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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. "The American 'dream palace'"
Columnist Jeffrey Simpson commented in the leading
Globe and Mail (3/4): "...The 'dream palace' will be
one in which the Americans are led by their political
and military leaders through unfamiliar cultural
territory, using largely inappropriate means toward
long-term engagements for which Americans are not
prepared, financially or psychologically. An
administration with revolutionary objectives is running
U.S. policy. The realists have been
banished or marginalized, considered wimps too inclined
to compromise. The ideologues believe they are the
terrorists' nightmare, but, instead, they
are the terrorists' dream, because they have
overreacted. By pursuing 'regime change,' starting with
a U.S. general running Iraq for two years or
more, the U.S. will turn even more people against them
and provide the best recruiting ground yet for militant
fundamentalism. The shock sought by the Americans,
therefore, will more likely be to
themselves. Unless, of course, the U.S. does an
Afghanistan, and turns Iraq, once conquered, from last
year's headlines to today's back pages. In which
case, Iraq, an artificial country, will fall apart in

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2. "The real reasons for deposing Saddam"
Columnist Paul Stanway wrote in the conservative
tabloid Edmonton Sun (3/1): "...Promoting democracy in
the Middle East. In a nutshell, that's what the
conflict with Iraq is all about. Yes, it's an argument
over weapons of mass destruction and the crumbling
authority of the United Nations, but in the long run it
is, as Bush so eloquently explained, about promoting
the spread of democratic values to create a more stable
and peaceful world. One in which despots like Saddam
Hussein are not able to seize the wealth of a nation
and use it to fund aggressive wars against their
neighbours - which in his case have already taken the
lives of over a million people."

3. "War of ideas"
Under the sub-heading, "U.S. values of liberty,
democracy and free institutions could work with Islam,"
the right-of-center Calgary Herald (3/1) commented:
"...Those who saw in the rubble the just, if
regrettable, fruits of U.S. foreign policy, required
Americans to don sackcloth and ashes to atone for the
poverty and hopelessness in the tyrannies of the Middle
East. They prescribed understanding, conciliation,
repentance and ultimately, appeasement. Retaliation,
they supposed, would harden attitudes and further
compound those ineffable root causes. Such thinking was
patently absurd. Certainly, poverty can be the petri-
dish of resentment, but it was not the poor who
attacked America. It was the sons of the affluent. And
the more one understands what inspired al-Qaeda and its
Taliban hosts, the less one is inclined to conciliate:
How does one placate somebody who wants nothing of you
but your life?... The U.S. failure to depose Saddam
Hussein in the Gulf War was taken in the Arab world as
weakness, not restraint. Now, Saddam's continued
survival, the symbolism of an Arab dictator defying the
Great Satan, sustains the terrorist hope of ultimate
victory. Saddam with nuclear weapons would much
encourage it. The reverse is also true: His removal
will cause alarm and despondency among the militants.
Saddam, therefore, must go."


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