September 25, 2003
BUSH UNGA SPEECH CONVEYED
"DETERMINATION" BUT OFFERED "NOTHING NEW"
** Supporters praise Bush's
"determination" while critics fault his "arrogant
** Analysts say Bush
offered "nothing new" to win international support in Iraq.
"should" help the U.S. but "very few countries are likely to
contribute forces or funds."
'Olive branches were in short supply'-- Conservative analysts in Europe and Canada
praised President Bush's UNGA speech for its "judicious mix of
determination, diplomacy and defiance."
He left his listeners, said Britain's Daily Telegraph, "in
no doubt of his determination to prevail in Iraq." Some liberal and centrist papers normally
highly skeptical of Bush found the president "much less aggressive"
and noted the "conciliatory tones" in the address. In contrast, Malaysia's government-influenced
New Straits Times called the speech "tough and unyielding," while
a Lebanese daily said Bush made no attempt "to reconcile with the
world." A leftist British
broadsheet complained that Bush eschewed "any genuine effort at
consensus-building" and resurrected "his old black and white
view" of the world.
A 'very confused superpower' looks for help-- Though Australia's liberal Sydney Morning
Herald found the speech a "welcome confirmation that the world's sole
superpower cannot truly go it alone," other dailies termed the speech
"nothing new." The U.S.
"desperately" wants other powers to take on post-war roles "but
cannot make the necessary concessions."
Germany's left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau commented that a
new UN resolution wasn't in jeopardy because of a French veto but rather
because "the U.S. government wants partners without a say." Writers in Austria, Lebanon and Canada judged
from Bush's remarks that he "is not prepared to cooperate with the UN as a
partner, let alone apologize for calling it 'irrelevant' a year ago."
Prospects for 'troops or checks' remain clouded-- "To say that the U.S. president did not
convince his audience" to help out in Iraq would be "an
understatement," one French writer held.
Other Europeans, though, emphasized that it would be "a grave
mistake" for countries that opposed the Iraq war to adopt an
Germany's right-of-center Die Welt expressed the hope that
"Washington will narrow views with others" in UNSC negotiations. "All the key players" around the
globe "seem to appreciate the severe consequences" of a U.S. failure
in Iraq. The U.S. needs a new resolution
"to collect on promises" of troops from other countries, but
commentators wondered "how many of the skeptical UN countries" will
be willing to join the "heavily embattled" U.S. effort. Countries like France and Germany "do
not want America to fail, but neither do they want to be part of a
Kofi Annan's speech praised for 'moral convictions and clear
rhetoric'-- Several writers critical
of Bush's "renewed vindication of the war" in Iraq, lauded UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan, who "lashed out at the U.S. very hard"
in a speech criticizing pre-emptive war.
The UN leader "lacks the sheer, brute power" of an American
president, argued Britain's left-of-center Guardian, but "he showed
how truth can spike a million guns."
A centrist Polish daily was unmoved:
"The UN in its current form is a dead body. The sooner that is understood, the
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis is based on 116 reports from 86 countries, September 24-25, 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
The Rules Of War"
The independent Financial Times editorialized (9/24): "The issue here is not really what more
the UN should do about the spread of WMD and terrorism, though Mr. Bush made it
sound that way. Rather, the crucial
question raised by Mr. Annan is what happens if counter-proliferation efforts
fail, or fail to assuage U.S. fears, as apparently they did in Iraq.... The fact is that the case for all such
interventions will depend on highly variable circumstances. Individual cases tend to make fools of any
set criteria. In the controversial case
of Iraq, the real Achilles' heel of pre-emptive war has been shown to
intelligence, or lack of it. Fears about
WMD cannot be allowed to run ahead of the intelligence...pre-emptive strikes
and UN approval for them will have to rely on judgment and persuasion. Iraq has shown the U.S. to be lacking in
Divided They Stand"
The left-of-center Guardian commented (9/24): "Olive branches were in short supply as
Mr. Bush, eschewing any genuine effort at consensus-building, resurrected his
old black and white view of a planet devoid of neutral ground and divided
between civilized and uncivilized....
Perhaps Mr. Bush truly believes this mixture of self-congratulation and
hectoring menace will induce 'nations of goodwill' to back him, as he
demanded. But few will share that
verdict; and refusing to admit one's mistakes is never a good way to get other
people to do what one wants.... Mr.
Annan was calm, balanced, rational, sharp--and utterly convincing. When he argued the UN stood at a crossroads,
he was beyond contradiction.... He
eloquently described the many threats to global security--poverty, disease,
inequality and not only terrorism directed against wealthier countries--his
words came from the heart and spoke feelingly to un-numbered hearts around the
world. Here was a real, not a pretend
leader; an international statesman, not a comic-strip character reading from a
script. Mr. Annan lacks the sheer, brute
power of an American president. But he
showed how truth can spike a million guns."
"A Call To Arms"
The conservative Times remarked (9/24): "Mr. Bush knew yesterday that he could
not count on the world's goodwill.... To
sceptics in the General Assembly, Mr. Bush insisted that there was no disagreement
about the essentials. America, too, was
dedicated to the defense of collective security and the advance of human
rights. He called on them to 'move
forward'.... It is this realism that
will, eventually, triumph in New York.
No country wants the instability in Iraq to continue.... Mr. Bush was therefore speaking from strength
yesterday.... His administration may
find itself hurried by the electoral timetable, the rising cost and domestic
concerns. But it has so far shown
considerable resolution to stay the course.
Mr. Bush faced his critics yesterday with a judicious mix of
determination, diplomacy and defiance.
The UN would be wise to heed his call to arms and join battle to rescue
"Bush Leads The UN"
An editorial in the conservative Daily Telegraph declared (9/24): "There will be no lack of American
pundits warning George W. Bush against making Iraq the defining issue of his
presidency.... It is to Mr. Bush's
credit that he royally over-rode such admonitions in his speech yesterday to
the United Nations General Assembly....
He rebutted those demanding a rapid transfer of power in [Iraq] by
calling instead for an orderly and democratic process neither hurried nor
delayed by the wishes of other parties...but left his listeners in no doubt of
his determination to prevail in Iraq and of his conviction that all nations of
good will should contribute to this endeavor."
"Terrorism Has Changed The World; The UN
Rosemary Righter maintained in the conservative Times
(9/24): "The damage inflicted on
the UN's authority by the resounding failure to give a collective mandate for
military action was of secondary importance to both nations. Policy towards Iraq was the object of the
dispute, but resentment of America's preponderant power was its underlying cause.... Annan may have hoped that the UN as an
institution would benefit by keeping its distance from U.S. policy in Iraq, an
illusion destroyed by last month's terrorist attack on the UN's Baghdad
headquarters. Now, realizing that the UN
needs 'a successful outcome' as much as the U.S., he has become a forceful
advocate for a fresh resolution in Iraq....
Annan deserves credit for using this crisis as a spur to reform. But in his characterization of the unilateral
use of force as 'lawless, with or without credible justification,' he
undermines his own case for radical change.
If credible justification is not adequate, what criteria could there
be? Annan is a clever man, but he is a
clever man in a muddle. The change that
is most needed is a more realistic understanding of what the UN can do. It can help to make the world more orderly
and to rebuild ruined societies, but it has never functioned well as a
decision-maker in moments of crisis. It
is not a war machine--still less a machine for going to war on war."
FRANCE: "Words And
Charles Lambroschini judged in right-of-center Le Figaro
(9/25): “In the relationship between
Paris and Washington, yesterday’s performance at the UN ended once again with
the failure of realpolitik.... Because his
predictions have turned out to be true, people are listening to the French
president more than to the U.S. president....
Because the American superpower appears to be incapable of controlling
the Iraqi upheaval, France is helping the world forget that it may be ‘a
country of average impotence'.... Since
the fall of the Berlin wall, the balance of power is shifting...and the
lightweight may actually have a chance.
Today, there are two types of power: America’s ‘hard’ power...and
France’s ‘soft’ power, which does not try to impose itself but tries instead to
be convincing.... By using the obvious
weapons of this ‘soft’ power...Chirac follows in the footsteps of de
Gaulle.... France, in spite of its
average means, offers a counter-model.
As a result, it is George Bush who stands alone, while Chirac can count
on a large number of supporters....
Washington’s faithful followers within the EU are making themselves
discreet. The third world, Arab or
other, applauds Paris. Nevertheless the
time for a compromise has come. The U.S.
is beginning to take stock of its limitations.
France has already done so. For Chirac it is no longer a matter of being
right against the U.S., but of helping return Iraq to the Iraqis.”
Denis Jeambar wrote in right-of-center weekly L’Express
(9/25): “A suspicious glee is settling
in France, along with an ill-omened anti-Americanism, as America’s laurels dry
up under Iraq’s killer sun. Deep down
our leaders are happy to see America’s difficulties in Iraq.... They find in
this situation arguments to feed their multipolar thesis and a EU that would
counterbalance America’s hegemony. In
itself this attitude is dangerous because it opens a Pandora’s box.... While Washington’s preventive war has harmed
the traditional strategy of alliance based on trust, France’s answer is much
too extreme, as if the principles that bind democracies were now weaker than
the interests that oppose these democracies.... While we have an obligation
towards Europe...can we continue to distance ourselves from the U.S., as we are
doing, to the extent that we end up systematically opposing it? There is no doubt that Washington must make
some effort to respect its allies. But
we need to underscore this simple truth: what brings us together--democracy and
human rights--is much more important than what separates us. Any U.S. failure in the Middle East is also
"Our ‘American Enemies’"
Jean Daniel remarked in left-of-center weekly Le Nouvel
Observateur (9/25): “Are we
America's enemies? Thomas Friedman
thinks we are.... Friedman is
wrong.... France was warmly pro-American
immediately after Sept. 11. But the fact
is that feelings change just as situations change.... France’s attitude is praised in the third
world, mainly in the Arab world. But
France doesn’t know what to do with this newly acquired prestige. France’s embarrassment is justified, because
if relations between France and the U.S., which are already in pretty bad
shape, get worse, survival of the Western world will be in jeopardy.”
"A Chirac-Bush Confrontation At The UN"
Luc de Barochez wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(9/24): “The French President took on
the role of championing and defending international law and world solidarity,
while the U.S. President came off as the warlord fighting a global war on
terror.... After their respective remarks,
it was clear that their face-to-face meeting could not be productive.... In spite of all the posturing in favor of
reconciliation on both sides, it was difficult to find grounds for an agreement
over Iraq.... Chirac’s entire speech
could be read as an attack against President Bush...who remained closed to
President Chirac’s proposals. Chirac
listened attentively to President Bush’s speech which he politely
applauded. But President Bush had
already left the assembly when Chirac gave his speech. Yesterday, another opportunity for dialogue
was again wasted.”
"A Difficult But Unavoidable Compromise"
Pascal Riche noted in left-of-center Liberation
(9/24): “The pas-de-deux between France
and the U.S. is indeed a bizarre one....
In spite of their differing positions on Iraq, which remain very far
apart, the U.S. and France have no other solution but to reach a compromise, no
matter how difficult.... After all, both
nations have everything to gain in keeping the situation in Iraq and the region
from exploding.... But considering the
distance that needs to be traveled, the final UN resolution may be a very
simplified one, changing very little on the ground.”
"Two Different Views Of The World"
Jean-Claude Kiefer took this view in regional Les Dernieres
Nouvelles d’Alsace (9/24): “The confrontation
yesterday at the UN was not only over Iraq, but over two different views of the
world. It was a confrontation between
the U.S. and practically the rest of the world.... To say that the U.S. president did not
convince his audience is an understatement....
Even if ultimately the American resolution is adopted by the UNSC by way
of a gesture in favor of appeasement, it will have very little impact: very few
nations will send troops, and even less will help financially. With the risk of seeing a military quagmire
coming on the heels of a diplomatic disaster...a tragedy for America’s image
around the world.”
"A Wasted Chance For Entente"
Anne Fulda held in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/24): “The lack of direct contact between the two
leaders since Evian is symptomatic of a true malaise.... The differences of political and intellectual
analysis that separate the two men can hardly be erased with the best of
staging, such as the ‘reunion’ in Evian or yesterday’s meeting.”
"Chirac Acerbic; Bush On The Defensive"
Pascal Riche observed in left-of-center Liberation
(9/24): “When it was time for the
applause, Chirac turned out to be the most convincing.... The U.S. President’s cautious remarks
elicited surprise from the audience, while Chirac’s remarks were more direct
"Right Versus Might"
Jean Levallois maintained in regional La Presse de la Manche
(9/24): “Brute force and the power of
weapons speak for President Bush, while the law, which can never be confused
with might, speaks for Chirac. This
analysis, proven right by events in Iraq, supports Chirac’s stance. America remains the world’s number one power. But in the aisles of the UN General Assembly,
the majority of nations share France’s views.... The time for unilateralism is over.”
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger argued in an editorial in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (9/24): "After the
bitter experience of the rift from early this year, Europeans and President
Bush are resuming their talks.... It is
clear that President Bush...at a time when the restructuring of Iraq has turned
into an expensive enterprise for the Americans, and when a cold wind is blowing
for the first time in his face, is discovering German pacifism as a plausible
reason for the Berlin's position. It is
also clear that Chancellor Schroeder is trying to achieve a détente and does
not want to know anything about the formation of a European counter power. President Chirac is castigating President
Bush's unilateral move but is not willing to enter into another
confrontation. An abstention in a UN
resolution on Iraq would be the sharpest weapon he would use. This repair work is right, but will not
change the basic problem: the unease
about America's power and the way in which it is administered, about the
distrust that is turning into a burden for President Bush and that cannot be
defused by his rhetoric of being friendly to the UN and by his sense of
Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg
concluded (9/24): "The UN
secretary-general opened the UNGA meeting with a bombshell and stole the show
from President George W. Bush. And this
bombshell was so impressive because Kofi Annan has no forces that support him,
no possibilities to impose sanctions that could give his words greater
weight. His message was so significant
because of its moral convictions and his clear rhetoric. President Bush's renewed vindication of the
war had no chance against this speech.
Following Annan's strong attack, the U.S. president is on a political
defensive. The UN is at a
crossroads. With this statement, the UN
secretary-general put his finger in an open wound. Only historians will tell whether Annan's
call for a debate over the future of the UN can really be compared with the
situation after WW II. But the UN
members must now say what the UN should look like in the future. It is necessary to make up one's mind about
when and whether it is acceptable that a state preventively attacks other
states and does not want the legitimacy of the UN. Following Annan's bombshell, the UN can no
longer dodge this question."
"Berlin, Not Goslar"
Rolf Paasch argued in an editorial in left-of-center Frankfurter
Rundschau (9/24): "Those
Europeans who see their meager expectations confirmed in New York this week
should not look at the ongoing differences over a new Iraq resolution with
malice or should not feel insulted, but should take a realistic look at the
transatlantic distortions. Relations
between Europe and the United States are and will remain bad, irrespective of
the outcome of the talks between President Bush, Chancellor Schroeder, and
President Chirac.... The new Iraq
resolution is this time not in jeopardy because of a French veto but because of
contradictions in the U.S. policy towards Iraq.
The U.S. government wants partners without a say, but the situation in
Iraq requires a credible alliance with an international
Jacques Schuster editorialized in right-of-center Die Welt
of Berlin (9/24): "Again Germans
and Americas need each other. The
president is less interested in German assistance in Iraq, but he wants to gain
Berlin's support for a UN resolution in order to isolate the French.... In his speech at the UN, the president asked
for this support not in subdued, but in a self-confident way without denying
the difficulties in Iraq. There is no
reason to be repentant. Five months
after Saddam's fall, Iraq is better off today than it was a year ago. Mass killings and torture are things of the
past and reconstruction is taking place....
Now the Iraqis need further support, and this is what Bush is calling
for. At the same time he made clear that
Iraq should be led to independence in seven steps. It is likely that Washington will narrow
views with other governments before the final round of talks in the UNSC. It will be in the Iraqis' interest if Germans
and French do the same."
Margarete Limberg commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk
of Cologne (9/23): "It has become
clear that the U.S. government needs assistance, even though this did not
become explicitly clear in George W. Bush's speech. The question is whether the U.S. government
is willing to transfer power in Iraq....
It has been a tacit concession that [the U.S.] has to deal with a fiasco
in Iraq and that the Iraq war was a great mistake.... But this will not be enough to get
substantial support from the international community, while the strong
opponents to the war are demonstrating a new flexibility.... But those who like Bush are now calling upon
the international community to show its responsibility for peace and stability
in Iraq, must make one step further than he did in his speech at the
UNGA..... All this must still be tested
in reality, and in this respect, Bush showed his steadfastness."
ITALY: "A President
Towards The Ballots"
Ennio Caretto commented in leading centrist Corriere della Sera
(9/25): “If it hadn’t been for German
Chancellor Schroeder, who offered him an olive branch, immediately accepted,
President Bush and the United States would have come out from a two-day meetings...at
the UN quite humiliated...the worst possible ending for Iraq as well as
transatlantic relations. At the UN, Bush
and his superpower were under siege because of their unilateralism as well as
for resorting to preventive war. The
President’s speech, conciliatory in its tone, but stiff in content, and
especially vague with regard to its programs...has likely even complicated...an
agreement over the U.S. resolution. A
peace with Germany along with a willingness to compromise as shown by Russian President
Putin during his meeting with Schroeder and Chirac, improved the
atmosphere. President Bush was then able
to leave the UN with his head held high, as neither winner nor loser.”
"The Break On Preemptive War Won’t Be Mended"
Vittorio Zucconi opined in left-leaning, influential La
Repubblica (9/24): “What divides
Bush’s America and the United Nations is not just a matter of soldiers,
timetables, money or diplomatic patch-ups to mend the break. It is, and it will always be, the doctrine of
preemptive war which ‘represents a main defiance of the principles on which,
albeit imperfectly, world peace has based itself for the last 58 years.’ These are the words, very strong and very
bitter at the same time, pronounced by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.... The real tangle concerns the future, the
post-post-war, if the United States will continue to be led by George Bush and
his unyielding gang of ideologists despite the continuing decline of the
president’s popularity rate. The United
Nations and Europe are even asked to vote for him now, by accepting to
internationalize the consequences of the war in Iraq and to absorb part of the
human and financial costs with our money and our troops. The fact is that, behind the rhetoric of democracy
in Mesopotamia and the praiseworthy project of restoring freedom to the Iraqi
people...Bush’s main concern is his own future.”
"An Obliged Agreement"
Prominent strategic/defense analyst Stefano Silvestri commented in
leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore (9/24): “Differences remain, but it is possible to
find an agreement on a common plan of action: this seems to be the message sent
out by the speeches of European and U.S. leaders at the UNGA. It is not only Jacques Chirac and George
Bush, who both defended their positions.
It was enough to listen to the speech by Italian PM Berlusconi, on
behalf of the European Union...to realize that European and U.S. positions are
considerably different on a number of issues, even if no one wants to play up disputes
and disagreements. That should not make
us forget the many points of cooperation and, most of all, the fact that there
are basic common interests. The gradual
solution of the serious crises that are still open--from Afghanistan to Iraq,
the roadmap, the Balkans, Cyprus, the African wars, the Indo-Pakistani
conflict, North Korea and Iran--is in the interest of both parties, and
requires a mutual commitment....
Regarding Iraq, it is not clear yet whether we will see a joint
resolution that will satisfy the entire Security Council.”
"Ahead Together Out Of Necessity"
Gianni Riotta commented in centrist, top-circulation Corriere
della Sera (9/24): “Those who were
expecting an historical day have been disappointed. In Iraq, Americans must make a virtue out of
necessity.... France, Germany and Russia
are going to take a less controversial approach, but not immediately, the Iraqi
Governing Council is trying to raise its weak voice and Kofi Annan is
concentrating on his (only) means, the UN....
The afternoon sun is peeping out of the clouds, (but) the geopolitical
prospects continue to be dark.”
RUSSIA: "UN Needs
Andrey Denisov in New York and Andrey Zlobin reported in reformist
Vremya Novostey (9/24): "The
general discussion yesterday showed that despite a hectic year and predictions
of an early death, the UN is still afloat.
Obituaries are premature--the organization is alive, if in need of
'medical attention.'... The U.S.
president's 25-minute address did not sound like a triumphant proclamation. In fact, the audience greeted him with
silence and was restrained in applauding his speech. The Russian delegation must have felt
offended, as Bush never once mentioned Russia, speaking of countries that had
suffered from terrorism. At times his
statements were befuddling. The former
Iraqi dictator will no longer be able to use weapons of mass destruction, Bush
stated, there still being no evidence of the lethal arsenal in Iraq."
"Bush, Blair Not Ready To Heed Public Opinion"
Yulia Petrovskaya said in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
(9/24): "Susceptible as they are to
the opinion of their electorate, the U.S. and British leaders are not ready yet
to heed their opinion this time....
Jacques Chirac is going to use his trump UN card not so much to attack
the United States as to back down and gain cover.... The French are not going to veto a draft
resolution on Iraq that envisions an international peace-keeping force under
the UN aegis and U.S. command and no key role for the UN. In other words, no matter how they want
concessions from the United States, the other Security Council members agree
not to change anything in substance."
"Bush Refuses To Admit Wrong"
Vitaliy Dymarskiy remarked in official government Rossiyskaya
Gazeta (9/24): "It is not in
the habit of U.S. presidents to admit mistakes, so the incumbent has had to
uphold his course of action in international affairs, trying to convince the
international community and the public at home that what has been done in Iraq
is right and that Hussein's weapons of mass destruction will be found, of
Gudrun Harrer opined in liberal daily Der Standard
(9/25): “Bush’s performance at the UN
matches that of French President Chirac--though the American President may have
been even less clear-headed.... So we
are back to looking each other in the face again, while simultaneously
continuing to talk at cross-purposes--and by the way: the meeting between the U.S. President and
German Chancellor Schroeder was somewhat shorter than anticipated. But the point is, there’s far too much at
stake for both sides. Should the ‘Iraq
experiment’ fail, we will all have to pay the price, Europe and U.S., not to
mention the entire Middle East.”
Foreign affairs writer Christoph Winder commented in liberal daily
Der Standard (9/24): "The
conciliatory tones we are hearing from the Bush administration these days do
sound a lot more well-balanced that a year ago.
Even the German chancellor, who based his election campaign earlier this
year on a confrontation course with the U.S., condemning the Iraq war, is now
getting a wisp of understanding from the U.S. president. However, it would be a grave mistake for the
European countries...that opposed the Iraq war to now adopt an 'I-told-you-so
attitude.' The U.S. would certainly see
this as proof of Europe's lack of understanding for American concerns. This would--in turn--only serve to weaken
internationalist forces in the U.S."
In mass-circulation daily Kurier, foreign editor Livia
Klingl argued (9/24): "In spite of
his miserable performance as a peacemaker, Bush is not prepared to cooperate
with the UN as a partner, let alone apologize for calling it 'irrelevant' a
year ago. Thus, with the new Iraq
resolution, trouble is still brewing in diplomatic circles. Still, Bush will be spared complete defeat at
the UN. After all, the world needs a
peaceful Iraq, and not exercise grounds for globally active assassins working
out of a country sporting anarchy instead of democracy."
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten wrote in financial daily De
Financieel-Economische Tijd (9/24):
“U.S. President George W. Bush’s address to the UNGA made it clear again
that only one vision can prevail: the
American vision. Bush sticks to his
concept of unilateralism, i.e., the right to intervene anywhere in the world,
in the name of the war on terror and democracy.
Bush also deeply believes that such recipe will lead to a better world without
terror. Both UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan and French President Jacques Chirac belong to the other camp.... Annan strongly criticized the United States
because it made pre-emptive war the cornerstone of its foreign policy while
Chirac boldly said that waging a war alone in the name of all the others is
unacceptable.... About the role of the
UN in Iraq, Bush did not go much farther than his appeal for help from the
international community. One will have
to wait and see whether that is enough to make the international community
CZECH REPUBLIC: "The
Leader Of The Pack"
Pavel Masa observed in the center right Lidove noviny
(9/24): "Talks about open
hostilities [between the U.S. and some European countries] are just as
inaccurate as phrases about common values [and warm friendship]. A more appropriate comparison would be the
fight for leadership in a pack--only exceptionally does any rival get hurt and
never does the pack disintegrate....
From Chirac’s speech yesterday, it was evident that French policy, in
its defiance of Washington, is seeking long-term goals and it is definitely not
only interested in Iraq.... German
Chancellor Schroeder, by stressing collective decisions over security in the world,
does not fall too far behind [Chirac]....
'Natural friends' on both sides of the ocean should get used to living
with small discrepancies, which in fact, if they do not resort to abuse, can
even make the alliance stronger."
"UN Back In The Game"
Adam Cerny stated in the business Hospodarske noviny
(9/24): "When the [Iraqi crisis]
paralyzed the UN, the rules that had provided guidance for the organization for
the past decades were put in question.
The key players now realize that arguing is no good for any of them,
which increases the chances of the UN to get back into the game.... It is encouraging to see that two members of
the UN Security Council, the U.S. and France...now emphasize a common goal,
although they still have not agreed on how to reach it. Time is running out, though. The attacks on the UN premises in Iraq aimed
to expel the organization from the country.
After that, it would be easier to persuade the Iraqis that their country
is controlled by a foreign power."
Oszkar Fuzes editorialized in leading Nepszabadsag
(9/25): "The U.S. President’s
speech in the UN did not allow any degree of compromise on the privilege of a
preemptive strike. Instead, the
conciliatory speech sought to convince the countries that opposed the strikes
in Iraq to join the camp of supporters.
This way they would also be better off.... But the opponent medium-range powers, of
course rejected the proposal. The
solution would be for President Bush to give up on his concept of preemptive
IRELAND: "Bush Asks
The center-right Irish Independent remarked (9/24): “When the President of the United States
speaks, the world listens with emotions ranging from admiration to
trepidation. But yesterday it paid
almost as much attention to the President of France, Jacques Chirac, and even
greater attention to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi
Annan.... It is underscored by the way
in which Mr. Bush has had to change his line on the UN and the conduct of
international affairs. Before, during
and immediately after the Iraq war he offered the UN what amounted to a choice
between oblivion and acting as the servant of the U.S., and he uttered
undisguised threats against countries that refused to support him. The disastrous aftermath of the war has
forced a rethink.... Yesterday the
President asked for help. Should other
countries come to his aid? There is only
one possible answer. Of course they
should; and in such a way as to permit him to save face. But they will do so only on
conditions.... Yesterday there was a
strong focus on the disagreement between the U.S. and France over a timetable
for elections. The mandate for the armed
force may be more consequential, since the French will not be alone in resisting
untrammeled U.S. control. Many countries,
Ireland among them, will examine the proposed mandate with great care before
taking any action. They will also ponder
the stark warning from Mr. Annan, that the ‘pre-emptive strike’ doctrine ‘could
set precedents that result in a proliferation in the unilateral and lawless use
of force.’ That criticism is all the
more potent because of America's record as a force for good.”
"The Future Of World Politics"
The center-left Irish Times editorialized (9/24): “Mr. Bush repeated his positions on
terrorism, the need for pre-emptive action...and the potential that a
democratic Iraq could transform the Middle East. But he praised the UN's role and appealed for
help in patrolling and reconstructing Iraq....
His speech was pitched as much at a domestic as an international
audience.... President Chirac minced no
words in condemning the U.S. threat to multilateralism.... He too indicated a readiness to repair
relations on the basis of new agreements.
The UN fulfilled its indispensable role as a world forum in hosting
these speeches yesterday.... It is not
enough, as Mr. Annan said, to denounce departures from long-established norms;
new threats have to be faced up to through collective action. The UN's great failing is to substitute
rhetoric for action. However, Mr. Annan
is well aware that this can only be overcome by working with the
member-states. Those who value the UN's
work must reinforce pressure on governments to reciprocate.”
"Annan Brings Stark Reality Of UN Position Home To
Deaglán de Bréadún reported in the center-left Irish Times
(9/24): “Mr. Bush's speech was
long-awaited and there was much speculation on its contents...but in the end it
turned out a rather flat production, more important for what it didn't say or
barely mentioned than for its main themes.
We knew already the President was not about to backtrack or apologize
over the invasion of Iraq. His argument
was simple: an evil dictator has gone, the torture chambers and rape rooms are
no more, and now it is up to the international community to assist in the
rebuilding of Iraq as a showcase to other Middle East countries, proving that
democracy works and maybe you should try it yourselves sometime.... The President's tone was surprisingly
measured and low-key. There was no
evangelical zeal to destroy an ‘axis of evil.’.... The old tub-thumping zeal, so evident after
‘9/11’ was muted this time.”
Annan Lashes Out At the U.S. Very Hard"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant commented (9/24): "Secretary General Kofi Annan lashed out
at the U.S. very hard. Without
mentioning the U.S. by name, he condemned states which think they have the
right to use force against other countries without UNSC approval or without it
being a case of self defense.... His
words could not help but be taken as a reprimand for the U.S."
"Miserable Day For A President Eligible For Re-Election"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant's U.S.-based correspondent
stated (9/24): "It is spectacular
to see how rapidly President Bush is losing terrain. It is still not too late for his re-election,
but his room for maneuvering is shrinking and it seems as if the world is
ganging up against him..... The image is
growing of a powerful president of a powerful country who is slowly but surely
becoming isolated. This image is
confirmed by opinion polls--and this is maybe the most alarming news for George
Bush. Not only Kofi Annan, Chalabi, and
Chirac are letting him down but also Bill, Joe, and Mike are starting to turn
their back on him."
The independent VG commented (9/25): “Those looking for new signals in the speech
President George W. Bush gave at the UN were disappointed. The 24-minute-long speech appeared surprisingly
uninspired as a defense for America’s Iraq policy. The speech was obviously first and foremost
aimed at the American public, who in a year will determine the President’s
political fate. It is also first and
foremost American public opinion that may finally force the President to
involve the UN to a much larger extent in the reconstruction of Iraq.... The big question is therefore if and when the
President will decide to loosen the reigns.
New drops in the opinion polls as a result of a limping economy and
constant problems in Iraq may force him to do so.”
"Iraq Is The Sole Responsibility Of The U.S."
The social democratic Dagsavisen judged (9/25): “Hardly any American president has received
an icier response from the UN General Assembly than George W. Bush when he
demanded global support for U.S. operations in Iraq.... If France decides to voice its
dissatisfaction by abstaining, and is joined by others, the resolution will be
viewed as weak and somewhat non-binding....
The situation in Iraq is and remains the sole responsibility of the
U.S. If the costs become so great that
next year it costs George W. Bush the election, many counties will, with good
reason, consider this to be in their national interest.... It is too late to hand over the responsibility
for security in Iraq to a multinational UN force. All foreign soldiers in Iraq will now be
considered as part of the American occupation."
The financial daily Dagens Neringsliv remarked (9/25): “The Americans’ hope of receiving significant
support, even with the backing of a UN resolution, must also be limited. To help the Americans to clean up after an
unpopular war, with considerable risk to their own soldiers, is surely not high
on many countries’ list of priorities.
The Iraqi war was an American project.
The 'nation-building' that must follow, will to a large extent remain an
American responsibility, and the American taxpayers will get the bill. ‘We don’t need the UN,’ President Bush said
on Monday. If UN support to rebuild Iraq
will be modest, we hope he is right.”
The social democratic Dagsavisen observed (9/20): “Secretary General Kofi Annan made a timely
warning against the use of pre-emptive war, when opening the debate.... The new doctrine of the Bush administration,
which allows war as a means to avoid possible threats, can be easily misused to
attack regimes that for one reason or another are out of favor. This is a step backward--closer to global
anarchy and the absolute power of the strongest.”
POLAND: "The Myths Of
Bronislaw Wildstein observed in centrist Rzeczpospolita
(9/24): “UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
criticized President Bush’s strategy, his doctrine of pre-emptive war in
particular, which he thinks is a threat to international order and
security. At the same time the Americans
received evidence that al-Qaida had planned more terrorist attacks on the
United States..... One could hardly find
a better substantiation of one’s strategy than through the realization of its
objectives. The Americans did realize them. The success of their strategy confirms that
terrorism today can be fought only offensively, by destroying its structure and
bases.... Certainly, Annan recognizes as
legitimate such interventions, which are held under the auspices of the
UN. Also, he thinks that American
actions are a threat to the organization.
The point is that the UN in its current form is a dead body. The sooner that is understood, the better.”
Desperately Seeking Allies"
Foreign policy analyst Mihaela Ganet commented in financially
oriented daily Curentul (9/25):
"Dominated by discussions on the theme of Iraq, and moving towards
UN reform, the annual UN summit underlined the divisions inside the
international community, divisions unveiled by the Iraqi crisis. On the one side, as was expected, is the
American President George W. Bush, who performed a new aria on the necessity
for and opportunity of the Iraqi intervention; on the other hand, the French
President, Jacques Chirac, with his eagerly awaited speech, taking into account
his previous calm manner regarding the UN resolution that was negotiated by the
Americans.... All these divisions
continue to deepen the worries about the way in which the U.S. will be able to
administer Iraq, taking into account that they would need additional military
involvement and money, without giving up control, and that France and its
allies insist, as Jacques Chirac explained once again, for a quicker transfer
"Change Of Tone"
The conservative daily Cronica Romana noted (9/25): “The only noticeable change in the American
position is the one regarding the tone; the U.S. president seemed to be more
conciliatory in pleading for his administration's same point of view on the
Iraqi issue. At the same time, the
French position seems to be inflexible, with President Jacques Chirac
expressing new accusations against the American government, for neglecting all
plans regarding the UN role.”
"A Defensive Speech"
Independent daily, Cotidianul remarked (9/25): "In a defensive speech, the American
president defended the war in Iraq and asked the UN member states to help in
the Iraqi reconstruction process.
Despite all of this, Bush’s speech was coldly received by the UN General
Assembly and was counterbalanced with the speech by President Jacques Chirac,
who condemned, as was easy to expect, the war in Iraq and called for the UN to
play a ‘total role’ in this country."
SLOVENIA: "End Of War
In The UN"
U.S. correspondent Ervin Hladnik Milharcic observed in
left-of-center Delo (9/24): “Kofi
Annan won the duel between George Bush and Jacques Chirac. To be honest, it was not very difficult. Bush had demonstrated that he functioned best
in situations where expectations were low.
In this case, expectations were high, but the American president did not
come with anything new. He did not bring
with him any proof of Iraq’s possession of WMD.... Neither did he present any evidence of Iraq’s
having been al-Qaida’s base.... Chirac
did not offer any novel interpretation of the world either.... Although Bush and Chirac did not declare an
end to the war between the United States and France, they did assert that open
hostilities had ended. [Now] the two
countries only disagree about [how long] the occupation [of Iraq] should
last.... Annan in his unusually resolute
address...called for a reform of the United Nations. He demanded widening of the Security Council
and an equal role for third world countries in decision making. A consultative body--in which five out of
fifteen members have the right of veto--is an ideal forum which can be called
irrelevant by superpowers any time the [Security Council’s] decisions do not
support their interests.”
SPAIN: "Iraq And The
Centrist La Vanguardia judged (9/24): "In reality, what divides the U.S. government
as regards a new UN resolution from the attitudes of the two European leaders
most opposed to the war in Iraq is slight....
Ideologically and doctrinally...the George Bush who appeared yesterday,
before an institution that many of the neoconservatives disdain, was a much
less aggressive speaker than the one a year ago who warned of the risk of
irrelevancy of the UN."
"Bush's New Tact"
Conservative La Razon took this view (9/24): "Between the solid Paris-Berlin block
and Bush there exists an intermediary solution.... If Bush is willing, as he seemed yesterday,
to give a leading role to the international community, to the UN in the
reconstruction of Iraq, its now France's turn to back off its position and its
demand of immediate transfer of power to an Iraqi government.... Yesterday, a new U.S. position took the stage
that abandons unilateral policies in order to return to a path of international
agreement which was left off during the offensive against Saddam."
Left-of-center El País maintained (9/24): "Bush, as was expected, has maintained
his monolithic discourse on Iraq. In his
appearance before the General Assembly in order to convince the world to share
the burden of occupation, he reaffirmed the justification for intervention
without admitting any error.... Bush's
words sounded even more unreal in the building in New York.... The slight thaw which one is beginning to
perceive on both sides of the Atlantic should permit an accommodation of
positions between Bush and his principal European critics.... This may be the only way of avoiding a
situation in which what should never have been started ends in absolute
disaster with global consequences."
"Bush And The UN"
Conservative daily ABC argued (9/24): "President Bush, whose speech was
expected to give us a glimpse of where the discussions to find a new consensus
have led, did not deviate from the script....
But, the creation of a democratic system in Iraq, for the first time in
history, cannot be the product of an act of will, nor a mere demonstration of
good intentions. It has to be a process
of creating institutions.... The
scenario in which this might unfold, however, has been aided by the allied
intervention and the fall of Saddam Hussein."
SWEDEN: "Can The UN
Liberal Stockholm morning daily Dagens Nyheter
editorialized (9/25): "It was a hard-to-please and reserved UNGA that
listened to the U.S. President George Bush....
The wounds of the diplomatic play prior to the Iraqi War are still
deep. It is difficult for many states to
agree with Bush's talk about freedom, about promoting democracy in the Mideast,
and that the U.S. is safeguarding the UN ideals. Instead they see a president whose cabinet is
determined to sink the present international system.... With regards to Iraq many stress that the
U.S. by itself should handle what it started.... However, should the international community
step back, a dangerous path would be taken.
There is certainly no reason to yield to Washington, or to allow the
Americans to continue to dictate the terms, but unless the reconstruction of
Iraq is not speeded up, an explosive situation is imminent."
"And What Is The French Contribution?"
Conservative Stockholm-based morning daily Svenska Dagbladet
observed (9/25): "Now France has
achieved yet another national triumph.
President Jacques Chirac's UNGA address was met with ovations while
President Bush's appearance was meet with coolness.... The French actions were decisive when the
Security Council did not manage to unite over joint action in Iraq. This was a Pyrrhic victory as Chirac was
totally wrong in his judgment on the outcome of the war. Now it is difficult to not be able to escape
from the suspicion that he wants to be right with regards to peace.... But to win the war it is necessary that more
countries join Germany's example to promise solidarity with those states that until
now have carried the burden. But this
urgently requires an expanded UN mandate in Iraq, and the French contribution
in this regard has been to quarrel about the exact moment when full
responsibility should be handed over to the Iraqis."
Soli Ozel commented in mass-appeal Sabah (9/25): “During the UNGA address, President Bush
pledged support for the American political mission in Iraq. The very country he represents undermined the
UN’s internationally recognized rules and principles, yet he repeatedly tried
to justify to the UNGA members the correctness of U.S. policy in Iraq. Along with the Iraq issue, Bush voiced
concern and showed sensitivity towards some vital humanitarian issues despite
the preconceived image within international public opinion that the U.S. never
cared for those issues. However, the
whole speech highlighted one single fact, that the United States did not
receive any enthusiastic support within the UNGA. Members did not take the ‘let’s do it
together’ message seriously because the U.S. has already carried out its plan
by passing the UN. Interestingly, there
was more silence than applause....
Nevertheless, a new UN resolution is still very likely. It is yet not clear which side will be giving
"UN Is At The Crossroads"
Turgut Tarhanli wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal
(9/25): “The current U.S. administration
itself started digging the hole for the demise of United Nations. And President Bush’s UNGA address proved that
the U.S. administration is determined to continue with this approach. This is an alarming situation, as UNSG Annan
highlighted during his speech.... The
Bush administration simply put aside any consideration for establishing a civilized
order, and adopted exertion of force as policy.
In the U.S.’s book ‘using force’ becomes ‘legal means.’ This is what the U.S. argument is all about
although that does not mean it will be taken as a legitimate and legal method
to deal with international issues.... As
UNSG Annan clearly put it, the whole world stands at a crossroads; i.e., we
must make a choice between legality and the use of force.”
Akiva Zimmerman wrote in nationalist Hatzofe (9/25): "It looks as though Shimon Peres has an
outstanding student called George Bush.
Judging from his remarks at the UNGA, it appears that Bush has adopted
Peres' 'New Middle East' vision and his delusions. Bush talked about a democratic Arab state in
Eretz Yisrael [Israel, including the territories]. Despite being the president of the most
important country in the world, he doesn't seem to be acquainted with history
at all. There is no democratic Arab
country--there hasn't been and there won't be one. Bush also wants to educate Iraq as if it had
been the United States' 'motherland'; he is fostering illusions about a
democratic regime in Iraq. Apparently,
he is not knowledgeable about the history of Iraq, which has been changing
regimes by way of the sword, not in the polling booths.... In the same way a state of blacks and Indians
shouldn't be established in Bush's United States, an Islamic state shouldn't be
established in Eretz Yisrael, which belongs to the sole Jewish people."
Transfer Of Power"
The elite, English-language Jordan Times opined
(9/25): "Amidst increasing calls
for a swifter transfer of powers and sovereignty to the Iraqi people from
within and without Iraq, U.S. President George Bush's speech to the 58th session
of the UN General Assembly last Tuesday on this very point was quite
disappointing and confusing at best....
Bush seems to be of the opinion that the transfer of authority to Iraqis
must be realized progressively, according to their needs. If the needs of the Iraqis are what will
determine and dictate the pace of the process of sovereignty transfer, then who
can better comprehend and express this need than the Iraqi people
themselves? Surely it is not up to the
U.S. or even the UN to rule on this point.
As for Bush's other qualifying words to the effect that the speed of any
such transfer of power must neither be hurried nor delayed by the wish of other
parties--one can rightfully inquire about the identity of these 'other
parties'.... French President Jacques
Chirac, who also addressed the General Assembly last Tuesday and is the
champion of calls for sovereignty transfer, had however, this to say about the
issue: 'It is the UN's task to lend legitimacy to this process'.... The key thoughts here are the role of the UN
in this process must be greater, the pace of this process must be gradual, and
the reference to current Iraqi institutions must necessarily include the
current Iraqi interim Governing Council.
Against this backdrop, the gap between the various scenarios being
entertained in this context is not so wide that it cannot be bridged. This gap will be resolved when the time comes
up for adopting the projected U.S.-sponsored Security Council resolution on
"A More Humble Washington Negotiates Its Place In The
Rami G. Khouri wrote in the elite, English-language Jordan
Times (9/24): "It's bad enough
for the U.S. that it must go back to the UN and ask for assistance, after
ignoring the UN back in March when it could not secure the mandate for war that
it sought. It's worse that most of the
countries are not very anxious to rescue the U.S. from its Iraqi
predicament.... We may be witnessing, in
fact, the belated entry of the United States into modern world history, ending
the long period during which the U.S. dealt with the world's countries and
peoples essentially as either markets or targets.... The sense one gets here of Washington's Iraq
policy is primarily a strange combination of irritation, confusion, concern and
determination. All the key
players...globally seem to appreciate the severe consequences if the U.S. were
to stay in Iraq too long or get out too quickly. This is why we suddenly have a novel and
important situation in which the U.S. no longer simply barks orders and issues
threats and ultimatums to the rest of the world. We now witness the Bush administration
negotiating seriously--with Congress, with the world--to devise a more
realistic, acceptable and humble policy in Iraq. This is a process that should be encouraged,
for the well-being of all."
Speech And Colin Powell’s Slip Of The Tongue"
Fouad Mattar contended in pro-Sunni Al-Liwaa
(9/25): “President Bush Junior was
giving his speech at the UN with a Texan style saying things that did not
convince anyone anymore. He was talking
about ‘his holy war’ on ‘terrorism’ and how security was brought to the Middle
East after he brought down Saddam Hussein’s regime, when his Secretary of State
Colin Powell was saying in a televised interview that ‘Iraq should be an
Islamic State just as the U.S. was a Jewish Christian State’ [sic].... What Secretary Powell said was no slip of the
tongue, in this long season of slips of the tongue witnessed during the term in
office of the Bush administration where one can hardly find a speech that did
not include a slip of the tongue usually expressing the truth. And although the General of Diplomacy (Colin
Powell) is speaking here about the ideology of the administration to which he
belongs and not about that of the majority of the American people, still his
speech leads us to assume that before this new faction of the American society
represented by President Bush’s administration we will not have stability but
will always be the target of threats, blackmail and even attacks.”
"Bush And The Great Catastrophe"
Awni Kaaki wrote in pro-Syrian Ash-Sharq (9/25): “President Bush stood before the UNGA
personifying the image of the Emperor of Earth, using in his speech
intimidating terms against anyone objecting to his destructive
policies.... The international community
had expected bush to say something different. It expected him to reconsider his position on
Iraq and call the International Community to play an effective role in saving
Iraq. But he did not. On the contrary with rudeness and impudence
he announced it was still very early to restore authority to the Iraqis,
turning his back to everything the international community desires in this
regard.... Didn’t Bush’s Secretary of
State Colin Powell say that the U.S. was a Christian-Jewish State? Doesn’t that confirm the control of the
Jewish lobby on decision-making centers in the American administration? There is no doubt that Bush’s speech before
the UNGA was of pure Jewish working. And
the world should realize that before the great catastrophe occurs.”
Sahar Baasiri opined in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar
(9/24): “President Bush is still in one
valley and the whole world is in another valley. He stood before the General Assembly as if he
is not coming to the UN to ask for help.
He addressed the leaders of the world by talking about his great
achievements in Afghanistan and Iraq, ignoring what is really happening in
these two countries.... Nothing has
changed! Apparently...Bush cannot
understand the international atmosphere despite the fact that it was clarified
by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who...sharply criticized the strategy of
preventive attacks and unilateral policies.
But what were these words for?
Bush continues to classify the world as black and white.... Why did Bush go to the UN and on what basis
did he ask for assistance? His speech
does not reflect a desire to work as a team with other states.... Perhaps the rest of the world thought that it
will be listening to a speech that would include an effort to reconcile with
the world.... However, it seems, as
President Chirac said, that the confrontation in order to reach a new world
balance will continue.”
"A Weak Position That Proves That The U.S Army Is Drowning In
Youssef Daou observed in pro-Sunni Al-Liwa’ (9/24): “Arab diplomatic sources in New York opined
that President Bush’s speech before the General Assembly did not really include
any new message. One prominent Arab
minister said that...they expected President Bush to take a new position on
Iraq, but everything he said was mere repetition and the ‘world could have done
without this speech'.... The same
sources belittled the importance of Bush’s justifications for continuing the
occupation of Iraq...and noted that the basic gap in his speech was not putting
a tentative date for ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq.... The sources concluded that Bush’s position
"Bush Can Only Stall For So Long Before Iraqi Quagmire Drags
The moderate English-language Daily Star declared
(9/24): "George W. Bush’s speech to
the United Nations...was not nearly as discouraging as some had feared, but nor
did it move the Iraq controversy any closer to a viable solution. At best, the president of the United States
seemed to be stalling for time, apparently under the illusion that standing
still is a substitute for building the necessary support for a workable plan
that might salvage the situation--and quite possibly his chances of winning a
second term in office. Essentially, Bush
and his advisers find themselves in a dilemma of their own creation. They need desperately to have other great
powers to take on roles befitting their status but cannot make the necessary
concessions without admitting to some extent that thus far they have made a
mess of things.... There is a fleeting
window of opportunity to reverse the downward spiral, and Bush has yet to
demonstrate an understanding of how it might be put to good use.... In actuality, it is American aimlessness that
offers succor to its enemies by creating the impression that for all its might,
the superpower is a very confused beast.
Countries like France and Germany do not want America to fail, but
neither do they want to be part of a disaster that they rightly see as being
perfectly preventable. Their involvement
might come with a heavy political price tag, but their continuing estrangement
will be even more expensive."
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan
editorialized (9/25): "According to
President Bush, the Iraqi people are incapable of handling their own affairs
and of running their country. President
Bush seems to have forgotten that when the occupation forces demolished the
infrastructure of Iraq, leaving it broken and out of order, this chaos and lack
of security was the outcome. The
patching attempts by military governor Paul Bremer will not bring peace and
security back to Iraq. Rebuilding the infrastructure the American way needs
decades to accomplish. As long as the occupation is in control of Iraq’s
resources, these years will extend forever.
President Bush now wants to convince the United Nation to send
peacekeeping forces to Iraq, and contribute to paying the bill for
restructuring Iraq with the U.S."
SYRIA: "The Sole
Ideology Of Violence In The Middle East"
Dr. Mahdi Dakhllalah, chief editor of government-owned Al-Ba'th,
noted (9/24): "In his address at
the UNGA, President Bush reiterated the importance of changing the Middle East
by weakening the ideologies that export violence.... It is easy in the Middle East to recognize
the sole ideology that produced violence for decades. We can see results on the ground helping to
recognize this ideology; the phenomenon of occupation and aggression on one
hand, and the phenomenon of resistance on the other. Is it difficult to recognize behind which
phenomenon the real ideology of violence hides?
For decades, the Zionist ideology has devastated the region departing
from racist concepts and utilizing methods of extermination and terrorism
depending on unlimited support from the circles of hegemony in the world."
TUNISIA: "Wrong Method
Editor-in-chief Chokri Baccouche wrote in
independent French-language Le Quotidien (9/25): “President Bush’s speech at the UN has only
reiterated what everybody already knew.
The speech reflected a constancy in the American policy particularly
about Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.... One small step forward and two steps
backward, this is what we deduce from President Bush’s speech.... The unconvincing arguments presented by the
American president have only raised suspicions of Washington, where they
continue to alternate between transparency and confusion in policy. The speech included some new ideas: the
pretext of looking for WMD has been replaced with looking for common graves and
places of torture by the former Iraqi regime in order to legitimize the
American-British coalition military intervention against this regime.... As for the Palestinian issue, the same U.S.
logic prevailed with strong criticism of the Palestinian leaders and Arafat in
particular.... Through a pathetic
analysis, George Bush has once again confirmed Washington's bias towards the
Israeli state. It is clear that the UN
should take this opportunity to put order to the international chaos and to
improve its image.... Hence, Iraq’s
autonomy and the end of the occupation, the sooner the better, represents a
real test that will determine the UN's future.”
U.S. Feels The UN Heat"
The English-language Dubai-based Gulf News remarked
(9/25): "Even as U.S. President
George W. Bush went to the United Nations to reiterate his case for obtaining
help from fellow UN members in the reconstruction of Iraq, the world body's
secretary general pulled no punches in rebuking the sole superpower for its
unilateralist action. Kofi Annan's
speech is in concert with many voices of caution from the developed and developing
world that American unilateralism threatens global peace and security. Annan makes it abundantly clear, if any more
clarity is needed, that the Bush doctrine of 'pre-emptive war' implemented in
Iraq, is a fundamental challenge to the principles that had ensured world peace
and stability since the UN's creation 58 years ago. In highlighting this at the highest
international forum, Annan and French President Jacques Chirac have issued a
warning against the action on Iraq setting a precedent. Weighing in yet again on the side of
multilateralism, Chirac, a vocal opponent of the war, reminded the Americans
that there is no alternative to the UN.
The logical outcome must be an acceptance of a mutuality of needs
between the U.S. and the UN, leading to a consensus that delivers succor to a
nation that needs all these players most--Iraq."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "U.S., Not
UN Can Save The World"
Foreign editor Greg Sheridan opined in the conservative Australian
(9/25): “It is unrealistic for UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to say that pre-emption threatens the global order
that has prevailed since the creation of the UN in 1945. The truth is the UN system has never provided
international order.... Bush has asked
for the world's help in building a democratic, prosperous and stable Iraq. What kind of mad Parisian irresponsibility
would put scoring a few points off U.S. difficulties ahead of undertaking that
urgent task, which is literally in the interests of all mankind?”
"U.S. And UN Must Heed Lessons Of Iraq"
An editorial in the liberal Melbourne-based Age read
(9/25): “The very presence of Mr. Bush
before the General Assembly affirms that the U.S. does not, for all its
warnings, see the UN as irrelevant. This
is not a development to be sneered at, and critics of the war on Iraq should
not seriously entertain the notion of leaving the U.S. to 'sort out its own
mess.' Iraq's needs are too desperate to
permit anti-American feeling to decide responses.... For all the debate over the justifications
for war, the fall of the Iraqi regime was widely welcomed.... Most nations--the U.S., its allies and
critics alike--and the UN also agree on the main objective: 'self-government
for the people of Iraq, reached by orderly and democratic means,' in Mr. Bush's
words. The U.S. must accept that
meaningful UN involvement is the best way to ensure the legitimacy of that
"Uniting Nations After Iraq"
The liberal Sydney Morning Herald stated (9/24): "The first meeting of the United Nations
General Assembly since the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein must look
beyond the inevitable bickering over fault and responsibility in postwar
Iraq. The return of the U.S. president,
George Bush, to the vast assembly room--one year after demanding that the UN
should confront Iraq or 'stand aside'--is a welcome confirmation that the
world's sole superpower cannot truly go it alone.... Mr. Bush offered no apology for Washington's
doctrine of pre-emptive military intervention.
He did not need to. America's
formal request for international assistance in Iraq is sufficient evidence of
the continuing need for global co-operation in conflict resolution."
Unilateralism Of The U.S. Challenges The Future Of The UN"
Wang Jufang stated in official popular Beijing Morning Post
(Beijing Chenbao) (9/25):
“Analysts think that, from what Bush has expressed to the UN assembly,
the U.S. did not make any essential change on its stance on the Iraq
issue. The so-called ‘bigger role’ for
the UN mentioned in Bush’s speech did not surpass the U.S.’ previous
commitment. The UN was still excluded
from Iraqi security affairs and essential political and economic
reconstruction. This is obviously far
from the ‘central’ role of the UN in Iraq requested by France and other
countries. Even though France and
Germany expressed their hope that the U.S. and UK can return power to Iraqis
within ‘several months’, people noticed that Bush clearly refused to set a
schedule on this in his speech. Analysts
indicated that, since the U.S. did not make a major adjustment on its Iraqi
policy, Bush’s speech at the UN assembly will hardly have any influence on
getting the new resolution concerned with Iraq that the U.S. was promoting.”
"Unilateralism Falls Apart"
Hu Xuan commented in the official English-language China Daily
(9/25): “Bush made no excuses for the
chaotic postwar conditions in Baghdad, nor the failure so far to find any
weapons of mass destruction used to justify the war. Rather, he suggested that the world again
needed to act in a pre-emptive manner to prevent attacks by terrorists equipped
with unconventional weapons.... The Iraq
War has proved that pre-emption can do nothing but destroy the international
rule of law. The outcome of such actions
has turned out to run counter to the original wishes of the advocates.... Bush's unapologetic defense of the war in his
speech addressed to the world's leaders offers no help in mending the schism
between the U.S. and the UN to reach a consensus on rebuilding Iraq. That consensus is crucial at this moment, as
greater international involvement is needed in the reconstruction of the
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"The UN Is Relevant, But It May Need Reform"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
said (9/25): "One year ago, U.S.
President George W. Bush stood before the UN General Assembly and threatened to
go to war in Iraq with or without the international body's consent.... The U.S. did go to war, without UN backing,
by building its own coalition of the willing.
The irrelevance that he had forecast for the UN has not, however,
materialized. If anything, the UN is
looking increasingly crucial to the task of rebuilding Iraq and even
Afghanistan, where the U.S. only two years ago led an international force in
dismantling the Taliban government. UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan was frank about the UN's challenges.... If the delegates and members wanted the
Council to have any relevance at all, he told the gathering, they would have to
resolve their differences about how the new Security Council should
look.... In the short term, the U.S.
will have to allow the UN to be meaningfully involved in reconstruction and
peacekeeping in Iraq.... If changes to
the UN itself are called for, members should not hesitate to make them. This time around, the UN's relevance may well
be at stake."
TAIWAN: "U.S. Looks
Distressed Over Its Unilateralism"
Pei Ya-hsuan noted in pro-independence Taiwan Daily
(9/25): "In short, the increasing
casualties of American soldiers in Iraq have sparked mounting voices from the
Americans who want the United Nations to get involved in the peacekeeping and
reconstruction efforts in Iraq. In
addition, the U.S. already looked distressed, as it can hardly solely shoulder
the huge reconstruction costs in post-war Iraq.
All these have demonstrated that U.S. unilateralism is now in a quandary
of whether it can carry on or not."
JAPAN: "UNSC Must Be
Liberal Asahi observed (9/25): "In a speech before the UNGA, President
Bush sought assistance from the UN and the world community in Iraq's
reconstruction. But UN Secretary General
Annan criticized 'U.S. unilateralism' in dealing with Iraq, calling the U.S.
doctrine of pre-emptive military strikes (without UNSC approval) a fundamental
challenge to the UN Charter.... It was
not Mr. Bush but Mr. Annan, who received greater applause from the UNGA
audience.... President Bush should be
aware that the international community has become less supportive of the
current U.S. position of unilaterally ruling world affairs while trying to use
the UN as an assistant in implementing U.S. world policy. But it is also true that as long as the UNSC
is unable to address problems related to war and peace, it cannot prevent the
U.S. from intensifying its 'go-it-along' diplomacy. The functions of the UNSC must be revised and
strengthened to promote international cooperation in dealing with global
"Effective Resolution For Iraq Stabilization"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (9/25): "Speeches by U.S. President Bush and
French President Chirac at the UNGA showed the U.S. and France are still at
odds over the reconstruction of postwar Iraq.
In the speech, Chirac called for an early transfer of sovereignty to the
Iraqi people. But we believe the French
proposal is too hasty and it will only add to the postwar confusion that is
gripping Iraq. For its part, the U.S.
needs to present detailed plans to stabilize Iraq and transfer sovereignty to
the Iraqi Governing Council. Japan, as a
close U.S. ally, should do as much as it can to meet the U.S. call for greater
financial assistance and formation of a multinational force to help rebuild
"Annan Slams U.S. Unilateral Action"
Liberal Asahi's UN correspondents held (9/24): "In a speech before the UNGA, President
Bush, keeping in mind the North Korean nuclear standoff, disclosed plans to
call on the UNSC to adopt a new resolution against the proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction. The President
sought further assistance from the UN and the world community in Iraq's
reconstruction. But UN Secretary General
Annan criticized what he calls U.S. unilateralism in dealing with Iraq and
other global issues, calling the U.S. doctrine of pre-emptive military strikes
(without a UNSC approval) a fundamental challenge to the UN Charter."
Unilateralism Feared To Encourage Law Of The Jungle"
Leading independent Kompas declared
(9/25): “As predicted, the U.S.
President Bush used the UNGA forum to defend his policy of attacking Iraq. Before the leaders of 191 countries, he
talked about his pre-emptive attack doctrine.... Bush’s address seemed to lack his persuasive
power amid major disappointment over the U.S. stance on Iraq. Moreover, as if not guilty, the U.S. has urged
the UN, which it had earlier despised, to help in rebuilding Iraq.... The collective nature of the UN, which has
been emphasized since its inception after World War II, is now being questioned
since the U.S. tends to go at it alone.
What is more apprehensive is that the use of the pre-emptive strike
doctrine might encourage the law of the jungle.”
MALAYSIA: "This Lion
Needs Sharper Teeth"
Abdullah Ahmad remarked in the government-influenced
English-language New Straits Times (9/24): "Bush’s tough and unyielding speech at
the General Assembly yesterday...said again that he had made no mistake in
invading Iraq and planning for post-war security and reconstruction for that
unfortunate nation. Privately, all know
that the United States did not anticipate the scope and duration of the raging
guerrilla war against the Anglo-American occupation. Bush would make no concessions to demands
that the U.S. share authority to run Iraq, though he was asking France, Germany
and Russia to break an impasse over sharing peacekeeping and construction
costs.... The UN is nothing if not for
the global legitimacy that it confers, which suffers when decision-making is
shackled by a powerful few. Obviously,
the first thing to do is to remake and enlarge the Council.... If Security Council disconnect has damaged UN
credibility and legitimacy, then the U.S. decision to invade Iraq without a UN
mandate has left it in tatters.... The
Bush administration has given belated but token recognition to the necessity of
UN auspices in the re-construction of Iraq.
The U.S. might be able to unilaterally wage war, but it cannot act alone
to make peace. For peace to take hold,
the UN has to provide the necessary degree of multipolarity in a unipolar
Publisher Max V. Soliven maintained in the independent Philippine
Star (9/24): “Mr. Bush has other
troubles back in Fortress America. His
address to the United Nations may have been made with conviction, but how many
of the skeptical UN countries can he convince to join the new heavily embattled
effort in occupied Iraq?"
SOUTH KOREA: "Bush’s
UN Speech Shameless"
Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized
(9/25): “President Bush, in his first
speech to the UN since the U.S. war on Iraq, asserted that the U.S. was right
to invade Iraq, defending the legitimacy of his strategy of preemption. This arrogant attitude of Mr. Bush clearly
shows that the combat troops that the U.S. as requested of some 10 countries,
including the ROK, are merely part of the occupying force.... The U.S. invasion and armed occupation of
Iraq is obviously an immoral, imperialistic act of aggression. The U.S. must admit its wrongdoing, apologize
to the international community for its action, and take steps to redress the
present wrongful situation by immediately handing over sovereignty to the Iraqi
people. Only then can it raise the need
for UN peacekeeping forces, not U.S.-led multinational forces, to stabilize and
rehabilitate the war-torn Iraq.”
"Conflict Between Bush And Chirac At UN"
Moderate Hankook Ilbo held (9/25): “We cannot help but pay attention to the
conflict between Presidents Bush and Chirac at the UN over a transfer of
sovereignty to Iraq, because the issue is crucial in adoption of a UN resolution
on Iraq, which will determine the nature of forces to be dispatched to keep
order in Iraq, i.e. whether they will operate as UN multinational forces or
U.S. allied forces. We firmly believe
that the task of keeping order in Iraq must be carried out by multinational
forces, authorized by the UN Security Council.
Only then can they work smoothly in reconstructing Iraq while allaying
anti-American sentiment in the country, and we can also participate in such
work without encouraging anti-U.S. feelings in our society.”
"There Is No Such Thing As A ‘Free Lunch’ In The World"
Kim Young-hie argued in independent Joong-Ang Ilbo
(9/24): "The U.S. request for
additional troops for Iraq can be seen as the bill for President Bush’s recent
description of President Roh as his ‘friend'.... Seoul seems to have no choice but to accept
the U.S. request and to send, at least, thousands of troops to Iraq.... In this regard, what Seoul must do is to make
clear its position of sending troops to Iraq, in accordance with the spirit of
the ROK-U.S. alliance, and to start to negotiate with Washington on the size of
our dispatched troops and their station regions in Iraq. Furthermore, it would be wise to utilize the
troop dispatch issue as leverage in dealing with USFK realignment, rather than
trying to discuss the terms of our troop deployment.... The biggest stumbling block to ensuring
stability in Iraq is the insatiable U.S. greed of monopolizing the exploits of
the Iraq war. Accordingly, if the UN
adopts a second resolution on Iraq and if countries that opposed the war,
including France and Germany, participate physically in postwar reconstruction
in Iraq, the Iraq war will come to a real end."
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "Will Bush Return
To His Senses?"
Independent Calcutta-based Bengali-language Ananda Bazar
Patrika contended (9/25): "Even
after such an invasion with so much fanfare and installation of a provisional
government on the soil of the vanquished land President Bush cannot elevate
himself to the role of a protagonist. The sense of hubris and arrogance has evaporated
from his mien and he gradually looks like a pathetic, helpless fellow seeking
to defend himself.... No matter whether
his resolution on Iraq gets the UN approval or not it can be clearly assumed
that possibilities of other countries showering their benevolence on the
present U.S. sponsored government in Iraq is really remote.... There is no denying the fact that America
still remains to be an extremely valuable partner from the international
viewpoint. But the chief concern is that the paradigm of international politics
gets vitiated by America's belligerent unilateralism."
"A Folly Undone"
The nationalist Hindustan Times argued (9/25): "A year ago, George W. Bush had even
compared the world body with the League of Nations in a tone of disdain. Much has changed, however, in these 12
months. Mr. Bush returned to the UN on
Tuesday with a call to everyone to put the past behind them in order to tackle
various problems, including Iraq, AIDS and sex trafficking. Earlier, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
spoke for a vast majority of the world's population while criticizing the
concept of pre-emptive wars. After Bush,
French President Jacques Chirac echoed Annan's criticism of unilateral action
by stressing the ideal of multilateralism.
What these developments underline is the continuing relevance of the UN,
contrary to what the hawkish elements in Washington had been saying. The change in attitude was quite dramatic
considering that the UN had once been regarded as a plaything in the hands of the
U.S..... Now, Mr. Annan has castigated
the American policy without any protest from the U.S. establishment. The reason for the American quiescence is
apparently the lesson it has learnt in Iraq.
The reluctance of countries like India to send troops to Iraq without a
UN mandate has highlighted the relevance of the world body. The UN, therefore, has come through a
difficult period in its history with its reputation intact, perhaps even
The centrist Hindu maintained (9/25): "President Bush stands in dire need of
the international community's assistance to extricate his country from the mess
he has led it to in Iraq. However, such
is the arrogance of imperialism and conquest that he prefers to make a demand,
rather than a request, for assistance. A
request for assistance should include some contrition for waging a war on
grounds that did not exist, as Bush and senior officials now admit; for
imposing death and enormous destruction on the people of Iraq; for disrupting
their state and civil society; and for violating the fundamental principle of
multilateralism on which the United Nations is supposed to be founded. None of this found mention in Bush's address
to the UN General Assembly. The U.S.
seemed to take on board the proposal by other member--states, notably France
and Germany--that sovereignty be restored to the Iraqi people. It is not inconceivable that this
quasi-acceptance of 'Iraqi self-government' in the conceivable future will
ensure the passage of a fresh resolution in the Security Council. However, very few countries are likely to
contribute forces or funds in the event of such a resolution being passed since
the U.S. is not likely to dilute the power of the Coalition Provisional
Authority.... Since the U.S. does not
possess the means to restore normality in Iraq, it wants to give a limited role
to the UN. The Secretary-General of the
United Nations, Kofi Annan, has provided a nuanced analysis of the situation in
Iraq and the world and delivered a heart-felt critique of the doctrine of
pre-emptive military action.... As a
critique of the doctrine of imperialist unilateralism applied to Iraq, this is
clearly insufficient but the UN Secretary-General must be given credit for
going some of the way in agonizing times."
"World At Crossroads"
The centrist Indian Express editorialized (9/25): “If the unrepentant tone of President Bush’s
address to the UN is any indication, there is little reason for optimism that
[UN reforms] will take shape any time soon.
More than ever before, the U.S. badly needs the support of the
international community for the stabilization and reconstitution of Iraq. But instead of seeking that cooperation
through mutual give and take, Bush, possibly concerned by falling grades in
opinion polls for him and his war at home, was addressing his domestic
constituency rather than his immediate audience.... If this is so, he has only added insult to
the existing injury to the world body.”
The pro-BJP Pioneer (9/25):
“U.S. President George W. Bush is fond of telling 'make no mistake'
about U.S. motives and actions. He is
making a big one himself by continuing to be in denial about one undeniable
fact: things have gone horribly wrong
with America's unilateral attempt to save the world by 'delivering' the Iraqis
from Ba'athist tyranny.... It is nothing
short of breathtaking that he could ask ‘friends’ to help the traumatized
nation without once acknowledging its misery on account of a war waged with
little moral or international sanction.”
An editorial in independent Urdu-language Inquilab read
(9/24): “With several European countries
refusing to patrol Iraq on behalf of the invaders, the U.S. is pressuring India
to deploy its troops and help in strengthening the occupation of the
country. Although certain elements
within the country are more than willing to send the troops, the government
must keep itself away from the American quagmire in Iraq. The Indian Parliament has already passed resolution
against sending troops to Iraq. This
position is only reaffirmed in view of the intensifying wave of hatred and
resistance against the occupying U.S. forces in Iraq.”
PAKISTAN: "The Threat
Karachi-based center-left independent national English-language Dawn
contended (9/25): "President George
Bush was typically simplistic in his review of the Iraqi situation, and his
tone fully reflected the self-righteousness that has marked his
administration's entire foreign policy.
In a 'sound-bite' aimed at fawning U.S. media, he said transfer of power
in Iraq would be 'neither hurried nor delayed'.... Its unilateralism and preemptive militarism
are being denounced not only throughout the world, but also increasingly by its
own people. The new fall in Mr. Bush's
popularity ratings to 50 per cent is significant, as is his forced return to
"Importance Of UN's Role For Global Peace"
Leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang noted
(9/25): "U.S. President George Bush
has said nothing new in his address to the United Nations except that he would
not act in haste in accordance with the wishes of other parties for the
transfer of power in Iraq. On terrorism
issue he has repeated what he had been saying before. The U.S. president neither succeeded in
impressing the international community by his address nor was he able to
convince the American people of the justification of attacking and occupying
Iraq. Many analysts in Europe and
America feel that President Bush has once again tried to deceive the American
public by the magic of his words."
"Bush Under Fire"
An editorial in the center-right national English daily, The
Nation stated (9/25): "Not that
one expected the fire-breathing President Bush to relent under fire. But when attacked frontally from a rather
unexpected source that represents the voice of the global conscience, one
should have thought the God-fearing leader of the U.S. would spare a moment to
reflect on the grievous charge leveled against him.... Sadly, neither the reprimands of Mr. Annan
nor the plaintive arguments of Mr. Chirac seem to cut much ice with Mr.
Bush.... The best course open to the
U.S., already under growing global pressure to extricate itself, is to heed Mr.
Chirac’s advice and work for 'the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis' and
let them to take their rightful place in the comity of nations."
"Bush Doctrine: A
Danger For World Peace"
The second largest Urdu daily, Nawa-e-Waqt held (9/25): "Before President Bush’s UNGA speech, UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan criticized Bush doctrine of preemptive
attack.... The obsession that has
overtaken Bush goes against expectation of any change in his policies or ending
his anti-Islam crusade. However,
American people can oust him in the next elections."
"UN At Crossroads"
Sensationalist pro-Jihad Urdu daily, Ummat contended
(9/25): "U.S. President George Bush
became the target of criticism and condemnation of the UN General
Assembly. Most of the 191 members
condemned him for insulting the international community by not seeking UN
permission prior to attacking Iraq. It
was the first occasion when even the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan also
expressed his anger over U.S. policy on Iraq.
U.S. Iraq policy is in fact an open challenge for the UN. It has put the UN at crossroads. The criticism hurled at the U.S. during the
General Assembly session clearly indicates that the world at large is becoming
aware of the deceptive policies of President Bush."
"President Bush’s Address"
The Lahore-based populist Urdu daily Khabrain argued
(9/25): "The UNGA address by the
leader of the world’s sole superpower is part of the U.S. new world order and
it seems as if America wants to use the United Nations to achieve its
fulfillment. The American president has
talked about weapons of mass destruction, but who can deny that the U.S. today
has more WMD than any other country in the world.... President Bush’s demand that Palestinians
bring in new leaders cannot be considered appropriate as it is the Palestinian
nation’s internal matter who they choose as their leader.... Before any attention is paid to the points
raised by the U.S. president, there is a need to develop a unanimous definition
of the term terrorism as well as what weapons can be called WMD.... What more proof that the U.S. president is
not justified than the fact that Kofi Annan has termed his doctrine of
preemptive strike a threat to global peace."
"Frank Discourse Of Kofi Annan"
An editorial in the Karachi-based pro-Taliban/Jihad Urdu daily Islam
(9/25): "The UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan in his inaugural address to the General Assembly made the Iraq
policy of U.S. President George Bush as the center of his criticism.... The manner in which Kofi Annan lambasted Bush
policies has proved the fact that United States is the unprincipled and
unbridled force from which global peace and security, law and justice, humanity
and civilization all are facing threat.
The manner in which the world leaders appreciated the
Secretary-General's address also proves that the magic of U.S. power is now
fading away and the world is coming out of the American fear. On the contrary Bush's speech reflected that
there has been no change in his thinking since after the Iraq war."
BANGLADESH: "Bush, Get
Out Of Iraq: The UN Must Take The
Independent Bangla-language Prothom Alo observed
(9/25): "For the first time after
launching unilateral aggression on Iraq without the approval of the UN Security
Council, President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly with the same tone of
obstinacy, irrationality and highhandedness.
After turning Iraq into ruins, he now says that well-wishers for Iraq
must come forward. Who other than a
brigand can make such a demand? Who is
responsible for Iraq’s distress? What is
the reason for the help that Iraq now needs?
How could Bush and his jingoistic administration urge others to come
forward to help Iraq? The U.S., Britain
and Australia must bear all costs for Iraq’s reconstruction. Mr. Bush must withdraw its troops from Iraq
immediately. The UN will take charge of
the country. It must play the principal
role in Iraq’s political reconstruction.
Bush, you are an illegal occupier and must get out of Iraq."
KENYA: "Let The UN
Heed Bush Plea"
Independent left-of-center Nation opined (9/24): “It is...understandable that Mr. Bush
should now appeal from the same UN which it treated with such disrespect for
help to restore order in Iraq. Yet,
despite the poignancy of this irony, we believe the UN should respond
positively to the SOS. The appeal is
mainly financial and technical and, therefore, is aimed especially at Japan,
the European Union (especially Germany) and France.... But not Mr. Bush. He is still demanding that the UN do it
strictly under U.S. terms. Yet the mess
is America’s own. If it wants the
international community to mop it up for him, he should ask for it with at
least some studied humbleness. Should he
not, in fact, hand over everything to the UN?”
CANADA: "Bush At The
UN: He Seems Faintly Embarrassed"
Columnist Paul Knox commented in the liberal Globe and Mail
(9/24): "The most revealing
truth-twisting in Mr. Bush's address concerned the Iraqi Governing Council, the
body hand-picked by U.S. authorities to help it run occupied Iraq. The country isn't even close to holding a
postwar election. Nevertheless, Mr. Bush
called the council 'the first truly representative institution' there, and
referred to Iraq as a 'young democracy.'...
Democracy would start with voting for a leader.... But it would certainly not be having Paul
Bremer, the U.S.-appointed viceroy of Baghdad, pick a jumble of former exiles,
ethnic chieftains and religious leaders to 'represent' Iraqis. Mr. Bush's words show how dangerously debased
the word 'democracy' has become.
Democracy to him is less a process than a result. You're democratic when you're on our side, or
when you are the product of something we did.
Democracy is like religion, or freedom, or morality--a value to be
enforced rather than a tool for discovering the popular will. The United States isn't the only UN power
seeking to maximize its commercial and strategic interest in Iraq. But the Bush administration continues to give
every impression of seeking to engineer managed outcomes among Iraqis, rather
than fostering a real democratic process and letting the chips fall. That being the case, it's no wonder the
United States and the UN remain at odds."
"World Must Acknowledge U.S. Role In Ending Squalor,
Columnist David Warren observed in the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen (9/24): "U.S. President
George W. Bush's address to the General Assembly yesterday will not make sense,
entirely, if the reader has fallen for the false media account of the sequence
of events. The first thing to grasp is
that the U.S. appeal for UN help in Iraq and Afghanistan is nothing new. It is the continuation of an appeal that
began more than a year ago, when Mr. Bush last addressed the General
Assembly.... The rebuilding of
Iraq--which necessarily involved the removal of the totalitarian dictatorship
of Saddam Hussein--has been U.S. policy continuously. And so has been the U.S. appeal for
help. They didn't get much of it for the
invasion, they are still hoping for more in the après-guerre. As Mr. Bush affirmed yesterday, this is a
U.S.-led project. It cannot be
otherwise--no one else volunteered for the job.
Politically, the Bush administration must take the lion's share of
credit for what is being achieved in Iraq--there are few saints in high
political office. But then it deserves
the credit, from doing the lion's share of the work.... The second big lie, in urgent need of
correction, is that the U.S. expects much from the UN itself. The haplessness of that organization has
already been demonstrated, with an abundance exceeding farce. What the U.S. instead needs is a resolution
from that augustly fickle body. It can
then use the resolution to collect on promises from not only France and
Germany, but more particularly from such countries as India and Turkey, which
said they'd send troops and aid of various kinds, but have used the lack of a
UN resolution as an excuse for dawdling."
"This Time Bush Is Right"
Editorialist Mario Roy judged in the centrist La Presse of
Montreal (9/24): "George W Bush is
right on one thing. The full transfer of
government to Iraqi authorities within a deadline of few weeks is unrealistic. Left to itself, the nation would sink in the
bloodiest of anarchy in 24 hours. U.S.
troops and management are not well liked but their absence would be even
less. For France to continue to defend
such a views says a lot about its will to oppose at any cost to the American
superpower, which gives it airs of an old spiteful power.... It is a shame that France has nothing better
to offer at this time than a weightier international structure overseen by the
UN, whose main problem is that it is already tremendously bureaucratized,
heavy, costly and inefficient....
Granted [the Americans] were wrong to start the war. But should Iraqis have to pay to make up this
"The Strong Man"
Editorialist Guy Taillefer held in the liberal Le Devoir
(9/24): "Considering the quagmire
into which the coalition forces are bogged down in Iraq, the rotting beyond
comprehension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the attacks in Indonesia
and Morocco, the words of the president are in total contradiction with
reality.... That does not mean that the
apologia of multilateralism made by President Chirac is not without fault. He was absolutely right to say that no one
can act in on behalf of everyone else.
But his decision announced Monday not to use the French veto against the
American resolution on the expansion of the military and financial aid to
Iraqis means for all intent and purposes the acceptance of the
occupation.... Paris will nevertheless
continue to fight for a quick transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis since the
sooner the transfer occurs, the sooner the control of the Americans over the
development of Iraq can be bypassed. The
diplomatic tug-of-war seems in vain in light of the weekend announcement by the
Iraqi Governing Council, under American supervision, regarding the full-scale
privatization of the economy--except for the oil industry--and its massive
opening to foreign investment. The
United States will have already have seized the lion's share of the Iraqi
spoils, the day multilateralism takes effect in Iraq."
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor for leading Clarin,
wrote (9/24): "The White House is
intoxicated with unsatisfied needs. It
needs the invasion of Iraq to be successful; and also, to downplay domestic
criticism. In order to achieve this, it
needs the world to accept post-war multilateralism and forget the aggressive
unilateralism imposed since the beginning of the campaign. Bush was tough yesterday when he upheld these
demands. But it's doubtful that the UN
will give him other than a lifesaver.
The flexible tone of France and Germany respond to a logic by which it's
pointless to lead the U.S. to a dead-end street with the improbable prize of
self-criticism that would seriously damage it.
There's no room for mistakes. The
disaster of Iraq is there, inevitably.
But there won't be tons of money and troops to heal the Gulf's open
wounds. The White House will still have
to bear the political cost."
BRAZIL: "What Bush
Sought In His UNGA Speech"
Center-right O Estado de S. Paulo editorialized
(9/25): "President Bush's UNGA
speech seemed to be addressed to U.S. voters much more than to foreign
dignitaries.... The erosion in his
popularity has certainly been noted by foreign leaders, especially those of the
Security Council members, while they evaluate what to do in view of
Washington's request for troops and money for the occupation and reconstruction
of Iraq.... Never before has a UN
secretary general been as forceful as Kofi Annan in criticizing the
U.S.... And no one has interpreted
better than President Lula da Silva the state of subordination to which
Washington has condemned the UN.... But
UNGA speeches are not made to be taken literally.... It seems clear that Bush is aware that the
situation in Iraq has nothing to do with the optimistic picture he has painted
for U.S. voters, and that it is not possible to shorten Iraq's reconstruction
without the UN's full support--which he will surely obtain."
"Where Bush's Stubbornness Will Lead"
Independent Jornal da Tarde commented (9/25): "The UNGA's opening session demonstrated
that the obvious failure of the Pax Americana in Iraq has not been enough to
bridge the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world in regards to this
key issue in today's international relations.... George W. Bush reaffirmed his geopolitical
concept that the U.S. has the right to protect itself from possible attacks by
hidden enemies and that to do so it may even occupy them militarily.... Everything leads to the conclusion that Bush
made the mistake of occupying Iraq thinking of his re-election and based on the
U.S. tradition of supporting leaders in times of war. However, the disastrous post-war operation is
seriously jeopardizing that goal."
"President Bush's Mistakes"
Jurist Ives Gandra Martins opined in liberal Folha de S. Paulo
(9/25): "Due to a matter of 'false
honor,' the U.S. insists on saying that it destroyed Iraq to establish
democracy, while knowing that none of the Arab nations with which it maintains
relations is or intends to be a democracy.
By taking the incorrect course of fighting terrorism through violence,
Bush is generating a nationalistic, anti-American spirit among the Arabs, and
unifying the several cultures of that region in anti-Western sentiment."
Center-left Jornal do Brasil editorialized (9/25): "Only one reason explains President
Bush's insistence according to what he said at the UN; the eventual seizure of
Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden may be a war trophy that may lead the White House
to pull the strings to its extreme. It's
a dangerous game. Iraq is fraught with
traps. India, China, Russia and France
could perform an important role in the sense of obtaining Iraq's stabilization,
provided it is done under the UN military command."
"Bush At The UN"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (9/24): "As expected, President George W. Bush
was the focus of criticism yesterday at the UNGA opening in NYC.... One year ago, Bush said that if the UN could
not make Saddam obey its resolutions, the organization would run the risk of
becoming irrelevant. Yesterday, a less
arrogant Bush addressed the General Assembly to ask for support from its
members. The U.S. president needs help
in terms of soldiers and money.... The
post-war administration has become a quagmire for the U.S.... The costs of the adventure have been much
higher than initially estimated.... Such
a difficult situation is beginning to have political consequences.... Echoing his father, Bush is running the risk
of being defeated in the re-election campaign even though he has won a
MEXICO: "Bush: Rejected At The United Nations"
The left-of-center La Jornada editorialized
(9/24): “U.S. President George Bush
spoke...before the General Assembly of the United Nations to ask that the
global community forget the illegal and arbitrary nature of his recent military
aggression against Iraq and the colonial submission of this miserable country,
and to demand international assistance--money and troops--submissive and
subordinate to the Anglo-American occupation of the Iraqi territory.... Before Bush began speaking, UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan indicated that the Anglo-American invasion could 'set a
precedent that resulted in the proliferation of unlimited use of force, with or
without justification.'... The UN
General Assembly was, therefore, an eloquent indicator of the isolation of
Washington in the international community.”
"Bush And The UN"
Academic Gabriela de la Paz asserted in independent El Norte
(9/24): "Since beginning his
mandate, George W. Bush has made it clear that for him, U.S. interests trump
those of any other country or institution.
Through his ignorance about the details of the most relevant conflicts
between 1999 and 2000, and by his despising of the work of the United Nations,
we could see that Bush was different from Bill Clinton. However, in practice they have not been that
different, since they share the inheritance of an old conflict. Curiously, it seems Americans have a love-hate
relationship with the UN.... The paradox
is that the UN incarnates the best of U.S. tradition and defines a great part
of the contemporary international policy."
CHILE: "The UN At A
Government-owned, editorially independent Santiago daily La
Nacion judged (9/24):
"Secretary General Kofi Annan noted that ...Article 51 of the UN
Charter says that all states have the right to defend themselves if they are
attacked, and that it was understood if they wanted to go any further they
required UN approval. Violating this
principle, he said, would set a precedent of 'unilateral and illegal use of
force, with or without a credible reason.'...
President Bush's remarks before the General Assembly have not helped
mitigate Annan's concern, a concern that is shared by most nations represented
in United Nations.... The UN must
continue to be the alternative to the law of the jungle in the world. It must reaffirm the principles on which it
was founded and change those structures, like the Security Council, that strive
to make the world safer for us all."
COLOMBIA: "The UN, In
Search Of Time Lost"
Medellin-based daily El Colombiano argued (9/24): “President George W. Bush addressed the
United Nations General Assembly using a very different tone and attitude than
the one he exhibited before the war on Iraq....
It is to be hoped that the 58th United Nations General Assembly will
give rise to true peace in Iraq and a recovery of United Nations’ leadership.”
ECUADOR: "Revalue The UN Role"
Quito’s center-left Hoy commented (9/24): “The UN Secretary General defended once again
the need to adopt multilateral responses while condemning the theory of
preemptive attacks launched by the will of one country alone or a coalition, on
the margin of the organization. The U.S.
intervention and subsequent actions in Iraq are more than enough reasons to
reevaluate the role of the UN within the peace efforts in Iraq and in
offsetting the dangerous path of unilateralism.
The Organization cannot relinquish its humanitarian role in the
reconstruction of Iraq, nor mediation aimed at pacifying the country, in spite
of the terrorist attacks suffered. The
UN can facilitate the transition to a government elected by the people in Iraq
in a more agile and democratic timeframe.”