November 5, 2004
BUSH RE-ELECTION: WORLD PONDERS, 'WHAT WILL GEORGE DO'?
** Conservative writers proclaim Bush's re-election a "validation" of Iraq, anti-terrorism policies.
** Critics concede election gave Bush "legitimacy" but fear more "nefarious unilateralism."
** Arab, Muslim writers want "push for peace" in Middle East and "fair treatment" of Muslims.
** Western Hemisphere dailies focus on free trade, hopes for U.S. "olive branch" to world.
Repairing the 'broken Atlantic porcelain'-- Conservative dailies in Britain, Poland and Spain expressed satisfaction at the re-election of President Bush. Poland's center-right Zycie gushed that it "was a good morning" when Poles heard of the incumbent's win, adding that the victory was "bad news to those who opted for America to show moral and political weakness." Spain's ABC said the win should be seen "as an encouragement for the U.S. to consolidate its leadership of free societies in the face of the threat personified by Islamic fundamentalism." Centrist and leftist papers, as well as more nationalist Euro papers, lamented that Bush's record did not offer "much hope of change" in U.S. policies that they described as "imperial American democracy." Many editorialists on both sides of the ideological divide, however, hoped to see the Atlantic alliance "give the relationship another try" even as some judged it "doubtful" the transatlantic partnership could be repaired; many cited the need for the U.S. to pay renewed attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a vital concern.
'Bush II' must 'mend fences'-- Asian editorialists touted Bush's re-election as "good news" for trade even as they termed it the "most divisive of victories." Singapore's pro-government Straits Times asserted that "Mr. Bush can claim that he has received a mandate for his policies, especially on the war on terrorism," and that the world, "especially Mr. Bush's critics in Europe" would have to take notice. Right-of-center dailies applauded the "stunning vindication" of U.S. policies on the war on terror. Critics, such as India's Urdu-language Inquilab, said the results would allow the president to "justify his illegal and illegitimate actions" in Afghanistan and Iraq and traced the victory to the "psychological dilemma" from which Americans have suffered since the 9/11 tragedy; others suggested the world would have to "adjust" to his re-election. Japanese papers spoke for many in urging a new Bush administration to emphasize more multilateralism and cooperation with the UN. African papers said Africans had "nothing to fear" from Bush but hoped more attention would be paid to developing countries.
'Am-Bush'ed by unilateralism, chauvinism'-- To some Arab and Muslim outlets, "the news of Bush’s victory was like a guillotine." Papers in the West Bank, Lebanon and Qatar feared the Bush administration now "will overcome [its] prudence toward new escalations" and that with U.S. backing, Israel "will open a new war file against Palestinians." What Muslims want most from the U.S., according to Saudi Arabia's moderate Al-Watan, is "pushing for peace in the Middle East region," ending the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq "after securing them" and "rebuilding the bridges of trust, cooperation and goodwill between the Western and the Muslim civilizations." Arab commentators generally hoped to see "less military action and more diplomatic efforts." A conservative Israeli paper called Bush's re-election "a defeat for militant Islam," but another Israeli outlet, noting that Bush "will have to mend his bridges with the world," feared this would be done by putting "pressure" on Israel.
Trade concerns high on Canadian, Latin agendas-- Commentary in the Western Hemisphere mirrored that around the world. Some papers worried that "Bush will continue his bellicose rhetoric against terrorism and follow a radical line that disdains allies and ignores multilateral organizations" while others expressed the hope that he "can demonstrate his oft-mentioned ability as a uniter" both at home and abroad. Chile's government-owned, editorially independent La Nacion contended that Bush "will make a serious mistake if he does not take into account the distrust that he creates worldwide" and counseled "dialogue" with other nations. Papers in the hemisphere also focused on trade, with Canadian writers hoping that post-election Bush "will be able to eschew populist protectionism" and Latin analysts thinking of expanded free-trade agreements. Brazil's Valor Economico, however, expected that the U.S. trade approach would, as before, be "to yield a little and demand much."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, email@example.com
EDITOR: Steven Wangsness
EDITOR'S NOTE: Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment. Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet. This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government. This analysis was based on 120 reports from 61 countries November 4-5, 2004. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Life Did Not End On Tuesday"
Columnist Gerard Baker commented in the conservative Times (11/5): "Mr. Bush's re-election was no narrow victory for religious zealots. It confirms that America is a decidedly conservative country, but not an alien one. And its implications for the rest of the world are not baleful. All the world has to fear now is four more years of an America doing its damnedest to export the value that is at the heart of all of its people's beliefs: that people should be as free to choose their own direction as the American people so joyously were this week."
"Bush Has An Exceptional Opportunity--He Must Seize It"
The conservative Times editorialized (11/4): "The president should not waste time trying to appease or win over those who have no time for him. There is the chance, perhaps, that with the passage of time the qualities which Americans see in this politician will become more obvious to others. Mr. Bush must exploit the prominence that he has been given for four more years."
"Four More Years"
The left-of-center Guardian commented (11/4): "We may not like it. In fact, to tell the truth, we don't like it one bit. But if it isn't a mandate, then the word has no meaning. Mr. Bush has won fair (so far as we can see) and square. He and his country--and the rest of the world--now have to deal with it."
"A Time Of Trepidation"
The center-left Independent contended (11/4): "Neither Mr. Bush's record nor his campaign promises offer much hope of change in domestic or foreign priorities. The 'war on terror' will continue to dictate U.S. spending and perpetuate injustices such as Guantanamo. Unless Mr. Bush's attitude towards the outside world changes, there will be little prospect of internationalizing the war in Iraq. The U.S. and Britain will have to continue bearing the brunt of the cost, and the ignominy, almost alone."
"No Power On Earth Can Intimidate A Free Nation"
The conservative Daily Telegraph (11/4): "The result has brought those in Europe who dreamt of a Kerry victory down to earth. It ought to be a wake-up call for those European states--above all Germany and France--which have held aloof not only from the liberation, but also from the reconstruction of Iraq. There is no point in hoping that the French and Germans will change their minds about Mr. Bush, or vice versa, but self-interest dictates that both sides should draw a line under the past."
Gerard Dupuy observed in left-of-center Liberation (11/5): “The shockwave of this conservative revolution will affect the world. More than ever the world will have to live with the unbridled hegemony whose terrorist banner was a result of 9/11.... Putin has applauded President Bush’s first speech in which he spoke of ‘the war’ that would guide all other measures. And so human rights will remain a poor relation in the world. Yet the status quo will also create contradictions which President Bush will have to address, such as Iraq and a necessary disengagement, or the budget deficit.... No other nation shares America’s political and religious idiosyncrasy. America’s power goes beyond its military power: it lies also in the wide reach of its ideas. This will be even worse with the second Bush administration.”
Pierre Rousselin remarked in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/4): “The opportunity must be taken to establish a new relationship with America based on trust.... Having been re-elected, President Bush will pursue his policies with renewed vigor, including in foreign policy.... Will he act in a more unilateral manner? This is far from certain.... Experience has proven that a re-election can completely change a president...leading him to a more consensual approach. This is something we must encourage in President Bush. Abroad, also, the election of a U.S. President is an opportunity to re-assess the relationship one has with the U.S. It is time we acknowledge this and open a new phase in our relationship with America. Rather than wait for President Bush to make a gesture of détente, the spark must come from this side of the Atlantic.”
Patrick Sabatier contended in left-of-center Liberation (11/4): “The consequences of President Bush’s re-election, which is in itself a revolution of conservatism, will reach far into France and the world.... This new America of the 21st century is a reactionary America. Spurred by fear, this new America can become extremist and aggressive.... The rest of the world may deplore this, but it will have to adapt to this new reality.”
"Uncontested But Questionable"
Bruno Frappat observed in Catholic La Croix (11/4): “The message sent on November 2 is clear.... Bush is here to stay. But this reality will not keep the world from contesting his vision of the world, of history and of the religious role he has adopted. We will say and repeat during the next four years that Christianity does not have its prophet in the White House. For the past four years this has been the source of a major fraud: because God has not empowered any president to speak in his name. Including a properly elected president.”
"Confirmation Of Caesar"
Claude Imbert commented in right-of-center weekly Le Point (11/4): “America’s pragmatism will lead it to find a way out of Iraq. Bush will change his style and his message. And we will adapt. What will not change is the imperial American democracy, its force and its optimism, all that casts shadows on Europe, be it old or new.... What pollutes France’s relationship with America is our inability to find the proper posture for our nation, which has become a ‘mid-size great nation.’ And so bitterness and quarrels continue because our leadership is lost in the face of America’s economic and imperial domination.... It is blatantly clear that Chirac’s sentiments will not help to glue the pieces of the broken Atlantic porcelain.”
"A Divorce With Europe"
Jacques Amalric opined in left-of-center Liberation (11/04): “The mother of all questions today is what will Bush do with his victory? Some believe that he may try to get closer to a Europe which he both ignores and despises: possible, but doubtful. Similarly, the plans of a handful of Europeans, Chirac included, are just as doubtful: i.e., the plan to re-launch a strong Europe using the image of an ultra-conservative America mired in Iraq as a stepping stone. This approach uses all which is negative in the other, America, in order to achieve what one cannot achieve on one’s own, and to minimize the world’s present and future dangers, even if this world became a multipolar world.”
GERMANY: "The Trench"
Guenter Nonnenmacher opined in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/5): "For those Europeans for whom the occupation policy in Iraq created increasing problems--for instance, Blair and Berlusconi or the Polish government--Bush's re-election creates a certain degree of relief. The confirmation of the supreme commander-in-chief by a majority of U.S. voters...takes away part of the stigma that burdened the entire affair from a legal but also from a Democratic point of view. But Bush's re-election could fit the plans of the war opponents, mainly Chirac and Schroeder. They benefited from opposition to the United States in elections and in domestic policy, and this will now be maintained. To sum it up: much will not change in transatlantic relations. If we look at the reasons for the vote that caused Bush's victory...the allegation could be made that the trench between Europe and America has now widened even more. In Europe, many consider Bush voters bigot crusaders, while Europeans are godless cowards for Americans. Hopefully, this will not again burden the level of governmental talks as it did before the Iraq war, but the mood has not improved after these elections. It is right that the world would be safer if America and Europe worked closer together. But of what use is an agreement on a goal if the path to this goal remains controversial?"
"The Unloved Winner"
Josef Joffe opined in center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (11/4): "We must wish George W. Bush to stop being George W. Bush. This means: less overbearing and self-righteous, to listen more, since this is also in his very own interest. Whatever the United States plans to do in the coming four years, requires reliable friends who are willing to help, and they wish not only an open ear but also respect. How else will Bush be able to stop the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons program, save the dollar, and defeat terror, and save the Iraqi democracy project from the bloodthirstiness of his enemies?"
"The New Bush"
Stefan Kornelius noted in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (11/4): "For many Europeans, America has become strange.... The election only intensified this impression. Contrary to many expectations, Bush will not be a brief episode in the history of his country. He represents a majority of his country, which has declared political division a concept and polarization a popular sport. Because America is so large, it is able to cope with these tensions, but the international world is unable to cope with it. It is infected with the Bush bacillus, which divides and demands. That is why there is the real danger that polarization will continue in the rest of the world and is even intensified. For many nations, mainly in Europe and the Arab world, reconciliation with the United State seems to be unthinkable. But a withdrawal and mutual disrespect would be the worst reaction to the outcome of the elections. The world should not allow to be infected by this heated-up atmosphere.... Bush is facing serious problems despite the great power he has. The mountain of problems, which he himself has piled up, is enormous. The world must accompany him as a critical and demanding partner, since America is more than its president."
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger judged in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/4): "Those governments in Europe and elsewhere that have fallen out with Bush, should now not creep away and let out their blues. What seemed to be a threat only (four more years) will now become a reality and require a cool weighing of interests that is based on realpolitik and should be free from popular anti-Bushism or stupid anti-Americanism. The path must lead through a dialogue to new common ground. A precondition is that the one side gives up its efforts to divide Europe, while the other stops its pedagogical moralism.... But we should not harbor any illusion of a strengthened Republican-controlled Congress. A new warming spring of multilateralism will not come about.... In the Alliance, too, partnership is an affair among several parties. That is why it would be risky to forecast a new beginning. It would be nice if it came about."
"Living Better With Bush"
Eva Busse commented in business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg (11/4): "The paralyzing feeling of fear prevailed in the world's most powerful country. Bush's reelection can only be explained by the definite, but often irrational security need the majority of Americans are longing for. Looking at it from the European point of view, this emotional decision appears to be incomprehensible.... Because Europe lacks this experience, it cannot understand Bush's attractiveness.... As a result, the European coverage about the U.S. elections turned into confused wishful thinking. Any ray of hope for the challenger was reported as decisive. The shock is therefore immense the day after."
"To Learn To Live With Washington"
Christian Wernicke had this to say in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (11/4): "The Europeans have to adjust to 'four more years.' And they know what they can expect from [Bush]. This America will continue its 'war on terror' and unswervingly strike whenever and wherever the only superpower considers this necessary. And the Europeans remain what they have always been: at best, useful auxiliary forces, or at worst, embarrassing troublemakers. No, the old-new president will not lift a finger to make the Europeans what they really want to be: equal partners for Washington.... For Bush there is no way back to the homely transatlantic Alliance before 9/11/01. The Alliance will go rack and ruin and turn to an assembly of partners, from which the United States will chose its willing coalition partners. NATO will not be more than an alliance á la carte.... It is certainly true that Europe must show the will and the (military) means to play a greater role. But this will not come true against America. Those who want the United States to show greater respect should first of all respect the outcome...and learn to continue to live with Bush."
"A Case For Family Counseling"
Clemens Wergin wrote in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (11/4): "The alienation towards large parts of the European public has reached such a degree that Europe no longer listens, even if the U.S. president has good arguments.... That is why it will be difficult for Bush and old Europe to dare a new beginning. But the trouble states in the world will not politely wait for the two sides to straighten out their problems. On the contrary, Iran and North Korea will try to take advantage of the division of the West.... We can easily imagine the course of a UN Security Council debate over Iran: as a déjà-vu of the Iraq conflict. Some day in the future, the Europeans would be more afraid of a U.S. military action against Iran than of the bomb in the mullahs' hands. And many Americans, not only Republicans, will then see themselves confirmed in their view that Europeans are more interested in containing America than containing rogue states.... The example of Tehran could be translated onto many other problems, including the Middle East conflict, which the Bush team has so dangerously neglected. But in view of the global challenges, the world cannot afford a transatlantic alliance in a stand-by mode.... A great love will not develop between Bush and Europe, but this is the situation among estranged partners: they have a child or built a house and this increases pressure to give their relationship another try."
ITALY: "Bush’s Second Mandate"
Elite, classical liberal daily Il Foglio editorialized (11/5): “So what will George W. Bush do in his second mandate? Newspapers, especially Italian ones, have already begun to offer their interpretations, or perhaps the projection of their desires or nightmares. Some say that Bush may become good. Some speculate on conflicts in Iran or China.... But then the truth sets in. Bush explained it yesterday with his usual clarity: ‘With this vote I gained political capital that I count on spending and I will spend it as promised,’ and ‘the electoral campaign is over and Americans expect a bipartisan effort and results. I will work with those who share our objectives.’ Clear, right? Bush will not even slightly change the program of the last four years, especially now that he has won the popular vote.”
"Voter Turnout From The Right"
Angelo Panebianco commented in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (11/4): “The fact is that post-9/11 America … knows that it is engaged in a war against Islamic terrorism that will most likely … be protracted for many years to come. Those that supported the equation ‘greater voter participation equals Kerry victory’ underestimated the sentiments of a society that is terrorized by other possible devastating attacks and that reacted by resorting to traditional American patriotism.... Bush won because he is the president of September 11 and because...he is the more credible leader of a nation during a time of war.”
"Reagan’s True Successor"
Mario Platero opined on the front page of leading business daily Il Sole-24 Ore (11/4): “We’re turning over a new leaf. This is the first emerging sensation following U.S. elections, which were orderly and clear. We’re turning over a new leaf in transatlantic relations that were weakened and that weakened the Western front in the war against terrorism. We’re turning over a new leaf in Iraq, where the victory of democracy concerns us all. We’re turning over a new leaf in the utilization of Washington’s aggressive language toward Europe.... There are two risks. The first is that Europe...could clam up before the U.S.’ new ‘step’ forward. The second is that Bush will not keep his promise of inclusion and dialogue.”
RUSSIA: "America Makes Its Choice"
Vadim Markushin mused in centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda (11/5): "For the Americans to pick Bush as president is to pick national security as the topmost priority. This is more proof of America's commitment to tradition, to a healthy conservatism.... In his election campaign, Bush did the right thing by highlighting what makes him look like a time-tested defender of his country in a global war on terrorism."
"Fighting For Oil"
Artur Blinov stated in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (11/4): "The Americans voted for a superpower foreign policy. Once at war, you stick with the commander throughout.... Americans have virtually given the nod to war, primarily to the war in Iraq.... Gaining access to oil is the goal of the Administration's policy in the Middle East, Latin America, South Asia and...former Soviet republics.... Russian-American relations seem stable enough. But America's hunger for oil may result in a stepped up geopolitical competition in Central Asia and the Caucasus."
"Four More Years"
Maksim Yusin held in reformist Izvestiya (11/4): "Bush or Kerry, Washington is almost certain to toughen its stand on Moscow. Even so, the Republicans will hurt the Kremlin less. The reason is personal relations between Bush and Putin.... Unlike Russia, Europe must have taken Bush's reelection as bad news, meaning that some Europeans will continue to be referred to as Old (i.e., bad) Europe, and others as New (i.e., good) Europe.... Under George Bush, Washington will be less active in CIS [NIS] countries and Eastern Europe, which is good for Russia."
Vyacheslav Tetekin surmised in nationalist opposition Sovetskaya Rossiya (11/4): "The Bush victory is more like a blessing to Russia. It means there will be fewer illusions and more realism in the Kremlin and beyond it. At the same time, being prone to adventure, Bush and Co. pose a serious threat to stability in America itself. Also, as they turn off the outside world, resistance to the evil, to U.S. imperialism, will grow."
AUSTRIA: "Bush’s Hold Over An Electorate Of True Believers"
Foreign editor Livia Klingl opined in mass-circulation Kurier (11/4): “The incumbent...succeeded in leading (luring) America into a Christian-fundamentalist corner.... In Berlin and Paris champagne corks are now probably being popped behind padded doors. After all, with Bush it is not difficult for the governments in those countries to argue that the course pursued by ‘Old Europe’ must be continued. Even though communication through diplomatic channels may take place, it seems unlikely that those two countries will send troops into the Iraqi war mess. Also, nobody will help that part of the U.S. that considers Bush’s win a catastrophe for the country and the world. The U.S. will probably continue to march in the direction of faith and leave the doubts to the Europeans.”
BULGARIA: "The Victory Of The Five Gs"
Center-right daily Dnevnik observed (11/4): "The world, with very few exceptions, backed Kerry and now the only conclusion is that the world does not have a good understanding of what is happening in the U.S. Unfortunately, this split will continue to widen.... From beginning to end, this was an election for or against Bush and the election result is an uncontested justification for his overall politics, perseverance, personal qualities and political strategy."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Bush Has No Reason To Change His Policy"
Frantisek Sulc wrote in the center-right daily Lidove Noviny (11/5): "Nobody should expect from President George W. Bush radical changes in his foreign policy.... Nevertheless, the second Bush administration will face numerous problems concerning Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tension in Euro-American relations, the crisis in Africa and so on.... Much will depend on what the role will be of neoconservatives in the second Bush administration."
"Power In The Same Hands Again"
Jiri Roskot stated in the center left Pravo (11/8): "Bush won despite the fact that the official reasons with which he justified the fateful invasion of Iraq have completely collapsed.... The result of the American elections also represents a considerable disappointment for many foreign countries who along with many Americans considered the President’s Iraq fiasco a ticket to political retirement. But Bush was able to convince a considerable number of his fellow citizens that the attack on Iraq is the continuation of his war on terrorism.... Furthermore, the many million-vote lead that Bush received in the election is certainly the result of the support that his views have among conservative Christians especially in rural areas.... Bush’s victory in this regard will emphasize even further the cultural differences between contemporary U.S. and Europe and diminish the chance for a significant warming in political relations with European allies who did not like the Iraq invasion. But for now there is no danger that transatlantic relations will be overtaken by an 'ice age.'"
Jaroslav Plesl remarked in the center right Lidove noviny (11/8): "It would not hurt if Bush could now show a more pleasant face to the countries abroad. A different approach to his allies will become a necessity if he wants to resolve the situation in Iraq. There is no way the Americans can cope with this matter without broader assistance of international forces. Bush gives the impression that he has already started to realize this. Moreover, he must know well that his second term will decide how his presidency will be written down in history."
FINLAND: "Clear Majority Of Voters Wanted Second Term For Bush"
Finland’s leading daily, centrist Helsingin Sanomat (11/4): “Bush will have to face number of difficult problems, which have been brought to a head by his own questionable policy choices. New measures will have to be found to resolve them. Iraq, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and U.S. public finances form the bulk of these problems. Less pressing, but still serious for Bush is the issue of the sharply deteriorating international reputation of the United States during his first term. The violence in Iraq and the dead-end in Israel have fanned the flames of hatred in a great part of the Muslim world. Europe has not only been shrinking back from Bush’s policies, but also seriously doubted his competence as president. The victory gives Bush a chance for even greater indifference or, alternately, greater generosity as a bridge builder. Bush’s character points to the former alternative, an objective political necessity to the latter. But it takes two to build bridges, and Europeans would be wise to do their part. The result of a democratic election has to be respected. Creating more conflicts across the Atlantic does not on this side of the ocean serve anybody’s true interests.”
Top-circulation, center-left Ta Nea commented (11/5) said: "The Bush re-election constitutes a victory of the most reactionary views in international politics. It is certain that all we can expect is even greater tensions in Iraq and the Middle East, strengthening of the most anti-democratic regimes in the Muslim world, greater undermining of the UN, contempt for international law, and U.S. indifference for international cooperation. It is the EU’ responsibility to react in order to maintain hopes for defusing the crisis and for solutions to problems that lead thousands of young people to the lines of terrorists. The Bush re-election was coupled by the prevalence of Christian fundamentalism, a current that may prove to be an even greater threat than Bush’s cowboy manners!"
"Four More Years"
Gabor Horvath opined in top-circulation, center-left Nepszabadsag (11/4): “The United States will continue the foreign policy of the previous four years; with or without us, the Iraqi occupation will continue; in spite of the modest success, Washington will spread parliamentary democracy in the Middle East with the former methods; Arafat might recover, but will no longer be dealt a card; military action against the Iranian nuclear program will not depend on the political intention, but solely on technical details. The rift, from the point of view of the future of transatlantic relations, that was thought to be robust, [but which] few have considered to be life-threatening, has grown into a historical break. Now we will have to start thinking about the much talked-of community of interests and values--and from that, a long line of consequences follow. The first one, for example, is that Europe must fast close ranks and build out an independent military force commensurate with its economic weight. There will no longer be dissenting opinions, like the letter of 'the eight'. There will be, however, serious financial consequences, disputes in Brussels and confrontations in the UN.”
Center-left Magyar Hirlap editorialized (11/4): “The key question whether the victory will tame Bush, or rather, make him savage, cannot be answered now, but one can predict. Provided that the Europeans...acknowledge America’s choice, and will be seeking chances for cooperation and not opportunities for haughty confrontation. Let us give a chance to Bush, since he has only for more years left.”
IRELAND: "A Clear And Present Triumph"
The center-left Irish Times held (11/4): “This victory for Mr. Bush must be recognized as real and lasting internationally as well as at home.... Mr. Bush's many opponents will have to learn how to live with its consequences over the next four years and adjust their behavior and policies accordingly. Mr. Bush himself faces a major challenge in deciding whether his domestic and foreign policies will be marked more by continuity than change.... Ireland and other European states will now have to adjust to these new political realities.... European Union leaders will take the measure of this clearcut result and begin the task of responding to it. This will demand a major adjustment in transatlantic relations over the next four years.”
"A Fair Win, A Fresh Chance"
The center-right, populist Irish Independent editorialized (11/4): “Most of America's allies feel the president's foreign policy is too exciting already. They fret over the chaos in Iraq and fear that the Americans can neither extricate themselves with credit nor leave behind them a stable settlement for the country or the region. But they have no alternative to working with Mr. Bush and trying to persuade him that close relations with the United Nations and European governments are preferable to unilateralism. They may get a chance to exert pressure when the time comes to devise and implement an Iraq ‘exit strategy’.... The political world of the United States is deeply split geographically and culturally. The contempt the factions feel for each other mirrors the dislike of Europe among American conservatives.... Mr. Bush has four years to soar above his blemished record and the nastiness of the campaign and make himself a unifying president. If he takes that course, he will earn the praise of his former critics at home and abroad.”
KOSOVO: "God Bless President Bush, God Bless Victorious America!"
Pro-LDK, mass-circulation daily Bota Sot editorialized (11/4): “The almighty planetary power, America, is stronger than ever. Leading this country again will be President George W. Bush, the big friend of the freedom of peoples, the big friend of peace and human justice.... American voters showed their pride for their big country, demonstrated responsibility for the elections that influences and determines directly the fates of the planet in the next four years, in a period that is so decisive and so epochal in the war against international terrorism.... Nations that struggle for freedom and independence across the globe have America as their only hope.... We expect that the first action after the victory of the president will be the official recognition of Kosovo’s independence by the U.S.”
NORWAY: "The World Awaits Bush II"
The social democratic newspaper Dagsavisen commented (11/7): “Many issues unite the United States and Europe, such as freedom of expression, principles of international law and democracy. However, where Europe favors liberal attitudes, which also include gay rights and women’s rights to decide over their own bodies, Bush demands a re-introduction of ultra-conservative bans and prohibitions shaped out of his own Christian-fundamentalist point of view. The view of international law, the UN, pre-emptive strikes, climate policy, development of new nuclear weapons, are other issues that divide us. Europe is best served by following its own path.”
"Four New Years With Bush"
The newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (11/4): “The president has over the last four years shown that he goes his own way. There is little reason to believe that an election victory will make him...more humble than we have seen thus far.... We hope the reelected Bush changes political tactics in this area, but we agree with the America experts who claim it is wishful thinking when certain Norwegian politicians believe that we will see in the coming four years a president who is more cooperative in foreign policy. The situation in the U.S. can lead to us here in Norway seeing a stronger need to cooperate and coordinate our foreign--and security policy with the EU.... The U.S. is very important for Norway.... It is just as important that we stand fast over our convictions about the significance of international cooperation, the inviolability of international law and human rights, and the dangers of acting unilaterally.”
The independent newspaper VG said (11/4): “The big question many people pose, especially in Europe where John Kerry was by far the preferred candidate--is in what direction the president will move, if there even is a change in direction.... We can hope in any case that President Bush will follow a more moderate and cooperative line in foreign policy in the years that come. Even if it is perhaps a far-fetched hope.”
POLAND: "Second Term, Second Chance"
Jan Skorzynski wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (11/4): “By voting on the incumbent president, Americans said that you don’t change a leader in wartime.... Most Europeans don’t share such a strong sense of threat, and they assess the abilities of the American president differently.... The political conflict between the U.S. and Europe, which so strongly marked Bush’s first term--even though the blame does not fall unilaterally on the U.S. president--does not serve Polish interests…. It is in our vital interest to urge the United States’ allies in Europe to become involved in Iraqi issues. This will increase the chance that the Iraqi mission will end with success, and that Polish troops will return home.”
"Phew, Bush Won!"
Maciej Letowski commented in right-of-center Zycie (11/4): “It was a good morning for us when we turned on the radio and heard that Bush had won. Most Americans in reality--and most Poles in the surveys--voted for the incumbent president. Once again it turned out that our two nations have something more profound in common. In difficult situations we make similar choices and share similar values. What a pity America is not a member of the European Union.... This victory is bad news to those who opted for America to show moral and political weakness, for ending the American idealism which permits the president to intervene where human rights and principles of democracy are violated.”
"Bush Won. What A Pity"
Piotr Pacewicz opined in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (11/4): “Bush’s victory is not good news. The president bears responsibility for the Iraqi intervention, which abolished the criminal dictatorship, but whose costs are enormous while its effects are meager…. The outcome of the elections sanctions war as a policy tool…. The result of the elections is a triumph for conservative America, distrustful of the elites living on both coasts. A liberal America, open to the views of Europe, has lost.”
Victor Roncea commented in independent Ziua (11/4): “The militarist administration of George Bush will throw the world into further bloody chaos if we take into account the plans of the Pentagon’s 'hawks' to take the Middle East under control and destroy Iran and Syria. This time, maybe, the world will become irrevocably divided.”
Bogdan Chireac opined in independent Adevarul (11/4): “Bush was victorious not only for a new term in office, but for his policy regarding the war on terror.... In the Middle East, America will act in the same way as before. Obviously, there are some possible actions, including military ones, that will take place against other states on the black list of terrorism, such as Syria and Iran. It may be possible for Washington to go further on in imposing its will on the world, even without agreement from other Western allies. Maybe we’ll witness, in the next 4 years, also, how America will hit first and ask questions later.”
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO: "Without Surprises"
Belgrade'S pro-government daily Politika commented (11/4): “Many believe that George Bush learned lessons over the past four years and that he will behave differently. Not so much in the domestic field but especially in the international arena.... The ‘New’ Bush might change his attitude towards his allies and might abandon the idea of indisputable American dominance on this planet. In that case, the U.S.-European, but also Moscow-Beijing relations, might enter a phase of desired harmony and mutual trust. However, one should not neglect other scenarios if President Bush continues to do things only in accordance to his views. That would not be good for the U.S. and for the world.”
SLOVAKIA: "U.S. Election: No Change Of Course"
Political analyst Ivo Samson commented in the influential center-left daily Pravda (11/4): "There is no danger that the United States will change its course after the presidential election.... The election results present a greater problem for Europe, or to put it more precisely, for its neo-Gaullist wing.... The Neoconservatives apparently convinced a majority of voters that the United States is involved in a global war.... As the U.S. way of thinking is simpler than the European one, Americans will answer in their own way the question of why the threats of world terrorism against the United States have not been carried out: because our soldiers die for us abroad. This way of thinking is bad news for those in the EU who expected the United States to somehow atone and seek favor of its European allies. However, it does not seem that the United States will repent. It is now up to Europe to decide what strategy it will offer to the United States."
SLOVENIA: "Victory Of Moral Minority"
Left-of-center Delo took this view (11/4): "This year's elections have demonstrated that moral issues are considered more important by [Americans] than by other [nations], and that they form their positions on domestic and international questions on the basis of moral issues. The Biblical saying 'An eye for an eye'...explains why so many Americans do not oppose the war in Iraq: deep inside them they feel that they must fight terrorism as resolutely as they fought communism. Even more: if they do not suppress it in the world, it may strike at home.... From now on, [Bush] need not fear anything but himself. If his neo-conservative ambitions are too radical, he may upset the traditional rightist mind-set, or even Reaganism, which he so strongly admires in theory and disregards in practice. Wars, which were not deliberated well enough, and the deficit, which accumulated in his first term, will dog his footsteps in his second term."
SPAIN: "An Opportunity For Bush"
Conservative ABC editorialized (11/4): "Bush's success, and above all, the unexpected and convincing results, must be seen as an encouragement for the U.S. to consolidate its leadership of free societies in face of the threat personified by Islamic fundamentalism. Therefore, one of the main objectives of the renewed mandate to Bush should be to dispel...domestically and internationally the strong polarization of the last two years, and to demonstrate that those who lacked confidence in his capacity as leader of a nation committed to the defense of liberty in all the world were wrong.... Bush has proven his leadership abilities, and he has now the opportunity to obtain the involvement of his most reluctant allies to back his bet for the democratic normalization of Iraq. To do this, he should be more open to dialogue, and protective of issues that some partners consider specially important.... It's probable that shortly we will start to see some substantial changes in the European governments; some of which Washington would appreciate are more responsibility and less disfigurement of the first world power leader."
Left-of-center El País had this to say (11/4): "George W. Bush is probably not the president of the United States that the rest of the world would have preferred, but it is he who has been firmly elected democratically by American voters.... Bush starts with such low expectations in Europe that only with difficulty could the transatlantic relationship get worse. The first European reactions has been to hold out a timid, but not unconditional, hand. The Bush administration...must show a confidence in the European project, and return to work with Europe on an essential matter--the peace process between Israel and Palestine, which is one of the keys to the transatlantic breach.... Zapatero also has to adapt himself to the new reality, although the result is not the one he wished for.... There are fields of possible understanding, such as Mediterranean policy. What is needed is not to turn the page or to start again, but to abandon an unfortunate policy of comments by both sides, and to defend what Spain, a needed ally, is concerned with. The following four years cannot be thrown away."
SWEDEN: "And Now Back To The Oars"
Conservative Stockholm daily Svenska Dagbladet remarked (11/4): "Now Bush might have to do what he accused Kerry of: change. Sound leadership includes a willingness to reconsider issues. The opportunity to show leadership ability increases now that Bush no longer has to maneuver for re-election.”
TURKEY: "The Second Bush Era And Turkey"
Cengiz Candar commented in the conservative Tercuman (11/4): “The argument about whether the second Bush administration will serve Turkey's interest is pointless. The Turkish-American bilateral relationship will remain the same as it has been, which means a good working relationship between two allies. However, the future course of the relationship could be tested by possible differences based on developments on Iraq.”
"A Black Day For The World"
Ali Bayramoglu wrote in the Islamist-opinion maker Yeni Safak (11/4): “The current international system is dysfunctional, and both the UN and NATO are ineffective. Only a change in American security policy can return these international institutions to health. There is no sign of hope on this score for the next four years. George Bush not only won an election victory, but has managed to get the approval of the American people to legitimize his world order--i.e., the ‘Pax Americana.’ This is a black day for the history of the world.”
ISRAEL: "Bush's First Test"
The conservative Jerusalem Post (11/4): "The reelection of George W. Bush will be perceived by militant Islamists as a defeat for them, just as the fall of the Aznar government in Spain was seen by them as a victory.... Though the war in Iraq was the central issue in the campaign, it might be premature to argue that the election constituted a ringing endorsement of that war. Rather, Americans, despite their misgivings, seemed to agree that there is no turning back in Iraq. Perhaps most significantly, the election provided a mandate for the context in which the war was fought: Bush's conclusion that the spread of liberty, rather than the 'stability' of a sea of dictatorships, is the only real way to stem the tide of Islamist terrorism.... [Regarding Iran's nuclear program] what is clear is that nothing short of such a threat [UN Security Council sanctions] has a hope of success, and that sanctions are the best hope for avoiding the need to take military action."
"Rejoicing Is Premature"
Diplomatic correspondent Ben Caspit wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/4): "To make history [Bush] has to get out of Iraq honorably, to win the war on terrorism and to reduce tension in America. Of course he will not be able to do all that by himself. Bush will have to mend his bridges with the world, to reconcile with Europe and prove to the Muslim world that he has not declared a crusade against it. The price tag for all these initiatives is simple: pressure on Israel. Bush can deliver the goods at our expense, and the pressure on him to do so will be considerable.... [But] Bush the man, in his gut, will hesitate to harm Israel. His victory speech last night contained no mention of the Middle East or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sources in Jerusalem were happy not to hear [Israel] mentioned in the speech.... We must hope that on every issue connected with the Middle East, Bush will continue with the tough line he has taken, that he will not run away from Iraq, will not relent in his pressure on Syria, and will not blink in the duel with Iran."
WEST BANK: "Awaiting A Hot Winter"
Abdallah Awwad commented in independent Al-Ayyam (11/4): “With the confirmation of Bush’s winning another term in office, the Hebrew state will open a new war file against Palestinians, who are expected to face a hot winter as many signals indicate.... At a strategic level, the American administration, which dealt very carefully with many issues during the past few months, will overcome this prudence toward new escalations, at a minimum, in pending cases: the Syrian file, which the UNSC opened with a resolution labeled 'Syrian occupation of Lebanon,' the long-open Iranian file and the Darfur file in Sudan. Bush’s administration will explain his win as support for his previous policy, which means there will be escalation of the American war, meaning this winter will be a hot one.”
"Another Four Years Of Bush’s Tenure”
Independent Al-Quds editorialized (11/4): “This decision the American people have made through ballots and through a democratic process that we, sadly and unfortunately, miss in the Arab and Muslim world, expresses honestly the mood of the American people and the priorities they want their next president to focus on. Apparently they considered their national security and safety against ‘terrorist’ threats, whether their concern was real or imaginary, a fundamental criterion for deciding their favorite candidate.... President Bush’s call for an independent Palestinian state next to Israel remains a positive point in his favor, yet his position on President Arafat and the PA prompts questions and doubts. Since he took office in 2000, he refused to meet Arafat and made sure always to belittle him or call for replacing him with another leadership. If the next Bush term is a reality all have to live with, it is in the U.S.’s interest to make genuine efforts to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to end the occupation and settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and to avoid military adventures in Arab and Muslim countries that might lead the entire world into a ferocious war.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "U.S -Saudi Relations In The Next Phase"
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina editorialized (11/4): "It is not only in the interest of Saudi Arabia to have a unique relationship with the U.S. but also in the interest of all nations of the world...because of the political, economic and spiritual weight of the Kingdom in the Islamic and Arab world.... But the U.S. in the upcoming phase needs to seriously review its relations with us for the benefit of the world."
"What Do We Want From The New U.S. President?
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (11/4): "What do Arabs and Muslims want from the new administration? At the top of our list is the pushing for peace in the Middle East region; ending the occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq after securing them; as well as rebuilding the bridges of trust, cooperation and good will between the Western and the Muslim civilizations. Providing justice and fair treatment of Arabs and Muslim minorities in America is also critical."
"A Real Problem For The World’s Leadership"
Riyadh’s business-oriented Al-Iqtisadiah editorialized (11/4): "In our opinion, the difficulties that face the U.S. democracy recently, at the highest level in its political institutions, is in reality a historic crisis. Especially when the U.S. claims to be the world leader. How can a country sell democracy to the world, when it is having trouble implementing it in its own system?"
IRAQ: "A Partition"
U.S.-supported Al Sabah published a front-page editorial by Muhammad Abdul Jabar noting (11/4): "The very close competition between George Bush and John Kerry means that the American community is divided. The American people were not clearly biased toward one candidate. The American people organized themselves into two equal partitions. This was because there were no radical differences between Bush and Kerry. Both want to take care of American interests such as Israel, oil, fighting terror and the current situation in Iraq. The difference between Bush and Kerry is in the details. Such unanimity on the basic American interests prevents the occurrence of civil war. We should learn from the U.S. elections that the community must have one unified point of view so that the political process can continue peacefully and without any problems."
LEBANON: "To The Bunkers, This Is Bush!"
An editorial by Joseph Samaha in Arab nationalist As-Safir (11/4): “What treachery!... We thought that the high turnout of U.S. voters would lead to a Kerry victory...however, the news of Bush’s victory was like a guillotine. The Americans did not vote only for Bush...but the Republicans also invaded the Congress.... This is an unmerciful bias towards the Republican Party.... The Americans did not want to change their Army commander. They did not want to bring him hold him accountable for the reasons, he claimed, that prompted him to launch his wars with their high costs.... Americans did not want to object to Bush’s internal policy related to the economy, or moral radicalism, or bringing religion into politics, or the increase in unemployment rates.... Commentators said that the Americans ignored policies and voted for ‘values'.... Can anybody claim today that ideologies are dying? We are swimming in the sea of ideologies. What Bush believes fills the spiritual void in the Americans’ lives.... This ideology was able to move millions of people from one position to the other. They moved from the position of knowing what their interests were to the position of voting against their interests. Bush is a symbol for bias towards the filthy rich minority. However, he was able to get the votes of the majority of white poor taxpayers. These people were more interested in the right to have weapons, support for capital punishment, rejection of same sex marriages, and rejection of the right to abortion..... The radical Christians played their role until the end.... They brainwashed people and said, live as a poor person but vote for the rich. Your richness is the richness of your spirit and soul.... Bush went to war and won.... He refused the saying that elections are won when you are a moderate.... Yes, Bush, authorized by his people, will go ahead with his plans.... He’ll make us regret hating the first Bush.”
"The United States And The World: A New Start?"
English-language Daily Star editorialized (10/4): “George W. Bush has won his bid for re-election, and so the world must now resume dealing with an important issue: the exercise of U.S. power around the globe. The Middle East bears the brunt of the new American foreign policy of pre-emptive war, 'regime change' and more-or-less forces reforms, so this issue interests us very much. The start of the new presidential term in January is an opportune moment for the U.S. and its friends, partners and targets around the world to rethink the negative and stressful aspects of their relationships, and build on and expand the positive ones.”
MOROCCO: "Arabs And Muslims Confront Another Four Years Of Bush's Reign"
Mustapha Khalfi noted in the moderate Islamic Arabic daily Attajdid (11/5): "Bush and his slogans have another opportunity to achieve security, stability and reforms (but they) will remain void unless the U.S. administration reviews its policy towards the Islamic world...and heads towards a balanced and fair policy that should be in compliance with international legitimacy. The Arab-Islamic world should get ready for a difficult period which requires reinforcement of united Arab action and of options in favor of reconciliation between regimes and peoples."
Adam Charif editorialized in the government coalition, French-language daily Liberation (11/5): "Is Bush's re-election good news for Morocco?.... The public, including the democratic wings as well as others that are far away from democracy, mainly denounced Bush.... It was during Bush's first mandate that Morocco signed the FTA (free trade agreement) with the U.S. and obtained the official status of a NATO 'strategic ally' (sic). It is indeed very important for Morocco to have easy relations with the United States.... The latest events of the Moroccan Sahara issue at the UN show that, finally, the U.S. administration has understood better and joined the group of countries that do not want to see the region destabilized and encourage better communication, permanent dialogue, durable compromises on the political level and broader and immediate economic cooperation."
QATAR: "Another 4 Years With Bush"
Mazen Hamad commented in semi-independent Al-Watan (11/4): “Kerry lost and Bush won; that is bad news for almost half of the Americans and worse news for the rest of the world.... Bush believes in preventive strikes to avoid expected terrorist attacks on the United States. According to this strategy everyone is guilty in Bush’s book. I was always under the impression that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But Mr. Bush created a new strategy which allows him to strike any where in the world as long as he thinks that this country or that country is an expected enemy. Kerry was on the other side of this strategy by saying America should strike only those who'we are certain' that they are enemies and will strike America. The problem in all this is that only one person in this world determines who is good and who is bad. Who should be given the right to live and who should be bombed and attacked! What is dangerous is that Bush believes that his war on terror--without defining terror--will be won. And that reminds us of how similar Bush and bin Laden are. Both are religious and both love to escalate the struggle to its limit and both believe that they are working for the benefit of the Islamic world. Bush thinks that his strategy will lead to a more democratic Middle East according to the Israeli model. And bin Laden hoped, and his wish was granted, that Bush will win the election because that will lead to more sentiment against the Americans and the Arab regimes that are supported by the White House and that this will cause an uprising in the Islamic world and that American interests will be negatively affected and those regimes will be toppled. For the coming four years the whole world will be hijacked by Mr. Bush and Sheikh Osama bin Laden.”
"The American Elections And Its Effect On Our Region'
Semi-independent Arabic Al-Raya held (11/4): “The 2004 election was the most popular and important election because it was the first elections after 9/11. This election is important to us in the Middle East region simply because we are heavily affected by the war on terror and its consequences since the 9/11 attacks. The re-election of President Bush should give his administration the chance to re-think, re-evaluate and re-consider the U.S. policy in our region. We suffered the most because of 9/11, and Iraq was invaded to destroy Saddam’s WMD, which was never found, and we suffered because of the Bush administration’s blind support for Israel. We hope the coming four years we will see less military action and more diplomatic efforts. We hope in the coming four years to see more of the United Nations and less of the United States getting involved in every single problem in the world. We hope that in the coming four years we will see no more preventive attacks under the umbrella of the war on terror. And finally we hope to see a fair solution to the Palestinian problem.”
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA: "The U.S. Presidential Election And A Future Model For U.S.-Europe Relations"
Pang Zhongying commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (11/4): "In the next four years, no matter how differences between the EU and U.S. develop, this will not have been decided by a change in U.S. policy, but rather by the evolution of Europe. Transatlantic relations will have to research their new model: first, Europe will be more united. Europe can generally speak to the world with one voice now. Second, the U.S. will continue its unilateral activities, just at different levels. For the EU to pursue a more global goal, any U.S. unilateral activities are unbearable and harmful. Third, Europe is rising and the U.S. is still unwilling to face a rising Europe. Europe and the U.S. almost have a balance of strength on economics. Europe’s common security and foreign policy has forced NATO to seek a further transformation. Fourth, globalization has brought an unprecedented challenge to the world, and the potential for U.S.-Europe cooperation is great. Insightful people call for further cooperation between the two to construct a future world order to meet global challenges, and not to let current U.S.-Europe divergences develop further.... If the U.S.’ new president wisely adjusts and fixes transatlantic relations, then the U.S. and Europe will discover a suitable new partnership model in the next four years.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "A Victory For Divisiveness"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post said (11/4): "The compassionate conservatism championed by Mr. Bush on his way to the White House four years ago was ditched. Dumping the conventional political wisdom, the president made no attempt to appeal to the moderate middle-ground. Instead, the Republicans deliberately lurched to the right. They talked tough on foreign policy and insisted no mistakes had been made in Iraq, or in the wider war on terror. Crucially, they adopted a hardline stance on moral issues such as abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research. It was an attempt to strengthen the Republicans' core support base by appealing to their natural constituents--particularly those who place great importance on traditional Christian moral values. This was a risky strategy, for two-horse election races are usually won by reaching out to the center. Such a tactic was skillfully and successfully employed by former president Bill Clinton, who gravitated away from the Democratic left. Mr. Bush himself adopted a similar strategy in 2000. This was what compassionate conservatism was all about.... We can now expect Mr. Bush to push on with his faith-based agenda, seeking to make the U.S. more conservative and in tune with evangelical values. He has won a clearer mandate than in 2000--and greater control of Congress. This will, however, further antagonize the Democrat half of the country, which is bitterly opposed to these policies--leading to greater discord and disunity.... Great challenges lie ahead. But they will be confronted by a nation that is at odds with itself. Mr. Bush devised a strategy that almost certainly has kept him in the White House. History will judge the price his country will have to pay for this most divisive of victories."
"World Will Not Enjoy Peace With Bush's Reelection"
The pro-PRC Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao remarked in an editorial (11/4): "It is anticipated that new protectionism will be promoted on a grand scale in Bush's second term. This will, of course, create a deep impact on the global political and economic situation. Its consequences should not be taken lightly. First of all, the financial deficit and the trade deficit in the U.S. economy will continue to worsen. Some commentators believe that the two deficits will lead the U.S. economy to difficulties. If the two bombs explode, the vibrations will be great. At present, the U.S. is facing several billions of dollars of deficit and the public is heavily in debt, which has many financial giants worried. They are pessimistic about U.S. assets. Secondly, the U.S. will further interfere in other countries. Recently, Bush has not been happy with the political situation in Belarus, and he has signed an order for sanctions. But, the Iran issue is more serious. Bush has already claimed that if he is reelected, he will be modest to Iran. In Bush's first term, he named three 'axis-of-evil' nations. Now, Iraq is under his control. Taking on Iran would not surprise anyone. However, this would intensify contradictions between the U.S. and Muslim countries, Russia and Europe. The world will become less stable and safe. Oil prices would continue to stay high."
TAIWAN: "Taiwan May Be Priority Issue For Bush's New Foreign Agenda"
The conservative, pro-unification, English-language China Post opined (11/5): "U.S. President George W. Bush...is very likely to set Taiwan as one of his major diplomatic priorities during the next four years of his new administration. The reason is simple and clear: Bush does not want Taiwan, an issue which has already troubled him and his administration during much of his first term, to continue to stand in the way of his effort to strengthen Washington's Beijing relations.... A new U.S. administration would no longer just passively express a position of not supporting Taiwan independence. It could distinctly tell Chen that Washington disagrees with his claim that Taiwan is a sovereign country. And that it is opposed to any moves by Taipei to pursue de jure independence. Meanwhile, any new U.S. initiative in easing tension in the Taiwan Strait can be expected to include in increased effort to bring Taipei and Beijing to the negotiating table. A resumption of contacts and dialogue has been believed by Washington to be the best way to settle differences between the two sides."
AUSTRALIA: "Four More Years Likely For George Bush"
The liberal Melbourne Age stated (11/4): “Far from being a modest president who understood that he was lucky to be in the oval office and that a majority of Americans had not voted for him, he has been in many ways, the most radical of presidents, the most divisive of presidents and yes, for many Americans, the most hated of presidents.... Mr. Bush has won a victory that gives him a legitimacy that he did not have after the 2000 poll. Second presidential terms are almost invariably different than first terms. Mr. Bush has surely learned a lot during the past four years. He has surely learned that there are limits to what the U.S. can achieve on its own, that without U.S. involvement in the United Nations and other international institutions, the world will be a less safe place. A majority of Americans have decided that Mr. Bush, rather than Senator Kerry, is best placed to deal with the security challenge faced by the U.S. and by the rest of the world. We hope they are right.”
"Voters Endorse War Against Terror, Iraq"
Foreign editor Greg Sheridan opined in the national conservative Australian (11/4): “The Bush victory is a stunning vindication by the American people of their government and its conduct of the war on terror. It must also be read as a statement of grim determination by the American people that they will see the job through in Iraq.... But Bush, like John Howard, should temper his triumphalism. Much of the mess in Iraq comes from entirely avoidable mistakes his administration has made. Much of the hostility in Europe comes from perverse anti-Americanism, but a good deal of it also comes from the Bush administration's clumsiness and recklessness in dealing with international opinion. Bush has a tremendous opportunity to make good his second term. But in the midst of triumph, a touch of humility and generosity would be the most powerful and positive additions to the Bush mixture.”
"First Challenge: Fix U.S. Disunity"
An editorial in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald concluded (11/4): “The distinguishing feature of the presidential contest in the United States was not that it was close-run. Apart from leadership of the world's last superpower, what matters is the divisiveness left in its wake.... Not since the 1970s and an America wearied and humiliated by the Vietnam war had a presidential election been fought on such an ideological divide. Terrorism and the fear it generates thrust foreign policy to the head of the queue of voter concerns. How the U.S. should deal with consequences of fear and obsession, such as Iraq, drew important battle lines.... Repairing this schism should be the top White House priority because American authority abroad depends on unity at home.... If Mr. Bush can douse the flames of political sectarianism in the U.S. (having helped fan them), he might even smooth over enough splits in the West to make the world a safer place.”
JAPAN: "Global Security Rests With Bush"
The top-circulation, moderate-conservative Yomiuri editorialized (11/4): "Bush's victory reflects the apparent desire of U.S. voters for the president to continue prioritizing homeland security. The 'war president' has been entrusted to maintain his anti-terrorism policy. However, Bush's reelection was achieved by only a small margin. Almost half of voters expressed their lack of confidence in Bush. The president must now accomplish his goals in order to rebut criticism.... Bush is responsible for making a breakthrough in the ongoing confusion in Iraq. Without peace in Iraq, the stability of the Middle East and the safety of the U.S. could be jeopardized. Iraq reconstruction requires cooperation from the international community, including Arab states. It is essential that Bush secure such support."
"Reconciliation And Coordination Needed"
Liberal Asahi insisted (11/4): "Despite Washington's poor post-war management and the rising death toll in Iraq, many Americans have shown sympathy for President Bush's steadfast position on the war on terrorism. This sentiment appears to have played a large part in his reelection. The priority for the second Bush administration must be to repair the situation in Iraq. Bush must mend damaged ties with Europe and coordinate closely with the UN and the Arab community. The security situation and reconstruction efforts will be further threatened if the U.S. continues to focus on military crackdowns on anti-U.S. insurgents without securing international cooperation.... Bush should not discount the fact that many nations, including a number in Europe, expressed hoped for Senator Kerry's election. By first changing his policy on Iraq and Israel, the president should strive to lessen disdain for the U.S. and gain greater global respect. The world will not move forward without the U.S., but the world will not move in the direction desired by Washington without international understanding. If the second administration fails to alter its approach, the Atlantic division risks becoming a permanent fixture with negative implications for the U.S."
INDONESIA: "Bush's World"
Leading English-language Jakarta Post observed (11/5): “This election provides the White House the opportunity to mend fences with the global community, much in the way Bush pledged to reach out to Kerry's Democrats. Bush can choose to stoke international animosity by continuing as a global bully--a world am-Bush-ed by unilateralism and nationalist chauvinism. Or he can attempt a reconciliation by listening to friends and respecting the United Nations.”
MALAYSIA: "Muslim World Hopes For Peace Effort From White House"
Government-influenced, Malay-language Berita Harian had this to say (11/5): "In the Muslim world, the choice of Bush brings more challenges and a future that is uncertain. What is certain is that Bush cronies in the White House are made up of nationalists, neo-conservatives and right-wing Christians who determine his foreign policy. Bush listened to his cronies before launching the attack on Iraq, ignoring the United Nations. The invasion was made on false and shaky allegations, and has dragged the U.S. into a guerrilla war with more than 1,100 soldiers dead. As usual, the U.S. will deny it is not anti-Islamic but continues to use its veto power to sanction the violence and oppression that Israel imposes on the Palestinian people, thus increasing the hatred the Islamic world has for Bush. Is there hope that in the next four years, Bush will change directions and try to woo moderate Islamic countries? What is clear is that the city of Fallujah (Iraq) will crumble, just like the hopes of the Arab-Muslim world for finding a resolution in Palestine. Bush may follow the wishes of his Jewish backers that have kept him in the White House, but the Islamic world wants peace."
The independent Philippine Star said (11/5): "As he prepares for a second term...Bush cannot afford to forget how much the international acrimony that his policies generated cost his country especially in its campaign in Iraq. If that country is increasingly being described as a U.S. quagmire in the same breath as Vietnam, much of the mess is due to the Bush White House’s tendency to ignore voices of caution from some of its biggest allies.... No man is an island; no nation can go it alone in a world where everything including a deadly terrorist threat is globalized. That is a lesson that George W. Bush should have learned well in his first term. That is a lesson he must keep in mind as he starts his second term amid calls for healing."
SINGAPORE: "President Bush's Important Mandate"
National Malay-language, pro-government Berita Harian editorialized (11/5): "Will [Bush] change or become more hardline?... Will Iraq really turn into a Vietnam during Mr. Bush’s second term? The interim government of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has not been successful in bringing peace to Iraq.... To mend its alliance with the West which was shattered following the Iraq issue and promote its anti-terrorism agenda, Mr. Bush has to forge goodwill with Europe and the Islamic world. He also has to restore the Islamic world’s confidence in the U.S. There is a perception that he links Islam with terrorism and attempts to change the governments of Muslim-majority countries. The world still needs a strong America, but one which is also gentle and compassionate.”
"A Chance To Heal Rift"
The pro-government Straits Times opined (11/4): "What is clear now is that Mr. Bush has won a clear majority of the popular vote.... Although not a resounding landslide, by any means, the incumbent's victory is a convincing win nevertheless. Mr. Bush can claim that he has received a mandate for his policies, especially on the war on terrorism. He presented himself as a man of conviction, someone who will not 'cut and run' in Iraq, and Americans have signaled quite clearly that they approve. The world--especially Mr. Bush's critics in Europe--will have to take note. The U.S., however, remains a deeply divided country. Mr. Bush's margin of victory in the popular vote is impressive only in comparison to 2000. Compared with Ronald Reagan's landslide in 1984, Richard Nixon's in 1972 or Lyndon Johnson's in 1964, Mr. Bush's 51 percent of the popular vote is modest. Forty-eight per cent of the country did not vote for him, and they are an angry bunch of people, judging by the opinion polls. Mr. Bush may be tempted to govern as though he had received an overwhelming mandate, but he should resist that impulse. If anything, his win provides him with an opportunity to reach for the center. If his win is confirmed, he will not be battling for re-election again, and he will have no further need to play to his base."
SOUTH KOREA: "U.S. President Should Pursue Unity And Reconciliation"
The independent Joong-Ang Ilbo editorialized (11/4): “The U.S. presidential election result indicates that U.S. foreign policy and global strategies will see no significant changes from the past four years.... Actually, experts are already forecasting that the U.S. will maintain its basic positions on international issues, including the North Korean nuclear problem, and that American unilateralism in major global issues will likely continue.... However, given that the U.S. has suffered great damage from its unilateral diplomacy over the past four years, a second-term Bush administration should reflect on the international community’s opinions and cooperate more closely with the UN and other international organizations. In particular, Washington must reinforce its cooperation with its allies. Only when the U.S. gives more consideration to its allies than it did during Bush’s first term in office and reflects its allies’ positions in its foreign policy, it will be able to mitigate their negative perception of the U.S.’ actions and deeds.”
"Thinking Of The Situation To Be Brought By Bush’s Reelection"
The moderate Hankook Ilbo editorialized (11/4): “With the Republican Party winning both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives elections, the U.S. is entering an unprecedented era of conservatism where the Republicans have control of all of the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and even the Federal Supreme Court. This means that there is no tool to hold President Bush’s hardline policies in check, presaging that a turbulent wave of conservatism will sweep across American society during Bush’s second term. President Bush, on the strength of this development, is likely to lead the international order by pushing ahead with the war on terrorism and policies on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction more strongly than ever. Furthermore, he is expected to take a more hardline stance on the nuclear problems of Iran and North Korea, the two surviving members of the ‘axis of evil’.... A situation might arise where the current nuclear standoff between the U.S. and North Korea further escalates, pushing the Korean Peninsula into crisis.... The ROKG must maintain its cooperation with the U.S. in pursuing its policy toward North Korea and should display its diplomatic capabilities by enlisting China’s help to persuade the North. ”
THAILAND: "Bush II And East Asian Affairs"
The independent, English-language Nation commented (11/5): “The U.S. government needs a more humble foreign policy, multilateral in approach, not only in the Middle East, but elsewhere in the world as well.... Therefore, it is imperative for Washington to consult more with its friends and allies, especially on issues involving peace and security in volatile places.... For its relations with Asia, the U.S. must be careful when dealing with China. Often, relations between the U.S. and China and their relations with third parties are considered a zero-sum game. Countries in the region would like to see an amicable friendship between the two superpowers. At the same time, they want enough room to maneuver their relations…. Bilaterally speaking, Thailand and the U.S. have enjoyed an excellent friendship ever since the two countries established diplomatic relations with each other so long ago.... Now, with the situation worsening in the three southernmost provinces, it would surprise no one if anti-terrorism cooperation intensifies. Like it or not, Thai and U.S. intelligence exchanges and anti-terrorism measures could be the new benchmark for relations and have a far-reaching effect on the overall scheme of things in the South.”
"With Bush’s Win, The World Will Continue To Be Chaotic For Several More Years"
Wittaya Tantasuth commented in conservative, Thai-language Siam Rath (11/5): “Four years from now with George W. Bush as the American leader for the second term, the world community will have to brace itself for further terrorist threats.... This time, Bush’s victory has shown the true colors of the American people--a desire to be a great superpower regardless of the calamities the citizens of victimized countries have to bear. One can abandon all hope that the U.S. will know right from wrong and try to build peace.”
"Four More Years Of George Bush"
The lead editorial in the top-circulation, moderately conservative, English language Bangkok Post read (11/4): “The world, as well as Americans, should be grateful the election went smoothly. After the raucous 2000 vote, finally settled in the courts, many predicted drama and anguish again, given the riven electorate. Instead, the election went as smooth as silk, with fewer complaints than average, and no early claims, at least, of fraud or organized deceit. This means that no matter how close his victory, the winner is obvious and non-controversial. Good news, because the last thing the world needs is a U.S. president with a crippled claim to office.… There is good news in that Mr. Bush will almost certainly pursue his trade policies. Although not exactly a free trader--he pandered to steelmakers and shrimp exporters with shameless protectionism that harmed Thai business--he generally encourages international commerce.... No one doubts Mr. Bush is dedicated to the war on terrorism; many believe he is too preoccupied. But it is time Mr. Bush re-engaged American diplomacy in the most important issue behind terrorism: the Israel-Palestine dispute.”
VIETNAM: "A Dramatic Election"
Thanh Minh wrote in Dai Doan Ket, a bi-daily run by the Vietnam Fatherland Front which controls mass organizations in Vietnam (11/5): "Mr. Bush's victory is not convincing. He received only 3.5 million votes more than Mr. Kerry.... In his next term, he will have to deal with a series of domestic and foreign relation challenges. The most difficult one is the issue of Iraq.... The task for the U.S. in Iraq is to build police and military forces manned by local people, which will gradually replace U.S. troops. This is not an easy project because Iraqi rebels always find ways to cause the U.S. plan to fail.... Mr. Bush cannot solve the issue in a short time. The U.S. will continue to lose a lot of money and lives due to this war. The second challenge is the global war against terrorism.... Even if Osama bin Laden is captured or killed, terrorist attacks will not end. The war against terrorism seems to never end, unless there is no poverty, oppression and injustice in the world. The third challenge for Mr. Bush is difficulties in the U.S. economy. Beside having to create millions of jobs to make up for jobs lost during his previous term, Mr. Bush will have to implement such tax policies that can help the U.S. get out of the current severe budget deficit."
"Hard Tasks For The Second Term"
Kieu Thu wrote in Quan Doi Nhan Dan, a daily run by the People's Army of Vietnam (11/4): "Winning in a dramatic election, the road for Mr. Bush and his administration in the four years ahead is very unlevel with twists and turns. There are three major issues he has to deal with. The biggest and most fundamental one remains the war in Iraq. At first it was thought to be a swift victory, but the U.S. has got bogged down with thousands of casualties and has spent hundreds of billions of dollars. For the next four years, the issue of Iraq will remain a hot item in Mr. Bush's agenda. The issue of security for the U.S. at a time terrorism is thriving is also an urgent and complicated one.... In the second term, this issue will continue to challenge his capability and leadership.... The last one is the economic issue.... In the past four years, the U.S. economy was hit hard by the terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001. After that, solutions introduced by the Bush administration were not effective enough, the federal budget continuously had deficits and the U.S. became the biggest borrower in the world.... Solving the economic issue for the country will be one of Mr. Bush's major priorities in the next four years."
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
INDIA: "Again It Is Bush"
An editorial in independent Urdu language Inquilab held (11/4): "What should not have happened has unfortunately happened. George Bush won the presidential election second time. He can now justify his illegal and illegitimate actions during his first term in the White House, especially the military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, saying that the American people have supported his actions. The only reason that could explain the outcome of the presidential race is the psychological dilemma that the American people have been acutely suffering from the since the 9/11 tragedy. They failed to decide whether Bush was a solution to problems or he was the problem himself. It is extremely unfortunate that the people of such a great country turned blind to reality and failed miserably to distinguish between good and bad.... Such an unfortunate electoral outcome makes the world genuinely anxious whether the victory of Bush, who launched war against Muslim countries in the guise of fighting terror, could be a prelude to the imposition of his 'new world order' that aims at enslaving the whole world."
Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar judged (11/4): "If we look at the U.S. election results with an Indian perspective, then it may be a good thing that Kerry, known to be hard on NPT and outsourcing, is out. But even Bush is not significantly better, being so pro-Pakistan. So the results have no particular significance or implications for India.... India, however, has to work toward putting a spoke in the wheel of the U.S.-Pakistan love affair."
"The Republican Regime"
Telugu-language's largest-circulated independent daily Eenadu noted (11/4): "Once again, it is a Republican regime in the U.S. By voting President Bush to power, American voters have given clear signals that they will not compromise on the threat of terrorism. They have unequivocally indicated that they will counter it with renewed perseverance. Traces of anxiety and commotion, which are common in any election scene in India, were not witnessed among the American voters. They have exercised their utmost restraint during the presidential election. Countries like India should learn a lot from the U. S. elections."
PAKISTAN: "Victory For Bush"
The centrist national English-language News observed (11/5): "The re-election of President Bush is certainly good news for Pakistan because Pakistan is the greatest supporter of America in the international fight against terrorism. Over 600 al-Qaida workers have been arrested and many of them have been handed over to America. President Bush and President Musharraf are very close to each other. This nearness can assist in the solution of internal and external problems facing Pakistan. Welcoming Bush’s re-election on behalf of Pakistan, the Federal Minster for Information has expressed the hope that the new term of President Bush would be beneficial for Pakistan and help in solving the problem of Kashmir. The American ambassador in Pakistan has already said that whichever party be in power in America, Pakistan cannot be ignored."
"What Bush Should Do Now"
The center-right Urdu-language Pakistan maintained (11/5): "It would not be out of place to expect that President Bush would not pay attention to improving relations with Islamic world. Some members of the U.S. administration, U.S. newspapers and thin-tanks have given the same opinion.... Let us see what attitude President Bush adopts vis-a-vis the problems of the Islamic world including Kashmir, Palestine, Darfur, Chechnya and others."
BANGLADESH: "Bush-Kerry Tug of War: U.S. Split- But Not The World”
The independent English Daily Star commented (11/4): "The U.S. presidential election of 2004--like the one of 2000-- as gone down to the wire. One thing, which is clear, is that the U.S. is almost as closely split as it was in 2000. The Iraq war has been the centerpiece of the Bush presidency--and a convincing margin of victory for the challenger John Kerry would have been interpreted as a clear vote against his decision to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein--Bush's most controversial policy decision. Such a close decision cannot be classified as an unequivocal endorsement of Bush's presidency--and its centerpiece the war in Iraq--but by no means can it be termed a repudiation either."
KAZAKHSTAN: "The Democratic Imperative"
Sergey Kozlov opined in pro-government Novoye Pokoleniye (11/4): “Americans are the most politicized, and yet the most controlled audience in the world--the vast majority of them could not conceive of the need to reform their political system. And why should they? Viewed as the richest country under the sun by numerous envious people, it has the right to answer: you are not in the position to give advice. [Their attitude is] if you're so smart, why are you so poor?"
NEPAL: "Living with Bush"
The pro-India Himalayan Times editorialized (11/5): "Most people in Europe and the rest of the world may have wished for a Kerry victory, expecting a welcome change from Bush's foreign policy dominated by his doctrine of pre-emptive diplomacy and scant respect for the international system. Even traditional U.S. allies who backed the policy of past American presidents, including his father George Bush Sr., are disappointed over this attitude of his. His foreign policy has divided the world dangerously, has arguably alienated most of the world public opinion, and made the world, in the view of many, actually a less safe place than before. But like it or not, the world will have to put up with him for four more years. Now, armed with a clear mandate, Bush appears more likely to continue the foreign policy of his first term, and may even harden it, choosing to use force abroad to get his way, say, in Iran or North Korea. As for South Asia and China, U.S. foreign policy may be expected to remain more or less the same. And in America's Nepal policy, which is mainly a part of its overall South Asia policy, there is no reason to expect any change, including its policy of aiding the government politically, financially and militarily to fight the Maoist rebels. The world appears bound to see an extension and intensification of Bush's 'war on terror,' with a show of American power. At a time when the rest of the world and the world's only superpower should be joining hands in cooperation and mutual respect, if Bush's go-it-alone foreign policy is pursued with renewed vigor, it might produce sad results. One can only hope a change of heart occurs on Pennsylvania Avenue."
SOUTH AFRICA: "Four More Years"
Balanced Business Day commented (11/4): “U.S. President...Bush not only won a second term in office...he won it well.… It has been, by any standards, a remarkable political achievement by the Republican incumbent.… Bush will take the presidential and congressional results as an endorsement of his first term. That implies four more years of the same. An aggressive foreign policy based on a war on terrorism in which Washington is prepared to act unilaterally.... As Africans we have little to fear in a Bush victory. He has been good to us, on trade, on AIDS and...morally as well. If we are uneasy, it is because...we sense that the man in charge of the world’s biggest military and its biggest economy is no great thinker and no great statesman. That is our problem. We seek our comfort in leadership and greatness, not the ordinary.”
"For Bush To Be A Winner"
Th pro-opposition, center-right Citizen opined (11/4): “While political pundits wrack their brains for explanation, the rest of the world will have to adjust to another four years of Bush. Crudely, U.S. voters have given the international community the finger. If the election was in any way a referendum on his handling of Iraq, Bush must know that although he has majority support, millions of Americans still disapprove.… The world must now hope the Bush camp doesn’t see the election outcome as a boost for brash American unilateralism. Bush has a global responsibility far beyond the narrow wishes of his electorate. To be judged a true winner by history he must be more accommodating in his second term.”
KENYA: "American Voters Have Spoken And Bush Has A Job"
Dr. Abdillahi Saggaf Alawy wrote in the KANU party-owned Kenya Times (11/5): “The dice have been cast and Bush has a fresh mandate to rule America for the next four years. All peace-loving citizens of the world hope that a solution for Iraq would be forthcoming and policies that isolate other countries will be abandoned and no longer be propagated in Washington. Whether or not this will come to pass, we just have to be patient.”
TANZANIA: "OK America"
The Kiswahili independent, anti-government tabloid Dar Leo argued (11/4): "“Whether the cock crows or not, morning will come. Whether the world likes it or not, the people of America have delivered their verdict. They have reelected President Bush at a time when America has accumulated many enemies, especially in the Arab world. They have rejected a gentleman who had promised to heal the wounds of hatred inflicted by President Bush’s use of power politics.... Americans have made their decision at a time when their nation is deeply divided and is at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even as President Bush was delivering his acceptance speech, a number of his soldiers were brutally killed in Fallujah. But that is life. As President Bush himself noted, the people of America have reelected him because they have confidence in him. They have made their choice, and who are we to disagree? We wish them all the best!”
UGANDA: "What The American Poll Means To Us"
The independent Monitor editorialized (11/5): "The return of President George Bush for another four-year term must have disappointed many in Africa. This is not because the first Bush administration did anything particularly bad for Africa, but because the go-it-alone attitude of the Bush government left many in developing countries feeling irrelevant. The terrorist attacks on the United States changed the world dramatically, changing the priorities of Americans. The fight against terrorism became the new agenda, influencing the choice of allies and the extent of development finance. In the midst of all this, Africa has found itself unable to attract the attention and the resources it deserves from developed nations, particularly the United States."
CANADA: "How Does Mr. Bush See His New Mandate?"
The leading Globe and Mail opined (11/4): "Mr. Bush has every reason to savor his victory, won fair and square. But if he sees the win as a vindication for everything he has done, he should think again. Remember that he was once one of the more popular presidents in recent U.S. history, enjoying sky-high approval ratings for his strong leadership after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.... It is this stubborn quality, above all, that Mr. Bush needs to change. As he told Americans again and again this fall, leaders need to be able to make firm decisions and stick with them even when times get tough. Quite so. But they also need to be able to admit error, tolerate dissent and change course when the times demand it. Much will depend on whether the president was sincere yesterday when, in his victory speech, he reached out to Kerry supporters.... If he is the leader he says he is, Mr. Bush will be wise, humble and discreet with the power that Americans have again bestowed on him."
"A Second Chance On Free Trade"
The conservative National Post editorialized (11/4): "Where Mr. Bush's election will pay more tangible dividends is in the area of trade.... To be sure, Mr. Bush has a mixed record in this area. His administration has put up barriers to steel and textile imports, as well as on softwood lumber and cattle imports from Canada. But it is important to remember that before he became president--and before he needed to secure his re-election in key manufacturing, timber-producing and farming states--the former Texas governor was a passionate free-trader. Now that Mr. Bush has been safely returned to the White House, there is some hope he will return to his free trade roots.... Mr. Bush may not be Canada's best friend, in other words. But where our country's export-dependent economy is concerned, he is far better than the alternative. In his second term, moreover, Mr. Bush will not be burdened with the task of winning re-election, and so will be able to eschew populist protectionism. For the sake of our cattle farmers and loggers, one hopes that he will instead act on the free trade principles he brought with him to the White House in 2001."
"Bush Win Tests Canada's Resolve"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (Internet version, 11/14): "Americans reflected on the burning Twin Towers, on Osama bin Laden's taunting visage and on Iraq. Then they gave U.S. President George Bush a vote of confidence for his steady 9/11 leadership at a time of national crisis, and peril. Having chosen to 'stay the course,' they and the world must now brace for a second term that may prove as stormy as the first.... The Republicans cemented their control of Congress.... The influence of Christian voters was felt across America. All this gives Bush a stronger mandate than when he first came to power, although many Americans feel the country is on the wrong path. For Prime Minister Paul Martin, the election poses a challenge and an opportunity.... The Bush administration has provoked a disturbing upswing of anti-Americanism here, as elsewhere in the world.... Canadians and Americans together have more work to do to avert a bilateral rift. At the same time, the U.S. has fences to mend globally.... Bush's second mandate offers the opportunity for a fresh bilateral start.... Canada and the U.S. must cooperate actively across a broad agenda.... Martin can best bridge any Canada/U.S. gulf by clearly and forcefully speaking for Canada's national interests and national resolve, while addressing U.S. security concerns.... Martin must make it clear that Canada's support for U.S. security will not mean edging away from the United Nations and its agencies or the International Criminal Court and the rule of law.... He can best deflect unwanted pressure from Washington by proactively affirming a distinctly Canadian approach to the major issues. Making North America as terror-proof as possible is critical, of course. Martin must build up the military and upgrade intelligence cooperation to safeguard our coasts, airspace, ports and borders. But Martin must lobby, as well, for a border open to our beef, lumber and other exports. Canada must also work vigorously through the UN and in broad alliances, to deal with the pressing issues of the day: rogue regimes, nuclear proliferators, terror, and the poverty and disease that threaten untold millions. Even the Bush Republicans now grudgingly accept that they cannot hope to deal with all these challenges by going it alone. A forward-looking, globalist Canadian agenda is the best insurance against getting pulled down the wrong road. Starting today, Martin must spell out that agenda."
"America Picks Bush"
The conservative Herald of Halifax wrote (Internet version, 11/4): "Despite the divisiveness of the race, and the divided nature of the country that Mr. Bush will lead for four more years, the president's victory in 2004 was conclusive. Perhaps that will allow Mr. Bush more latitude this time to attempt to heal those wounds and unite the nation, something he promised but failed to do four years ago.... Mr. Bush remains a lightning rod. In his second term as president, we hope he can demonstrate his oft-mentioned ability as a uniter--for both the U.S. and the world."
ARGENTINA: "Another Term In Office For George W. Bush"
Leading Clarin editorialized (11/4): "The U.S. elections...showed a profound polarization but it also showed the good health of the oldest democracy in the world.... Regarding Latin America, one of the reiterated topics is that the region is not included among U.S. strategic priorities except when it is involved in specific issues like drug trafficking, although speculation was that a Democratic government could have resorted more emphatically to protectionist policies. George W. Bush's re-election implies that the ongoing political and economic agenda will remain in force."
"George W. Bush's Re-Election"
Daily-of-record La Nacion argued (11/4): "George W. Bush's victory in tight U.S. elections should not be seen as a gesture of indiscriminate support for his controversial four-year administration but as a precious opportunity to complete, improve or rectify, according to the case, the policies that have been developed by the White House since he took office. The decision made by a broad sector of the U.S. electorate is likely to have been determined by the conviction that a nation, just like an army, should never change its commander in the middle of an unfinished war. Perhaps this was one of the reasons for his re-election. Beyond the questionable aspects of his administration, Bush has undoubtedly led a strategic offensive against terrorism that has not ended yet.... Now, a new stage is open to make decisions intended to solve the serious problems the U.S. has in the domestic and foreign arena, many of which could be attributed to the mistakes or hurries of the president that has just been reelected..... We cannot disregard the mistrust and animosity Bush sparks in the world. His second term in office should review the reasons for those hostile feelings and heal the damage caused by some of his acts of government on the U.S. image all over the world."
BRAZIL: "Bush's Reelection"
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (11/4): "Now, with the popular support received from voters, George W. Bush is expected to feel authorized to emphasize his radical positions in the so-called war against terrorism. Also, it is probable that he will feel strengthened in his religious crusade against stem cell research, gay marriage and abortion. As for the world, whose complexities are considered by the reelected president as a war between good and evil, the prospects are dim."
"Bush Is Re-Elected And Republicans Widen Congressional Majority"
Business-oriented Valor Economico asserted (11/4): "There is no doubt that Bush will continue his bellicose rhetoric against terrorism and follow a radical line that disdains allies and ignores multilateral organizations.... The U.S. trade policy tends to remain the same, with strong protection to agricultural products and outbreaks of non-tariff barriers.... U.S. positions in multilateral negotiations such as the FTAA are clear and are not expected to change--to yield a little and demand much, as in the recent accords with Chile and Caribbean and Central American nations.... Bush led his administration to the radical, religious and intolerant right wing.... In his fight against terror, he will maintain unconditional support for Israel's policy and will try as much as possible to 'spread democracy' throughout the world, even by the threat of arms. The world is as unsafe as before as a result of Bush's reelection."
"America's Conservative Wave"
Center-right O Globo, editorialized (11/4): “The world would like to believe that the Bush who will rule for four more years is a new man.... This time around...he obtained the legitimacy that he failed to get in 2004: a transparent victory in the polls, leaving no doubts about who is the voters’ favorite.... Bush and his staff do not act in a vacuum. There is an undeniable conservative wave throughout the American society.... It is in Bush’s hands to deepen such differences he himself has stimulated. Or instead, in a low profile, humble manner...to take into consideration the values, aspirations and needs of Kerry’s voters and seek reconciliation, the national common denominator, one of his priorities for the upcoming four years.... On the foreign policy there is the risk of insisting on nefarious unilateralism, and alienating the Europeans even further...thus weakening multilateral organizations and forums, making the collective future even more uncertain and insecure.”
"Fear Of Terror"
Independent Jornal do Brasil observed (11/4): “From this complicated electoral system emerges the perception that the Bush Age, now renewed, will be marked by an increasing consecration of politics. A sign of that is the importance that the discussion on moral values represented during the campaign and in the voters’ decision. It has had the same weight as the debate on the war and its costs in lives and dollars. At any rate, Bush has won a certificate of political legitimacy in the polls--something he lacked in 2000. He comes out strengthened in all aspects and in that the greatest news of the second mandate may reside.... From the domestic viewpoint, Bush will have four more years to construct a legacy. The first step should be to pacify the country. The great challenge will be to erase the fear of terror from every citizen who has helped him to win the election. We hope that the validated victory and the legitimate mandate may give room to a magnanimous flexibility. And may result in American reunification.”
CHILE: "George Bush’s Greatest Victory: Legitimacy"
Leading-circulation, popular Santiago daily La Tercera concluded (11/4): “Yesterday, President George W. Bush won the invaluable right to continue in the White House as head of the world’s most powerful nation.... The president and Republican candidate also gained an asset that had been missing when he first took office: the legitimacy of the popular vote. Unlike four years ago, the president will not remain in office because he received more electoral votes than his opponent. This time, a significant majority of Americans voted for him.... The challenge now is for the president to govern without feeding the divisions of U.S. society, which were accentuated due to the different views regarding his political performance, and because...of intensifying cultural and value differences nationwide.”
"The U.S. Decision"
Government-owned, editorially independent Santiago daily La Nacion had this view (11/4): "What can the world expect for this victory? It would be a pity if Bush believes that he must accentuate his preventive war policy and proclaim unilateralism. If the United States maintains its pejorative attitude towards the United Nations and its traditional allies, humankind faces difficult days ahead.... Bush will make a serious mistake if he does not take into account the distrust that he creates worldwide. The United States needs to dialogue and to come to an understanding with other nations."
GUATEMALA: "George W. Bush’s New Challenges"
Leading, moderate Prensa Libre editorialized (11/4): “From the Latin American perspective, the outcome of the election may be interpreted in two opposite ways. One is that in this second period the Bush administration will improve its relations with its southern neighbors--relations that are currently perceived as almost nonexistent or very little. And the second one, that this relation will remain the same mainly after the terrorists attempts of 9/11 in New York.... President Bush should also take into consideration that he is not a popular leader outside of the United States, mainly in key regions such as the developed countries.”
JAMAICA: "Bush's Re-Election"
The conservative Gleaner editorialized (11/4): “We will thus watch keenly to see if Mr. Bush is willing to extend an olive-branch not only at home but to the international community as well. The United States under his leadership has conducted a misguided foreign policy that has bewildered and alienated much of the world and squandered the goodwill millions had towards his country after the terrorist attacks of September 2001. This action seemingly has swollen the ranks of would-be recruits for terrorists and suicide-bombing missions.... Of course, his clear victory might also be interpreted as a mandate for more of the same. After all, what really matters, he would argue, is the voice of the American people.”
NICARAGUA: "Kerry? Bush?"
Angel Guerra Cabrera had this to say in leftist national daily El Nuevo Diario (11/4): "One must insist that Bush's victory is the worse of the two options. This is true for the world, for Latin America and for the U.S. Some leftist and progressive sectors inside and outside of the U.S. wrongly state that either candidate is acceptable within the system. They are not taking into account the most important difference, which is that Bush represents the resurfacing of Nazi-fascism with all its consequences, including nuclear fangs and with no alliance of powers to face it."
PARAGUAY: "The Re-Election Of Mr. Bush"
Business-oriented La Nacion had this to say (11/4): "The fact is that the people of the United States have voted in favor of Mr. Bush and his policies and Paraguay should try to understand the policies so that it can be a part of the world that is being designed.... Whoever doesn't go along with modernization, within the framework of democratic and competitive globalization, will simply disappear.... The election of Bush will not change policies towards Paraguay because it can't do that. Paraguay is the one that has to change."
PERU: "Four More Years of George W. Bush"
Center-left daily La Republica argued (11/4): "We have to think about what the extension of President Bush's presidency means for the world. We do not doubt that the second mandate of George Bush will be the continuation of his imperialist and warrior presidency, with the imposition of a...fundamentalist vision of one who considers himself invested with a mission and does not hesitate a minute to impose it upon a great part of his country and therefore upon the world. We will have more unilateralism, more preventive wars and more 'axes of evil' to hit, with their respective consequences. Some local fundamentalists will try to convince us that the positive side of the issue is that now Peru will have an FTA, but nothing is less sure if we see the course of the negotiations. Besides, we have only to observe the total absence of Latin America in the debates between the candidates to have any illusions. The 'backyard' is of U.S. interest if it is useful to its policies. What a pity!"
"The Victory Of George W. Bush"
The center-right daily Expreso editorialized (11/4): "The victory of Bush is...enormously significant for the whole planet. The important weight that the U.S. has acquired in these last decades makes the fate of humankind dependent in large measure on the decisions made in the Oval Office. However, if the priority of the war on terror...is a trascendent decision, the Middle East issue is a delicate one, and the commercial situation with China and Europe is critical. President Bush should take into account that the U.S. lives in concert with other nations, most of which are poor. In the case of Peru, for instance, the U.S. should not only focus on issues like drugs, but above all on signing the Free Trade Agreement without imposing discriminatory conditions or preserving advantages for its citizens--elements that eventually will deepen poverty and injustice in this and other parts of the world."
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: "Region Must Be On Bush Agenda"
Business-oriented Trinidad Guardian editorialized (11/4): "After extending his congratulations on the re-election of U.S. President George W Bush...Prime Minister Patrick Manning should insist that hemispheric issues be placed high on the Bush agenda during the next four years.... The Bush agenda in his first term was dominated by the so-called war on terrorism and the invasion and occupation of Iraq.... Many Americans may have voted for the president because of the steadfast manner in which he dealt with these two issues.... But now it is clear that Mr. Bush has the opportunity to go beyond the narrow agenda of his first term to something both more expansive and more inclusive. The current international context is propitious for the U.S. president to make a significant departure that would have a positive impact on the Caribbean region.... As he looks toward securing his place in history, Mr. Bush would be well advised to adopt a less confrontational, more multilateral approach.... One of the areas in which this new approach can be demonstrated is in the quick resumption of the negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.... Mr. Bush should also be encouraged to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba--which has survived despite the fact of a 40-year trade embargo. For decades, the embargo has served little purpose and its lifting, with or without President Fidel Castro on the scene, is clearly the right thing to do."
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