally authentic democracy. In the U.S. view, democracy means the existence of Arab governments assuring the protection of American interests, opening the markets to American products, mortgaging Arab resources and allying with Zionists.”


"Rumsfeld In Terra Conquista"


Principal French-Language independent Quotidien d'Oran commented (4/28):  “The date of the arrival of the Minister of Defense in conquered Baghdad has yet to be revealed. Entering a Baghdad devastated by an illegitimate aggression carried out under his personal command, and facing a population terrified and humiliated after thirty years of sufferings and silence, Rumsfeld is no doubt displaying provocation and arrogance. On the Iraqi side, opponents to the former regime are trying to get along with each other in order to find a solution to the dramatic situation their country is going through. The meeting to be held today in Baghdad headed by the administrator appointed by Washington, General Jay Garner, will gather hundreds of former oppositionists from inside Iraq or returning from asylum.”


 "When The U.S. Goes It Alone"


French-Language independent Liberte reported (4/27):  “For the last few days, Washington has been acting in the international arena in a way that makes one feel that the United States has no intention to let any other country interfere in the management of post-war Iraqi affairs. Indeed, General Jay Garner is acting on the ground in conformity with White House instructions. He is designing Iraq to apply plans elaborated by U.S. experts, though his success depends on the position of the Shiites who are mostly hostile to the American presence in their country. On the international scene, George Bush’s diplomacy does not hesitate to impose its opinions, including threats. France who led the antiwar front is being excluded from Iraq’s reconstruction and is simply being targeted by American threats of marginalization in international fora and meetings. The same is being applied to all the countries that supported Paris, particularly, Germany and Russia. The latter had signed several contracts with Saddam's regime and has been put on notice regarding a possible invalidation of these contracts.”


LEBANON: "Bush By Monopolizing The Process Of Rebuilding Iraq"


An editorial by Yousef Daw in pro-Sunni Al-Liwa observed (4/23): "President Bush overstepped the Security Council the first time by launching the war against Iraq, then overstepped it again by monopolizing the process of rebuilding Iraq....  He refused to give the French, Russian, and Chinese a chance to invest in Iraq and granted only American companies huge contracts that aim at rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure....  USAID appears to be replacing an interim Iraqi government...and is granting American companies contracts not only to rebuild Iraq, but also to work on programs to help in education and public administration....  Sources believe that the basic U.S. aim behind launching war against Iraq was to help American companies revive their businesses...and put their hands on Iraqi oil...the same sources believe that this kind of behavior will eventually be confronted through resistance."


MOROCCO: "Garner Returns To Baghdad, Marines Patrol Borders With Iran"


Government coalition, Istiqal Party French language L’Opinion noted (4/25): "General Garner has started talks with Iraqi civilian leaders while U.S. marines patrol the borders with Iran to prevent any incursions. Garner’s talks involve university professors and technocrats but do not necessarily mean that they would participate in the new government."


SYRIA:  "In Whose Interest Was The Invasion?"


Mohammad Kheior Al-Jamali opined in government-owned Al-Thawra (4/29): "The Iraqi people - who do not believe in the misleading campaigns that the invasion of Iraq was to liberate the people and bring them democracy - are dealing with the invasion as an occupation force that should withdraw as soon as possible. By this the people are expressing their free will.  So, was all of this in the interest of the United States? We find that the United States, by invading Iraq has lost much more than it would have expected to win! Through its invasion, the United States has become an occupation force that has lost what was left of its political credibility in the region, credibility that could have been enhanced by dialogue and sound logic. So the outcome of the invasion of Iraq is a blow to the United States, to the credibility of its policy and its role in the region. The invasion has turned into a free service for Israel that the U.S. will pay a heavy price for with increasing feelings of hatred towards the United States in the region and all corners of the world."


"International Legitimacy Is A Must"


Government-owned Tishreen stated (4/23):  "According to the U.S. officials, the goal of bringing democracy to Iraq was worth the high cost of the war, the killing of Iraqi innocents and the destruction of Iraqi cities.... The U.S.-UK military success in Iraq hasn't surprised anybody...but military success does not mean freedom for the Iraqi people or that democracy is brought to Iraq.  On the contrary, Iraq is living a political, security and social chaos entailing tremendous dangers in the short--and long--run....  There is a pressing need to debate the Iraqi situation at the UN because the UN is the primary legislative and political power that can deal with current developments away from any self-serving interests or economic greed."


"The Tough American Impasse"


Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (4/22):  "Why was thus war?  Iraq has lost its freedom and independence because of the direct U.S.-British occupation and the arrival of the foreign ruler, Gay Garner.  The justification for war vanished with the coalition's failure to find WMD in Iraq....  Rumsfeld tried to reduce confusion about this failure by saying that the search for WMD is still ongoing. There is talk in Washington that Rumsfeld is refusing to face this fact to keep the excuse [for the war alive]....  Similarly, President Bush called on the UN to lift economic sanction on Iraq. By this sudden call, he seeks to close the file on the war and the Iraqi crisis in an obvious attempt to escape the international inquiries about the motives of war and crimes committed against the Iraqi people, including the need for reconstruction and compensation....  This tough impasse has also caused the anti-Syria threats and accusations currently being unleashed by the U.S. Administration's hawks. These threats come within the framework of a policy of exporting crises. It is an obvious attempt to cover up the U.S. impasse incurred with the occupation of Iraq by fabricating a new crisis in the region. This covers up the tremendous difficulties occupation forces are facing in justifying the occupation and controlling people, knowing beforehand that they reject occupation and have already started paving the way for resistance through solid national unity."


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Garner Must Honor The Will Of The Arab People"


Alleging the Iraqi people will not support Gen. Jay Garner for long, Dubai-based business-oriented Arabic Al-Bayan editorialized (4/23): "Gen. Garner and the people who put him there will soon realize that the Iraqi people will hold on to their right of self-determination and will not accept any ruling system that is imposed on them.  The coming days will confirm this truth to Garner, and if he is civilized and respectable, he will bow in honor to the will of the Arab people, who will not accept helplessness."




Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar's senior columnist Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Mourad (4/23): "how sad to see the Iraqi people and the entire Arab world, which witnessed the greatest glory, witness a black day of defeat, and suffer what no one accepts.... At least their tyrant ruler was Arab, of their own, not a foreigner who is a close friend of the Zionists, now celebrating his great victory on an Arab country....  Hopefully this foreign rule ends soon with God's help."


"Liberation Not Occupation"


Columnist Dr. Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad (4/20):  "We are sure that the Arab and Gulf governments asking the occupiers to leave Iraq, and leave Iraq for its people to rule, do not really care about the Iraqi people.  These governments dread the fact that the Coalition countries might change thoughts and minds not only in Iraq, but also in the neighbouring Arab countries.  They dread real democracy."




CHINA:  "The U.S. Puts The UN Aside"


Liang Yan commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao, 4/28):  “The U.S. wants to conduct an Iraqi election without the UN’s surveillance.  It intends to decide on when to lift sanctions against Iraq.  It aims to conduct weapons inspections with the UK unilaterally.  And it wants to maneuver the trials of Iraqi senior officials....  The UN is the linchpin of the international order after World War II and guardian of the world peace and security.  If the Bush administration really wants the U.S. to play an important role in the world today, it should respect, not challenge, these basic common views.” 


JAPAN:  "Post-Saddam Iraq And Japan's Diplomacy"


The business-oriented Nihon Keizai editorialized (4/28):  "Having won the Iraq war, the U.S. and Britain will bring the world to 'many changes.'  This will certainly affect Japan's diplomacy....  Given the outcome of the war where overwhelming U.S. military power was demonstrated, it is imperative that Japan play a proper role in mitigating friction that may be caused by the U.S.  As a key ally in this war, Britain can advise the U.S. to have the UN to take part in Iraq reconstruction projects.  Japan will be able to give similar advice to the U.S.  The Iraq war has left negative effects on Arab nations.  Polls conducted recently in these nations show Arab dislike of the U.S. and Britain, while Arab opinion of Japan remains high.  Japan will be able help reduce anti-U.S. feelings that could flare up."   


"ORHA Must Win Iraqis' Trust"


The liberal Mainichi held (4/22): "Given the fact that sporadic acts of resistance still continue in the countryside, U.S. and UK troops should, for the time being, be responsible for restoring and maintaining public order.  It is imperative that ORHA chief Garner and other officials give top priority to making Iraqis' daily life safe and stable in cooperation with Iraqi police and fire officials. We ask that ORHA, USG and British officials work exclusively for the benefit of Iraqis, while paying thoughtful consideration to their feelings.… The U.S. and Britain as well as other members of the international community will have to embark on the difficult task of stabilizing Iraqis' livelihood and restoring their human rights." 


SOUTH KOREA: "Winner-Takes-All Game"


Kim Ki-chon wrote in conservative Chosun Ilbo (4/21):  "Criticism is running high over the U.S. 'monopoly' of rehabilitation projects in Iraq....  Projects worth $20 billion a year will be undertaken in the coming three years.  As U.S. companies take home most of the projects, international complaints are high.  European nations are moving to bring the issue to the WTO.  A silent economic war is in the offing after the end of the Iraq War....  Back in 1980, the Swedish singing group, 'Abba,' released a song, 'The Winner Takes It All.'...  The U.S. may think that it is right and proper for it to 'sweep the stakes,' as the lyrics say.  But the U.S. should be aware of growing international complaints."


INDONESIA: "To Whom Does The New Iraq Belong"


Independent Tempo magazine (4/21) commented:  "The world's involvement in the Iraqi transitional government is a must, especially to act as an honest mediator and facilitator for the formation of a credible, effective, and dignified government.  To this end, the UN can look back at the success of the U.S. in rebuilding Germany and Japan after World War II.  The international community should not be affected by the waves of protests of the Iraqi people against foreign interference.  General McActhur faced it when he began his mission in Japan as the leader of the occupational government in 1945. Six years later, when he was about to go home after he handing over his power to the elected government, the Japanese saw him off in tears."


MALAYSIA:  "Garner Will Find Rebuilding Iraq A Titanic Challenge"


Government-influenced English language New Straits Times ran the following commentary form its Group Editor-In-Chief asserting (4/29):  "Good luck to him.  The challenges he faces are titanic.  It is rather difficult to make predictions about whether Iraq after Saddam Hussein will slide into ungovernable anarchy or become a success story.  The most consistently quoted reason why the English-speaking axis urged the war against Iraq was that the Iraqi dictator had weapons of mass destruction which posed a calamitous threat to neighbouring states (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait) and many other farflung nations!  The speed with which Iraq was conquered said it all: there were no weapons of mass destruction that justified the war.  If there were, where are they? So far, none has been found. Hans Blix and his inspectors were quite right. Our position remains unequivocal: if there were such weapons, they would have been found.  So far, there is no such evidence, therefore many people consider the war to be illegal and immoral.  Besides, had Saddam got them, wouldn't he use them to retain some semblance of a heroic resistance, especially in his capital?  The Diarist believes the destruction of Iraq was carried out on a false, worse, lying premise."


“Blamed On Saddam And Bush”


Government-influenced Malay language Utusan Malaysia ran the following commentary  (4/28):

“This tragedy ultimately will be Saddam Hussein’s fault as well, because the world would not be on the verge of another war in the Persian Gulf if the Iraqi leader had agreed to abide by his international responsibilities.... But the ultimatum also says a great deal about Washington's ineptitude as it sought to rally other countries to its side....  The United States has consistently mixed the two objectives of disarmament and regime change leaving key members of the transatlantic alliance to wonder whether the White House would ever have been satisfied with having a disarmed Saddam Hussein remain in power.  This confusion of motives was a fundamental reason why the Bush administration, in a blow that likely will affect the United Nations for years, had to withdraw its Security Council resolution authorizing force.”


“Rebuilding Iraq Only After Consensus”


Government-influenced Malay language Berita Harian editorialized (4/25): “After meeting a group of about 60 academics, technocrats and other potential leaders, Jay Garner, the U.S. chief administrator of Iraq, said in a statement that America will start getting Iraqi ministries back to work as the first step towards handing power to an interim government.   He has a tough task ahead no doubt, but he has a tougher image problem to address.  In the perception of Iraqi people, he will always be seen as heading a US occupation. Whatever steps he takes to bring order and peace in the country would be viewed with suspicion and skepticism. The U.S. has already failed to win support of the common Iraqis; regular demonstrations in Baghdad and other parts of the country against the occupying forces are glaring examples of that. And now it's obvious from the reaction of the Iraqis that Jay Garner does not have public acceptance.  We hope the occupation period will end quickly and an indigenous Iraqi government will be in power as soon as possible even during the interim period.” 


"Reconstruction Or Privatization?"


The government-influenced English language New Straits Times editorialized (4/21):  "What we find repulsive is that America seems to have missed the point.  Construction contracts--particularly those using Iraq's oil money--should be designed to build up and compensate Iraq, not fatten carpetbaggers' bank accounts on the damage and destruction wrought by war.  The bidding for contracts has been slanted towards firms with White House connections, in a winner take all grab that is more in keeping with Third World cronyism than American idealism.  U.S. and other international companies (if ever the U.S. allows any to come in) participating in its rebuilding should renounce all the profits gained from this humanitarian exercise.  It would appear that the reconstruction is nothing more than a privatization of Iraq's commercial sectors and public services.  You have to give President George W. Bush credit for this innovative but illicit way of spreading free trade: Seize the new markets on the battlefields of pre-emptive wars and bomb before you force free trade on your own terms upon this 'liberated' country....  The question is: Shouldn't the U.S. and Britain engage in reconstruction without an iota of profit in mind?  Or was the war on Iraq all about the money?"


THAILAND: “Sanctions Squabble Doesn’t Help Iraqis”


The lead editorial in independent, English language Nation read (4/23):  “Washington’s call for an end to the trade embargo on Iraq aside, the international community should not be distracted from the fact that America still has the moral responsibility to finance the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, and such responsibility must be funded by other means than just using revenue from Iraqi oil sales.  Regardless of existing conflicts and all the difficulties, all parties involved have the duty to bear in mind the urgent humanitarian needs of the Iraqis affected by the U.S.-led invasion as well as the three-decade long dictatorship of Saddam Hussein....  Any effort to end the sanctions must first and foremost accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of Iraqi children, men and women who have been displaced, live in hunger and despair and still harbor fear and uncertainty.”




INDIA: "U.S. In Quagmires Of Iraq, Afghanistan: Fighting On Two Fronts"


Editorial page commentary in Chennai-based independent Business Line stated (4/25): "It is obvious that the Americans had not bargained for the sort of hostile public reaction their presence is evoking in Iraq.  They are finding both in Iraq and Afghanistan that consolidating peace is far more difficult than winning wars against weak adversaries.  The unscheduled visit of Gen. (Tommy) Franks to Afghanistan at the height of the Central Command's operations in Iraq signals growing concern in the Pentagon at the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.  The Taliban...pose a growing security challenge in the Pakistan dominated areas of Afghanistan to American forces and the Hamid Karzai government."


"Second Phase Of Plundering"


Front-paged commentary in independent Urdu biweekly Dawat argued (4/22): "The first phase of pillage was when some people were shown on the TV screens and the on pages of newspapers looting commodities in various cities of Iraq after the fall of the Saddam regime.  This was to make the world believe how the Iraqi people were desperately waiting for their 'liberation' to ransack their markets and ravage their own cultural heritage.  Now, the second and the real phase of plundering is about to begin.  The U.S. is forcing the UN for the earliest abrogation of the sanctions imposed since after the last Gulf War.  After making every effort for more than a decade to toughen the sanctions against Iraq, the U.S. is now in a hurry to get them lifted in order to loot the oil resources of the ravaged country....  France, Russia and Germany are opposing the U.S. plan because they have their own economic interests in Iraq."


PAKISTAN: "The Real War Begins Now"


An op-ed by Roedad Khan in the Karachi-based independent national Dawn (4/29):  "[O]ccupied Iraq is an ungovernable jumble, has still not found peace or security and is in the grip of even worse perils than those it had faced before.  Iraq has gone under American military occupation and, like Afghanistan, has ceased to be a sovereign, independent state....  It is no secret that the war was waged for cheap oil and Washington's strategic goal of preventing the emergence of a Muslim power inimical to Israel and American interests in the Middle East....  The Americans have brought nothing, could offer nothing to Iraq except sham democracy carried on the wings of a cruise missile. They have allowed museums, libraries, artifacts, and precious relics to be looted and vandalized....  The people of Iraq will not accept a quisling government or a government run by anyone they see as a stooge of the occupying Americans.  They are not interested in retired general Jay Garner, the former missile contractor leading the effort to rebuild Iraq or Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi businessman, convicted of fraud in Jordan and a favorite of the Pentagon hawks, who was brought into Nasiriyah by U.S. forces to administer Iraq on their behalf....  America's war of 'liberation' is over.  Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is about to begin.  In other words, the real and frightening story starts now."


"Orders Of General Garner"


An editorial in the Karachi-based right-wing pro-Islamic unity Urdu Jasarat claimed (4/24): "The priorities of the United States in Iraq could be gauged from the fact that General Garner has ordered the opening of a number of churches and nightclubs throughout Iraq.  Some people still believe that the situation in Iraq is not the result of any clash amidst civilizations.  U.S. interests are associated with Iraqi oil, but the question is what relevance do churches and nightclubs have with oil?"


 "American Gifts For Iraq"


An editorial in the Karachi-based pro-Taliban Urdu Islam (4/24):  "The very appointment of the pro-Israel U.S. administrator General Garner in Iraq speaks volumes about what the U.S. actually wants to do in Iraq and the Middle East.  But the first directives issued by General Garner have cleared all ambiguities and vain imaginations regarding the hidden motives of the U.S. for occupying Iraq.  General Garner wants to give obscenity and vulgarity an outlet in a Muslim society and wants Christianity to flourish there."


"Iraq's Viceroy"


An editorial in the center-right national Nation (4/22): "General Garner, expected to bring, among other things, democracy to Iraq, has been at pains to project the view of the U.S. as a helper. However the U.S. plans for post-Saddam Iraq can be better gauged from recent developments. The Observer of London reports that plans to reconstruct a pipeline from Mosul to Haifa through Jordan are already being discussed among Washington, Tel Aviv and people in line for the interim Iraqi Government. This will ensure Iraqi oil for Israel....  As for the man who will choose the Iraqi interim government, Garner is known for his close ties with Israel and is a personal friend of Israel's extremist Prime Minister Sharon. He also happens to be one of the 42 retired military officers who signed a statement by the Jewish Institute of National Security, to praise "Israel's remarkable restraint in dealing with Palestinian uprising". He will pick Iraq's delegation to an upcoming OPEC moot. Will it represent Iraq's interests or those of U.S. Big Oil?"


BANGLADESH: “Campaign To Oust Americans in Iraq”


Pro-Iraq Bangla Inqilab's  editorial asserted (4/28): "The martyrdom of 40 Iraqis in an attack on a weapons dump by Iraqis is unfortunate.  But this attack made it clear that the campaign to drive away the Americans has gained strength.  Since the campaign has started in the capital itself, it can be concluded that the Americans are not safe anywhere in Iraq.  The reaction to American occupation of Iraq has been fierce.  The traitors helped to accelerate the fall of Baghdad before the Iraqis could understand anything.  Everything has been done so quickly through a secret deal that it was not possible for President Saddam Hussein to take any steps and the confused and hoodwinked Iraqi troops could not come forward.  But the situation changed following the fall of Baghdad and the people, the Republican Guards, the Fedayeen Saddam became aware of the conspiracy.  They are now engaged in a war of resistance and informed the world of their through a successful attack on an ammunition depot.  We believe the Americans will desist from the hateful path of killing people and quit Iraq before being driven away with ignominy."


SRI LANKA: "Fall Of Iraq Brings New Wave Of Feelings In The Arab World"


Independent Virakesari Illustrated Weekly commented (4/20): "Widespread opposition is shown inside and outside of Iraq for the U.S. efforts to form a puppet administration in Iraq.... The U.S. efforts to form an interim administration in Iraq is now facing stiff challenges. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis rallied against the meeting convened by the United States last week, to form an interim government....  The U.S. forces had to use force on the demonstrators, which killed several civilians....  However, the U.S. actions on these Arab countries have brought a wave of a revolutionary feeling among the 47 Muslim countries in the world.  Earlier, some of the Middle East Muslim countries were with the Americans. But now, the situation has changed. Some observers say, this situation may pave way for an anti-American wave among the Arab countries." 




ARGENTINA: "New U.S. Offensive At The UN"


Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion highlighted (4/26): "Next week, the U.S. will present a resolution at the UN to put an end to the economic sanctions against Iraq, legitimize the military forces' authority to handle the transition and relegate the UN to a limited role, with which it will revive the confrontation with France, Germany and Russia.... The U.S. wants the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appoint a personal delegate to coordinate the humanitarian aid task and have a consulting role for the formation of a future temporary government under Jay Garner's.... The U.S. wants Iraq's temporary authorities to manage oil income and transfer all funds from oil exports, today controlled by the UN, to an account at the Iraqi Central Bank supervised by the IMF and the World Bank, which are controlled by the U.S..... The U.S. move will collide with France, Germany and Russia....  Russia and China have made public that they will not support any resolution giving Annan the right to appoint any commissioner to work in Iraq along with the coalition forces because that would mean to legitimize the occupation."


"Increasing Controversy In The U.S. About The Terms Of Occupation"


Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion wrote (4/22): "Some members of the Bush administration have started to think that the U.S. military and civilian authorities should rapidly withdraw from Iraq not to damage the U.S. relationship with the Arab world and, above all, to prevent Iraq from permanently depending on U.S. military and economic aid... The length of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq is one of the issues most insistently posed once the U.S.-led coalition took hold of the country and started to plan the post-war rebuilding stage.... The project of the Republican administration is the establishment of a democratic government and market economy, but that task could take several years, perhaps much longer than what was originally planned.... Kenneth Pollack, head of research at the Center for the Middle East, Brookings Institution, said that if the coalition takes a long time to restore order and security and Baghdad and in the other big cities it could affect 'the crucial issue of legitimacy of reconstruction efforts.'"


BRAZIL: "After The War"


Columnist Eliana Cardoso commented in business-oriented Valor Economico (4/30): "It was already known that the military campaign in Iraq would be less difficult than the political solution for the post-war period. Jay Garner has a Herculean task ahead.... Garner's team is small and has little experience in a region whose language it does not understand. So far, Washington's bureaucratic agendas are out of step and the reconstruction has stopped. On the other hand, the immediate post-war effect on the Persian Gulf nations involves fewer problems than the 1991 war.... Iraq's reconstruction will not have negative consequences for its neighbors. Local trade is expected to increase, as well as opportunities for financial centers such as Bahrain and commercial posts such as Dubai.... The Arabs conduct business keeping their eyes on power. They will favor the U.S. in contracts to the EU's detriment.... There is [also] the hope that the end of the war in Iraq will open the door for another stage in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations."


"Critical Situation"


Columnist Luiz Weiss commented in center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo (4/23):  "The Bush administration's foreign and national security policies reserve to the UN a single and subordinated role: that of helping Washington's hegemonic projects come true....  Now President Bush wants the UNSC to lift the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq following the Gulf War....  Without Saddam and his forbidden WMDs, Iraq no longer must be treated as a pariah state.  But what the U.S. indeed wants is first a franchise to exploit Iraqi oil and use the profits to pay contractors linked to the White House, and second a retroactive version of the same legitimization previously pursued to change the regime....  If they demonstrate any consistency, the governments that opposed the war cannot agree with this situation, at least while Iraq remains a U.S. protectorate and the conquerors have not established a deadline for the transfer of power to the Iraqis."



MEXICO: "Only The U.N."


Adolfo Aguilar Zinser stressed in Reforma (4/25):  "Long before Sept. 11…during his presidential campaign, President Bush said he opposed the idea that the USG would assume responsibilities of ‘nation-state building.’ Bush said this should be the task of the United Nations…it seems that he has changed his mind.  Today, after the end of military operations in Iraq that culminated in the fall of Saddam Hussein and his regime, Bush seems to be certain that the reconstruction of Iraq is a responsibility that falls to the United States, in which the U.N. is not needed.  Let’s consider what happened in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Afghanistan and Cambodia to know that this is not true."


"Bush (Pretends) To Take Possession Of The World"


Editorial from left-of-center Jornada (4/25):  "If somebody needs a confirmation about Bush's pretensions to take possession of Iraq, they will get a clear answer from the speech he gave yesterday; he declared that the troops that destroyed Iraq will stay there indefinitely, maybe two years or less, 'who knows'.  The American President confirms what his government has been denying so far: the military aggression in Iraq has nothing to do with the strengthening of American internal security, with the fight against terrorism, or with the promotion of democracy and Human Rights.  This war was a colonialist enterprise like the ones made before on previous centuries...this project, based on a deep ignorance of the world, implies delirious and messianic conceptions, therefore, its achievement is impossible.  Unfortunately, the Bush administration will try to keep on carry it out with the consequences of bringing destruction, violence and death to other nations."


“Iraq: The Pandora’s Box”


Editorial from far left La Jornada (4/24):  “Jay Garner, lieutenant of George Bush, said ‘actions in Iraq have moved on incredibly fast and I think that the Iraqi people are better off than they anticipated.’  Certainly, things have moved on fast, but not in the direction planned by the aggressors, (they have not yet reached) the establishment of a subjugated government that allows for reconstruction of businesses and the concession of oil contracts to American and English firms.  What is happening in the destroyed, massacred and burned Iraq is a fast formation of new fronts that put up with American forces.  The most evident is the Shiite front...the fall down of Saddam has strengthened the Kurdish organizations that are located in Northern Iraq.  The forces that occupy Iraq do not have control of such organizations which have established many levels of political autonomous power -municipal and regional-, this situation is an unacceptable condition for Turkey because they are a critical threat for its internal security; in the short run, this conflict could provoke a new war between Iraq and its northern neighbor.”


CHILE: "Baghdad's New Strongman"


Conservative newspaper-of-record El Mercurio noted (4/21):  "U.S. General Jay Garner, in charge of Iraq's reconstruction, is Baghdad's new strong man.  The general is being criticized for his ties to Israel and an alleged ideological closeness to Pentagon 'hawks.'"


ECUADOR: "War And Diplomacy"


Julio Prado Vallejo (former MoFA) in commented in  Guayaquil's centrist Expreso (4/21): "It is evident that the war in Iraq will have immense political consequences.  Once Hussein is defeated and Iraq occupied by invading forces, it is likely that the germ of a religious war between Muslims from the East and Christians from the West will develop.... It is anticipated that the position of Iran, Syria, and Jordan will give way to a tacit organization of those peoples to fight against the occupation of the Middle East and the use of Iraq's oil-related wealth.  It is natural that a political conformation of this nature would provoke instability, insecurity and war-related sentiments between the East and the West. The UN chart has been breached and its international image undermined. Therefore it is necessary to launch an initiative that would promote dialogue among states and an analysis of the world situation after the war in Iraq, in order to reshape peace and security systems."


GUATEMALA: “The State of Islam”


Conservative, often anti-American afternoon La Hora asserted in its main editorial (4/23): “The immediate objective of the war in Iraq was not that the country had lethal weapons.…  It was a matter of overthrowing Saddam Hussein but it was politically incorrect to order the attack with very sophisticated weapons simply to overthrow a government, it was imperative to say the attack was to preserve world peace.”




SOUTH AFRICA: "Unanswered Questions"


The liberal Natal Witness commented (4/29):  "The post war tangle in Iraq is disturbing in its range of unanswered questions.  One still unresolved issue is whether or not Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction....   The other major mystery is the apparently successful disappearance of Saddam....   A lot of dust needs to settle before there will be clarity on these and other questions.... Jay Garner...will need the wisdom of Solomon as he seeks to establish an interim administration....  If Afghanistan was complicated, this could be even more so."


NIGERIA: "Anger In Baghdad"


Lagos-based independent The Comet editorialized (4/25): "For the interim government set up to administer Iraq by the United States headed by Jay Garner, these lessons have an immediate relevance.  The same disenchanted Iraq civilians who greeted the news of the overthrow of Saddam with glee a fortnight ago as they hailed the coalition forces whom many described as liberators, took to the streets in protest last week as General Garner entered Baghdad to assume office as leader of the interim government.  They argue that any government to be headed by a foreigner can only be understood as colonialism which should be deprecated at this time.  They expressed their preference for a government by the Iraqis themselves.  They are right.  After all the right for a people to choose their leaders is universally recognized.  The protests against the Jay Garner-led interim government in Iraq will likely continue for a while and disappear.... The political volatility in the region, attributed to Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror, can be wider and more detrimental to U.S. interests if at any given time different ethnic and religious groups in Iraq join against the occupation armies.  And everything points into that direction.”


TANZANIA:  "Let's Talk About Real Guns, Not Toy Guns For Mass Destruction"


 English language Habari Corporation-owned African editorialized (4/25):  “In Baghdad, the world is likely to witness the installation of another blessed mayor, although he may choose a more befitting title, or be given one.  Any way we look at it, the situation in Iraq is slowly, yet steadily, getting out of hand.  By bringing in Retired Gen. Jay Garner as military governor, the Bush administration has in effect stoked the fires for prolonged conflict.  In both Kabul and Baghdad, the wounds of heavy artillery are still fresh among the grieving families who lost their loved ones, and the wounded who are having to nurse their scarring wounds in countries undergoing severe deprivation....  President Bush and his war hawks are taking the world on a perilous road.  World peace will never be achieved by smoking out imaginary weapons of mass destruction - which the U.S. couldn't find in Iraq; or by capturing Osama bin laden and Saddam Hussein like rats - which again the US has failed to do....  As Bush goes hunting for small fry, he conveniently closes his eyes to Israel's massive nuclear stockpiles, which is believed to possess at least 200 nukes - or his own arsenal which is capable of wiping out everything from the face of the Planet Earth at the push of a button.  To these, he evokes peaceful means."





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