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4/16/03 - NEWSPAPERS HAIL IRAQ LIBERATION - 2003-04-16


As the Iraqi people celebrate the end of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime, newspapers around the world are expressing support for a free and democratic Iraq.

The managing editor of Italy's La Repubblica wrote: "A tyrant was pulled down along with his statues. . .and this is a beautiful day for the Iraqi people. . .a beautiful day for democracy." Russian foreign affairs writer Maksim Yusin made this comment in Izvestiya: "Today [President George W.] Bush and [Prime Minister Tony] Blair have every right to rejoice. They have won. They have kept their word. They have overthrown the 'bloody regime.' "

Ertugrul Ozkok, editor-in-chief of the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, wrote: "the future of the Iraqi people is now brighter than ever before. In the next five to ten years, we are going to see the proper use of oil money -- that is, for the welfare of the people as opposed to building kitsch palaces for dictators producing chemical weapons." The Jerusalem Post called Iraq's liberation "a day of hope not only for Arabs but for Israelis." And Beirut’s An-Nahar said Saddam Hussein’s defeat “is a service to freedom, democracy, and humanitarianism in our Arab world.”

Akeem Soboyede, writing for the Nigerian newspaper Punch, observed: "A democratic Iraq that emerges from the ashes of Saddam's despotic regime would serve as a shining example for repressed citizens in other countries in the region -- the so-called 'Arab Street' -- who have been sold on the lie that only the present repressive regimes can protect their 'way of life.'"

Journalists and readers who were skeptical about the need to remove Saddam Hussein are now hearing the reasons -- in horrifying detail -- from the Iraqi people. As President Bush pointed out, the nightmare of Saddam Hussein is finally over:

"Soon, the good and gifted people of Iraq will be free to choose their leaders who respect their rights and reflect their character. In all that is to come, they will have the goodwill of the entire world. And they will have the friendship of the people of the United States."

That is a story worth writing about.

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