Tracking Number: 151464
Title: "Iraq Using Civilian Hostages as Shield." Iraq's use of hostages as a military shield has elicited comment in foreign newspapers. (900820)
IRAQ USING CIVILIAN HOSTAGES AS SHIELD (World opinion roundup) (940)
(Iraq's use of civilian hostages as a military shield has elicited comment in foreign newspapers. Here are excerpts from some of the latest editorial comments.)
UKAZ, SAUDI ARABIA:
Saddam's attempts to terrify the West...may bring negative results because the Western countries who have hostages in Baghdad are afraid that if the hostages are held a long time, their families in the United States might panic, and encourage the view that it would be better to undertake quick military action in order to bring the whole situation to an end.
GULF NEWS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
Day by day, Iraq sinks deeper and deeper into a mega-crisis of its own making. Instead of taking the only way out of the mire, which is to end its occupation of Kuwait, Baghdad is looking desperately for ways to justify its aggression and to warn off the rest of the world from taking appropriate counter-action....
Meanwhile, it is a cruel paradox that Baghdad should scorn world opinion so far as to want to use innocent civilians as a human shield....
The issue of foreigners in Kuwait and Iraq has emerged. The Iraqi regime is trying to use them as a means to lighten pressure now that the whole world is against the invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
Holding these foreigners hostage shows the extent of Iraq's suffering because of the circumstances that have resulted from the blockade and worldwide condemnation of its aggression on Kuwait. Holding innocent civilians in this manner is in contrast with all values and international charters....
GULF DAILY NEWS, BAHRAIN:
GE 2 NEA109 Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's offer yesterday to free all foreigners if the United States withdraws its forces is an arrogantly hollow gesture by this cunning and unpredictable tyrant.... Realistically, Saddam's menacing threats against "hostages" and moves to hold expatriates at key installations to deter attack, have already tipped the scales of the Gulf crisis closer to war....
The latest product of the tyrant's genius...is the detention of tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including a large number of women and children...Saddam Hussein has added another crime to his bloodstained record....
Until two days ago there was disagreement among America's Western allies regarding the legality of individual attempts by the United States to prevent vessels from reaching Iraq...But by detaining thousands of foreign nationals Saddam Hussein has provided the resistant nations with the justification for participating....
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, GREAT BRITAIN:
The awful fact is that by taking thousands of civilian hostages, Iraq has made military intervention by the United States and Britain more rather than less likely. If the fighters and the Marines go in, the casualties will probably include some Western hostages. It is a dreadful prospect, but it is no reason for changing Western policy.
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE, WEST GERMANY:
With his brutal measure of moving trapped foreigners to military installations, the Iraqi dictator has pushed the U.N. Security Council to show a cohesive stance toward Iraq. Chances are now increasing that the U.N. will impose military sanctions on that country....
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, SWITZERLAND:
Baghdad has offered to exchange its foreign "guests" whom it is using as a human shield -- children included -- in exchange for the withdrawal of Western forces. The Kuwait question would then revert to a purely Arab affair. This would amount to erasing Kuwait from the world map...The 50th anniversary of the Munich agreements enabled us to identify the faults of our fathers. Now we know that it is
GE 3 NEA109 better to take risks -- even very serious ones -- than court inevitable defeat and bring on an international oil dictatorship which will hold us in helpless thrall.
DIARIO DE NOTICIAS, PORTUGAL:
Saddam's taking of hostages and using them as a shield...is a show of weakness enveloped in unlimited cynicism. Weakness is often a bad counselor, particularly when involving a man without the least notion of behavior and international law, with total disrespect not only for dignity but also for human life...
Iraq, on the receiving end of strict sanctions by the international community for its invasion of Kuwait, has announced that it will, for all practical purposes, hold foreigners in the two countries as hostages, and restrict them to military and industrial installations.
This obvious violation of international law is also a clear transgression against humanitarian norms. Iraq must immediately withdraw this policy and let all foreigners leave the countries if they wish.
Surely, Iraq must realize that the current situation and all its problems stem from its illegal invasion of Kuwait.
As far as the hostages go, it is important for the international community to take a unified response. Should each country attempt to negotiate with Iraq for the safety of its own citizens, it will tear open holes in international economic sanctions. Such an action would only bolster Iraq and endanger the position of other hostages.
Thailand has been concerned about the fate of thousands of its people in Iraq and Kuwait. Not once have Baghdad authorities volunteered to reassure us of their safety.
SUN, SRI LANKA:
Even as Sri Lanka should join the rest of the world in condemning an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in no uncertain terms...it is clear that such a step is one which must be approached with utmost caution...Condemnation is a luxury this nation cannot afford at the present hour. Today the paramount concern of this Government must be how best to protect Lankan citizens trapped in the war zone.
GE 4 NEA109 NNNN
File Identification: 08/20/90, NE-109; 08/21/90, NA-209
Product Name: Wireless File
Product Code: WF
Keywords: NEWS MEDIA COMMENTARY; IRAQ-KUWAIT RELATIONS; INVASIONS; HOSTAGES; FORCE & TROOP LEVELS; HUSSEIN, SADDAM; ARAB NATIONS-IRAQ RELATIONS; IRAQ-JAPAN RELATIONS
Document Type: EXC; EDI
Thematic Codes: 1NE; 4FF
Target Areas: NE
PDQ Text Link: 151464
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