© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2003
UNITED NATIONS -- With the fall of Baghdad, Iraq's U.N. ambassador declared Wednesday, "The game is over" -- and became the first Iraqi official to concede defeat in the U.S.-led war.
Mohammed Al-Douri expressed hope that the Iraqi people will now be able to live in peace.
"My work now is peace," he told reporters outside his New York residence. "The game is over, and I hope the peace will prevail."
Al-Douri was asked what he meant when he said, "The game is over."
"The war," he responded.
OTHER IRAQI DIPLOMATS: In Moscow, reporters tried unsuccessfully to contact Iraq's ambassador about a report that Hussein had taken refuge at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad; it was left to Russia's foreign minister to deny the report. And in Brazil, Iraqi diplomats were burning documents and hanging up on reporters.
Troops and service agencies are being inundated with mass donations of everything from underwear and chili to compact discs and Bibles.
There has been such a crush of gifts that the Defense Department has asked the public to stop mailing unsolicited packages to members of the military near or at the front lines. The Pentagon wants the mailings limited to family members, loved ones or personal friends of soldiers.
The Red Cross has said Americans might consider sending e-mail greetings, supporting relief societies or helping military families at home.
PARIS -- As U.S. forces seized the heart of Baghdad, some voices from European capitals were unwilling to declare victory, while others rejoiced. Some demanded an urgent initiative to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
BRITAIN: Prime Minister Tony Blair warned, "It's not over yet." Asked in the House of Commons when victory might come, he replied, "I think we will know that moment when we see it."
GERMANY: Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a staunch opponent of the war, emphasized the need for the Iraqis to decide on their political and economic fate and for a central role for the United Nations in the rebuilding of the country.
FRANCE: Exchanging broad smiles and big compliments, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin of France focused on areas of common interest. Most notable was their agreement on the need to end the cycle of violence in the Middle East as the only way to bring stability to the world.
VATICAN: "Naturally we are all happy," said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of the Vatican's most senior officials. "It could have gone badly and you could never predict what could have happened because with chemical weapons everything was possible."
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Jane Fonda told a Canadian audience that she fears the U.S. campaign in Iraq will turn people all over the world against America.
"What it's going to mean for (America's) stability as a nation, for terrorism, for the economy -- I can't imagine," Fonda, 65, said Tuesday. "I think the entire world is going to be united against us."
That frightens her, she said, but she isn't sure what Americans can do about it.
"I don't know if a country where the people are so ignorant of reality and of history, if you can call that a free world," she said.
ASSETS FROZEN: Switzerland said it would freeze all Iraqi government and corporate assets in Swiss banks until the U.N. Security Council determines the rightful owners.