Arab media subdued by Iraqi elation | india | Hindustan Times
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Arab media subdued by Iraqi elation

Some Arab journalists were subdued and others incredulous as they watched Iraqis cheering the fall of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baghdad.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2003 10:50 IST

Some Arab journalists were subdued and others incredulous as they watched Iraqis cheering the fall of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baghdad.

"The surreal scene this afternoon was unthinkable until Wednesday," said Maher Abdullah, a reporter with Arab satellite television station Al-Jazeera. "Nobody could dream of it. If someone had told me this, I would have told him, 'Impossible."'

At one point, Abdullah referred to a Saddam Hussein monument as a statue of "the former president."

One Kuwaiti Television presenter called the Iraqis' elation and their thanks to US-led troops who rolled into the capital a "slap in the face" to Arabs who had sided with Saddam.

Kuwait, which was occupied by Saddam's troops in 1990-91, had been heavily criticised in the Arab world in recent weeks for being the only Arab country that openly backed the US-led invasion of Iraq and for granting the United States use of its territory to launch the offensive.

On Abu Dhabi TV yesterday night, the anchor told his audience: "This may be the last time we bring you the reports under the headline, 'On the Front Line.' We wish you and the Iraqis a life without wars."

The Lebanese channel, Al Hayat-LBC satellite TV, aired an interview from outside the Palestine Hotel with a British woman who had come to Iraq to act as a human shield against the invasion. She expressed shock at the speed of the collapse of Saddam's authority and said Iraq was free until US-led troops arrived.

A headline from today's early edition of Egypt's al- Gomhuria newspaper said: "Saddam deceived the Iraqis and the Arabs, and Baghdad fell in seconds.