Baghdad, Sept. 11 (Reuters): Iraq poured scorn on the US on September 11, saying it was using last year’s attacks — hailed as the “punishment of God” by one Baghdad magazine — as a pretext to try to crush its old foe in West Asia.
The government newspaper al-Jumhouriya said President George Bush’s “arrogant and imperialist” administration wanted to rule the world by force. “A year after the September 11 events, the American administration has failed to review its policy of aggression and blackmail,” it said in a front-page editorial.
“Between the two Septembers, the American evil administration is pointing at Iraq as a very dangerous enemy which threatens world peace, in order to launch a new war under false excuses,” wrote the official al-Iraq newspaper.
The weekly al-Iqtasadi magazine hailed the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington as the “punishment of God”.
Washington says there is no hard evidence linking Iraq to the attacks but, with al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden elusive and perhaps dead, deposing President Saddam Hussein has become the main focus of Bush’s war on terror.
Bush is debating with US allies an attack on Iraq, which he has branded part of an “axis of evil” with Iran and North Korea, to topple Saddam, whom Washington accuses of sponsoring terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction.