With the number of coalition casualties steadily rising, the inability of military forces to prevent attacks on civilians, the delay in providing basic services, and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, support for the war in Iraq is being tested. Given the rush to war, the lack of formal United Nations approval, the opposition of many traditional allies, and the failure to adequately plan for post-conflict occupation, many are skeptical about the future of Iraq. The following is a sample of editorial commentary from around the world.
"The latest bombing shows that hope for a stabilization of Iraq after Saddam's capture was merely wishful thinking. On the contrary: the attacks that were probably perfidiously and perfectly planned by al-Qaeda and which increasingly turn against civilians…are creating an explosive atmosphere of concern and anti-Americanism which make the next normalization or even democratization steps look totally unrealistic= The propagated civil war has almost become a reality. As it looks right now, Washington fooled the world not only with respect to the war, but it is also making a fool of itself when it comes to peace."
– Ruhr Nachrichten, February 10, 2004
"There was never one clear argument for a war in Iraq but, rather, a collection of arguments that, when stacked up, provided plausible reasons for invasion. The overriding issue, however, was fighting terrorism. Now many of those arguments appear completely false, or at least seriously lacking credibility. The absence of weapons of mass destruction speaks for itself."
– Chander Mehra, Kenya Times, February 11, 2004
"The point the U.S. fails to appreciate is that colonialism and imperialism are outdated ideologies and no nation will be ready to tolerate alien rule for even the shortest period of time and regardless of the 'humanitarian' nature of occupation… It will be difficult for the U.S. to undo this perception, as its action against Saddam Hussein was not designed to get rid of a tyrant but to acquire the rich natural resources of the state. It was imperialism with a benevolent face."
– The News, February 12, 2004
"There is no let up in the violent resistance to the U.S.-led occupation forces… It is a horrifying spectacle, illustrating the contradictions and complexities of this post-war occupation… There are welcome signs that France, Germany and other European powers are ready to take up a greater military and political role in Iraq. They should insist that this is done through a new United Nations mandate to endorse a more legitimate transition authority and set out a timetable for a full transfer of sovereignty back to Iraqis. The U.S.-led coalition's efforts to rebuild the Iraqi armed forces, police and public administration would stand a greater chance of succeeding if its members accept such a course of action."
– The Irish Times, February 12, 2004
"The two terrorist attacks in less than 24 hours in Iraq indicate an intensification of Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation… Chaos means above all the failure of the U.S. plan to transform the nation into a Washington protectorate. It also means that al-Qaeda's radicals may continue to nourish the dream of making Iraq a Sunni Islamic republic, like Afghanistan under the Taliban. It is unlikely that such groups have the power to impose their will, but one cannot deny that they are capable of upsetting all other plans."
– Folha de San Paulo, February 12, 2004
"It was hoped that the capture of Saddam Hussein in December would break the backbone of the resistance. It has not… As the British found after the First World War, Iraq is very difficult to govern… Against this must be set American resolve to maintain that integrity, and the patriotism of Iraqis who do not want their country to be carved up into Iranian and Turkish spheres of influence."
– London Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2004
"There were three reasons behind the two successive bombings in Iraq on February 10 and 11. First, the bombings show the U.S. military that Saddam's arrest doesn't mean the end of anti-U.S. attacks. Second, the two bombings were aimed at organizations cooperating with the U.S. Their target is the U.S. occupation authority and they intend to destroy the general process of Iraqi reconstruction. Third, the militants hope to prevent Iraqis from cooperating with the Coalition through the series of attacks… If the U.S. loses its collaborators in Iraq, the Bush administration could conceivably be unable to step out of the Iraqi 'mire' before the election. At the same time, the U.S. military is worried that these attacks are just 'the tip of the iceberg.' The bombings won't cease anytime in the foreseeable future."
– Huang Peizhao, Beijing Times, February 12, 2004
"Now less than one year (after the Iraq war) Bush's case has crumbled completely. David Kay… told the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee that with 85 percent of its work done, his group was not likely to find any such weapons… That mistake has proven to be very costly in more ways than one, not counting the billions the United States blew to destroy Iraq and the billions more it has to spend for its reconstruction… Saddam's defeat has thus not contributed one whit to making the world a safer place. So what was all the carnage about?"
– Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 11, 2004