Posted by Stella from ? (22.214.171.124) on Friday, March 14, 2003 at 9:06PM :
What the papers say
With a second UN resolution looking all but impossible, and a war in Iraq only days away, the world's press fear the consequences of the US and UK going it alone
Friday March 14 2003
Fawaz Turki in the Arab News, Jeddah
The US, with its limited area on this planet and relatively small population, cannot appropriate a disproportionate share of the responsibility for what the world should look like in this new century. It is at the United Nations where the global dialogue of cultures should find its venue of _expression. That's not, however, the way Bush, a president of sublime and complacent ignorance, sees it. [He says] "When it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission." Yes, he does. Anybody who comes to our part of the world to launch a devastating war in it, fraught with uncertainties, against our will and despite our pleas, a war that is likely to impact unpredictably on our social, political and economic destiny, does need our permission very much indeed. And that of the international community.
Editorial in Dar al Hayat, Egypt
America's big war against Iraq is likely to inflame a number of other conflicts. Turkey, for example, has made it plain that, once the US launches its attack, its troops will immediately cross the frontier into northern Iraq to pre-empt any Kurdish bid for independence and, in particular, to prevent the Kurds seizing the Kirkuk oilfields ... In Egypt, the Iraq crisis might trigger a showdown between the army and Islamic movements. Jordan is another vulnerable country that might suffer from a spillover of the war in Iraq. No Arab country will be immune. A war against Iraq would, in one way or another, be seen as an attack against every individual Arab as well as against the very notion of Arab independence. The acute frustrations of Arab opinion should not be ignored or underestimated.
Paul Krugman in the New York Times (registration)
Mr Bush's inner circle seems amazed that the tactics that work so well on journalists and Democrats don't work on the rest of the world. They've made promises, oblivious to the fact that most countries don't trust their word. They've made threats. They've done the aura-of-inevitability thing. They've warned other countries that if they oppose America's will they are objectively pro-terrorist. Yet still the world balks. Wasn't someone at the State Department allowed to point out that in matters non-military, the US isn't all that dominant - that Russia and Turkey need the European market more than they need ours, that Europe gives more than twice as much foreign aid as we do and that, in much of the world, public opinion matters? ... We all hope that the war with Iraq is a swift victory, with a minimum of civilian casualties. But more and more people now realize that even if all goes well at first, it will have been the wrong war, fought for the wrong reasons - and there will be a heavy price to pay.
Stefan Klein in the Süddeutsche Zeitung
[Blair's] miscalculations have become increasingly obvious. He miscalculated his European colleagues, especially Jacques Chirac, as well as his US friends. He underestimated one side's dislike of a second Gulf war and the burning desire of the other to get a little military payback after the defeat of September 11. When he had to pick sides, Blair followed an old reflex of British foreign policy and went for Washington, assuming that George Bush and colleagues would help him soften the consequences of this decision at home. This was perhaps Blair's biggest mistake ... Blair was one of the winners in Kosovo, but this time the damage has been done even before a single bomb has fallen.
Editorial in Le Monde
The French are used to it. Ever since the great days of Gaullism, we have claimed to be more European than the Europeans. Above all when we set ourselves apart from American politics ... Most European countries do not necessarily take a European position. When they align themselves with the United States, the current and future members of the EU cannot avail themselves of the badge of Europe. The novelty is that this so typical Gaullist attitude is now shared by Germany ... In carrying on high the flame of opposition to a war against Iraq, the French and the Germans, helped a little by the Russians, are spurring themselves on to defend a fundamentally European concept in international relations.
Daoud Kuttab in the Jordan Times
Countries such as France, Russia and China are being accused of making the UN "irrelevant" and "obstructing and paralysing" the work of the world body [but] the present situation perfectly justifies the form the Security Council takes. When one country decides that it knows better than the rest of the world what is good for world peace and is ready to start a war for that purpose, the opinion of the rest of the world does count ... Those who think France and others should join in beating the drums of war because the US is asking for it are wrong. The voice of conscience of the world, as represented presently by these countries, and not American unilateralism, should be heard.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
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