Where does it leave the battle to win the peace?
Friday August 22, 2003 - The Guardian
Editorial, Pakistan, August 21
"The United Nations was not party to the invasion of Iraq, but it has long played an intrusive role in the country, beginning with the crippling sanctions imposed after the first Gulf war and following that up with its prolonged weapons inspections ...
"The incident must also be seen in the context of the spiral of violence set in motion by the US war on Iraq ... Parts of Iraq where Saddam Hussein's hold was strongest are witnessing what may turn into a prolonged guerrilla or terrorist campaign. Iraq has become a far more dangerous place for its own people and for others that it was before the US-led invasion ... The attack on the UN should have clarified minds in Islamabad about acceding to US requests for peacekeeping troops. All foolhardy talk of walking into the Iraqi trap in present circumstances should stop."
Editorial, Spain, August 21
"Terror in Iraq is no longer a matter for amateurs ... The causes that have led to this situation are various but the main one is the inability of the US - already apparent after the invasion, in contrast to its obvious military efficiency - to create a stable political environment. Washington, which has won a lightning war, seems unequal to the work needed for pacification ... Given that the US has assigned to itself control of the [postwar] situation, it is the US that must be blamed for the development of events in Iraq."
Adib F Farha
Daily Star, Lebanon, August 21
"The most readily obvious strategy of the terrorists who committed this heinous crime was to scare off relief organisations who are working to rebuild Iraq. Perhaps a less obvious but even more significant purpose was to further alienate Iraqis from the American and British forces by making life conditions harder for the Iraqi people ...
"Since alienation and perceived humiliation are among the foremost factors that steer ordinary people toward extremism, the sooner normalcy is restored in Iraq, the sooner would-be killers are denied their excuse to recruit more terrorists. Normalcy means self-rule as much as it means a functioning and efficient infrastructure and social services."
Editorial, Saudi Arabia, August 21
"When the history of the last stand of the Ba'ath party diehards comes to be written, the attack ... will almost certainly come to be seen as their major mistake ...
"What probably decided the Saddam loyalists upon this deadly attack was last week's UN security council resolution in New York, which endorsed the recently formed governing council and also approved the UN assistance mission in Iraq. Saddam's people undoubtedly took both moves as legitimising the arrangements put in place by the US occupation forces ... Now, after the blast, the UN can no longer operate at arm's length from the occupying powers. Countries which have disagreed with Washington's belligerent Iraq policy have only one choice, whole-hearted commitment - commitment not simply to the reconstruction of Iraq but to the eradication of Saddam's supporters."
Wall Street Journal, August 21
"This is no place for sniping about legitimacy from the political elites of the Middle East who cannot remember the last time they held free elections. Too many regional governments have turned a convenient blind eye to acts of subversion, to extremists crossing their borders into Iraq to spread murder and mayhem. As usual, the strange alliances of the region have proved lamentably ineffective ... These Middle Eastern governments must now choose if they are with the terrorists who attacked the UN or against them."
Barham Salih is prime minister of the Kurdistan regional government