04 February 1998
'SHOULD THERE BE A MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ?'
While a few commentators judged that the U.S. is now left with no
other option than to confront Iraq militarily, the overwhelming
majority of foreign media observers favored a diplomatic solution to
Baghdad's standoff with the UN over weapons inspections. A military
strike, most writers concluded, would carry the most dire
consequences: The U.S. could become even more isolated in the
international arena and a regional war could break out in the Middle
East. These were major themes:
SADDAM EXHAUSTING THE WORLD'S PATIENCE--Though fearing the use of
force in Iraq, analysts stressed that Saddam Hussein has exhausted the
world's diplomatic patience and, because he represents a danger to his
neighbors and to his own people, he cannot go unchallenged. In Saudi
Arabia, Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina remarked, "Saddam Hussein
always...misinterprets diplomatic efforts as signs of weakness in
international resolve.... The Iraqi regime (may) lead the
international community unwillingly to use force." Editorialists in
Russia expressed astonishment at the "ease" with which Saddam Hussein
"sacrificed Russia's prestige to his (own) political ends." Reformist
Izvestia declared, "To win respect in the Middle East, you have to be
either strong like America or proud like Iraq. Russia, alas, is
ANTI-AMERICAN BACKLASH; WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST?--Commentators sounded
the theme that the U.S. risked an anti-American backlash, primarily in
the Middle East, if it carries through on its threats to attack Iraq.
In the Arab press, the perceived U.S. acceptance of Israel's nuclear
capability was contrasted with sanctions against the Iraqi weapons
program. A Qatari paper warned that "the double standards adopted by
Washington will undermine its reputation and policies in the Arab
world for a long time to come." Some writers raised the specter of a
harrowing spiral of violence in the Middle East. Tel Aviv's mass-
appeal, pluralist Maariv served notice that "if Saddam again fires his
missiles on Tel Aviv...Israel's response will be lethal." Rabat's
leftist, opposition Assiyassa Al-Jadidainsisted that "'Desert Storms'
will snuff out not only Iraq, but the entire region as long as oil and
Israel are still there."
GLOBAL DISARMAMENT REQUIRED--In Europe, some writers judged that the
focus on Saddam Hussein's recklessness and his deadly military cache
has underscored the need for a global ban on all atomic weapons.
Emphasizing that states requiring Iraq to destroy its arsenal of
chemical and biological weapons have the same type of arms themselves,
Budapest's influential Magyar Hˇrlap remarked, "The only solution
would be a final and eternal ban and destruction of such arms.
Negotiations continue, treaties are made but we have to walk a long
way until we reach the final phase of full disarmament, and until then
the threat is there, whoever imposes it on the others." The liberal
Toronto Star stated, "No one is saying nuclear weapons will actually
be used against Iraq. But the fact that their deployment is now part
of the acceptable range of military options talked about in insider
circles from the Pentagon to Davos breaks a dangerous taboo."
This survey is based on 73 reports from 49 countries, January 29-
EDITORS: Gail Hamer Burke and Kathleen J. Brahney
To Go Directly To Quotes By Region, Click Below
East Asia and the Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
IRAQ: "Al-Sabah Policy Harms Not Only Iraq, But Kuwait"
Baghdad's official news agency, INA, reported that Arab socialist
Baath Party paper Al-Thawrah (2/4) declared, "The sons of Kuwait must
realize...that the policy pursued by Al-Sabah family harms not only
Iraq but also Kuwait. By pursuing this policy, they do not add further
weight to the U.S. position, or change the Arab and international
public opinion. They rather create new grudges, waste the funds of
Kuwait, and make their country subject to U.S. blackmail on a daily
basis--a financial, political and psychological blackmail.... The sons
of Kuwait are urged to view the situation from a different angle,
preview the future, and reject the Al-Sabah family's policy which led
to the August 1990 incidents. They should urge this family to pursue a
new objective and realistic policy serving the interests of all."
"U.S. Will Use Tel Aviv As Base For Aggression"
An Iraqi newspaper, Al-Iraq, asserted in its editorial (2/3): "The
deceptive tour made by Albright allegedly to activate the settlement
process [Arab-Israeli peace process] is, in reality, meant to
instigate others and garner support for the aggression against Iraq,
(and use) Tel Aviv as a base.... The United States and those behind it
have sought to conceal this base of aggression by various means,
although the Zionist entity has been a party to the aggression and
embargo against Iraq over the past years.... The U.S. administration
created the current crisis and embroiled itself in a series of lies,
thinking that it can deceive the world."
ISRAEL: "Counterproductive Threats"
Defense analyst Zeev Schiff opined in independent Haaretz (2/4): "Too
many senior Israeli officials have taken to issuing threatening
statements vis-a-vis Iraq and Iran.... Off-the-cuff Israeli nuclear
threats have become a problem, even before the onset of the Iraqi
crisis.... Washington may decide it wants to distance itself from
Israel in order to avoid being accused of having conspired with us on
an action we planned exclusively by ourselves."
Nationalist Hatzofe editorialized (2/4): "Now that everybody agrees
that Saddam is hiding large quantities of lethal biological materials
and the missiles to deliver them, Israel is duty-bound to do
everything in its power to thwart Iraq's ability to turn
nonconventional weapons against Israel--even if the United States
ultimately decides not to attack Iraq.... The elimination of Saddam
Hussein and his military infrastructure must remain an objective even
if the United States reaches an understanding with Baghdad."
Columnist Nadav Haetzni opined in mass-appeal, pluralist Maariv(2/2):
"As the fresh Iraqi crisis unfolds...we can still feel the wounds we
suffered as a result of America's efforts to keep together the
anti-Iraqi coalition in 1991.... Precious little has been left of that
coalition...which should have taught the Americans a lesson and
prevented them from ever again asking us to sacrifice our security for
the sake of imaginary interests. However, the venomous leaks coming
out of the State Department about Israel's refusal to move out of the
West Bank which, the Americans say, is sabotaging efforts to form a
new coalition...indicates that Washington has learned nothing ....
Well, if Clinton's people don't like our manifestations of
independence, they can always form an anti-Saddam coalition with
"The Lady's Visit"
Mass-appeal, pluralist Maariv led with this editorial (2/1): "Albright
is here primarily to see to it that Israel makes no move in case the
United States and Britain attack Iraq. But if Saddam again fires his
missiles on Tel Aviv...Israel's response will be lethal. Israel does
not want to make a fuss about its nuclear option...but Jerusalem has
probably made it clear to Baghdad what Iraq may expect in case of a
nonconventional attack on Israel."
BAHRAIN: "We Hope Iraq Does Not Miscalculate Again"
Leading, semiofficial Akhbar Al-Khalij front-paged this editorial
(2/4) by chief editor Hilal Al-Shaiji: "It seems that the United
States is more serious this time about inflicting a painful blow on
Iraq. Therefore, we hope that Iraq does not miscalculate again, as it
did in the past, thinking that the voices from the East and the West
calling for a political solution will cancel what the American
administration, strongly supported by Britain, plans to do. Perhaps,
and this what we think is more probable, this strike will be greeted
by silence from the American allies in the West and the Arab world,
because the United States has stated publicly that it will not cancel
its decision even if it is forced to attack Iraq alone."
EGYPT: "Arabs Reject The Use Of Force"
Ambassador Abdel Raouf El Ridy observed in pro-government Al Ahram
(2/4): "We naturally support the need for Iraq to cooperate fully with
the inspection team. But Arabs reject the use of force. Albright will
not find any support for military action from any country in the
region. There is still room for an Arab initiative to stop this rush
toward a military solution and allow for diplomatic efforts."
"We Will Not Accept American Dollars Blotted With Iraqi Blood"
Opposition Al Wafd maintained (2/3): "When she comes to Cairo,
Secretary Albright should not expect to find sympathetic ears for the
wicked American campaign to hit Iraq. Not a single Egyptian accepts
the slaughter of the Iraqi people. We do not need Albright's lessons
about national security, arguments that Iraq's weapons can destroy Tel
Aviv, or claims that she obtained overwhelming support for the strike.
Arabs cannot support a strike like the one which liberated Kuwait,
because the circumstances and motives are different this time. Egypt
is not ready to change its position even if Albright threatens to cut
American aid, because we will not accept American dollars blotted with
"U.S. Attack Would Be For Israel's Sake"
An editorial in pro-government Al Ahram asserted (2/2): "President
Mubarak was right in warning against the consequences of using force
in the Iraqi crisis. Part of the crisis has been made up, due to
(UNSCOM head Richard) Butler's unsuccessful statements. His involving
Israel in the issue proves a premeditated intention to raise an
American military reaction against Iraq. If the United States launches
an attack it will be for Israel, not to gain implementation of the
UNSC resolutions. The Arabs totally reject this action which will have
JORDAN: "Attacking Iraq Hurts Jordan"
Daily columnist Fahd Fanek opined in pro-government, influential
Al-Ray (2/2): "Jordan is no longer an ally of Iraq as it was during
the first American war against Iraq in 1991. Therefore, a strike
against Iraq is going to direct a harmful blow to Jordan, which means
that Jordan should adopt a role that attempts to avoid such a
disaster.... If Iraq is hit, Jordan's oil resources will be cut off
and its exports to Iraq will be stopped, not to mention the fact that
Jordan will suffer economically and administratively from the
evacuation of tens of thousands of Jordanians,
Palestinians and Iraqis into Jordan.... Where is Jordan's long- talked
about pivotal role in the region if it is going to stand silent with
folded hands waiting for a military strike that is going to destroy a
brotherly Arab people and harm Jordan at the same time? Why doesn't
the Jordanian government act to prevent this disaster?"
Daily columnist Sameer Kawar held on the op-ed page of pro-
government, influential Al-Ray (2/2): "It is Iraq's right not to bow
to the American will and desire and it is its right not to give in to
the Zionists' dictates.... It is sad and regretful that all the powers
in the world stand with folded hands watching this chaos, doing
MOROCCO: "When Will Arab Countries Act Independently?"
A front-page editorial in opposition, leftist Assiyassa Al-Jadidaheld
(2/4): "Following the Cold War, the United States has monopolized the
free world and taken it upon itself to stand up against any country
attempting to oppose its political and economic order.... Whether or
not the United States carries out its military attack against
Iraq--the victims of which will be solely the Iraqi people--the Gulf
area will be increasingly unstable. Arab countries, particularly the
Gulf countries, should reclaim their sovereignty to defend their
interests from a strong position. 'Desert Storms' will snuff out not
only Iraq, but the entire region as long as oil and Israel are still
QATAR: "Cohen's Task Easier If U.S. Abandoned Double Standard"
According to the editorial on the upcoming Cohen visit in the
semi-independent, English-language Gulf Times (2/4), "Cohen's task
would be easier if Washington were seen as dealing with all countries
on an equal footing. If it were as adamant in its support of UN
resolutions concerning Israel as it is about those against Iraq, it
would secure unequivocal backing for both positions, but that will not
happen and the double standards adopted by Washington will undermine
its reputation and policies in the Arab world for a long time to
"Iraq Is Not A Threat"
An editorial in semi-independent, Arabic-language Al-Rayah held (2/4):
"The United States and Israel know that Iraq is not a threat. The
frenzied distribution of gas masks...is aimed at creating the illusion
of a dangerous Iraq in order to speed up the need for military strikes
against Iraq and to provide a cover for increased U.S. (military)
presence (in the region). The United States...was surprised at the
refusal of pivotal Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt,
to support military preparations.... We do not believe that it will be
easy for the United States to strike Iraq if Baghdad changes its
position and if there is broader Arab opposition to military action."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Hopes For Diplomatic Solution To Iraq Crisis"
Riyadh's moderate Al-Jazira's editorial had this view (2/4): "Despite
American determination, supported by Britain, to launch a heavy
military strike against Iraq to force it to comply with UN
resolutions, there is a great optimism that it is possible to solve
the crisis diplomatically. (This comes) after the high rate of
rejection by Arabs to this strike."
"Iraq May Provoke Use Of Force"
Jeddah's conservative Al-Madina stressed (2/4): "Saddam Hussein always
misreads positions and misinterprets diplomatic efforts as signs of
weakness in international resolve.... The ruling
gang in Iraq urgently needs someone to make them understand the
purpose of ongoing diplomatic efforts to find a solution.... Without
this understanding, the Iraqi regime will lead the international
community unwillingly to use force."
London-based, internationally circulated Al-Hayat maintained (1/31):
"There is a need to restore balance to the U.S. policy in the Middle
East. It is dealing with Iraq in the way we see without considering
the suffering of the Iraqi people, whereas it is lenient with Israeli
Prime Minister Netanyahu."
Influential Al-Jazira held (2/1), "There is an international
conviction that this military strike will increase the suffering and
torture of the Iraqi people and will not solve the current crisis....
The best thing is to put more political and diplomatic pressure on the
Iraqi regime in order to force that regime to implement international
resolutions and relieve the Iraqi people by lifting the sanctions."
"A Despot's Madness"
Al-Youm, a local paper in eastern Saudi Arabia, declared (2/1): "It's
obvious that the Iraqi regime is still thinking with the adolescent,
revolutionary mentality prevalent in the '60s... The insanity of this
mentality is (Saddam's) taunting the international community into
striking Iraq militarily, although it knows that the first and final
party to suffer will be the Iraqi people.... The Iraqi regime is only
concerned with keeping power for as long as possible, regardless of
the interests of the Iraqi people."
SYRIA: "Where Is The Just Stand?"
Sayyah al-Sukkni said under the headline above in government- owned
Al-Thawra (2/4), "America is trying to apply international law on one
hand yet ignore it somewhere else. This position does not match the
high level of Washington's political and ethical responsibilities....
If Washington is keen to rescue the peace process and ease tension in
the region, it should apply a rational and balanced policy. The United
States should stop threatening Iraq and seek a political solution to
defuse the crisis."
TUNISIA: "Who Benefits From Intransigence And Stubbornness?"
Editorial director Mustapha Khammari wrote in independent,
French-language Le Temps (2/3): "Washington has shown its
determination to do battle with the Iraqi leadership.... (But) this
American determination is not finding the same response it found
during the Gulf War.... The fundamental principle to be respected is
the total transparency of the weapons inspections. Iraq can no longer
be permitted to possess weapons of mass destruction.... By listening
to the voice of wisdom, the Iraqi leadership could deprive the
Americans of their justification for intervention.... The continuing
stubbornness of the Iraqi leadership benefits, above all, the American
military industry. Is the Iraqi leadership aware of this?"
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "U.S. Position Has Gone Too Far"
Sharjah-based Al-Khaleej held (2/3), "Whether the Russian diplomacy
towards Iraq succeeds or not, the American position against Iraq has
gone too far from diplomacy.... We have two examples that took place
in Davos last week. Cohen said in a press conference that 'in case of
the use of power against Iraq, it will not be for one time only.
Washington will use force using the most up-to-date technology, and it
will be more lethal than any time before. The goal of any
action will not be to topple Saddam but to destroy Iraq.' However,
Richardson said on another occasion that 'Iraqis do not deserve the
easing of sanctions. We do not want to give them any reward. They
deserve nothing.'... This statement implies a major change in the
American position. The United States always repeated that it
differentiates between the Iraqi leadership and the Iraqi people.
However, this time it talks about more lethal weapons and Iraqis who
do not deserve any easing of the sanctions. We believe that the
decision to strike Iraq has been made, and no Russian or French plans
will be useful now."
WEST BANK: "No To The American Wolf"
Semi-official Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda judged (2/4): "The United States is
preparing for a malicious assault on Iraq because it refuses to have
its dignity, security and sovereignty stepped on. The United States
knows quite well that no ruler can hide weapons of mass or even
partial destruction in his headquarters. When Iraq announces that it
will allow the inspection of its palaces in an unoffending manner,
Washington refuses. All this coincides with Netanyahu's campaign
against the signed peace agreements. His policies continue without a
hitch from Washington.... It is high time that we all say to America:
Stop it. You are not the symphony conductor of the world, nor the
policeman. The military force that you have does not give you the
right to enslave smaller countries that are richer in heritage than
the 'kindergarten of your fifty states.' It is high time that Arabs
prove they are not sheep for the American wolf."
"Three Dimensions: Peace, War And Media"
Independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Ayyam columnist Hussein
Hijazi insisted (2/3): "President Clinton demonstrated the utmost
rudeness when he allowed his administration to announce that the
United States would go so far as to attack Iraq with nuclear weapons.
Clinton has dispatched his secretary of state, Albright, to give us
another 'dose' [of tranquilizers] to prolong our patience. Once again
we are following Dennis Ross' strategy: 'movement' brings success;
meetings and visits here and there, in Washington and in Ramallah.
Talking about peace is trash."
"Double Standard Policy!"
Leading, independent, pro-Palestinian Authority Al-Quds (2/2) said
under the headline above: "Once again, the results of Secretary
Albright's talks with President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu show that the United States still adopts a double
standard policy when dealing with international resolutions and signed
agreements.... Does the United States believe that inspecting
presidential sites [in Iraq]...is more dangerous than the crisis faced
by the peace process? Does the United States believe that striking
Iraq, which has suffered enough and lost hundreds of thousands of
children, women and old people, will solve the crisis?"
YEMEN: "Give Diplomatic Efforts Time"
Government Al Thawra stressed (2/2): "In spite of the escalation and
tension which resulted from the renewed crisis about the inspectors
and inspections, the arguments in favor of diplomatic efforts to
resolve the crisis are stronger than arguments for a military strike
justifications. The Republic of Yemen is among those countries which
favor a peaceful solution and giving more time for diplomatic efforts,
which are in the regional, international and bilateral interests. If
waging war against Iraq seven years ago received the broad support and
participation of the international community, the situation now is
different.... The Russian diplomatic efforts which seem to have
achieved progress in narrowing the gaps deserve the necessary time
RUSSIA: "Baghdad Humiliates Russia"
Konstantin Eggert said on page one of reformist Izvestia (2/4):
"Clearly, Moscow has failed in its attempt to win another blitzkrieg.
Even worse, Baghdad has publicly humiliated Russia's Foreign Minister
Yevgeny Primakov and President Boris Yeltsin by making them look like
irresponsible blabbers.... Hussein is using Moscow. A shrewd
politician, he makes his decisions with only his own interests in
mind. Yevgeny Primakov misjudged the Iraqi leader, underestimated the
Americans' determination, and misread the French position. He must
have overlooked that countries in the Persian Gulf are tired of
Baghdad's unpredictability. To win respect in the Middle East, you
have to be either strong like America or proud like Iraq. Russia,
alas, is neither."
Aleksandr Shumilin held in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant
Daily (2/4): "The ease with which Saddam Hussein sacrificed Russia's
prestige to his political ends is stunning, indeed.... The Kremlin's
policy on Iraq is under strong pressure from the leftist majority in
the State Duma where the Communists and the Liberal Democrats
yesterday drafted a statement threatening Russia's withdrawal from
"Primakov's Objectivity Questioned"
Konstantin Eggert stated on page one of reformist Izvestia(1/31):
"Moscow is no longer considered an impartial mediator capable of
keeping Baghdad from acting rashly....Baghdad, by acting the way it
has been acting, has nullified that which took great efforts to gain
in November. The Kremlin has been humiliated, having to play the
savior when the Iraqi leadership wants it to. There is a sharp
contrast between its resolve to avert a concerted UN military action
via its veto power and its extreme patience with Baghdad. Small
wonder, increasingly fewer people trust in Primakov's objectivity."
BRITAIN: "Unfinished Business With Iraq"
The independent Scotsman of Edinburgh told its readers (2/3): "The
time for equivocation by the likes of France and Russia is long past.
Those who would argue that there is no excuse for waging war must
explain what alternative there is when we are dealing with a regime
that is, in any useful sense of the words, mad and dangerous.... The
West has been patient for long enough. To argue that the people of
Iraq will suffer if military strikes go ahead is to miss the point:
They, and their neighbors, will suffer far more if a barbarous
dictatorship is allowed to go unchallenged."
"Britain And U.S. March Towards A Battle Arabs Do Not Want"
The centrist Independent's Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk
maintained (2/2): "America and Britain march alone into a war against
an Arab nation--much as Britain and France did against Egypt in
1956--with backing for their approach from Kuwait, the tight-lipped
sympathy of France and Germany and the potential hostility of many
Arab nations. If Mr. Clinton lets slip the missiles of war, it could
be America's last punch in the Middle East."
"Is It Sensible To Bomb Iraq?"
The liberal Guardian's editorial observed (2/2): "Yes, Saddam is an
evil dictator, Mr. Blair, but we knew that already. It does not get us
closer to deciding whether it is sensible to bomb Iraq.... We need a
much clearer picture than given so far on the nature and timescale of
the Iraqi threat, and a calmer debate on the alternative options. UN
Secretary General Annan's proposal for improvements to the
food-for-oil deal with Iraq, though purporting to be unrelated,
suggests a larger area for negotiation. To threaten military force has
limitations anyhow in dealing with an evil dictator who has thrived
upon war at the expense of his people before. The danger is that the
threat will acquire an unstoppable momentum of its own."
GERMANY: "Saddam's Final Word?"
Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin observed (2/4): "Saddam is getting
on our nerves.... More than seven years ago, Saddam attacked Kuwait
and was defeated in the 'mother of all battles.' Since then he has
acted as though it were improper for him to be prevented from
launching similar attacks.... The Bosnia example taught us that
aggressors will quickly give up their plans when they clearly feel the
will of a superpower.... Saddam is on our nerves--hopefully for not
too much longer."
"U.S. Is Increasingly Isolating Itself"
Right-of-center Saarbruecker Zeitung (2/2) held: "The Russian 'nyet'
to military strikes is no substitute for a constructive proposal from
Moscow.... As long as the Americans and the British are...the ones who
push, while the Russians and the French are playing the role of the
ones who block, the Iraqi dictator will take advantage of the division
in the UN Security Council. But by doing so, the danger emanating from
Saddam's biological and chemical weapons will not be reduced."
"Bonn Government Shying Away From Its Role"
Wolfgang Kramer commented on regional radio station Norddeutscher
Rundfunk of Hamburg (1/30): "A country such as Germany cannot
seriously say, 'we will wait until the United States carries out a
military strike and only then will we say what we think of this
strike.' The Bonn government should follow Sweden's example. The
Stockholm government said that it advocates a strong and clear message
from the Security Council to Saddam, and if the Security Council
agrees on forced measures, Sweden would support them. The Bonn
government, however, omits this extremely important reference to the
role of the Security Council."
FRANCE: "Gulliver With His Hands Tied"
Charles Lambroschini opined in right-of-center Le Figaro (2/4):
"Saddam Hussein is the enemy everyone loves to hate. Unforgiving
toward his own people and dangerous toward his neighbors, nothing in
him merits indulgence. Before this little tyrant, mighty America
stands like Gulliver with his hands tied.... A military strike would
unleash strong anti-American feelings in the Middle East.... Bill
Clinton is discovering..that 'war is nothing more than the
continuation of politics, but through other means.'"
"Should There Be A Military Strike Against Iraq?"
Michel Rocard, former French prime minister, said in left-of- center
Liberation (2/4): "It is quite possible that there is no alternative
to a military solution. This is, in fact, the conclusion of the
situation as it stands. In that case, all major powers should support
a military intervention and participate in it. If they let the United
States strike alone, they will be giving the impression it is a
revenge and not what it is, a sanction for not respecting the UN
Security Council resolutions. The political and geo-strategic risks
incurred for the future would be enormous."
"Saddam Hussein--A Major Headache"
Left-of-center Le Monde stressed in its editorial (2/1): "Saddam
is a dangerous man.... Nevertheless, Paris is not ready to take part
in a military offensive.... We cannot pretend either that a
'diplomatic option' has any chance of success.... The United States
knows what the risks are: a deteriorating climate in the Middle East
with a potential for civilian deaths. These are enormous risks.... It
is time for renewed thinking on ways to control Saddam Hussein."
"The Hero And The Martyr"
Charles Lambroschini observed in right-of-center Le Figaro (2/1):
"Bill Clinton wants to be a hero; Saddam Hussein a martyr.... But
repercussions of a military intervention are so serious, that the
United States could not be forgiven if it gave in."
ITALY: "Not Taking 'No' For An Answer"
Enrico Franceschini argued from Jerusalem in left-leaning, influential
La Repubblica (2/4): "The tour of the world by the U.S. secretary of
state to seek support for military intervention against Iraq ended in
sum with an almost total failure, having obtained an enthusiastic
'yes' only from Tony Blair in London. So much so that Albright, in the
end, had to refer to the 'unanimity' in the search for a 'diplomatic
solution' before other solutions are explored. That does not mean that
the United States has renounced bombing Saddam Hussein, however."
"Iraq Between The Stick And The Carrot"
According to an editorial in provocative, classical liberal Il Foglio
(2/4): "U.S. policy toward Iraq is beginning to yield the first
results...(by) forcing...Saddam Hussein to make moves demonstrating
that his position (is) aimed at exploiting the situation for his own
ends.... The U.S. strategy...also contains an economic-humanitarian
ingredient...evident in the proposal, made by the UN--with the
indispensable agreement of the United States--to allow for a doubling
of Iraqi oil exports to meet the problem of food supplies for the
civilian population.... A rejection of this proposal would be
counterproductive for Iraq, as was the denial of an agreement on
inspections previously announced by the Russian diplomacy."
BELGIUM: "High Stakes Game For U.S."
In the editorial view of financial De Financieel-Economische
Tijd(2/4): "With its threat to act militarily against Iraq, the United
States is playing very high stakes. Washington is not only running the
risk of strongly irritating Russia, China and France, but there is
also a considerable chance that, in the long term, an American attack
may have negative consequences for the peace efforts which were made
in the aftermath of the Gulf War seven years ago....
"In the meantime, Washington's support for an expansion of the oil-
for-food plan--which would allow Iraq to purchase more humanitarian
goods--shows that an American action is, above all, directed against
the Iraqi regime and not against the Iraqi people. In America's eyes,
it is Saddam Hussein himself who is a threat to world peace and peace
in the area."
BULGARIA: "Moscow Performed A Well-known Iraqi Sketch"
Centrist Kontinent observed (2/3), "It took only hours for Russia to
prevent the war between the United States and Iraq which seemed almost
inevitable, and in this way to make the deployment of both American
and British military equipment in the Gulf region unnecessary.... For
the second time Russia saved the situation and it was done at the last
minute again. Perhaps, its goal was to make its diplomatic victory
more sensational.... Now, after Saddam agreed to let the inspectors
into some of his palaces, there's no reason for the United States to
use military force. Moreover, it was denied the required support.
However, if America does so despite all this, it should come up with a
CANADA: "World Can't Afford Any More Diplomatic Dithering With Iraq"
Columnist Hugh Segal contended in the business-oriented Financial Post
(2/4) that "The need to deal resolutely with Iraq, and to do so in a
way that is not attenuated by Saddam Hussein's diplomatic dithering
has never been more compelling.... What the world cannot afford is
another bait-and-switch cycle where Saddam goes to the wire, then
appears to relent, having used the hiatus in UN inspections to move
the weapons to other secure sites.... While Iraqi compliance is to be
hoped for and pursued, being ready for the alternative is the only
"Pentagon Rattling Its Nuclear Sabre"
World affairs columnist Stephen Handelman commented in the liberal
Toronto Star (2/3), "The signals are getting nightmarishly clearer as
the countdown to war begins: A nuclear strike is part of the battle
plan.... No one is saying nuclear weapons will actually be used
against Iraq. But the fact that their deployment is now part of the
acceptable range of military options talked about in insider circles
from the Pentagon to Davos breaks a dangerous taboo.... The world is
now on two opposing tracks when it comes to these weapons of mass
destruction. On one track, we are busily trying to expand and enforce
the recently renewed nuclear non-proliferation treaty.... At the same
time, the United States and other Western nations are anxiously trying
to prevent nuclear materials or components from 'leaking' out of
Russia.... But on the other track, we are willing to entertain what
was once unthinkable: using the most potent weapons ever developed to
achieve tactical goals in warfare. This contradiction may have been on
the minds of the 117 former or current heads of state who released
yesterday an astonishing statement calling for the elimination of
atomic weapons.... Is anyone in the Pentagon listening?"
Montreal's francophone liberal Le Devoir remarked (2/1): "Impatience
is spreading against Saddam Hussein even among governments that are
looking for a diplomatic out to this crisis.... The success of a
military strike, which is said could be severe and massive, is
nonetheless not certain. First, American bombs are a paradoxical
ingredient in (establishing) the legitimacy of the regime in the eyes
of the Iraqi people. Second, an aerial attack risks provoking the pure
and simple disappearance of the UN inspection program which would give
the Iraqi dictator the space to restart the development of arms of
mass destruction.... Toward Saddam Hussein, the United States should
simply show patience."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Attack: Pros And Cons"
Prague's leading right-of-center weekly Tyden held (2/2), "Not only
Iraqi rhetoric and threats [to use all possible wapons, including
biological] argue against the attack on Iraqi targets. The list of
arguments is long and convincing. Even hard-liners admit that the
attack will hit Iraq, but not the real target-- Saddam Hussein. Dreams
that the attack could prompt an anti- Saddam military coup or a
popular revolt are coming back; they are an illusion as was proven
once already in a more favorable situation.... The opposition of
Paris, Moscow and Being among others means that the attack will lack a
UN blessing and will be understood as a continuation of the old
gunboat diplomacy. In the Islamic world, this will be interpreted as
an aggression of non-believers against the true faith believers. Such
an explanation can lead to terrorist attack against American or
Western targets anywhere.... Everyone knows that military attack is
not a panacea. The attack should not last longer than four days and it
should be not only against places where weapons of mass destruction
are being developed, but also against communication centers and bases
of the Republican Guard. Baghdad can, however, easily hide the most
dangerous thing--supplies of biological weapons. To do so, only a big
room is needed--in a hospital, for instance. And despite this fact,
and precisely because of these weapons, Iraq should be attacked."
DENMARK: "Washington And London Deserve Our Support"
Center-right Berlingske Tidende put forth this view (2/4): "It is
important to remember that the current crisis is Saddam's fault.... He
is a spineless dictator, who would not hesitate to use chemical and
biological weapons.... It may yet be possible to avoid an attack, and
a diplomatic solution is to be preferred, but not at any cost.
Experience tells us that consideration for the civilian population
does not play any part in Saddam's thinking.... If Saddam rejects the
U.S. demands, an attack will not only be likely, but necessary. The
world cannot live with a dictator who has shown such contempt for
international norms. The United States and Great Britain are the only
countries with sufficient strength and will power to confront Saddam.
Therefore, Washington and London deserve our support."
HUNGARY: Iraq: Nuclear Arms For A Good Purpose?"
Influential Magyar Hˇrlap published this editorial (2/3) by historian
Erzsebet N. Rozsa, special to the Hungarian Foreign affairs
Institution: "To impose a threat on using nuclear arms is not in line
with international legal codes and especially conflicts with principle
of humanity. The Iraq affair, therefore, has to be considered from
those treaties' point of view, which regulate nuclear arms and their
ownership, the nuclear tests and further improvement of such arms....
What image and ideology would the leading liberal democracy of the
world convey if it intervened in such a manner in a sovereign state's
internal affairs? It makes the situation more complicated that those
states push Iraq--and on what account?--to destroy its arsenal of
chemical and biological weapons, when they themselves have the same
type of arms. The only solution would be a final and eternal ban and
destruction of such arms. Negotiations continue, treaties are made,
but we have to walk a long way before we reach the final phase of full
disarmament, and until then the threat is there, whoever imposes it on
THE NETHERLANDS: "Saddam Must Be Stopped But Will Bombs Do It?"
Calvinist left Trouw published this front-page editorial (2/3): "It is
probably an illusion to think that the use of 'structural force'
against Iraq will resolve anything. Bombings will not force Saddam to
his knees. The first reaction is to think that bombings will only make
the situation worse for the Iraqi people. Neverthless, it is good that
the United States rejected Saddam Hussein's recent offer...which
provides for eight of the approximately 60 palaces to be inspected,
but not the surrounding areas.... This is unacceptable.... The
international community should insist on conducting effective
inspections. If this does not work, then it would be appropriate to
threaten military action. For the world cannot allow Saddam Hussein to
continue what he is doing."
"Little Taste For Another Gulf War"
According to influential, liberal De Volkskrant (2/3), "There is less
enthusiasm in the Gulf region for a new war.... Unlike seven years
ago, there is now very little or no support for a punitive expedition
against Iraq. Should the situation lead to an armed conflict, then
that will be a war imposed upon the Middle East."
POLAND: "Will Russia Stop America? Saddam's Debt To Moscow"
Center-left Gazeta Wyborcza opined (2/3), "Moscow takes care to
maintain the best relations possible with Iraq to ensure in the
future--when the UN-sanctions are lifted--Russia will have a
substantial share of the Iraqi market. A number of Russian oil
concerns have already signed preliminary contracts on the
reconstruction of wrecked oil rigs in Iraq. Russia, for years the
primary arms supplier to the Saddam Hussein regime, is also trying to
ensure that Baghdad finally begins to pay its debt [to Russia]."
PORTUGAL: "Portugal And U.S. Against Iraq"
S,rgio Borges wrote in centrist daily A Capital (2/3): "Portuguese and
American views coincide on criticism of Iraq's behavior and on the
need to press Iraq to comply with the resolutions of UN Security
Council.... During (a) meeting with the media, Jaime Gama...confirmed
that Portugal is with the United States in the struggle for the
disarmament of the Iraqi regime."
SPAIN: "What To Do With Saddam?"
Independent El Mundo insisted (2/4): "Madeleine Albright reiterated in
Cairo yesterday that if the diplomatic route goes nowhere, the use of
force will become necessary...[but] it is more than likely that after
another attack, Saddam will feel himself no longer bound by any
post-Gulf War commitments.... The priority now is to release the
economic vise. Kofi Annan's proposal to raise Iraq's petroleum export
quota from $2 billion to $5.2 billion every six months is well
intended but inadequate. The UN and United States would have more
moral force with which to oblige Saddam to give up his last weapons of
mass destruction once the embargo were lifted than by maintaining it
indefinitely, as Clinton is inclined to do."
"Iraq: An Endemic Crisis"
Conservative daily ABC counseled (2/3), "Although military action
should be the last recourse in resolving conflicts, especially at a
time when Clinton's intentions in distracting attention from his own
problems are suspect, and while a diplomatic solution is always to be
preferred over the use of force, it would seem imprudent to discard
the latter option out of hand, given what consequences a first attack
by Iraq would have in the Middle East."
SWEDEN: "The Alternatives Are Terrifying"
According to Stockholm's independent, liberal morning daily Dagens
Nyheter (2/2), "A new coalition like the one that forced Iraq out of
Kuwait in 1991 is unlikely. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and
the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson are out of luck in their
efforts to rally support for the hard U.S. line against Iraq. However,
wide support will not be necessary. The key issue will be that the
United States does not, by unilateral measures, cause hostility in the
Arab world and deep rifts in the Security Council.... Unfortunately,
it seems that the Security Council will not today be able to achieve
its main task--to uphold international peace and security. Therefore
there are all the reasons to support those who will take on the task.
The alternative, that Saddam Hussein undisturbedly can continue the
development of weapons of mass destruction and threaten his neighbors
"That Is Why Sweden Should Support A Firm Stand Against Iraq"
Stockholm's apolitical business daily Dagens Industri held (1/31),
"Sweden does not exclude UN intervention against Iraq. This was the
message by State Secretary Jan Eliasson after the talks between
Swedish government officials and the U.S. Permanent Representative to
the UN, Ambassador Bill Richardson. His statement should be
transformed into a firm Swedish stand against Iraq.... Sweden should
use its position in the Council to seek every possible option for a
diplomatic solution of the conflict (between Iraq and the UN). If this
fails, the use of military power will be the last resort, as it might
be the only option which the Iraqi dictator understands. The
alternative is a continued and highly dangerous situation to the
TURKEY: "Bombing Will Make Saddam Stronger"
Under the above headline, Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass-appeal Sabah
(2/4): "The ongoing embargo against Iraq has made the Iraqi people
believe that the whole thing is a conspiracy to destroy Iraq. Whether
we like it or not, the people of Iraq are giving full support to their
leader. This time will not be any different than before. Saddam will
become stronger after each
bombardment, and this will continue as long as Saddam remains in
"Ankara Worried About Aftermath Of Possible U.S. Operation"
Mehmet Ali Birand observed in mass-appeal Sabah (2/2), "Ankara is
worried about the aftermath of a possible U.S. military operation:
Will there be another influx of Kurdish refugees? Who will replace
Saddam? What will be the possibility of a Shiite build-up in the
region? How can the disintegration of Iraq be prevented? Turkey is
obviously pleased by the UN policy of eliminating Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction, but does not want disorder, especially in northern
Iraq. Washington has not yet requested from Ankara the use of
Incirlik--looks like they have already made sufficient military
build-up in the region."
UKRAINE: "If There Were No Saddam He Would Have To Be Invented"
Analytical Ukrainian- and Russian-language daily Den (1/29) held, "If
there was no Saddam Hussein, he would have to be invented. Saddam
again gives France a chance to present its peculiar, non- Washington
position. Baghdad gives Russia another chance to live by old
sentiments: Moscow can again please itself with global illusions....
Saddam, finally, gives Great Britain an opportunity to emphasize its
devotion to the strategic partnership with the United States. But the
scenario of Iraqi isolation doesn't work. There is no talk about
easily removing Saddam Hussein from power. The attempts to create an
opposition in Iraq fell through. Opposition Kurds were defeated within
a couple of days by the Kurdish forces loyal to Baghdad. Nothing came
out of splitting the ruling clan in Baghdad. If America indeed wants
to either get rid of Saddam, other scenarios should be at play. Proud
and cunning Saddam Hussein cannot be treated like a tamed circus
animal.... How would [Bill Clinton] counter the accusations that he
wants another Desert Storm to draw the average American's attention
away from the sexual misconduct scandal?"
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "Evil Dictator Must Not Be Appeased"
The national conservative Australian's editorial (2/3) claimed, "While
all sides, including U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, argue
the diplomatic route is best, the possibility remains of force being
used to reinforce the United Nation's writ. Diplomatic talks are all
very well but there is no evidence that Mr. Hussein is prepared to
honor Iraq's commitments.... It is clear that gaining Arab support for
the move against the Iraqis has not been easy for the United States.
Some regional governments fear that they will be the target of
retaliation by Baghdad and that the U.S. attack on fellow Arabs will
provoke outrage among their citizens.... Although Dr. Albright has
said the purpose of her weekend trip to Gulf States was not to seek
support, only to explain the U.S. position, she reminded them Mr.
Hussein used chemical weapons against three neighbors during the Gulf
CHINA: "U.S. Cannot Realize Goals Through Military Means"
According to Dong Zhenbang in the official, Central Legal and
Political Commission Legal Daily (Fazhi Ribao, 2/3), "The United
States cannot realize its goals through military attacks.... The
United States has not been able to win worldwide support on this
issue. If both the United States and Iraq can respond positively to
the international diplomatic efforts and exercise self-restraint, the
seemingly touch-and-go Gulf situation might ease."
"U.S. Will Not Be Supported By International Community"
In the view of Gu Qi in the Shanghai Municipal Communist Party-
controlled Jiefang Ribao (1/31), "If a military strike occurs, the
United States will not be supported by the international community or
the UN. Will the Clinton administration be willing to bear the cost?"
HONG KONG: "War Clouds Gather In The Gulf"
An editorial in Pro-PRC Ta Kung Pao said (2/2): "Resorting to military
action can only frighten Iraq for a short period of time. It would
however provoke nationalistic hatred...(and) incite long-term
anti-U.S. feelings. Since the United States holds human rights'
highly, its large scale massacre of the Iraqi people and destruction
of the infrastructure would not be accepted by the international
community. Hence, negotiations and constraints are still the
mainstream ideas of the international community."
INDONESIA: "A Stunning Arrogance Of Power"
Independent Media Indonesia judged (2/4): "Albright's call on the
international community to combat Iraq demonstrates a stunning
arrogance of power. It stands to reason that most of the countries
that were asked to join the United States rejected the call.... Even
if the United States used the justification that this was meant to
ensure that Iraq did not stockpile weapons of mass destruction...the
question remains as to why the same standards do not apply to Israel.
Isn't it obvious that Israel possesses 200 nuclear warheads and
declines to pledge not to use them?"
JAPAN: "Iraq Must Accept UN Site Inspections"
Conservative Sankei editorialized (2/3), "It is vitally important for
both the United States and the rest of the international community to
prevent Hussein from possessing weapons of mass destruction. To do so,
UN inspections are indispensable....
"Even if the United States were to use force against Iraq, it could
not destroy all the sites where production or the stockpiling of arms
of mass destruction are suspected. It would be even more difficult to
overthrow the Hussein government. It is, unfortunately, necessary to
apply such pressure on Hussein so that he gives up on his ambition of
possessing weapons of mass destruction."
MALAYSIA: "The United States Is Gearing Up To Attack Iraq"
Chinese-language Nanyang Siiang Pau opined (2/3),"If the United States
uses force without the approval of the Security Council, the
credibility of the United Nations will be in question.... It is easy
for the United States to attack Iraq. From observing the diplomatic
and military action taken by the United States, it is likely that the
United States will attack Iraq, but only limited to 'punishing' Saddam
Hussein. On one hand, United States is making its economic sanctions
on Iraq more flexible and trading 'food with oil.' On the other hand,
it is pulling its military force to the Gulf. If Hussein does not
accept the 'carrot,' he will have to receive the 'stick.' We will see
how Hussein reacts to this at the very last minute."
PHILIPPINES: "Making Sanctions Effective"
Former Ambassador Armando Manalo noted the government-owned Philippine
Journal (2/4): "Where sanctions involve a coalition and where the
sanctions are defied by the accused country, the allies usually split
along the lines of their national interests.... On the use of force
against Iraq, the allies do not see eye-to-eye. The United States now
says it is prepared to go it alone and bomb Iraq to break its will.
For all practical purposes, the alliance will cease to exist....
Should no positive results issue from the (UN-Iraq) meeting and should
States go on with its punitive air strikes...the consequences...will
concern not the United States alone, but inevitably the entire Middle
East. For this reason, it is to be hoped that the discussions will
continue until positive agreements are reached. On the question of
sanctions, a failure will prove, perhaps conclusively, the futility of
sanctions. Sanctions are a substitute for war; their aim is to avert
war. In the present case, however, sanctions may be a prelude to war."
SOUTH KOREA: "U.S.-Iraq Standoff"
Anti-establishment Hankyoreh Shinmun told its readers (2/4): "The
U.S.-Iraq confrontation may continue, now that the Iraqi government
has decided not to accept inspections. Iraq is conducting brinkmanship
diplomacy in the hope that international opinion will not welcome a
military attack. On the other hand, the United States is in an awkward
position as it faces the international community's opposition....
Secretary Albright's trip to Europe and the Middle East has not
produced substantial results. What raises further the prospect of a
long standoff between the United States and Iraq is the winter
Olympics, because all nations want to preserve peace during the
BANGLADESH: "Iraq Has To End Its Intransigence"
The centrist, English-language Independent's editorial pointed out
(2/4), "Iraq has to end its intransigence for the sake of its people
and for peace in the region. The sooner the ongoing negotiations reap
a fruitful result, the better it will be for all."
INDIA: "Might Is Right?"
The independent Daily in Bombay expressed this view (2/3), "The Arab
League has already warned the United States. But the United States has
arrogated for itself the role of policeman of the world. The Indian
government deserves congratulations for picking up the courage to
caution America against any adventurist action against Iraq. But it is
for the Arab countries to show courage and rise as one man against the
might of thesuperpower. Today it is Iraq. Tomorrow it will be the turn
of the other countries to fall victims of American arrogance. There
are many ways to find a diplomatic solution to the problem. Russia and
China are the only countries that can make America and Britain stop
their sabre-rattling. The new Gulf crisis is a premonition of what is
in store for the world. America has shown that it will not listen to
any third party on matters it considers vital to it. Let the world
take note of this development. It is time to tell the United States
that force does not pay."
"Albright Fails To Make An Impression"
The centrist Hindu by Middle East correspondent Kesava Menon filed
(2/3): "Initial reports suggest that Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright has failed to make much of an impression, with Saudi
officials being quoted by the [news] agencies as stating that they
will not allow their bases or soil to be used for attacks on Iraq. In
fact, the overall impression is that the regional states are pulling
in a different direction from the United States although Iraq's other
neighbors have not as yet joined Turkey's initiative for a fresh
effort at a diplomatic solution....
"The manner in which the U.S. administration's views on Iraq sticks
out at odd angles from the views of those states which are supposed to
be more directly concerned has been accentuated by the Turkish
initiative.... Iraq has welcomed the Turkish initiative, the fact that
Turkey (which also offers bases to the U.S. military) should launch a
regional effort which runs contrary to the U.S. policy is
significant.... Now the United States supposed regional allies are
also showing the initiative to push approaches different from that of
the United States. If nothing else, the Turkish initiative and the
Saudi refusal appear to signal a new regional mood which challenges
the predominancy of U.S. policy."
PAKISTAN: "Gunboat Diplomacy"
The lead editorial in Karachi's independent, national Dawn said (2/4),
"The United States' stepped-up drive to drum up international support
for military action against Iraq is the stuff of gunboat diplomacy at
the worst. It is strange that at a time when a political compromise is
possible, the world's only superpower should be working for a military
solution of the crisis in the Gulf.... If the main objective of the
United Nations' arms inspection operation is to ensure the
demilitarization of Iraq to make the Gulf region safe for all
countries in its vicinity, it is possible to do that by devising a
procedure which is fair and honest and, at the same time, acceptable
to all parties concerned. It does not necessarily have to involve
America as the key participant in the team, especially when the
Americans' motives and credentials are seriously questioned by the
"Giving Diplomacy A Chance"
Karachi's independent, national Dawn (1/29) stressed, "Even Iraq's
sworn enemy--Israel--does not wish to enter into a military
confrontation in the region simply to serve American interests in the
Middle East.... Saddam should be asked to open up the 'presidential'
sites to the arms inspectors. However, in deference to his
sensitivities, the composition of the arms inspection teams must be
modified in such a way that the presence of the American personnel is
kept to the minimum."
NEPAL: "Diplomat Saddam Hussein And U.S. Superpower"
The centrist Commoner remarked (2/3), "Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein's latest statement that his country will fight back if
attacked showed that he is not only a military leader but also a good
diplomat.... His statement expressing (his) resolve shows that he is
(able) to sow seeds of dissension in the opposite camp.... The
situation created by the Iraqi statement will be particularly
embarrassing to Saudi Arabia, whose ruling family claims to be
defenders of the Islamic faith. Surely...Riyadh is expected to fall in
line with Washington if and when the chips are down. But the Iraqi
statements will make it more embarrassing (for the Saudis), which will
create a political fallout in future. Meanwhile, the world will note
with relief that Iraq after all is not guided by a war psychosis. And
if American newspaper writing is any guide, Washington would prefer to
solve the problem by any means (other than war) if possible. That also
reinforces its superpower status."
BURKINA FASO: "Memories Of Gulf War Make Us Long For Peace"
Government-owned Sidwaya insisted (2/3): "The arm-wrestling that
currently pits the United States against Iraq will certainly
experience a happy outcome. This is, in any case, the wish that
predominates in spirits avid for peace, justice, and fraternity. And
with good reason, in remembering that we still have in mind those
thousands of bombs, mines, missiles and Scuds of the Gulf War, with
its share of hatred, suffering, victims, orphaned children, embargo,
and starvation.... Why have we reached this point? Simply because the
warring factions did not believe in dialogue. And where dialogue
fails, arms generally accept the challenge. So it's...'hello
destruction!' again this time, the hope for a fruitful dialogue seems
to fade in favor of an aggressive option. It is sad, because on the
horizon are millions more bullets and victims. Let us hope the reason
of dialogue overcome the passion of arms so that this Gulf War never
becomes reality. A word to the wise is enough."
SOUTH AFRICA: "Will Arabs Make Territories Available For Strikes?"
Afrikaans-language, centrist Beeld (2/4) commented, "The main
question...is...whether the Arab states will make available their
territories and air space for strikes against Iraq.... The dilemma for
the Arab countries is great--no Muslim country is enamored of the
United States; also no one sees their way clear to support Saddam.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan, in particular, will have to
reconsider. If these countries remain firm [in their decision], the
United States and Britain for sure will, sometime or other, breach
their territorial integrity when attacks are carried out. This way the
war will quickly spread-- with destructive consequences for the whole
"U.S. Policy Towards Iraq: Incompetent"
The liberal, independent Sunday Independent concluded (2/1),
"Washington, its advocates say, prefers the status quo to total peace.
A perpetually weak Iraq will pose a serious threat neither to the
U.S.-Israel alliance not to Washington's oil- producing friends in the
Gulf. And Saddam will keep Iraq intact to ensure that imponderables
such as the Kurds or Iran-friendly Shiites do not capsize the boat.
They say that if Saddam did not exist, he would have been invented by
the United States. If the theory is true, one could hardly imagine a
more cynical policy. And if it is not, then today's U.S. policy
towards Iraq can only be described as incompetent. Threatening
gestures and military strikes cannot be a substitute for a strategic
foreign policy that should be geared to end the seven-year-old
conflict, not administering it for eternity."
ARGENTINA: "Gulf: The Half Victory"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst for leading Clarinpenned
this op-ed piece (01/31) "The possibility that in almost seven years
of defeat and extreme economic blockade, Hussein has been able to
accumulate an arsenal of biological arms with great destructive
power...speaks of the clumsiness of the victors of the Persian Gulf
War and of the political architecture favored after the war....
Experts talk about a cooperative Iraq-Libya axis in the development of
those arms.... If this were the scenario, one wonders how the
combination of economic restrictions and commercial sanctions applied
against Hussein and Qadhafi allowed them to create one of the most
ominous forms of power ever known. And there are not too many reasons
to believe that the superpower which allowed this new stage of the
Persian Gulf crisis to appear now has a solution at hand."
Brasilia's Jornal de Brasilia stated (2/3), "The American drive to
invade Iraq for the second time may be cooled by UN Secretary General
Annan's [proposal to increase the country's humanitarian oil sales].
Another UN proposal, sponsored by the United States, motivates
Americans to muster support from their main allies towards a new
strike: Saddam Hussein's unwillingness to submit to U.N. weapons
inspections increases U.S. resolve to remove the Iraqi leader from
power at any cost. While the United States assesses conditions to
Invade Iraq, the world's top leaders step up diplomatic contacts in
favor of a peaceful solution.... Brazil sits by the sidelines in a
more comfortable position than it had during the first U.S. invasion
of Saddam's country. Unlike before, Brazil no longer depends on Iraq's
oil because of the very conditions imposed after the Gulf War."
ECUADOR: "Western Hemisphere Fears Iraq Conceals Terrible Weapons"
In the view of the main editorial in Quito's centrist, leading El
Comercio (2/3), "Western powers headed by the United States are facing
a delicate commitment which involves complex
international political maneuvers and, at the same time, a personal
situation. Under these circumstances they need to use their best
criteria and give the world the confidence that they have a totally
responsible attitude.... The fantasy (movie) 'Wag the Dog' shows
advisers to the U.S. president suggesting an attack on a certain
country (Albania) to divert attention from a sexual accusation. At the
core, this is an issue of security and the scant confidence that the
world has in Iraq's leadership. The Western hemisphere, with the
United States at the head, certainly fears that Iraq conceals terrible
threats of a nuclear nature."
HONDURAS: "Price Of Not Conclusively Ending Gulf War"
In the words of conservative La Prensa (2/1): "The situation in the
Persian Gulf has once again turned serious.... The drums are sounding
once again. This is what happens when one does not finish the job.
When the chore is left undone the results cannot be positive. Today
and until who knows when, the price of not conclusively ending the
Golf War will be paid."
MEXICO: "Iraq, Clinton's 'Escape Valve'"
Monterrey's independent El Norte carried this commentary (2/3) by Dr.
Zidane Zeraoui: "During his administration, President Clinton has used
Iraq several times as a 'escape valve' from internal pressure.... In
the current circumstances, the White House chief must moderate his
position due to the pressures generated by the powerful Jewish lobby
in the country.... Nevertheless, the main worry over the scandal is
that it will lead to a new military adventure in the Gulf, in spite of
France and China's reticence for conducting any reprisals against
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