As they watched the leaders of Britain, Spain and Portugal, Arab citizens recalled the past ugly colonialism of these three countries that had occupied several nations on all five continents. The three former colonialists were joined by the United States, beating the drums of war to become a member of a new gang of colonialists.Since Arabs are not an ungrateful people, they will not forget the U.S. favour when it helped to liberate Kuwait from Saddam's invasion in 1990. But that does not mean Arabs will turn their eyes from the occupation and control of another Arab country or from the mere thought of redrawing the region's map in a colonialist way, for their history is full of struggle against colonialists, including the British and others.
Gulf News, United Arab Emirates
The people of Kuwait crowded into shops to hoard essentials on Tuesday, while a commotion is underway in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where people have fled border cities close to Iraq and sought haven in Mecca and Medina. Hotels, tourist hubs and even homes are taking in flocks of people who've sought refuge in the holy cities.
Baghdad has threatened to attack any Arab country that cooperates with U.S. forces, but the major issue troubling Arab leaders is the mounting dissatisfaction of their own nations, which they fear more than anything.
Tehran Times, Iran
It's as though the Middle East has not moved on since the end of the first world war, when Western powers carved up what is now the Middle East to suit their own ends. Then as now, Iraq was a morsel for the biggest power to dispose of at its pleasure. As the region braces itself for war, two images crystallize in the mind. One is of Saddam Hussein -- isolated and, in the identical bunkers among which he moves, long out of touch with reality.
The second image is of an Iraqi mother with her small children in a small house that has had only intermittent power supplies for the 12 years of sanctions, her children robbed of an education.
They are caught in a situation for which she was never given even a chance of bearing responsibility but for which they will pay the ultimate price.
Arab News, Saudi Arabia
The war against Iraq may well be short-lived, and the Anglo-Americans may achieve a military victory quickly. However, the real story will start unfolding after the war. Israel, which in fact will be the real beneficiary of this mad adventure, is itching for it. Whether it enters the war or not, it will consider the chaos of war and its aftermath perfectly suited to its purpose of obtaining a solution to the Palestinian problem on its own terms by finally annexing the Occupied Territories. In the process, the leadership of a resurgent Middle East may pass into the hands of those very elements whom America's war on terror is intended to rein in.
Is the world naive and stupid enough to believe that Iraq, in its current conditions, will attack the U.S. with its 5-kilometre-range drone and threaten the very existence of the superpower of the world? Doesn't the U.S. administration think that its hastiness in starting war might make U.S. citizens wonder suspiciously about the true reasons behind this war?
Yemen Times, Yemen
It would, without a doubt, have been preferable if American diplomacy had succeeded in gaining more widespread military and diplomatic support for the campaign against Iraq. For a short moment following 9/11, it had seemed that the nations of the world planned to join forces in the battle against global terrorism. But with time it transpired that selfish concerns of certain states -- in particular, the temptation to gnaw at the puissance of a wounded superpower -- have overcome even the universal interest in stripping a tyrant like Saddam Hussein.