- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Iraq is a ‘swamp,’ Al Akhbar warns U.S.

CAIRO — Handing over power to Iraqis is the only way the United States can avoid sinking into a “swamp,” the state-run Al Akhbar newspaper said yesterday, commenting on a string of suicide attacks that rocked Baghdad on Monday.

“If the United States wants to prevent the situation [in Iraq] from turning into a swamp, a quick handover of power to the Iraqis is the only way out,” the daily said in an editorial signed by its editor in chief, Galal Dawidar.

The newspaper said the five suicide bombings Monday that killed 43 persons and wounded 222 “show that large segments of the Iraqi population reject occupation.” Mr. Dawidar cast doubt on U.S. claims that Saddam Hussein loyalists were mainly to blame.

“No one wants [Saddam] back. What [the Bush] administration should understand is that the logic of occupying land by force is rejected, and this applies equally to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab land.”


Death sentence lifted for American’s killer

KUWAIT CITY — An appeals court has commuted to life in prison the death sentence imposed on a Kuwaiti who killed American civilian Michael Rene Pouliot and wounded another in a January road ambush, a lawyer involved said yesterday.

It also reduced the three-year jail terms of two accomplices to 2 years each, said Fahd Ajmi, counsel for one of the defendants. Sami Mutairi, 25, was sentenced to death by a criminal court after he confessed to killing the U.S. citizen and wounding David Caraway in a machine-gun attack.

The appeals court did not give the reasons for commuting the death sentence but a statement is expected within the next few days, Mr. Ajmi said.


U.S. triples aid after terror attacks

RABAT — U.S. envoy William Burns announced yesterday that Washington would triple overall aid to Morocco, partly to boost antiterrorism efforts.

Morocco was hit by a string of suicide bombings in May.

The assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and North African affairs said Washington has decided to quadruple nonmilitary aid to Morocco to $40 million, starting next year. Part of the money will go to fighting terrorism, he said, adding that U.S. military aid would be doubled to $20 million.

The May suicide attacks in Casablanca, the Atlantic port and economic capital, claimed 45 lives, including those of 12 assailants from a local Islamist extremist group with suspected foreign direction.

Weekly notes …

Iran’s parliament accused the judiciary yesterday of fabricating evidence in its investigation into the death in custody of a Canadian photojournalist. In a report likely to heighten tensions among Iran’s political factions over the death of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian of Iranian descent, a parliamentary commission said that notes and witness statements had been doctored by the Islamic Republic’s powerful security apparatus and accused the judiciary of failing to justify Mr. Kazemi’s arrest on espionage charges. … Jordan’s foreign minister said yesterday that he will warn Iraq’s neighbors, notably Turkey, against sending troops there at a regional meeting in Damascus, Syia, this weekend. “It is important that we explain to Turkey why we are opposed to it having troops in Iraq, and to the other participants, the danger of sending troops from bordering countries into Iraq,” Marwan Moasher told reporters ahead of the meeting on Iraq.

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