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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 12:19 GMT
Press savages Bush's Iraq plan
President Bush meets troops at Fort Benning
The plan will see 20,000 more US troops deployed to Iraq

President Bush's new strategy in Iraq is given a clear thumbs down by many commentators in the international press.

Many believe sending in more US troops will only fuel the violence, with several comparing the situation to the escalation of the Vietnam War.

Other papers describe the president's latest plan as "too little, too late".

EDITORIAL IN EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYAH

"President Bush chose to continue on the bloody path he has taken since the invasion of Iraq and decided to add more forces in search of a victory. Precedents show that this will not happen on Iraqi soil, just as it did not happen in Vietnam."

NAZIH AL-QASUS IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

"Even if US President Bush announced 100 strategies regarding Iraq and even if he sent 100,000 soldiers in addition to the 150,000 soldiers already there, this would change nothing, because the Iraqi people will not accept the occupation and will not accept humiliation, regardless of the size of the sacrifice."

SAHAR BA'ASIRI IN LEBANON'S AL-NAHAR

"Let's admit that nobody expected any rational change in Bush's Iraq strategy. Because of his prejudgments and determination, he has gone so far in committing mistakes that any change was going to look like a retreat and an admission of defeat."

DERYA SAZAK IN TURKEY'S MILLIYET

"The US administration is going through a process similar to what happened in Vietnam. As hard as it tries to get out of Iraq, it is getting stuck in the quagmire. Just as in Vietnam, pulling out of Iraq may take a couple of electoral cycles."

SHMUEL ROSNER IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

"They all hate the Bush plan. All except Bush, and even he does, if one can judge by the look on his face during the speech. In the speech there was no hint of the famous Bush Texan arrogance. His plan was born out of political and operational distress, under pressure and with a lack of alternatives."

EDITORIAL IN NETHERLANDS' RSC HANDELSBLAD

"Sending in five brigades amounts to no more than combating the symptoms, if it remains at such a gesture. This will not correct a failing policy. Bush is proposing more of the same and avoiding what is most important: a change of course with a view to security and stability."

ANDREY BARANOV IN RUSSIA'S KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA

"What Washington is undertaking now is painfully reminiscent of America's actions in Vietnam as the 1960s turned into the 70s. So what exactly is Bush proposing? Fully untying the hands of American troops, because before, you see, they had to take into account the local authorities. In Vietnam, troop numbers were increased and napalm poured on their opponents, but that only boosted the resistance."

ZHANG JIYE IN CHINA'S RENMIN RIBAO

"The new policy on Iraq is old wine in new bottles."

EDITORIAL in HONG KONG'S SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

"[Bush] has wisely opted not to set a timetable for withdrawal of US troops, instead vowing that stepping back now would be unacceptable. As commander-in-chief, Mr Bush need not listen to his critics. This does not mean, however, that he should ignore advice or, as importantly, the pleas of Iraqis. He has, after all, committed himself to helping Iraqis rebuild their country. He must do his utmost to ensure that that is achieved."

EDITORIAL IN PAKISTAN'S DAWN

"President George Bush seems to give no indication that he intends to learn from the past. If, for argument's sake, it is conceded that the additional American and Iraqi troops will be able to secure the Baghdad suburbs, will that be the end of the story? The only touch of pragmatism in President Bush's speech was his warning to the American people to get prepared for more casualties."

EDITORIAL IN INDIA'S HINDUSTAN TIMES

"George Bush's 'surge' strategy to break the cycle of violence in Iraq could well be a case of too little too late. There is a basic flaw in the surge strategy as well. The number of troops that the US is committing may simply not be enough... India's experience has shown that there is no hi-tech way to counter insurgency. Boots must be there on the ground."

EDITORIAL IN JAPAN'S ASAHI SHIMBUN

"US President Bush's speech... reminded us of former President Nixon... Increasing US troop numbers in Iraq is a risky bet. Does the president still intend to close his eyes to this reality? The United States was forced to make a dishonourable withdrawal in the end of the Vietnam War. Will the country not repeat its failure in Iraq as well?"

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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