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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 10:52 GMT
Press scathing at Iraq anniversary
Arabic press

The third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq earns scornful press comment across the Middle East, with many papers angry at what they see as the gap between President Bush's rhetoric and the Iraqi reality.

There is outrage at the conditions on the ground, with one paper asking "is the daily discovery of bodies the freedom President Bush says Iraqis are living in?"

There is also widespread disbelief at President Bush's continued assertion that the ousting of Saddam Hussein has made the world a safer place.

ALI AL-TU'AIMAT IN QATAR'S AL-WATAN

Bush says, as if he is speaking to aliens, that the US and the world are now safer - but did not the US war on Iraq and its occupation increase the levels of violence and terrorism in the world and especially in Iraq? Is the daily discovery of bodies in Iraqi streets the freedom Bush says Iraqis are living in? Is the killing and death that have grown until they have become a beast the same freedom that Iraqis are living in? How can the two pictures, killing and cruelty, freedom and security, be confused?

UMAR JAFTALI IN SYRIA'S TISHRIN

Iraq, three years after the war, is nearing the spectre of civil war and US plans have made conditions for Iraqis more difficult than at any time before the invasion. Americans have begun to uncover the game played by their administration and its involvement in the Iraqi quagmire... Despite all this, President Bush still thinks that he did the right thing... Tragedy has struck and its repercussions confirm the opposite of what Bush and his administration are saying.

YASIR AL-ZA'TARAH IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

Even if Mr Bush uses all the demons, devils and dictionaries he will not be able to convince a sane person in this world, let alone his own citizens, that the war in Iraq was justified or that it achieved its stated goals.

MUHAMMAD NAJI IMARAH IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

The stated aims of the war in Iraq disappeared after the first hours of the occupation and barbaric invasion. It is no longer a secret that the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the Baath regime, the destruction of the Iraqi state, the shattering of its institutions and the ending of the Iraqi army's existence were only for Iraqi oil and the investments of giant US corporations.

UAE'S AL-KHALIJ

Bush still thinks that the decision to go to war was correct despite the fact that its justifications have fallen apart after the fabrications about weapons of mass destruction became apparent... He is also still repeating that the US has become safer without Saddam Hussein and that more than 25 million Iraqis were not living in freedom, as if the world is stupid and short-sighted enough to believe that.

PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

The war against Iraq has cost the US more than 3,000 dead soldiers and 18,000 wounded... The figures are close to those of 11 September with the slight difference that the war in Iraq is still going on... Despite this, President Bush, without any shame, says that the decision to wage war was the right one. President Bush should be taken to court as a war criminal and as the one responsible for the destruction of this country.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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