English-language Arab and Muslim newspaper editorials continue to oppose U.S. occupation of Iraq.
The Jordan Times said last Thursday that <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />U.S. occupation was not welcomed.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“What the US has not won, and is no way near winning, is the peace,” warned the editorial. “Get out of Iraq sooner rather than later. Leave Iraq to the Iraqis.”
A Sunday Times editorial said, “No matter how one views US and British military presence in Iraq, it remains an occupation.”
“Americans should not confuse happiness at the tyrant’s fall with a willingness to accept occupation,” said the Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper. “The only time they will be truly welcome in Iraq will be when they leave.”
Arab News, a Saudi Arabian daily newspaper, said Thursday: “For the Iraqi people to be rid of a tyrant only then to be vulnerable to exploitation by the conservative Zionist junta who have taken over the White House is merely for them to be thrown from the frying pan into the fire. The Iraqi people, like everyone else, deserve to be masters of their own destiny.”
The editorial said, “The Iraqi people now, after having seen one tyrant fall, are unlikely to accept a military occupation of their country.”
On Friday, an Arab News editorial said, “This is not a war between Arabs and the US, or between a faithful Muslim state and a crusading, militant Christian West. It is a war between a dangerous tyrant—Saddam Hussein—whom Iraqis are glad to see the back of, and the US, whose motives for carrying it out are dubious.”
Newspapers in the predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan also criticized military occupation.
Dawn said, “It would be folly if Washington thinks in terms of ruling Iraq by proxy by manoeuvring a puppet regime into power to serve as a fig leaf for occupation.”
Arab papers also blamed the United States and United Kingdom for the widespread looting in Iraq.
The Daily Star said that one of the most tragic events in Baghdad was “the systematic looting of the country’s hospitals, universities and museums.”
The looting of the Iraqi museums was “a terrible cultural crime,” said the Lebanese editorial, which blamed American and British troops for not protecting irreplaceable objects.
The Jordan Times also criticized coalition troops for standing by while “chaos swept Iraqi’s major cities.”
The coalition’s plan “failed to take into account the lawlessness that might occur,” said the Gulf News.