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European Press Review: Another Baghdad Bombing

The editorial pages of Europe’s newspapers on Monday were focused on the latest suicide bombing in Baghdad and the continuing resistance to the American-led occupation in Iraq.

Britain's Independent wrote the bombing of the CIA headquarters in Baghdad illustrated the way in which the Iraq war has distorted the priorities of the war against terrorism. This brand of terrorism, the paper said, did not exist before the invasion of Iraq and despite all the British and U.S. attempts to ascribe such attacks to Baathist remnants and foreign infiltrators, the more straightforward explanation seems likely – that they are carried out by Iraqis motivated by a combination of nationalism, religion and revenge. The audit of the war against terrorism that has been waged so inconsistently by U.S. President George Bush, the paper noted, is a mixture of the effective and the counterproductive. The paper concluded that it is an indictment of U.S. foreign policy that the citizens of America and the world are not significantly safer than they were two years ago.

Italy's Corriere della Sera remarked that the Baghdad attack caught the Bush administration off guard, at a times when it is busy trying to convince Americans that the situation in Iraq is under control. It is also bad timing for U.S. efforts at the United Nations, the paper continued, where Washington is trying to convince the U.N. Security Council to give the mission in Iraq more support.

Chaos prevails in Iraq, said Spain's El Mundo, adding that it is becoming ever clearer that Washington's administrator there, Paul Bremer , is in no position to solve the problems. The U.S. State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA are in disagreement over a common strategy. The Americans planned every little military detail of Saddam Hussein's fall, the paper pointed out, but ever since they've occupied Baghdad, they have been improvising. And, the paper concluded, as long as it isn't clear whether Washington wants to turn Iraq into a protectorate, or plans to give Iraqis their sovereignty, the situation will continue to deteriorate.

La Repubblica from Italy said everything is getting better, and everything is getting worse in the laboratory called Iraq in which Bush's America is sacrificing itself and the lives of many people in order to justify the president's political decision. The more Bush exaggerates his optimism about the situation, the paper said, the harsher the reality shock is bound to be following an attack like Sunday's.

Britain’s conservative Daily Telegraph commented that while Baghdad has become a city of explosions, it is important not to be too pessimistic. The paper pointed out that the allied forces in Iraq do not face a national resistance movement, and adds that a large part of the country is quiet and most incidents are concentrated in just a few focal points. The paper noted there has been some successful reconstruction, and thousands of projects are underway. Every single one of these, the paper said, may not mean much, but together, they undermine the cause of those whose only answer to Iraq's problems are car bombs.