April 4, 2003
POWELL'S VISIT 'BORE SOME FRUIT,' BUT UN ROLE A
BONE OF CONTENTION
** Most European dailies judged Secretary Powell's
"sudden" trip to Europe an admission of Washington's need for allies
in post-war Iraq and an opportunity to "mend fences."
** While writers credited Powell for renewing the transatlantic
dialogue, many were disappointed that he did not promise a "prominent
role" for the UN in post-war Iraq.
** Observers across the spectrum deemed U.S.-EU cooperation
essential to "pacify the region."
** Some, including non-European outlets, judged the deal with
Turkey a "success."
Powell's visit a chance for 'all sides' to 'get their act
together' to deal with post-war Iraq-- Writers wanting to let bygones
be bygones applauded the Secretary for his "willingness to consult
allies." They stressed that by his very presence in Brussels, Powell has
proven "his desire to take Europe into account" and to renew
relations "in spite of how badly they have suffered." Many--especially in centrist or conservative
outlets--shared the enthusiasm of Warsaw's liberal Gazeta Wyborcza,
finding Powell's NATO and EU talks "a signal that America is reaching out
to its allies--the 'old' and 'new' ones."
Though confused as to what extent NATO will play, some were pleased the
allies focused on Iraq's future and, as a Belgian daily noted, "ignored
their division over the war."
Others, such as Amsterdam's liberal De Volkskrant, praised Powell
for trying to find "common ground" with Europe, arguing that after
the "sacrifice" the Americans had made, it was
"unrealistic" for the U.S. to just "turn over power to the
Detractors find only 'meager results,' upset at
lack of 'reconciliation'-- While critics
appreciated Powell's attempt to "heal" relations, a number bewailed
how he had "failed to meet the request" of U.S. allies--including its
UK "partner in war"--that the UN should play the "prime
role" in post-war Iraq.
Left-leaning outlets, stewing over Washington's pre-war "nonchalant
arrogance," suggested that Powell was sent on behalf of Washington's
"neoconservatives" to "read from Rumsfeld's script," by
offering some sort of UN role, but not the "UN rule" Europe had in
mind. London's leftist Guardian
chided Powell for "snubbing" a "serious role for the UN" in
rebuilding Iraq. Capturing the gloom in
German dailies, center-right Die Welt lamented that the U.S.-EU
"row" could not be repaired with "gestures."
On the Turkish front, some find a 'happy
ending'-- Many were cautiously
optimistic that although Powell's stop in Turkey did not amount to a
"reconciliation," both sides were obviously trying "to reduce
their contradictions." Emphasizing
the need to heal the "mistrust" due to the parliamentary motion, some
Turkish dailies admitted that Powell's visit "did a great deal to prevent
Turkey from becoming isolated or alienated." Some decided that the U.S. had realized
"punishing Turkey" was not a "wise move." As liberal-intellectual Radikal noted,
Powell's visit showed both Ankara and Washington's "intention to move
This analysis is based on 55 reports from 21 countries, over April
2-4. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Legitimizing A New Iraq"
The independent Financial Times stated
(4/4): "Let us hope Colin Powell's consultations yesterday with his NATO,
EU, and Russian counterparts in Brussels were only the beginning of a renewed
dialogue over postwar Iraq and that further transatlantic talking will produce
a more positive result. For the U.S.
secretary of state failed to meet the request from all of his country's friends
and allies, including its British partner-in-war, that the UN should play the
prime role in legitimizing, if not running, post war Iraq.... It would be far
preferable if the whole political and physical reconstruction operation had a
UN imprimatur from the outset. To say this is not to deny that Mr. Powell's
visit bore some fruit.... [W]ith U.S. forces at the gates of Baghdad, it was
about time to focus on what happens when the Saddam Hussein regime goes. It is precisely to give greater transparency
to the selection of an Iraqi transition government that the UK has proposed
bringing Iraqis together in a UN-sponsored conference, as happened after the
Afghan war. That is sensible. In the
interests of securing the transition in Iraq,the U.S. should give it serious
Polly Toynbee, a columnist in the leftist Guardian
argued (4/4): "Europe is fractured, other alliances and friendships lost,
leaving Tony Blair marooned with George Bush.
Colin Powell's sweep through Old Europe yesterday delivered a direct
snub to any serious role for the UN rebuilding Iraq. There is the chance now
that the shock of schism may shake Europe into a new unity. All Europe, Britain included, is agreed that
Iraqi reconstruction must be done under UN auspices - and that means what it
says. This unity of purpose offers Britain's best chance to get back inside a
newly purposeful Europe, with its own progressive mission as upholders of
multinationalism and international law....
Wars are political milestones:
the EU trauma over Iraq could now forge a stronger Europe, better connected
to its peoples, who have stood almost unanimously against the war. But it depends
on Blair choosing Europe. In the grim
uncertainty this war will leave in its wake, the world will need the EU as a
strong and independent voice as never before.
Those on the left who have hesitated over Europe should see now that the
game has changed."
"UN Rule Or UN Role?"
The far-left Guardian commented (4/3):
"Tony Blair acknowledged yesterday that there are disagreements between
Britain and the United States over postwar Iraq. Before the war started, admissions of this
kind were a no go area.... If experience
is a guide, the government will end up supinely supporting whatever line the
Bush administration finally takes. In
the meantime, however, the government is staking out a more independent
position on postwar Iraq.... In an
interview Mr. Straw went out of his way to say that Iraq must be governed by
Iraqis.... Quite right. Britain should now sponsor a new UN
resolution saying just that. But tell
that to Donald Rumsfeld and his rightwing allies, who seem to have the upper
hand over the Washington doves, including Mr. Powell. When Mr. Powell speaks today [in Brussels],
he will speak as a beaten man. He will
speak from Mr. Rumsfeld's script, offering a UN role. What his listeners will want, though, is UN
rule. Mr. Blair may think the difference
is reconcilable. Many others, not least
the Iraqis, will not."
"Friends And Influence"
The conservative Times held (4/3):
"[P]owell, will begin building bridges in Brussels today. The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has also
been seeking to keep Britain's diplomatic relationships in good repair.... Raising the level of warmth in cross-Channel
relationships has its uses, but there are strong reasons for Mr. Straw to treat
the conventional wisdom of his department with care.... Mr. Straw will be aware
that the most important diplomatic relationship that Britain has is with
America.... Britain enjoys more influence in Washington than any other nation
and it would be foolish to squander that gain for continental chimeras."
"It Will Take More Than Powell's Visit To
Mend The Fractured Turkish Alliance"
The center-left Independent stated (4/3):
"In its planning for war on Iraq, the United States suffered an array of
disappointments even before the first of its forces reached the battlefield....
The decision by the Turkish parliament, even at the second time of asking, not
to allow U.S. forces to use its country as a forward base shocked the Bush
administration to its core and forced radical changes to the war plan.... Washington's unhappiness was
understandable- and even admirable - was Turkey's response. Had not the U.S.
urged Turkey to develop its democracy?
Washinton's final miscalculation was the desperate financial
blandishment it offered. Rather than
welcoming the money, Turkey saw it as a humiliating bribe. Perhaps if the U.S.
administration had cultivated its alliances as assiduously as the first George
Bush did, the shape of today's 'coalition', even the course of the war, might
have been different. It is none the less
disturbing that this was the first time General Powell had visited Turkey in
all the months of diplomacy. The
nonchalant arrogance with which the Bush administration has treated its
alliances has cost the country, and its closest friends, dear."
FRANCE: "Secretary Powell's Gesture Towards
Jean Quatremer judged in left-of-center Liberation (4/4):
"The trip itself was the message.
It was arranged at the last minute; but Secretary Powell meant to say to
his allies from the Old Continent that Washington was attached to
multilateralism and that the Iraqi crisis was a 'parenthesis' in transatlantic
"A Courteous Gesture"
Bernard Guetta commented on state-run France Inter radio (4/4):
"The disagreement over the role of the UN is clear. But just by his mere
presence in Brussels, his many meetings and interviews, Secretary Powell has proven
his desire to take Europe into account, to listen, to explain, to dialogue, in
short to keep relations going in spite of how badly they have suffered. He is
being spurred by his own personal beliefs as well as Washington's need to find
political and financial support for Iraq's reconstruction."
"The Bush Administration Divided Over Aftermath Of War"
Jean-Jacques Mevel remarked in right-of-center Le Figaro
(4/4): "Between the general-diplomat Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld, the
hawk taking care of protecting America's interests, the management of post-war
Iraq is opposing once again two different perceptions of the U.S. and its
relations with the rest of the world. The consensus both men share about the
war will probably remain as a parenthesis in the rivalry that opposes them. The
Bush administration is once again divided over how the post-war will be managed
and over the distribution of responsibilities between the U.S. and the
Serge July in left-of-center Liberation
(4/3): "The U.S. will win the war. It will be a bloody war for the
military and the civilians alike.... And
the dirtier the war, the uglier the aftermath for the U.S. A crusade for
democracy through force was the initial mistake.... Rumsfeld's strategic illusion
has been undermined because of the Iraqi resistance.... The neo-conservative's
strategy for the after-Saddam is geopolitical madness.... What is at stake during today's battles,
where civilians are falling by the thousands, are all the tomorrows to come. These will not be peaceful, not in Iraq or on
its borders.... The military difficulties encountered on the ground are leaving
a small chance to the UN: America cannot win the aftermath of the war by
reigning alone over Iraq.... As Secretary Powell arrives in Brussels, it can be
hoped that the UN can serve as President Bush's lifeline, even if a new
diplomatic battle will be required. This war was a mistake. But a cease-fire,
as some are calling for, would be a nightmare for the Iraqis and the world. If after
the fall of Saddam the U.S. can hand over the situation to the UN, some
legality will have been recovered."
GERMANY: "The New Europe"
Stefan Kornelius opined in an editorial in
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (4/4): "Colin Powell's
trip to Turkey and Brussels should be considered a chance, not a waystation, of
a transatlantic liberation struggle.
Europe cannot always react with the same lament to the Iraq war by
complaining about America's strength and the lack of a common foreign
policy. It must become more
concrete.... The magic term of a
transatlantic narrowing of views is called legitimacy.... America's credibility
as benevolent power that creates order, as an actor with selfish, but also
democracy and stability promoting interests, has been damaged, if not been
destroyed, by President Bush's policy.
The reason is that America lacks legitimacy. The Bush government has turned out its best
friends, but these friends have thus far delivered the most important good of
U.S. foreign policy: They backed this
policy thus legitimizing it. In
Washington, the insight will grow that America needs the cover of the alliance
and value partners if it does not want to be torn apart by imperial
overstretch. And in Brussels, the price
for this service must now negotiated....
It is time for Europe to formulate alternatives."
"Gestures Of Detente"
Jacques Schuster editorialized in
right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (4/4): "Colin Powell has sought
talks with his European colleagues....
But the cracks and the consequences of the U.S.-European row cannot be
repaired with gestures. For the
Europeans this means to narrow their differences of opinion with the Americans,
not to refuse cooperation in Iraq, and to let a conciliatory attitude follow
stubbornness. This even includes
overtures in the question of the future role of the UN in Iraq.... To put it differently: Without the United States, Europe will lose
its military protection and has to act on its own. Without Washington, distrust among EU members
will deepen and will develop into alienation.
And finally, without America, the Russian giant will get a new weight on
the European continent. The quarrel over Iraq is not worth risking all
"Powell Came To Listen"
Right-of-center Frankenpost of Hof judged
(4/4): "It seems that insights are growing; that European unification
reached after centuries of wars and devastations can be an example: It even must be a model for overcoming
conflicts all over the world. And that
Europe's role in global politics depends on how serious these national states
are about these common views. Colin
Powell came as a listener to Brussels.
We have missed such gestures for a long time in transatlantic
relations. The fact that they are now
possible again has much to do with the military successes in Iraq, but even
more with Powell's insight that there is no alternative to a reasonable
partnership between Europe and the United States. We can only wish for the world that Bush and
his warriors, after having finished their war have the same opinion."
"It Is A Success That Europeans And
Americans Again Sit At One Table"
K Schmidt had this to say in an editorial on
regional radio station Westdeutscher Rundfunk of Cologne (4/3): "It is a
success that Europeans and Americans again sit at one table. All sides have signaled their willingness for
talks and, in the end, all sides heaved a sigh of relief that they talked to
each other again.... But this is a meager result and it only hushes up the deep
differences of opinion that continue to prevail, not over the Iraq war but now
over the question of a post-Saddam order, how it is to be rebuild, and mainly
who is to pay for it.... EU diplomats
are right: If Europe is to make a
contribution to Iraq's reconstruction, then it should not look like delivering
checks to the occupying power of the war alliance which then decides what is to
be done with the money. It is still too
early for concrete post-war planning...but the leading politicians of the EU
should soon exchange their notions and seek clear lines. Europe can have no interest in Washington
restructuring Iraq according to its own discretion. Good relations with the
Arab world belong to the successes of European foreign policy, and
not too many of them."
Wolfgang Guenter Lerch judged in a front-page
editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (4/3): "Secretary
Powell's latest visit to Ankara has not resulted in reconciliation, but both
sides are obviously trying to reduce their contradictions. A
'cooperation committee' made up of Americans, Turks, and Kurds is to prevent a
looming Turkish invasion of northern Iraq.
The Americans get Turkish support for the logistical support of the
3,000 U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq, and Turkey offered comprehensive
logistical support. This is not much and
does not satisfy the Americans. But
Powell's visit makes clear that Ankara is and will remain an important partner. The Turks consider this an award.... Prime
Minister Erdogan has little room to maneuver a sharp wind is blowing into his
face. He must find an accommodation
between the vital relations with the United States, the 'national'
interests...and the 'will of the voters.'
In this situation, the Cyprus plan comes at the right moment."
"On the Move"
Stefan-Andreas Casdorff penned the following
editorial in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (4/3): "Colin
Powell's visit to Ankara was successful....
What is the price? The price is
not for the Turks to invade northern Iraq; it is rather likely that the Turks
will be heard when the discussion focuses on a post-war order in Iraq, and they
may also profit from it. Powell has
hardly gone too far. But he had to
achieve Turkish concessions, since an Iraqi elite division is supposed to have
been defeated now and Baghdad is waiting. The United States is now moving
forward with the strategist, Colin Powell. Let us hope that the strategy will
turn out to be successful and the war will soon be over."
Christoph Rabe opined in an editorial in
business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (4/3): "The fact that
Secretary of State Powell paid a courtesy call to Turkey as the first country
during the Iraq war, shows that Washington's concerns about the course of the
war must be greater than the irritation at the vacillating partner. The setting up of a northern front will not
succeed...as long a supply lines do not work.
Washington had to learn this bitter lesson over the past few days. That is why Turkey still had one trump card
in its hand in order to appease Washington after the rift during this first
stage of the Iraq war and Ankara enjoyed playing this card yesterday.... But
even if oil has now been poured on troubled waters and Turkish fears on a
strengthening of Kurds in northern Iraq have now been dampened, Ankara will
remain an uncertain ally in Washington's eyes.
And this should have long-term implications for the future shape of
relations. The United States can no
longer unrestrictedly rely on a country which the gives domestic and regional
policy considerations priority of discipline in the Alliance. For the United States, this experience offers
one more reason to settle politically and military in the region. Then all developments converge in U.S. hands,
and Turkey will lose significance.
Slowly Ankara is understanding this."
"Return Of Diplomacy"
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland
of Hamburg (4/3) editorialized: "It is now necessary to return to
pragmatic cooperation. In order to
achieve Iraq's participation, all sides involved must get their act together
and repair rifts. The first approaches
have been made. Tony Blair...clearly
advocated the inclusion of the United Nations in a post-war Iraq.... Secretary
Powell's visit to Ankara and his planned visit to Brussels today are
indications that the United States is also interested in overcoming the
confrontation. But there is no supportive political bridge across the Atlantic
yet. Chancellor Schroeder would be well-advised to use a more conciliatory tone
in his policy statement before the Bundestag today.... With respect to the climate, this could
create the preconditions for the West to act in unison and in a constructive
way. Without such cooperation it will be
impossible to pacify the entire region and to help the war-ravaged people in
Iraq and the entire region."
ITALY: "'Kurds Under Control,' Powell
Paolo Mastrolilli's filed from New York in
centrist, influential La Stampa (4/3): "To mend and to regain
support: this was the goal of Colin Powell's mission to Turkey and Brussels,
with an intermediate stop in Belgrade, and, at least in Ankara, the mission has
produced the first results. The new
Turkish government, in fact, has accepted to let supplies for U.S. troops,
parachuted in northern Iraq, except for weapons, transit on its territory, and
it has almost promised not to cross the border with its soldiers in order to
control the Kurds.... After Ankara, the U.S. Secretary of State went to
Belgrade to show support for the government of the Serbian-Montenegrin
federation in the wake of the assassination of Zoran Djindjic.... From
Belgrade, Powell left for Brussels, where today he will try to reduce the
differences with some EU nations over the war in Iraq. The disagreement with France and Germany over
the war remains, but Europe seems united in asking the United States to let the
UN play a decisive role regarding Baghdad's future."
"Ankara Says 'Yes' To The Transit Of U.S.
A report by Washington correspondent Alberto
Pasolini Zanelli in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale
(4/3): "Ankara, Belgrade, Brussels.
Colin Powell's blitz is of a diplomatic nature this time.... As
Baghdad's external defenses are collapsing...the chief of U.S. diplomacy is
speeding up plans for the post-war, resolving long-time disputes (in Ankara)
and beginning new dialogues (in Brussels).
Belgrade was, in comparison, a little more than a 'technical
stopover'.... Last night Powell arrived
in Brussels for the most delicate and difficult part of his mission.... He
arrived with an olive branch in his hand and with an ambition, to mend the
break, and he has already said that the reconstruction of Iraq after the war
will take place with the cooperation of Europe."
“Powell In Europe To Talk About Post- War”
Enrico Singer declared in centrist, influential La Stampa
(4/2): “For the first time since the
beginning of the war on Iraq, Secretary Powell left Washington last night. He left on a dual mission, which will probably
not be an easy one. Today, he will be in
Ankara, tomorrow in Brussels, after a very short visit to Belgrade. In Turkey, he will try to convince Erdogan’s
government to allow the implementation of the Pentagon’s plans on the northern
front of the conflict, without giving rise to a ‘Kurdish issue.’ In Europe, he will try to repair relations
with the EU governments that are leading the front against the war, and not
only them--the Russian Foreign Minister will be at NATO headquarters as
well. Yesterday, from Moscow, he asked
that the ‘war end as soon as possible.’”
“Powell, The European”
Franco Venturini opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (4/2): “Even though his
regaining of influence is taking place in his capacity as former general rather
than as Secretary of State, Colin Powell remains the best card for the
Europeans to resume dialogue with America.
This is enough to stress the importance of the sudden trip that saw
Powell in Turkey yesterday and that tomorrow will see him in a meeting with his
NATO and EU colleagues in Brussels....
Powell shows at least a positive willingness to consult allies. And this will also help make clear that
something in Europe is beginning to move....
The American ‘explorer’ (Powell) should be capable of discovering that
things between the allies are beginning to mend, starting from three specific
issues: Iraqi reconstruction, European defense, and the resumption of talks in
the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Blair
did not seem to convince Bush, but the Europeans are united on the need to give
the UN a key role in the Iraqi post war. “
RUSSIA: "Time To Make Peace"
Andrey Terekhov said in centrist Nezavisimaya
Gazeta (4/4): "Europe senses a near victory over Saddam.... The time has come to make it up with America.
Europe is pleased to see it make the move first. Powell is the first U.S. high-ranking
official to visit to Europe since the beginning of the campaign in Iraq."
"UN As Humanitarian Supplier"
Svetlana Babayeva reported from Brussels for
reformist Izvestiya (4/4): "For now Washington views the UN more as
a humanitarian supplier, but Secretary Powell has pointed out that as the
military's role will decline the UN's influence will grow. Washington, so it seems, would rather use
NATO in that capacity, as this might help restore Euro-Atlantic
"U.S. Changes Tack"
Boris Volkhonskiy held in reformist
business-oriented Kommersant (4/3): "The idea behind Colin Powell's
visit to Turkey is not just to mend the fences with that country. It may well symbolize a new turn in
Washington's strategy, not so much its military strategy as the political and
diplomatic one.... The Secretary of
State is back in the forefront of the United States' policy. Obviously, Washington is beginning to see a
need to build political bridges in Europe."
"How Bush Team Differs From Soviet
Sergey Strokan noted in reformist
business-oriented Kommersant (4/3): "The Bush team increasingly
looks like the Soviet Politburo, which, as it ruled over the sixth of the
world's land area, sought to spread its power to the rest of the globe. The American Politburo only differs from the
Soviet one in that its members are much younger and have a better complexion.
Otherwise, they are stunningly the same....
It never occurred to anyone that the Blitzkrieg plan was impractical
from the military standpoint. Unlike governments, politburos put their ideas
above reality, convinced that reality must adjust to them, not vice versa. But reality will always prevail."
AUSTRIA: "The Visitor"
Senior columnist Alfred Payrleitner commented in
mass-circulation Kurier (4/4): "Never before have Trans-Atlantic
misunderstandings been as grave as they are now. What's left is a pile of
rubble - proper ties no longer exist. The same is true of the way European
countries are dealing with each other these days. The question is, do the
Europeans even want to be global players, and are they able to fill that
role?... Wars always bring about change,
and the current one in Iraq is no exception to the rule. We'll be lucky if the
situation does not deteriorate even further."
BELGIUM: "Powell Has The
Diplomatic correspondent Mia Doornaert commented in independent
Christian-Democrat De Standaard (4/4):
“On Thursday, secretary of State Colin Powell started his first
consultations with the European allies since the beginning of the war in Iraq
with a psychological advantage. The
swift march of the coalition troops to Baghdad gives the impression that the
war may be over sooner than was hoped or feared. The consequence yesterday at the NATO headquarters
was that the Atlantic allies focused on the future of Iraq and ignored their
division over the war. The quick progress probably made German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fisher and Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly wish victory to
the American and British troops. France
has made that turnabout, too.... The
governments of those and other European countries are under strong pressure
from their corporate world to repair the damage with the United States.... An important factor in the debate is that
America’s British ally Tony Blair fully supports the demand that there must be
UN legitimacy for Iraq after the war.
Powell...also reacted to the European urge that priority must be given
to a peace settlement in the Middle East.
He assured the European allies that the United States has prepared a
roadmap for a peace solution between Israel and the Palestinian state.”
"Gap Between Europe And U.S. Becoming Slightly Narrower"
Foreign editor Frank Schloemer in independent De Morgen (4/4): “The UN must play an important role in the
reconstruction of Iraq in the post-Saddam era.
Secretary of State Colin Powell seems to be gradually willing to meet
this European demand. However, it is not
clear yet to what extent NATO will also play a role after the war in Iraq. Nevertheless, one had the impression in
Brussels that the gap between Europe and the United States is becoming slightly
narrower.... Both the EU and NATO agree
that the international community must enter into action to help the Iraqi
people with the reconstruction of the country after the war.... The Secretary said nothing about the fact
that the coalition has not found any weapons of mass destruction yet. In
Powell’s view, after this not very long transitional period an Iraqi interim
government will be established in which representatives of all Iraqi ethnic
groups will be involved.”
"Powell In Brussels: A
Genuine Fake Consensus"
Philippe Regnier argued in left-of-center Le Soir
(4/4): “What ‘central role’ means as
well as the timing remain unclear....
Another polemic is likely to arise shortly, about a possible role for
NATO.... In the meantime, everybody has
understood that it was in its interest to be at the meeting at NATO
yesterday. Faced with ‘hawks’ at home,
Colin Powell returns to the United States credited with having made diplomatic
efforts. The European countries that were in favor of the war may have felt
comforted. And those who are against the
war found a way to return into the ‘game.’ Even Louis Michel was able to have a
separate conversation with Colin Powell -- the latter not being vindictive
after Guy Verhofstadt called the United States ‘a dangerous country.... ‘But Louis Michel did not say a word about
Belgium’s request that the 1971 agreement on military transit be reviewed. That
will be for the next government, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Paul De Bruyn remarked in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet
van Antwerpen (4/2):
"Rumsfeld interferes in everything.... So far, he has not had a good war. It threatens to turn him, a key figure, into
one of the weakest links in the administration.... It is becoming more and more obvious that he
was inspired by illusions and overly optimistic expectations from the Iraqi
opposition. He seriously underestimated
Saddam's resistance. He will be held
accountable for that.... America stands
almost alone. The relations with many
old allies are tense. Rumsfeld is
largely responsible for that. With his
lack of insight and his blunt statements he angered the ‘Old Europe' against
America. Now, he has also pushed Syria
into the Iraqi camp. The fact that
Secretary Powell is traveling to Brussels and Ankara is significant. It means that Washington is beginning to
realize that it cannot live without allies.
That is amply late and Powell will have his hands full with the
restoration of the relations.”
CROATIA: "Croatia No Longer Needs American
Denis Romac remarked in Rijeka-based Novi
list (4/4): "While Powell was
saying goodbye to Belgrade and Serbia, American diplomatic circles in Zagreb
sent out a message that Croatia should become concerned because Powell had
visited Belgrade, and bypassed the Croatian capital, since that was the confirmation
of the fact that Croatia was under silent American sanctions.... Even if such nebulous information were
correct, Croatia should not worry about it.
Quite the contrary, there is no reason why Croatia should envy
Serbia.... Far from thinking that Croatia
shouldn't take into account its relations with the largest world power, Croatia
certainly no longer needs such form of support as Powell sowed through the
Belgrade reigning palaces. That's why it
is even better that Powell bypassed us."
DENMARK: "French Opposition...Founded In
Aspirations To Counter-Balance U.S."
Centrist Kristeligt Dagblad carried the
following analysis by security policy expert, Ulla Holm (4/4): "France's
pacifist role is being met with some skepticism.... In reality, France wants to
construct a state-like E.U. founded on French values that is able to act as a
counter balance to the U.S."
"U.S. Unwilling To Compromise"
Center-left Politiken's Brussels
correspondent Christian Lindhardt argued (4/4): "E.U. and NATO foreign ministers
attempted to address divides over Iraq. Despite assurances that the meeting
went well, it still appears that the U.S. is unwilling to compromise. FM Per
Stig Møller faces a tough choice."
IRELAND: "EU And US Split On UN Role In
Rebuilding of Iraq"
Denis Staunton judged in the center-left Irish Times (4/4):
"The European Union and United States remained sharply divided last night
over who should play the leading role in post-war Iraq, despite an intensive
effort by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, to heal the
transatlantic rift.... European foreign ministers reacted coolly to Mr Powell's
suggestion that NATO could play a peacekeeping role in post-war Iraq. The
Secretary of State did not ask the ministers individually what they thought of
the idea but he expressed satisfaction that nobody rejected it out of
hand....Despite the disagreement over reconstructing Iraq, the mood at the
meetings was described as friendly and Mr Powell insisted that he had come to
Brussels to listen."
"Ahern Opposes Post-War U.S. Plan For Iraq"
Conor Sweeney held in the center-right Irish Independent
(4/4): "The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, came down firmly against the United
States in the looming political battle over the reconstruction of Iraq, when he
endorsed the EU position that the UN must be at the heart of the
project.... Mr. Ahern made it clear he
believed that the UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, and his officials should be
placed back in the driving seat to determine the political future of Iraq after
the end of the current war.... Although
the U.S. Secretary of State managed to avoid any overt conflict with estranged
European allies during his day-long talks in Brussels, the simmering divisions
that already split the UN Security Council appear likely to return soon....
After their lunchtime talks, Foreign Minister Brian Cowen said he had impressed
on the US Secretary of State the urgency of returning to the Middle East peace
process. He said that Colin Powell had responded positively and said the U.S.
would not just publish the long-awaited 'road-map' that would lead to the
creation of a Palestinian State, but would implement it too."
"US-Turkish Summit Yields Limited
Nicholas Birch argued in the center left Irish Times
(4/3): "Turkish newspapers had been
speculating on Tuesday that his visit might signal the start of renewed U.S.
efforts to secure full deployment on Turkish soil. In the event, though, the
surprise summit yielded more limited results..... Mr Abdullah Gul, Mr Powell
said Turkey had signalled its willingness to act as a logistical base for the
U.S. force - estimated to be 3,000 strong - that has been airlifted into
northern Iraq over the past week.... There is a further reason for Turkey going
that extra mile. Until Tuesday, a U.S. offer of up to $8.5 billion in credit to
stiffen Turkey's tottering economy had appeared to come without strings
attached. On his way to Ankara Mr Powell implied only full co-operation would
be enough to ensure Washington's support. But the biggest question mark arising
from the summit was the issue of a possible Turkish incursion into northern
Iraq. Mr Powell repeated earlier White House statements yesterday when he said
'we have [the situation in northern Iraq] under control and therefore at the moment have no need for any movement of Turkish
forces across the border.'"
"Cool Reception For Powell Expected From EU Ministers"
The center-left Irish Times asserted in an article by Denis
Staunton (4/3): "During his meeting with NATO foreign ministers, Mr Powell
is likely to repeat Washington's call, made last December, for NATO to play a
role in post-war Iraq. France and Germany, which oppose the war, are likely to
refuse to discuss such a plan while the war is in progress because they believe
that any such agreement would appear to give NATO approval to the U.S.-led
action in Iraq. Mr Powell usually receives a warmer reception in Europe than
other members of the U.S. administration but many EU governments have become
convinced that the Secretary of State has lost influence in Washington. They
are especially alarmed by remarks by figures such as the former U.S. defence
official [sic] Mr Richard Perle, suggesting that Washington should turn its
back on the UN after the war in Iraq is over."
POLAND: "Powell And Europe"
Robert Soltyk opined in liberal Gazeta
Wyborcza (4/3): "Powell's visit to Brussels and his meetings with NATO
and EU ministers is a signal that America is reaching out to its allies-the
'old' and the 'new' ones.... If Powell's outreach is not to remain unanswered,
the Europeans cannot only ask questions. They must recognize that it is in the
common interest to win peace in Iraq for the good of the Iraqis, the Middle
East, Europe, and America. Yet Americans must first win the war-with as little
blood as possible. Those who do not want to help them should at least not
THE NETHERLANDS: "Second Chance"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant editorialized (4/4):
"The war in Iraq drifted the United States and a couple of its European
allies far apart.... Secretary of State Powell was in Brussels where he
carefully tried to find some common ground as a foundation for restoration of
good relations. This was a difficult
exercise. It is not only the war that
parts both parties but now there also seems to be a looming problem about the
post-war situation.... Powell is doing
his utmost: he even hopes NATO will provide a peace force. For the post war Iraq.... If all the parties
were to drop their megaphones and turn to silent diplomacy, they should be able
to find a workable solution...it is not realistic to think that the Americans,
after the sacrifice they made to get rid of Saddam, will immediately turn over
the power to the UN, nevertheless it would be preferable if they would handover
the power within a reasonable term. Even
if this was only done to avoid that Iraq and the rest of the Arabic world would
see the U.S. as the occupying force."
NORWAY: “End Game In Play”
In the newspaper-of-record Aftenposten Nils Morten Udgaard
commented (4/4): "Perhaps the winner will be the side most trusted as the
quickest to provide for, for example, water for the cities and towns who are
thirsty? The most elementary counts, in the midst of the high-tech war. For
this political, yes, ideological war--with a careful diplomacy that started
yesterday in Brussels - can still only drive forward to victory if the ‘hearts
and minds’ are won. Probably Saddam Hussein is in the process of losing that
war. But it does not necessarily mean that others will be accepted as winners.”
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO:
Belgrade independent news agency Beta commented Secretary of State
Colin Powell's visit to Serbia and Montenegro (4/3): "The visit of U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell to Belgrade is the strongest sign of
international support for Serbia and Montenegro after the assassination of
Zoran Djindjic. During his brief stay in Europe, Powell also paid a visit to
Belgrade to announce support for the country's integration into international
trends, and for the reforms being carried out in the country. Powell said he
expected the country's cooperation with The Hague-based tribunal to intensify in
the next few months. The cooperation issue primarily referred to General Ratko
Mladic and two officers of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) Veselin
Sljivancanin and Miroslav Radic, suspected of crimes in Vukovar, in 1991.
Serbian Premier Zoran Zivkovic and Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar
Marovic assured Powell of their country's commitment to cooperation with the
tribunal and further democratization in the country."
Centrist daily La Vanguardia wrote (4/4): "Powell's return to the
front pages indicates that Washington thinks that the war against Iraq could
have a quick resolution and as a consequence it must once again focus its
interests on the diplomatic scene.... It's no secret that the U.S. wants NATO
to have a lead role in the post-war. It
would be easier to direct and control the Atlantic military superstructure and
thus involve the European countries that are part of NATO, than to discuss
[reconstruction] with the United Nations Security Council, where Washington has
left so much bad feeling."
"The Postwar, An Opportunity To Restore
Independent El Mundo wrote (4/4):
"It could seem cynical, even obscene, to begin to talk about--much less--
negotiate, a transitional period in a post-conflict Iraq when a brutal war is
still producing innocent victims every day.
But policy is fed by realities.... It's well known that today the U.S.
Government is divided between a right-wing, unilateralist faction, which
dominates these days, and elements more inclined to multilateralism...there are
other factors that could favor a larger
UN role: the need for the U.S, to
recover international credibility, Blair and Aznar's insistence that the UN
exercise an 'important function,' the risks of a post-war which turns into a
purely military occupation of hostile territory, and the urgency of to find
funds for reconstruction.... So, there
are more reasons for cooperation than unilateralism."
"The Coalition, An Isolated Majority?"
Conservative ABC wrote (4/3): "The
key to the post-Saddam scenario is the attitude of Arab countries towards the
war. In this area ambiguity
dominates. Officially, these nations
have avoided giving public support to the allies, but it is a fact that the
operation was launched from Arab territory.... The situation is very dynamic
and support for the coalition can change, both on the internal and the external
front. Even the tempestous relations
with Turkey yesterday had a new point of inflection following Powell's getting
Ankara to allow US troops to transit Turkey.
The clearest failure of the Secretary of State in the zone of operations
(Turkey's refusal to collaborate) seems on its way to a solution. Doubts on the duration of the war, civilian
casualties, disinformation maneuvers by Baghdad and the upheaval in the
demonstrations against the military intervention are elements that will
influence the situation, not necessarily
reducing support for the military intervention. The recent unanimous approval by the Security
Council of a plan of humanitarian action in Iraq shows that international
consensus is being renewed."
TURKEY: "The U.S. Is In Need Of
Ferai Tinc commented in mass appeal Hurriyet
(4/4): "Secretary Powell's next stop after Ankara was Belgrade, where he
found a city of never-ending crime and corruption. He was in a country, Yugoslavia, where a
lasting peace has yet to be established.
Belgrade represents a striking example of why we cannot talk about peace
and democracy in the post-Saddam era in Iraq.... The United States does not
appear willing to leave Iraq to anyone in the post-Saddam period. It is interesting to observe that the United
States has left all Iraqi opposition elements out of the game, with the
exception of the Kurds. Things in Iraq are getting messy, and the visit by
Secretary Powell to Ankara shows that the United States feels the need for
allies at this stage."
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in the conservative/mass
appeal Turkiye (4/4): "U.S.-Turkish relations were nearing an
irrational stage, and Turkish foreign policy was headed for a serious
crash. Meanwhile, that kind of
atmosphere has become a very good opportunity for anti-Turkey groups to
intensify their efforts. The sudden
visit of Secretary Powell is an attempt to heal bilateral relations. We should thank Foreign Minister Gul for
doing the right thing by declaring that Turkey is 'in the coalition' even
before Russia and France.... Secretary Powell's visit helped a great deal to
prevent Turkey from becoming isolated or alienated. It was also very important to note US remarks
about not allowing an economic crisis in Turkey."
"Repairing Relations With The US"
Murat Yetkin analyzed Secretary Powell's visit
in liberal-intellectual Radikal (4/3): "It seems that Washington
has realized that punishing Turkey -something the hawks have been insisting on
--because of the decline of parliamentary motion is not a wise move regarding
the future of Turkish-American bilateral relations. Secretary Powell emphasized this by calling
Turkey the 'best model' for the future of Iraq and the only Muslim
democracy. Powell's visit underscored
the intention by both Ankara and Washington to move forward together."
"Powell And His 'Kiss-And-Make-Up'
Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in the sensational-mass
appeal Posta (4/3): "The visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell
to Ankara provided a basis for settling issues of concern to both sides. Both Turkey and the United States have made
clear that they undertstand their responsibility for mistakes or belated
actions. There was a happy ending in
terms of the future of Turkish-American relations. The Powell visit was very timely, and
certainly prevented continued deterioration in bilateral relations.... The
positive atmosphere will overcome the negative developments in the past unless
the bilateral understanding and agreements are violated, or unless something
unexpected happens during the course of war."
“What Is Powell Going To Ask For?”
Sami Kohen wrote in mass appeal Milliyet (4/2): “It seems that there are two reasons which
led to the visit by Secretary Powell.
First is to heal the wounds in bilateral relations and to demonstrate
Turkey’s cooperation with the U.S. This
is a very important issue for the Bush administration at this particular
moment, which suffers from diplomatic alienation. The second purpose is to discuss the Northern
Iraqi issue in all its dimensions and try to reach a common understanding as
well as a mutual trust.... The fact of
the matter is that the deterioration of Turkish-American strategic relations
because of the Iraqi crisis also brought mutual mistrust. The more the trust is regained mutually, the
more the Powell visit is going to be successful.”
Murat Yetkin observed in intellectual Radikal (4/2): “Americans give the message that ‘there is no
additional request from Turkey'....
Powell’s file doesn’t contain offers.
He will ask whether we are still friends.' Meeting President Sezer, Prime Minister
Erdogan, Foreign Minister Gul and Chief of General Staff Ozkok, Powell will
seek the answers to the following questions to be conveyed to President Bush:
Where do we stand? How would we define
our strategic partnership? What kind of
commitments is Turkey ready to make?
There are a couple of reasons that pushed Powell into this trip to
evaluate the ‘damage’ created by the Iraqi crisis: Israel is not happy with the
damage to Turkish-U.S. relations and therefore the Jewish lobby intervened. Erdogan’s article that got published in the
U.S. showed that Erdogan wanted to better the relations."
“Powell Keeps The Peace In Turkey”
Zvi Bar'el held in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz
(4/2): “Officially, Powell is trying to
repair the relationship between the two friendly countries. More practically, he is trying to prevent the
outbreak of an internal war between the Turks and Kurds inside Iraq.... It's doubtful Powell will succeed in
persuading the Turks to trust the Americans to calm the region, and trust the
coalition forces to deal with all the Turkish concerns. Turkey regards everything happening in the
Kurdish enclave and south of it as touching on its national interests, so it
has not responded to the weak warnings that emanated from Washington in the
last two days that there is no reason for Turkish forces to enter Iraq.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "Turkey’s Worry"
English language Riyadh Daily
editorialized (4/3):‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ is, as of now, showing more signs
of ‘Operation Kurdish Freedom’ than anything else. The Kurds, with US help, have made several
gains in the war in the north and their freedom from Baghdad could soon be
total. They are already enjoying
autonomy in the region after the ’91 war, but complete freedom is still away...
Whatever may have been Turkey’s assurance to Powell, the U.S., as the war
progresses, has a complex task ahead in ensuring that Turkey does indeed keep
off Iraqi territory... But the ultimate gains in that segment would surely go
to the Kurds. These gains should remain political, and not territorial, and
must be limited to the Iraqi Kurds and not their Turkish counterparts.
CHINA: “Powell Has Gone Abroad to Exploit
Yao Li commented in the official Communist Party international
news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao 4/4): “Apparently,
the U.S. is not planning to let the UN play the major role in reconstructing
the postwar Iraq.... It is still a
question to what degree will the U.S.-E.U. conflict on the Iraq issue be eased
by Powell’s visit.”
PAKISTAN: "Peace Duo Between U.S. &
Spoils Of War"
Washington-based diplomatic editor K.P. Nayar
held in the centrist Telegraph (4/4):
"With America's military juggernaut setting its sights on Baghdad,
the Bush Administration...faced a formidable diplomatic challenge of winning
the war, yet losing Iraq.... The coalition for peace...architects...extracted a
promise from...Colin Powell that the Bush Administration would work for a
partnership with the U.N. or NATO or both in Iraq after the conflict is over.
Hard-liners in the administration here are opposed to the idea of the U.S.
going back to the U.N. in view of the experience of being frustrated by the
Security Council on their war plans.... On the eve of the battle for Baghdad,
the coalition for peace appeared to be abandoning their policy of confrontation
with the U.S. and opting, instead, for reconciliation after their bruising
diplomatic battles at the U.N. For the
Bush Administration, this friendly approach would be harder to deal with than
the Franco-German strategy in the U.N. Security Council ... Such a policy by
France, Germany and Russia would have wide support across the world. Most countries would favor a U.N. role in
Iraq instead of total U.S. control."
ARGENTINA: "Powell's Diplomatic Tour Kicks
Off With Terrific Succes"
Independent La Prensa stated (4/3):
"Yesterday, the U.S. and Turkey reached an agreement to channel the
provision of supplies, fuel and humanitarian aid to Northern Iraq through
Turkish territory, but without the intervention of Ankara's troops. This agreement was the fruit of Secretary Powell's
surprise visit to Turkey, the first one he tackles since the beginning of war
in Iraq.... At a press conference, Powell and his Turkish counterpart, Gul,
also pointed out that the two countries are analyzing the evacuation of wounded
coalition soldiers and the landing of aircraft with technical problems in
Turkey. In addition, humanitarian aid
will be allowed through Turkey en route to populations in Northern Iraq....
Powell and Gul underscored that Turkey and the U.S. have 'maintained friendly
ties for the last 50 years,' denying an alleged erosion in bilateral relations
after the Turkish Parliament rejected the deployment of U.S. troops in their