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THE US, the World and Iraq

The Bush Administration is pushing the Iraq issue hard. Bush invited congressional leaders to the White House and made this clear. As for the UN, he said we must put some calcium in its backbone, meaning back the US unconditionally. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice spoke at New York's Manhattan Institute. The speech must have been reviewed many people, and she delivered it beautifully. It was clearly meant to reinforce the speech by President Bush at the UN. However, in all of this the Bush Administration seemed to be out of tune with world opinion. It spoke as though the Arab world did not exist. Condoleezza Rice quoted George Shultz as comparing Saddam Hussein with a rattlesnake in one's backyard. You must kill it before it strikes, It is a simple as that.

Arabs are complaining about US lack of serious interest in the Arab world. In their post-Sept. 11 coverage, editors and opinion writers have not adequately grasped the Arab world's complexities, according to a panel of Arab-American journalists at the 56th Annual Convention of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. The result sometimes is a caricature of Islamic culture, comprised of "oil barons or terrorists," said John Zakarian, editorial page editor of the Hartford Courant. Moreover, several panelists said the news media are not fulfilling their editorial responsibility to raise important questions and bring focus to issues surrounding the U.S. war on terrorism. Coverage also lacks crucial background information on Arab culture and history (The Tennessean, 9/ 22/02).

Ronald Hilton - 10/2/02