- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 7, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

The Independent
The Iraqi threat
LONDON According to the Foreign Office dossier, "Saddam Hussein: crimes and human rights abuses," Iraq is a terrifying place to live. It certainly is, and even the most vociferous anti-war campaigner would have to agree that Saddam heads a brutal, cruel, murderous regime.
There is something vaguely pornographic about the government's little compendium of sadism, with its graphic, stomach-turning descriptions of eye gouging, acid baths and electric drills. But there is no reason to doubt that these things are commonplace in Ba'athist Iraq, and that the Iraqi people, the Middle East and the world generally would be happier and safer without Saddam.
Why then, one is forced to ask, did the British and American governments show such enthusiasm for supporting and arming this monster during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s? It is not an adequate response to plead the realpolitik that the Iranian ayatollahs were a more potent threat to Western interests, or that, if we didn't arm him, others would. For Saddam used the very weapons that the West supplied to him to annex Kuwait, an outcome infinitely worse than anything the CIA imagined the Iranians were about to visit upon the region.

Dagens Nyheter
Time is running out
STOCKHOLM Time is beginning to run out in Iraq. The United Nations weapons inspectors are working full steam and within a week Iraq will have to account for its possession of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. A war could still be avoided.
But if military operations will become a reality, it will not be the first phase that causes problems the United States has capacity enough to win a potential war. The real challenge comes when the weapons have fallen silent. There will be massive and costly efforts for a long time if the present threat from Baghdad is not to be replaced by a new one.

La Nazione
U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq
FLORENCE, Italy President Bush has declared that if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein fails by Sunday to present a complete report of the weapons in Iraq's possession, then the United States will feel justified in starting an immediate attack.
But only the United Nations weapons inspectors sent to Iraq are able to evaluate Iraq's weapons arsenal, and their mission is only scheduled to end in February.
Mr. Bush has thus shown he doesn't care about the inspections, which were after all requested with such insistence by the Americans.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has on the other hand presented a dossier to his Parliament detailing the violence which is all probably true committed by the Iraqi government against its own people.
But war against Iraq will not be waged because of Saddam's criminal internal acts but because, if he does possess chemical or biological weapons, he poses a threat to other countries.
It would be better if the Americans would just declare, "We don't like Saddam for many reasons and because we are the strongest nation in the world we will destroy him."
This would be a more honest and acceptable position. To try to justify the use of force with reasons of justice risks only making Saddam appear the victim.

Ha'aretz
The Palestinian issue
TEL AVIV During a U.N. General Assembly debate last week on the Palestine issue, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Yehuda Lancry, said Israel accepts the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security. During the weekend, Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon told a gathering of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that "at the end of the day, most of the settlements will be evacuated." A short while after Mr. Lancry's statement was reported, the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying Mr. Lancry's statement had nothing to do with Ariel Sharon. The report about the chief of staff's remarks regarding evacuation of the settlements was accompanied by Mr. Ya'alon's own denials and reservations expressed by the political echelon.
The troubling question is whether for a brief moment, the curtain of ambiguity was not lifted and suddenly, for a moment, the truth peeked out. And that truth is that the prime minister and the policy-makers recognize the fact that the struggle for a Palestinian state and the question of the future of the settlements has already in effect been settled. [Mr. Sharons] duty is to announce it to his voters and the entire world.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide