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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Review of the Arab press

AMMAN, Jordan, July 25 (UPI) -- Arab press roundup for July 25:

Arab newspapers continued to analyze and comment Tuesday on the Lebanon-Israel war and diplomatic efforts to secure a cease-fire. Lebanon's an-Nahar commented that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to Lebanon at the start of her Middle East visit Monday without specific proposals to end the fighting and without intention for a cease-fire. The anti-Syrian daily said that finding a solution will be the most difficult because of the intertwining elements involved in the conflict, adding that America has interests and policies that will determine the face of such a solution. It argued that Washington insists it cannot deal with Iran because of the latter's nuclear program and its influence in Iraq and with the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah organization, adding the United States also cannot exert more pressure on Syria "without extracting its Hezbollah card." At the same time, it analyzed, America does not accept weapons, whether legitimate or illegitimate, that threaten Israel's security. The mass-circulation daily's commentary said that for the American administration, Lebanon is central to its "new Middle East despite American defeats, especially in Iraq, and despite the Arab view on this plan." It insisted that after the success of the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, the Bush administration sees an interest in "protecting this fetus," adding that Washington is also seeking to protect the interests of its Arab allies through its position on the war.

Syria's al-Thawra said the U.S. administration continues to make mistakes in the region as it rejects an Israeli halt to its "aggression on Lebanon," complaining that not only is Washington biased for Israel, but is being more Israeli than the Israelis. The official daily accused the United States of trying to make up for its failed plan in Iraq by trying to exploit the war on Lebanon, warning that this "carries the seeds of another American predicament due to the catastrophic repercussions on the region and the world." It said as Secretary Rice visits the region to "incite Israel to continue its aggression," the visit is aimed at assessing the situation according to American considerations and drawing up a joint U.S.-Israeli plan for a new Middle East. It warned that when the introduction of a new Middle East is based on hatred, destruction and aggression, the distance Washington is going to go to achieve its goals are even more dangerous. It insisted the public American encouragement for the war will coincide with the American idea of turning the region into another form, "whose end results will be another quagmire of death and destruction."

The Jordan Times blasted U.S. policy in the Middle East and Rice's visit to the region as an "insult, having increased Arab frustration and fuelled extremism." It commented U.S. policy in the Lebanon crisis, like others before it in the region, is providing more fertile ground for al-Qaida "than the most totalitarian regimes in this region ever managed to." The country's only English-language daily added in its editorial that no Syrian, Iranian or any other alleged support could have "ever provided Hezbollah with the huge, enthusiastic, unconditional and growing support that the American stand vis-à-vis the current conflict did." The paper, partially owned by the government, complained that despite the handshakes, rhetoric and propaganda, all Arabs see is that America is politically, economically and militarily supporting "a nuclear power that is yet again making a mockery of international legitimacy by using excessive force, invading lands, targeting civilians and exercising collective punishment."

Qatar's al-Watan commented that Western diplomacy, led by the United States, should focus on putting out the fire, not fueling it as Washington is doing by provoking Arab sentiments and more hatred towards U.S. policy. The pro-government daily said the aggression on Lebanon was escalating because of claims that "Israel has the right to defend itself, despite the Israeli occupation forces' continued violations and incursions." It urged Western diplomacy, especially the United States, to take into consideration for a moment the hopes of the Lebanese people, saying that Rice should "stop looking at this great massacre from the Israeli view, which is not concerned with peace, human rights and international laws." The commentary said it was time for Washington to look at the crisis in Lebanon from the view of justice, peace and stability, "from an angle it has neglected in the past years, which led to the expansion of the resistance." The essence of the problem, it said, is the occupation, its repercussions and the American favoritism for Israel and its policies that "serve the Zionist scheme in the region at the expense of Arab rights." So long as Washington continues to see Israel's aggression as self-defense and the Lebanese and Palestinian self-defense as terrorism, so long as it rejects a cease-fire, there can be no peace or stability in the region, it stressed.

The United Arab Emirates' al-Khaleej commented the only way out for Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq is by stopping the "American law of the jungle that controls everything and protects Zionist terrorism and its war criminals." The pro-government daily insisted in its editorial that real international legitimacy and its justice can stop state outlaws that commit massacres. "This is the entrance for balance, halting double standards and stopping support for the killer and condemning the victim, which is what usually happens when it comes to the Arabs, their causes and the continuous aggression against them," it opined. The mass-circulation daily stressed that those seeking the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls on Lebanese militias to disarm, should first seek the implementation of all previous resolutions regarding Palestine and Lebanon for people to believe there is an international concern for international legitimacy. And if there are proposals to dispatch international or NATO forces in southern Lebanon, it added, the world should remember there have been international forces in the area since 1978, "but they were false witness to the Zionist invasions of Lebanon and daily incursions on its airspace." Besides, it went on to say, these forces should be deployed in "northern Palestine because Israel is the aggressor, killer, occupier." It asked why there are no international peacekeepers in the West Bank and Gaza to protect the Palestinian people from the Israeli assaults on them, saying "first stop the law of the jungle, then the entire world will live in peace and harmony."
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