November 19, 2004
POWELL DEPARTURE 'A LOSS' BUT RICE OFFERS A 'FRESH START'
** Colin Powell's departure signals the "exit of the moderate face" of U.S. foreign policy.
** Many papers see Rice "more in tune with Bush," may "restore influence" of State Dept.
** Critics fear "radicalization" by the neocons and more "arrogant," unilateral U.S. policy.
** Though U.S. foreign policy will now speak with "one voice," major change is doubtful.
Farewell to 'acceptable face' of U.S. policy-- Papers worldwide initially viewed Secretary Powell's exit as the loss of the "voice of reason" in the Bush foreign policy team. As the "internationalist at a table of neoconservatives," his leaving will mark the "end of an era" and a "loss for international relations." Among those praising him, Venezuela's liberal El Nacional gushed: "Powell leaves a legacy of judgment and prudence that make him deserve the credit and respect of the world." Chinese dailies will miss his "restraint and moderation" and his skills in setting the "basic tone" for U.S.-China relations. Some Euro, Canadian and Israeli media were less laudatory, labeling him a "disappointment" or "ineffective." He played "too much the good soldier," lamented a Danish writer.
'A more honest face'-- Condoleezza Rice's nomination garnered mixed global reviews, but positive editorial coverage deemed it an opportunity to "mend fences," recover from the "mis-steps" of the first Bush term and restore the "lost prestige" of the State Department. Writers cited Dr. Rice's "realism" and "proximity" to President Bush as assets. Conservative outlets held that under Powell there was often a "disconnect" between State and the White House, which the Jerusalem Post judged "far less likely to be the case with Rice" given her "personal" relationship with Bush. Some liberal critics, such as the Sydney Morning Herald, conceded that "Rice will articulate U.S. foreign policy with clarity and forthrightness," even if the world "might not like what it hears." In a rare leftist expression of optimism, a German daily held "transatlantic relations may actually thrive under the confidante of the president."
'More aggressive, domineering America'-- Negative editorials painted Rice's nomination as a "radical development" solidifying the "ascension of the hawks." The choice of Rice "confirms fears" that Bush plans to "intensify...his interventionist policies." This, noted Spain's independent El Mundo, doesn't "bode well for those who hoped for a more conciliatory foreign policy." A Jamaican writer added: "Any optimism that a second Bush Cabinet might turn over a new leaf...appears to have dissipated." Echoing Muslim reaction, Turkey's mass-appeal Milliyet averred that State's new boss will act according to "her master's voice," which means the U.S. will "continue its unilateral and aggressive policies."
U.S. diplomacy 'won't undergo any major change'-- Some writers were dispassionate, claiming that even with a "hard-liner" heading State, there was unlikely to be any "big shift in priorities or alliances." A Hong Kong daily expected U.S. ties with Britain, Japan and Australia to "remain close" and "tough talk" on North Korea and Iran to continue. But a Beijing paper countered that "hardly any progress can be made in nuclear standoffs that worry the international community." Latin papers predicted "the same but accentuated."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, email@example.com
EDITOR: Irene Marr
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 125 reports from 51 countries over 16-19 November 2004. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Now Powell Has Gone...Can Be No Illusions About Bush World View"
Mary Dejevsky commented in the center-left Independent (11/17): "It is possible, of course, that as head of US diplomacy, Ms. Rice will moderate the absolutist language in which she tends to express her views and turn out to be more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. She is not, and never has been, in the vanguard of neoconservatives. Far more likely, though, is that the foreign policy strategist we glimpsed in London is the one we will get. If this shatters the illusion, so amiably fostered by Mr. Powell, that the Bush view of the world is not so different from ours, perhaps that is for the best. Realism is the only basis on which broken diplomacy can start to mend."
"The Rise Of Miss Rice"
An editorial in the conservative Daily Telegraph read (11/17): "Closeness to the White House will be of enormous advantage to the new Secretary as she emerges from relative obscurity, at least on the international state, into the glare of heading one of a superpower's great offices of state. There, she will have to hold her own before Congress and with the wily big beasts of the first Bush administration, Mr. Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence. In an arena of that size she has yet to prove herself. On a more personal note, the appointment will be warmly welcomed by the Foreign Office, which has carefully cultivated Miss Rice."
"Rice Has The Chance To Recast Her Department And Foreign Policy"
An editorial in the conservative Times (11/17): "Dr. Rice is a strong communicator and should be willing to devote more time to explaining America to overseas audiences. She would surely be assisted in this if Mr. Bush chose to break with a long-established but misguided American practice and appoint serious professionals to be ambassadors. This is not an era in which the U.S. can afford to be represented abroad by affluent, if well-intentioned, amateurs. There is also a case for a more aggressive recruitment drive for new entrants to the American diplomatic service and to encourage a more diverse range of ideas and thinking."
"Powell Departs: A Resignation Into Which Too Much May Be Read"
An editorial in the conservative Times read (11/16): "His exit will not transform the character of American foreign policy. He himself observed in an interview last week that Mr. Bush's 'aggressive' foreign policy would continue, not least because that was what the times and U.S. interests demanded. He also made it clear that he shared the President's view that the world's problems 'had to be dealt with by the most powerful nation in the world'."
"General Powell Sounds The Retreat: As America's Chief Diplomat He Had Become Quite Ineffective"
The independent Financial Times declared (11/16): "Mr. Powell's biggest weakness was he lacked the close relationship with Mr. Bush that his opponents, notably vice-president Dick Cheney, and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had. Mr. Powell increasingly seemed to have lost control of foreign policy either to other agencies such as the defence department in Iraq or, on North Korea and Iran, to certain mavericks in his own State Department. Perhaps out of a desire to watch his back in Washington, he also travelled less than preceding secretaries of state, when, at certain points, more personal diplomacy might have paid dividends."
FRANCE: "Condi Rice: An All Or Nothing Bet"
Yves Threard noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/17): “Let us not make hasty conclusions...like those who see in the nomination of Condi Rice proof that the master of the White House wants to pursue his dream of world domination.... Let us not presume of Washington’s future attitude.... Her nomination may indeed be a clue to that future, but it is not solid proof.... Powell, in spite of being a moderate did not oppose Iraq’s intervention. Yet, his successor, who is not yet in office, is already looking suspicious. Just because the President listens to her does not mean she shares his ‘simplistic’ vision of the world.... She does not belong to the Rumsfeld clan.... Let us wait before we judge her. She could surprise us.... Many issues await her attention: the Middle East conflict and the quagmire of Iraq, but also transatlantic relations. She used very harsh words against France. It would not be wise to use them against her. World events demand diplomacy and realism on both sides of the Atlantic. Because Condi Rice alone will not make the world.”
"A Tribute To Powell"
Bruno Frappat stated in Catholic La Croix (11/17): “The most astounding paradox about Colin Powell is the fact that he found it necessary to lie massively before the entire world but that the world did not hold it against him.... He knew the state of the world better than anyone, certainly better than his boss. And in France we were grateful that he contained his lie within the limitations imposed by his role.... He will now be able to observe the war in Iraq from afar, a war he did not want but which he was forced to justify.... Let us hope that those he leaves behind will discover that the world is made of nuances.”
"Powell’s Farewell to Arms"
Philippe Gelie wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/16): “Just when President Bush is showing signs in favor of a diplomacy which Secretary Powell tried to defend for the past four years, the Secretary of State has decided to resign.... And so it is without Colin Powell that the President will have to concretize his gesture towards the Europeans and the Middle East peace process.... Powell’s diplomatic legacy will undoubtedly be the international conference on Iraq November 22 and 23.... It is ironic that for the victor of the first Iraq war, it is Iraq which later became Powell’s insurmountable obstacle.... Condoleezza Rice will probably show less patience and openness than Colin Powell. But it is certain that she will have more authority over the President.”
"The Man Who Wanted Too Much To Be Loved"
Bernard Guetta said on government-run France Inter radio (11/16): “Every American loved Colin Powell, because he gave a positive image of America and of the progress made since segregation.... He was indeed loved by all Americans, but mostly he was loved by his international interlocutors...who appreciated his moderation, his ability to listen and his respect.... While so many reveled about the ‘Old Europe’ and encouraged an anti-French campaign, he never gave in to such excess.... He was loved, yes. But did this make him a statesman? As the head of the diplomacy of the greatest nation in the world, he should not have limited himself to executing policy, like a good soldier.... Colin Powell endorsed issues which he believed were erroneous.... He later admitted to having been lied to.... Should he not have resigned then?”
"Goodbye Mr. Powell"
Right-of-center France Soir declared (11/16): “While Secretary Powell’s resignation carries symbolic power, it is not the only resignation.... The political coloring of the second Bush administration will become clear only when the replacements are known. But already we can feel concern about a conservative-leaning administration, as illustrated by the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to replace John Ashcroft.”
GERMANY: "She Can Do Differently"
Josef Joffe opined in center-left weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (11/18): "The future of U.S. foreign policy will depend not only on personalities who are now changing seats in the cabinet, for Condoleezza Rice, who will now move to the State Department, has always been the loyal voice of her boss.... But whether a change will develop depends...on whether George W. Bush will submit to the model that characterized Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton's second term, when both no longer focused on power but on posterity.... Nobody can predict whether Bush will embark upon this path, but it is clear that he has thus far obeyed only to unbending convictions. And it is also clear that 'Condi' was Bush's alter ego in the White House. But we can expect two developments: She will lead the State Department to the center of the decision-making processes and will not allow the Pentagon, irrespective of whether Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz will head it, to steal the show from her. Second, the tone: tough in the matter itself, she is soft in dealing with others, the first commandment in diplomacy.... This forecast may be allowed: Relations with Europe will improve, since it cannot become worse than in 2002/3.... And what about the Germans? In this respect we can be pleased about a change of personnel. As chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice, who wrote an excellent book on reunification, could fall back on her sharpened sensorium for central European affairs. What is even more important: The U.S. ambassador to Berlin will also be replaced. He was the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time. If the not yet official favorite candidate of the White House, whose name is not allowed to be name right now, accepts [the job], this man will be a blessing for relations, which both sides have allowed in a tragic way to sink very low."
"A Good Choice"
Right-of-center Esslinger Zeitung editorialized (11/18): "Rice could indeed be an good choice for her country's foreign relations. She could make a new beginning by using her knowledge about Europe and taking care of relations. That the President listens to hear is another plus. It is also positive that she is not one of the absolute hardliners like Rumsfeld. There is a ray of hope."
"Face Of America"
Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger said in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/17): "There had been 'stronger' NSAs in America's history, but only a few enjoyed such great trust by the President. The proximity to Bush is Mrs. Rice's capital, which she will bring into the Department of State. Of course, one could also see it the other way around: She will be Bush's representative with whom he can control the entire foreign policy apparatus. That might be the real meaning of Powell's prediction that the reelected President will pursue an aggressive foreign policy in his second tenure. A politician who believes in realpolitik will execute it.... It would be desirable that she makes serious efforts to bridge the strategic gap between the traditional allies and to convince Bush of effective multilateral policy--not sterile and insufficient multilateralism that lacks results. Those Europeans like Chirac who pursue multipolar ideas or who have lost touch with reality and dream of a European counterweight will be confronted with Rice as a partner to whom European integration is not a matter close to her heart. In short, they will face resistance."
"Keep Going--Just Differently"
Holger Schmale argued in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (11/17): "The Bush/Rice team will not change policy. This government will continue the global fight against terror and the promotion of the U.S. model of democracy and freedom. But Condoleezza Rice's job will be to make it work more smoothly, successfully and with less military and political victims. That is exactly in Europe's interest. It may well be that transatlantic relations will thrive better under the confidante of the President than under Colin Powell, who was trusted by Europeans, but lacked the sufficient influence with the President."
"The Loyal Diplomat"
Stefan Kornelius observed in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (11/17): "With Rice's nomination as Secretary of State, Bush sends out the message that it he is in power and that everyone must follow his commands. No foreign policy advisor was closer to Bush than Condoleezza Rice. Sending his confidante into the center of the organized and government-internal resistance means that the President had enough of the war between the different camps.... Rice's nomination shows that the President takes the work of the Department of State more important again. Rice is not an ideologist, but an astute pragmatist. Her explanations of preemptive strikes lack the brash and smug note neo-cons struck after September 11. Rice comes from a classical diplomatic school of thinking. She can put herself into the position of other countries; she can negotiate and not just demand. These are important crafts of the future Secretary of State. She will have to produce her masterpiece not in Iraq, but in Europe.... Rice, the chameleon from the White House, now faces her real challenge. She will not just be Bush's senior advisor, mediating between Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell, but she must pursue active foreign policy. The time is right for allies to influence this policy."
"The Second European"
Christoph von Marschall noted in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (11/17): "There are reasons to believe that America's foreign policy will become more straight-forward and predictable-and that the Department of State will become more influential…. Colin Powell sold and represented Bush's foreign policy even when he did not share his view. In Europe, he was the good guy, but someone whose words were not always heard at home. Condoleezza Rice might not be that good in the view of Europeans, but Bush listens to her.... One could love Powell, but the hopes Europeans put in him were dashed. Rice must be respected. She might meet the expectations her biography raise."
"Powell Quits, That's All"
Jacques Schuster opined in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (11/16): "For Europeans, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was...the last hope on this side of the Atlantic, a man who stood for a reasonable and moderate foreign policy. The German reaction to his resignation can be already summarized: good cop Powell does not just leave the political stage, but leaves it to the bad cops. America will now show what the empire of evil is. This view is nonsense. Colin Powell played the role the President wanted him to play. That is the same with Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld. The foreign policy of the last four years did not bear Powell's signature, but the one of the President. This will not change. Politically strengthened through the election results, Bush is demonstrating sovereignty, also in foreign policy issues. U.S. foreign policy will not be more radical, on the contrary. The first statements of the President after the election indicated that Bush would not radicalize his policy. Several times, he emphasized that need for cooperation with allies."
"Farewell Of A Dove"
Malte Lehming observed in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (11/16): "Changing cabinet members is natural at the beginning of a second legislative period, but the timing is precarious, as the U.S. is at war, the relations with many allies are damaged and America's reputation in the Arab world reached its lowest point. Powell embodied hope. He epitomized the longing for a better America. His resignation hurts.... He has done his best. It was him who convinced Bush to go to the UNSC. Tense weeks of negotiation followed, but the decision had been made long before. Powell could go to the UN, but Cheney and Rumsfeld got the war; that was the division of labor. The climax of this perfidy was Powell's appearance at the UNSC. Above all, it was the skeptic Powell who did the PR works for ousting Saddam. The one who was warning against it had turned into a missionary.... There is some tragedy to his resignation. He leaves the stage at a time when the hawks are discredited by the Iraq war. Now, when diplomatic opportunities come up in the Middle East, he no longer wants to be part of it. We will miss him--on both sides of the Atlantic."
ITALY: "Bush Wastes No Time And Promotes Rice To Powell’s Position"
Giampaolo Pioli wrote in conservative, top-circulation syndicate Il Resto del Carlino/La Nazione/Il Giorno (11/17): “The U.S. President didn’t waste any time. Twenty-four hours after Colin Powell’s resignation, who was thanked with a quick line...Bush promoted his most trusted adviser, the 50-year-old Condoleezza Rice to the position.... George Bush wants a new and strong team that no longer argues. The ‘good soldier Powell,’ who never agreed with the war in Iraq, is now at a dead end. His multilateral approach both in the Middle East and in the Gulf region, as well as in North Korea...was considered an impediment to the President’s and the Pentagon’s unilateral policy.”
"The Odd Couple - The Mystic And The Victorian"
Lucia Annunziata opined in centrist, influential La Stampa (11/17): “Starting today Condoleezza Rice and George Bush are the couple that will lead the world.... Rice’s nomination is in fact the result of the President’s personal journey; it’s the conclusion of his struggle for self-affirmation that he sought with determination and that Rice encouraged, supported and fortified. Rice has always been the closest person to him. He confides in her and she is the only one who is capable of influencing him without driving him away, arousing his suspicion or annoying him. Given the closeness between the two, the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to the State Department is being described as ‘tangible proof ’ that the line adopted by Bush in the first term was right, and indicates...that the State Department will now be under Bush’s direct control. He had sought this control for a long time, but had been mediated by Colin Powell’s ‘autonomous’ prestige and views.”
"Europe Should Not Cry"
Franco Venturini concluded in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (11/16): “With Powell’s departure, EU governments will lose a respected interlocutor who was willing to listen. He was a loyal official who carried out the decisions of the White House, but who was also convinced that unilateralism was not in America’s strategic interest.... Despite reassurances, Europeans feel that Colin Powell will be a ‘lame duck’ until his effective resignation. This means that the Conference on Iraq to be held in Sharm el Sheik, the definition of the post-Arafat period, the Palestinian and Iraqi elections in January and Bush II’s first steps in European relations will all suffer either from the participation of a Secretary of State who has lost much of his power, or from that of a successor who will barely have had time to be seated.”
"The Old Soldier Who Got Lost In Washington"
Gianni Riotta opined in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (11/16): "Colin Powell the warrior has lost. His ‘American journey,’ the image that inspired his autobiography, has ended. He lost it at the UN, when he put his great reputation on the line by raising the fake vial of anthrax.... Now it’s over. His knowledge, his allegiance to the flag, his trust in the rules of Washington’s corridors, and his traditional cold war strategy do not coincide with the frenetic language of global war.”
"The Diplomatic General Isolated From The ‘Neo-con’ Axis”
Washington correspondent Alberto Pasolini Zanelli noted in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (11/16): “Given the new phenomenon of terrorism, and following his own inclinations and the principle of ideologists rather than the advice of experts, Bush has defined a completely different line of action, that he has no intentions of changing, even when it runs into problems. There was no longer room for Powell in this new ‘continuity.’ He gave his country everything he had, which at times included his soul. His greatest sacrifice was made when he had to illustrate to the U.N. Security Council, personally, the “proof” of possession by Saddam Hussein of “WMD” that didn’t exist. Being an honest man, perhaps he convinced himself that there was some truth to the matter, but he didn’t, because he couldn’t, give it his soul. From then, many of his friends insisted he leave. They underestimated his great loyalty.”
RUSSIA: "Human Rights Imperialism Won't Pass"
Centrist army-run Krasnaya Zvezda offered a comment by Vadim Markushin (11/19): "Under Rice, the State Department may stop acting as a counterweight to the Pentagon altogether. The irony is that, being a woman and given to music, Condoleezza Rice is apt to be quite tough, which also goes for the foreign policy she is going to uphold. Alas, she has it in her. It is not for nothing that she wanted to become Defense Secretary.... Ms Rice must realize that there are no human rights in general, as there is no man in general. Different cultures have distinct standards and values. Attempting to make the whole world toe a single morality line is doomed to a failure. Experience shows that 'human rights imperialism' will not pass."
"Russia Isn't The Only Factor"
Artur Blinov and Andrey Terekhov had this to say on the front page of centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (11/17): "The new Secretary of State may have an impact on Russian-American relations--not necessarily in the sense that these relations may improve--given her critical view of Russia's domestic policy. Rice has been quite harsh about the Kremlin' policies, particularly in the North Caucasus. Even so, analysts foresee no dramatic change in Washington's stand on Moscow in the near future."
"Rice To Strengthen Conservatives' Hand"
Veniamin Ginodman noted in reformist Gazeta (11/17): "Rice will become an excellent partner for hawks like Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chief of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. Rice's first deputy in the National Security Council, Steven Hadley, who is certain to take over her post as the National Security Advisor to the President, will fit nicely into that 'hard-line' company."
"End Of Era In U.S. Politics"
Dmitriy Sidorov and Boris Volkhonskiy wrote in business-oriented Kommersant (11/16): "Colin Powell is one of the most striking and unexpected personalities in the U.S. top establishment. His departure marks the end of an era in U.S. politics. In many respects, he has epitomized the 'goodly' side of the Administration, and unlike its other members who have always upheld the use of force as an answer to complicated situations, he has passed in the world as a politician who is apt to talk."
"Good Bye, Powell"
Sergey Oznobishchev opined in reformist Vremya Novostey (11/16): "Colin Powell's departure is a loss for international relations. This level-headed man has been conspicuous for his presence in the Administration of the superpower. He will be even more conspicuous for his absence. Way back in the days of the USSR, he maintained even, friendly relations with his Soviet partners and never demanded what they could not offer, aware of their limitations. His relations with the Russian leadership have been just as good."
AUSTRIA: "Great Challenges"
In nationwide ORF radio early morning news "Morgenjournal," Washington correspondent Fabio Polly maintained (11/17): "Great challenges in a difficult time are waiting for Rice, according to US President Bush. Among them are getting the situation in Iraq under control. However, currently it seems unlikely that elections can be held there in January. And even if they are pushed through, in spite of civil-war-like circumstances, their legitimacy will probably be challenged. Furthermore, following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Mideast peace talks are due. Here, the Bush administration is praising Ms. Rice's good relations with Israeli politicians, but that could turn out to be a boomerang, if the Palestinians feel these relations are a little too close for them to trust Rice. Also, the situation with countries like Iran and North Korea is anything but easy, as they are to be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.... Another issue is the fact that, in spite of assurances to the contrary, the situation between Americans and Europeans remains tense. Even Colin Powell could not change that, although he was a devotee of convincing friends of America's political stance. America's relations with the UN also require some reorganization.... President Bush's personnel policy seems to be an indication that the coming years will bring about a new ice age in US-EU relations."
"In The Falcons' Nest"
Livia Klingl, foreign affairs editor for mass circulation daily Kurier, opined (11/17): "The fact that the 'friendly face' of the Bush cabinet does not want to play along any longer, did not come unexpected. It is also hardly unexpected that Condoleezza Rice will succeed him.... From now on, the Bush cabinet will probably speak with one voice only. Whether missionary one-sidedness is likely to bring peace in one of the most difficult global conflicts - that in the Middle East - is a matter of debate. At any rate, Europe can now give up all hope that the U.S will take up a dialogue that reflects the real power balance. It is more likely that we will get more of 'for us or against us.' Fortunately, the U.S is not ready for further military go-it-alone actions."
"Her Master's Voice"
Senior editor for mass circulation tabloid Neue Kronenzeitung Ernst Trost wrote (11/17): "In contrast to Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice was always her master's voice and his most loyal cabinet member. Under her leadership there will probably be no differences between the White House and the State Department. Not, at any rate, unless Condi, as she is known in Washington, should seek to emerge from the President's shadow. In his memoirs of 1995, the outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell warned of the 'political hotheads of the extreme right' who 'on political and spiritual questions apparently invoke God's wisdom.' He has exhausted himself in disputes with these people; his successor will have an easier time in this regard."
"Powell Leaves Behind An Empty Chair"
Markus Bernath held in liberal Der Standard (11/16): "The U.S. Secretary of State was the Europeans' hope, and he failed under Bush.... His resignation puts in motion the biggest re-shuffle of the Bush administration that--when completed--will give Europeans an indication of what to expect: A more conciliatory, or an even more uncomfortable second term with the US President.... Powell's grandest hour in the past four years was also his darkest, when President Bush sent him to advocate war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq before the UNSC in February 2003.... Powell failed in the Bush administration, because he could not fall back on some ideological concept.... Who will succeed him? Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor, would prefer the Defense to the State Department, knowing that the Pentagon has grown far more powerful over the past few years. John Danforth, UN Ambassador and also a candidate, is considered a true Southern conservative. Both of them would have a free hand--there's nothing left that Powell could have passed on to them."
Philippe Paquet asserted in independent La Libre Belgique (11/17): "The appointment of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State confirms what one might have feared after George W. Bush’s triumphant victory on November 2: a radicalization of the United States’ foreign policy.... Of course, no one would consider questioning Condoleezza Rice’s intellectual capacities. Yet, this brilliant university graduate who just turned fifty does not necessarily have the ideal profile for the job she is being entrusted with. She is first and foremost an expert on Russia--at the time of the Soviet Union--and on Eastern Europe. Of course, Moscow remains an essential partner for Washington and Europeans... But American diplomacy’s priorities are elsewhere and, from the Middle East to international terrorism, Condoleezza Rice does not have any other experience than the one that she gained through her contacts with the neoconservatives that have been inspiring the White House’s adventurous policy for four years. And whatever she might think, like Madeleine Albright before her, she will have the disadvantage of being a woman, whereas the main challenges that America is facing are coming from countries that, from North Korea to Iran, are not precisely feminist.”
Alain Campiotti remarked in left-of-center Le Soir (11/17): "There were disagreements within the first Bush Administration. The two pragmatic diplomats at the helm of the State Department, Colin Powell and Richard Armitage, tried to resist the hawks at the Pentagon and at the White House. Their resignation marks their failure.... Actually, while George Bush begins his second mandate, he is moving his faithful White House collaborators to key cabinet posts--to such an extent that Democrats are already talking of an ossification of power where only one voice will be heard, i.e. that of the President.”
"Bush To Stick To His Course"
Foreign editor Evita Neefs remarked in Christian-Democrat De Standaard (11/17): “Condoleezza Rice’s nomination sends a political signal: Bush wants to stick his course.... His policy will also become more homogeneous now that Powell’s dissident voice has disappeared. Especially after the 9/11 attacks Rice remained closer to the majority movement that was lead by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. As National Security Adviser Rice did not succeed in conciliating the quarrelsome voices. That was painfully obvious in America’s position vis-à-vis North Korea and Iran. She did not succeed in pulling those dossiers out of the deadlock. With Powell’s departure that problem will probably be solved and Iran and North Korea should expect a tougher American posture: less diplomacy, more sanctions and -according to some - even more military action.”
"From Dove To Hawk"
Foreign editor Jean Vanempten asserted in financial De Tijd (11/16): "With Rice or another hawk at the helm of the State Department, the relationship with Europe will be vulnerable. After his victory President Bush promised that the old feuds would be solved and that there is room for a new trans-Atlantic dialogue. Bush’s announcement that he will come to the EU and NATO in February seemed to confirm that intention. Let’s wait and see.... If Bush really wants to enhance the unity in his cabinet and continue to follow the old course, a hawk will strengthen that cabinet--rather than weaken it. In that case, however, it will become immediately clear that the next four years will also be years of conflict and as difficult as the first four years under Bush.”
BULGARIA: "The World In The Hands Of A Woman"
Leading Trud commented (11/18): "It is very likely that Rice's role will be redefined as a mediator between the Pentagon hawks and the State Department doves, between Europe and America, between Washington and Moscow. From this angle, Bush's choice for a Secretary of State is the best possible. His instinct tells him that at the moment there is an unprecedented coincidence of traditional foreign policy and security policy. And this trend is best represented by the academic reputation and infinite loyalty of Rice to Bush.... Only the very naive could suggest that with Rice's nomination the US foreign policy course will be radically altered. Firstly, this is not typical for the US foreign policy traditions and secondly, it is completely out of character for Bush and Rice. The war against terror will certainly remain number one priority as will the driving force behind it--Osama Bin Laden."
"Powell Departs Defeated"
Center-left Sega declared (11/17): "President Bush must realize he’s losing an invaluable aide, who has proven his abilities in limiting damage to the U.S. when the most unreasonable decision are being made. Thanks to Powell, the Bush Administration preferred the diplomatic solutions instead of using force during the nuclear crises with Iran and North Korea. With such skillful leadership of the State Department, the U.S. managed to secure comfortable relationships with Moscow and Beijing.”
CYPRUS: "The Change At The State Department"
Right-wing extremely nationalistic Makhi held (11/18): "As expected, Bush's re-election signaled Colin Powell's removal from the Department of State. This removal would have come about one way or another.... Powell was a victim of the hawks who surround President Bush.... Now Powell will be replaced by Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's most faithful adviser. So far, Ms. Rice has fully shared his views. Ms. Rice is expected to bring back the State Department's lost prestige. This could be a positive development for us. No matter how much we don't like it, the Cyprus issue and all Greek national issues depend on the U.S. stance and role. The U.S. Secretary of State has always played a significant role in the formulation of this role -- much more now in the case of Ms. Rice who has strong ties with President Bush and therefore will have some autonomy in her moves and decisions. Hellenism, which has many open fronts, has every interest in approaching the new Secretary to build communication bridges with her.... Rice is a very important link who should be placed at the service of Hellenism for more favorable developments on our national issues. Looking away from the past, sentiments and grudges, there should be a new start on the occasion of the State Department change. Now is the time. With boldness, determination and insistence to convince about the rightness of our positions."
DENMARK: "Rice’s Appointment Is No Grounds For Optimism"
Center-left Politiken opined (11/17): "The optimists among us thought that Powell would continue as Secretary of State for a while (and that this could lead to a change in mood in Washington). Yesterday they (the optimists) aired the notion that Condoleezza Rice’s would be able to steer the president in the right direction because he has such faith in her and would listen to her advice. At the present time, however, there is nothing to suggest that Bush is ready to change course. His new Secretary of State is his old National Security Advisor and his new Attorney General is one of his former legal advisors.... Instead of wishful thinking regarding American foreign policy, Europe should think what it can contribute and how it can find solutions to pressing international problems. Putting all our faith in Washington is no foreign policy strategy.”
"Good Soldier Powell"
Left-wing Information editorialized (11/17) “It appears that the wrong people are being promoted in Bush’s second Administration. Powell should have stayed a little longer and participated in new Middle East peace negotiations. Condoleezza Rice does not deserve to have been given the top job at the State Department…. Colin Powell remains a tragic figure. He could have won the Republican nomination in 1996 and 2000, but he chose to become Secretary of State - following in the footsteps of George C. Marshall. Powell was not the right person for the job. He was too much a good soldier and all to ready to fall into line. He was a good manager, but he was not a visionary Secretary of State.”
"Powell’s Departure Means Business As Usual For U.S. Foreign Policy"
Center-right Jyllands-Posten judged (11/16): “Powell’s departure does not come as any great shock. He was the one person that was predicted to be on his way out of the Administration after the election victory. But Powell’s decision to resign is also an indication that Bush intends to continue his foreign policy line. There does not appear to be any easy way forward for transatlantic relations.”
HUNGARY: "Condi In A New Role"
Foreign news editor Eva Elekes said in left-of-center Nepszava (11/18): "Powell was highly respected in the world; the European allies understood him. His resignation means that a moderate and autonomous personality is leaving the Bush administration, probably the last one. His successor is highly trained politically, is foreign policy expert, who, at the same time, will be very loyal to the President’s policy. This is as much a virtue as a deficiency. Through Rice the President would be able to form a more uniform foreign policy, and he would not have to anticipate voices of protest from the State Department. Nobody believes that the former presidential advisor, who shares the President’s conservative views, would be a counterbalance to the hardline Vice President and the Secretary of Defense, as Powell did. Condi has not yet formulated broad strategic plans, and although she is a strong woman, she was not able to bring the strong combatant figures of the cabinet in line."
IRELAND: "Bush Loses Voice Of Moderation"
The center-left Irish Times stated (11/16): “Yesterday's announcement that Mr Powell is to resign as Secretary of State is not unexpected; but it does signify that President Bush was not minded to persuade him to remain. His departure removes the major voice of realist, moderate Republicanism from the administration.... Mr Powell has always valued loyalty as a political virtue and certainly extended it to Mr Bush by disguising his frustration over the direction of US defense and foreign policy - and perhaps by delaying his resignation until after the election. When appointed he was used as an example of the compassionate, centrist conservatism which would inform the Bush administration. It was a deceptive message. Even before the 9/11 attacks a whole series of international treaty obligations had been repudiated. After them US foreign policy was transformed. Mr Powell helped create an international coalition to pursue those responsible in Afghanistan. Over the following year he went along with the hawkish surge to attack Iraq on a pre-emptive basis…..It has since been shown conclusively that both of these cases for going to war were false, leaving Mr Powell's credibility in disarray.... These failures, and the associated falling away of US legitimacy and regard internationally make a convincing case that Mr Powell was not able to restrain the hawks.... It will be difficult to find someone of Colin Powell's stature, even if Mr Bush wants to see continuity to repair this political and diplomatic damage. The dove departs a hawkish administration."
KOSOVO: "Condoleezza Rice, The New American Secretary Of State”
Pro-LDK, mass circulation daily Bota Sot had the following editorial (11/18): “The new American Secretary of State comes in a period decisive for the resolution of Kosovo issue, an issue most important in today’s history of the world and with direct and powerful influence in Europe and The Middle East, the two world zones that will be the priorities of the priorities of the U.S. policy in the next four years of the administration of President George W. Bush. We believe that Mrs. Condoleezza Rice will be as hope-giving as was her predecessor Madeleine Albright...for the determination of Kosovo’s issue, just as it was promised to Kosovo in the spring of 1999 during the air campaign led by the USA, just as it was promised to Kosovo in the spring of 1999 during the air campaign against the barbaric Serb war machinery. Kosovo’s diplomacy, Albanian diplomacy in general and diplomacies of friends, allies and our brothers should work a lot, and from the close, and with most commitments and insistence, with the new American Secretary of State, who fortunately is an excellent expert of the realities of the Eastern Europe and of the tragedies that plagued this part of the Continent and world.”
NETHERLANDS: "Powell’s Paradox"
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad in its editorial (11/18): “The dissident soldier-diplomat is making room for the magician’s apprentice…. Powell’s legacy of multilateralism will soon be over. That is a tough message for Europe which had hoped for a Kerry victory because he wanted to involve the allies more in his foreign policy. No Kerry, Powell exit, and instead a conservative realist who has no other ambition but to serve her boss… Powell’s person and policy were marked by the paradox: he had to execute a policy which was not his. And that will change now. With Condoleezza Rice there would be no such paradox. American foreign policy will now be understood in only one way: the way the President meant it to be. But this clarity also has some advantages.”
"Tarnished Powell Leaves"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant commented (11/16): "He had plenty of ambition and discipline and did not lack loyalty to his boss. Nevertheless Secretary Colin Powell will not leave any trace of significance behind. The White House gave him no acknowledgment or authority."
NORWAY: "All Power To Bush’s Hawks"
The social democratic Dagsavisen commented (11/17): "With Powell disappears the only moderate voice that has been strong enough to force its way out of the wall of loyalty that surrounds the Bush Administration. The danger is that diplomacy will have to yield to military power to an even larger degree in the period to come… Iraq is the model for this type of policy. Bush sees the fairytale in Iraq as extremely successful, something Rice probably agrees with considering their close relationship. To us, Iraq seems directly counter-productive if the goal is to democratize the Middle East. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead, the city of Fallujah is left in ruins, Iraq has become a magnet for Islamic terrorists who wish to fight the United States, at the same time as the war is leading to a radicalization of the entire region. With Rice as Secretary of State there is little reason other than to expect more of the same.”
The independent Dagbladet observed (11/17): “She has been described as a steel magnolia, a description used of southern women with a beautiful, feminine and well-groomed appearance and soft mannerisms, but who still have a will of steel. In Rice’s case we’re talking tempered steel… The appointment of Rice as Secretary of State signals that President George Bush feels legitimized by his victory in the election, and that he no longer needs a Powell as front figure for his foreign policy. Rice is his closest confidante and will not be bringing her own agenda to ‘Foggy Bottom,’ as the U.S. Department of State is referred to in Washington.”
POLAND: "Changes For Better"
Joanna Krawczyk wrote in right-of-center Zycie (11/17): “Even though I personally think highly of Colin Powell, the future changes could be for the better. Condoleezza Rice is a perfect negotiator. I doubt anyone else could be more effective than she in the tasks America faces in this administration. The changes in the administration are smart moves. Bush wanted to signal to Americans (especially those who voted for Kerry) that he has drawn conclusions from the campaign and is ‘dusting’ the cabinet - and to the world, that Washington is introducing a new group of politicians to the international scene. It is important at a time when the world situation is full of new, unexpected threats, and requires that America reach out to the old continent.”
Bartosz Weglarczyk commented in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (11/17): “Rice will assume management of U.S. foreign affairs at a very tough moment. Two months before the elections in Iraq, Washington is seeking allies to conduct Middle East policy. Rice will face enormous challenges linked to Yasser Arafat’s death, nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, and, finally, the crisis involving old alliances in Europe…. The nomination of Rice means that the White House no longer wants to tolerate opposition from career diplomats who are inclined to debate in the privacy of offices rather than act fast, the method favored by Bush.”
ROMANIA: "The Ascension Of The Hawks"
George Coman maintained in independent Ziua (11/17): "[Condoleezza Rice’s appointment] is a move that undoubtedly worries both the European adversaries of US policies; France, Germany, and the EU in general; but also the Russian Federation, as Rice was a specialist on Soviet strategic issues. It is a move that demonstrates the victory of the radical wing, which is behind the US Administration, over the moderates represented by Colin Powell. It is a signal that George W. Bush prepares to continue and intensify in his second mandate his military and interventionist policies.... Condoleezza Rice is, for sure, from the neo-conservatories’ point of view, the person who would intensify this ‘aggressive’ policy without thinking too much."
"U.S. Loses Charismatic Hero"
In respected Adevarul foreign policy analyst Andreea Bratosin opined (11/16): “By Powell’s resignation, Bush team looses one of its most popular members: the charismatic hero of the first Gulf war, who enjoys great appreciation in the U.S., but also overseas. The European states are loosing an important dialogue partner, who succeeded, despite hardships, to keep up the image of an Euro-Atlantic partnership in a time of serious international controversies.”
In independent Cotidianul foreign policy analyst Adrian Cochino commented (11/16): “Colin Powell was always considered to be one of the moderate officials of the incumbent administration, which has been dominated by the severe voices of the warrior neocons Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.… Despite the popularity that he enjoyed during his mandate, Powell will stay in the memory of the American citizens as the man who presented - in the name of Bush - false evidence to support the necessity of war in Iraq.”
SPAIN: "Loyal Condi"
Left-of-center El País maintained (11/18): "Condoleezza Rice's appointment...shores up the fear that the US President is appointing to key positions in the government unconditional supporters (of his policy)...with her history as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister in Alabama, it is improbable that Rice will be the kind of adaptable, multilateral, and understanding politician that Powell tried to be.... Condoleezza Rice, whose ability is doubted by few, must be given the benefit of the doubt before holding the position.... However, it's inevitable to be fearful that she will bring to her new post the ritual agreement of the President’s points of view in foreign policy.... Rice has, right around the corner, formidable challenges in Iraq and the Middle East that are going to put her willingness to the test. What is going to be more important right now is her ability to make a coherent and integral foreign policy. It's desirable that she work not only to for superpower that she serves, but also to the rest of the countries that share values and principles with the US; that she won't be dangerous for the rest of the world that, above all, must be inhabitable."
"Bush And The Challenge Of History"
Business daily Expansión wrote (11/17): "What will now be the rhythm of Bush's foreign policy? In order to achieve his desire to go down in history, (Bush) should promote a more moderate management that confronts the real problems with pragmatism and cleverness. There are elements that lead one to think that now (he) might be more pragmatic, because as he is not presenting himself for a third election, he has not the inevitable obligation to built his foreign policy for a domestic group....Powell's departure...is a sign that the President is not willing to renounce the principles in which he firmly believes and that he won't turn himself into an enthusiast multilateralism and global institutions."
"Bush Lets The 'Doves' Fly Away And Promotes The 'Hawks'"
Independent El Mundo editorialized (11/17): "The promotion of someone who has been a loyal National Security Advisor during the first Bush mandate doesn't bode well for those who hoped for a more conciliatory foreign policy for the following four years.... The current President is trying to surround himself only with those that absolutely share his positions."
"Powell Won't Continue"
Centrist La Vanguardia noted (11/16): "These past four years at the head of U.S. diplomacy, haven't been hell, but of course, nor have they been a bed of roses for Powell. His discrepancies with the 'neocons' and other leaders of the Administration have been notorious. The hard epithets that Powell dedicated to Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz...have never been denied. Powell's frustration is not atypical, because in the last fifty years there have only been two Secretaries of State with real self-governing power, Kissinger and Dulles.... The rest have been more or less decorative figureheads. Of course, the place of Powell in history, as the first African-American who headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of State, is completely guaranteed."
TURKEY: "Her Master’s Voice"
Sami Kohen commented in mass-appeal Milliyet (11/18): “Being very close to President Bush, Condoleezza Rice is expected to act according to her master’s voice. Powell at least had the courage to warn the hawks in the administration, and managed to establish a dialogue with friendly countries based on a more flexible diplomacy. The State Department’s new boss will likely act according to the strategies shaped by President Bush. All of this means that the new Bush administration will continue its unilateral and aggressive policies.”
"The Reign of the Hawks"
Yilmaz Oztuna argued in conservative Turkiye (11/18): “The nomination of Rice for the State Department is a radical development which might affect world politics. Given her academic background, Rice is expected to make a rapprochement with Russia, but not with France. Such a development might lead to a role for Russia in the Broader Middle East initiative. Turkey might be offered a key role as well.... The ongoing war in Iraq is ignoring human rights, and the entire world is criticizing the Bush administration. Rice’s presence at the State Department will not help to cool things off. Powell at least tried to control Rumsfeld’s more extreme tendencies. Condoleezza Rice can be expected to support them and encourage him even more.
"The End Of Common Sense In The Bush Administration"
Zafer Atay said in economic-political Dunya (11/17): “The appointment of Rice to replace Powell is a strong indication of a crisis for the world. The US is at war, and given the current circumstances the resignation of Powell is not an ordinary event. Rice has not been a brilliant adviser in her position in the NSC. All she did was to collaborate with the war-mongers instead of working for peace.... Turkey has also lost a close friend in the Bush administration. When Turkey decided not to allow US troops to come through Turkey on their way to Iraq, some in the administration started to attack Turkey. During this tough period, Powell exerted sincere efforts to ease the tension in a friendly way.”
UKRAINE: "The Warrior Princess"
Serhii Solodkyi concluded in centrist Den (11/18): "The impact of Dr. Rice's appointment on U.S.-Ukraine relations needs attention.... Rice said the U.S. views Ukraine as an important country in its own right rather than a bridge between Russia and the West.... The widespread opinion that Dr. Rice views relations with Russia as an overriding priority in U.S. policy toward the post-Soviet region may be not that unquestionable."
ISRAEL: "The State Of State"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post held (11/18): "During the first Bush administration, there often seemed to be a disconnect between the policies and pronouncements of State and those of the White House, especially as regards this region. Israel would be condemned by the State Department spokesman for actions in the territories, while the president or his spokespeople would cite its legitimate right to defend itself. To Bush, Iran was central to the 'axis of evil,' while State called the same regime a 'democracy.' Policies, such as the road map, would be viewed as coming more 'out of State' than the White House, as if the executive were divided between different coalition partners, as the government often is here. This is far less likely to be case with Rice at the State Department, based on her own working record at the NSC and her personal relationship with the president. It is perhaps unrealistic to expect Rice in the course of one stint at State to change an entrenched diplomatic perspective in its bureaucracy that many in Israel and its supporters view as 'Arabist' in outlook. But it is imperative as America leads the war on terror, pushes for democracy in the Arab world, and helps Israel navigate through the peace process that its leadership do so with a clearly formulated and articulated foreign policy. That will be Condoleezza Rice's job, and one for which she is uniquely suited."
"Good Bye, Powell"
Nationalist, Orthodox Hatzofe editorialized (11/17): "It sometimes looks as if, contrary to President Bush, Powell demonstrates hostility to Israel, but it is always worthwhile remembering that the purpose of all the branches of the U.S. government is the same -- that is to say: the establishment of a Palestinian state and Israel's withdrawal to lines that are as close as possible to the 1967 borders.... President Bush's promises to Ariel Sharon that Israel would not be required to withdraw to the 1967 borders are attractive and gladdening, but at a time of adversity, under another American president and another Israeli prime minister, they won't hold, even if the U.S. secretary of state is [Dov] Weisglass.... Israel's immediate problem isn't Powell and the policy of the U.S. State Department, but the heavy pressure being applied by British Prime Minister [Tony] Blair on President Bush to order Israel to show flexibility vis-a-vis the new administration in the Palestinian Authority."
"Departure Of A Doctrine"
Ofer Shelach opined in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (11/16): "[Powell was] a person trained to see what is possible, and to carry it out among a bunch of people obsessed with their conservative-American faith (for Bush, also a religious one). In this sense, it was doubtful whether Powell ever had a real chance to become a real policy shaper.... The first Gulf War was a clear example of the Powell doctrine; the 2003 Iraq War is the war of Wolfowitz, [Cheney Chief of Staff] Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, and the like.... In this sense, it isn't just Powell who's going home. Together with him, the view that America's unprecedented power in the world stands for responsibility, and not something that justifies every action by force, is leaving, too.... The moment when the man with the doctrine is leaving is much less significant than it is being portrayed from Israel's narrow view. This is the harbinger of four years during which a fanatical sect--which the Secretary of State faced as one of its last (but not really effective) reins--will dominate America and the world."
"Powell Was Just A Figurehead, Not A Player"
Nathan Guttman stated in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (11/16): "During Colin Powell's tenure as secretary of state, the adage that U.S.-Israel relations are managed by the White House and the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, with the secretary of state and foreign minister playing purely secondary roles, became even more firmly entrenched.... The Israeli file was always in the hands of President George W. Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.... There were many instances in which Powell's State Department was critical of Israel while the White House was more forgiving.... Israel did not ignore Powell, but it knew that it was always better to wait and see what the White House and the NSC had to say, as these bodies were generally more accommodating of Sharon's policies. Powell's departure from the State Department will thus have little impact on U.S. policy toward the Middle East, as his role in shaping that policy was in any case not decisive. If Rice replaces him, there will be no policy changes at all, other than those mandated by the new Palestinian leadership."
WEST BANK: "Palestinian Roadmap"
Jawad Bashiti said in independent Al-Ayyam (11/18): "From now until Palestinian presidential elections take place on January 9, 2005, we will see the Bush administration, in its second and last term, controlled by the ‘hawks,’ and Rice’s handling of foreign affairs giving increased diplomatic and political attention to the Palestinian portfolio in the transitional stage that began with President Arafat’s death. There’s no doubt that this interest goes back to the fact that this administration wishes to show that it was right in claiming that the late Palestinian president was the major obstacle to peace that made it difficult for the U.S. to play an effective role in bringing the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”
"Don't Put Yourself In The American Harm's Way"
Hafiz Barghuti commented in official Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (11/17): "Colin Powell has finally given up after despairing of employing his moderation as the basis for American policy, which still badly needs a diplomatic front less radical than the one presented by the hawks of the Pentagon. As far as his successor Condoleezza Rice is concerned, she can be considered someone on the fence between the hawks and doves.... Her presence in the State Department, however, may restore the importance of this department after the hawks managed to strip Secretary Powell of his authority.... Condoleezza, on the other hand, will control foreign policy.... It must be noted here that the Roadmap remains the only way toward any settlement, one that is based on international resolutions.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "'Lone Dove' Now Is Gone"
The pro-government English-language Saudi Gazette opined (11/17): "Alone amongst senior Bush administration officials Powell enjoyed almost universal respect because he was a military man of action who urged caution.... Powell's progressive disillusionment as evidence emerged that Iraq posed no real threat and possessed few if any WMDs was evident.... It seems probable he will be replaced as Secretary of State by Condoleeza Rice, regarded as a hawk. A Cabinet full of hawks without Powell's moderating influence is hardly going to be received with cheers of delight by anyother than President Bush's staunchest supporters. Powell's departure just at the moment when Bush s second term starts is interpreted as a green light for more tough action on international terrorism--despite the debacle of Iraq--is hardly re-assuring. The danger that Washington will hunker down and continue to see military force as the solution to its security problems is all too real.... Who will act as the voice of moderation in an administration which hardly places a premium on intellectual diversity."
BAHRAIN: "Rice Can Find ‘Silver Bullet’ If Changes Style"
The English-language pro-government Daily Tribune contended (11/17): "Powell’s move, unfortunately, marks the victory of Bushian hawks who planned and executed the regime-change games in Afghanistan and Iraq. The proverbial odd man has been encouraged to exit by an administration full of hardliners.... It is regrettable that a person who realised (though belatedly) his mistake of supporting a war-happy regime, which unremorsefully left a trail of death and destruction, chose to (or made to) quit, while those directly responsible for creating the mess are enjoying the warmth of the wings of their supreme boss in the Pentagon. It is a deplorable absence of accountability.... Bush’s choice for Powell’s replacement – Condoleezza Rice – simply does not have the charisma, grace and statesmanship that a towering Powell possessed.... It is not for nothing that the second female national security advisor is called a 'steel magnolia' and 'warrior princess.' It was Rice, who raised eyebrows last year with her Machiavellian suggestions for how Washington should treat European opponents of the US-led invasion. ‘Punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia,’ Rice was widely quoted as telling associates last year.... Rice does not carry the deep political clout Powell had, but her asset is a close working relationship with Bush in the past four years.... Iraq was a fiasco for Powell. He should have resigned soon after the failure to find chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Iraq. He would have become a bigger and a real hero if he had listened to his inner voice at that time.... These are tough times for Washington as it is sinking deeper into myriad self-created quagmires. Moderation rather than aggression may change the course of events. The sooner it dawns upon Rice the better. She can find the ‘silver bullet.’ if Powell’s soft but straight tone is maintained."
LEBANON: "Powell’s Resignation"
Joseph Samaha observed in Arab nationalist As-Safir (11/17): "Powell’s resignation...only means that Bush has sharpened the conservative edge of his administration. The best thing about Powell was his differences with President Bush. His worse defects were having to obey the President. He had to remind those who met regularly in the Oval Office that there was another world which exists outside. Powell was the most credible and respected official in the Bush Administration. He could have been a prominent Secretary of State had he been tasked to implement a different foreign policy.... Bush took decisions without consulting him in advance.... The obedient soldier in him triumphed over the politician who should have given and insisted on his advice to his President. For this reason he was perceived as the foremost enemy of the neo-conservative current.... He also transformed into the man who was always ridiculed by Rumsfeld.... The only image remaining of Powell is his image at the Security Council in February 2003 holding an anthrax vial, and confirming to millions of people that Iraq had WMD that justified the immediate war against Iraq. Of course, it was proven later that every word he said was wrong.... He lost his credibility and effectiveness.... The world that dealt with him knew that he was marginalized and not one of the key decision makers in the Bush Administration."
"Justice, And Her Own Heritage...Condoleezza Rice Should Not Forsake"
An unsigned editorial in the English-language Daily Star (11/17): “Rice is a political scientist whose specialty is the Cold War era and Soviet politics. Exactly how well her training may have prepared her for dealing with the Middle East remains to be seen.... In short, Arab and Muslim governments need to prepare for a serious, hard-nosed U.S. approach to its diplomacy in the Middle East that is backed with an unhesitating use of force. But there is more. Rice was also one of the few in the U.S. administration who advocated that Muslim societies were not adverse to democracy, freedom and the rule of law. As a U.S. secretary of state, she would need to emphasize the rule of law over security as a basis for solving the Middle East’s many problems. Born and raised under the shadow of racial segregation...Rice has no excuse for not recognizing the vital importance of justice. This, then, is Rice’s challenge...to draw on her experience as a black American to change U.S. foreign policy from the window dressing of rhetoric to the merchandise of justice actually exported."
MOROCCO: "Nomination Of Condoleezza Rice...Confirms Bush’s Hard Line Choice"
Ahmed El Fadili judged in semi-official daily Le Matin du Sahara (11/18): “Tuesday’s nomination by George W. Bush of Mrs. Condoleezza Rice for the post of Secretary of State, replacing Colin Powell, caused and will continue to cause fear and apprehension in many capitals, in various diplomatic and media circles, as well as on the street..... This nomination is unanimously perceived as the manifestation...of Bush’s desire to harden his foreign policy and better control his troops.... Almost always wearing a malicious and deceptive smile, if not, frankly, a sly and mocking smile, this woman of far-removed African origin is, in reality, so firm, cold and dry that many statesmen envy her. She makes one think of Margaret Thatcher, aptly nicknamed at the time, ‘the Iron Lady.’”
QATAR: "Rice Likely To Drive Radical Diplomacy"
The semi-official English-language Gulf Times maintained (11/17): "The nomination last night of Condoleezza Rice...is a sign that Washington’s assertive approach towards the rest of the world will continue.... The outgoing Secretary of State had battled, largely in vain, to persuade his president to adopt a multilateral approach to global issues.... Under Powell, it had become increasingly obvious that the aspirations of the State Department did not match the intentions of the president. Under Rice...the direction of U.S. diplomacy is bound to change. America’s long-time adversaries in North Korea, Iran and Cuba, to name but a few, are likely to find that Washington is even more assertive than before. For the Palestinians, the change brings little hope.... Rice is renowned for her determination and ambition.... She will not rest on her laurels and the world can expect to see the US engage in extremely active, radical and right-wing diplomacy over the next four years."
SYRIA: "The Significance Of Powell's Resignation"
Ahmad Hamadah observed in government-owned Al-Thawra (11/18): "Powell's resignation raises many questions about the distribution of roles in the U.S. Administration and whether it is true there is an equation of moderation and extremism in this administration.... The whole world saw after 9/11 how the administration officials were equals in making ready and charged statements against the Arabs and in paving the way for launching preemptive wars to eliminate alleged terrorism.... As for the Arab-Israeli conflict...all of the U.S. Administration officials understood what they called Israel's motives and right to fight the alleged terrorism. Powell himself said more than once that he understood Sharon's organized terrorism. He never said a word about Jenin's horrific massacre while he demanded that the Palestinians condemn all forms of violence against the Israeli entity. Individuals are governed by the general policies of the U.S. Administration, not the other way around. What is important, therefore, is not the departure of this individual or that, but a change in the extremist political trends themselves."
UAE: "Among Hawks, A Dove Is Easy Game"
The English-language expatriate-oriented Gulf News held (11/17): "Colin Powell's resignation was not unexpected but his departure from the Bush team means the cabinet is without its prime voice of reason. An internationalist at a table of neo-conservatives, a moderate undermined by hawks, a diplomat in a room of unilateralists, Powell was the acceptable face of US policy. Not that everything he said was accepted. In February 2003, he was sent to the UN to argue for a war he did not believe was necessary with evidence which later turned out to be almost entirely bogus. His credibility and that of the administration he served was in tatters. But still he stayed. This was in part due to his soldier's training, a sense of loyalty especially after 9/11. Neither could the struggle he was involved in, a voice of sense among politicians who gave credence to flights of fancy, be shirked. He never enjoyed the complete backing of a president who was far more supportive of Donald Rumsfeld, his nemesis. Powell soon realised that the jungles of Vietnam were far less treacherous than the plush rooms of the White House. It is to his credit he stayed. Bush may yet realise how important his presence was."
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
AUSTRALIA: "America’s Face To The World Must Face Up To World Realities"
An op-ed in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald by Dr Alison Broinowski, visiting fellow at the Australian National University and the University of NSW asserted (11/19): “Now nominated as Powell's successor and as the face America is to show the world, Rice's record has been given the presidential stamp of integrity. But she may now have to tell Bush more unpalatable truths than either she or he is used to. She may send him to address the UN General Assembly bearing the good news that American values are universal. But if she advises him to say that all nations that know what's good for them are with America, the clashes of civilizations that we have seen so far will look like a cocktail party. To restore influence to the State Department, Rice will have to listen to people there, who know which policies the U.S. needs to change.”
"Powells’ Legacy, Rice’s Challenge"
An editorial in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald read (11/18): "President George Bush's nomination of his National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as Secretary of State puts a more honest face on American foreign policy. What the world sees--and hears--from Dr Rice is more likely to be what it will get. Within the bounds of diplomacy, Dr Rice will tell it like it is, where her predecessor, Colin Powell, might have fudged or simply been silent. Dr Rice's thinking is in line with the mainstream within the Bush Administration, while Mr Powell too often found himself at odds with the prevailing view. She is personally close to Mr Bush...where the President appeared to hold Mr Powell at a distance. Dr Rice will articulate US foreign policy with clarity and forthrightness. The world may not like what it hears.... Many will mourn the loss of Mr Powell's moderating voice within the Bush White House. But a voice within the Administration is only that; rarely did Mr Powell's voice rise to become the voice of the Administration.... He leaves with the bitter satisfaction of having been right about so much concerning Iraq but having failed in his key diplomatic task: to make the Bush Administration see it.”
"Condi's Crystal Ball Holds Key To Bush Vision"
The national conservative Australian stated (11/18): "Mr Powell was...seen as bringing the virtues of pragmatism, moderation and multilateralism to the Bush administration. But like everything else, the context in which those virtues operated was transformed on September 11, 2001.... Whatever the mistakes that have been made in Iraq and his role in them, all this should not overshadow the success of Mr Powell's quiet diplomacy in other areas. He has been largely responsible for the containment of the nuclear threat posed by Iran and North Korea, and for bringing Mr Bush to see the importance of saving Africa from the ravages of poverty and AIDS. Mr Powell undoubtedly softened the impact of his boss's 'do it my way, or watch your back' approach.... Ms Rice inherits a world view in which Australia punches at a weight far above our economic, demographic and military ranking in the world. And because the U.S. alliance is the foundation and buttress of our security, that is a good way for the U.S.'s chief diplomat to view things.”
CHINA: "Moderating Force Disappears From Washington"
Weng Xiang commented in official Communist Youth League-run China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao) (11/17): “Powell resigned.... Deep into autumn, Washington chilled with the news: has Washington really lost its moderating force? Powell represented U.S. diplomacy’s voice at the beginning of Bush’s term, but after 9/11...Powellism’, stressing international alliances and ‘non-physical strength’, was marginalized.... People’s deepest impressions of Powell were his restraint and moderation. His moderation was not out of a sacrifice of principles, but based on his healthy and balanced personality and precise judgment.... He was also a proponent of U.S.-China relations. Bush’s future diplomacy will still be restricted by the international community. But with the ‘unipolar’ setup, it also needs internal restrictions from U.S. government and society. Powell is gone, and the international community wonders: who will replace him and can he or she bear the important task of balancing U.S. diplomacy?”
"Powell Says Calm Farewell To Bush: U.S. Media Reports Rice Will Be Secretary"
Liu Aicheng and Niu Beiming commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao,11/17): “Powell’s political career...is spotless.... For four years, he arduously maintained the U.S.’ international image.... Before resigning, he set the basic tone for U.S.-China relations.... Bush’s selection of Rice as Secretary of State is not accidental. Bush Senior recommended Rice to Bush, and Bush has been very dependent on her in regard to foreign policy, treating her as a ‘diplomacy supervisor.’ In addition, Rice always happens to agree with Bush on many issues. She also has good personal relations with Bush.... One predicts that she will have better relations with the President than did Powell. Experts worry that Powell’s resignation will mean that the ‘mildest voice’ of Bush’s first term will no longer be present during his second term. ...But Rice is also not a stubborn conservative. She is a neo-conservative, tougher than Powell but more moderate than Cheney. Although she replaces Powell, U.S. diplomacy won’t undergo any major change.”
"Will Rice’s 'Unipolar Worldview' Make The U.S. More ‘Hegemonic'?"
Zheng Yongqiu contended in official popular Beijing Youth Daily (Beijing Qingnianbao, 11/17): “One hears that Rice-guided U.S. diplomacy will be tougher. This is not quite exact. But Rice’s most prominent diplomatic view is: no desire for a ‘multipolar world’ but rather a ‘unipolar world'.... In other countries’ eyes, Powell was a sympathetic ear in the U.S. government while the government just ignored other countries’ concerns. But now that the Bush administration has brought in a tougher Secretary of State, hardly any progress can be made in the nuclear standoffs that worry the international community.... In many foreign officials’ eyes, Rice is a very steely person. She always means what she says, and nobody can change things that she refuses. But analysts think this is not completely right. In fact, Rice always straddles over diplomacy and defense, mediating and combining various parties’ opinions.”
CHINA (MACAU AND HONG KONG SARS): "U.S. Will Take A Tougher Diplomatic Line"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Macau Daily News remarked (11/17): "Powell's resignation marks the beginning of President Bush's second-term cabinet restructuring. In the meantime, it also shows that Bush and U.S. foreign policies are at a decisive turning point. In the future, the administration may take a tougher line.... Following Powell's departure, Bush will nominate National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to replace Powell. This marks a victory for the tough diplomatic line suggested by the 'hawks', including Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. In Bush's first-term cabinet, although Powell's moderate views were always overlooked, his presence guaranteed that Bush would have to listen to different opinions before driving forward any major foreign policies. For example, Powell stressed that the U.S. should join hands with Europe to settle the Iran nuclear issue and that the U.S. should handle the DPRK nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations. He also thought that the U.S. should take a tougher measure against Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. Will all these steady suggestions be changed after Powell's departure? People should continue to watch the developments."
"Bush Cabinet's Voice Of Moderation Will Be Missed"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post noted (11/17): "Now that Secretary of State Colin Powell has handed in his resignation, there are justified concerns about how hawkish the U.S. State Department will become under his successor.... Under Dr Rice, there is unlikely to be any big shift in priorities or alliances. Relations with Britain, Japan and Australia are sure to remain close. Tough talk on North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons ambitions is likely to continue.... Dr Rice is more in tune with Mr. Bush's views.... As a result, the U.S. ship of state may sail more smoothly in the next four years. That, however, is exactly the worry. Mr. Powell's departure removes one of the strongest voices of dissent in the cabinet, at a time when Mr. Bush needs moderating influences, especially in the area of foreign policy.... Mr. Powell's departure allows the president to make a fresh start. Dr Rice must make mending fences, abroad and within the State Department, a high priority."
"Powell Resigns Like Lightning"
Shi Yu commented in official popular Beijing Youth Daily (Beijing Qingnianbao,11/16): "U.S. Secretary of State Powell suddenly tendered his resignation. Although a rumor about his resignation started spreading around two years ago, the news still surprised and shocked Washington and the world.... Powell’s staying or going has been a lingering issue. His resignation on the 15th was not accidental. Each time the Bush administration has a foreign policy dispute...Powell’s position in the administration becomes the world’s focus. His position in Bush’s foreign policy decision-making circles has become an important signal for outsiders looking at developments in U.S. foreign policy.... The direct reasons for Powell’s resignation might be Bush’s Middle East peace policy."
TAIWAN: "Bush Needs Stability in Asia"
The pro-independence, English-language Taipei Times editorialized (11/19): "It is generally believed that, under Rice's leadership, the new decision-making team will reshuffle the State Department to eliminate opposition and carry out Bush's hawkish policies. At the moment, Rice should review the State Department's China policy and handle multilateral relations in East Asia with caution. Moreover, she should adjust the methods employed by Powell, who has made excessive concessions to China over the past six months, and resume the global strategic arrangement adopted at the beginning of Bush's first term.... An important goal for Bush in reshuffling his administration would be to resolve long-standing battle between the State Department, White House and Pentagon. More importantly, Bush needs to redirect the US' policy in Asia, where it seems to have lost its direction to such an extent that it was hurting its allies in order to make goodwill gestures to its strategic competitor. The main forum for the US to re-establish order in East Asia will be on the sidelines of the APEC summit, where Bush will have the opportunity of speaking individually with many Asian leaders. We hope that Bush will make the best use of this opportunity to warn its competitor while re-emphasizing its commitments to allies like Japan and Taiwan."
"Condoleezza Rice May Adjust U.S. Policy Toward Taiwan"
The conservative, pro-unification, English-language China Post noted in an editorial (11/17): "For Taipei, newly re-elected President George W. Bush's appointment yesterday of his National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to replace Colin Powell as U.S. secretary of state may provide a new opportunity to improve Washington relations strained in the last two years over the way President Chen Shui-bian pushed his political agenda and addressed his differences with Beijing. Rice is unlikely to change Washington's basic 'one China' policy, a position which has been followed by all past administrations since the U.S. shifted diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing more than two decades ago. However, she could adopt a clearer stance against Taiwan's passionate campaign to pursue formal independence and its escalating anti-Beijing rhetoric. A State Department under Rice could move more actively to encourage the resumption of long-stalled contacts and talks between Taipei and Beijing. The above policy trends have already become apparent during the latter part of the current Beijing term. Such policy adjustments have been considered necessary to prevent the simmering tension between the two sides from escalating into hot war, a conflict that the U.S. could be drawn into."
JAPAN: "Schism Between U.S. and UN To Widen"
Liberal Mainichi observed (11/18): "The nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, plus the Republican gain in the recent congressional elections, has prompted concerns that the schism between the Bush administration and the UN is likely to widen. With the world body critical of the recent U.S. offensive in Fallujah, the rift is bound to affect the planned Iraqi elections in January. Secretary of State Powell's imminent departure is also likely to increase UN distrust of the U.S."
"U.S. Needs To Exercise 'Trustworthy' Diplomacy"
Liberal Mainichi's editorial said (11/17): "The international community has been concerned about the reported disagreement between Secretary Powell and hardliners such as Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld over many diplomatic issues, including Iraq, North Korea, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Although Powell's opinions have not been well reflected in U.S. policy, the global community has welcomed his desire to respect international cooperation. We hope the next secretary of state will value global cooperation, instead of taking a 'unilateral' approach. If the second Bush administration toughens its unilateral stance, it is unlikely to succeed in rebuilding Iraq and achieving peace in the Middle East."
"U.S. Should Not Widen Its Gap With The World"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (11/17): "We wonder about the future direction of the second Bush administration after the departure of Powell, who was seen as placing importance on international cooperation. The outgoing secretary must deeply regret Washington's decision to go ahead with the war in Iraq based on false information... Discord has been obvious between Secretary Powell and security hardliners, including Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, over U.S. policy toward North Korea and the Middle East. Rice, picked to succeed Powell, appears to enjoy the fullest confidence of President Bush, but she may not be able to influence U.S. foreign policy to the same degree as the secretary.... President Bush has expressed his firm determination to continue the war on terrorism, but the U.S. alone will not be able to win such a battle. Washington needs to promote international cooperation in order to restore soured relations with European nations and to rebuild postwar Iraq."
"Strength Of U.S.-Japan Relations To Be Unaffected"
Conservative Sankei insisted (11/17): "The appointment of NSC Advisor Rice as Secretary Powell's successor demonstrates President Bush's intention to take a 'pragmatic' line on U.S. diplomacy. Powell's departure from the cabinet might allow hardliners, such as Vice President Cheney, to further exercise their leadership in U.S. foreign policy. The influence of NSC's Rice, academic-turned-official, in the State Department remains uncertain. It is possible that the Department of Defense would seize leadership on security issues. In order to win the ongoing war on terrorism, the second-term president must nurture cooperation with allies and friends in Europe and elsewhere. Rice, who has expertise in European issues, is expected to exercise her diplomatic leadership in coordinating international cooperation. President Bush's Asia policy, which places importance on Japan, is unlikely to change under Rice. The strong relations between President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi are also unlikely to be affected by the diplomatic change."
SOUTH KOREA: "New U.S. Foreign Policy Team, Tougher Policy Toward North"
Pro-government Seoul Shinmun concluded (11/17): “The exit of Powell, who has been representing the voices of the moderates within the Bush Administration, and the arrival of Rice, a hardliner, presage that Washington’s future foreign policy will show more of a unilateral tendency that relies on power. Accordingly, we need to be sufficiently prepared for the possibility that the new U.S. foreign policy team might take a harder line toward North Korea.... We do not believe that the Bush Administration would immediately turn to the policy of abandoning ‘carrots’ and using only ‘sticks.’ However, should the North refuse to return to the negotiating table of the Six-Party Talks, or should it continue to develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. might drastically change the way it has dealt with North Korea.”
"The Need For Resolute Response To Changed U.S. Foreign Policy Team"
The nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (11/17): “It cannot also be ruled out that the Bush Administration’s new foreign policy team might conduct an overall review of the existing North Korea policy. Nevertheless, under no circumstances should the principle of ‘resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through peaceful means’ be shaken. The current six-party framework should also be maintained. It is high time for the ROKG to adopt a resolute attitude and to contact American officials through diverse channels. Furthermore, it is also important for the ROKG to work actively to create an atmosphere for both Washington and Pyongyang to produce advanced proposals in future negotiations.”
“With Powell Going And Rice Coming”
The independent Dong-a Ilbo editorialized (11/17): “The nomination of White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State may not be bad news for the ROK. She has played the role of a mediator between the hawkish ‘neo-cons’ and the doves led by Powell. The Six-Party Talks was the product of such compromise. In this regard, the ROKG seems likely to have no difficulty in producing countermeasures, as it has been in contact with Ms. Rice for the past two years. Even if the underlying tone of U.S. foreign policy changes, the basic framework of U.S. policy toward the Korean Peninsula must be maintained.”
INDONESIA: "Principle Issue Behind Colin Powell’s Resignation"
Leading independent Kompas noted (11/18): "Powell is not included in the neo conservative hardliner group called hawkish, from the word hawk. With the presence of Condoleezza Rice, Powell’s successor as the State Secretary, the second period of President Bush’s administration is believed to become harder with neo conservative followers.... With his military background, Powell is a figure who believes that war should be launched if all political and diplomatic efforts to overcome a problem have come to an end. In Iraq’s case, the U.S. government was seen as hurriedly launching the attack without seriously looking at the political and diplomatic approach with Saddam’s government. It is not overreacting when Powell resigned early this week; many people said that this moderate person did not want to be part of President Bush’s cabinet because of issues of principle.”
MALAYSIA: "Israel Will Be Harsher Without Powell"
Government-influenced, Malay-language Berita Harian asserted (11/17): "The resignation of Secretary of State Colin Powell, will not resolve the troubles in Baghdad, the violence in Fallujah and the murders committed by the Israeli Military on Palestinian innocents. It also has strengthened the positions of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who are both hard-headed and want the U.S. to attack North Korea and Iran. Will Bush’s second term see a cabinet of right-wing conservatives who are pro-Jewish and will sanction the violence of the Israeli soldiers in the Gazza and West Bank? At this time, Bush has not mentioned any change in his foreign policy towards the Israeli-Palestine conflict nor the peace plan."
THAILAND: "Chaotic World In Bush’s Hands When The Doves’ Wings Are Broken"
The lead editorial in the elite, business-oriented Krungthep Turakij read (11/19): “After Bush has been re-elected president for the next four years by the American majority and Condoleeza Rice appointed the new Secretary of State, it seems the world is falling into more of an atmosphere of apprehension than in the past four years. The U.S. will probably continue to pressure other countries to reach agreements on anti-terrorism plans and abolishing of WMDs that are consistent with U.S. approach. Many are questioning (the U.S.) hard-line policy. If North Korea, for example, will not end its nuclear development programs after over two years of talks, what will happen? Will President Bush order military invasion of the country without paying heed to the international community like in the case of Iraq?”
"U.S. Secretary Of State Resigns"
Rachan Husen commented in conservative, Thai-language Siam Rath (11/17): "Among the resignations, that of Secretary of State Colin Powell has caused the greatest furor because the departure of someone in that position could mean a change in the foreign policy of the new administration. A government does not normally change its foreign minister unless the shuffle is inevitable or there is a change in foreign policy.... It is likely that U.S. foreign policy will become more aggressive during the second Bush administration. After four years of watching this administration, I believe Powell not only resigns as a matter of courtesy but also because he has been under pressure from the ‘neo-conservatives’ or the hawkish group led by American Zionists such as VP Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and Condoleeza Rice.”
VIETNAM: "Why Did C. Powell Have To Resign?"
Ngoc Hung wrote in Quan Doi Nhan Dan, a daily run by the Vietnam People's Army, (11/17): "In the past four years, in the position of Secretary of State, Powell suffered repeated defeats in arguments over viewpoints with his opponent, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.... Especially, in the past several months, his boldness in expressing disagreements to Bush's policies made his position more shaky than ever.... Many figures in the Bush administration also very much wanted Powell to resign soon. However, before his re-election, Mr. Bush did not want that to happen because it may cause troubles to his presidency.... The whole world knows that Powell was not a favorite in the Bush administration.... Last year, when Bush wanted to send his messages to Middle East leaders, he asked advisor Rice to do it. When he wanted to ask European countries to write off Iraq's debts, he asked for help from his father's secretary of state. These examples show that in Bush's eyes, there is no longer a Powell. When a secretary of state feels that his is no longer of any use and that he is not viewed as an engine for the foreign policy, that secretary of state has to leave."
INDIA: "Bush Severs Ties With The Moderates"
Mumbai-based centrist Marathi-language Navashakti contended (11/18): "President George W. Bush's re-election was expected to provide a boost to his trigger-happy confrontationist ways. Developments in the last few days have confirmed these fears.... A moderate like Powell is to be replaced by a hardliner like Condoleeza Rice, a firm supporter of the invasion of Iraq. Powell's presence in the Bush administration would not have made much of a difference even in the second term. Powell had been rendered inconsequential a long time ago. But with Rice's entry, Bush seems to be preparing for a devastating second inning. The future is likely to witness an even more aggressive and domineering America. Crises will probably worsen in the Middle East and West Asia. America will now try harder for a change of regime in Saudi Arabia. From India's point of view, neither Powell and nor Rice makes much of a difference. It is just that Powell has interacted with India quite often in the last four years, and it may not be so easy to establish a rapport with Rice."
"Whatever Happened, Happened For Good"
The left-of-center Marathi daily Maharashtra Times judged (11/17): "Powell was the only judicious and wise person in the confrontationist Bush regime. Powell was against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But his peace-making efforts were disregarded by President George W. Bush's trusted aides like Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Powell was hurt when his views were not taken into account by the President while taking major foreign policy decisions. However, he did not want to expose the differences within the U.S. administration by quitting the job in protest.... However, Powell's exit proves favorable for India. His special friendship with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was an area of concern for India. In his bid to praise Musharraf's co-operation in locating Osama Bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists, Powell often turned a blind eye to Musharraf's devious role in abetting terrorist violence in Kashmir. His claims of having orchestrated a dialogue between India and Pakistani after a dangerous war-like build-up on their borders was highly exaggerated and controversial."
An editorial in the nationalist Hindustan Times read (11/17): "Colin Powell's resignation...marks the exit of the moderate face of the Bush administration's foreign policy. Considering that post 9/11, the word 'Washington' has hardly conjured up the word 'moderation', it might sound silly to think of him as the foil to a gun-toting president. The fact remains that it was Powell who goaded an unwilling George Bush to seek out the initial support of the UN In the first place.... The reason why Powell seemed to be doing his job without a stamp of authority was because Bush didn't care much for his counsel. But unlike Robin Cook...Powell never publicly went against his superior. But it was clear, especially for many of America's erstwhile allies in 'Old Europe', that if there was a bridge to an increasingly distant Washington, it was Powell.... Bush's second term in office may not be driven by the zeal of a band of crusaders. But with Rice by his side, Washington as fashioned by George Bush could become an aviary of hawks minus the more pragmatic species."
PAKISTAN: "Exit Powell"
The center-right national English-language Nation opined (11/18): "Mr. Colin Powell, widely recognized as the most vocal moderate of the Bush administration, has resigned as U.S. Secretary of State, in the vanguard of what seems to be a purge of moderates at State. His Deputy, Richard Armitage, who had sided with him on a number of issues against the ‘chicken hawks’ has also resigned, while a sizeable number of other moderates are also reportedly drawing up farewell letters. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, known for a proximity of views with the hardliners, has been nominated as Mr. Powell’s successor. Besides being a Bush family loyalist, she is a major supporter of the President’s doctrine of pre-emptive strike. With the moderate elements out of the second Bush administration, it is going to be a hawkish neo-con body, a development being watched with concern worldwide."
"Enters Condoleezza Rice"
The Islamabad-based rightist English-language Pakistan Observer declared (11/18): "Like Powell, Rice too will thus be supposed to follow Bush’s policies... Diverse opinions are also being expressed about the impact of her induction on Pakistan. We are, however, confident that it’s in the U.S.' own interest to continue cooperative relations with Islamabad. The role played by Pakistan and President Musharraf in the U.S. war against terror has been invaluable and Condoleezza Rice is well aware of Pakistan’s importance in the anti-terror war. We rather look forward to Dr. Rice’s positive role in expanding the Pak-US ties beyond the war against terrorism. We take this opportunity to greet Dr. Condoleezza Rice on her induction as the U.S. Secretary of State and look forward to greater understanding between Washington and Islamabad to the mutual benefit of the two countries."
BANGLADESH: "Questions Remain"
The independent English-language Daily Star commented (11/18): "There can be no doubt that Dr. Rice is eminently qualified for the job in terms of her experience and acumen. Whether she will possess the diplomatic capacity for the job, or indeed, whether the second Bush administration will place much emphasis on diplomacy, remains to be seen. Critics will point out that she did not do a good job coordinating between the departments of State and Defense as NSA, and that her public statements on Iraq and WMD demonstrated a lack of candor. Cynics will say that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld will continue to dominate U.S. foreign policy-making regardless of who is secretary of state. Either way, hers is a historical appointment. That she is the first female African-American secretary of state and that her tenure follows that of the first African-American and the first female secretaries of state is surely a good sign for the U.S. The second Bush term is a historic opportunity for the U.S. to recover from the mis-steps of the first, and we sincerely hope that Dr. Rice will succeed in her momentous task of bringing the U.S. and the rest of the world closer together in the next four years."
KAZAKHSTAN: "The 'Hawks' Remain"
Official daily Kazakhstanskaya Pravda held (11/19): “Her name comes from the Italian musical term 'con dolchezza' - 'with tenderness,' but all experts say that it’s time to forget about tenderness. Anyone who ever worked with her say that she is tough, hard-edged and absolutely ideologically driven. When the war in Iraq started, she said, 'We should punish France, ignore Germany, and excuse Russia,' and that became her credo.”
KENYA: "Change Of Guard At State Department And What It Portends”
KANU party owned Kenya Times (11/17): "In choosing Condoleezza Rice as Powell’s replacement, the president has clearly indicated which direction he wants U.S. policy to take. Reputedly a presidential favourite, Ms Rice who is from academia is on the ideological scale, far to the right of center... But clearly she will have to move slightly to the center in terms of outlook for in diplomacy, strong will and personal convictions are only important if they help build bridges and heavens know that America right now could do with more bridges with the rest of the world.”
ZIMBABWE: "Powell's Departure Poses Greater Danger To World"
Harare based independent Herald editorialized (Internet version, 11/17): "Despite his faults and his mistakes, the world is likely to be a more dangerous and ugly place once Colin Powell leaves his office as United States Secretary of State... Powell had the stature - and the trust - of many who gave their reluctant go-ahead.... This trust and stature Powell had built up with his contacts with Europe, Russia, China and much of Asia. Regrettably, Africa was never high on his agenda, if it was on it at all, and so US policy on Africa has tended to be in the hands of minor officials and the war hawks.... He concentrated his efforts and his talents into building the relationships between the greater powers in the multi-polar world he saw evolving and, when his advice was taken, did very well in this arena. Unfortunately, the less crucial relations with smaller countries were not given the same attention.... If Powell had been given more freedom of action, and if he had been allowed to recruit more of the top staff of the State Department so that more officials would see the world the way he did, there is a good chance that the same policy followed in relations with the other great powers would have permeated down to relations with the little countries.... So Powell had his limitations, he made mistakes - including one very big one on Iraq - but generally he has helped create a better world despite his president. Many are going to miss his restraining hand in a second Bush term."
CANADA: "Bush Sends A Signal"
The liberal Toronto Star commented (11/17): "By naming Condoleezza Rice to replace outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. President George Bush has sent a pretty clear signal of what he expects from allies in his second term.... Certainly, Rice will speak with more authority than did Powell, the popular though marginalized and discredited voice of reason in cabinet. Rice is gifted, self-assured. She has Bush's ear, and shares his views. The administration will now project a unified, if hawkish stand. But in choosing Rice and another intimate, Alberto Gonzales, as attorney general to replace John Ashcroft, Bush has passed up a chance to widen his circle and broaden his views. That matters as he tries to secure America's defences, mend fences with allies, make Mideast peace, contain Iran's nuclear ambitions and stabilize Iraq. Closeted with likeminded aides, Bush may isolate himself further from allies' views. He does not have to persuade, rather than push, them. But America will be safer if he does."
"Add Rice To Bush Hard-Right Recipe"
Columnist Richard Gwyn observed in the liberal Toronto Star (11/17): "As America's top diplomat Rice...will have one significant advantage over Powell. Whenever she speaks, the world will know that it is Bush speaking. The price the world will pay for this is that from now on there will be only one voice, one attitude, one single, simple theme, coming out of Washington. This will be, either you are for me, or you are against me, either my way, or the highway. The moderates have been pushed out of the tent.... Bush does intend to fashion himself a foreign policy legacy.... The legacy Bush has in mind will unquestionably be that of the victor of the war against terrorism and of the leader who brought--and imposed--democracy in the Middle East."
Serge Truffaut wrote in liberal Fench-language Le Devoir (11/17): "The designation of Condoleezza Rice at the head of the Department of State confirms the hold neo-conservatives have over American politics. Following this nomination, we can expect more unilateralism, a constant challenging of alliances and treaties.... After having conquered the nationalist neo-conservatives, after having reassured the ideologues among them, Rice was propelled the nervous center of power. Between her and the President, between her and the leader of the religious clan, the complicity is total.... They are not in doubt but in certainty. And questioning? That is left to those who believe in democracy."
"Exit Colin Powell"
The leading Globe and Mail opined (11/16): "With the departure of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the re-elected administration of George W. Bush loses its principal moderating influence in foreign policy. Let's hope it finds another one. In many ways, Mr. Powell was a disappointment at the Department of State. A man of great intelligence, eloquence and persuasive power, he often found himself marginalized in the Bush administration.... Despite his failings, Mr. Powell will be missed. To the many foreign leaders alienated by Mr. Bush's my-way-or-the-highway style, he was a friend - a sympathetic ear in an unsympathetic White House. More important, he was a voice of caution and reason in an administration that often seems deaf to opposing arguments.... Mr. Bush's greatest strength, his confidence, can also be his greatest failing. This is not a president who takes kindly to dissent. Yet he needs to hear it if he is to avoid the arrogance that is the dark side of certainty. He needs it particularly in foreign policy, where his black-and-white view of the world can lead to danger. For that reason, it would be unfortunate if...Bush were to appoint Condoleezza Rice to replace Mr. Powell. A close friend of the Bush family, she is capable and articulate, but not independent enough to stand up to her mentor, the President. The new secretary of state needs to be as forceful in the Oval Office as he or she is abroad."
"Colin Powell's Defeat"
Editorialist Mario Roy wrote in centrist La Presse (11/16): "Powell played the role of moderator within a group of decision makers rather inclined to favor the absolute reasons of State and strong methods, preventive strikes and unilateral action. It is rather clear that...confronted by this entourage, he lost all his battles.... [T]he speculations have begun with the name most often mentioned being that of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. If she is named, it will confirm the President's and his closest advisors' influence over the country's diplomacy. And will confirm that Bush's second mandate will offer more of the same.... A few days after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and while the situation in Iraq is less stable than ever, Colin Powell's departure silences a voice that could have been useful, in the circumstances.... It is clear that his resignation puts the political world in waiting mode...while the events, on the other hand, will not pause."
ARGENTINA: "A Cabinet Of Loyal Aides"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent for daily-of-record La Nacion, stressed (11/17): "When nominating influential National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to replace Colin Powell as US State Secretary, the Republican leader confirmed his decision to start his second term in office surrounded by his most loyal aides and prevent disagreement on the direction of his foreign policy. Rice's nomination...has marked the triumph of the hard line in the USG's handling of its foreign policy and security, over Powell's moderation and search for balance. The question now is who in the cabinet will contribute the share of moderation, this is to say, who will confront the assertive policy promoted by the hawks of the administration, such as VP Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld given that Rice is in alignment with this hard and rigid line."
"Condoleezza Rice, An Unconditional Of Bush, Will Be The New US State Secretary"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading Clarin, commented (11/17): "Through the replacement of Colin Powell by Condoleezza Rice as US State Secretary, George W. Bush officially consolidated the hard-line foreign policy promoted by VP Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, while he eliminated a discordant moderated member. This means that, while Bush will not find the disagreement he used to find among the members of his national security staff during his first term in office, he will not access a more multilateralist view such as that of Powell.... The US Senate must confirm Rice's nomination, but the issue promises big discussion. Democrats have accused Rice of not having alerted Bush on the danger posed by Al Qaeda before the September 11 attacks in spite of the warnings made by antiterrorist czar Richard Clarke."
BRAZIL: "Condoleezza's Time"
An editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo asserted (11/17): "Condoleezza Rice, who is the ideologist of the law of the strongest, maintains that the U.S., in default of treaties and multilateral institutions, has the right to attack any nation that may possibly threaten it when it has the means - and not only those that constitute an effective and present threat. Such a doctrine, announced in July 2002, was the Bush administration's juridical rationale to invade Iraq nine months later. With Rice's announced nomination, the hard line has been installed in the last and weakened focus of resistance to the theory and practice of U.S.supremacy in Washington's strategic centers - the Department of State....Condoleezza Rice will not need to abandon her ideas to be faithful to the president who considers her a family member."
"Powell, Reputation Stained By Excessive Loyalty And Obedience"
An opinion piece in center-right O Globo held (11/17): “The exchange of Powell for Condoleezza Rice is a sign that Bush’s foreign policy will be even more arrogant and unilateral than in the past four years. Or a sign that Bush gave up continuing to pretend that there are moderates, or even dissidents in his government. Powell turned out badly: he frustrated his admirers that expected more pride and independence from this brilliant soldier who now leaves the State Department with a reputation stained by excessive loyalty and obedience.”
Janio de Freitas wrote in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (11/16): "Resignation, as the official [Department of State] note says, is certainly not the most appropriate word to explain Colin Powell's decision.... The clear and unavoidable word is 'loss'.... More than a counterbalance, Colin Powell was an obstacle to the [Bush administration's] ferocity and lack of scruples.... In his last interview before the so-called resignation, Colin Powell's most used word in regards to the Bush's second term was 'aggressive,' with its variants 'aggressiveness' and 'aggressively.' Strange at the moment, considering his usual terminology and his condition of secretary of State, they seem today an explanation. And a warning for us to prepare the spirit."
GUATEMALA: "Powell's Legacy"
An editorial in conservative La Hora stated 11/16): “We believe that (Powell) did not have any other choice but to resign now to his post, something that he could not do before at the appropriate moment because the country was at war and he had to be loyal to his Commander in Chief.... Powell’s resignation at the end of the first term (of the Bush Administration), can be presented in a more elegant and less damaging form to its employer.... But the failure of reason, incarnated in Powell, versus force is confirmed with Ms. Rice’s designation to replace him. The falcon team becomes stronger and the doves’ weak and lonely position disappears in the horizon.”
PANAMA: “From Colin Powell to Condoleezza Rice”
Conservative daily El Panama America editorialized (11/18): “Condoleezza Rice, the President’s favorite counselor on national security, proudly holds the image of a ‘hard-liner’ of undeniable warlike intention. She replaces Powell as Secretary of State, making a 180° degree turn … what can we expect from the couple Rumsfeld-Rice? The same, but accentuated. We speak of harsher and more aggressive policies in favor of U.S. interests.… The U.S. knows that it has the power and it won’t be afraid to use it. Now there are no reelections to worry about.… In Latin America, direct links between the armed forces and the U.S. government will be reestablished, and a final offensive against the narco-guerrilla will be launched.… It is time now for our Foreign Ministry to delineate the routes to navigate and adopt foreign policies more in accordance with our national interests relating to the Canal expansion, fight against drug trafficking, maritime strategy, etc.”
VENEZUELA: "Colin Powell Quit"
Afternoon liberal daily tabloid Tal Cual noted (11/16): "The truth is that Powell, a decent man, a statesman, a judicious and open-minded man, did not match in that cage of orangutans that is the Bush administration. Forced to implement and defend a policy he clearly did not agree with, he commented the ungraceful role the played in the UN when he was the spokesman of the stupid lie on the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The European foreign affairs ministers will regret his absence since he was the only person with whom they could hold a civilized dialogue from the bunch of hawks the make up the American government. Someone commented in the U.S. that Bush's second term would shift towards the most retrograde right. We still haven’t seen anything, but the debate among the neo-conservatives is already a symptom. Some, the 'originalists' propose returning to the original Constitution, by eliminating all of the amendments that have been tuning it to the changing times. Others, the 'constructionists' want new amendments, but inspired in Torquemada. It is a good thing that this nightmare only lasts four years and in the U.S. always prevails the common sense of its great democratic tradition."
"Hasta La Vista, Colin"
Leading liberal El Nacional judged (11/17): "Powell was the reference of the moderates, the Europeans' hope for better relations and of some many people that wanted the United States to have a foreign policy away from the permanent confrontation, from the doctrine of the pre-emptive attack, from going to war without a plan to get out of it successfully and from the vast arsenal of outdated policies the hawks in the Pentagon formulated. Powell had numerous discrepancies with those policies to the extent that he publicly distanced himself from some of them, insisting and advocating for more subtle solutions that adapt to the XXI century.... Powell leaves a legacy of judgment and prudence that make him deserve the credit and respect of the world. He will be replaced by Condoleezza Rice, also African American, and with a more personally link with President Bush. She endorses the doctrine of the pre-emptive attack and other radical stances. If the idea is to rectify some of the policies, nobody better than Ms. Rice to do it, since she was one of the supporters of those policies in the first place. It will be better for her and for the United States."
"There Will Be Stronger Responses Regarding Venezuela"
An analysis by foreign affairs experts Adolfo Salgueiro and María Teresa Romero was printed in leading conservative daily El Universal (11/17): "Condoleezza Rice's designation as new Secretary of State will definitely toughen up the U.S. administration's hard line. Any alteration to democracy, as well as to the diplomatic order, will provoke a stronger response than the ones we have seen so far. The oil issue will be the priority that will set the course of the U.S. administration's relation with the government of Hugo Chávez and his provocative rhetoric. The ball is in the Venezuelan government's court. U.S. good will does not mean that it will not respond to the threats against democracy."
JAMAICA: "Surprisingly High Turnover"
An editorial in the center-left Gleaner stated (11/17): “So far there has been a surprisingly high turnover in the Bush Cabinet…(Powell’s) replacement by Condeleezza Rice will hardly please those who valued Powell’s diplomatic approach over Rice’s willingness to persecute wars.… Any optimism that a second Bush Cabinet might turn over a new leaf and change direction slightly in the face of the apparent failures of the neocons--a worsening war in Iraq, a stalled Middle-East peace process, frosty relations with many allies--appears to have dissipated…While Powell might have been too much of a dove for the power brokers in Washington, his more diplomatic approach would have engendered greater goodwill and support for Washington in the medium to long term that has been the case up to now.”
"Rice, More In Tune With Bush World View"
The centrist Daily Observer editorialized (11/17): “With Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, we can expect coherent articulation of U.S. foreign policy in tones which are likely to be substantially more muscular. Indeed, Mr Powell represented a far more globally inclusive side of the Bush administration. He seemed to understand, and value, the notions and ideals of multilateralism and like soldiers ought to, had a healthy fear of war.... In Ms Rice, President Bush will find a Secretary of State whose thinking is more in tune with his view of the world, which is the least that any leader can expect from a key member of his Cabinet."
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