AFP. 12 April 2003. Middle East media charge US with inciting Iraqi chaos.
BEIRUT -- Arab media slammed the United States Saturday for chaos in Iraq, charging Washington has encouraged vengence attacks and looting to ensure a compliant goverment is installed in Baghdad.
In Beirut, the daily Al-Safir, close to leaders in Syria, called the crisis "a deliberate plan" by US commanders "who let chaos reign to justify sending additional troops and appear with their agents as the sole solution in the eyes of the population.
"The main danger is that of looting and settling of scores taking on a religious and clannish tone and leading to civil war," the newspaper warned.
"They (the United States) are destroying Iraq to install a government chosen by hawks in Washington," headlined Al-Mostaqbal, owned by Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
"It appears this situation serves the Americans' purposes, because Iraqis will then accept any kind of authority, in particular one tied to the US administration, and the hawks will attain their goals," Al-Mostaqbal said.
In Syria, the official press accused Washington of fueling insecurity by destroying the institutions in Baghdad to show Iraqis cannot rule themselves.
The "occupiers have worked and are working with all their might to dismantle the structures and companies of the state and force Iraq into the unknown," the Tishrin daily wrote.
The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan claimed: "What is taking place in Iraqi cities has never been seen in medieval ages or even deep in history when the law of the jungle was predominant."
Al-Riyadh charged looting and destruction were being encouraged by the forces that invaded Iraq.
"Subjecting the country's resources to looting, with the encouragement of the invading forces, aims at keeping the Iraqi people engaged in acts of revenge and tribal and sectarian wars, so the US-British saviours can convince the Iraqi people they are needed," the semi-official Saudi paper said.
In Damascus, Ath-Thawra accused Washington, "intoxicated by its momentary victory, of encouraging the insecurity and the fires ravaging Iraqi institutions to show the world the Iraqi people are incapable of assuming their responsibilities."
Al-Arab Al-Yawm said: "We see now clearly that the invading armies are protecting oil wells and installations while leaving the internal Iraqi scene in an unprecedented state of chaos."