International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 7, 2003

August 7, 2003





**  Capturing Saddam Hussein would quell the "myth" that his regime could return and would be a "gift from the gods" for Bush.


**  Media call for Saddam to be "put on trial" if captured, so Iraqis can "face their oppressor."


**  Some predict that "armed resistance will continue" even if Coalition forces nab the last Ace.



Eliminating the 'ghosts' of Saddam's terror would be a 'psychological victory'--  The recent release of the "Saddam tapes" sparked concern in some outlets such as the moderate Riyadh Daily, which held that the tapes could influence his diehard supporters and contribute to the "common man's" fear that he could return to power.  European papers agreed that capturing Saddam would dispel these fears and expressed confidence the "steel network being drawn" would "not allow many to escape."  Poland's mainstream Catholic Tygodnik Powszechny surmised that "it's only a matter of time before he shares the fate of his sons."   


Bush determined to 'hunt down' Saddam--  Critics contended that Bush focused on the killing of Uday and Qusay and the search for their father in order to divert international attention from the WMD controversy.  Some observers pointed out that Saddam's capture would not only be a "political success" for Bush, but would also validate his stance that the U.S. has the "situation under control."  The "early elimination" of Saddam, according to a Belgian writer, could prompt Iraqis to be "friendlier" to the "foreign occupying troops."


'Alive is better than dead for Iraqis seeking justice'--  Global media urged the U.S. not to "make the same mistake" with Saddam as it did with Uday and Qusay, arguing that a "properly constituted court" is the best mechanism to "demonstrate the terrible power of evil" and allow Iraqis to "lay ghosts to rest."  South African dailies condemned the U.S.' "selective assassinations" carried out without the "umbrella of international legitimacy" and expressed concern about setting precedents that contravene justice.  A foreign editor at the conservative Ottawa Sun emphasized that "however odious" the leader of a sovereign nation may be, he should "stand trial at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague" rather than die in a "Bonnie and Clyde-style shoot-out" with U.S. forces.  Killing Saddam "without giving Iraqis the opportunity to deal with their former leader," a German writer hypothesized in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung, would only "provoke new resistance and distrust." 


Iraqi resistance will persist 'regardless of Saddam's fate'--  Foreign observers maintained that it was the "battered Iraqis'" frustration with the U.S. occupation and the "appalling conditions of life" that motivated the armed resistance.  These circumstances led a Russian writer to criticize the "lack of vision" in Bush's "deck-of-cards approach" and Argentina's leading Clarin to question whether the capture of Saddam and the "elimination of his key figures" will really bring peace. 


EDITOR:  Sandra Goldberg


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 31 reports from 20 countries over July 28 - August 6 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.





GERMANY:  "Operation Steel Network"


Stephan-Andreas Casdorff opined in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (7/30):  "Yes, America is still at war:  At home where President Bush must reject attacks on himself and his closest aides, and also in Iraq....  An increasing number of U.S. soldiers are killed and the forces must put an end to this development.  The best would be they would finally capture Saddam Hussein.  Many of his supporters would then lose the myth that Saddam could return....  That is why a fight house for house will begin in the hunt for Saddam on the road between Baghdad and Tigris.  The sons, his bodyguard, a Fedayeen commander--a network of steel is being drawn which will not allow many to escape.  Previous successes give reason for hope and in this case there is no doubt that what is good for Bush is also good for the United States and for the world."




Frank Herold noted in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (7/30):  "The opponents to the United States in Iraq are protesting against falling from one tutelage to another.  The United States still does not want to recognize this as one of the reasons for resistance against its occupation.  But by ignoring it, the Americans seem to repeat this mistake by removing the real Saddam without giving the Iraqis any opportunity to deal with their former leader.  This will inevitably provoke new resistance and distrust.  But the decapitation strategy has had its hoped-for effect elsewhere: In Washington....  All of a sudden, the Democrats found their critical voice again when discussing a topic that formerly enjoyed a national consensus...and all of a sudden the powerful U.S. nation is infected by the idea that this war could be lost in the end.  The latest attacks are nurturing doubts that Bush has the situation still under control.  With the execution of Saddam's sons, he was able to silence his opponents for a moment.  But only a success in the hunt for Saddam would consolidate his position even more."


RUSSIA:  "Occupiers Lose Peacetime Battle"


Olga Ivanova stated in official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (7/30):  "The occupation authorities are losing a battle on the 'peacetime front,' of course, unable to introduce elementary order in the country and ensure jobs for hundreds of thousands of angry people who know well how to handle guns.  The Iraqis wonder why the Americans do not feel obliged to restore the water and electric power supply systems that they themselves have destroyed.  The conditions of life for ordinary people are just appalling, much worse than in Hussein's days.  But the Americans don't seem to care, concerned mostly with searching for Saddam and combating terrorism.  Under the circumstances, the armed resistance will continue even if the Coalition forces kill [Saddam] himself and all his 'fedayeen.'   The only way out of the situation is a power handover to the Iraqis, a new 'Marshall plan' for Iraq, and specific dates for the withdrawal of the occupation forces."


"Lack Of Vision"


Sergey Strokan commented in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (7/30):  "The deck-of-cards approach lacks strategic vision.  The idea behind it is that getting the most dangerous criminals will be a happy ending to the affair.   Some 50 years ago, Ariel Sharon, a brave army officer with a list of 100 Palestinian terrorists in his pocket, thought so, too, as he was scouring the country in a jeep for his enemies.  Sharon killed them all. But Israel is still fighting.   It turns out that the 'Sharon list,' miraculously, can reproduce itself.  The same applies to the 'Bush list.'  The Americans confuse cause with effect.  It is not that certain people cause problems.  It is that a war causes a problem that makes certain people act.  Some Iraqis refuse to believe that Saddam Hussein and his regime are gone forever.  They may do so because they see no bright future for their country.   So if there had not been Saddam's third son, he would have been invented."


BELGIUM:  "Nawaf Al-Zaidan’s Dollars"


Pol Mathil opined in left-of-center Le Soir (8/5):  “The amount of $30 million is the largest reward ever paid by the U.S. State Department under the 'Reward for Justice’ program.  Before September 11, the largest amount was $5 million for credible information about terrorist threats. It was not a booming success: only 24 beneficiaries for a total of less than $10 million....  But here, money does not matter.  The war in Iraq is costing $4 billion per month.  The publicity on the Nawaf family’s bright future must demonstrate that the Americans are keeping their word and that, consequently, the one who knows and gives Saddam Hussein’s address will have 25 million reasons to go to the nearest U.S. Army post.  The Americans consider that obtaining Saddam’s address is likely to reduce the cost of the war and that it is therefore what we call a good bargain.”


"A Fragile Peace"


Jean Vanempten observed in business-oriented De Financieel-Economische Tijd (8/2):  “The number of dead American soldiers continues to increase.  The attacks against the U.S. occupying troops cause the domestic U.S. support for the war effort to dwindle equally steadily....  Bush has diverted all the attention for weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein himself....  The U.S. government is counting on an early elimination of Saddam....  The reasoning is simple: when Saddam is eliminated the Iraqi people will promptly become much friendlier to the foreign occupying troops.  We will have to wait and see.  Apparently, it is much easier to conquer a country in a blitz war than to establish permanent calm and order.  Among Saddam’s Iraqi opponents the resentment against the American actions is beginning to grow, too.  The desire for self-government and self-determination is growing day-by-day--and expressed more vigorously, too....  At this moment, the Untied States is trying to find allied troops to protect the fragile peace--without a UN flag because the wounds are still to deep there and, above all, because the United States does not want to give the initiative out of its hands.  It is still unclear whether a compromise is possible.  International diplomacy may manage to find a compromise in the fall.  But, in that case, a lot will depend on how the summer in Iraq went and whether Saddam is captured or not.”


"Capture Of Saddam Would Be Gift From The Gods" 


Frank Schloemer contended in independent De Morgen (7/30):  “If they are to be believed, the Americans almost captured Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The question, however, is: can we still believe the Americans?  Weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed within 45 minutes and uranium that was purchased from Niger to produce an Iraqi nuclear bomb: these were also true American stories....  The United States has the largest army of spies in the world and, with its numerous satellites, it can, so to say, look inside our bathrooms.  So, it is quite unlikely that it will not capture Saddam soon.  Although there is still the peculiar precedent of Osama bin Laden who is still at large.  The word ‘soon’ is a applicable in this situation.  Indeed, George W. Bush is in a hurry and the arrest of Saddam would be a real gift from the gods.  Although the hawks in his administration underscore that the operation in Iraq is a major success, genuine panic reigns inside the U.S. administration....  George W. Bush...urgently needs a political success for domestic use.  The capture of Saddam would be ideal, but there is another possibility: the internationalization of the Iraq dossier.  If other countries come to the rescue of the United States, that would not only be a relief for Washington, but it would also make the world gradually forget that Bush and Tony Blair played cavalier seul in Iraq.”


IRELAND:  "It's High Noon For Saddam's Sons, But That's No Way To Confront Evil"


Ronan Mullen commented in the left-of-center Irish Examiner (8/6):  “There is a real danger that the American military, still understandably in a gung-ho state, will make the same mistake with Saddam as they did with Uday and Qusay.  Even if they do take Saddam alive, they'll probably make a mess of it by whisking him off to some offshore military base, shaving his head, and issuing pictures of him manacled in a cage.  Such short cuts to justice always end in tears.  There is no alternative to a properly constituted court if you want to demonstrate the terrible power of evil....  The law is an area where we (Europe) are streets ahead of America.”


POLAND:  "Killing Tyrants"


Wojciech Pieciak wrote in mainstream Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny (7/30):  “The mills of justice grind slowly.  If only Saddam hiding in Iraq among Sunni tribes loyal to him, then it is only a matter of time before he shares the fate of his sons.  An irreversible departure of the tyrant and his successors is the best thing that can happen to the Iraqi people....  The objective of the war was to oust Saddam and his clan.  Their death...may not end the guerilla war of local ‘militants,’ but it will dispel the fears of the majority of Iraqis that the dictatorship will return.  Saddam and his sons have no chance to become icons of the ‘resistance movement.’  For the Iraqis and Arab countries, it is also evidence that the allies treat seriously another objective of this war, namely to create a new Iraq.”


SPAIN:  "The Net Around Saddam Is Closing In"


Center-right ABC urged (7/30):  "After locating and killing the dictator's sons and the U.S.' response to the attacks by the remnants of the deposed regime's military and security apparatus, arresting Saddam Hussein has become a priority objective for Washington.  In a society totally permeated by terror in which the outrages and crimes of the former Iraqi president and his sons took place with the utmost brutality and impunity, doing away with the emblems and ghosts of this terror is more than just a publicity coup.  It is a psychological victory that cannot be underestimated....  But Iraq's stability is not just Iraq's problem.  It is clear that the progress that has been made in the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians is a product of the allied action against Saddam Hussein.  The Baghdad regime was a stimulus to terrorism, a challenge to peace agreements and a threat to its neighbours.  If the action against Saddam Hussein does not give way to a democratic government that respects international law and is committed to peace in the region, a great opportunity will have been wasted.   




SAUDI ARABIA:  "Saddam Tapes"


Riyadh's English language, moderate Riyadh Daily held (8/2):  "Saddam's tapes continue to work the TV channels.  Though these tapes serve little purpose, it could still influence the people who are still supportive of the former president.  While the U.S. can do nothing about the tapes, it should make every effort to convey to the Iraqi people that the Ba'athist regime is indeed gone--even though Saddam may still be around.  The common man is still fearful of Saddam and the possibility of his returning is truly terrifying.  The tapes only add to these fears."


EGYPT:  "Fear For Iraq From The U.S."


Aggressive, pro-government Al-Akhbar opined (7/30):  “The U.S. is still looking for Saddam--who is dead even if still alive.  He committed suicide when he took his troops to Kuwait and, before that, to Iran...  There is no fear from Saddam...but the fear is from America, which occupies Iraq.  This occupation creates legitimate public resistance, called terrorism by the U.S....  America wants to bring back the age of colonialism....  Yet, no matter how angry the people of Iraq are, they will never permit Saddam to come back because, to them, he is already dead.”


JORDAN:  "The Fate Of The Family"


Bater Wardam argued in center-left, influential Al-Dustour (8/04):  “True, what happened to the family of President Saddam is major drama, but it is no different from what thousands of families in Iraq faced under his rule.  There is not a single Iraqi family that did not lose a son or a father or more to the haphazard wars, the oppression of the opposition, the snitching, the executions, the fleeing from the country, the hunger, and the disease.  The Arab media did not show sympathy to these Iraqi families as much as it is showing now to the family of President Saddam.  This is despite the fact that this was forced upon normal Iraqi families while the fate of the Iraqi president’s family was clear for a very long time.  President Saddam ruled with the power of fear and with an iron fist.  This meant the people’s submission, but it could not have meant love at all….  The fate of President Saddam and his family is not important, and it should not be focused upon, because what is important is Iraq’s fate as a state and people under the occupation.  The roles of President Saddam and his family are totally terminated from the life of Iraq.  The useful and proper analysis for the fate of the Iraqi President’s family should be a lesson learned by those who rule with iron fist.  People should not create a legendary tragedy out of this very natural fate drawn by the men of the [President’s] family.”


KUWAIT:  "Kuwait, Enjoy The Occasion"


Waleed Al-Jassim remarked in independent Al-Watan (7/26):  “Kuwait, you have the right to enjoy the deaths of Udai and Qusai.  Four months after their escape from one den to another in women’s clothes, they were finally killed.  Now, the journey is over and the allied forces succeeded in chopping off Saddam’s wings.  If Saddam is lucky, he will end up...running and hiding from one place to another.  The other option, which most people wish, is see him in custody and put on trial for all the crimes he has committed.”




CHINA:  "Bush Tries To Ride Out Intelligence Crisis"


Wu Yixue commented in the official English-language China Daily (8/01):  “U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged on Wednesday his responsibility for the discredited U.S. charge that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa for his nuclear weapon program....  Bush’s accepting responsibility can be seen as an attempt to ease the immense pressure he is under as a result of the false intelligence....  On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, doubt over the credibility of a candidate will have a negative impact on his race for the presidency....  It still remains unknown whether Bush's efforts can extricate him from the damage wrought by the intelligence crisis....  But one thing is sure: the U.S. is determined to hunt down Saddam whether Washington's charges against him are true or not.”


HONG KONG:  "Who Is Major Enemy Of The U.S. Forces In Iraq?"


The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (8/05):  "The U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, told the press that Saddam Hussein would soon be captured, thereby reducing attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.  This last thought is overly optimistic.  If Bremer and his senior officials are not completely ignorant on the U.S. situation in Iraq, then they are trying to paint a rosy picture to appease the American public....  Most Iraqis have no love lost for Saddam, but neither do they want U.S. forces to replace him.  Iraqis feel it is a national humiliation for Americans to be occupying Iraq.  They demand that the U.S. let the Iraqis govern themselves.  The longer U.S. forces remain in Iraq, the stronger this national sentiment will become, creating a breeding ground for all sorts of anti-U.S. military feeling.  This sentiment is the most reliable shelter for the fighting groups.  It is also the major enemy of U.S. forces in Iraq that cannot be conquered.  The U.S. forces are digging their own graves as their very presence prompts the Iraqis to reject, hate and confront them."


"Alive Is Better Than Dead For Iraqis Seeking Justice"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post editorialized (7/27):  " The killing of Saddam Hussein's sons has boosted the morale of the American occupation force in Iraq, criticized for its ungainly efforts to get the war-scarred country functioning and under attack from resistance fighters.  Iraqis are not rejoicing as heartily, though, as they have been robbed of their best chance for retribution for mistreatment by the ousted regime....  By killing the men with overwhelming firepower instead of capturing them, the U.S. has taken from Iraqis the chance for justice.  By putting the men before a court, the Iraqi people could have had answers to the many questions troubling them about Mr. Hussein's brutal 24-year presidency....  Washington and its allies are doing their best to improve Iraqis' lives. Efforts to show success through the killing of ranking figures of the regime may placate objectors to the rising cost of the reconstruction effort, but will do little to win the support of Iraqis.  If Mr. Hussein is located soon, as officials are predicting, he must be captured and put on trial.  Only by facing their oppressor and having questions answered will Iraqis be able to lay ghosts to rest."


JAPAN:  "Don't Allow Iraqis To Idolize Saddam As Hero!"


The conservative Sankei observed (8/4):  "Middle East TV stations have broadcast audiotapes carrying what was believed to be the voice of Saddam Hussein, eulogizing as martyrs his two sons who were killed in a firefight with U.S. troops.  Whether or not the taped voice proves to be that of Hussein, there is an apparent attempt to idolize Hussein and his two slain sons as Iraqi heroes.  The 'Saddam tapes,' if broadcast uninterrupted, will have a tremendously negative effect on not just the rebuilding of postwar Iraq but also on plans for setting back in motion the stalemated Middle East peace process.  The tapes could also act as an incentive for Hussein-backed Palestinian radicals or other Islamic radicals to resume acts of terrorism.  The U.S. and other parties concerned must track down and capture Hussein, no matter what.  Their failure to seize him would only send the wrong message to Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator."


"Restoration Of Public Order Is Prerequisite To Aiding In Iraq Reconstruction"


Japan's leading business and economics Tokyo Nihon Keizai Shimbun held (7/27):  "Almost three months have passed since U.S. President Bush declared that 'the major battles are over.'  However, we cannot say that public order has been restored.  The casualty toll of U.S. soldiers has surpassed that of the Gulf War.  What is necessary now is the restoration of public order.  That is the condition for the global community to cooperate in reconstruction.  It is not a totally pessimistic situation.  If the death of former President Saddam Hussein's two sons means that Hussein himself is being cornered, then that is a blow to the Hussein supporters who are mounting guerilla actions against the U.S. and British troops."




PAKISTAN:  "Moammer Qaddafi's Warning"


Lahore-based independent Din editorialized (8/4):  "In an interview with an American TV network, Libyan President Moammer Qaddafi has warned that 'Iraq will prove to be another Vietnam for the U.S.,' because the Iraqi nation is resisting the occupation regardless of Saddam's fate....  The populace of the Islamic states has come to the conclusion that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is illegal, immoral illogical.  In this perspective, international observer and analysts are terming the Iraqi guerilla war as being extremely dangerous.  What's more, even General Myers has admitted 'we might face guerilla war for the next four years.'  Ignoring Moammer Qaddafi's warning as a madman's outbusst would be dangerous."




SOUTH AFRICA:  "Queasy Over Uday"


The conservative Citizen argued (7/28): "While debate rages over whether the U.S. was justified in publishing photos of dead Iraqis, and whether the two were indeed Saddam's sons, another issue demands attention.  What right do Americans have to continue this campaign of selective assassinations now that the 'war' is over?  Were genuine attempts made to capture Uday and Qusay alive?  Even if the brothers were evil, did they not deserve a trial?  We hold no brief for Saddam or his ilk.  But there should be concern about precedents being set....  If this goes unchallenged what's to stop the super power, or any other country, drawing up more lists, picking off perceived enemies wherever they may be?" 


"Show Us Weapons, Not Bodies"


Liberal Sunday Tribune opined (7/27):  "It has been a week of dead bodies....  The U.S. has been parading its own human prey.  Uday and Qusay are dead and their faces painstakingly reconstructed for the cameras, amid much jubilation.  We have to remind ourselves that these are sober men committed to the rule of law doing this.  It is perhaps well to remember that Iraq never declared war on the U.S.  The U.S. army sauntered into Iraq without a UN mandate.  The U.S. is therefore killing people without the umbrella of international legitimacy.  In a word, it is terrorism....  Parading dead bodies does America's reputation no credit.  The world wants to see the U.S. producing the weapons of mass destruction the purported reason for the invasion.  That's what Bush must display, not ghastly pictures of bodies."


"Saddam's Sons"


Conservative Rapport noted (7/27):  "The death of Qusay and Uday is a psychological breakthrough in attaining the one goal that can be accepted as legitimate in the attack [of the U.S. on Iraq]:  the destruction of Saddam's horrifying regime.  The former dictator's days are obviously counted....  The grotesque images of the end of the two sons that America has been showing the world does not differ in principle from the barbaric ways in which the Saddam regime paraded in front of the cameras dead Americans and British troops during the war."


KENYA:  "Myth Behind U.S. Hunt For Saddam"


Joseph Walunywa took this view in the independent pro-business Standard (8/2):  "The overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the killing of his two sons, and the imposition upon Iraqis of a governing council made up of locals, but controlled by the U.S. reflects America’s desire to replace the myth of 'Saddam' with the myth of 'America.'...  If the West is more 'powerful' than the rest of the world, it is because it is more adept than other parts of the world at using the power of myth to advance its global interests.  Behind America’s current power is a corpus of mythologies of 'superiority' that are as old as Western society itself....  Today the incredible power inherent in these myths can be detected in the current glamour of America.  When foreigners 'go to America,' they are driven by the desire to sample 'the American dream' and to experience life in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave.'  Had it not been for these myths America would  probably not have replaced Europe as the world’s most powerful nation, nor would she have won the Cold War against the Soviet Union."


"Uday, Qusay Shift Iraqi Focus To Regime Change"


Kwendo Opanga contended in the independent pro-business Standard (7/27):  "The point, however, is that the killing of Uday and Qusay and the hunt for their father are being used by London and Washington to divert attention from the crucial issue in the Iraqi affair.  It is that increasingly more and more people are getting convinced that U.S. President George Bush and British Prime minister Tony Blair misled the world about Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal.  The shift from the search for the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) to the killing of Uday and Qusay and the hunt for their father is meant to focus attention on regime change in Iraq....  It must be remembered that Bush and Blair time without number charged that Saddam’s nuclear, biological and Chemical weapons posed a grave and immediate danger to America and the West…Regime change, while it is becoming increasingly clear was the real reason for going to war, was not sold the UN as the justification for war.”




CANADA:  "U.S. Wants Saddam, But Dead - Not Alive"


Eric Margolis wrote in the conservative tabloid Ottawa Sun (8/3):  "Chances are Saddam, like his sons, will be killed in a Bonnie and Clyde-style shootout.  He is unlikely to be captured, unless incapacitated.  The Bush administration will be delighted not to put Saddam on public trial. Dead dictators tell no tales....  Saddam should be handed over by the U.S. to the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague....  But the Bush administration, in one of its most shameful acts, has refused to join this tribunal or co-operate with it.  Should Saddam be gunned down, like his two sons, there will be glee among many Americans and rejoicing in the White House.  But Saddam Hussein is not John Dillinger or a prize elk.  However odious, he was the leader of a sovereign nation and a government recognized by the U.S. Killing foreign heads of state violates international law and the directives made by three American presidents....  America, the world's greatest democracy, has no business murdering foreign leaders.  Such behaviour is criminal, immoral, undemocratic and reeks of the law of the jungle. Past U.S. attempts to murder foreign leaders have proved self-defeating....  George Bush may yearn to drape the body of Saddam over his Jeep and show it off to the folks around Crawford, Texas, but he should be forcefully reminded that the president represents the laws of the land. Bad enough the White House waged a totally unnecessary, unprovoked, undeclared war on Iraq based on spurious charges.  This egregious offence should not be compounded by cold-blooded murder, no matter how odious the intended victim."


ARGENTINA:  "The Danger Of 'The Talion Law'"


Narciso Binayan Carmona suggested in daily-of-record La Nacion (7/28):  "The U.S. has hardly ever faced an unprecedented situation as the one presented by the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  And these days, the deaths of Uday and Qusay...may present an ancient, pre-Islamic precedent: the 'eye for an eye revenge.'...  Now, the ousted dictator--hidden and persecuted--has been challenged with the death of his sons.  An impatient man, Saddam legitimized his warlike actions based on a millenary culture of the Semites and has even incorporated its religion....  For many years, Saddam pretended for himself and his sons the category of 'Sayyid' (lord), as - doubtful -- descendants - of Mahomet.  And with this, he also finds protection in Mahomet's words 'He who slays any of my descendants will never have a right to my intercession.'...  This means, the Talion Law....  The death of Uday and Qusay may, in sum, lead to the most unpredictable reactions.  Maybe not, but Saddam has never shown tolerance or a soft hand."


"After The Corpses"


Claudio Uriarte opined in leftist Pagina 12 (7/27):  "What a lucky man!  Precisely when George W. Bush seemed cornered by polls indicating the lowest popularity percentages, the scandal of lies aimed at justifying war in Iraq, the slow but constant deterioration of the conditions surrounding the occupation of the Iraqi territory and the downfall--constant and sharp--of the U.S. economy, this week his troops presented him with the two most wanted dead bodies: those of Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of the ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.  With them, 37 of the Pentagon's 55 figures of the poker cards are dead or captured, and of the aces, only Saddam himself is missing.  The achievement mustn't be overlooked, but it must also be placed in perspective, because, as is the usual case with a President who's usually inclined to giving answers that do not correspond with the problems that really exist, this week's corpses divert the pressures but don't necessarily solve the ongoing difficulties....  The two issues, the chaotic situation in Iraq and the downfall of the U.S. economy become an explosive cocktail when presented with the most blatant contradiction: Bush launched his country to an imperial war to redesign the world, without the economy to back it....  The future of Bush's November re-election remains as jeopardized as before."


"Tribute to Imperial Lords"


Oscar Raul Cardoso held in leading Clarin (7/26):  "Everything suggests that, if Saddam's capture takes place in the following days or weeks, George W. Bush will be able to make another compelling announcement like the one he made from a huge carrier, with great mediatic display, on May 1, when he declared the end of war in Iraq.  This time he will be able to say that the most important stage of the painful and dangerous 'cleansing tasks' that invariably follow any major military operation--such as an invasion--has been left behind.  God and opinion polls know that Bush and Tony Blair urgently need such an announcement--or any other--, similar to the ancient custom of the warlords of the past, who displayed the dead body of the defeated enemy....  But the possibility of this new victory by the allies in Iraq--the capture or death of Saddam--has a less pleasant side for the occupying powers: the one in which Washington and London's main hypothesis doesn't take place, and peace doesn't come after the removal of the old regime and the elimination of its key figures.  The answer to the question 'Do the occupants really know what they're doing in Iraq?' may shed light not only on the question regarding the future of battered Iraqis, but also on how the Iraqi tragedy will reflect on the rest of the international scenario."


BRAZIL:  "The Death Of Saddam's Sons"


Ambassador Antonio Amaral De Sampaio commented in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (7/31): "The death of Saddam Hussein's sons may close one of the final chapters of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq....  The only thing lacking in the Iraqi post-war scenario is the capture of Saddam, so that the U.S. may immediately install in Baghdad a responsible civil administration free of the Ba'ath Party, in an attempt to introduce democracy in a not-yet-civilized nation....  The implementation of a Western-style democracy in such a primitive environment is expected to be much more difficult than overthrowing Saddam....  Let us hope that Washington succeeds in this endeavor, because a failure would permit the return of the Ba'ath Party to power and the emergence of another leader similar to Saddam Hussein."


MEXICO:  "What If Sadamm Dies?"


Farid Kahhat noted in independent Reforma (8/06):  “What would be the effects in Iraq if they arrest Saddam Hussein?  By the U.S.’ official reasoning, Hussein represented not only the incarnation of evil but also the personification of the political regime that prevailed in Iraq for more than 25 years....  Perhaps the effects of showing to the world the deformed faces of a corpse--shot with a machine gun--do not affect seriously the will and the capacity of resistance of those who confront with the occupying troops.  However it is possible that the constant military operations to capture Hussein could have a collateral effect on the rebels, at least it could make them fall back....  Maybe the only effective action adopted by the occupying authorities had been political: to designate a Government Council which has certain representative degree and to call to elections before the established period.”  ##

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