The Press : Assessing the Winners and Losers in the War

"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

"The Iraqi public should be considered and treated as Saddam Hussein's first victim, not as his accomplice. . . . Iraq faces a catastrophe of hunger and epidemic. The world should help. Saddam Hussein must be gotten rid of through political pressure and sanctions. But standing firm against him should be coupled with pity for his victims in Iraq as well."

--Die Welt , Bonn

"A suspension of the war is only the first step toward a lasting peace and security in the war-ravaged region. One of the primary questions lies in how to turn the temporary cease-fire into a permanent one. . . .

"The second problem that may thrust itself into the scene is how long the allied forces would stay in the gulf. . . . Meanwhile, the chance for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, one of the root causes of the turmoil in the Mideast, appears even remoter as a result of the Gulf War. . . ."

--New China News Agency , Beijing

"The Gulf War has confirmed that only the logic of power can prevail in times of crisis: When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die. As in law so in war, the largest purse finally wins. . . .

"And yet, we should not forget that it's better to have a war for justice than peace in injustice. War is a dreadful thing and an act of violence, but unjust war is a crime against humanity. War can therefore be justified when its intention is to defeat an unjust enemy."

--Korea Daily , Seoul

"The military solution is, of course, a blow against the new political thinking. It will not remain without losses for those who, by choosing this road, quashed all chances for peace.

"A one-polar world with a single superpower leading it appears to many in the West a sweet prospect that is just within reach. . . . As for the Third World, and countries like India, China and the (Soviet Union), this claim to unilateral leadership is downright unacceptable. "One cannot deny that serious complications lie ahead for all of us. When a great power cannot rise to the demands of the new period in international relations, no one can avoid some deep thinking about the future."

--Trud, Moscow

"It's time to understand that by unleashing his second armed conflict in a decade, Hussein has put himself beyond the bounds of good or evil. All moral arguments in favor of talks with the aggressor, who has caused incalculable sufferings to the peoples of Kuwait and Iraq, have lost their validity. In 1945, Soviet soldiers did not stop at the borders of fascist Germany."

--Kuranty, newspaper of the progressive-dominated Moscow City Council

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World