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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 13:02 GMT
Press sceptical about Iraq "gamble"
US soldiers patrolling in Baghdad
The US currently has 132,000 troops stationed in Iraq

Arabic news papers are unconvinced by President Bush's new Iraq strategy, with several arguing that it is doomed to fail.

One paper says boosting US troop numbers in Iraq merely perpetuates the main cause of the growing cycle of violence - the presence of foreign troops.

Others are sceptical about the ability of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to disarm hard-line Shia militias accused of persecuting Sunnis.

EDITORIAL IN UK-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Bush's new strategy in Iraq represents a huge gamble, as it is more likely to fail than succeed... Maliki's government may well be the first victim of the new strategy, since how will this sectarian government be able to remove its main supporter, the group of [radical Shia cleric Moqtada] Sadr and its militia?

EDITORIAL IN SYRIA'S TISHRIN

The chances of the new "Bush strategy" in Iraq failing outnumber the chances of success... Bush's strategy will be an additional disaster.

SHARL KAMILAH IN SYRIA'S TISHRIN

This is a major strategic mistake which will exacerbate the consequences of the decision to go to war.

KAMIL ARRAB IN UK-BASED AL-ARAB AL-ALAMIYAH

The new 'way forward in Iraq'... will mean nothing but carrying the occupation forward.

USAMAH AL-JAMMAL IN EGYPT'S AL-AKHBAR

None of those who judge matters in a logical way will be convinced by the justifications made by US President George Bush for raising troop levels in Iraq. The fact is that the continued presence of occupation troops in Iraq is the reason for the escalating cycle of violence. Will the Bush Administration ever learn this lesson?

MAMDUH ABU-DALHUM IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

Bush should pave the way for this strategy through some important steps... Most significant of these would be to denounce Maliki's statements and rein in his policies... The key step without which the strategy will not succeed is accommodating the other side of the demographic equation, ie the Sunni camp, not only in Iraq, but in the entire region.

EDITORIAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

Contrary to all expectations following the Baker-Hamilton report, US President George Bush has decided to choose absolute force to achieve his objectives. This comes at a time when the majority of the American public is asking to withdraw the US forces from the country or to start withdrawing them according to a detailed plan.

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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