- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2003

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

People’s Daily

On the American presence in Iraq:

BEIJING — Dead or alive, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein remains useful to U.S. President George W. Bush as a good excuse for continuing the occupation of Iraq by the U.S.-led coalition forces. With his fate still unknown six months after the war, the former Iraqi president has proven to be the United States’ largest excuse for military operations against Iraq. …

Claiming that Saddam is still alive, Mr. Bush accused him on Monday of trying to making trouble for the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq — being behind a series of bomb attacks against a wide range of targets in Iraq.

Mr. Bush vowed that the United States would not run from its “vital” mission in the country but only hunt and get him.

Mr. Bush’s words are nothing but an excuse aimed at exculpating himself from responsibilities for the mounting casualties of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and continuously keeping a U.S. military presence in the country.

Jordan Times

On Turkey’s retracted offer to dispatch troops to Iraq:

AMMAN, Jordan — The United States has been pressing Turkey and other allies to come to its aid in Iraq, and for a while the Turkish government appeared ready to send its troops in order to stabilize Iraq.

Now Turkey understands more than anybody else that its military presence in Iraq would usher in another level of armed conflict instead of defusing the already raging fighting between the coalition forces and several opposition militias operating on Iraqi soil.

The reticence of Ankara on intervening militarily in Iraq must have disappointed Washington, which was hoping Turkish cooperation would encourage other countries to contribute to the desperate efforts by the coalition forces to end the fighting altogether.

With other U.S. allies contributing only marginally to the effort, the United States is faced with only one option, and that is to continue the battle in Iraq for many months if not years.

New Straits Times

On the Saudi explosion:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — That Sunday’s car bomb attack in Riyadh, which left at least 17 dead and scores injured, took place during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, underlines the fact that nothing is sacred to terrorists. …

Although the royal family seems to be the target of the terrorists, the unpalatable truth is that Saudi Arabia is where al Qaeda was born, and the puritanical and militant doctrines of the official Wahhabi sect is the source of al Qaeda ideology. What sets the Islamists against the Saudi royalty is the latter’s “unholy alliance” with the United States, and by extension with U.S. favorite Israel. The terrorist network inside and outside Saudi Arabia feeds on the widespread Arab anger against the United States because of its pro-Jewish policies, its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and its perceived prejudice against Islam.

Daily Telegraph

On EU membership:

LONDON — The benefits of European Union membership, we keep being told, are obvious; yet no one seems especially keen to spell them out. A recent attempt by the House of Lords to establish a cost-benefit study was dismissed by the government on grounds that the advantages, while unquestionable, were also unquantifiable. Peers of all parties were taken aback, and now want a committee of inquiry to examine the whole question. … Why are Euro-enthusiasts so reluctant to allow a formal Treasury investigation? The obvious answer is that they fear its conclusions. … Tony Blair, like many Euro-zealots, regularly claims that 60 percent of our trade is with the EU, and that more than three million jobs depend on our membership. The first of these claims is demonstrably false, while the second relies on the ludicrous assumption that leaving the EU would mean that we could no longer buy or sell on the continent. … We cannot negotiate robustly, about the constitution or any other EU matter, unless we have a bottom line.

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