Monitor; All the News of the World: Crisis in Iraq

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Saddam must be stopped

the Jerusalem Post

Israel

UNTIL NOW, the Clinton administration has seen support for the Iraqi opposition as contradicting its effort to maintain the UN inspections regime. The current crisis, whether or not it results in the final demise of UN inspections, is an opportunity to change course. Former US president George Bush rightly recognised Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as the first major challenge to the post-Cold War world order. Clinton now has the opportunity to show that the world has learned from the wars of this century that democracies must be willing to decisively confront aggressive dictatorships, before they become even more dangerous.

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Hong Kong Standard

China

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S determination to prove himself is costing his people dear. His first politically tactless move nearly 10 years ago - his invasion of Kuwait - awakened even his Arab neighbours to possible dangers. So it was easy to build a worldwide consensus against him. But now the world is tiring of Washington flexing its military muscles, as well as of Saddam's antics. The more the Iraqi leader thumbs his nose at Washington and the UN itself, the more his stock rises among strongly nationalistic Arabs who feel they have been grievously wronged by the West. But at what cost is this image building? The Iraqi people are suffering because of sanctions. Surely their welfare counts for something?

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Sydney morning herald

Australia

THE GREATEST need is as it always has been, to see Saddam and all he stands for removed. That can never be fully achieved by external force, at least not with safety. It depends on forces within Iraq to ensure that, when Saddam goes, his departure is not followed by chaos but a transition, as orderly as can be hoped for in such circumstances, to a more internationally responsible government. The Australian Government is right to support President Clinton's decision to move against the Iraqi regime as the only appropriate response to Saddam's defiance of the UN. But the search for a wider solution, beyond the use of military force, must continue, for the sake of the Iraqi people, their neighbours, and world peace.

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The Economist

UK

THE DANGERS of letting Hussein run amok go far wider than the Gulf. Iraq's defiance will encourage other budding Saddams and badly undermine confidence in all the nuclear, chemical and biological arms control treaties that Iraq has broken, and that were devised to help keep some order in a dangerous world. The Security Council is one of the few mechanisms for tackling such threats to world peace, and it should do so. But if it will not, or cannot, respond to Iraqi belligerence, its divisions should not stop others - in this case America with as broad support as possible - from doing so. The worst outcome of all would be to let Iraq thumb its nose at the world and get away with it.

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La Repubblica

Italy

PUNCTUAL AND predictable Saddam Hussein has war prospects in mind again. This time, however, he faces a different Clinton from the one in August. Clinton is now a very strong opponent. He's no longer suspected of trying to downplay the Lewinsky scandal by launching military operations. Instead, he has renewed his impeccable credentials as peacemaker between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Now he intends to settle the bill left by Bush who ordered victorious Gulf troops to end fighting, thus leaving Saddam's ambitions and repressive army intact. Everything indicates that, this time, Saddam will not get away with a compromise at the 11th hour. Faced with Clinton's wrath, Saddam has nothing to protect his people from the consequences of his still more atrocious and hopeless "bluffs".

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