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The Press : Assessing the Winners and Losers in the War

March 05, 1991

"The war in the Gulf has been won. But there are loose ends aplenty to tie up. The biggest is Saddam Hussein. Victory cannot be complete as long as he and his cronies remain in power, pumping out drivel from Baghdad about Iraq's glorious victory, his Gestapo terrorizing anybody who dares to tell the truth. . . .

"Iraq must make its mind up quickly, for the issue of Saddam has to be resolved first before the allied coalition can proceed, in the aftermath of a great and just victory, with the formidable task of securing the future peace and stability of the Middle East."

--The Sunday Times, London

"For most of us here in Jordan, the war was not only senseless but pointless as well. Members of the coalition, particularly its leader the U.S., see things in a different light. We will probably never see eye to eye with them on this one. In the long term, history will be the judge. For now, one has to look ahead. The lessons learned will have to be put to good use.

"Iraq is down but not out. It will have to be rebuilt and reconstructed. So will Kuwait. . . . The enmity, the bitterness, the hatred have to be replaced with bridges of mutual respect and understanding. It will be a stupendous task, but nevertheless one that has to be undertaken and accomplished. . . .

"The Arab world will have to find itself again. Continued disunity and fratricide will not serve the cause of peace and progress. The Arabs will have to realize that fissures in the ranks have nearly caused their whole world to explode into pieces."

--Jordan Times, Amman

"And now, what about (U.N.) Security Council resolutions on the Palestinian issue? This is the question on the tongues of Muslims and Arabs from the Atlantic to Indonesia. It awaits a speedy and precise answer from President Bush. If he doesn't announce a positive move . . . then all of Bush's slogans about a new world order will fall, and the U.N. will lose its credibility. The fate of America and its allies in the Middle East will depend on its efforts to reach a just solution to the Palestinian question based on the frozen resolutions. Justice and legitimacy cannot be weighed on two scales. There is one standard. We cannot accept justice in one place and oppression in another."

-- Al Wafd, Cairo

"The role Japan has to play in the postwar reconstruction period is far from small. The Japanese government should take an active role from the early stages of planning, for example, in establishing a Gulf restoration fund, rather than merely throwing money into a plan already reached at the stage of its implementation. . . . Since the outbreak of (hostilities) in August, 1990, the Bush Administration demonstrated remarkable leadership. . . . However, the Gulf War proved that the United States cannot stand as a 'policeman of the world' by itself because of its problem of financing military actions. . . ."

--Asahi, Tokyo

"To prevent the emergence of military power like Iraq in the region, arms control is necessary. Arms trade from the developed countries to the region should be strictly regulated and the prolification of nuclear and chemical weapons and missiles should be prevented. Also for longstanding stability in the Middle East, the Palestinian dispute must be settled swiftly. . . . Japan, which takes 'peace' for granted, learned an invaluable lesson from the Gulf War. The international community has no alternative to deal with a burglar destroying international order other than to take resolute and determined action. . . . The war proved to us that we can not attain 'peace' with the pacifism that . . . the Socialist Party advocates. Some journalists and critics condemned the government for not making diplomatic efforts to seek a peaceful solution. However, their criticism is misplaced in dealing with a burglar like Saddam Hussein. . . . What did Japan do to bring peace back to the Gulf? It sent money, but no personnel. . . . While the United States and the allies were fighting in sweat and blood, Japan didn't get its hands dirty. . . . Japan has to re-examine its basic foreign policy."

--Yomiuri, Tokyo

"The Gulf War is ending in a resounding victory for the coalition forces. For all his defiant rhetoric, Saddam Hussein has been humiliated militarily, and it follows logically that he should now also be overthrown politically.

". . . The personal victor was President Bush. Courageously, he called Saddam's bluff and committed his own and other nations to a hideously expensive war. It was a gamble, because there was always the danger of another Vietnam. . . . Barring some unforeseen circumstance, Bush's reelection seems assured.

"Soon, the generals will roll up their maps and the politicians will begin the process of implementing the U.N. resolution which calls for the establishment of peace and stability in the region. There is no desire to put Saddam on trial. This would invite martyrdom and stymie postwar reconstruction initiatives."

--The Star, Johannesburg

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