Japanese editorial excerpts

Japanese editorial excerpts

TOKYO, July 24 Kyodo

Selected editorial excerpts from the Japanese press:

WAS MOSUL RAID A TURNING POINT? (The Daily Yomiuri as translated from the Yomiuri Shimbun)

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s sons Udai and Qusai died Tuesday in a fierce gunfight with U.S. forces.

But the whereabouts of the former president are unknown. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to immediately predict the impact of the sons’ deaths on Iraq’s future.

Nevertheless, given the extent of the power exerted by the two men, it is doubtless that their deaths will be significant in the postwar governance of Iraq. Their passing will certainly help U.S. and British troops restore law and order, the lack of which has hindered Iraq’s reconstruction process.

Some experts also pointed out that the death of Saddam’s sons is significant in that Iraqi people have finally been freed from a psychological burden. What they meant by this is that because of the killing of the two despots, who were believed to be in line to take over power from Saddam, Iraqi people will finally become able to freely say what they want to say.

It is precisely because of this that the White House released a statement welcoming the fact that the two can no longer exert a baneful influence over the Iraqi people.

However, overoptimism about the situation in Iraq is unwarranted.

Since major combat operations were declared over, 40 U.S. service members have lost their lives, while the total toll since the war began has surpassed that of the Persian Gulf War.

Taking into account this fact alone, the situation in Iraq cannot be considered positive for the United States, which is playing a pivotal role in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Under the circumstances, we welcome the fact that Washington now seems ready to review the U.N. Security Council resolution that approved the U.S. and British initiative in governing war-struck Iraq.

The Indian government, which had rejected a U.S. request to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq, said it would reconsider the dispatch if a clear request was issued by the United Nations. Russia also expressed a willingness to consider sending troops to Iraq.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed the establishment of a U.N. team that would back the Iraqi Governing Council, which was launched earlier this month.

These moves indicates an increased willingness in the international community to support Iraq.

The Iraqi people’s frustration over the sporadic supply of power and water is amplifying their hostility toward the U.S. and British occupiers. It is still uncertain whether the death of Saddam’s sons will lead to the restoration of law and order in Iraq.

(July 24)

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