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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KUWAIT944 2003-03-17 04:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, MARCH 16: IRAQ; FRENCH

Tags:   KU KDMR 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 000944 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/M, NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD, PA, INR/NESA, IIP/G/NEA-
SA, INR/B
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA
CINCCENT FOR CCPA
USDOC FOR 4520/ANESA/ONE/FITZGERALD-WILKS
USDOC FOR ITA AND PTO/OLIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KU KDMR
SUBJECT: KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, MARCH 16: IRAQ; FRENCH
OPPOSITION TO WAR; ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATIONS

REF: KUWAIT 00900



1. Summary: Kuwaiti commentators lash out at France as the
embodiment of opposition to war against Saddam's regime. The
Arab League delegation to the US, and possibly to Baghdad,
is derided as a "tour group." In an op/ed entitled "A Leader
is Needed at the White House," one commentator remarks
baldly: "President Bush can regain (his) leadership by
giving the order to start the war."

Strong criticism of US policy remains, however, with
Secretary Rumsfeld being branded as a "criminal" for

SIPDIS
"providing Saddam with WMD during Iraq's war against Iran."
Another writer states, "the demonstrations around the world
may not prevent the US from starting the war, but America
has lost many of its supporters because of the way it treats
other nations."

The radical Islamist "Salafist" group in Kuwait defends its
opposition to what they term a "new Crusade" in Iraq
(reftel) as "no different from the official Kuwaiti
position." End Summary.



2. News Stories: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Foreign Affairs Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad stated ruled out any
possibility for a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis,
and said that Kuwait's participation in the reconstruction
of Iraq would be discussed later.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Security
Services and State Security Major General Abdullah Al-Faris
denied that the Ministry tortures those who object to the
American presence in Kuwait as reported in the Arab
Committee for Human Rights report.

Public prosecution has ordered the detention of five men
accused of plotting sabotage extended for 21 more days.

Assistant Secretary General for Media Affairs of the
Scientific Salafi Movement, Dr. Sajed Al-Abdali defended
their strongly worded position statement of last week
(reftel) against US military action by saying that it is no
different from the official Kuwaiti position.

Al-Seyassah reports that Kuwaitis have opened accounts in
the Iraqi currency in Jordanian banks.

Al-Watan reports that four GCC soldiers in Kuwait as part of
the common defense "Peninsula Shield" forces have resigned
in accordance with a fatwa forbidding support for an
American-led war on Iraq.

Editorials:



3. "French Justifications"
MP Ahmad Al-Rubei wrote in independent Al-Qabas (3/15): "It
is very obvious that the French position is the main reason
for Iraq's stubbornness for not complying with the
international community demand to eliminate WMD. If France
is against the war, then why does not it use its good
relations with Saddam to tell him that he is the core of the
problem?"



4. "Great France and the Late Adulthood"
Adel Al-Khudari wrote in independent Al-Watan (3/16): "I
believe that the reason behind France's threat to use the
veto is because France may not get the lion's share of the
contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq. France's attempt
to defend the most worthless dictator on earth would damage
its reputation because by doing so, it ignores the Iraqi
opposition and human rights."



5. "Who Dares to Say?"
Former MP Ahmad Al-Baghli wrote in independent Al-Qabas
(3/13): "The Arab League delegation formed after the Sharm
El-Shaikh Arab Summit is no more than a tour group. The only
American official who met with them was Secretary of State
Powell. [and] they met with him so they can say that they
have done something. The same delegation stated that they
would also visit Iraq to meet with Saddam to convince him to
step down from power. [but] would any member of this
delegation, namely [Arab League Secretary General] Amr
Moussa, dare to tell Saddam to step down.?"



6. "Saddam's Initiative for Bush to Step Down"
Abdelrahman Al-Ajmi wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (3/13):
"Should Bush respond to Saddam Hussein's proposal and submit
his resignation, this will not be met with satisfaction by
the American electorate, because it is the people who elect
their president. But, if Saddam relinquishes power, the
Iraqis will be overjoyed."



7. "A Leader is Required at the White House"
Abdelameer Al-Turkei wrote in independent Al-Seyassah
(3/16): "We are not advising President Bush to be a leader,
but rather want to remind him of John Kennedy, who was able
to eliminate the dangers of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
President Bush can regain this leadership by giving the
order to start the war. The moment he does that, all who
object to his policies will retreat."



8. "Protests Will Not Stop the War"
Ahmad Al-Jarallah wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (3/16):
"Focusing on these [anti-war] protests results in
obstructing the views of people who support a war against
Iraq, and who constitute a majority among Arab decision-
makers and Westerners. The US has pledged to establish a new
democratic regime in Iraq by giving Iraqis the freedom to
elect their regime and to take control over their country's
resources. Some parts of the Arab world are arranging such
protests on the presumption that Saddam Hussein will defeat
the US.



9. "Even You, Annan"
Salah Al-Fadhli wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-Aam (3/16):
"Even Kofi Annan, who is America's man at the United
Nations, stated that any military action without UN approval
would be considered a violation of the UN convention.
America has crossed all the red lines, and has no
consideration for anybody. The demonstrations around the
world may not prevent the US from starting the war, but
America has lost many of its supporters because of the way
it treats other nations."



10. "Halabja and Rumsfeld"
Ahamd Al-Daieen wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-Aam (3/16):
"Fifteen years after the massacre at Halabja in Iraq in
which Saddam used WMD against his own people, Secretary of
Defense Rumsfeld is leading an unprecedented military
campaign to topple Saddam and to disarm Iraq. Ironically,
Rumsfeld's name is associated with the Halabja massacre. He
was involved in providing Saddam with WMD during Iraq's war
against Iran during the Regan Administration. Saddam Hussein
and Ali Hassan Majeed [the Iraqi military governor of Kuwait
during the 1990-91 occupation]. are not the only criminals."

JONES