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2002-10-15 12:24:00
Embassy Amman
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Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 005967 SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN USAID/ANE/MEA LONDON FOR GOLDRICH PARIS FOR O'FRIEL USCINCCENT//CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL STATE PASS TO AID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KMDR JO SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON CONGRESS' DECISION ON IRAQ AND TERRORIST INCIDENTS Summary -- Lead stories over the weekend, October 11-15, highlight developments in the region. Reports highlight the Congress' decision authorizing President Bush to launch war on Iraq and the President's response to that decision, maintaining that Iraq's "days as an outlaw state are numbered". Papers over the weekend also highlight a New York Times article that discussed U.S. plans for a "military occupation" of Iraq. Front-page stories continue to report on Israel's "barbaric" attacks against Palestinian civilians. Editorial Commentary -- "Who awoke the sleeping cell?" Daily columnist Jamil Nimri writes on the back page of independent, mass-appeal Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm (10/11): "It was a big shock for the American marines that the first terrorist attack before the war on Iraq would come from within Kuwait itself. The attackers may have links with Al-Qa'eda, and Kuwaiti officials may talk about a sleeping terrorist cell, but it is impossible to deny the hostile feelings that Kuwaitis have for the United States. Nothing proves best the fact that U.S. policies are responsible for the deepening hatred of the people of this region for the United States than what has happened in Kuwait. If this responsibility is being blamed in one way or another on the Islamic culture or the poverty and backwardness, then this does not apply to the people of Kuwait who enjoy a good standard of living." -- "Attack against the marines" Daily columnist Musa Hawamdeh writes on the op-ed page of center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (10/11): "The attack against the marines in Kuwait has major and serious implications. The attack took place in Kuwait, the one place where Americans thought that their forces would not face such an attack, simply because they `liberated' Kuwait, and so the Kuwaitis must show their appreciation. Yet, the injustices that the Uni
ted States is inflicting upon the Arabs is going to push even U.S. supporters to get angry at the way the Arab nation is being despised and at the way the feelings of the Arab people are being disregarded. The blatant bias for Sharon's policy and the Israeli occupation, supporting the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, continuing the slaughter of Palestinians, occupying Arab oil sources, threatening to strike Iraq and change its regime, will all increase the hatred of America and increase at the same the popularity of Bin Laden and the fundamentalists and extremists who will take over the Arab streets after their governments have bowed to America's dictates." -- "Blank check" Daily columnist Fahd Fanek writes on the back page of semi-official, influential Arabic daily Al-Ra'i (10/15): "The U.S. congressional decision to authorize President Bush to launch war on Iraq is not a blank check, and it is not an authorization to declare war as newspapers have said. The decision has tied the President's hands and placed conditions that are hard to meet. It is very likely that such an attack [on Iraq] will yield more terrorists who will target America and seek revenge. The most important source for anti-American terrorism lies in the Arabs and Muslims' feelings of degradation and insult and complete helplessness in the face of America's power. Without a doubt, occupying Iraq and appointing a American military governor in Baghdad will be the biggest insult to every Arab and Muslim." -- "Congress abdicates as Bush obfuscates" Centrist, influential among the elite English daily Jordan Times (10/15) editorializes: "The U.S. Congress officially surrendered its constitutional powers in foreign policy . granting President George Bush wide and largely unaccountable powers to wage war against Iraq. The abdication by Congress runs contrary to the intents of the founding fathers of the United States. Voting to support a president who has yet to make clear his intentions or long-term strategy violates the separation of powers, so integral to the American constitution. Congress' vote to hand over full-war-making authority to President Bush also violates the individual responsibilities of representatives and senators as regards their roles as the `voices of the electorate'. Most polls show Americans are lukewarm at best concerning waging war against Iraq." -- "An American military ruler for Baghdad!" Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (10/13) editorializes: "There is no doubt that the Iraqi issue is not about international inspectors, weapons of mass destruction or other American pretext. It is about occupying Iraq and appointing an American military ruler. One cannot believe these war scenarios that talk about the occupation of a country and the establishment of a foreign military government on its soil, not when the era of colonialism is over and the right to self-determination is a given." GNEHM