|04KUWAIT1248||2004-04-15 06:20:00||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 03 KUWAIT 001248
1. SUMMARY: Kuwaiti commentators have been rattled by events in
Fallujah and the rise of Moqtada al-Sadr. Islamist MPs and others
decry what they term a "brutal" US response and have issued press
statements calling for Muslims to resist the "US occupation of
Iraq" and the presence of US troops in Kuwait, while liberals call
for the Kuwaiti government to put conservative elements in their
place. Other commentary reflects anxiety that the US will fail in
Iraq and retreat from the country, leaving Kuwait to deal with a
hostile and destabilized northern neighbor. END SUMMARY.
2. "A Year Of American Failure In Iraq"
Dr. Wael al-Hassawi wrote in independent Al-Rai al-A'am (4/12):
"A year after the fall of the former Iraqi regime, Baghdad is back
to where it started; aircraft bombing various cities, artillery
shelling, hundreds of dead in Fallujah and utter bedlam. The
reason behind this chaos is the American Administration's
blundering approach in running Iraq. Is the Administration
deliberately attempting to maintain the status quo, so it can
continue its dominance and postpone its withdrawal? The reality
is quite the contrary; the United States is living a war of
attrition, which brings back memories of Vietnam. Added to that,
the United States has no experience in nation building and Iraq is
known that since the dawn of civilization, that it is extremely
hard to control. The Bush Administration is in an unenviable
situation, and may lose the elections due to the deteriorating
situation in Iraq."
3. "Blood On The Tigris Banks"
Former MP and Islamist Dr. Abdel Muhsin Jamal wrote in independent
Al-Qabas (4/12): "What has changed one year after the fall of the
former Iraqi regime? Saddam used to kill in secret, whereas now,
American aircraft are bombing Iraqi cities, houses, and mosques
for the whole world to see. Saddam used to single out Kurds and
Iraqi Shia, now Americans, are adding Iraqi Sunnis on that list.
The biggest paradox is that a year ago, American forces entered
Baghdad with no resistance and very few casualties; today
Americans are facing a full-blown national uprising and vicious
resistance. President Bush should have celebrated with the Iraqi
people the first anniversary of the fall of the former regime and
the return of democracy. Except, what we are witnessing is
continued bloodshed and more battles."
4. "What Now ... Fallujah?"
Nabil Al-Fadhl wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am (4/12):
"Fallujah is the center of Islamic radicalism in Iraq before being
the center of Baath Party remnants. It is a hotbed of criminality
and terrorism. Therefore, we don't see any reason why Kuwaiti
Islamic blocs sympathize with them, except if it were sympathy of
a Muslim toward another Muslim, and this is the kind of sympathy
that sustains the theory of the extremist right in the west that
Islam poses a global danger. We would have hoped that Kuwaiti
Islamic blocs would distance themselves from the Fallujah events
and call on their counterparts to use their better judgment. If
American and international forces do not hit Fallujah and Ramadi
with an iron fist, the river of blood will continue to run."
5. "New Regime ... Same Old Supporters"
Emad al-Saif wrote in independent Al-Qabas (4/12): "What is
currently taking place in Iraq is a struggle for power. Events in
Fallujah are a natural extension of the culture of violence,
obsession with power and absolute duplication of Saddamist
ideology. This is natural and expected of a society that has
lived for more of thirty years in a background of violence.
Events in Fallujah are the crowning of the entire secret plans
that have finally come out to claim the biggest chunk out of Iraq.
This has exposed the cheap exploitation of religion and loyalty
for the sake of power. This also reveals that Iraq if full of new
6. "The Problem With Individual Dominating Regimes"
Ghassam Al-Otaibi wrote in independent Al-Qabas (4/12): "The main
problem facing Iraqis, is the political vacuum left by former
regimes. This is a similar problem faced by all Arab nations that
depend on one all dominating individual dictatorship. Since such
rgimes take unilateral actions and deprive their citizens of all
rights, these same citizens cannot make right decisions nor can
they run their country. That is why it is important for the
coalition forces to remain in Iraq, in order to preserve Iraq's
national interest and for security to prevail. Those calling for
the coalition forces to withdraw, cannot understand the magnitude
of the catastrophe which may befall Iraq, because, many radical
and terrorist groups are biding their time to pounce on power."
7. "Cowboys In The Land Of The Two Rivers"
Kuwait University Academic Dr. Jassem Al-Fuhaid wrote in
independent Al-Rai Al-A'am (4/13): "A year after entering Baghdad
with their tanks, the American Administration, is exposed for its
scandalous blundering in dealing with a complex situation in Iraq.
The dominant "cowboy" mentality coupled with arrogance and
excessive use of force is prevalent among the American Military,
treating the Iraqis as if they were an ignorant bunch of Indians
who can be easily tamed by the white man. In light of the current
bloody conflict and the rampant chaos in Iraq, will America be
able to transfer sovereignty to the Governing Council in seventy-
8. "A Political Crisis"
Amna Al-Mousawi wrote in independent Al-Rai al-A'am (4/13):
"Recent events confirm that America is involved in a first class
political crisis. By ignoring the international will, Washington
is now alone, facing a quagmire. The latest wrong move by
Washington was the use of excessive force to subdue the Iraqi
people. This, in turn, completely removed the human mask, which
Washington conceitedly wore for so long. It has become clear that
Bush is no different than Sharon when it comes to accomplishing
the Zionist-American secret agenda in the Middle East. Ideally,
Iraq should have been the perfect example for change vis--vis the
GMEI, but the aim of this concept is to completely erase the Arab
9. "Mixed Affairs"
Dr. Yaser Al-Saleh wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am (4/13):
"Many Kuwaitis experienced pride and pleasure for Kuwait's active
contribution in the war on Iraq, whose conclusion was the end of
the former Iraqi regime. Kuwait's classification as a non NATO
ally of the United States, require a few commitments which are
seen by some Iraqis as aiding and supporting the coalition in
killing the Iraqi people. In this context, we mentioned in
previously that for us, the right strategic choice is to stand
side by side with the Iraqi people. However, if foreign forces
were to sustain heavy losses, they may feel it is time to leave
the region, as has occurred in other areas around the world, then
we would be alone facing our neighbors."
10. "Where Are The Arabs?"
Rashed Al-Radaan wrote in independent Al-Watan (4/14): "Arabs
will not help the Iraqis one bit. If Iraqis are eager about
ridding their country of the occupation, then they are before two
options. The first is to negotiate and follow in the path of
diplomacy and peaceful resistance until the situation settles
down. The second option is armed resistance, no matter what the
consequences. Of course the first option is wiser to adopt.
Events in Fallujah have proven that duplicity and betrayal amongst
Iraqis wanting to settle past disputes were the reasons behind the
conflict. Iraqis must adopt peaceful resistance means, such as
political pressure, instead of relying on the Arab league or Arab
sense of honor."
11. "Has Iraq Entered The No-Choice Tunnel?"
President of the American University in Kuwait, Dr. Shafiq al-
Ghabra wrote in independent al-Rai Al-A'am (4/14): "Recent events
in Iraq represent a race with time, between the American forces
and those who oppose their presence. Each party has an agenda of
their own on how to reach power. The United States is facing a
situation it never expected to face, and the Iraqi people had
different expectations especially with the fall of the former
Iraqi regime. Recent battles in Iraq indicate that Iraqis are
entering a long dark tunnel. In light of present circumstances,
the United States is seeking to ascertain a way to withdraw from
Iraq. Iraq has become a testing ground of American power, a test
for all the parties who oppose the American role regionally and
internationally, and a test of American-Israeli and America-Arab