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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN1849
2003-03-27 12:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION ON WAR IN IRAQ

Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001849 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 E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KMDR JO SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON WAR IN IRAQ Summary -- Banner headlines in all papers today, March 27, highlight various developments in the war on Iraq. Lead reports focus on the bombing of a marketplace in Baghdad and continued battles in the south of Iraq. Other major stories highlight remarks by the Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan clarifying that the diplomatic tiff with Jordan was merely a "tempest in a teacup" and that relations between Iraq and Jordan are normal. Editorial Commentary -- "A bloody escalation of the war on Iraq" Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (03/27) editorializes: "The United States and Britain escalated their brutal aggression against brotherly Iraq and the war operations launched by these two allies took a serious destructive and bloody turn when missile attacks and air raids started to target civilian areas and civilian infrastructure that claimed the lives of many.. The world watches with shock and awe the field developments of the American war on Iraq. On one hand, the world admires the honorable resistance of the Iraqi people and their armed forces. On the other hand, the world is worried and pained by these horrific attacks against the Iraqis and by Washington and London's insistence to turn their backs to all calls for stopping this bloody episode and for listening to the voice of reason and logic." -- "The fate of the Arab world at the breakfast table of Richard Perle" Daily columnist Bater Wardam writes on the op-ed page of center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (03/27): "Fools who believe that the United States wants to liberate the Iraqi people and the prosperity of democracy must realize what lies behind the scenes of the American decision-making industry, what exists at the depth of George Bush's remarks and the trail of the U.S. administration's lies. Last Sunday, Richard Perle hosed a seminar over breakfast to discuss the future of the Middle East in the post-war era. The outcome was, according to Perle, the need to `reform the United Nations', n
amely to turn it into a tool in the hands of Washington, the need for a regime change in Syria and Iran, and the need to contain France and Germany.. Perle is one of those in the small circle of oil traders and American owners of military industries, and he is a supporter of the Likud party and of those who stand for Israeli interests in the White House and who control American decisions.. Shame on us, as an Arab nation, to allow a group of Zionists in the White House to determine the future of the Arab world at breakfast tables in Washington." -- "The freedom of killing Iraqis" Chief Editor Taher Udwan writes on the back page of independent, mass-appeal Arabic daily Al-Arab Al-Yawm (03/27): "The Bush-Blair war can be called anything but a liberation of the Iraqis.. What freedom is this that carries within it unspeakable atrocities, and what freedom is this where more than 74 billion dollars are going to be spent on weapons to kill Iraqis and destroy their cities? A good description of this war is a war of lies. President Bush and Blair believe that by lying they can deceive all the people all the time. But this is impossible. The smiles that the American president gives to reporters before the White House cannot cover up the crime series that has started to unfold in Baghdad, Basra, Nasiriya, Babel and Najaf. I felt bad yesterday when I saw the cheers and applause with which the American President was received as he was promising the Iraqi people a long war that would not stop until the head of Saddam Hussein rolls. I felt bad because the scenes of the dead people in Hyy al-Sha'b in Baghdad revealed all about the truth of the `freedom' that Bush is promising the Iraqi people via missiles and bombs.. The Bush-Blair war can be described as illegitimate, criminal, colonialist, brutal, but not as a war for freedom, unless the freedom to kill Iraqis is meant." -- "For the oil" Daily columnist Mohammad Amayreh writes on the op-ed page of semi-official, influential Arabic daily Al-Rai (03/27): "The U.S. administration portrays its aggression against Iraq as a war of liberation aimed at ousting the standing regime, destroying weapons of mass destruction, establishing a democratic regime, and bringing security and stability to Iraq. These justifications, however, are acceptable only to those who follow the Americans.. U.S. and British officials are presenting themselves as the liberators, ones with a humanitarian mission and a democratic purpose who sympathize with the Iraqi people and are concerned for their interests. Yet, we look at their actions and we see the contradiction.. If the Americans and the British came to liberate the people of Iraq and thought that this people will receive them with welcoming cheers and flowers, then look at the first seven days of the war, which prove otherwise." -- "A year of justifying the war" Daily columnist Fahd Fanek writes on the back page of semi-official, influential Arabic daily Al-Rai (03/27): "It took America more than one year to justify launching a war on Iraq. There were so many justifications that the American people became confused and did not know why America must resort to a war that is said to be the last option.. President Bush's problem lies in his failure to convince the Americans and the world because the justifications given were either not true or true but not new.. This pushed many to look for the real reasons for the war, finding only the desire to control Iraq's oil and to serve Israel.. Additional justifications surfaced claiming that changing the regime in Iraq would open the door for core changes in the region, including allowing peace to be established with Israel, which would be upon Israel's conditions, and spreading democracy in the Arab world, which is ridiculous because democracy cannot be imposed from outside." GNEHM