International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 28, 2003

August 28, 2003





**  Burden-sharing is the only way out of the Iraq "mess," but the world should not "cynically rejoice" that the coalition has "failed" on its own.


**  U.S. reluctance to let the UN exercise "real power" hampers its ability to recruit support.


**  In a change of tune, Arab writers say engaging with the Iraqi Governing Council will help "end the occupation."




'It is time' for America's 'traditional allies' to intervene--  Observers worldwide agreed the U.S. was paying the price for its "doggedness" in not wanting to share decision-making and for trying to win "peace on the cheap."  The consensus was that the U.S. is in a "quagmire of its own making" and must "radically rethink" its policy.  French and German papers, however,  judged it a mistake to "cynically rejoice."  Disaster in Iraq would be a "triumph" for the "minor and major villains of this world," said center-left Die Zeit.  Iraq needs "peace enforcement," which South Africa's balanced Business Day defined as a "muscular UN-mandated multinational force, under a strong central command."  Skeptics complained along with Pakistan's liberal Daily Times that the U.S.' "false pride and poisonous prejudices will never allow" the UN to assume a leading role in Iraq. 


Despite the White House 'SOS,' countries called to the rescue 'in no hurry to move'--  Although the occupation force was "acknowledging" that it needed outside assistance, the U.S.' "inflexibility" about ceding control to the UN was hampering its ability to convince other countries to pony up.  Coalition papers were divided.  The problem, according to Poland's center-left Polityka, is that "very few" will want to share the hardship with "no say."  While Denmark's left-wing Information demanded both an "investigation" of the decision to go to war and a change of course, centrist Weekendavisen declared it "high time" that the EU and UN "get over their indignation."  Speaking for those with misgivings about sending troops, Turkey's Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak asked, "Why should we be the ones to save the honor of the occupation forces?"


Arab support for Iraqi Governing Council could lead to an 'early end' to occupation-- The attack on the UN compound--perceived as the work of terrorists, not "the resistance"--may have prompted Arab writers to rethink the Arab League's rejection of the council.  Dailies in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and the UAE ran editorials arguing it would better for the Arab world to "take action" and engage with the interim government than to leave it as the "toy of the occupation."  The Arab move "to welcome the interim political system," declared the moderate Riyadh Daily, is in the "wider interest" of the Iraqi people because it "will help" bring about "an early end of the occupation."  Sharing the sentiment, Jordan's mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm held that until "legitimate elections" take place, there is "no other way but to become involved and deal with the current forces in power and not leave the arena free for the Americans."  

EDITOR:  Irene Marr

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This report is based on 108 reports from 52 countries, August 22-28.  Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "President Bush Cannot Ignore Much Longer The Realities Of Iraq"


The center-left Independent asserted (8/27):  “Bush finds himself in the worst of several very bad and threatening worlds.  In presenting his case for invading Iraq, he offered these arguments: the danger that Saddam presented to his people and to the world, the suffering of ordinary Iraqis, and the imperative, after 11 September, to root out terrorism wheresoever it lurked....  It hardly needs to be stated how far Bush is from attaining any of these objectives....  In his public statements, Bush has so far preferred the rhetoric of high principle to any acknowledgement of the difficulties his administration now faces.  But the (U.S. presidential) election timetable presses....  With Labor Day and the start of the long run-up to the 2004 election only two weeks away, national security no longer seems the certain winner it did.  Bush has a year at most to bring order to Iraq--or find another election gambit that will please his increasingly critical voters.”


"Whistling In The Dark"


The left-of-center Guardian stated (8/26):  “The tragic bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad a week ago has regrettably not led so far to the radical rethink of the Iraq situation which is so badly needed....  Paul Bremer, showed a depressing lack of vision with his message that 'you have to be willing to go on the offensive against terrorism--kill them, before they kill you.'  Vacuous bravado in the 'bring ‘em on' spirit of Bush is cold comfort for the Iraqis--and for the coalition’s own foot-soldiers who risk paying the price with their lives....  To continue to talk of an 'underlying improvement' in the situation is to whistle in a very murky dark."


"Terrorists Target Iraq"


The conservative Daily Telegraph commented (Internet Version) (8/25):  “The stakes for the American-led coalition and its opponents have never been higher....  The relationship between the occupying powers and the UN in Iraq is unlikely to change substantially....  The world body is too cumbrous an organization to provide the leadership required to steer Iraq towards stability.  More important than extra the need for improved intelligence on terrorist activities....  To encourage local co-operation on terrorism, the coalition should give Iraqis a clearer idea of its exit strategy.  They need to feel that, through the governing council formed in July, they are gradually being given a greater say in their own affairs. The transfer of power to a people crushed by decades of totalitarian rule will always be fraught with uncertainties but there is no other sensible option."


FRANCE:  "The World War"


Alain Genestar opined in right-of-center popular weekly Paris Match (8/28):  “America’s bitter victory in Iraq has been described a thousand times.  The mistake made by the international community, and by France, is to see nothing beyond this apparent failure and to cynically rejoice, proving America wrong.  Even if the U.S. is not going at it right, it is trying to defend freedom against an aggressor who wants total war, as proven by the attack on the UN.  We must remember and never forget the original act of terror against the World Trade Center: the war against the ‘World.’  This war is not a war against America, but against a rich world of trade and against its democratic partners....  This is a war waged by an enemy without a face but with a vision: killing knowledge and emancipation....  This is not blind terrorism.  Its goals are clear:  whether we are French, American or Moroccan...Christians, Jews or Muslims, we are all a target.  The U.S. is caught in a quagmire in Iraq.  To join them under the banner of the UN is an act of self-defense."


"Helping The U.S."


Jean-Claude Kiefer wrote in regional Les Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace (8/27):  “One of the cruel lessons we can draw from the war in Iraq is that the fall of Saddam has awakened religious and ethic antagonisms...turning Iraq over to all sorts of Islamic terrorists.  Four months of the coalition’s presence has not been able to stop this.  On the contrary it has helped some dubious nations to lift their heads, like Iran...and Syria....  It is no coincidence if the U.S., in losing its credibility in Iraq, is also losing its means to put pressure on those who sponsor Palestinian terrorism and on Sharon’s government.  It is time for America’s traditional allies to intervene more actively.  Not with the idea of 'saving Private Bush,’ but by adopting a constructive policy.  In other words they must stop brandishing their UN-draped indignation and their finger-pointing ‘I told you so.’  Simply because the weakening of America will lead to new isolationism.  And this is in no one’s interest.”


"The End-Results Of Force"


Bruno Frappat observed in Catholic La Croix (8/26):  “The second war against Iraq is now four-months old....  Of the initial goals, only one has been achieved: getting rid of Saddam....  But what of everything else?  Everyone is waiting with increasing skepticism for tangible proof of the existence of WMD.  Nothing to date has come to upset the idea that this war objective was nothing more than propaganda and a pretext.… While a dictator has been chased away, the liberation of the people of Iraq, its freedom and prosperity has yet to be achieved.  The nature of insecurity has simply shifted.  Iraq’s economic situation is disastrous.  The basic needs of the people are not met.  Religious and ethnic communities are fighting one another....  Terrorist attacks are growing in numbers.  The occupying forces are paying the price for their presence.… The wager to use force without legitimacy, is for the time being, a losing wager.”


“Bush And The Headache Of Security Issues”


Philippe Gelie wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (8/26):  “Did President Bush underestimate the magnitude of the task at hand in Iraq?  This question is beginning to permeate the political debate in the U.S....  The recent declarations about the need for more troops from U.S. politicians are not good news for President Bush.  Playing with the Army’s morale could have a very negative impact.… Meanwhile Washington’s attempts to recruit new coalition partners are stalemated at the UN because Washington’s strategy of burden sharing in Iraq remains undecided.”


"In Iraq, A Question Of Power"


Right-of-center Les Echos editorialized (8/25):  “After having led a military operation against Iraq without a UN mandate, the U.S. is now turning to the international community to share the burden of reconstructing Iraq....  In fact Iraq is on the brink of becoming a second Lebanon...and a sort of sanctuary for terrorist movements....  In order for the U.S. to get wider support from countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey, but also possibly France, it needs a clear UN mandate."


"A Little Bit But Not Too Much UN"


Pascal Riche stated in left-of-center Liberation (8/22): “With Tuesday’s suicide bombing the U.S. has taken stock of its vulnerability.  But it is still reticent about sending more troops...and refuses to relinquish its control of Iraq....  Publicly, Washington refuses to acknowledge it is facing difficulties....  The Bush administration has little hope that France will send troops to help: the price to pay, according to the State Department would certainly be too high.… But Washington is facing a dilemma: the more unstable the situation the higher the price to pay in exchange for international participation.  Two months ago Washington’s allies were ready to send troops to Iraq; today the risk for their soldiers has climbed.”


GERMANY:  "End Of Illusions"


Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg judged (8/28):  "For the U.S., the moment of sobering calculations has come....  It is reassuring that President Bush reconfirmed in this situation that he does not think of a quick withdrawal from Iraq, thus stealing away from his responsibility.  But this is no more than a positioning of his views.  The naïve 'quick-get-in, quick-get-out' scenario that Secretary Rumsfeld promised is gone.  The moment of realists has now come.  But if Bush wants to bring his Iraq mission to a successful conclusion, he will only have two options:  He either tells his compatriots that the job in the Gulf will take longer and cost much more than has been admitted thus far.  Then he will have to send more soldiers to Iraq and fill the war coffers.  Or, and this approach is wiser, Bush will find his way back to the UN and asks the international community for assistance."


"The Super Helpless Power"


Josef Joffe contended in center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (8/28):  "Nobody can take away from the U.S. the bitter task of establishing security in post-war Iraq.  In New York it will have to act more sensibly and more moderately than earlier this year in order to build the right resolution to...make it palatable to the Europeans to take part [in a mission in Iraq]....  More is at stake in Iraq than the hurt vanity of the unilateralists in Washington.  The minor and major villains of this world are looking to Iraq.  A disaster would be their triumph and the consequences would hit not just America."


"The Wrong Signal"


Right-of-center Schwaebische Zeitung of Leutkirch had this to say (8/27):  "Former Iraqi intelligence service members are now supposed to help the U.S. occupiers in security questions in Iraq.  In any case, this move sends the wrong signal.  The U.S. occupying authority is now acknowledging that it is almost unable to guarantee law and order with its own activities in Iraq.  In addition, it is adding fuel to the distrust of the Iraqi civilian population against their occupiers who are now searching for assistance among Saddam's feared agents.  Instead of cooperating with Saddam's minions, the Bush administration would have been better advised to internationalize the occupation and to transfer responsibility to the Iraqis as quickly as possible.  Peace can hardly be won otherwise, let alone with dubious figures."


"Unwilling To Change Course"


Centrist Darmstaedter Echo noted (8/27):  "Only the tone has changed, but in the matter itself tough positions still have priority....  Even though the Bush administration must realize that the Iraq war and its restructuring plan for the Middle and Near East were too much militarily and politically, it has thus far not been willing to really change course."


"The Bush Blues"


Washington correspondent Wolfgang Koydl wrote in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (8/26):  "The latest attacks in Baghdad and Jerusalem show...despite all its power, the U.S. needs allies...whether at the UN or in Europe.  Gradually this view has spread among the hardliners in Washington, too, but they still have difficulty admitting their mistake--be it out of pride, be it out of fear of losing face among the voters....  Now it is coming back to haunt the U.S. that it allowed the impression that a hyperpower like America could restructure the Middle East and the fight international terrorism within one term and very easily.  Only recently Bush strengthened this illusion when he said: 'We have one year and a bit more in my term to make the world safer and we will make it.'  Is this arrogance or scorn?  A generational project cannot be measured with the tiny ruler of individual terms."




Center-right Nordsee-Zeitung of Bremerhaven (8/25) opined:  "With every day that passes the lack of a U.S. plan for post-war Iraq is becoming more obvious--and the naiveté with which they entered the country as conquerors."


"Iraqi Agents"


Right-of-center Rhein-Zeitung of Koblenz argued (8/25):  "The Iraqi agents will not be able to save the confused U.S. mission.  The British and Americans need a different caliber of support.  It is totally illusory to believe that a few allies will be able to stand the mission in Iraq.  Bush and Blair will have to bite into the sour apple and upgrade the UN.  This is the only way for the UN but also NATO to shoulder responsibility in Iraq.  If this happens, the Bundeswehr will be unable to stay on the sidelines.  But before this happens, the British and Americans must get down off their high horse of an omni-powerful occupying force.  The great anti-terror coalition must be forged again. The murderous gangs in Iraq must feel that they are confronted with almost the entire world, including the Arab one."


ITALY:  "The Other America Lifts Its Head"


Vittorio Zucconi opined in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (8/28):  “The intervention in Iraq has reopened,from deep within American history...the historical fault line...between the ‘pragmatic’ and ‘'idealist’ soul of the U.S....  The political transformation according to our model of the entire culture and of Arab and Muslim history and the civil and material building of Iraq from scratch...will cost an incredible amount of money....  Finally, after many lies, we catch a glimpse of the enormity and the ideological-idealist presumption of the commitment toward not only nation-building, but world-building....  This seismic movement between the two souls that we are beginning to see is a sign that times are changing in America.”


"If Chaos Triumphs Everyone Will Lose"


Gianni Riotta opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (8/27):  “The Americans went into Iraq with bold confidence and many countries and the UN were reluctant to follow them or to approve them.… Why can’t the United States pull out [of Iraq]?  An imam in Baghdad answers:... ‘If they leave today there will be a civil war.’  The U.S.’ doggedness in not wanting partners in this undertaking is destined to dissolve:  Washington will not be able to continue to pay the billion-dollar-a-week bill that the operation is costing them for long.  The UN understands that the U.S. cannot be left alone to lose in Iraq: if chaos wins then we will all lose--Americans, UN, Europeans.”


"Bush:  We Will Not Pull Out Of Iraq"


Paolo Mastrolilli noted in centrist, influential La Stampa (8/27):  “The peace in Iraq is costing the U.S. more than the war.”


"Iraq, The Nightmare Of A Holy War"


Anna Guaita wrote in Rome’s center-left Il Messaggero (8/25):  “Iraq: land of the anti-American Jihad.  The drumbeat that is crossing Muslim countries reminds one of the drumbeat that in the 80s turned Afghanistan into the Mecca of all the fundamentalists who wished to fight for their faith.  There, the invader to fight off was the Soviet Union; in Iraq it’s the Anglo-American coalition. The democratic project dreamt about by George Bush seems to have been relegated to the second row.”


RUSSIA:  "Western Laws Don't Apply In Iraq"


Sergey Sumbayev asserted in centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda (8/26):  "The Americans are not in control of the situation in Iraq.  Admittedly, regime change is all they have managed to accomplish by now.  But the new regime, the occupation administration, has been unable to bring order into Iraqi life.  It has been said that the norms of Western Christianity or American society do not apply in Iraq.  The Americans call this view racist and belittling to Iraq's popular wisdom.  In fact, racism has got nothing to do with it.  It is just that Iraqis live in a somewhat different world, abiding by its laws and traditions."


"Bush Looks For Cannon Fodder"


Dmitriy Suslov wrote in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/22): "UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Wednesday that he sees no prospects for sending the Blue Helmets to Iraq now.   That sounds like a realistic position.  Indeed, Washington has denied the UN a role in the security sphere in Iraq, preferring to recruit new members on a bilateral basis....   Experts believe that the Coalition force can only grow considerably if Washington cedes some of its authority in Iraq to the United Nations.   How far the Bush Administration is prepared to go in that is unclear."


AUSTRIA:  "Solving The Iraq Crisis With The UN"


Markus Bernath argued in liberal Der Standard (8/22):  “What exactly could the role of the UN in Iraq be? As was the case up to now, its role can only ever be as strong as the U.S. government permits. However, de Mello’s death has put Washington under pressure to take action.... A larger role for the UN in Iraq could be perceived as a kind of atonement for past mistakes and an act of political morality – if used cleverly, this could be an effective argument in the UNSC Council, but in the chaos that is Baghdad, an operation based on this kind of reasoning would not solve anything.… A new definition of the Unami mission in Iraq, as it has been called since resolution 1500 last week, would have to create a political counterbalance to the U.S. civil administration under Paul Bremer. The important thing now is to reform the U.S.-British occupation regime.…  A larger role for the UN would prompt more countries to send troops to Iraq, and thus ease the burden for the U.S.   Washington will have to swallow this bargain.”


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA:  "To Go To Iraq, Or Not To Go?"


Military analyst Antonio Prlenda wrote in Sarajevo's moderate Oslobodjenje (8/28):  "The very idea [of sending Bosnian troops to Iraq] was blessed by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina...but, in any case, it will not be an easy decision.  First, this would be the first time Bosnia and Herzegovina sent an entire unit.  Second, the peace mission in Iraq, from a military standpoint, is more complicated than those in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and third, it comes after a conflict that was supported by only a few European capitals....  On the other hand, as a full member of the UN that wants to become a member of the Partnership for Peace as soon as possible, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to prove that it is capable not only of using the services of this organization, but of participating in them as well.  The operation in Iraq is a good opportunity for that.  One has to take into account the possibility of B-H companies returning to Iraq for old and new business.”


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "Bush In A Tight Spot"


Michal Musil opined in the center right Lidove noviny (8/28):  "President Bush said on Tuesday 'There will be no retreat,' when he talked about the war in Iraq....  Not too many Americans could have applauded these words....  The core of his current problems is his decision to fold the Iraq war into the big campaign against terrorism.  [None of the reasoning]...was used to justify the war [has been proven true]....   The only thing Bush can now hope for is that the situation in Iraq improves."


"Weren’t We Better Off Under Saddam?"


Michal Musil mused in the center-right Lidove noviny (8/25):  "Despite the original optimism of the allies [in the war against Iraq], Iraq, according to the U.S. Civil Administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, has turned it nto another battlefield in the war against terrorism.  This cannot be what George Bush and Tony Blair dreamt about before the war.  Saddam definitely deserved to be overthrown.  However, doubts remain about the way it was done.  After the horrifying terrorist attack on the UN headquarters and the increasing number of casualties among American and British soldiers, it is difficult to counter the impression that today’s Iraq represents for the Americans, the British and the whole world a greater threat than Saddam’s Iraq did."


DENMARK:  "U.S. Fiasco In Iraq"


Left-wing Information commented (8/22): “The U.S. had lost the peace in Iraq, now the UN must win it back....  We demand an investigation into the basis on which Denmark went to war.  A change of course is needed which ensures that the UN takes control of the reconstruction from the United States.” 


"International Community Must Get Over Indignation"


Centrist Weekendavisen judged (8/22): “Acting alone, the United States cannot bring peace to Iraq....  It is high time that countries of the E.U. and the United Nations get over their indignation that the U.S. decided to go to war in Iraq without their blessing.  The fact of the matter is that their help is needed now.” 


HUNGARY:  "Barriers Of  Power"


Foreign affairs writer Ferenc Kepecs holds in pro-government left wing Hungarian Nepszava (8/25):   ”Regardless of who are behind the guerilla attacks [against the American and British soldiers in Iraq] the fact is that Bush and his team have been caught up in a trap. They now try to ease their situation by seeking help from the UN, in other words from the other powers.  But the other powers are willing to provide help [to the United States] on the condition that they also receive a share of the ‘acquisition’ meaning the control over the oil reserves and the reconstruction businesses in Iraq.  As UN Secretary General Kofi Annan put it ‘including the UN...would also mean sharing responsibility and decision making’.  Washington has certainly been opposed to this, because Washington did not launch the war earlier with the aim to do sharing [out on the ‘profits’] with others later.  But now, it seems, Washington has to share [decision and responsibility with other UN countries].  America has believed its power to be unlimited. But now America has bumped into the barriers of its [unlimited] power.”


LATVIA: Another Kind of Terror


Aivars Ozolins, a columnist at the leading  Diena editorialized (8/22):  “The international community and specifically the United States will have to find a solution to the vicious circle [and realize] that reestablishing Iraq as a normal state is possible only with a government elected by Iraqis; however, such elections are not possible while basic order and security is not established in the country.  United States doesn’t have a choice--this contradiction has to be solved.…  Probably sooner or later the peace in Iraq will have to be ensured by NATO, which is the only organization with the necessary military resources for such mission....  There is no universal and magic solution for the Iraq problem. However, the fewer chances terrorists will have to create a permanent chaos in the country, the less their attacks will be perceived as resistance to the occupation regime. For that sake, the U.S. and occupation’s administration, with the possibly extensive support of the United Nations and other international organizations, will have to work even harder to reach the goal and hand over the governance of Iraq to the Iraqi people.”


NETHERLANDS:  "Turning Point Iraq"


Influential liberal De Volkskrant has this editorial (8/21): "The attacks at the UN headquarters and on the oil and water pipes come down to a turning point for the Bush administration....  Iraq was given the status of being an experimental field of democratization for the rest of the Arabic countries.  However, the planned democratization is not really materializing - not in Iraq and not in Afghanistan.  Both these countries deal with chaos, violence, and sabotage. And the bad news is that the situation is getting worse rather than improving....  In Iraq, the Americans are even facing the problem that they thought their intervention would eliminate terrorism but in fact it is attracting terrorism....  What now, President Bush?...  Preference should be given to finding a solution in involving more countries in the reconstruction of Iraq.  But the condition is that Bush and his administration should give these countries a say.  After all, stability in Iraq is in everybody's interest."


NORWAY:  "Bush Alone In The Quagmire"


Erik Sagflaat commented in social democratic Dagsavisen (8/28) :  "President Bush rules out an American withdrawal from Iraq, and will make Iraq a test case in the war against terror.  Al-Qaida has now established itself in Iraq.  That was not the situation before the war....  Letting the UN take command in Iraq is not a solution.  The organization simply does not have the necessary resources and competence to lead a large-scale operation.  When the UN was in command in Somalia and during the first phase of operations in the Balkans in the early 1990s, chaos among UN leaders caused a catastrophe.  NATO does have the necessary competence, but as a defense alliance it has nothing to do in Iraq.  There is simply no alternative to an American-led operation.  The U.S. is stuck in the quagmire on its own, and must help itself back onto dry land....  On the other hand there is no question that the U.S. can make the situation easier for itself.  This requires that key players in the Bush administration be less concerned about their loss of face, than in achieving results in Iraq.”


POLAND:  "It Is Not Time For Lonely Sheriffs"


Robert Kussek opined in the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny (8/27):  “The tragic bombing of the UN office in Baghdad has shown again that the situation in Iraq has slipped out of control.  President Bush is shrugging off the most recent event saying that the attack in Baghdad shows how desperate the terrorists are because of the unquestionable achievements of coalition forces....  [In a new UN resolution] the Americans demand that control over multinational forces be exercised by Washington....  In America there is already talk not to consent to bargaining with the UN and to increasing the number of American troops up to 500 thousand.  The critics of cooperating with the UN do not realize, however, that without international help Iraq will, in fact, become a second Vietnam.  In the face of hatred from the Iraqi people, economic failure and the influx of Islamic fanatics, coalition forces do not stand a chance of restoring normalcy in Iraq.”


"Leaving Iraq Is Not A Solution"


Marek Ostrowski wrote in the center-left Polityka weekly (8/30):  "America must not be persuaded to declare a victory and call it quits.  One must not leave a broken country in chaos with the prospect of terrorist threats, bloody vendettas, Islamic fanatics and poverty.  Not only for America, but also for many countries it is very important what will happen next in Iraq; what kind of government and order will be established there....  For France, Germany and Russia including perhaps Arabic partners, who are still critical of America, joining the stabilization process is possible only under the UN flag.  In the meantime, desperately seeking new allies, as a matter of fact the Americans declare they are willing to include the UN in assisting in Iraq, but only on their own terms and under their command.  For the majority of partners, this idea is unacceptable.  Very few want to share the hardship of occupying Iraq with the Americans without having a say about the future of Iraq....  It looks like the region and the world will be better off if this government is formed with the help of the UN.”  


PORTUGAL: "The Mission Of The UN Is To Continue in Iraq"


In his weekly column in leading financial Diário Económico, influential center-right analyst Prof. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa noted (8/26): "The UN should stay in the country and for one very simple reason: everyone already comprehended that the North Americans could manage the military 'orders', but [they] are not sufficient to make peace and establish a democratic regime in Iraq.  And since they can't [do so], the UN has to be the one to create a stable path toward peace and democracy.  In other words, an Iraq governed by Iraqis and not by the Americans."




Pro-government Politika carried an opinion piece by its foreign editor Jaksic stating (8/22):  “The Americans are repeatedly saying that they will not withdraw from Iraq before the fight against terrorism is over and the weapons of mass destruction are found, which is fine but hardly enough to solve the tensions and conflicts.  Strong criticism of terrorism and principled support for a peace process are not sufficient, but rather a much deeper understanding of causes of terrorism is needed.”


SPAIN:  "The UN Should Lead The Normalization Of Iraq"


Independent El Mundo wrote (8/25): "It is true that the UN needs to be reformed....  But while accepting this technicality we must take into account that nowdays the United Nations is the only international organization capable of stopping the unilateral ravings of the powers that pretend to become the owners of the world... There are few opportunities to come to an agreement, because the United States, in a high handed and unjustifiable position, refuses to relinquish the power once conquered."


"The U.S. And The UN"


Centrist La Vanguardia asserted (8/22):  Washington should think it over and conclude before it is too late, that the only possible solution out of this mess is to reform the political harmony in the international community and realize that what are now troops of occupation should become multinational forces of pacification, under the United Nations."


TURKEY:  "Weak Leadership In Turkey"


Cengiz Candar noted in the mass-appeal DB-Tercuman (8/28):  “Glossy statements cannot hide the weak leadership and inconstancy of the Erdogan-Gul duo on Iraq.  They are trying to arrive at a decision through asking the Sunni Iraqi tribal leaders who have had ambiguous relations with the former Baath regime, opinion research questions such as ‘should we go to Iraq,’ and ‘if we do, how would you greet us?’  There is no substantial difference between President Sezer and the government regarding foreign policy decisions.  The president’s seeking international consensus on Iraq under a UN license while the government is seeking consensus with the Sunni Arab tribal leaders.  It’s interesting that those who think too little of the Iraqi Kurdish leaders, almost respect a blackmailing by the Arab tribal leaders who warned that Turkish troops would be treated like Americans in Iraq.  Do you think countries with a firm vision of future determine their foreign policy by consulting Sunni Arab tribal leaders?"


"Iraq’s Stability"


Ismet Berkan noted in liberal-intellectual Radikal (8/22):  “Anyone who cares about Turkey’s interests and well-being should take positive indicators of stability in Iraq with joy, and view negative developments with sadness.  Those who wish the U.S. to fail are basically working against Turkish interests....  Turkey should do whatever it can to establish stability in Iraq, and sending troops is only one of many options that Turkey can offer.  Even prior to the debate about the deployment of Turkish troops, the important thing is that Turkey must design a vision to embrace all of Iraq.  Turkey must also realize that a stable Iraq is directly in its national interest.”


"Making Promises To The Occupier"


Mehmet Ocaktan argued in Islamist-intellectual Yeni Safak (8/22):  “The Turkish FM made a very unfortunate statement by ruling out the possibility that the UN bombing could affect the Turkish position about the deployment of troops in Iraq....  The U.S. has failed dramatically in Iraq, and even U.S. allies are searching for ways to withdraw.  Finally, the U.S. has turned to the UN to ask for more military support....  Although Washington has seen its occupation plan collapse, the aggressive policies of the Bush administration have created new fronts for terrorism....  We need a clear explanation about the reasons for the rush to send our troops to Iraq while the U.S. is looking for a UN umbrella.  Why should we be the ones to save the honor of the occupation forces?”


UKRAINE: "Basic Instinct"


Anti-American oligarch-controlled Kievskii Telegraph weekly held (8/25):  "It looks that not only the war isn't over, but it is just starting.  A rare day goes by without a report on U.S, British and now Danish soldier being killed.  Moreover, the Iraqi resistance to occupation seems to have entered a new phase -- the one of kamikaze terrorists... At first glance, targeting the UN office seems strange.... However, the strike on the 'blue flag' will also seriously bounce against the White House.  First of all, together with inflicting daily, albeit limited casualties, a large-scale terrorist attack against basically civilian officials may turn the U.S. public opinion against Iraqi campaign....  Besides, the death of UN staffers will force the allies of the U.S. in the anti-Iraqi coalition seriously review their plans to send their soldiers into the occupied country."




IRAQ: "Security Problem Has Attracted International And Arab Attention"


A comment in Al-Nahdah affiliated with the Iraqi Independent Democrats Grouping led by Adnan Pachachi, stated (8/27): "The security problem arouses growing concern for the citizens. It is a very legitimate concern, which has attracted increasing international and Arab attention.  The problem basically lies in the political and security vacuum that has existed in the country since the ouster of the former regime and the non-establishment of an effective Iraqi national authority in the past few months....  It is a source of satisfaction and optimism that several positive changes have occurred in the stands of the big powers and several Arab and regional states.   These changes serve this goal and strengthen the tendency to expand the international umbrella and enable the United Nations to play a bigger political role in the political process in Iraq.   It is expected that these stands will result in the crystallization of a bigger political role for the United Nations and the setting up of a timetable for Iraq's restoration of its national sovereignty.   In fact, developing these Arab and international stands in this correct direction is in harmony with the Iraqi national interest....   It provides opportunities and reliable mechanisms for tackling the Iraqi issue at a low cost and spares the country the consequences of the treacherous terrorist campaign that has escalated recently.  Therefore, the various political forces and quarters in Iraq are called upon to push matters toward this direction."


IRAN:  "Attack On UN Very Consequential"


Pro-Khatami English-language Tehran Iran News asserted (Internet version, 8/27): "The unprecedented attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad was not simply just another terrorist act....   But in a more strategic sense, the attack could serve as another watershed event.   It has the potential to derail the U.S. occupation in Iraq, and, furthermore, even reverse U.S. efforts to put pressure on regional countries to modify their behavior.  Or, on the other hand, if it was proven that the bombing was carried out by extremist 'Jihadists,' it could serve as another Sept. 11, this time for the international community and the UN itself.... What's more, in light of the fact that most UN member countries opposed the U.S.-led war, now that the Americans desperately are in need of international assistance to help in bringing stability and security back to Iraq, the global community could tell Bush "I told you so", thereby putting the UN on equal footing with the U.S.-UK coalition in calling the shots in Iraq.   Even if this scenario is a bit of a stretch, at a minimum, the Baghdad attack could strengthen the hand of the UN in Iraq.   Last but not least, another possibility should also be contemplated. The terrorist bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad has the potential of becoming a turning point - a la 9/11 - this time for the international community and the United Nations.   It could harden the views of the world body against extremists throughout the world and drive Europe and the rest of the world closer to the U.S. position on the so-called War on terrorism."


EGYPT:  "Suspicious Visit"


Columnist Magdy Sarhan observed in leading opposition Al Wafd (8/27):  “No one understands the official Egyptian position on the Iraqi interim Governing Council.  At first officials at the Foreign Ministry confirmed that Egypt does not recognize the Council and then members of the Council visited Egypt by official invitation and met with Egyptian officials....   The only explanation is that there have been pressures and dictates on the Egyptian will.  After meeting Foreign Minister Maher, the head of the delegation said, the visit and reception by Arab counties denote open recognition of this council....  Strangely, this suspicious visit coincided with a ‘fatwa’ (religious ruling) from Al Azhar prohibiting Arab and Islamic countries from dealing with the Council.”  


"The U.S. Looks for Mercenary Army"


Senior columnist Hassan Ragab opined in aggressive, pro-government Al Akhbar (8/26): “To date, the U.S. has failed, despite Bush’s announcements that 19 countries are participating, to find a new mercenary army to serve in Iraq.  Still there are only a few thousand available and worse still is their quality....  The kind that joined only for money formed a heterogeneous group, poorly equipped and trained, and with no common language....   The U.S. is trying so hard to secure a U.N. recommendation for international participation without giving up any of its authority--something rejected by most of the world....  The U.S. is pressuring Arab and Moslem countries to participate but they reject especially given the worsening of its position with the Palestinians.  Will the U.S. learn history’s lesson and abandon its imperialistic dreams?”


"Who Would Benefit From Terminating The Role of the U.N. In Iraq?”


Pro-government Al Ahram’s political analyst Dr. Saied El Lawendy concluded (8/25): “According to the French Le Figaro, it would not be surprising to find that American hawks are the ones behind the bombardment of the U.N. quarters in Baghdad...  First, if not to eliminate the role of the U.N., to minimize it to being a humanitarian relief agency and thus to hell with the call of France, Germany, Russia, and China for having the U.N. carry out the reconstruction of Iraq...  Second, to force the world to send forces to stand, under American leadership, against Iraqi terrorism.  The French paper hinted that such an allegation is not improbable for accusations still hang over the American Administration for September 11 events (if we don’t yet believe what the French writer Meyssan wrote in his famous book ‘L’effroyable imposture’).”


"Bombing The UN Headquarters And Strategy Of Burned Land In Iraq”


Pro-government Al Ahram contributor Ashraf Abul Hol asserted (8/22): “The resort to the policy of burned land and targeting foreign establishment is now understood. Its aims at:  1. Turning the lives of American soldiers into hell and making the American Administration and public feel that the cost of invasion is high and cannot be paid.... 2. Pushing the rest of the Iraqi people to revolt against American occupation which caused the current situation... 3. Pushing world public opinion to pressure their governments not to send troops to Iraq... 4. Pushing international organizations, for example the IMF and World Bank to refuse to finance reconstruction projects which the resistance believes they favor the occupiers not the Iraqi people.   Isolating the interim governing council and letting every one knows that it is a toy in the hands of the occupation.  Finally, attacking the U.N. quarters is totally unacceptable and unwarranted. The U.N. is not party to the dispute and is not responsible for the occupation of Iraq.”


SAUDI ARABIA:  "All Borders Are Open for Terrorists!"


Riyadh’s conservative, Al-Riyadh remarked (8/28):  "With all those huge amounts of smuggled weapons and explosives, the Kingdom has not closed its international borders with its neighbors.  Likewise, it has not closed its seaports or airspace, either to accused states or organizations, but followed its policy of cleaning the hideouts of terrorism cells....  Since we are discussing terrorism and terrorists, we hope to become with the U.S. partners of responsibility and work.   We, too, are open target for those powers....  Instead of spreading accusations, which disturb confidence.  Take the issue of (Arab) elements infiltrating into Iraq via the borders of the Kingdom, it may be true, but was it with the knowledge of the Saudi government?...  Therefore, we hope to develop basic points of agreement in our war against terrorism and to consider it as a primary goal in our joint work."


"Right Step"


Riyadh's moderate English language Riyadh Daily commented (8/26):  "Undoubtedly, the Arab initiative to welcome the interim political system is in the wider interest of the Iraqi people, because it will help in the early end to the occupation.  Iraq has been isolated for far too long....  Without a political process being initiated, Iraq would continue to remain isolated, something which the Arab world surely does not want.  The council has so far maintained a united front despite its composition being far and varied.  Till such time as a more widely accepted political course is adopted in Iraq, it holds some legitimacy from the fact that it represents the country's diverse ethnic factions--whether Sunni, Shiite or Kurd.  Just as the UN has 'welcomed' the council, the Arab world is also showing all signs of embracing Baghdad's interim government.  It would surely be the right step toward preventing Iraq from further drifting apart."


JORDAN:  "The Arab Effort Towards Iraq"


Jamil Nimri held in independent, mass-appeal Arabic Al-Arab Al-Yawm (8/25):  “A delegation representing the governing council of Iraq is arriving today in Jordan as part of a tour in Arab countries....  To deal with the council would be part of a more effective involvement of Arabs in the Iraqi situation, whereas reject it would be simply one more addition to the Arab performance so far, which is marked by negativity and passivity.  Arabs must meet and connect with all Iraqi parties within and without the governing council....  From now and until legitimate elections determining who represents the Iraqis take place, there is no other way but to become involved and deal with the current forces in power and not leave the arena free for the Americans.  The American failure, whether it is deliberate or the outcome of shortsightedness and foolishness on the part of the right-wing gang in the U.S. administration, must force the Arabs to move and take action in order to look out for and protect the effort underway in Iraq to mend the political system and speed the process of placing power in the hands of Iraqis.”


"The Iraqi Resistance"


Urayb Rintawi wrote in center-left, influential Arabic Al-Dustour (8/24):  “We are driven by instinct to take the side of the resistance, any resistance to any foreign occupation.  Yet, we do not take the trouble to ask about the nature of this resistance and the forces that are waging it....  We watch the news showing images of operations launched by the ‘Iraqi resistance’ against the U.S. occupation.  We feel ecstatic, because these operations target an arrogant occupation and because they target the United States, for which three quarters of the Arabs and Muslims have no affection....  Yet, we shiver at the thought that this resistance comes from one of two sources: the remnants of the old regime and its security and intelligence apparatus; and fundamentalist and extremists forces that are inspired by the spirit of Taliban and the methods of al-Qaida.”


KUWAIT: "Saddam Behind The Attack"


Liberal Sami Al-Nesf wrote in independent Al-Anba (8/23):  “People who hate Iraq and the Iraqis and want to cause a civil war in Iraq are the ones behind the attack on the UN building in Iraq. Needless to say, it was Saddam and the criminal Baath organization behind the attack.”


"Bombers Want An Iraqi Civil War"


Liberal Sami Al-Nesf wrote in independent Al-Anba (8/23):  “People who hate Iraq and the Iraqis and want to cause a civil war in Iraq are the ones behind the attack on the UN building in Iraq. Needless to say, it was Saddam and the criminal Baath organization behind the attack.”


“De Mello And Terrorism”


Ayed Al-Manna wrote in independent Al-Watan (8/23):  “Terrorists know that the UN is not a part in the war to liberate Iraq.  The UN did not issue any resolution for that war.  [UN Representative Sergio] De Mello came to Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi people.  Those who attacked De Mello were targeting the organization he represented.… They believe that they can force the UN to abandon its mission in Iraq and thus facilitate the return of the oppressor to power."


SYRIA:  "Fighting Real Enemies"


Fouad Mardoud wrote in government-owned Syria Times (8/28):  "One of the...benefits of U.S. hardships in the region is that Americans should have started to think about going back to the UN....  President Bush has to think about getting his country out of the mess he has created.  If he means to fight for peace anywhere, he should begin at home, by fighting the war advocates within his administration."


"Exporting The Crisis Is The Easiest Option"


Dr. Mahdi Dakhllalah, chief editor of government-owned Al-Ba'th, editorialized (8/27):  "Threats do not seem to be making a problem for Syria as much as they are making one for the U.S.  This certainly does not mean that Damascus is careless about what comes from Washington...or about the worst possibilities at time the 'worst' is present and ready to be implemented....  Certainly no one in the world nor in Syria would accept being held responsible for the failure of the [U.S.] occupier in achieving the stability they promised the Iraqi people....  This stand is Syria's real 'sin;' while Syria's other 'five sins' listed in the Syria Accountability Act represent ignorance of facts."


"The Goals and Motive Of Syria's Move [Towards Iraq's Governing Council]"


Dr. Fayez Sayegh, an op-ed writer in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote (8/27):  "Iraqis today desperately need official and popular Arab backing to support their lives, regardless of the Arab and international positions on the Iraqi Governing Council and questions about its legitimacy and whether it represents the Iraqi people."


"The One Who Lacks Credibility Lacks Legitimacy"


Khaled al-Ashhab, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra commented (8/27):  "The image of the U.S. occupation in Iraq has become identical with image of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the simplest details of acts of repressions, assassination and demolishing the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples' infrastructures....  How can we believe that the U.S., which occupied Iraq under the pretext of liberating it and because of its WMD...has started to exert pressure on other countries to send forces to Iraq.  By this, the U.S. wants to internationalize the crisis after it alone seized Iraq's wealth.  How can we believe that the U.S. wants to rebuild Iraq and establish democracy there?...  U.S. credibility isn't being tested anymore; rather it is at rock-bottom. How can the one who lacks credibility ever gain unanimity from others about the legitimacy of his words and deeds?"


"Is It A Security Or A Political Vacuum?"


Khalid al-Ashhab, a commentator in government-owned Al-Thawra, wrote (8/23): "What is happening in Iraq is not resistance, but rather a security vacuum that claims the lives of American and British troops everyday.   U.S. and British military planners failed to estimate the size of this vacuum.... The vacuum that has prevailed in Iraq since the U.S. occupation is not a security vacuum. Rather it is a political vacuum that resulted from an occupation that destroyed and replaced national legitimacy and set up a sham representative council.... U.S. policy failed to legitimize occupation and fill the political vacuum....  Iraqis need no incitement to resistance. Nor do they need any U.S. recognition of the legitimacy of their resistance, nor a correct assessment of this resistance's magnitude.  They only need an end to the occupation, to cheating, looting, and deception.  When this happens, they will know how to fill the political vacuum and rebuild their country without US victims."


TUNISIA:  "Iraq: Nothing Can Stand Against The Will Of A People"


An analysis by editor Mustapha Ben Ammar in independent French-language Le Quotidien stated (8/27):  "The situation in Baghdad is getting worse every day.… The coalition forces bear the entire responsibility. They want to achieve peace through tanks rather than relying on the honorable forces in Iraq, such as the ‘Hawza’. …Neither Bush nor his team want to acknowledge that a people who went through all kinds of tests throughout history, is unable to accept the hegemonic oppression of other powers - even the most powerful one - even if it pretends to come as a liberator. Hence, we understand the determination of the Iraqi people to struggle with all the means to resist the occupation, without claiming to fight in the name of Saddam Hussein or the Baathist party.  Iraqis are fighting to defend their nation and to preserve their dignity from all the violations.…Americans don’t want to understand that no power can stand against the determined will of the peoples.”


"Infernal Quagmire"


An editorial by director and editor-in-chief, M’Hamed Ben Youssef, in independent French-language weekly newspaper Tunis Hebdo stated (8/25):   "By striving to change the course of events and to revolutionize the mentality in different Gulf countries...while security is not restored in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine and while international terrorism has still not been eradicated…and without thinking to help out 'friends', Bush and his insane advisers are heading for the abyss....  No one wants to mortgage his future to the escalation of the rebellion in the totality of the Arab-Muslim countries, where the hatred of the Iraq colonizers, rushing to pump its petrol, is very obvious.”


UAE:  "Who Will Save Iraq?"


Dr. Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad (8/27):  "These bloody conflicts in the different areas of Iraq raise questions about the future of Iraq's stability.  Could security and stability be achieved without the foreign existence?  What are the powers that could guarantee internal security and stability?  Is there a power other than the coalition that could stop the conflicts and establish security?...  The coalition forces made many mistakes when they entered Iraq, this is not deniable; but at the same time it (the Coalition Provisional Authority) needs the support of the internal powers and parties in order to govern Iraq and establish security and stability.  Iraq's problem today is not the conflicts but that the parties to the conflict have started using violence, terrorism, and the language of bullets...instead of democracy, forgiveness, brotherhood, and national unity."


"Terrorism or Resistance?"


Dr. Shamlan Al Eissa wrote in Abu Dhabi-based semi-government Al Ittihad on (8/24):  Is what is happening in Iraq today really an act of national liberation from a foreign enemy?  Or is it a series of disorganized terrorist attacks that aim to expel coalition forces and return the previous regime? ...  The goal or aim of whoever performs these acts of terrorism is definitely not the liberation of the land....  Whoever wants to liberate a land would focus on coalition forces directly and not kill translators and humanitarian workers of the UN, Red Crescent, and other humanitarian organizations who have come to rebuild Iraq and to build democratic organizations on new foundations unfamiliar to the Arab World."




AUSTRALIA:  "Disarmed, Democratic Iraq Will Be Foundation Of Mideast peace"


The national conservative Australian (8/26) stated:  “Australians helped win the war in Iraq and we are obligated to help win the peace.  But we should do it in company with soldiers and civilian experts from many other countries, working under the auspices of a United Nations resolution....  A disarmed, democratic Iraq will be a foundation for peace throughout the Middle East.  The Islamic terrorists know this, which is why they are now trying to disrupt the reconstruction effort.“


"Defusing Iraqi Time Bomb"


Defense writer Geoffrey Barker asserted in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review (8/25):  “Not surprisingly the reluctant to increase its involvement in Iraq unless the U.S. cedes more control to it in exchange for its backing.  What concessions might be acceptable to the Bush administration remain unclear....  Australia should use its claimed influence with the U.S. to publicly encourage Washington to accept a greater UN role in Iraq….  The U.S.-Australia alliance should be a two-way dialogue and not a relationship between the U.S. and its little Aussie lapdog.”


"Send Troops To Hold Iraqi Line"


Greg Sheridan, foreign editor, wrote in the national conservative Australian (8/23):  “The bombing of Baghdad's UN headquarters has achieved its purpose, making it more difficult to get foreign support....  The lesson is that you have to stick with it when the going gets tough, and allies can help in fortifying U.S. resolve.  Our soldiers make excellent peacekeepers, although we have far too few of them.  An Australian peacekeeping contingent taking sole responsibility for a small corner of Iraq would be the greatest contribution we could make right now. “


 "After Saddam The Real Terrorist Threat"


Geoff Kitney held in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald (8/22):  “The critical challenge in Iraq now is to end as quickly as possible the U.S. occupation and hand Iraq back to the Iraqis.  A critical step in this process must be to internationalize the transitional period so that it is no longer seen as a U.S. operation....  United Nations administration and NATO military force should be called in.”


CHINA:  “Deterioration of Iraqi Security Conditions”


Ren Yujun commented in official Communist Party People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao,8/26): 

“There is a wide divergence in views among Security Council members.  France, Germany and Russia all clearly have conveyed the international community’s wish that the UN enjoy broader decision-making powers....  But the U.S. is not willing to share the decision-making with other countries....  Analysts believe that the Bush administration must decide on this critical issue.  It is clear that the U.S. cannot win the battle to bring peace to Iraq single-handedly, even if it was capable of winning the military war.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "UN Pays The Price For The U.S."


The pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (8/22):  "The terrorists who bombed the UN headquarters were venting their anger on the UN rather than on the U.S. and Britain.  They used a terrorist attack to stop the international community from 'helping' Bush.  Their actions were irrational.  Although the UN did not authorize the U.S. and Britain to launch attacks against Iraq, it cannot take a hands-off position in post-war Iraq....  The UN is actually helping the U.S. clean up the mess in Iraq, which is easily misunderstood....  It is time for the U.S. to...consider withdrawing its troops gradually and let the UN lead the reconstruction in Iraq."


INDONESIA:  "Attack On UN Office, A Warning To The U.S."


Independent Suara Pembaruan commented (8/25):  “The U.S. should shorten their occupation in Iraq and change their strategy to control Iraq by empowering the interim government and the new Iraqi police.  The U.S. invasion toppled a regime regarded as the most brutal and senseless in the 20th and 21st centuries, but it was with no small risk.  In addition to the rise of Anti-American sentiment, it has caused the death of many innocent people.”


"Failure Of Preemptive Strike Doctrine" 


Independent Media Indonesia commented (8/22): “The bombing of the UN offic and the suicide bombing in West Jerusalem had the same target, retaliation.  The former was retaliation against the UN as it was seen as a U.S. lackey.  And the second was retaliation against Israel that has been the golden boy of the U.S.  So both pointed to the U.S.  Look also into previous terrorist actions beginning from the WTC, Bali, to Marriott, and also the destruction of the expatriate housing complex in Saudi Arabia in May, with the U.S. as the target. So it is true that the U.S. has become the number one target of terrorists.  We condemn those relentless and indiscriminating terrorists but there is no smoke without fire.… The ever-mounting terrorist actions and threats against the U.S. indicate that the U.S. preemptive strike doctrine has failed.  A country may be scared by a more powerful one, but no individual is afraid of the U.S....  Therefore, before it is too late, President Bush must exercise self-respect...and change his arrogant foreign policy, which only provides fertilizer for those offended to resist with their own way, terrorism.”  


SINGAPORE:  "Peace On The Cheap"


The pro-government Straits Times editorialized (8/28):  "One reason why American forces are finding it difficult to pacify Iraq and Afghanistan is that their government is a cheapskate.  When it comes to winning wars, the Bush administration, like its predecessors, has no qualms spending billions.  The 'military-industrial-congressional complex' always delights in spending money on armaments.  But when it comes to winning the peace, the Bush administration, unlike many of its predecessors, balks.  And unfortunately, there is no 'foreign aid-industrial-congressional complex' to see to it that the decent thing is done.  The result of this tawdry approach to peace is already obvious in Afghanistan and Iraq."


THAILAND:  "UN Bombing A Loss Of Face For U.S."


Supachai Payakkhan commented in mass-appeal, Thai language Daily News (8/24):  “The U.S. has two options--either sending more troops and a great amount of money to reassure others that its commitment will not waver, or swallowing its pride and pleading for the UN’s leadership role in the restabilization and reconstruction of Iraq.”


"A Wounded UN Must Soldier On"


The lead editorial in top-circulation, moderately conservative, English language Bangkok Post reported (8/22):  "Security for UN personnel and facilities throughout the world will have to be upgraded.  That will further stretch the 140,000 troops America has in Iraq.  That would not have been such a problem if the Americans have given the UN a central peacekeeping role.  Then troops from other countries holding out for a UN mandate would be forthcoming.  Instead, the U.S. has been building its own international contingent made up of troops from countries currying favor with Washington....  Perhaps it is time the U.S. rethought the UN option.…The Bush administration has been firmly opposed to any idea of a new UN peacekeeping resolution on Iraq, but it is doing itself a great disservice.  For the UN, a bigger role in Iraq might expose it to more attacks, but shying away will make it irrelevant.  This is something the current U.S. government appears to want.  It is extremely short-sighted.”




INDIA:  "Waiting For Another Vietnam"


Columnist Deep K. Datta-Ray wrote in the centrist Telegraph (8/27):  "As the United States prepares to send a new crop of soldiers on one-year tours to another war zone, the question arises: will they too be bedeviled by the fate of their predecessors?  More important, will they succeed in their mission?  The answer to the latter is a resounding 'Yes'.  Iraq is nothing like Vietnam.  The dissimilarities are obvious.  For one, Iraq is under U.S. control to an extent Vietnam never was.  Another is that Baghdad capitulated after hardly putting up a fight.  Clearly, Iraqis do not share the Viet Cong’s visceral hatred of Americans.  The feared Republican Guard collapsed not because it did not have the stomach to fight, but because Saddam Hussein was not worth fighting for."


"Moment Of Opportunity"


An analysis in the centrist Hindu by Rajmohan Gandhi judged (8/26): “If the United States asks India and other nations to support its effort to redesign the Middle East, and its global war on terror, others hope that India will not let down countries that prize their independence.... The people of Iraq, and of the world, must be informed that the U.S.-British occupation is to be replaced by a temporary international force commanding legitimacy under international law. Indians can be part of such a force, with their expenses paid for by the Indian Government.  A proposal from New Delhi for such a force in Iraq would not only bring India to center -stage; it will help the world, and Indians, see what India stands for.... India cannot accept the idea of one nation as the master of the planet. Nor can India accept a permanent war between the West and Islam, or the compulsion to side with one (either one) against the other.”


"Wise Second Thoughts" 


The nationalist Hindustan Times observed (8/22):  "The misgivings in Japan about sending troops to Iraq after the attack on the UN office in Baghdad show that India was right in turning down the American request in this respect....   The fact that the Americans had bypassed the UN while launching their invasion had tainted the war right from the start.  Hence, India's insistence on a UN mandate before it could agree to send its troops....   Fighting a war, especially on America's behalf, will mean that all the other countries will become targets of Islamic terrorists who are undoubtedly looking upon the conflict in Iraq in 'clash of civilizations' terms....  Instead of welcoming them as liberators, the Iraqis have been regarding the Americans as unwanted guests at best and brutal invaders at worst....  If the rest of the world is unwilling to help, it is because they do not want to get involved in a mess of America's own creation." 


PAKISTAN:  "Pride And Prejudice In Iraq"


The Lahore-based liberal English Daily Times editorialized (8/27):  "One of the most intriguing things said so far about the shambles in Iraq was a comment last Thursday by the U.S. commander, General Abizaid, that 'We have over one million people under arms in the United States of America and it didn’t protect us from what happened on 9/11.  So the number of troops [in Iraq] is not the issue.  You have to have good, solid intelligence in a conflict such as this so you can get at the terrorists.'  His emphasis, of course, is 'terrorism.'  This is the loyalty buzzword that the Bush administration hopes will deflect the attention of the U.S. people from the fact that American soldiers are being killed because the occupation force has failed to live up to the name of the war which Bush dubbed operation 'Iraqi Freedom'....  The occupation of Iraq is a mess, and the solution is for a UN force to take over, with a non-U.S. civilian Commissioner in overall command.  But the Bush administration’s false pride and poisonous prejudices will never allow that to happen."  


"Mounting U.S. Casualties In Iraq"


Islamabad's rightist English-language Pakistan Observer declared (8/26):  "U.S. and British forces are suffering increasing casualties in Iraq in recent months as the Iraqi people have stepped up resistance against the alien occupation of their country....  The situation in Iraq has also generated a loud and clear message to the world community not to contribute their troops for deployment in Iraq on the pretext of peacekeeping.  Pakistan should particularly be mindful of the Iraqi fighters' ferocity against occupation forces as well as their collaborators.  The massive explosion at the headquarters of the UN, which had legitimized the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Sunday's attack on Shiite cleric hardly leaves any doubt about the collaborators' fate in Iraq."


"It Is Just The Beginning Of The Affair" 


Ataur Rehman declared in the second largest Urdu Nawa-e-Waqt (8/22):  "The UN was absolutely innocent until few days back.  It was praiseworthy that it refused to provide any justification to U.S. attack on Iraq....  What befell the UN was that sometime ago that it adopted Resolution 1500, recognizing U.S. nominated Iraq governing council....  The August 19 attack appears to be a lamentable consequence of the adoption of that resolution.  The Iraqi people and the resistance movement in that country have made it clear to the world that anyone coming in aid of American imperialism would be treated like Americans....  This should be an eye opener for Pakistan, as America expects Pakistan to send it troops to Iraq."





SOUTH AFRICA: "Losing The War To Terrorists"


Allister Sparks, veteran newsman and political analyst, commented in the Star (8/27): "The Bush administration's problem is that it failed to understand and the difference between a conventional war and a war on terrorism. The one is about firepower and conquest, the other about winning hearts and minds....  In fact the Bush administration has shown itself to be utterly hopeless at the business of winning hearts and minds....  It is the Vietnam syndrome in a different setting, with the one significant difference that this time the growth of terrorism affects not only the American occupiers but the whole world for jihadists know no boundaries.... Those permanent members of the Security Council which strongly opposed the war on Iraq may resent this kind of appeal from the U.S. [to Turkey, India and Pakistan for troops], but if they can pressure Washington into accepting a genuine UN-mandated multinational force -- even if it is in a U.S. commander as the main contributing may be the best that can be done to try to stabilize a rapidly worsening situation."


"Historic Chance For New Iraq Mandate"


John Stremlau, head of the international relations department at Wits University, wrote in balanced Business Day (8/26):   "Chaos poisons prospects for public backing of the U.S.-led occupation in both Iraq and America....  To counter escalating terrorism could mean a doubling of the multinational force....  But an operation of this scale requires support from the UNSC....  What Iraq needs is peace enforcement, a muscular UN-mandated multinational force, under a strong central command, as in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor and elsewhere.  Iraq poses a bigger challenge, but one that must not be exaggerated.  Iraq is not the Vietnam of the 70s or the Afghanistan of the 80s....  Today's violence in Iraq is also not the same as between the Palestinians and Israelis....  And while conditions of chaos may recall circumstances culminating in the U.S. pullouts from Lebanon  (1983) and Somalia (1994), the stakes in Iraq are far higher."  


BENIN: "Rethinking The Iraqi Issue"


Abraham Brahima opined in the independent, French-language Le Republicain (8/27):  Faced with these major and repeated blows, the White House has sent out an SOS, urging all the 60 European countries to send troops to the Persian Gulf, notably to Iraq.  At the moment, the countries called upon for rescue are not in a hurry to move. Obviously, the urban guerrilla warfare to which the GIs are confronted does not incite any spontaneous rush to generosity. Operation Iraqi Freedom appears to be in an impasse because the supposedly emancipated people are now turning against their liberators....  Anyway, the most important thing today is not fruitless discussions on whether the war was appropriate or not. The major problem now is the future of this country and all the regions, as well as the threats on the entire planet.  What is necessary today in this region is genuine involvement of the international community to open up the Iraqi problem and tackle the major issue raised by terrorists and other resistance forces, which is the war against the prolonged American occupation. " 


NIGERIA:  "Expanded International Force For Iraq"


Lagos-based independent Daily Champion commented (8/27):  "The situation in the post-war Iraq once more warns the world, particularly the big powers, that to win a war is one thing, and to win peace entirely another thing.  The totality is that war is always too high a price.  Much more fundamental to security in Iraq is the urgency that the Iraqis should be allowed to run the affairs of their country as soon as possible.  In postwar Iraq, the UN's assistance and cooperation would become invaluable in the rebuilding of Iraq and maintenance of peace in Middle East generally.  Whatever were the positions of the UN members before and after the invasion, the unfortunate attack on the UN headquarters in Iraq should serve the useful purpose of compelling a new UN resolution that would authorize an expanded international force to provide security in Iraq." 


"Spare the World Further Tragedies"    


Lagos-based Daily Independent editorialized (8/22): "It is a rather ironic twist that the UN edifice should be a target for the Iraqis in their attempt to vent their ire and venom on the Anglo-American forces. Whereas UN ought to be perceived as a neutral factor in the melee, given its refusal to support the Americans in the war against Iraq, it now seems from this attack that Iraqi nationalism appears contrary to this moral ground.  We do not support this extreme view.... Nonetheless, we cannot shy away from our long-held argument that the events of last Tuesday represent a backlash of what has now come to be regarded as the American misadventure and miscalculation in Iraq....  The U.S. and Britain must spare the world further tragedies that the Iraqi are bent on visiting on the land as a result of Washington’s arrogant stay. They must withdraw from Iraq and humbly admit a few lessons on the limits of power." 


UGANDA:  "UPDF Should Not Go To Iraq." 


The independent Monitor editorialized (8/22):  "We might be about to see yet another ill-advised and illegitimate deployment of our army abroad, this time in the security hotbed that Iraq has become.  This is what the second deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs minister, Mr. James Wapakhabulo, told a House committee on Wednesday....  Even before you raise the legal objections, our army already has its hands full at home.  This army is stretched trying to contain rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern and eastern Uganda.  Peace keeping in Iraq is thus a luxury Uganda cannot afford now.  The other difficulty one sees in this (mis)adventure is the international politics surrounding the U.S. in Iraq.  The Americans invaded Iraq under what is increasingly looking like false pretences and against the disapproval of the world community.  By sending troops to Iraq we will be endorsing an action that was judged illegal and unwarranted in the court of international opinion.  This is another mistake we cannot afford to make."


"Wait For UN Resolution"


The government owned New Vision observed (8/22):  "Uganda has agreed in principle to a U.S. request to contribute peacekeeping troops in Iraq.  Uganda has international obligations and should be prepared to help Iraq return to stability.  But Iraq is now in a political quagmire with persisting resistance to the coalition forces.  The world community needs to play a greater role in the administration of Iraq so that the coalition forces are not perceived solely as an American army of occupation.  The U.S. should now invite the UN to join the administration as an equal partner.  Uganda should not send peacekeepers to Iraq until the coalition administration is formally recognized by a UN resolution."




CANADA: "Stand Firm"


Under the sub-heading, “Western nations must not shrink from the escalating threats of terrorism,” the right-of-center Calgary Herald observed (8/25): “The terrorist plan is manifest: inflame the whole region, force out the U.S. and remake the Middle East, not as a constellation of liberal democracies but as Islamic republics, nests of terrorism, a Taliban culture with Saddam's efficiency. The West cannot tolerate such an outcome. If we do not win today, we will have to fight again some other time. Fortunately, the English-speaking people can draw inspiration from their own defining moments, as when Abraham Lincoln took up the Confederate challenge or Great Britain's years standing alone against Nazi Germany. Today is another such moment, and it belongs to U.S. President George W. Bush. We must hope he can keep the American people with him long enough to see that his vision, not the default one, becomes reality.”


"U.S. Mired In A Mess Of Its Own Making"


Contributing foreign editor Eric Margolis commented in the conservative tabloid Ottawa Sun (8/24):  "These attacks show the U.S. has got itself into a truly awesome mess in Iraq.... Bush has literally stuck his head in a hornet's nest in Iraq and is now getting royally stung.  He, his scandalously inept national security advisers, and the media's so-called 'Iraqi experts' failed to comprehend that a U.S. occupation would be a frightful, expensive, bloody mess--a disaster that was totally predictable.  Worse, the U.S. occupation is clearly creating the kind of violence and car bomb terrorism that Bush used as an excuse to invade Iraq.... When the U.S. finds itself unable to crush Iraqi resistance, it will blame neighbouring Iran and Syria for 'fueling terrorism,' and may attack them.  Tehran and Damascus thus have every reason to stir the pot in Iraq to tie down American forces and make it less likely the U.S. will next invade them, as neo-cons are urging."


ARGENTINA: "A President Hunting Votes"


Marcelo Cantelmi judged in leading Clarin (8/27): "The fronts on which the U.S. fights today are not only those of the official epic of a war on terrorism far away. In fact, there are other enemies who are not in the ambush but much nearer the White House than what its current inhabitant seems to admit. George W. Bush can write on his private diary the already uncontrolled consequences of post-war in Iraq....  Although important, those enemies are not the main ones or the only ones at this time. The problems posed by domestic economy... are even more devastating for Bush's political stability and 2004 re-election expectations. The combination of these foreign and domestic elements explains why the president has attempted to recover initiative although it is hard to say if he will be successful in doing so... Yesterday, Bush redoubled his bet on war to attempt to recover the approval he had in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks."


"U.S. Requests The UN More Troops In Iraq"


Alberto Armendariz, daily-of-record La Nacion New York-based contributor, wrote (8/22):  "In the past, the U.S. strongly resisted the idea of a new resolution, which would give the UN a broader mandate, but of an essentially humanitarian nature. Tuesday's terrorist attack against UN Headquarters in Baghdad...seem to have changed the opinion of the Bush administration on this issue. Particularly after Annan blamed the occupying forces for not ensuring the mission's security in order to do their job.... Although U.S. acknowledgement of the need to reinforce a UN mandate was welcomed by most UNSC representatives, several of them pointed out that the inflexibility to cede military control in Iraq is a continuing obstacle for a speedy approval of a new resolution."


BRAZIL: "The War Continues"


An editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (8/28) stressed: "To state that the war in Iraq is over seems to be more a convenience for the Bush administration than an objective statement based on facts. The truth is that the U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein, but this does not mean that it has won the war. If the war's goal was to transform Iraq into a democracy allied to the U.S., then success remains far away.... The Iraqi people do not seem willing to become a U.S. ally. On the contrary, there are Iraqi citizens ready to eliminate the invaders.... The costs of the operation are astronomical, and the fact that there is no withdrawal timetable is already causing fear of an out-of-control budget deficit in the U.S....  President Bush can either listen to his neo-conservative advisors and maintain the current foreign policy, or adopt a less unilateral attitude and enlarge the UN's role in areas such as Iraq. Common sense would recommend the second option."


 "The UN And The War Against Terror"


University Professor Ricardo Velez Rodriguez held in independent Jornal da Tarde (8/27): "The murder of diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello was an affront to Brazil and the international community. The terrorists' message was clear and direct: the fanatics of Mohammed's Army do not recognize borders or international law. Anyone opposing their intention of total domination must be simply eliminated.... I do not have any doubt that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was legitimate, but it should have been conducted with the UN support....If the neo-conservatives inspiring Bush were less arrogant, they would have obtained UN support. The list of Mideast governments supporting terrorists does not end with the Taliban or Saddam's Republican Guard. The Americans are aware of this and their policy is aimed at eliminating terrorism sources in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.... We cannot be caught in the politically correct trap of those who want to negotiate with terrorists."


"Iraqi Situation Worsens Global Insecurity"


Business-oriented Valor Economico editorialized (8/27): "Despite the U.S. military presence, religious radicals from several nationalities have been getting together in Iraq to fight the Western occupation forces. The transition towards an Iraqi administration is much more complicated than the White House and the Pentagon had predicted.... Iraq is not on the way to democratization. Actually, it seems more on the way to chaos.... Contrary to being safer, as Bush and Blair had promised, the world is increasingly dangerous. New Yorkers' frightened reaction to the recent blackout demonstrated that U.S. citizens do not feel safer in their own nation now than before the invasion of Iraq; nor does the USG, considering the escalation of measures restricting the entry of foreigners into the U.S., such as the suspension of transit visas. Maybe the most dramatic evidence of the resounding failure of the strategy invoked by Bush and Blair for the military action in the Persian Gulf is the deterioration of peace chances between Israel and the Palestinians." 


MEXICO:  "Iraq:  Americans Put Their Lives In Danger"


Left-of-center La Jornada commented (8/26):  “The Iraqi people have organized a military resistance which aspires to liberate their country from foreign oppressors; from the time that the U.S. president announced the end of military operations (this invasion) has caused more than 70 casualties among the occupying troops.”




Federico Reyes Heroles wrote in independent Reforma (8/26): “The old hotel blows up. We all know that the possibilities of feeling dread in Baghdad are infinite, but this time surprise is unavoidable. Death reached one of the UN authorities that was trained to support human rights in the midst of war. What is the goal of attacking the allies? The lack of a reason makes us feel bad, it makes us feel sad because it destroys any expectation of hope.… Probably there were not as many judgements before as now. Those millions, who weeks ago praised Bush--Rambo that gets out of a helicopter-- and Blair because of their daring and their courage, are now aware of the falsehood created by the State Department and the CIA. Image displaces reason, neither did they get Bin Laden , nor have they been able to get Hussein.  What follows?”


BOLIVIA:  "Abominable Terrorism"


An editorial in La Paz's centrist La Razon argued (8/21): "Suicidal terrorism has never before reached these is impossible to combat and is causing hundreds of victims every year and its target is western civilization, above all the heart of the U.S....  If any act of terrorism is condemnable as we affirm this is, the bomb which destroyed the UN office in Baghdad, killing its main representative along with sixteen others, and injuring a hundred, is not only condemnable, but savage....  Due to the attack's abominable nature, the world's repudiation will be heard, and the fundamentalists who did this will have only gained the contempt of the international community." 


COLOMBIA:  "Iraq's Trap"


The lead editorial in Cali-based El Pais judged (8/24): “The attack on the UN Office, the daily killing of coalition soldiers, and the blowing up of Baghdad’s aqueduct are all signs that things in Iraq are becoming the logic of the terrorists, the UN is linked to the occupying forces.... That is why when the governments of the U.S. and the U.K. ask UN members to contribute soldiers and money for the work in Iraq they receive no as an answer.... In the case of Iraq and in general in the Middle East, the U.S. sooner or later will have to accept that they fell in a trap.  The chance to avoid it was earlier...when Washington and London decided to invade Iraq, ignoring the Security Council.”


CHILE:  "The U.S. And The Cost of Arrogance"


Government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion argued (8/24):  "It is incomprehensible that a country as developed as is the United States...continues to make enormous mistakes due to the rudimentary vision that its leaders have of the world....  The Bush administration has tried hard to show the world that U.S. power cannot be countered.  But the cost of this is enormous.  In addition to the loss of young American lives and the cost of maintaining occupation forces, we must add the deterioration of U.S. credibility as a result of the array of arguments it made to prove it was necessary and urgent to attack Iraq.  This imperial nonsense can cause a lot of damage to the American people.  Only they can make the corrections that will allow the United States to regain moral and political authority in the eyes of the world."


"An Imperative In Iraq"


Conservative, newspaper-of-record, El Mercurio editorialized (8/22): "The recent terrorist attack against the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad...leads us to believe the attacks will persist.  The Iraqi resistance has chosen each target to frustrate the pacifying efforts of the British and the Americans.... The U.S. and its allies must increase their efforts as an occupying force to impose peace and give Iraq democracy.  Failing to do so, or thinking that a multinational U.N. force would impose peace, does not seem a reasonable course of action....  The Anglo-Saxons should double their political and financial efforts to achieve the goal they set at the beginning of the conflict." 


GUATEMALA:  "Iraq, another Vietnam?"


Leading morning daily, Prensa Libre ran an op-ed by staff columnist Alfred Kaltschmitt stating (8/21):  "The Bush administration is worried about what is happening in Iraq.  This war has resulted costly, difficult and complex…   Everything leads one to believe that the U.S. presence in Iraq will mean great political damage for Bush, who, facing elections,  will not look good when criticized by his opponents.  What is worse:  some say that Iraq has every potential of turning into another Vietnam.”


ECUADOR: "The Language Of Horror"


Leading centrist El Comercio remarked (8/21): “The world was shaken again by the horror and cruelty of terrorism.  It is an anonymous expansive wave with invisible actors whose aim is to cause innocent victims the most severe pain destroys the hope of a people who despite their cultural differences wish to live in peace.  Although there is still no effective response from what is left of the world order, it is not acceptable that the leaders who unilaterally unleashed a war against Iraq or who wish to establish peace with weapons in Israel should lead the world community in this demented hour.”


JAMAICA:  "Building Legitimacy And Repairing Cracks"  


The lead editorial in the centrist, business-oriented Jamaica Observer commented (8/21):  "While the UN will have to re-evaluate its security in Iraq, there is no room to retreat.  Its work as honest broker in creating the new Iraq is vital....  A critical need now is to build trust among ordinary Iraqis for those who govern Iraq. Clearly, Mr. Paul Bremmer and his Iraqi advisory group do not enjoy that would be worthwhile for President Bush to reconsider his position and seek to bring the United Nations to the centre of the management and restructuring of Iraq, rather than, as is the case now, attempting to have the UN give legitimacy to an essentially unilateral action....  It is partially about building trust...more important it is about building real legitimacy and repairing the cracks that the Iraq war created in the concept of multilateralism."


PANAMA: "Consequences Of Attack"


Conservative El Panama America stated (8/22):  “The attack gives some credibility to those who think that behind international terrorism hides the reason of the unreasonable --pure nihilistic chaos, the desire to enthrone evil over the face of the earth, in the biblical sense of the battle between two extremes.... Ironically it is the so-called 'Hawks' of President Bush and his radical imperialism who come out strengthened.  More moderate those of France and Germany, are weakened with these attacks, giving way to extremism like the Israeli’s and preventing civilized dialogue and political solutions.  And perhaps this is what Al Qaeda and similar terrorist groups are looking for.  Terrorism must be rejoicing for creating with these brutal attacks a world where fear, religious and ideological intolerance, distrust and xenophobia prevails...where liberty dies in the hands of totalitarian security...that is the police state and warlike world seen by travelers today, that contrasts with what existed five years ago.”


URUGUAY:  "Effectiveness Against Terrorism"


Conservative, business-oriented El Observador observed (8/22): "This attack is a warning that the civilized world cannot ignore.  The targets are not only Israel and the United States....  Anyone who lends a helping hand has become a terrorist target....  A solution to the [Palestinian] problem will deprive Islamic terrorism of its principal excuse. The other necessary element is to have the UN assume a more direct, wide-ranging and executive role on all the fronts against the war on terrorism.  The U.S. must recognize that it isn't the dominant power when it comes to imposing peace.  This action demands a joint action by the civilized world coordinated by the UN."


"The Growth Of Iraqi Resistance"


Leftist La Republica stressed (8/22): "The American demands that the number of occupation troops be raised presents a grave problem for a good number of countries on the list those that might provide the troops eventually.  The diplomatic moves even where there is no open pressure on various 'friends' of the United States Government demonstrate the extent of the threat.  As is known, even Uruguay is not at the margins of these pressures and risks.... "The insinuations by [Uruguayan] Defense Minister Yamandu Fau in the sense of sending Uruguayan troops to Iraq must be examined in the light of the reality that is coming from the intensification of Iraqi resistance." 


VENEZUELA: "Bush’s Vietnam"


 Roberto Mansilla Blanco commented in leading magazine Zeta (8/25)  “The correlation of attacks against U.S. military and civilian targets over the last two a warning that a new terrorist strategic is planning to destabilize George Bush’s plans.”



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