From the February 2004 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 51, No. 2)


The Capture of Saddam Hussein

Comment and analysis from Sydney, Taipei, Warsaw, Bucharest, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, London, Nairobi, Zurich, Jakarta, Belgrade, Beirut, Amman, Istanbul, Bogotá, and Sofia

Sofia Dnevnik (conservative), Dec. 15: Saddam Hussein’s capture will surely be billed as a turning point in the allied presence in Iraq....It might not prove as decisive as it seems, the international community lacks a uniform vision about the future of the country.

Bogotá El Tiempo (centrist), Dec. 15: The significant political and moral victory for the United States and an extraordinary opportunity for President Bush to understand that the time has come to forge an authentic international coalition for the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq.

Amman Al-Arab al-Youm (independent), Dec. 15: Among Jordanian university students there is clearly bitterness toward the Arab leadership; some wonder why the Americans focused so much on catching [Hussein]....It must certainly be because he is the only Arab leader who didn’t sell himself to the Americans and give up on Palestine.
—Asad al-Azouni

Istanbul Tercüman (conservative), Dec. 15: A page was turned not only for Iraq but also for the Middle East and even world history....The dictator who lived in palaces in Baghdad...has been captured like a scared rabbit digging the soil in Tikrit.
—Cengiz Candar

Beirut An-Nahar (independent), Dec. 15: An imprisoned Saddam...will intimidate no one except those...leaders who might have cooperated with his despicable policies. The full drama, however, might not unfold, as Saddam’s captors may have bought his eternal silence —the epitome of all humiliations.
—Ghassan Tueini

London Al-Sharq al-Awsat (Saudi-owned), Dec. 15: A leader surrendered without fighting, the Arab street is stunned, and the Arab media appear to be in a state of shock.
—Tareq al-Hamed

Belgrade Politika (pro-government), Dec 15: The Iraqi dictator could have committed suicide....He did not, because he either lacks courage or he plans to say things that Washington will not like to hear at a possible public trial.
—Miroslav Lazanski

Jakarta Media Indonesia (independent), Dec. 14: The United States does not have the right to try Saddam....Let the [Iraqi] people decide his fate.

Zurich Neue Zürcher Zeitung (conservative), Dec. 14: If [Hussein] receives the death penalty, it would be better if it were the Iraqis.

Nairobi Daily Nation (independent), Dec. 15: A force whose members are ready to perish in desperate suicide adventures is not one that can be smothered by the mere capture of its leader.

London The Daily Telegraph (conservative), Dec. 15: The American-led mission to rebuild a democratic Iraq has taken a giant step forward....As the victims of [Hussein’s]...misrule, [Iraqis] have earned the right to determine his fate.

Tel Aviv Yediot Aharonot (centrist), Dec. 15: Saddam Hussein’s capture is not likely to herald the end of the war in Iraq but only the beginning of a different war.

Barcelona La Vanguardia (centrist), Dec. 15: Without weapons of mass destruction to...justify the invasion...nothing could be more convenient to George W. Bush’s interests than those images of Sad-dam....Before becoming one of the black beasts in Washington, Hussein had been a useful despot to the interests of the United States.

Bucharest Evenimentul Zilei (independent, mass-circulation), Dec. 15: Pathetic images....It is the distance from absolute power to decay....It is a profound lesson....Only democracy allows a noble retirement.

Warsaw Rzeczpospolita (centrist), Dec. 15: [Hussein’s] capture has a great psychological impact. It proves the determination and efficacy of the Americans. Among their adversaries in Iraq, a feeling of hopelessness should emerge.
—Maciej Lukasiewicz

Taipei United Evening News/ Lianhe Wanbao (independent, pro-unification), Dec. 15: Where are the weapons of mass destruction? If Saddam does not reveal their location, the United States may exchange better trial results for the information.

Sydney The Sydney Morning Herald (centrist), Dec. 16: The of enormous symbolic importance....It does not solve the problems of postwar Iraq. It is, however, powerfully liberating to the people of Iraq.

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