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January 30, 2003

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Writer: Iraq 'Deserves To Be Crushed,' 'Not Worth Defending'

This is the note as to the source for Gabrielle Goldwater's Report article: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic -- Influential Saudi-owned London daily providing independent coverage of Arab andinternational issues; editorials reflect official Saudi views on foreign policy.]
[FBIS Translated Text] If the Iraqi regime went away, it will not be mourned and if attacked tomorrow, it is not worth defending. More than any other regime we have known in the 20th century, Iraq has been the biggest source of unrest in the region.

Perhaps few are those who recall the Iraqi regime's long history of causing tension back in the seventies because of the differences it had with neighbors like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria.

They may also remember theongoing war on its territories against its own minorities whom it keptrelocating from one place to another like cattle whenever it wanted to enforce a demographic change in the country.

Some of us also remember thewar against Iran, the only justification for which was greed to gain more land and oil. Then we recall how Iraq used gas to kill the women, childrenand elderly in the villages of Halabja. Then there was its occupation of
Kuwait and threatening the whole region under flimsy pretexts. Even after itwas defeated, Iraq continued to cling tight to its weapons and used hostile language with all those around.

A history such as this is not worth defending and it is not worth the tearsthat are shed for its sake. As a matter of fact, in the absence of the Iraqiregime the Arab world will be able to breathe and find a glimpse of hopethat the region will see stability. If the Iraqi regime went away, theproblems that have eaten up the region making Arabs the mockery of the rest of the world will come to an end.