January 3, 2003
World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
BUZZFLASH NOTE: Once again, these are the views and perspectives of the individual papers, not of BuzzFlash or Gloria. They offer BuzzFlash readers a way of reading what other nations are saying about the crisis, whether we like it or not. We repeat: This is not an endorsement of their viewpoints.
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1/Asia Times Online, Hong Kong--ANALYSIS: WHY IRAQ MATTERS MORE THAN NORTH KOREA (The Bush team - rightly as I see it - regards Kim Jong-il's regime as an ossified ideological relic with no future potential for attracting adherents to its creed, while Saddam Hussein's regime, while it lasts, in effect anchors Islamist fascism in the Middle East and the Muslim world beyond.)
2/Albawaba.com, Unspecified Middle East--IRANIAN NEWSPAPER: U.S. SEEKS BLOODLESS COUP IN IRAQ WITH PUTIN HELP (Washington wants to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein without bloodshed or billions of dollars of a new Gulf war, an Iranian newspaper said on Thursday. But the German foreign ministry rejected Entekhab report that Germany's Foreign Minister told his Iranian peer in their telephone conversation that the Bush administration sought a bloodless coup with the help of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.)
3/The Independent, UK--BLAIR TRYING TO DISTRACT FROM DOMESTIC PROBLEMS, SAY CRITICS (Tony Blair was accused yesterday of using a stark warning about threats to Britain from overseas to divert attention from a "crisis" in public services at home.)
USA--GENERAL MYERS DUE IN TURKEY (U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff General Richard Myers is expected to come to Turkey in coming days...
The same sources noted that General Myers was expected to come to Turkey
in Mid-January. ...The issue of Iraq is expected to high on agenda during
General Myers' tour to eight regional countries.)
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Times Online January 3, 2003
WHY IRAQ MATTERS MORE THAN NORTH KOREA
It's odd, isn't it? North Korea probably has at least a couple of nuclear warheads and the ballistic missiles to deliver them to the South and to Japan, perhaps even to Alaska. Iraq most likely doesn't have nukes - unless some bandits of a former Soviet republic sold it some. Why then, as none other than Saddam Hussein has noted, is the United States on Iraq's case and threatening and preparing for military action against it while it wants to resolve the nuclear row with self-admitted nuke constructor North Korea by diplomatic means?
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his Tikriti clique are not themselves the principal exponents of the Islamist fascism invented in its current form by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb (see the AToL series Islamism, fascism and terrorism, November-December 2002) and practiced and promoted by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda and the network's chief theoretician and strategist al-Zawahiri. But by controlling a nation state with substantial resources, they backstop and support several Islamist terrorist (mainly Palestinian) outfits and, more important, function as a reference point for other corrupt and dictatorial Arab regimes. Disarming this clique and, if need be, expelling it from Iraq would send the strongest possible signal to the rest of the Arab world as well as the mullahs in Iran that in-depth political change can no longer be postponed. It would at the same time at least begin the process of and create the circumstances for undermining the ideological hold and initiative Islamist fascism now has as an admired protagonist force among Muslim youths worldwide.
IRANIAN NEWSPAPER: U.S. SEEKS BLOODLESS COUP IN IRAQ WITH PUTIN HELP
Washington wants to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein without bloodshed or billions of dollars of a new Gulf war, an Iranian newspaper said on Thursday.
But the German foreign ministry rejected Entekhab report that Germany's Foreign Minister told his Iranian peer in their telephone conversation that the Bush administration sought a bloodless coup with the help of Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
"...it's been heard that Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister, has told Kamal Kharrazi in a phone conversation that America is set to overthrow Saddam Hussein without a war, bloodshed and heavy military expenditure," Entekhab reported.
The German foreign ministry confirmed the two ministers spoke by phone, but denied that Fischer had told Kharrazi that the U.S. was trying to topple the Iraqi leader without going to war.
"This content of the conversation is completely made up," the foreign ministry spokeswoman said in Berlin.
The Iranian newspaper said Washington had apparently harmonized its policy with Russia. It underlined recent remarks by former Russian prime minister Yevgeni Primakov about the possibility that Putin might visit Baghdad personally in order to persuade Saddam to relinquish power and depart for Moscow.
TRYING TO DISTRACT FROM DOMESTIC PROBLEMS, SAY CRITICS
Tony Blair was accused yesterday of using a stark warning about threats to Britain from overseas to divert attention from a "crisis" in public services at home.
Conservatives criticised Mr Blair's gloomy New Year message about the "difficult and dangerous" problems of global security and the international economy.
Mr Blair said: "I cannot recall a time when Britain was confronted, simultaneously, by such a range of difficult and, in some cases, dangerous problems."
But Michael Ancram, the Tory foreign affairs spokesman, said: "There is a certain reality in what he is warning against, but what I think is quite extraordinary in his message is that he doesn't talk about those other areas of crisis: the crisis in the health service, the crisis in our schools, the crisis in law and order, the enormous looming crisis in pensions, which are going to hit people very hard over the next 12 months, with rising taxes in April.
"I do get a faint feeling that he is trying to divert attention away on to the international side in order to divert attention from all the problems there are going to be domestically for him."
Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, also criticised Mr Blair for failing to spell out the circumstances under which Britain would back war with Iraq.
MYERS DUE IN TURKEY
ANKARA - U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers is expected to come to Turkey in coming days.
Diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent on Wednesday that General Myers would start a tour to regional countries.
The same sources noted that General Myers was expected to come to Turkey in Mid-January.
Meanwhile, an American diplomatic source confirmed that General Myers would visit regional countries in January and said that he could come to Ankara.
The issue of Iraq is expected to high on agenda during General Myers' tour to eight regional countries.
TO LEGALIZE LOGISTIC SUPPORT OF US ATTACKS ON IRAQ
Officials in the Cabinet secretariat and the Foreign Ministry told the Mainichi on Tuesday that they are mulling over the law that allows support for the possible U.S.' attacks on Iraq as Japan did when it deployed the Self-Defense Forces in Washington's war against terrorism in 2001.
"We have to clearly show the alliance between Japan and the U.S. is solid," a Cabinet secretariat official said.
As Japan's war-renouncing Constitution prohibits the nation from ever using force in settling international disputes, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other top officials, believing that the international community is now joining hands to disarm Iraq, decided that a new law to give logistic support to Washington's stance against Iraq was needed.
The government is therefore planning to produce a bill on the move soon after the Diet session to discuss the 2003 state budget on Jan. 20.
But the move is controversial because some officials even in the government and politicians in the ruling coalition have cast doubt on the need to institute a new law to justify Japan's support for the U.S.' attacks against Iraq.
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otherwise noted, all original