Editorials in Muslim countries savage U.S., Bush
COMMENTARY | November 27, 2006
The overseas press: Newspapers in Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere are relentless . ‘The election proves nothing,’ one says; an Iraqi Kurd publication says U.S. religious right are ‘dummies’ and neocons ‘followers of Satan.’
By John Burke
PARIS—As the battles rage on in Iraq, the Middle Eastern press is becoming increasingly brusque in its opinions of Bush’s “War of Necessity” and the administration itself.
Disturbing, almost biblical imagery the likes of Dante’s Inferno have been splashed across the pages of regional newspapers since the Republican Congressional defeat and Baghdad’s bloodiest day since the beginning of the war. One paper compared the actions of the American army to those of Hitler’s soldiers.
In making comparisons, the Middle Eastern press also used Bush’s visit to Vietnam to draw parallels between Iraq and another of America’s perceived ill begotten wars. In the end, it found more discrepancies than likenesses between the two.
Arab editorialists determined Vietnam to be the more favorable of the two cases. And when considering the disastrous results of the struggle against Communism in South East Asia, they turned even more virulent:
The Iraq News Agency considers that “President Bush is Oblivious to Real Lesson of Vietnam” and that the United States is a nation fixed on “military expansionism:”
“What happened in Vietnam was already baffling enough. [Last week] President Bush visited the small nation that defeated his country in a big way, and which resulted in the deaths of nearly 60,000 Americans and the wounding of 500,000 more. Yet, when asked about Iraq during a press conference in Vietnam, he could say only that the U.S. needs to remain committed to the war until victory has been achieved.
“Bush commented in regard to the lessons of Vietnam, ‘History has a long march to it ... We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take awhile. Therefore we'll succeed ... unless we quit.’
“What does the American President mean by this?
“Clearly, he meant that if the United States had persevered in Vietnam, then they would have triumphed rather than suffer defeat. In any event, this is exactly the same basic logic that neoconservatives have used to justify their wars in Iraq, Vietnam, and the rest of the world.
“But is the Bush White House's astonishing logic of violence a new one for America's government?
“The history of the United States suggests otherwise. The current wars waged by the latter are but a continuation of an old patter of behavior dating back to the second half of the 1940's…
“Therefore, the rhetoric of Bush the Violent did not appear out of thin air. This rhetoric is a cumulative expression of the American tendency toward military expansionism which began with the emergence of the United States, and it is not expected to cease or disappear on its own.
“Why? Because this is the real essence of all empires throughout history: “‘Live by the sword; die by the sword.’"
During George Bush’s visit to Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates’ Khaleej Times contrasts Iraq with the unpopular war of LBJ and Nixon, saying that the results of the two wars will be very different:
“HANOI is not Baghdad. More like Washington, George W Bush must think as his motorcade sweeps past sparse crowds of people who don’t look like admirers. Even so, the US President has not shirked from drawing comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam.
“Mr Bush’s Communist hosts must be puzzled by this analogy. Had the President blinked, perhaps, as Saigon fell? Had he misremembered how the home team won the war or failed to notice that the youth choirs, blue silk robes and fruit chips prepared for world leaders at this weekend’s trade summit had all been offered in the name of Uncle Ho?
“Victory hymns to the ‘ideology of freedom’ ring few cultural bells at the apex of a one-party state. And yet the President could be forgiven for his confusion. Vietnam, give or take a democracy deficit, has fulfilled all US dreams. Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City makes Wall Street look like a not-for-profit ashram…
“Truly, as the President says, there are some lessons for Iraq. Only they are not the pursuit of victory to which he still aspires. Nor are they simple. Iraq never was Vietnam and it never will be. Tourists will not, three decades from now, be drinking smoothies in Baghdad’s Shock’n’Awe American diner or firing E20 cluster shells for a dollar a go…
“The question for Bush and Blair is simple. Either they ask Iran for help in Iraq, as James Baker’s study group will recommend. Or they insist President Ahmadinejad first renounces nuclear ambition, which means no talks…
“Iraq’s tomorrow looks bleak, but its conflict will have an end some day. All Bush and Blair can do now is to hasten peace in any way they can. That means talking to Iran and Syria, without ruinous preconditions, and recognising that diplomacy is usually less lethal than aggression.
“Vietnam and Iraq have an identical message, for all their differences. One country offers a story of hope, the other — for now — of hopelessness. But the moguls of Hanoi and the morgues of Baghdad tell the same narrative of misbegotten war. So much blood running down the gutters of history, all shed for nothing.”
A similar editorial in the Khaleej Times looks at foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger’s take on Iraq in comparison to Vietnam:
“HENRY Kissinger has the last word when it comes to international relations and diplomacy. And the former secretary of state under Nixon and during Vietnam war thinks that the US cannot win the war in Iraq…
“But as this newspaper has argued before, compared to the horrifying madness of Iraq, Vietnam indeed looks like a harmless holiday. In Vietnam, the US could willingly walk out whenever it wanted. In Iraq, it’s stuck for good. This is an endless disaster.”
From Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Media takes the religious angle of the Iraq War, regarding America’s religious right as “dummies” and the neo-cons as the “followers of Satan,” all stances of “Extreme Irony” considering the true nature of an American culture of “drugs,” “alcohol,” and “war mongering.” The article concludes wishing Bush’s trip to Vietnam to be educational:
“It is true that God works in mysterious ways. The dummies who at first were very sure of themselves as emissaries of God on earth bearing good pickings for the oppressed peoples of the world coated in uranium-tipped armored tanks and cruise missiles have at the end come down kissing shoes to be bailed out. The sad thing is they may get away with mass murders, maintenance of concentration and torture camps and every known as well as never before experienced forms of human rights violations…
“We have since found out that religion could hardly be separated from hypocrisy, profiteering, war mongering and shear wanton evil. None of these are the intended effects of faith and yet the followers of Satan have managed to use religion as the building blocks for founding far greater strife and discord among human beings than before their advent…
“… on 9/11 New York suffered the horrendous attack and all hell broke loose because Bin Laden’s mirror images in the west decided they were more macho and better served by their God presumably because they wore suits and sat in air-conditioned offices and were driven around in limousines instead of prams which would have been much more suitable for their mental ages. Somehow they decided they had been so lucky to have escaped Vietnam, got to become leaders of great nations and amassed billions of ill-earned money and that was their signal from God that he supported them and that they could do no wrong.
“Whether they are always high on drugs, alcohol or through the inhaling of the holy spirit these baboons do not seem to understand that killing innocent men women and children for whatever crazy reason, self-gratifying or any other reason is not only against their own hypocritical laws, oath of office and so called moral values but also against God’s laws and all that they say they believe in…
“But suddenly they found out that they were unable to dupe the Iraqi resistance who were adamant to kick them out. And so since they had created a monster of a government with absolutely zero legitimacy and moral values - a bunch of real, savage cutthroats, they were terrified that if they left the country their remaining soldiers and their loot would be cut down by their own Frankenstein beast.
“So now they have turned 180 degrees and are begging Iran and Syria to do the very thing they wanted them not to do; help bail them out by their gracious intervention with the warring factions. The stupidity of those apes is that they are trying to convey an air of political pragmatism and prowess on this humiliating climb-down and even suggesting that they hold all the cards and would only allow Syria and Iran to save their necks (of Bush and Blair) if they succumbed to certain conditions. The man who led the world into the biggest crime in history and who lost all his power thanks to the enormous kick up the backside is now offering Syria and Iran incentives for meddling more than they ‘have been’ accused of doing by him and his stinking propaganda and media solicitors. This man is indeed a slimy shameless coward. But the final extreme irony is his visit to Vietnam, no doubt to see for himself what crimes his predecessors committed against a tiny helpless nation which gave them a similar kick up the backside.”
For Tunisia’s Tunis Hebdo, the change of Congressional power matters little: at the end of the day, it’s still money-grubbing corporate America that craves the Middle East’s vast oil reserves:
“The rout of the U.S. hawks came as a relief to the entire world. International opinion sees them as evildoers, some of whom should appear before a war crimes tribunal…
“(Osama bin Laden) seems convinced that the Americans are in too deep in Iraq, and that they won't withdraw until they are at the level of a second Vietnam … I can just see Jacques Chirac rubbing his hands together as he addresses both Bush and his vassal Blair, saying: ‘I warned you, I told you so!’ And he's not the only one ...
“As for the fall of Donald Rumsfeld - while we wait for that of the vulture John Bolton, the U.S. representative at the U.N. - it is all in the order of things. He's just a fall guy. Someone had to pay for all the broken pottery, and more importantly, the dark and ineffective defense strategy…
“Nevertheless it was (Bush) who, on the day after September 11, called on his pro-Zionist brain trust to provide him with ideas for attacking a Middle Eastern country, a matter of satisfying his Texas hatred! The actions that followed were almost identical to the disasters committed by certain units of Hitler's armies…
“Let us not forget as well that the American failure in Iraq and advent of the Democrats – which indicates the dissatisfaction of the American public and dictates the withdrawal of troops as it did in Vietnam - is comforting for Arab and Muslim countries as a whole, particularly in the Middle East. No longer will they have to fear the White House imposing democracy on them by force, or the idea of the ‘Greater Middle East’ and everything that goes with it - even if the United States never completely withdraws from Iraq. The pro-Evangelicals attacked people weaker than themselves to steal their oil. Therefore, in regard to the oil rich areas of Mesopotamia, the evangelicals will remain strong under the Democratic regime just as they were under the Republicans. For American multinational corporations, it is business that matters most, even if it's stained with Muslim blood!”
Instead of America’s alleged ‘liberators,’ Iraq’s Azzaman says that it’s the native resistance fighters who are being welcomed with flowers, mainly because of the lack of compassion the White House has shown for the hundreds of thousands of killed, maimed, or uprooted Iraqis:
“Women ululate. Children clap. Men raise their fists in the air and shout ‘Allah Akbar.’ And two young men approach and hand the masked ‘mujahideen’ bouquets of flowers.
“Such treatment was once supposed to be reserved for U.S. ‘liberation’ troops. At least that's what American leaders thought before they sent their soldiers into the hell of Iraq.
“But conditions today are just the opposite of what the current White House had in mind when they used every trick and lie in the book to sell their Iraq mission…
“No sane Iraqi today would even utter the word ‘liberation.’ No sane Iraq would look at American occupation troops as ‘liberators.’ In the eyes of most Iraqis, and this is really unfortunate to say, Americans are viewed as thieves, gangsters and thugs who have come to rape and molest women and girls, abuse prisoners, and destroy cities and residential districts one after the other.
“And to Iraqi eyes, the resistance fighters that so torment U.S. forces in Iraq are viewed as the ‘heroes of liberation,’ and are held in the highest esteem and respect.
“Why did this happen? The answer lies with the White House and its occupants. Look at them and the way they are struggling to get out of the quagmire they have created. Their only concern is how to ‘prevail,’ and minimize their losses - and loss of face. There is little talk of the country they have imploded and the hundreds of thousands of innocent people their disastrous polices have killed, maimed and uprooted.”
Pure vitriol for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld oozed from the pen of this Azzaman columnist, words that would surely be echoed with any mention of the Bush administration:
“Finally, U.S. Secretary of "War" Donald Rumsfeld has been sent home to be the first sacrificial lamb slaughtered on the altar of the American phantom. Now it has claimed the empty-faced and wolf-eyed secretary. The symphony of painful dirges can now be heard in the scattered prison cells of Abu Ghraib and Fallujah and Ishaqi and Haditha, and every beloved patch of the Land of the Two Rivers [Iraq], from which flow the sins of the vampire who sucks the blood of innocents…
“[Rumsfeld] wasn't a human being at all. Rather, he was a portable crime-committer, propagating and sprouting misdeeds wherever he went - the moment you turned your back.
“He is a mafia-like Satan whose wine is crimson blood and whose food is crushed and broiled human corpses. Indeed, his crimes are a terrible shame that scream for justice…
“But today he finds himself measured, weighed and sacked, the sacrificial lamb stung by the blade of a knife looking to separate the wool from the skin of the throat. Today he is truly a sacrificial lamb, offered up to protect the rest of the savage gang that kidnapped the land [of Iraq] and held it for ransom like a cheap hostage…
“The murdered are killed and go off to their funeral processions, but Rumsfeld's yellowing face remains hanging over everything, so that even during the mourning period, a sharp blade cannot cut it down. One who looks at his scowling countenance wouldn't doubt that he is smacking his lips like a predator contemplating his next meal…
“Donald, the son of Rumsfeld the American, is the finest example of one who has created a long history of depravity which is the most enduring charge against the global power.”
From a supposedly staunch ally in the War on Terror, Pakistan’s The Nation has some harsh words for what it views as two parties that support Israeli dominance in the Middle East:
“(The) election improves nothing. Since Iraq was meant to end in horror and despair all along, Rumsfeld had to go anyway. Now that the scapegoat has been sacrificed, the pressure is off and America's rapid descent into corporate fascism can continue.
“(The) election will provide the neocons with the excuse they need to "pull the plug" and divide Iraq as they always intended to do. Best of all, they can blame the Democrats for it. Turkey will get the Kurds, Iran the Shiites and "Eretz Yisroel" [the Land of Israel] will stretch from the Euphrates to the Nile.
“(The) election will prove that there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats and that they are just two sides of the same fake Jewish coin.
“Bush himself wants to move on because the job in Iraq is done. Iran is next, and - make no mistake - the Democrats would be the last people to prevent that from happening. Israel has already signaled their willingness to take out Iran on its own. Brilliant masters of deception that they are, they will create a situation in which America is forced into yet another war for the Jews.”