Notes From the Arab Press

Compiled by A.

May 15, 2004

1. At al-Hayat Daily of London, Ghasan Shirbil said in an article, America: Failure of Iraqi dream, that the neocons dealt with September 11 events as a rare opportunity to push through a serious project which can never be done without America being wounded on its own land. He added, "Thus the Iraqi dream was born as a big adventure. It was a coup against international legitimacy and was designed as a coup also against the whole Middle East."

He added that the easy fall of the Iraqi government has opened the door to a host of problems facing the US administration which showed a total ignorance of the Iraqi social, political and religious affairs. "While the US administration was preparing for transfer of authority on June 30 as a step towards stabilization of its occupation, facts on the ground underline that the Iraqi dream has evaporated. It was really a costly and risky adventure." He concluded: "True it's early to speak about a final American defeat but it is equally true and certain that what we see now is the US administration moving from the Iraqi dream to a search for outlets to postpone withdrawal until after November elections."

2. Under the title, "From Moguls to Americans,Baghdad holding fast", alQuds alArabi daily of London, in an article by Bahraini writer Dr.Said Shihabi said American prison abuse scandal shows unlimited sense of haughtiness, superciliousness, racial snobbishness and an unlimited lust for vengeance and hegemony.

3. In another article Palestinian writer Z. Andraws said President Bush will pay the price for his hatred, racism, and reckless policies against Arabs in the next elections. "But this is not enough. He has to stand trial as a war criminal for committing all that is against humanity and international laws and conventions," he added.

4. Sudanese professor A. W. Afandi of London University discussed in alQuds alArabi daily the question of so-called security foreign contractors' involvement in the POW abuse scandal. He said: "How could a government commission nongovernmental bodies to take up certain governmental tasks? And how could a government at war allow such companies to take part in interrogation inside prison in an occupied country? Moreover why was all this kept under wraps by American officials up to now, even after the scandal?" The writer said it's quite mysterious and strange that the American army ravaged and devastated a whole town with more than 300,000 people, killing more than 800 people in revenge for the killing of just 4 security contractors.

"The only answer is that these are not private companies. Rather they are more likely front bodies of the Israeli government, which uses this devious way to infiltrate into Iraq to take a share in the spoils, revenge, and information," said the writer, adding that this is not strange because the US invasion was done to serve Israel and because the neocons were advisers to former Israeli Premier Natinyaho before becoming as advisers to president Bush.

5. The leader of resistance in Najaf and Karbala, Sheikh Muqtada al-Sadr said he will not dissolve the unless American forces withdraw from all Iraqi towns and land. He condemned the killing of American Nick Berg and said it was done by the Americans themselves to ease pressure away from them as a result of the POW scandal. He added, "I hate war but we have to defend our country against occupation." He also described American governor Paul Bremer as a haughty supercilious colonialist. He denied seeking any job or position.

6. American forces today stormed the shrine of the highest Moslem scholar Abu Hanifa al-No'man in Baghdad on the pretext of searching for arms. The minaret of the shrine which was built during the Abassid Caliphate a few centuries ago was bombed and damaged by American forces. The shrine was stormed in April and many of its doors were damaged by American soldiers.