News

January 27, 1999

ESCALATION OVER IRAQ'S SKIES PROVOKES CONCERN, CONDEMNATION

The escalating tension regarding Iraq--notably the increase in U.S.-Iraqi confrontations in the northern and southern no-fly zones, Monday's incident in Basra, when an errant U.S. missile resulted in civilian casualties, and Washington's decision to widen the authority to strike Iraqi targets while patrolling the no-fly zones over Iraq--was the top story in Arab papers, and received prominent play in some European and Asian papers as well. Several papers agreed with a Pakistani writer's denunciation of the latest U.S. air strikes: "The U.S. and Britain have made it a habit to violate all UN covenants and commit aggression against Iraq." Contending that "the military raids Washington and London launch do not express the will of the international community," Cairo's pro-government Al Ahram urged that "Washington stop the raids immediately" since "the Arab world absolutely denounces the raids [and] the insistence on this aggression will push the region into a whirlpool of instability and disturb Arab efforts to reach an acceptable formula for the crisis." Papers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait directed their harshest criticism at Saddam Hussein, with some going so far as to urge his ouster. Jeddah-based moderate Al-Bilad, for example, stressed, "The world must help the people of Iraq to get rid of Saddam's regime...so as to realize [an] Iraq free of insane rulers." These were editorial highlights:

CAIRO SUMMIT: Some saw the results of the Cairo summit of Arab foreign ministers--judged favorable to the U.S. since the attendees "chose to line up with the U.S. and there was not a word of reproach for Washington"--as giving the U.S. a green light to step up its air raids on Iraq. Arguing that "by its new aggression, Washington responds to the Cairo meeting," an editorial in the United Arab Emirates' Sharjah-based Al-Khaleej asked, "By doing so, is Washington deliberately trying to embarrass its allies and give credit to Iraqi claims which considered the meeting as an event that paves the way for a new American aggression?" Likewise, Rabat's government-coalition Opinion, averred, "This aggression occurred shortly after the failure of the Cairo meeting...a failure which could only encourage the U.S. to act with impunity."

POLICY EVOLUTION: European papers judged that while air strikes may contain Saddam Hussein temporarily, the greater "challenge to the U.S." is to formulate a longer term strategy for Iraq's disarmament. A Belgian daily judged that, in inviting the U.S. to respond to its almost daily provocations in the no-fly zone, Baghdad is "speculating that, ultimately, international pressure on Washington will increase." The paper called for a more "well-thought-out strategy" on Iraq in the Security Council, which it says has been "paralyzed" since the American and British air strikes in December. An Italian paper saw the U.S. approach to Iraq "overcoming a certain isolation at the international level" and gaining a fresh "impetus" as evidenced in the new U.S. decision to fight back when threatened in the no-fly zones. That publication worried, however, that the "unresolved question" persists about what to do about Iraq--without disturbing "the whole set of equilibriums in the Middle East."

This survey is based on 35 reports from 27 countries, January 18-27.

EDITORS: Gail Hamer Burke and Katherine Starr

To Go Directly To Quotes By Region, Click Below

|  EUROPE  |    |  MIDDLE EAST  |    |  EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC  |    |  SOUTH ASIA  |    |  AFRICA  |   

|  WESTERN HEMISPHERE  |

MIDDLE EAST

BAHRAIN: "There Are Many Obligations That Iraq Should Meet First"

Semi-independent Al-Ayam ran this comment (1/24) by Mohammed Fadhel: "During the last eight years all those who wrote and talked about the Iraqi issue presented the Iraqi leadership as a victim, the same as the Iraqi people. It is sad that all delegations that went to Iraq expressed their solidarity with the Iraqi leadership, assuming that it is 'confronting the United States.' Such solidarity was the last thing the Iraqi people needed. It pushed the leadership to more confrontations and helped it gain popularity.... As for the (press) comments about the Iraqi crisis, they did not talk about what the Iraqi leadership should do to end the sanctions. They did not talk about the issues, which Iraq should solve first, such as the Kuwaiti prisoners, border demarcation with Kuwait and respecting the UN resolutions.... There are many obligations which the Iraqi leadership should meet first. We should admit that the Iraqi leadership has been doing nothing but investing in the suffering of its people, using them as a bargaining card for gaining forgiveness for its sins and the exempting it from international obligations."

EGYPT: "We Ask Washington To Stop Raids"

Pro-government Al Ahram opined (1/27): "The military raids Washington and London launch against Iraq do not express the will of the international community, but are conducted only upon American calculations, which London follows. Washington will be mistaken if it thinks that the difference of opinion among Arab governments gives it the right to launch continuous aggression against Iraq and its people. Washington should realize that the Arab world absolutely denounces the raids and that the insistence on this aggression will push the region into a whirlpool of instability and will disturb Arab efforts to reach an acceptable formula for the crisis. We ask Washington to stop the raids immediately and open the way for Arab and international efforts to close this file."

"Why Do Some States Still Support Iraqi Regime?"

Pro-government Al Akhbar intoned (1/27): "The failure of the Arab ministerial meeting was expected, as we warned. However, Britain says the meeting succeeded because it showed clearly that Iraq has no friends! The United States welcomed the communiqué, maybe for the same reason. But all Arab countries are Iraq's friends, because they are concerned about the security of Iraq and the safety of its people.... Maybe the British Secretary meant that the Iraqi regime is the one that has no friends. Some well-known Arab regimes still support the Iraqi regime, which turned Iraq into the sick Arab man.... Why are these countries paying compliments to the killer [Iraq] at the expense of the victim [Kuwait]?"

JORDAN: "Another Failure, Another Wound"

Center-left, influential Al-Dustur opined (1/25): "The Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo yesterday has meant to heal Iraq's wound. Instead, the seven hours of deliberations were disappointing for all the Arabs.... It is evident that Arab political rhetoric is in dire need of realism as well as an effort to highlight the common ground among the Arabs.... We call for saving the Iraqi people from the siege and for restoring Iraq into the Arab nation and the international community. We also call for efforts to heal the rift between the Arabs and to restore the Arab nation's solidarity."

KUWAIT: "No Long-Term Situation"

Saud Al-Samaka, writing in independent Al-Qabas, remarked (1/26): "The Iraqi regime proceeded with destructive escalation towards the region by rejecting the unanimously

approved Arab foreign ministers' formula at the Cairo conference. Iraq's rejection means that the Iraqi regime insists on destroying Iraq and aggravating the suffering of the Iraqi people, and on placing the entire region on the edge of a volcano. But, what is the solution? Trust and responsibility make it incumbent on the Arab rulers to adopt a position for combatting this ordeal experienced by our brothers in Iraq. We do not encourage nor accept interference in internal affairs, however, events in Iraq today are extraordinary. Is it in the interest of the Arabs that the region remains in this situation for a long time?"

"Iraqi Opposition Should Seize This Opportunity"

Independent Al-Qabas ran this piece (1/26) by Ghazi Al-Jassem: "Whoever has seen Al-Sahhaf foaming with rage at the Arab foreign ministers meeting and verbally abusing his fellow Arab ministers would realize the kind of [environment] he was raised in.... We urge the Arab League to support the people of Iraq and help them get rid of this tyrannical ruling regime.... We urge the Iraqi opposition to close their ranks, renounce their disputes, agree on the fundamentals and take advantage of the chance."

LEBANON: "The League's Foxes"

Walid Husseini wrote a front-page editorial in anti-American Al-Kifah Al-Arabi (1/25): "They meet and they disagree! For a quite a while now, Arab foreign ministers have been meeting at the Arab League, and have agreed on renewing and developing their differences! What will remain of Arab unity if their real stance is commitment to American desires?... We don't think that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait can convince anyone that their presence is enough to hide their intentions.... They must remember that Saddam's sins do not mean that U.S. policy is justified."

MOROCCO: "Hot Spot"

Editor-in-chief Khalid Jamai argued in government-coalition Opinion (1/27): "The United States has once again struck a savage blow, a strike which devastated populated areas in Basra. 'An error,' said the Pentagon. An error which killed many innocent people. Washington does not respect international law nor UN resolutions. Thus, U.S. leaders have become outlaws in the legal sense of the word. Americans claim they acted so the no-fly zones will be respected. However, these zones are not called for in any UN resolution--they are a unilateral decision and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. They are a violation of legitimate rights and international conventions. The indecency does not stop here, since the Pentagon says the Iraqi leaders are responsible for this massacre! This aggression occurred shortly after the failure of the Cairo meeting of Arab ministers--a failure which could only encourage the United States to act with impunity. If Arab governments seem to have accepted the fait accompli, their peoples have not. Of course, Arab peoples are unable to react, but the silence imposed on them does not mean they accept or subject to the situation. Support for the Iraqi people is growing larger and deeper. U.S. errors will nurture vengeance and extremism in the Arab world. The pressure exerted on the Arab people will generate explosions which will make the Middle East one of the world's most uncontrollable regions."

QATAR: "Communique A Green Light To U.S.?"

Semi-independent Al-Watan claimed (1/26): "Iraqi charges that Arab countries yielded to U.S. pressure aiming at directing the foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo, to take an anti-Iraq position may be mistaken or may be correct. What is clear, however, is that the overall message of the ministers' communique is in line with the American agenda on Iraq. This is, at least, what Washington believes, especially since the communique was immediately followed by air raids on Iraq. It is as if Washington is claiming to have the green light from the Arab countries....

"The final communique contained clauses that sound positive, calling for a diplomatic settlement on the Iraqi issue...but the conditions set in the communique render these clauses meaningless."

SAUDI ARABIA: "Iraqi Regime Undermines Arab Interests"

Jeddah-based, conservative Al-Madina opined (1/27): "Can we assert that the Iraqi regime, led by Saddam Hussein, enjoys popular support? If the answer is 'Yes,' which is an unlikely thing...then there would be no alternative except to deal with this regime as representing its people.... If the answer is 'No,' which is more likely, then there would be no other alternative except to deal with Iraq's situation according to a clear objective--that is: to help the Iraqi people exercise their choice.... Proactive Arab institutions are called upon to work seriously to develop an Arab mechanism for dealing with a dilemma which is basically an Arab one, since the Iraqi regime remaining in place undermines Arab interests and puts the future of all Arabs at great risk."

"World Must Help Get Rid Of Saddam"

Jeddah-based, moderate Al-Bilad stressed (1/27): "The world must help the people of Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein's ruling regime, since the Iraqi people have so far failed to reach his den and the hiding places of the tyrant's gangs so as to realize a free Iraq, free of insane rulers."

SYRIA: "A Treaty For The Arabs"

Fouad Mardoud commented in the government-owned Syria Times (1/26): "The debate on lifting sanctions on Iraq has at last sprung to life. The anticipated help of the Arab states will move to demand that the UNSC remove sanctions on Iraq.... The final statement issued by the Arab League foreign ministers sets the stage to heal Arab wounds and bridge the gap among some Arab states.... The Iraqi delegation's withdrawal disturbed the meeting a little, but it did not lead to the collapse of the meeting deliberations which had produced a balanced and justifiable Arab position. The UNSC has been employed in the service of a few powerful countries, acting as a self-appointed mandate. The new decisions adopted by the Arab foreign ministers may amend that course."

"Meeting Of Arab Foreign Ministers"

An unsigned editorial in government-owned Tishreen held (1/23): "The success of the Arab foreign ministers' meeting lies in its success in lifting sanctions on Iraq. All the Arab states expressed their desire to end the suffering of the Iraqi people's sufferings.... Effective Arab solidarity is the only means to solve the crises in the region. Foreign intervention, especially military, aggravates tension in the region...since its main goal is to impose hegemony on the Arab countries and to blackmail them."

TUNISIA: "A Light In The Darkness Of The Arab World"

Slaheddine Amri declared in pro-government, Arabic-language As-Sabah (1/27): "Our government was the first to deliver a statement condemning the unjustified American air strikes against the defenseless people of Iraq.... The air strikes are a clear violation of international law.... Washington has apparently implemented a new strategy toward Iraq. It intends to use this 'war of attrition' as a means to destroy the Iraqi air defense...and support Iraqi opposition groups. By using this tactic, Washington hopes to avoid international opposition to its actions in Iraq. America's behavior is not surprising, but the silence of many Arab leaders on the issue is startling and represents a danger to the enforcement of international law.... Other Arab leaders have not fully comprehended this danger... but President Ben Ali has."

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Iraq: Champion In Making Enemies"

Top-circulation, Sharjah-based Al-Khaleej editorialized (1/27): "If a scientific research company initiated a prize in the art of gaining enemies, that prize undoubtedly would go straight to the Iraqi regime. That regime has shown unprecedented skill and craftsmanship in embarrassing the closest countries with Baghdad exactly as they embarrassed those who sympathized with the Iraqi people at the official and public levels. There is no doubt that the regime's provocations in issues such as the borders with Kuwait or the fierce campaign against Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia have largely contributed in foiling the Cairo meeting.... The regime, which has been ruling for over 30 years, is not stupid. It knows very well that when its media accuses other Arabs of the strikes or when he (Saddam) calls the Arabs to rise up against their rulers, the regime will be faced with similar counter campaigns. It is the first time that all Arab nations, except Iraq, have one say regarding Iraq. So the question which we may ask is: Does the regime want to expand the front of its enemies.... Which leads to what priorities the regime has? There is no doubt that if the priority is the lifting of the sanctions, Baghdad would have behaved differently, but it is something else."

"New American Aggression"

Top-circulation Sharjah-based Al-Khaleej held (1/26): "By its new aggression, Washington responds to the Cairo meeting, which showed concern over the deaths of civilians and the use of military option to solve the crisis. By doing so is Washington deliberately trying to embarrass its allies and give credit to Iraqi claims which considered the meeting as an event that paves the way for a new American aggression? Or it may want to punish those allies for adhering to the U.S. policies 100 percent regarding the issues of double standards.... It is regrettable that the Arab countries have not understood the Iraqi tragedy and what is being planned for Iraq. They continue to look at the issue from the angle of the crazy and arrogant Iraqi regime. The issue is much larger, and the results of the Cairo meeting were much lower than our expectations."

EUROPE

FRANCE: "New Escalation Over Iraqi Skies"

Jean-Jacques Mevel wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (1/26): "The challenge for the United States is not to over-estimate its advantage. It lies also in offering its friends and allies in the Middle East a more engaging prospect than the suffocation of Iraq, accompanied by more or less violent skirmishes. Between the dangerous game taking place daily over Iraq and the desired fall of Saddam Hussein, America's strategy remains for the moment, a sketchy strategy."

GERMANY: "Washington's Failed Iraq Policy"

Right-of-center Main-Echo of Aschaffenburg declared (1/27): "We can only guess as to why the U.S. government continues to adhere to a failed policy. There is no doubt that dealing without mercy with the favorite enemy Saddam is very popular among the American people. And at a time of sex scandals when Americans do not think much of their politicians...and do not consider their president a shining example, it is very tempting to score points by flexing one's muscles. But at the same time, this itself is a scandal much more outrageous than a sex story."

ITALY: "In Iraq Tension Mounts; America Keeps Striking"

A front-page editorial in provocative, classical liberal Il Foglio asserted (1/27): "The Pentagon admitted the mistake...in Basra...and yesterday the U.S. Air Force fired at new targets in northern Iraq.... America cannot tolerate the Iraqi challenge to its own authority in the Gulf

area.... Saddam cannot give up using all means of provocation and propaganda for domestic and international aims.... Once having overcome a certain isolation at the international level...the American strategy--aimed at isolating and progressively undermining the military, political and tribal bases of the dictator's power--has gained new impetus, even though there is still an unresolved question about the proper solution to the problem...which does not compromise Iraqi territorial integrity and the whole set of equilibriums in the Middle East."

"Washington Toughens Rules In No-Fly Zones"

Andrea di Robilant reports from Washington in centrist, influential La Stampa (1/27): "At last the White House acknowledged news circulating for some time: Last month President Clinton approved a toughening of the rules of recruitment in the no-fly zones in Iraq in order to drive Saddam Hussein into a corner.... Nowadays American forces are firing against Iraqi defense forces almost every day.... In the meantime, the Pentagon is trying to understand what happened last Monday...in Basra.... The news that 11 civilians were killed provoked a stir all over the world. Both the UN Secretary General and the Pope...expressed concern and sadness. On their side, the Americans admit that a missile went off track... .In any case, at the Pentagon, embarrassment for what happened last Monday is tempered by skepticism. The Americans do not rule out that the Iraqis are telling the truth about the dead but, in the past, similar statements turned out to be false.... It seems that the American public opinion shares this view."

BELGIUM: "Americans Entangled In Cat-And-Mouse Game In Iraq"

Foreign editor Axel Buyse commented in independent Catholic De Standaard (1/27) concerning the Basra incident, "Each genuine or alleged American or British 'miss' is a weapon in the continuing propaganda war which Iraq is waging against the United States. On Tuesday, the Americans were again forced to impose the no-fly order, for the fourth consecutive day. This time, they attacked targets in the northern no-fly zone. The entire operation is more and more resembling a cat-and-mouse game in which the Iraqis juggle with their anti-air equipment and continuously attempt to lure the American-British aircraft into 'sam traps,' -- within reach of their anti-air defense. All this increases substantially the pressure on the U.S. war machine in the Gulf. Iraq is speculating that, ultimately, international pressure on Washington will increase. France, in particular, is sending signals that things cannot go on like this and that a choice must be made for a more structural approach of the Iraqi question. The main problem remains the absence of a well-thought-out strategy on the level of the UNSC. Since the American and British 'solo' operations in December, that (approach) has been paralyzed."

DENMARK: "Iraq's Dangerous Course"

Center-right Berlingske Tidende editorialized (1/27): "Saddam Hussein has obviously given up hope of having the UN sanctions lifted. Instead he is determined to gain popularity among young radical Arabs by posing as the lonely but uncompromising defender of 'Arab values' from 'U.S. imperialism.' Besides, it is convenient for him to have a very visible, external enemy in his effort to make his reluctant people obey. This is a dangerous course which almost inevitably will lead to new military confrontations with the United States and Great Britain, and in the long run undermine the foundation of his rule."

HUNGARY: "Saddam The Unremovable"

Independent Nepszava carried this piece by foreign affairs writer Tamas Ronay (1/27): "Saddam has driven his country into total collapse, poverty and hoplessness. But his reign still seems to be unshakable. Although the unhidden aim of the United States is the removal of the Iraqi dictator, for the time being, it seems quite unlikely that this plan can be carried out. Saddam has ruined Iraq, not only economically, but from the foreign affairs point of view as

well. The U.S. policy on Iraq is a series of failures, but Saddam Hussein is making mistake after mistake, too."

TURKEY: "A New Iraq Policy?"

Sami Kohen emphasized in mass-appeal Milliyet (1/27): "Turkey has urged the Saddam regime to comply with UNSC resolutions, has defended the principle of Iraq's territorial integrity with a centralized authority, and has called for an end to sanctions so that Iraq can be reintegrated into the international community. Nonetheless, there are certain limits to a more active Turkish policy on Iraq: No matter how hard Turkey tries, Saddam's policy puts boundaries on Ankara's course of action. Moreover, Washington's insistence on its radical policy toward Iraq makes it even harder to try alternative routes for a solution."

SOUTH ASIA

INDIA: "Sops For Baghdad"

An editorial in the centrist Statesman (1/22) held, "The Americans plan to remove the ceiling on funds from oil exports so that Baghdad can buy food and medicine for its people and also borrow whatever it may require for humanitarian purposes against future oil export receipts. In exchange for which kindness, UNSCOM is to be allowed to go back and finish its work. There are questions of self-esteem here that are insoluble and outrageous, but for the kind of military pressure that the United States is able to exert on Iraq.... The Americans think that Saddam is an absolute menace and no lasting solution will be possible as long as he remains in power. But dislodging Saddam may take ages. So, Saddam will have to be lived with. It is unlikely, however, given the kind of debilitation he has suffered, he can threaten anyone for some time."

"U.S. Failure In Iraq"

An analysis in the nationalist Hindustan Times by academic Girijesh Pant (1/22) said, "From a Western perspective, the Middle East is a region where Western institutions (democracy/market) and values (secularism/human rights) are least developed. It is also a region where Western hegemony has been contested in the past and is likely to be in coming years. No wonder that the making/unmaking of the New World Order began from this region. Importantly, this also happens to be the region where the American administration has shown the least respect for its foreign policy principles in the name of pragmatism.... U.S. policymakers thought that they would be destabilizing the Iraqi regime by imposing sanctions, apparently assuming that people, when deprived, would revolt. It has not worked. The tragedy is that even today they continue to believe so.... This is not to say that Saddam Hussein is a popular leader. But each bomb or missile attack adds days to his regime, if not months.... It is America that has lost its legitimacy in the region."

NEPAL: "Never-Ending Process Of Economic Sanctions"

An article by a former senior Nepali diplomat in the independent Kathmandu Post (1/25) said in part that "ironically, [the air strikes] have provided impetus to all the major players in the international political arena to give a second thought to the UNSCOM inspections, maybe to restructure the disarmament process in a way that makes Iraq incapable of manufacturing pernicious weapons and also ensure that the innocent populace of the country is not subjected to hardship through the never-ending process of economic sanctions, whose justification has hardly been established, judged by the incidents in Iraq in post-Gulf War period."

PAKISTAN: "U.S.-UK Aggression Against Iraq"

Leading, mass-circulation Urdu Jang averred (1/27): It is quite regrettable that all that is happening to the innocent citizens of Iraq is due to President Hussein and his close aide Tariq Aziz. Sentiments against them for invading Kuwait still persist among the people of Arab countries. Iraq is still not ready to regret its invasion, and there is no change in the thinking of Saddam despite being the target of U.S. aggression. But now those who really matter are not Saddam or Tariq Aziz, but hundreds of innocent and hungry Iraqis. The United States and Britain have made it a habit to violate all UN covenants and commit aggression against Iraq. Voices should definitely be raised in the Arab world because millions of innocent Iraqis should not pay for the sins of their rulers."

"Real Motive Of Bombing"

An editorial in the Karachi-based independent national Dawn held (1/27): "The United States has been up to its old game again. On Monday it launched a series of air attacks on Iraq which left 12 people dead and 37 injured.... It is plain that America's sole interest in Iraq now is to topple Saddam from power. To this end Washington has stooped to the meanest tactics, even though it does not have the sanction of international law behind it.... The Arab League chose to line up with the United States and there was not a word of reproach for Washington. It is for the Arabs and the Islamic world to realize that if they fail to assert themselves today, they will rue the failure as time passes."

SRI LANKA: "The Indispensable Nation"

A column by Piyal Gamage in the opposition English-language weekly Sunday Island stated (1/21), "Madeleine Albright is Jewish and she is the United States secretary of state. She has delusions of grandeur. 'If we have to use force, it is because we are America,' she proclaims. That is not the nonsequitur it seems. Using force is what the American gun culture is all about. She goes on: 'We are the indispensable nation.' Indispensable to whom?... Secretary Albright treats the UN as a minor arm of the State Department.... The UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), a purportedly neutral organization to investigate Iraq's concealed weapons, has been from as early as 1992, spying for the United States. For years Saddam insisted that UNSCOM inspectors were CIA agents but was not believed. Today the United States does not even bother to deny this. A White House aide defiantly said: 'The whole purpose of UNSCOM was to spy on Iraq.'... Today American stands discredited, a liar and a bully, in the eyes of the civilized world. The problem facing the world is how this 'indispensable' master race and its sorry sidekick can be brought to the senses."

EAST ASIA

JAPAN: "Now Is The Time"

Conservative Sankei's editorial held (1/18), "The Arab world is beginning to think Iraq, which has been exhausted by the Gulf War and sanctions, is no longer formidable. Now is a good time to apply further pressure on Iraq. Although France and Russia insist that sanctions against Baghdad be lifted, there is no need to 'fawn upon' the Hussein regime. When Ramadan is over, the United States and Britain will likely resume air strikes. The international community is fed up with Hussein's outrageous acts."

THAILAND: "Making Baghdad Less Dangerous"

The lead editorial in the largest circulation, moderately conservative Bangkok Post stressed (1/24): "After the recent U.S.-British air strikes, it is clear that new policies are necessary to contain Iraq.... The UN and its factions must bear in mind several points as they move towards

a new Iraq policy. First and most important is the need to continue disarming Baghdad of its terrible weapons.... It is not time to reward the Hussein regime in any manner. At the same time, there is a growing feeling that the abuses against the Iraqi people must stop. To help, the UN should reconsider the scope of its trade sanctions. Supervision of Iraqi trade must remain in place as part of the anti-weapons policy. But it seems time for a more humanitarian policy on the trade embargo. Arab neighbors, sensitive to such issues, point out that the Iraqis did not elect Saddam Hussein, but are economically punished for his actions."

AFRICA

GHANA: "Albright Owes Annan An Apology"

The government-owned Ghanaian Times opined (1/23), "It was reported in Newsweek of January 18, 1999 that when U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright read the Washington Post story headlined 'Annan Suspicious Of UNSCOM Role,' which said that Secretary-General Kofi Annan 'believed that the United States was using the UN inspection team in Iraq as a spy's nest in order to take out Saddam Hussein,' she got mad and her 'tone was less than respectful' when she got to the soft-spoken Ghanaian diplomat and barked, 'What the hell is going on here!'

"It is saddening that the United States has reached such a worrying level of diplomacy to be represented in its foreign policy administration by a hostile and aggressive person who sets much store by racism.... It is clearly in bad taste for Madeleine Albright to insult Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations organization, the polite, capable, refined peace keeper, whose personality imposes its respect on everybody who comes to know him.... The United Nations is not an agency to serve U.S. interests; it is not a tool to cover the grave errors of short-sighted American diplomacy.... Kofi Annan was elected to his high post due to his towering personal qualities; he was not appointed through Jewish pressure groups. From now on, the world will hear media attacks on the secretary-general instigated by Jews who hate the United Nations--and may God protect Ghana's son Kofi Annan, and may his plane arrive safely wherever he goes and not fall in the forests of Africa and Latin America like Dag Hammarskjold's plane."

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

JAMAICA: "Sanctions, An Expensive Policy"

Columnist John Rapley commented in part in the moderate, influential daily Gleaner (1/15): "By taking a firm line against the lifting of the sanctions regime, the U.S. government has driven the Iraqi regime away from any cooperative course it might have been willing to follow. There was a big stick in U.S. policy, but very little carrot.... No government can effectively block unilateral actions by the Americans. Nevertheless, some governments are likely to begin helping Iraq to find ways around the sanctions regime.... Arab anger at the bombing of Iraq at the same time the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has ground to a halt is making it difficult for the United States' regional allies to come out too strongly in favor of the hard line.... Saddam has, as he often does, exploited this tension in a ham-fisted manner.... For now, American policy in the Middle East is proving to be expensive.... The embargo regime suits America's friends, like Saudi Arabia.... And the United States still reckons the cost of its policy is cheaper than that which would follow from leaving the oil supply at the mercy of a hostile government. But is the United States making too many enemies for itself in the process?"

MEXICO: "Clinton In Pillory"

An opinion piece by Alejandro Muñoz-Alonso in Guadalajara's nationalist El Informador stated (1/25), "If Clinton thought that the bombing against Saddam--unexpectedly interrupted in good time--could be the 'magic weapon' that would solve his many and difficult problems, he has failed spectacularly. The first evaluation possible after these busy days is that he is his own first victim. The arguments used to justify his aggressive loss of control--more missiles have been launched than in all of the Gulf War--have not convinced the allied governments which, being cautious and reticent, have almost all put more emphasis on expressions of regret for the bombings and the victims than in declarations of solidarity with the great transatlantic partner.... The most informed sectors of the American public opinion have begun to question why Saddam Hussein deserves to be bombed for noncompliance with UN resolutions while Netanyahu, who equally disobeys other UN resolutions and shows no less aggression than the Iraqi dictator, continues to benefit from Uncle Sam's help, thanks to the powerful, efficient Jewish lobby."

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