|03KUWAIT1177||2003-03-31 15:45:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Kuwait|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001177
1. SUMMARY: Media commentary reflects a sense of alienation
and resentment vis-a-vis Kuwait's Arab League confreres.
Demonstrations were held this week in front of the Libyan
and Syrian embassies in Kuwait, and a proposal now before
the National Assembly calls for parliamentary approval of
any financial aid to Arab countries.
Commentators opine that Iraqis are not rebelling against
Saddam's regime because they remember their experience in
1991, when the US "encouraged and then deserted them." On
the news pages, five Iraqi infiltrators, believed to be
Fedayeen Saddam militia members, were apprehended at the
Kuwaiti border on March 28. END SUMMARY.
2. News Stories: The lead story in all newspapers on March
30 is coverage of a missile that exploded after midnight in
the sea near a popular Kuwait City waterfront mall, injuring
two. The air raid sirens did not sound, as the missile
reportedly came in under radar level.
Five suspected Fedayeen Saddam were apprehended after
crossing into Kuwait on March 28, reports Al-Seyassa.
Al-Qabas front pages a report that approximately 85 percent
of high school students came to school on March 29, the
first day of classes since schools were closed one week ago
due to the outbreak of hostilities.
National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khrafi described the pro-
Iraqi demonstrations in some Arab countries as "controlled
and not staged voluntarily", Al-Qabas reports on its front
Al-Qabas also reports that MP Khaled Al-Adwa has urged the
National Assembly to adopt a resolution requiring National
Assembly approval of any financial assistance from the
Kuwait Arab Fund to protest the Arab stance towards Saddam's
Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that the American Embassy in Kuwait
has received hundreds of phone calls this week supporting
the war in Iraq.
Around 2000 Kuwaitis demonstrated on March 25 in front of
several Arab embassies. The protestors chanted slogans
against Saddam's regime, Arab satellite channels that
"support" the regime and Syrian and Libyan support of
Saddam, Al-Rai Al-Aam reports.
Kuwaiti students returning from Jordan tell Al-Rai Al-Aam
that they were abused and their cars vandalized. Al-Qabas
reports that Kuwaiti students in Bahrain have also faced
abuse and plans are being made to assist their return to
Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports that three hotels in
Kuwait City received bomb threats on March 28, all hoaxes.
Al-Rai Al-Aam reports that on March 30, 1.5 million liters
of drinking water from Kuwait will arrive in Umm Qasr.
3. "No Gloating"
Conservative Salah Al-Fadli wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-
Aam (3/26): "The American war on Iraq does not have any
kind of legal or moral legitimacy. The only good thing that
will come out of this war is getting rid of Saddam. It is
shameful and regrettable that some simple-minded people, in
the face of global American hegemony, gloat at Iraq now.
Instead of gloating, we should be wary for the future of
this region and for the fate of our communities in the face
of future [American] plans for the area."
4. "Coordination with the Iraqi Opposition"
Shiite MP Abdul-Mohsen Yousef Jamal wrote in independent Al-
Qabas (3/26): "Some wonder why people in southern Iraq, are
not rising up against the [Iraqi] regime as they did in
1991. Perhaps they fear a repeat performance by Saddam's
regime, when after former President Bush first encouraged
and then deserted them, they became easy prey. Currently,
they are probably waiting. to see if America's claim of
changing the Iraqi regime is credible. Another reason is
that the Americans to date have refused to coordinate with
the Iraqi opposition. American coordination with the Iraqi
opposition is crucial, and the quicker the better since
condemnation of the war is on everyone's lips."
5. "A Salute to the Coalition Forces"
Liberal Ibrahim Al-Duaij wrote in independent Al-Seyassah
(3/29): "Al-Arabia satellite channel has become the new
mouthpiece for the leader of the Iraqi regime. They have
begun broadcasting pictures of children, women and old men
stained with blood and claiming that they are the victims of
the American strike on Iraq. Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia will
not succeed in defending the regime in Baghdad, no matter
how hard they try."
6. "Kuwait's Interests First"
Liberal Dr. Naji Al-Zaid wrote in independent Al-Qabas
(3/29): "We offered [Syria] 1,109 million dollars as aid,
without interest. This money was given so that Syrian
citizens could live in comfort. This applies also to Lebanon
and other Arab countries. Unfortunately. they still insist
on keeping Saddam and his regime in power. Our interests are
no longer with any country that does not support our right
to exist. Our interests lie with those who can guarantee us
our freedom, sovereignty and democracy."
7. "Kuwait's Aid and the Arab Demonstrations"
Mohammad Al-Ajmi wrote in independent Al-Watan (3/30): "Why
all the demonstrations against Kuwait? Are the American
missiles, which strike Iraq, made in Kuwait? Can Kuwait
prevent the US and Britain from achieving their goals?
Kuwait is now sharing its food and water with the Iraqis
while other Arab countries are still chanting in support of
Saddam. We have offered them food and water-- what have
other countries offered them?"
8. "Let us Annex Southern Iraq"
Liberal Faisal Al-Qanai, Secretary General of Kuwait
Journalists Association, wrote in independent Al-Seyassah
(3/30): "We do not know where the next Iraqi missile will
strike. We are not concerned about any Arab League
statement, because we will not see one of condemnation [of
missile attacks on Kuwait]. This outrageous Iraqi attack on
us [on March 29] gives us justification to defend ourselves
by allowing Kuwaiti forces to occupy southern Iraq and annex
it to Al-Jahra governate."