With few exceptions, English-speaking newspapers around the world carried editorials criticizing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
One of the sharpest editorials appeared in Egypt’s Al-Ahram Weekly, which said, “Invading Iraq is immoral. It is also a gross political miscalculation.”
The editorial said, “US military may easily topple the Iraqi regime but few Arabs will be grateful and no one is buying Washington’s cynical claims that it is ‘liberating’ the Iraqi population.”
“The US is invading Iraq to control the region’s vast oil reserves,” the Egyptian paper continued. “The invasion is a disaster for the entire Middle East.”
Pakistan’s Frontier Post scoffed at the Bush administration’s insistence that Iraq follow the Geneva Convention’s guidelines on prisoners of war, pointing out that the United States and Britain are “in patent violation of international law.”
The editorial called the invasion “wholly unjustified and irrational adventurism.”
Another Pakistani paper, The Nation, said it was “necessary for governments in Muslim countries to stand by the Iraqi people.”
“The people of Pakistan expect their government will not only oppose war against Iraq at all forums available to it but will also persuade other Muslims countries to do so,” said the editorial, which noted with regret that Jordan had expelled Iraqi diplomats.
Dawn, Pakistan’s largest English-speaking newspaper, urged antiwar protestors to express their resentment “in a peaceful and non-violent manner.”
“Calls have been made by some religious leaders for launching a jihad against American interests,” the editorial said. “However, it needs to be remembered that most past attacks inside the country on western interests have caused more harm to innocent Pakistanis than to anybody else.”
The Jordan Times, which has opposed a U.S.-led invasion, called on Jordanians to exhibit “moderation and hard work” rather than “violence or vandalism in the streets.”
“Such violent outbursts play into the hands of those who would like to see the Middle East explode in a ball of fire,” said the editorial.
In the world’s most populous Muslim nation, the Jakarta Post urged all Indonesians to oppose the war “in a peaceful manner.”
“Indonesia can count its blessings that we are united in opposing the war in Iraq,” said the editorial. “Muslims in Indonesia have joined hands with people of other faiths in denouncing the U.S. military aggression in Iraq.”
“Inevitably, many Muslims in Indonesia feel a strong bond with their brothers and sisters in Iraq, but then, so do people of other faiths. There is a sizable minority of Iraqi Christians who are equally suffering during the current war,” the Post said.
Some editorials focused on the war’s end.
The Toronto Star said Americans were mistaken to expect that they would be “hailed as liberators.”
The Canadian paper urged the United States and Britain to ask the Arab League to broker an Iraqi surrender. “If the loyal, well-equipped Republican Guard goes down fighting, the carnage could be appalling,” read the editorial. “Bush must do what he can to broker a less bloody end to this war.”
Australia’s Canberra Times said, “So far the coalition troops are not being hailed as liberators, nor have most Iraqi concentrations, if any, simply dropped their arms and fled, or surrendered.”
“By itself, at this stage, this proves little one way or another, other than to emphasise that winning the peace will be far more difficult than winning the war,” said the editorial.
The Philippine Star said, “Even before the war in Iraq started, the international community was aware that whatever the outcome of conflict, it would not mean the end of the terrorist threat.”
Both London’s Observer and Singapore’s The Straits Times criticized conservative supporters of the Bush administration, who marked the war with a breakfast on Friday where they said the administration’s next targets were “radical reform” of the United Nations, regime change in Iran and Syria, and “containment” of France and Germany.
Both editorials supported U.N. leadership in Iraq.
Noting that a new U.S. operation is under way in Afghanistan, the Times of India said, “The world could not prevent this war [in Iraq]. The best it can hope for now is that another mess does not follow the triumph of the US military.”
Even the Jerusalem Post criticized the United States: “The attempt to hide Israeli support for this war is so pervasive that the list of 44 ‘coalition members’ issued by the White House on March 20 does not include Israel. This is striking given that support for the United States from both the government and the public may be higher here than anywhere else in the world.”
The Post said, “The lengths gone to avoid even a passive Israel role are counterproductive, because they concede the notion that Israel has no legitimate interests, and play along with the Arab denial of Israel’s place in the region.”