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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03HARARE366 2003-02-24 09:30:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Harare
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION IRAQ; HARARE

Tags:   PREL KPAO KMDR ZI 
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1. Under headline "World must block Bush, Blair's
belligerence" the independent daily "The Daily
News" carried an op-ed by Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem
in which he calls on Arab governments to restrain
the United States and Britain from attacking
Iraq. Excerpts:



2. "There is a kind of fatigue about the imminent
Anglo-American attack on Iraq that is the result
of media saturation and helplessness. The talk
of war, preparations for it and declarations
about it have become so much a part of our daily
diet for almost a year now that even though the
majority of the peoples of the world. . .are
opposed to the war. They are so tired of being
bombarded by its imminence that many no longer
care to read or watch anything to do with the war
or simply switch off mentally when they hear
`Iraq.' Consequently, there seems to be a
general feeling of `let them get it over with.'
Many people are convinced that there is nothing
much that can be done to stop George W. Bush and
Tony Blair from attacking Iraq. They are
committed to the United Nations track for as long
as it grants them the license to destroy Iraq as
they are so bent on doing. So the U.N.
inspectors, according to London and Washington,
have only one function: to get them the evidence
they need to finish off Saddam.

". . .However, amidst all the deceit, frustration
and deployment of weapons of mass deception by
the Americans and the British, there is an oasis
of hope that against all the odds some countries,
institutions, peoples and individuals are not
being cowed into submission. . . Why can't Bush
and Blair be honest enough to say: `We don't
know.' They do not have any evidence that will
convince any thinking person but they turn around
to accuse doubters of timidity, treachery or
giving succor to Saddam Hussein. The choice is
not and cannot be between Bush and Saddam. If
that be the case it would be limiting human
possibilities to their least common factor. . .
Whatever is being done in Europe, America and
other parts of the world to stop this unjust war
will not be successful if the Arab governments,
out of their own greed and desperation to hold on
to power continue to short-change their people.
They voice unease and even opposition to the war
while behind closed doors they are giving
military and strategic concessions to the
Americans. Where are the peace campaigners in
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco,
Oman, Jordan, Qatar and other Gulf Stations
(those are not countries but gas stations!)?"

SULLIVAN