The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

SLUG: 6-130186 Reaction to Saddam's Capture
DATE:>
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=12/15/03

TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP

NAME=REACTION TO SADDAM'S CAPTURE

NUMBER=6-130186

BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE

DATELINE=Washington

EDITOR=Assignments

TELEPHONE=619-3335

CONTENT=

INTRO: The capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein near his ancestral home of Tikrit has caused an immediate reaction in the foreign press. We get a sampling now from V-O-A's ____________ in this extra World Opinion Roundup.

TEXT: As the former dictator of Iraq was pulled, dirty and disheveled, from a tiny underground bunker in the courtyard of a farm, the world's editorial writers were organizing their thoughts. We begin in the region, with the Saudi Arabian press. In Al-Watan from Abha, the news is greeted thusly.

VOICE: The U-S has accomplished its goal to remove the (Iraq) regime and arrest its leader. Yet, it has not found weapons of mass destruction. It is now absolutely necessary that it publicly and clearly state the future of its presence in Iraq.

TEXT: Moving to Jeddah, al-Bilad proposes: "The capture of Saddam Hussein was a real and powerful blow to the Iraqi resistance, which fought bravely the foreign occupation and was drawing its strength from Saddam's remaining forces."

Across town, Al-Madina theorized that: "The fact that the world without Saddam is a better one is only one side of the coin."

In Jordan, the English-language Jordan Times exclaims:

VOICE: With the shadow of Saddam no longer hanging over the future of Iraq, the target now is to rebuild.

TEXT: A less enthusiastic view comes from Morocco and Al-Bayane in Casablanca, which writes:

VOICE: President Bush will take advantage of this to polish his tarnished record, blackened by the failure to establish security in Iraq after the invasion of allied forces.

TEXT: In Lebanon, the English language Daily Star writes:

VOICE: The sight of Saddam in custody has to be a demoralizing blow for at least some of the organizations that have been resisting the occupation. It might also embolden others who had stayed out of the fight for fear of helping the former dictator in any way.

TEXT: Looking to the future, the United Arab Emirates Gulf News proposes:

VOICE: The capture of Saddam Hussein marks a turning point for Iraq, which has to be seized by both the Iraqi Governing Council and the American-led coalition to end the phase of armed resistance to the coalition and to move ahead with rebuilding.

TEXT: In Asia, the national Australian from Sydney postulates:

VOICE: The capture of Saddam Hussein is a turning point in the history of Iraq, with consequences that could be global in scope.

TEXT: And in Beijing, China's official Communist Party Global Times rather cynically suggests:

VOICE: For the U-S, shooting Saddam dead might have been "more expedient" than capturing him. What kind of effect the capture will have primarily depends on the extent of Saddam's involvement in the previous Iraqi insurgency.

TEXT: In China's special administrative region of Hong Kong, The South China Morning Post calls the capture: " a significant milestone in the war."

But in Indonesia, Media Indonesia is less euphoric, stating:

VOICE: The U-S does not have any right to punish Saddam. He should be returned to the Iraqi people and let them decide his fate.

TEXT: India's Times from New Delhi sees this as in part, a domestic victory for President Bush, whose "ratings [will soar] through the roof again" as the result of the "dramatic capture of Saddam."

Pakistan's Daily Times from Lahore agrees, calling the capture:

VOICE: "A major breakthrough for President Bush in terms of domestic political advantage."

TEXT: In Africa, Ghana's Heritage from Accra calls it: "A great day in the history of Iraq and a decisive moment in the U-S-led coalition forces campaign in Iraq. And in Uganda, the Swahili-language Bukedde in Kampala agrees: "The capture is a very great achievement for the coalition forces in Iraq."

In an editorial more sympathetic toward the fallen dictator, Lusaka's Times of Zambia adds: "Saddam may have been a tyrant, a criminal, call him anything, but the world still quarrels with the manner and mode in which he was ousted from power by the powerful nations who on paper believe in democracy and the rule of law.

Briefly, in Britain, the Financial Times of London observes: "The video footage aired yesterday was worth so much more than the toppling of any statue."

While London's Times adds, "Rarely do the monsters of history have to account for their crimes. His capture was therefore as dramatic as it was vital.

And in southern Germany, Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich proclaims:

VOICE: Saddam's arrest is an enormously important success for President Bush on two fronts: in Iraq and at home, but it was even more: a reason for delight that can finally be shared with the whole word.

TEXT: On that note from Munich's Bit Daily, we conclude this special World Opinion Roundup commenting on the capture of Saddam Hussein.

NEB/ANG/RH



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list