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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 15:38 GMT
Iraqi press attacks UK, US leaders
Iraqi school girls burn a US flag during an anti-US protest in Baghdad
Iraqis show defiance against American pressure
The day after UN inspectors produced their report criticising Baghdad's lack of openness over weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi newspapers duck the issue, attacking American and British leaders instead.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his UK counterpart, Geoffrey Hoon, are among those singled out by one daily, while UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is condemned in another.

They persist in their lies and deception in order to perpetrate the crime of aggression

Al-Iraq

An editorial in Al-Iraq vilifies "Zionists Rumsfeld, [US Secretary of State] Colin Powell and [US National Security advisor] Condoleezza Rice" whose "mentalities stupidly and arrogantly continue to make statements they have learned off by heart".

"They keep saying that there will be war against Iraq, the latter is in breach of disarmament resolutions, and that they have evidence to prove this. The point is that they persist in their lies and deception in order to perpetrate the crime of aggression."

The daily then rounds on who it describes as "the cursed British Defence Secretary Hoon, who is turning a deaf ear to the opposition of his people to aggression".

'Evil ones'

"With wishful thinking, he shamefully declares: finding a missile or a document is enough for us to launch an aggression on Iraq."

"They are all on the same wavelength," the editorial concludes: "Zionists, anti-Arabs and anti-Islam. The evil ones are targeting Iraq in order to silence any voice opposing their reckless, evil and destructive policies."

An editorial in the government daily Al-Thawrah targets Tony Blair, whom it describes as "the losing gambler", in a piece over the weapons dossier the UK prime minister presented to parliament last year.

Blair is a liar, a trickster; he has placed himself between the hammer of the British public and the anvil of his subservience to the American administration

Al-Thawrah

"We all remember UK Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking about 'a treasure of information' he claimed he had on WMD in Iraq, but so far, he has failed to reveal the secret of this alleged 'treasure'.

Now that the weapons inspectors had "found nothing corroborating the American lies" after two months of searching, "we ask: has Blair finished with his lies and deception?"

Al-Thawrah concludes: "The answer is no, not at all; he is still engaged in trickery, tergiversation and lies, not only to try to find excuses for an aggression on Iraq, and to implicate Britain in it, but also to protect himself from the impact of the stifling impasse in which he has placed his government and himself."

"Blair is a liar, a trickster; he has placed himself between the hammer of the British public and the anvil of his subservience to the American administration. He does not know how to extricate himself from this deadlock. He is behaving like a losing gambler who persists on gambling and loses more."

Vietnam defeat

Washington faces losses on the scale of Vietnam, warns Nuri Najm Marsumi, writing in Al-Thawrah.

The Americans should know that losses in Iraq will not be less than those suffered in Vietnam

Al-Thawrah commentator

In a commentary entitled "Lest America deludes itself", he writes that: "America had to accept defeat in Vietnam due to the firmness of the Vietnamese and rejection of the war by the American public, especially after it discovered the magnitude of American losses."

"The Americans should know that losses in Iraq will not be less than those suffered in Vietnam. The Iraqi, Arab and regional media should clearly and adequately strive to remove the illusion from the minds of warmongers in the White House and the Pentagon that war in Iraq is going to be a promenade."

Elsewhere in the region, Syria's government-owned Al-Thawrah spoke of the "expected US dirty war against Iraq".

"It is a dirty war not because of the nature of its goals or that of the allied forces but for its colonial reasons."

There is no indication of preparing for war, a surprising and worrying matter

Al-Qabas - Kuwait

Kuwait's independent Al-Qabas expresses concern that the country is apparently oblivious to the threat of war.

"Anyone who walks in the city either by night or day feels Kuwait is far from its neighbour Iraq. There is no indication of preparing for war, a surprising and worrying matter."

"It does not make sense that we should remain like this as if we are not linked to what is taking place on our land."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Ian Pannell
"The US military will be ready for war from mid to late February"
  Tariq Aziz, Iraq Deputy Prime Minister
"We are taking the threats seriously"
  Colin Powell, US Secretary of State
"Iraq's refusal to disarm ... still threatens international peace"
  Yahya Mahmassani, Arab League representative
"This is a time to give peace a chance"

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See also:

28 Jan 03 | Americas
27 Jan 03 | Middle East
27 Jan 03 | Americas
28 Jan 03 | Middle East
27 Jan 03 | Middle East
19 Nov 02 | Middle East
27 Jan 03 | Middle East
27 Jan 03 | Middle East
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