April 04, 2003

WSWS: "In many respects, the air war now being employed in Iraq is an offshoot of a military policy developed by Britain as it clung to its Iraqi colony 80 years ago. [...] Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, a young RAF squadron commander, reported after a mission in 1924: 'The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means, in casualties and damage: They know that within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.'"

Ha'aretz: "The Red Cross estimates that only half the Basra residents enjoy access to potable water, since only three out of six of the generators that activate the water resources are operating. Reports of cholera have come out of Basra, and the disease could spread very quickly if a regular water supply is not renewed. [...] Out of the $74.7 billion war budget that U.S. President George W. Bush requested from Congress, only $2.4 billion is allocated for providing humanitarian aid, establishing democracy and rehabilitating the country. Using conservative estimates, rehabilitating essential infrastructure will cost about $80 billion – and rise to about $100 billion using more realistic estimates."

Ha'aretz: "The main axis of tension runs between Egypt, Syria and Kuwait. Egypt is accused of supporting the war, Syria is accusing Kuwait of creating the conditions for the war, and Kuwait is threatening to withdraw its financial aid to Syria and Lebanon."

WSWS: "Days of intensive search operations by US, British and Australian special forces, which began before President Bush formally launched the war on March 19, have failed to produce any stockpiles or other evidence of Iraqi chemical or biological weapons."

Arab News: "While no one knows how or when the war in Iraq will end, one thing is certain: With the fall of the Ba’athist regime, the country could face a political vacuum. President Saddam Hussein is now in more or less effective control of just over five percent of Iraqi territory. His regime is in no position to fulfill the normal functions of a government. Signs are that opinion is hardening in the Bush administration in favor of direct American rule for at least five years. The direct-rule scenario, however, could be a recipe for disaster for all concerned."

Arab News: "The first Gulf war was paid for largely by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Who pays this time round? Certainly not Saudi Arabia, which has opposed the conflict from the start. Nor Kuwait, even though it supports the invasion; it has made it clear that it will not pay a cent toward it."

Al Ahram: "'There are a number of reasons why there has not been an uprising, most important of which is that Iraqis perceive the United States as an occupying rather than a liberating force. The US has turned its back on world public opinion, which was opposed to this war. This perception has affected the way people have reacted. The second reason has to do with people's strong sense of nationalism, the painful memories of the war of 1991 and the fear that anyone who rises up against the regime will be crushed. Worse still, today I received calls from inside Iraq and people were telling me that allied troops have been ordered to quell any attempts at protest or uprising by civilians. Some members of the Iraqi opposition were told this bluntly by the Americans.'" [emphasis added]

Robert Fisk: "The television was showing an Iranian channel, a musical in the Persian language — Iranian TV has two Arabic channels whose signal can be picked up without a satellite dish — and many Baghdadis trust their news service more than that of Kuwaiti or other Gulf television."

Roger Owen: "One thing is abundantly clear: that America's new world order cannot be created without more and more interventions, that Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld's notion of obtaining a decisive outcome, once and for all, cannot work. Demonstration by example will have to go on for some long time. And, as is the way with such things, each American success will be contested, each new venture accompanied by a reliance as much on America's political and economic power aided by fierce diplomatic arm twisting, as on its military might alone."

posted by dru in war