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Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 13, 2003

August 13, 2003





**  The bombing is an "act of cowardice" committed by enemies of "every true Arab."


**  Commentators disagree on the causes and culprits of the "deliberate" attack. 


**  The shortage of basic services and insecurity is "the mother of all problems" in Iraq.


**  "Anarchy" is a sign that the U.S. must "change course" and agree to a UN mandate.




The 'only losers' in the 'dastardly' attacks are the Iraqi people--  Commentators worldwide condemned the bombing as an act of "treachery and ingratitude."  London-based, Arab-nationalist Al-Arab Al-Alamiyah charged: "It shed blood uselessly and annihilated people who were blameless."  Arab outlets blasted the "cowards" who "know only the language of force and violence."  Saudi Arabia's moderate Riyadh Daily opined that the bombing will "certainly jolt" the "normalization process." 


'It will be almost impossible to know the real reason' for the attack--  Many writers argued that the bombing was calculated to "strike at the heart" of the "collaborative relationship" between the U.S. and Jordan.  Others speculated that the attackers sought to "punish" Jordan for granting exile to Saddam's daughters.  Egypt's sensationalist Al-Usbu fingered INC leader Ahmad Chalabi, who "has a score to settle with Jordan."  According to European analysts, the "planning and reconnaissance" pointed to the "worrisome 'Al-Qaidization'" of Iraq.  Jordan's center-left Al-Dustour rejected the notion that "professional terrorism" had arrived in Iraq, arguing that "what is happening is...a popular resistance."   


'Violence thrives' amidst a 'breakdown' of civil and economic conditions--  European outlets blamed violence and instability on the U.S.' inability to "control things" in Iraq.  "Offended interests, wounded pride," coupled with energy and fuel shortages have gotten America in "deep trouble."  The decision to dissolve "all security, law-enforcement and military establishments" has created a "climate of hatred, fear, and resentment."  With the U.S. having "bitten off more that it can chew," Austria's liberal Der Standard cautioned, "the Iraqi population regards [American troops] as unloved occupiers to be got rid of as soon as possible." 


'Only a UN-led effort can do the required job'--  Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Watan contended that "U.S. forces will never be able to control security and stop looting."  Outlets worldwide asserted that a UN mandate would be "indispensable" for restoring order to Iraq.  Germany's centrist Badische Zeitung urged the U.S. to "change course" by transferring leadership to the UN and focusing on "civil efforts."  Lebanon's English-language Daily Star judged that "the UN retains the legitimacy for nation-building that the U.S. and UK lack."


EDITOR: Andrew Borda

EDITOR'S NOTE: This analysis is based on 39 reports from 14 countries, August 7-12, 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN: "Who Stands Behind The Bombing Of The Jordanian Embassy In Baghdad"


London-based, Arab nationalist, anti-U.S. Al-Arab al-Alamiyah (8/11): "More than one organization is potentially responsible for the condemned attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad for more than one reason....  It shed blood uselessly and annihilated people who were blameless and had no connection to the reasons that stand behind the attack, whatever those reasons may be....  It push the relations between the two countries toward the breaking point....  If the bombing of the Jordanian embassy is merely an act of revenge, then such a thing is difficult to accept in light of the political act that accompanied it....  It is unlikely to be revenge because Jordan accepted a few thousand American soldiers on its soil at the same time as the US attack on Iraq....  The execution of an attack such as this requires the planning and supervision of an organization that is capable of organized action, not just numbers of those who want revenge....  The attack on the Jordanian embassy is aimed at preventing Jordan from complying with an American request to send Jordanian forces to Iraq to take over security duties from US forces."


FRANCE: “Violence Shakes Baghdad”


Agnes Rotivel commented in Catholic La Croix (8/8): “One hundred days after George W. Bush triumphantly declared the end of the war in Iraq and the official launching of the process of reconstruction and democratization, the number of dead and wounded among the American troops is increasing.  Since May they have been attacked almost on a daily basis....  It is difficult to tell, with this new attack, if the Jordanian government was targeted for accepting to harbor two of Saddam Hussein’s daughters or for its allegiance to the U.S.”




Philippe Waucampt in wrote regional Le Republicain Lorrain (8/8): “If we needed proof that the American presence in Iraq is having the opposite result of what was hoped for by Washington, the attack against the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad is it.”   


GERMANY:  "Encircled By Enemies"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich noted (8/11): "U.S. administrator Paul Bremer…is afraid of 'large-scale terrorist attacks' without presenting any evidence.  And because this is so, the suspicion remains that, in view of the problems in Iraq, he is again referring to the dangers from the past....  But in view of the many Islamists, Saddamists, and other militants, the United States is threatened in Iraq not only with losing peace but also with losing a clear enemy image.  Washington is unable to explain to the Americans the series of attacks against U.S. soldiers nor does the U.S. government have any concept how to break resistance.  But if the Americans want to know why they have so much difficulty in a liberated Iraq, they should only look at the protests because of energy and fuel shortages.  This is the ground on which violence thrives."


"Bad Advice"


Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin judged (8/11):  "The Arab League decided not to recognize the Governing Council set up by the Americans in Iraq....  It is certainly right that the situation in Iraq is not satisfying, but the Council is more representative than all governments that the country had over the past 30 years.  The Arab governments again demonstrated an obstructionist attitude instead of actively helping building a better Iraq--and probably a better Middle East.  The swift defeat in Iraq deeply hurt the Arab pride.  But the despots of the region do not want to learn their lesson from it.  Otherwise, they would have to admit that they possibly enjoy as little support as Saddam Hussein did.  The Arab governments are not interested in a democratic Iraq, since it would only tell them what the other countries in the region do not have."


"Deadly Double Game"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich editorialized (8/8): "In the case of Iraq, Jordan has always played a double game that is so typical of the region.  And it is clear that it did not only make friends with such a policy.  On the one hand, Jordanian politicians condemned the U.S. war...but, on the other hand, the Hashemite King also closely saw to it that it did not sow of the branch on which it was sitting, i.e., the Americans were secretly supported by Amman....  The old Iraqi power clique has reason enough to harbor a grudge against the neighbor....  In addition, a man survived in the new power structures in Iraq, who waged a personal campaign against the Jordan Monarchy: Ahmad Chalabi head of the Iraqi National Congress and a leading member of the newly installed Governing Council.  He was sentenced to 22-years in prison in Amman and considers himself a victim of a plot between former King Hussein and Saddam....  There are several possible motives to choose this terrorist target.  Jordan has enemies in many Iraqi camps, but the damage will not hit the government in Amman alone.  This attack, too, hits the Americans, since everybody can now again see how little they have control over events."


"New Fronts"


Christoph von Marschall noted in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (8/8): "There are two possibilities of who could be behind the attack: First, some Iraqis hate Jordan, since they want to see Saddam's family before a court, not in exile in Amman.  This would mean: this form of resistance is directed against the old regime and its friends, less against the U.S.  But explanation two seems more plausible.  The conflict in Iraq attracts radical Islamists from all over the world, and they turn the country into a combat zone like earlier in Afghanistan and Chechnya.  Their enemy is not only the West and Russia but also moderate Arab elites.  They also have in the cross hair those who secretly feel a malicious glee toward the U.S.  This clarifies the fronts. The failure of the radicals is in the western interest--and the Arab world."


"U.S. Must Change Course"


Centrist Badische Zeitung of Freiburg judged (8/8): "With every violent act, uncertainty and despair will grow.  At the same time, the U.S. and Britain are less and less able to implement something that deserves the term 'reconstruction.'  Without safe roads, without energy, schools and work, the Iraqis cannot be won for a western oriented, democratic state.  Regardless of the dispute over pretended or real reasons to go to war, this would be tantamount to a fiasco for the U.S.  What possibilities do the Bush administration have?  Change course: from military offensives to civil efforts, from acting on its own to joint activities under the roof of the UN.  If we interpret yesterday's talks in Moscow correctly, the signs of such a move are favorable.  A light in the tunnel on this day or mourning."


"Bombing Will Have Two Effects"


Right-of-center Neue Presse of Hanover wrote (8/8): "This malicious bomb that killed 11 people in front of the Jordanian embassy, should have two effects.  On the one hand, it demonstrated that neither U.S. forces nor the newly established Iraqi police force in Baghdad are able to control things.  On the other hand, it sent a message to the Arab world: Those who--like Jordan--have friendly relations with the U.S. will be punished.  The situation is precarious, since the U.S. is not only trying to create peace in Iraq but stability in the entire region.  If the impression gains the upper hand that the U.S. is able to bomb countries in ruins, but unable to install law and order, then this will be grist to the mill of all Islamic extremists."


"U.S. Cannot Succeed With Military Measures Alone"


Center-right General-Anzeiger of Bonn asserted (8/8): "The attack on Jordan's embassy in Baghdad is not only the most serious since the end of the war.  It also reveals a new quality, because it is not directed against the armed forces of the winners but against an Arab neighboring country and did not show any consideration of Iraqi victims.  This makes it difficult ascribing the attack to a certain group.  Some aspects refer to Islamic terrorists rather than Iraqi guerrilla forces.  With such attacks, Iraq will not come to rest quickly....  The activities of bomb plotters and snipers cannot be stopped with military measures alone.  And that is why it is time to address these problems more comprehensively than the victorious powers do; they have been discredited anyway because of the many mistakes they made."


"Hope For Normalcy Seriously Shaken"


Right-of-center Thueringer Allgemeine of Erfurt opined (8/8):  "The hope for normalcy in Iraq has now been seriously shaken.  The series of attacks will not stop soon.  And it will not change even if Iraq embarks on the path of a democratically elected government.  Whatever we may think of the war, it would be shortsighted to wish to the Americans that they may get bogged down with their pacification attempt.  The 'Old Europe,' if there is a new resolution, will be forced to help organize the post-war times anyway.  Even if the price is the loss of lives."


"Revenge For Jordan's Backing Of War"


Center-right Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of Essen expressed (8/8): "In addition to the anarchy which the terrorists are now exploiting, it is also possible that a secret delight of some Iraqis may plays a role....  Jordan backed the U.S. invasion plans of Iraq and yesterday's attacks against the Embassy in Amman could be the revenge for this. This cowardice crime will not meet with disdain everywhere in the Arab world."


ITALY:  “The U.S. Opens To UN On Iraq”


Leading, business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore noted (8/12): “Because of the escalation of the tension, both U.S. and international political initiatives aimed at fostering Iraq’s stability could get further boost.  A new UN resolution, according to rumors from the British press, could certify the creation of the Iraqi provisional government, thus offering new relief to the mission currently head by the U.S. and Great Britain.  The resolution, which could even be decided in the next hours, would establish a mission of assistance labeled United Nations....  However, also the domestic mood, both in the U.S. and Great Britain, continues to be marked by disputes over the Iraqi crisis.”


“Washington Is Now Asking The UN For Help”


Pro-Democratic Left party organ L’Unità editorialized (8/12): “The U.S. might submit the draft of a new resolution on Iraq to the UN Security Council today.  The document should include (UN’s) support to the Iraqi Provisional Government...and the creation of a UN assistance mission to Iraq.  The French foreign ministry confirmed this news, leaked by diplomatic sources in New York.  Washington delivered an informal draft copy to Great Britain, China, France and Russia....  The U.S. final objective is really to obtain as soon as possible...the approval of a resolution on upcoming reconstruction of Iraq....  A new clear UN’s mandate, which would includes a considerable deployment of means as well as troops, could allow the Americans to reduce their expenses...for employment, a billion dollar per week.”


"The Arab World And Its Difficult Democracy"


Leading centrist Corriere della Sera opined (Internet Version 8/11): "Before the military operations got under way in Iraq, the U.S. president said that the war would help to bring democracy to the Middle East.  In Iraq, the country's political reconstruction is not taking off as scheduled.   The government council lacks real authority, and is made up of people who only theoretically represent the ethnic and  religious complexity of that society.   The deadly mechanism of the terrorist attacks and of [the subsequent] mop-up operations has created a climate of hatred, fear, and resentment, in which it is impossible to make any long-term plans....  It continues to attribute responsibility for the guerrilla warfare to Saddam and to Usama Bin Laden, without admitting that the resistance (because, by now, that is what it is) is also the result of offended interests, wounded pride, and a general breakdown in civil and economic conditions.  Perhaps the United States has not yet understood that Saddam's regime, despite its enormous vices, had nevertheless created a nationalist and socialist welfare state that provided many social strata with advantages that were not always illegitimate....  Jordan, after the terrorist attack [against its embassy] in Baghdad, realized it was the soft underbelly of the US coalition.   In 1991, at the time of the first Gulf War, King Hussein decided to side with Saddam.  Today, his son has decided to side with Washington, and hopes that one day historians will not say of his country: it made the wrong choice twice."


"A Political Void"


Leading centrist La Stampa wrote (8/9): "The small-time guerrilla action that confuses and bleeds the GIs dry has taken a quality leap....  In fact, this is about restructuring the entire Middle East, from top to bottom.   How?   By exporting democracy once it takes hold in Iraq....  Do those in charge realize that a beautiful military victory is liable to end in ashes if the policy baggage does not follow?  Saddam is no longer to be contended with, kaput.   A hunted man cannot direct a Resistance that is, after all, not a real resistance.  They are episodes of spontaneousness, provoked by the composite ethnic and religious reality of the country, by a pernicious mixture of delusion and archaic nationalism.  Starting from this postulate, the U.S. can sow democracy in Iraq." 


RUSSIA:  "Saddam's Former Allies Are In Danger"


Yuliya Petrovskaya suggested in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/8): "The explosion is not necessarily linked with Amman's stand on the last war or the Embassy's postwar activities.  There may be an Israeli aspect to it.  (Israel and Jordan are known to have signed a peace treaty that has enraged the nationalists.)  The bomb might also have been meant for the occupation forces.  Anyway, it is Saddam's former allies who are getting targeted, which must give Moscow something to think about."


"100 Days After Victory"


Aleksandr Reutov commented in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (8/8): "The 100 days since the official end of the war in Iraq have proved enough for the U.S. military to realize that large-scale mop-up operations do not improve its relations with the local population.  A rise in the national liberation movement bears that out.   From now on Iraq's security committee will be in charge of punitive operations.   In the longer term Washington hopes to see the UN international forces take over responsibility.  Russia seems to agree with that."    


AUSTRIA: “New Old World In The Middle East”


Liberal Der Standard contended (8/12): “The good news is that the U.S. is beginning to realize that it has got itself into deep trouble in Iraq, despite the short and successful war.  As is well known, recognizing a problem is the first step towards solving it.  This process is going to hurt, because it entails the admission that the U.S. has bitten off more than it can chew: In order to stuff holes in Iraq, others have to be opened.  In concrete terms, this means Afghanistan, where a certain Usama Bin Laden, who, unlike Saddam Hussein, really was involved in the attacks of 9/11, could still be hiding at the border with Pakistan....  The worst news, however, nonchalantly presented by US administrator Paul Bremer, is that the U.S. is facing a problem with Wahhabi forces in Iraq, exactly those that the war in Iraq was supposed to help keep in check.  Ansar-al-Islam, which, Taliban style, reigned over a small empire in the Kurdish-autonomous area before the war, is allegedly behind the attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, the worst attack of the occupation era so far....  The point of the war in Iraq was to create a new order for the region.  However, at the end of the day, this order could look very different from what President George W. Bush had planned.  At the moment, helplessness rules--the old order is no longer working, the new one not yet.”


“The US: Unloved, Discredited”


Liberal Der Standard argued (8/12): “In the chaos that followed the fall of the regime in Baghdad, the coalition has acted rather helplessly....  The coalition forces had to realize that, despite the general relief about the end of the dictatorship, the Iraqi population regards them as unloved occupiers, to be got rid of as soon as possible....  In the near future, the coalition forces will continue to carry the main responsibility for security, supplies, reconstruction, and political innovation in Iraq.  Nothing can change this fact, not even the stationing of mini contingencies in the region from several other states, which is a gesture of political solidarity, but can neither make the coalition more efficient, nor ease the financial burden on the exploding U.S. budget.  If countries such as Germany, France, or Turkey were to participate, the situation would be very different.  For this to happen, however, a UN mandate would be indispensable.  In the interest of transatlantic relations, it would be a welcome development if such a cooperation was to be initiated--despite the fact that those countries were against the war, and despite the American reluctance to involve the UN.”


IRELAND: "An Attack On U.S.-Jordan Relations"


The center-left Irish Times judged (8/8):  “The campaign in Iraq to capture or kill members of Saddam's circle is having little effect on the level of resistance....  The targeting of the embassy is also a deliberate attack on what is perceived by many in the Arab world to be the close relationship between the U.S. and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan....  The timing of the attack, hard on the heels of this visit and of another by General Abizaid to Amman, seems calculated to strike at the heart of the collaborative relationship between Jordan and the U.S....  It was a deliberate attack involving planning, reconnaissance and the acquisition of explosives and means of delivery.  All of these elements suggest a collaborative effort on the part of many individuals."


SPAIN: "Violence In Iraq Takes One More Step Forward"


Independent El Mundo asserted (8/8): "This action [against the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad]...has the same characteristics of Koranic fervor and appeal to the unity of Islam as that of al-Qaida.  The attack yesterday is not defending against the invader carried out by the remnants of the old regime... but an attack against an Arab country made by fundamentalists.  Iraq is suffering from a worrisome 'Al-Qaidization


"Escalation In Iraq"


Left-of-center El País judged (8/8): "The one more step in the harassment of the occupying army.  The U.S. has not prepared its troops for the consolidation of an organized resistance in Iraq....  Insecurity increases instead of diminishing and the slow drip of casualties demands a review of a wrong strategy.  In the present atmosphere, the reconstruction of the Arab country and its economic revival are only a theory, as is the possibility of organizing a quick transition to Iraqi self-government with any guarantee of normality."




EGYPT: "Jordanian Embassy In Baghdad"


State-owned daily-of-record Al-Ahram noted (8/11): "Targeting the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad is an alarming development in the Iraqi question. That the blast is alarming is due to its context and implications, not to the violence that characterizes it....  There is so far no definite framework within which it is possible to pinpoint a reason for the embassy being targeted.  There are some who link the blast to the two daughters of the deposed president Saddam having taken refuge in Amman.  Others link the blast to the extremist Ansar al-Islam group.  A third party refers to probable involvement of elements of the al-Qaida organization.  At any rate, we see momentous significance in the Jordanian press's references to so-called new Iraqi enemies to Jordan who have opinions on a monarchical system of rule for Iraq, on the way Iraqis in Jordan are treated and on Jordan's relations with the former Iraqi regime.  Whatever the reason for it is, the blast carries very grave indications of the existence in Iraq of currents playing dangerous games there.  These currents are so manifold as to add to the problems of an already problem-ridden country.   They are most probably well organized and greatly able to inflict harm as the size of the Jordanian embassy's blast shows.  Such currents should be dealt with firmly."  


"Did Chalabi Stage the Bombing of Jordan's Embassy?"


Independent, sensationalist weekly Al-Usbu opined (8/11): "More than one reason makes accusing Ahmad Al-Chalabi of staging the bombing of the Jordanian embassy seem plausible....  Sources say that the eighth group in the private security office of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmad Al-Chalabi executed the attack to take revenge against Jordan....  Ahmad Al-Chalabi, an international con artist, is the leader of the so-called INC....  It is no secret that he has a score to settle with Jordan, where he is wanted for trial on charges of fraud, embezzlement and breach of trust, after the Petra Bank that he founded in 1989 went bankrupt.  The Jordanian Prime Minister had reiterated Jordan's accusations against Ahmad Al-Chalabi, two days before the incident.  Thus the attack could be seen as in retaliation to these statements."


"A Cowardly Act"


State-owned daily-of-record Al-Ahram (Internet Version 8/9): "The destructive explosion that occurred near the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, claiming the lives of dozens of innocent Iraqis and Jordanians, was a cowardly act.  The expected result of this act is that the U.S. and British occupation forces would impose further restrictions on the movement of Iraqi civilians; thereby, causing further unease to their daily lives.....  This would naturally aggravate the already tense atmosphere, delay the restoration of power to the Iraqi people, and prompt the occupation regime to stay in Iraq for a longer period of time.  This cowardly act would also provide the U.S. and British occupiers with another excuse for staying in Iraq for a longer period of time. The occupation forces would cite the reason for this on the pretext of fighting against terrorism, against the remnants of the supporters of the ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and perhaps against elements of the al-Qaida organization.   Because these attacks are not likely to stop, the occupation forces will stay in Iraq for a longer period of time under this pretext. The main and perhaps the only loser are the Iraqi people.   Attacking the Jordanian embassy on the pretext that Jordan has provided the right of residence to the two daughters of Saddam Hussein is unjustifiable....  No one would blame the Iraqis if they resist the occupation forces with all possible means. However, the least, which could be said about targeting the embassy of a fraternal Arab country, is that it is an act of treachery and ingratitude.  It is noteworthy that Jordan has often supported the Iraqi people in their predicament and in their wars, which their former reckless leadership involved them against Iran and Kuwait."   


SAUDI ARABIA: "War Of Car Bombings"


Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (8/9): "The bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad brings back to the American memory the war of embassies and car bombings in Lebanon.  It is also a reason for worry and concern for U.S. policy toward the security situation.  Was it a message to Washington and Amman...or was it preparatory to drag Jordan, Arab and foreign capitals into the war in Iraq?


"Terror In Iraq"


English-language moderate Riyadh Daily professed (8/9): "Whatever the reason, professional terrorism has finally come to Iraq.  Assuming from reports that the terror act, which took several lives besides severely damaging the Jordanian mission, has been committed by Iraqis, it is truly unfortunate that the day has come when Arabs have begun taking on Arabs by way of terrorism....  If the ubiquitous al-Qaida hand is seen in the blast, it complicates much of the security scenario in the country....  In fact, the entire Arab world now stands at a crossroads as to the shape of its relations with Baghdad.  Jordan and other neighboring countries are only too eager to renew the close links they enjoyed with the country for years, till Saddam's Kuwait adventure.  Thursday's bombing has certainly jolted the normalization process, but the efforts toward that goal remain strong as yet.


"The lack Of Security"


Moderate Abha Al-Watan judged (8/8): "The bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad raised many questions on its political motive, those who stand behind it, and effectiveness of the U.S. security measures to protect official institutions and the interests of that country, which is plagued by anarchy....  The U.S. forces will never be able to control security and stop looting and internal fighting in [Iraq].  The bombing of the Jordanian embassy in central Baghdad where US troops are present in force shows the United States' weakness in this respect....  Irrespective of the parties that may be suspected of carrying out the bombing of the Jordanian embassy, the incident means that U.S. security is infiltrated to a great extent and that Washington needs to reconsider its alliances inside Iraq."   


JORDAN:  “Why Strike Our Embassy In Baghdad?”


Semi-official, influential Al-Rai carried (8/11): “Those who struck our embassy on Thursday wanted to choke off the Iraqis and tighten the noose around them because they (who did it) were angered that this vein should continue to provide life and renew air supply.  Those who committed the bombing were also enraged when they learned of our embassy’s history and examined its role and accomplishments so that once “rule” collapsed and chaos prevailed, they targeted it thinking that they could topple the mast that hold this Jordanian characteristic....  The Jordanian Embassy will remain so long as the Iraqis--who value this Embassy’s role and who have announced over the past hours their pride in its role--remain.  The Jordanian Embassy will remain so long as Jordan believes in its pan-Arab and humanitarian role and in defending its interests too.  Jordan will not be held back by the hatred of malevolent people.” 


“A War Is Over And A War Has Begun”


Semi-official, influential Al-Rai expressed (8/11): “Richard Myers, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has finally confessed that the war is not over and that U.S. forces are facing a special kind of war in central Iraq, but claimed that his statement does not contradict the U.S. President’s statement that the war is over.  This is because the President said that the main operations are over and did not mean the resistance of the Iraqi people, something not expected by the U.S., which was convinced by the new (Iraqi) governors and the Iraqi opposition abroad that U.S. soldiers would be considered liberators and not occupiers and that the Iraqis will receive them with roses and not bullets....  The Iraqis do not need anyone to instigate them to exercise violence.  Violence is their right and the right of all peoples who are under foreign occupation.  Violence is a popular resistance that cannot be compared to the violence of a foreign occupation and its coercive methods.”


“Bremer And The Iraqi Resistance”


Influential center-left Al-Dustour noted (8/11): “It is certain that the operations against U.S. occupation forces in Iraq are not acts by individuals and they do not belong to a specific organization.  These operations have spread across Iraq and they tend to be more concentrated in the Sunni areas of central and west Iraq....  Bremer...fears an alliance between Ansar Al-Islam and al-Qaida  He is focused on that and does not mention the word 'resistance' even once. It is as if we are going to witness a new twist to the idea of combating terrorism, but this time in the Iraqi arena.  This is an idea that appeals to the U.S. citizen who still pictures the destruction of the two towers....  What is happening is close to a popular resistance in the making.  It is spreading on a daily basis all across Iraq.  One cannot ignore what happened in Basra, the well know Shiite area, and consider it an act that is separate from the fedayeen operations.  Indeed, it should be looked at as the start of a true popular revolution with all this U.S.-British fumbling about in Iraq’s affairs....  We believe that the bombing of the Jordanian Embassy is nothing but a suspect incident that seeks to shuffle the cards and as we said in a previous commentary, we must search for the beneficiary of this act, which will not necessarily be outside the circle of the ruling right wing alliance in Israel and Washington.”


"Was the Embassy Bombing Preplanned?"


The Independent, English-language Jordan Times asserted (8/10): "One could come up with many theories why the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad was the target of Thursday's cowardly bomb attack that killed at least 19 people and wounded over 50.  Whatever the theory, it is fact that the attack challenged Jordan's steadfast belief in Arab nationalism and its sense of responsibility towards other Arabs.  The way in which the bombing was carried out and the vandalism that followed indicate that the incident was preplanned.  One theory is that the attack was carried out in retaliation for Jordan's gesture of granting humanitarian asylum to Saddam Hussein's two daughters....  Another theory is that al-Qaida or its associate Ansar Al Islam group was behind the blast. Although Jordan has been in the gun sights of al-Qaida it is still perplexing why the group would target the Kingdom's mission in Baghdad when other targets in the Iraqi capital exist which better fit their target profile.   The flimsiest theory of all is that Jordan is seen as having monarchical interests in Iraq which led to resentment among Iraqis.  But the one theory that may hold water is that the attack was the climax of a campaign against the Kingdom launched through a newspaper owned or controlled by Ahmed Chalabi, a fugitive convicted of bank fraud and embezzlement in Jordan."


“The Bombing Is Aimed At Breaking Solidarity ”


Independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm remarked (8/10): “It is our duty to say that whoever killed innocent lives and bombed the embassy is not a pure Iraqi.  The Iraqis, who are suffering from the occupation and of depression, are aware that their problem is not with a brother but with a clearly defined enemy.  Therefore, whoever did this is an enemy of the Iraqis and of the Jordanians and of every true Arab and Muslim....  We must take it easy before we issue any verdicts and before we hold one party or another responsible for this act. However, we are well aware that whoever bombed the embassy did not seek to destroy the building, but wanted to break the state of solidarity with Iraq and to spark Jordanian anger, even if temporary, against Iraq and its people and to lead us to something that contradicts our Arab-Jordanian traditions and values.”    


"Cowardly Act"


The independent, English-language Jordan Times remarked (8/8): "The attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad is a dastardly act by elements or groups that know only the language of force and violence.  While it is too early to identify the real people who stood behind this act of terrorism, it is obvious that they are against not only the bilateral relations between Iraq and Jordan but also the interests, security and stability of Iraq itself and its people. What is also clear is that there are factions in Iraq which do not wish to restore normalcy to the country so that it may begin a new chapter in its political and economic life.  What did Jordan do to deserve such an action? Jordan consistently stood by Iraq, before and after the U.S. and British occupation of the country, and it continues to lend support to the urgent calls for ending this occupation....  Jordan also refused to recognize even the interim Governing Council as long as it is not an elected body that represents the Iraqi people.  The Kingdom stood by the Iraqi people providing food and medicine and other forms of relief aid to ease their suffering....  Accordingly, we call on all the Arab countries as well as the international community to condemn the attack on the Jordanian embassy in the clearest and firmest terms and to insist on apprehending the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.  Above all we expect the Iraqi authorities to pursue a thorough search for the perpetrators of this terrorist attack against Jordan so that a full investigation may be conducted and any other potential threats to anyone be thwarted."


LEBANON: “The Ugly Specter Of Regional Tensions In Post-War Iraq


The English-language Daily Star held (8/8): “The death and destruction that occurred Thursday at the Jordanian a senseless human tragedy for those who suffered or died, and a terrible political omen for short-term efforts to stabilize Iraq and look forward to a better future for the Iraqi people.  The frightening specter that raises its head relates to one of the dangers that many in this region and abroad pointed out before the war started--that ‘regime change’ by foreign military force might rid the Iraqi people of a brutal dictatorship, but it could also unleash forces for regional tension and instability that would be hard to control....  We hope that the attack against the Jordanian Embassy was an isolated incident whose motivations or causes can be identified and contained.  But one should not rule out the awful possibility that this is an ugly sign of post-war Iraq impacting on regional relationships....  The longer that the Anglo-American-led occupation of Iraq goes on, the more obvious it becomes that only a UN-led effort can do the required job.  The UN retains the legitimacy for nation-building that the U.S. and UK lack.”


“Occupation And Security”


Moderate anti-Syrian An-Nahar opined (8/8):  “The method of bombing the Jordanian Embassy represents a qualitative and dangerous step in the level of security chaos in Iraq, and the level of violence.  As for the reason behind choosing the Jordanian will be difficult and almost impossible to know the real reason:  Jordan is creating speculation in Iraq.  It is criticized by some Iraqis for receiving Saddam’s daughters and for its ambiguous position on the Iraqi Governing Council--despite its closeness to the U.S.  Others believe that the U.S. was behind the explosion because it was disappointed in its Arab friends, including Jordan, for not taking a positive position on the Iraqi Governing Council....  In any case, and whoever is behind the bombing, there is no doubt that the UN (not the U.S.) is needed to fully supervise the transition of Iraq to the Iraqis.”




CHINA: "Insecurity Is Mother Of Problems In Iraq"


Official English-language Beijing Xinhua judged (8/7): "There is a consensus among the 25- million Iraqis that insecurity in post-Saddam Iraq is "the mother of all problems" in the war-torn country.  The devastating explosion on Thursday in front of the Jordanian embassy in the fashionable district of al-Mansour, west Baghdad, came as another example of the chaotic situation in Iraq....  Since the sudden downfall on April 9 of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the US-led war, Iraq has become a land of lawlessness, looting, arson and crime....  What added to these problems is the decision of Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), to dissolve all security, law-enforcement and military establishments of the Saddam regime without being able to replace them quickly....  Bremer's decision to dissolve the 400,000-strong 82-year-old Iraqi army was, according to observers, one of the untimely decisions that further exacerbated the issue of insecurity and unemployment in Iraq.  The decision played into hands of those Iraqis who are bent on 'armed resistance against the foreign occupiers of the beloved motherland.'"




PAKISTAN: "Strong Iraqi Resistance Against U.S. Occupation"


Mass-circulation, Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt remarked (8/12): "The Iraqi resistance has gained momentum with riots taking place throughout Iraq....  To date 59 Americans have been killed in Iraq; as the armed resistance gets more organized, the death toll is expected to mount....  Now neither America or any of its allies can say that they have invaded the country with the support of Iraqis in order to improve the lot of the people.... Democracy-loving America should not ignore the collective voice of Iraqis and should withdraw its troops from the country as soon as possible."


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