January 21, 2005
BUSH INAUGURATION: SECOND TERM VISION VS. FIRST TERM LEGACY
** President Bush’s "first-term judgments" and actions will "burden" second term initiatives.
** Some writers question the use of force to spread democracy.
** Europeans hope Bush II "re-opens contacts" on the global agenda.
'A bold vision based on firm democratic ideals'-- Worldwide media focused on the president's commitment to spreading democracy abroad. Argentina's leading Clarin contended Bush "wants to consolidate a democratic regime in Iraq that can serve as a precedent and example...[for] exporting democracy to the largest possible number of countries." Despite the administration's "missionary zeal" to accomplish this goal, a German editorialist saw the first term legacy of "the Iraq war and Bush's unilateral tone" as putting alliance "repair work" ahead of global democratization on the second term agenda. A Cypriot writer expressed concern over "signals that Washington intends to continue in its robust foreign policy." Summing up the president's objectives, France's right-of-center Le Figaro proclaimed, "Bush II will be a continuation of Bush I, with an effort made in the direction of public relations."
'Democratizing the world with weapons is not so easy'-- Global observers concluded President Bush is "back for four more years, more powerful than ever." As one Irish commentator noted, "The U.S. has strength beyond challenge." Writers generally took issue with the way in which America exerted this strength in his first term, portraying a foreign policy characterized by "diplomacy and intimidation." This use of force caused some writers to view the inauguration's emphasis upon democracy skeptically. A South Korean daily declared, "It is necessary to spread democracy across the globe, but forcing democracy by military force entails too much sacrifice, as evidenced in Iraq." London-based Arab nationalist Al-Quds Al-Arabi intoned, "As long as U.S. policies continue as they are...all the American talk about democracy and liberties will remain ink on paper."
Europeans hope for 'revived' trans-Atlantic dialogue-- Euro commentators expressed nigh unanimous hope President Bush will "consult more" and invigorate U.S. diplomacy in his second term. They remained anxious about perceived U.S. unilateralism "despite the announcement by Condoleezza Rice that the hour of diplomacy has arrived." They examined her confirmation testimony for signs of change. Britain’s conservative Daily Mail observed, "The world needs a strong, confident America, led by a President who is prepared to listen." Belgium’s Catherine Dehay described a President Bush who "wants to patch things up with Europe and improve America’s image." Stockholm's conservative Svenska Dagbladet, while noting global skepticism towards U.S. foreign policy, reminded readers that, "whatever is tested and is working there [in the U.S.] is copied elsewhere."
Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR: Rupert D. Vaughan
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 form 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 118 reports from 40 countries over January 17-21, 2005. Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "Hope...Bush's More Nuanced Words Could Be Heard Above Gunfire In Iraq"
The center-left Independent editorialized (1/21): "Four years ago, even four months ago, few would have given George W. Bush much chance of standing on the dais before the Capitol yesterday to be sworn in as a second-term president. The price for Mr. Bush of his victory is that he may have to face the consequence of his first-term judgments while he is still in office. The ill-conceived Iraq war and the expanding budget deficit resulting from his own profligacy will be his over-riding priorities."
"Bush Must Sort Out Iraq If He Is To Keep His Promises"
The conservative Daily Telegraph declared (1/21): "With a much strengthened mandate for his second term, Mr. Bush has vaulting ambitions for liberty. Bringing representative government to Afghanistan and Iraq is proving hard enough. Yet beyond that are the six 'outposts of tyranny'--Cuba, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Belarus and Zimbabwe--as defined by Condoleezza Rice, the new Secretary of State. And thereafter--China? The President's intentions are admirable, but he has got to get Iraq right if they are to have a hope of being realised. That is the unfinished business of his first term, and will doubtless preoccupy him throughout the second."
"Promises And Reality"
The left-of-center Guardian remarked (1/21): "This was an inaugural that was aimed at the whole world rather than just the American people. Domestic concerns were quickly passed over; they will be the substance of the forthcoming state of the union address to Congress. The two texts will eventually stand together as Mr. Bush's true prospectus."
"Freedom First: Bush Offers A Combination Of Continuity And Change"
The conservative Times argued (1/21): "This will not be a revolutionary movement. Nor will the differences between some European governments and the Oval Office disappear. The U.S. will continue to regard the threat posed by radical Islamists, the dangers of the proliferation of WMD and the behaviour of rogue states such as North Korea with more urgency than France and Germany. These countries should ask themselves whether their assessment of these perils is so much more modest because of evidence, or the inconvenience that acknowledging their intensity would entail. They might also ponder what it is about the promotion of freedom that they regard as so alien and objectionable."
"Can Bush Rise To The Challenge?"
The conservative tabloid Daily Mail wondered (1/21): "Whatever his mistakes, he leads a great nation, full of generosity and idealism. Its power is essential to our security. Its economy underpins our prosperity. And its capacity for good--as when it sent much of its navy to the rescue within hours of the tsunami disaster--is immense. The world needs a strong, confident America, led by a President who is prepared to listen. And Britain needs an ally that commands admiration and respect. We wish Mr. Bush well as he faces the huge challenges of the next four years."
"George Bush's Talk Of Spreading Freedom And Democracy Is A Sugar-coated Lie"
Johann Hari commented in the center-left Independent (1/21): "If Bush was serious about 'exporting democracy and freedom', the best place to start would be with the authoritarian regimes he currently funds, supports and deals weaponry to.... Nothing would make me happier than if the most powerful state in the world was committed to spreading democracy and toppling vicious governments. It is not; in many places, it is doing precisely the opposite. As George Bush begins his second term with another false cry, it is time to wake up."
"More Bull And Bush"
The center-left tabloid Daily Mirror opined (1/21): "In his inaugural address Mr. Bush mouthed platitudes about freedom and justice. Easy words for a president sheltering in safety behind an army of security guards. The real army is in Iraq, being slaughtered by fanatics united in their hatred of America."
"George Bush: Second Time Around" -
The left-of-center Guardian commented (1/20): "If 'regime change' in Iraq has been a model of what could happen elsewhere, it may be better to live with the tyrants we know (just as the U.S. does, for example, with Saudi Arabia)--and to rely on the transforming power of trade, international law, human rights and free communications to foster freedom and democracy (as Washington did so successfully in Ukraine). This is not to insist that force can never be used. But it is hard to see Europe, China, Russia, India or Japan accepting that this is likely to be the case with North Korea or, more immediately, with Iran."
"Condi Changes Tone"
The independent Financial Times stated (1/20): [Condoleeza Rice's] remarks on the Middle East conflict--identified as a pressing priority--continue to reflect Washington's habit of making demands of the Palestinians but not the Israelis. Her grasp of the reality on the ground in Iraq seems little surer than that of her boss. It is far from clear she or he has a strategy to combat the highly decentralised, non-state phenomenon of jihadi terrorism. Indeed, the credibility of her government's commitment to freedom is not borne out by its continuing support for allied despots in Central Asia and the Middle East."
"Second Term: Same President But A Largely New Administration"
The conservative Times editorialized (1/18): "Overall...the Cabinet will not be diminished by the caliber of the people trundling in and out of the Oval Office over the next four years.... It is implied that [Bush] has traded diversity of faces for uniformity in political sentiments and instincts. This is a very odd line of criticism. It ignores the reality that second-term presidencies are different beasts from first-term governments.... The president is...in a no-win position. If he has highly assertive Cabinet members competing, to take an example, over foreign policy, he is accused of permitting anarchy. If a set of team players is selected, the charge of cronyism is inevitable.... The conduct of policy will inevitably depend in large part on events, whether the situation in Iraq or the condition of the global economy. It would be surprising if even America's harshest critics were not prompted to reassess their perception of the Bush administration four years hence."
"Back For Four More Years, More Powerful Than Ever"
Assistant editor Tim Hames maintained in the conservative Times (1/18): "Most second-term presidencies are pale imitations of the first four years in power. They have, historically, been undercut by three factors: agenda exhaustion, personnel depletion and congressional erosion.... None of these constraints applies to this president.... This presidency will thus be different.... Rather than engage in the implausible pursuit of the Nobel Peace Prize, he might aspire to be remembered as the man who won the War on Terror. It is unlikely that he will invade any more rogue states, but that is mostly because such ventures will either be deemed unnecessary or unfeasible. How much Mr. Bush will do in his remaining time is...unpredictable. He may, once again, break the rules of American politics and prove that it is possible to maintain momentum. The wild card here is scandal.... If he can avoid such ethical quicksand, this president's final few years in office could be surprisingly successful. Mr. Bush's personal authority, at least until 2007, may be really exceptional. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt has been equivalently placed in the past 100 years. This might oblige his many vocal critics, who have habitually mocked him, to deliver their own five-word speech this Thursday. It should read: 'He is not an idiot.'"
François Bécet wrote in regional l'Alsace (1/21): “For the moment, only the vocabulary has changed. The axis of evil has given way to ‘outposts of tyranny'...but the way to solve problems and the objectives have not changed.”
Jean-Claude Kiefer stated in regional Dernieres Nouvelles d’Alsace (1/21): “We need to help the U.S. Although it is the world’s number one military power, the U.S. is politically weak. It systematically has to flex its muscles to get what it wants, with the risk of always having to act forcefully to remain credible. This is risky for the entire world. How can we help Bush? By tirelessly trying to be heard.”
Phyilippe Waucampt opined in regional Le Républicain Lorrain (1/21): “The U.S. seems to have understood the limits of diplomacy by whip and scorn, seeing that it has caused the rejection of America and reinforced terrorism. The PR-humanitarian operation mounted after the tsunami shows that the Republican administration wants to be liked, but there are limits in the neo-Puritan view of a world in black and white where those who are not with America are against her.”
“A Time For Diplomacy”
Pierre Rousselin wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro (1/20): “Since in Washington it is ‘time for diplomacy,’ on this side of the Atlantic we must fully seize this opportunity. It would indeed be a waste of time to expect any additional signal from the U.S. other than the one made by Condoleezza Rice.... Why not take part in this desire for change? This is what France has been trying to do lately: ‘revitalizing the transatlantic relationship’ has become a priority for the Elysee.... Everyone is showing its good intentions. But let’s not be too naïve: President Bush is not going to change. In his view, his reelection is proof that his choices were the right choices, although they are unpopular abroad. Bush II will be a continuation of Bush I, with an effort made in the direction of public relations.... If he has changed his tone, it is because he is trying to find an exit to his misadventures in Iraq. Our officials understand it would be unseemly to remind him of this.... And so they support the elections in Iraq, although they doubt they will change anything. But this gesture has not gone unnoticed in Washington.... Nevertheless, some topics of dissension will remain, such as the Kyoto protocol, the International Criminal Court or, more generally, multilateralism.... But because some misunderstandings stem from a choice of words, and since the time for diplomacy has come, why not go with the flow and find new words to say the same thing. We, like the U.S., need to be better understood.”
Patrick Sabatier observed in left-of-center Liberation (1/20): “President Bush has no guarantees that he will be able to impose his very conservative economic and social program. Ideological inflexibility, the arrogance of power and incompetence in the execution could have the same effects in domestic programs as in Iraq.... Bush has accumulated a number of mistakes in the war against terrorism.... He could spend his second term trying to find a way out of Iraq’s moving sands to avoid a defeat carrying daunting consequences for the entire democratic world.”
“Bush, Second Chance”
Bruno Frappat asserted in Catholic La Croix (1/20): “Second term, second chance.... After 9/11, there was the war in Afghanistan and the 'preemptive’ war in Iraq, but also the negligence of forgetting about the Middle East. And of course there was that unfortunate word: ‘crusade.’ Instead of trying to be a builder of peace, like his predecessor, President Bush became ‘a President of war'...ignoring the boomerang effect of the massive lie on WMD. Bush is on for another four years and the world with him. Has he changed?... What is certain is that he is beginning to see that democratizing the world with weapons is not so easy.... But he has also made a significant gesture towards muultilaterlism with the tsunami and the UN. Even in the Middle East there are signs that the clouds are lifting.... And so, like four years ago, and because we have no choice, let’s wait and hope.”
"The ‘Bush Doctrine’ Tested During Second Term"
Jacques Hubert-Rodier argued in right-of-center Les Echos (1/18): “Iraq, Iran, Israel-Palestine, three ‘Is’ that will dominate President Bush’s second term.... A second term that is beginning under very different auspices from the first, especially in terms of international relations.... Four years later, America finds itself much more committed to the affairs of the world. President Bush’s second term will be colored by foreign policy and its social and budgetary consequences for the U.S.... These three issues will determine to a large extent the status of transatlantic relations, which suffered from the war in Iraq. The U.S. president has a great opportunity to achieve a reconciliation with many of his European allies and to demonstrate that America is not at war with Islam.... President Bush is coming to Europe, and probably later President Chirac will travel to Washington: signs of a new era? At any rate these are signs of a more benevolent America trying to convince the world that its goals are just. A difficult task.”
GERMANY: "High Mass Of The Republic"
Michael Stürmer penned in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (1/21): "Because he received a majority of votes, Bush sees himself confirmed in his war on terror and the invasion in Iraq. But at the same time, the presence of thousands of security forces shows that the invisible war on terror has by no means been won. The concerns not only of Americans but also of the rest of the world were reflected in the parades. The deficits are out of control.... Iran is striving for nuclear weapons, the Iraq war has only been half won--and this also means it has been half lost. The proliferation of WMD can at best be slowed down, but cannot be stopped. But who, with the exception of America, is really turning this into its own problem? The old allies are lost in doubts. George W. Bush's speech was a sermon that was full of confidence in the spirit of freedom. The Europeans in their skepticism and their secret envy of the superpower should save themselves any malice. Some of this spirit would be good for the political apparata in the Old World and help them renew themselves."
Right-of-center Münchener Merkur of Munich stated (1/21): "Like no other U.S. president, George W. Bush refers to the very American fascinating phenomenon of freedom and idealism. His missionary zeal, which is based on religious sources, is directed to a global model, which he wants to assert with fire and sword in case of doubt.... He is backed by a strong election victory, which is alarming his critics in Europe like speculation that the next war is already in preparation. From a bird's eye view to the superpower, fear for an unimpeded warmongering dominates. Those who give in to such emotions have not understood America or do not want to, for a sobering look to the facts is revealing already now that the president will have to deal more with the consequences of his first term than with the projects of his second. George W. Bush is about to ask too much of the United States in almost any respect."
Andreas Rinke observed in business-oriented Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (1/21): "Never before had a U.S. president entered his second term with such a heavy burden. The Iraq war and Bush's unilateral tone have reduced his popularity but has also resulted in the U.S. reputation all over the world being at a record low. The gap with the traditionally close allies like Germany was especially painful. That is why Bush's second term begins with repair work...and the fact that Bush's first trip abroad leads him to the EU and then to Germany is an additional signal that old trenches are to be filled up. But this will hardly end in a love affair, for the change in Washington is not so much based on an change of mind but on the current weakness of the superpower.... In addition, there can be no return to the formerly unbreakable partnership. It is true that Americans and Europeans must cooperate if they want to be successful. But there is no need to follow the leading claim of the superpower in all respects. With respect to the Iraq war, Germany's elite racked its brains over whether Germany can afford to oppose the U.S.; after President Bush's first term the answer is 'yes.' That is why both sides must earn this new friendship. The first test case will be, from a German point of view, UN reform. If the U.S. votes or agitates against a permanent German UNSC seat, the new harmony will quickly be over."
Center-right Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung noted (1/21): "The contents of his inaugural speech leaves an ambiguous impression. This pathetic pledge for freedom and democracy would sound much more credible if Bush had oriented himself much more to these values in the Iraq conflict."
"Welcome To The Neo-Con Club"
Business-oriented Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg stated (1/21): "Yesterday, George W. Bush set up the framework for a very practicable foreign policy. Four years after taking over office, Bush has arrived in the camp of the neo-cons, the conservative think tank that want to focus in its policies on the spread of democracy and western values. The 'defection' of the former pragmatist and tough realpolitiker into the camp of visionaries does not mean that the United States will send out forces tomorrow to topple all dictators in the world...but the basic coordinates of U.S. foreign policy are now clear, and they will determine politics. They mean that the United States will, in the long run, not confine itself to holding in check the 'outposts of tyranny,' as future secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said. It will follow a policy aiming at the ouster of the regimes in these outposts and at the democratization of the Middle and Near East. But it will be done in a pragmatic way, with compromises that are based on short-term policies, but will not lose sight of the real target."
Arnd Festerling judged in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (1/21): "In his first term, George W. Bush proclaimed the war on terror--there is no doubt that this is a good idea--and, at the same time, he massively restricted civil rights in the U.S. and in addition demolished relations with too many allies. He promised peace and democracy to Iraq--who can be opposed to this?--and turned Saddam's bloody dictatorship into an anarchic place of terror, and paid for it with the death of thousands of people, including U.S citizens. He promised prosperity and welfare to his own country and lowered taxes for the benefit of the wealthy three times, catapulted the state deficit into incredible heights...and, at the same time reduced the social welfare system even more. Now it is to be idealism, freedom and the reform of the social welfare system. The most powerful man in the world found great words for his second term. But he will again be measures against his deeds."
"A New Attempt"
Hubert Wetzel judged in business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg (1/19): "For strained transatlantic relations, the beginning of his new term and President Bush's trip to Europe offers a new chance. If Europe and America seize this chance, this can be the beginning for the revival of an alliance from which both sides enormously profited over the past decades. But if both sides miss this chance, this will have serious consequences.... Europe should not expect a change of course.... The signals of reconciliation Washington has sent out for quite some time indicate a new style in dealing with Europe rather than a totally new policy.... In order to take advantage of the conciliatory tones, Europe should act in a cohesive way; there is a reason why hard-liners in Washington prefer a divided over a unified Europe. A unified Europe has power.... More reasonable than European complaints about America's stupidity would be proposals that would hurt Europe but would also emphasize an interest in cooperation. One example would be Iran: instead of complaining, the Europeans should confront the United States with a demand and a concession: Washington must seriously take part in talks with Tehran, and, in return, Europe would support forced measures in case the diplomatic efforts fail.... Europeans should not feel misguided by their contempt for Bush. Many transatlantic problems have nothing to do with the person of the U.S. president; they began long before Bush and will continue once he has retired.... During his trip to Europe, Bush will not apologize and not admit any mistakes, but he knows that...he is in a fix in Iraq. It is now up to the Europeans to give Bush at least political backing--even reluctantly. To reject the U.S. president is not useful for Europe, Iraq or transatlantic relations."
Washington correspondent Michael Backfisch wrote in business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (1/18): "When the president begins his second term on Thursday, he will sell his fight against terror as a success story. It is true that Bush has bridled his effusive rhetoric in view of ongoing violence in the Gulf, but already now he is celebrating the Iraqi elections as a historic victory of freedom over tyranny. Saddam Hussein's ouster was the beginning of an ideological campaign. In the future, the president is now likely to try to get former allies back into the boat, but Bush's goal remains the same: the United States wants to reshape the entire Middle East into a zone free from dictators. The president is now setting up an equation according to which democracy is tantamount to safety from terror. The fact that reality partly contests this does not stop his missionary zeal."
ITALY: "The Challenge of Bush II"
Washington correspondent Vittorio Zucconi on the front page of left-leaning, influential La Repubblica opined (1/20): “The inauguration...is the Te Deum of a democracy that celebrates itself and its capability to survive--a ritual that has never been more intense than in this first ceremony following 9/11, which for a moment seemed to call into question the existence and the very nature of the United States.… Particularly this year, it is a political Thanksgiving of a nation that perseveres and prospers. At moments like these, it rediscovers and renews its identity, which is not negatively centered on ethnic, religious or xenophobic feelings, but is more focused on constitutional aspects.... It is always important for those who watch the ritual of this ‘elective monarchy’ to place the inauguration in historical context. And it is even more important to do so when a controversial figure like George W. Bush rises (temporarily) to the American throne. According to a PEW survey, Bush incarnates everything that Western Europe, the Islamic world, a large part of Asia (except for India) and Latin America hate about the United States.... Never before has the international prestige of this country and of its president been so low, and the unpopularity of America so high.”
"America Inaugurates Its Future"
Alberto Pasolini Zanelli on the front page of pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale commented (1/20): “[Bush] has convinced himself that the future belongs to freedom, and therefore to an America called to this by the Almighty. He also realizes that a rival-free hegemony is not destined to last forever, but is a ‘window of opportunity’ that America must seize. He is less optimistic than many of his ‘neo-conservative’ advisors who bask in the sun of an endless imperial destiny. Bush is not as ideological. His sense of history, in part instinctive, tends to be more tragic, exacerbating his perception of his enormous duties and of the need to accomplish them while there is time: meaning while he is at the White House. As Europeans, we must hail Washington’s signals of greater willingness to engage in dialogue with old allies. But we must not delude ourselves...that we can impose our ‘rhythms’ on America. All the more as long as George W.--a man who feels he must do things quickly--remains in the White House.”
"Condi Bids Adieu To Neo-Conservatives"
Gianni Riotta wrote in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (1/19): “Secretary -designate Rice’s testimony was disliked by her friends who practice the philosophy of neo-conservatism.... Rice offered cooperation and dialogue to the allies, primarily to Schroeder’s Germany that wants to separate itself from the anti-U.S. understanding with French President Chirac.... On the eve of President Bush’s trip to Europe...Rice offered the country and world public opinion a moderate, diplomatic and softer image. Is this the much awaited signal of Bush II, that indispensable shift needed to re-open contacts on the global agenda?... Despite everything, hopes for the second Bush administration reside under the control of Baghdad, of Iraq, and in the positive outcome for the spread of democracy in the country.... Rice has the right tone, now deeds must follow.”
RUSSIA: "Inauguration Speech. Take Two"
Melor Sturua wrote in reformist Izvestia (1/21): "Bush faced a challenge in his second inauguration speech: how to address the nation and the world because both are divided. The latest presidential election showed that the U.S. is sort of breaking apart into red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) states. On the other hand, the Bush-led empire policy, disrespect for many international bodies and conventions, the declaration of the doctrine of preventive strikes, and the imposition of democracy by force caused many countries to turn away from America. This is why the second inauguration speech of President Bush will be studied 'under the microscope' in other world capitals."
"The Price Of The Issue"
Natalia Gevorkyan argued in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (1/21): "Bush will go down in the history of America as a power president, to use the Russian terminology. And this cannot but bring him closer to the Russian leadership.... If Bush had declared a peace program for the next four years, Putin would have had serious reasons to worry: indeed, the American press writes all kind of rubbish about our president, but what could be worse than George Bush and Condoleezza Rice starting to deal in earnest with the problems of democracy in Russia, forgetting their task of saving the diverse world around them? Only the fighting Bush is a real friend. That's the only Bush we need, the Bush who needs support in his global undertakings or, as a minimum, non-resistance from major world powers, such as Russia. In order to get this support he will try to understand his friend Putin and find explanations to the most inscrutable actions and decisions. He won't even get hurt by speculation about a multipolar world that our leadership is so fond of making."
"George Bush Made All-Embracing Speech"
Dmitry Sidorov and Boris Volkhonsky asserted in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (1/21): "Hearings to confirm Condoleezza Rice as a new secretary of state were quite noteworthy. Most of her statements showed that the US foreign policy would be based on pretty much the same principles as during President Bush's first term. Mme. Rice could not even dispel concerns about a possible use of force against Iran. However, some of her remarks indicate that Washington is looking for new foreign policy goals. For example, it is quite symbolic that the old term 'axis of evil' (Iraq, Iran, North Korea), which was introduced by President Bush at the beginning of his first term, has been replaced with 'outposts of tyranny', which Condoleezza Rice used in her speech at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Mme. Rice expanded the list (while deleting Iraq that should become an example of democratic changes in the Middle East) to include such countries as Cuba, Zimbabwe, Belarus, and Myanmar. Some leaders of totalitarian states (for example, in former Soviet Central Asia) hurried to give a sigh of relief after they hadn't found their countries in the list of chief villains. However, they forget that in the past the term 'axis of evil' was easily applied afterwards to such countries as Libya, Syria, and Cuba. So, it seems that the leaders of such countries as Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan shouldn't really relax, especially since the president confirmed in his 16-minute inauguration speech the determination of the new administration to put an end to tyranny in the world."
"The Department Of State Has A 'Female Face'"
Vissarion Sisnyov stated in centrist Trud (1/21): "Because she is close to the president--'she has his ear', as observers write--critics from the Democratic camp claimed that there were basically two secretaries of state in the country. It was true to some extent: the actual head of the Department of State 'broke into heresy' from time to time, forgetting that he was only a guide for the president's policy. Apparently, this explains why Bush did not ask him to stay for another term even though Powel made it clear that he would have agreed. For two days the senators were 'frying' Rice, so to speak.... First of all, they tried to make her admit that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that the administration has no clear-cut plan of action. But Rice stood her ground: the removal of Saddam Hussein was good for the region and America. She didn't say, however, when, at least approximately, America could withdraw its troops from Iraq. Since she expressed not her own opinion but the position of the president and his team, the great tasks she described as the key ones are noteworthy. There are three of them: strengthening the community of democracies to create an international system based on common values and law; pooling forces against common security threats and eliminating hopelessness that feeds terror; and spreading democracy and freedom around the world. Speaking of Russia Rice said the path of democracy in this country was 'uneven' and its success was not yet assured. Just one figure: six 'outposts of tyranny'. Commentators regard it as a replacement for Bush's 'axis of evil' that no longer includes Iraq. Now the list consists of Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Burma and Belarus."
AUSTRIA: "The Freedom He Means"
Stefan Galoppi commented in mass-circulation Kurier (1/21): "For the four years ahead, Bush has announced a more conciliatory attitude.... According to his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the time for diplomacy is now. However, this does not necessarily mean much: Bush merely wants to improve the public relations side of his policy. As for content, he will stick to his rigidly conservative line. This goes for the nomination of new Supreme Court judges as well as the planned privatization of the pension system and foreign policy. The fight against tyranny throughout the world has now officially been announced. The military threat gestures against Teheran fatally remind of the run-up to the Iraq war. That there is nevertheless hope for the next four years passing without a new military front is not attributable to a reassessment of the situation on the part of the White House but to the fact that even a superpower reaches its limits. The U.S army in Iraq is stretched even beyond its limits. An end of the military engagement that costs 4.5 billion each month is nowhere in sight. This is an expensive reality that Bush will have to acknowledge and act on. It could prevent him from taking too many liberties – as he did during his first term.”
"Little Maneuvering Room For Bush"
Peter Filzmaier concluded in mass-circulation provincial Kleine Zeitung (1/21): “Bush has promised to reduce the deficit to half of its present level. Apart from this, the announcements he made during the election campaign regarding the individual political issues were more vague than those made by almost any presidential candidate before him. Those who do not have anything to distribute will try to avoid giving out election promises with concrete numbers attached that can later result in political claims.... The President is desperately trying to turn a vice into a virtue: The privatization of the Social Security system signals a readiness for reform and does not cost the federal government anything.... However, at some point the game will be up and his lack of money and ideas will become apparent.... New foreign policy adventures are unlikely at the moment. Bush rather seeks to improve his communication basis with Europe, not because he has mutated from Saul to Paul, but because he lacks the money to play the role of world policeman, notwithstanding the flagging war enthusiasm in his own country. Diplomacy is cheaper. However, U.S Presidents in their second term, free of all worries about reelection, generally try to establish their place in history. For Bush, this is going to be difficult: at 52%, his acceptance rate is lower than that of any President at the time of his inauguration. What Bush could come up with to be remembered in history, gives grounds for concern.”
"Living With Bush”
Ernst Trost opined in mass-circulation tabloid Neue Kronenzeitung (1/21): "Not only the Americans suffer from the long-term effects of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The traditional monarchical ceremony around the inauguration of a U.S President is overshadowed by the daily murders in Iraq. The insurgents detonate their human bombs as if to salute. While Bush sees his election victory as a confirmation of his war policy, he, no more than his team, knows how to get out of the Iraqi disaster. The Europeans must now strive to once again achieve normal relations with the U.S. If Bush continues to see only America’s interests without consideration for his friends, the situation will remain as it is. Which means that living with Bush will bring much hardship."
BELGIUM: “Bush’s New World”
U.S. correspondent Nathalie Mattheiem declared in left-of-center Le Soir (1/20): “A vast majority of the world had voted in favor of John Kerry. Le Soir had as well. But the Americans decided otherwise.“Before the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol today, the world is facing the reality of a second four-year mandate of this President who has often been presented as a cow-boy who is set out to conquer the world using force and dollars, whereas he himself considers that he is the leader of the free world and the promoter of democracy.“George Bush considers his reelection an approval given by his national opinion but, on the international scene, he is beginning his second term with a new conscience… Although during the electoral campaign it was out of the question to express any doubts about the situation in Iraq, it seems that the damage that the war in Iraq inflicted to traditional alliances has been taken into account. An indication thereof were Condoleezza Rice’s conciliatory statements and George Bush’s visit to the ‘Old Europe’ as early as February…“The changes that took place within the Bush Administration do not allow one to speculate on any change of orientation of its policies. On the contrary, the new nominees in that Administration are people who are very close to the President and whose main quality is to faithfully represent the President’s views.“On the eve of the beginning of Bush’s second term, the world has at least one certainty, i.e. that it will continue to know exactly what the President thinks and wants to accomplish, even if that is scary.”
“For Better or Worse?”
U.S. affairs Philippe Paquet editorialized in independent La Libre Belgique (1/20): “At the moment when George W. Bush is taking oath today, America is giving two very different images of itself. On the one hand an army - of liberation for some and of occupation for others - is trying to shape a new Iraq that, in Washington’s dreams, will lead to another Middle East. On the other hand, an aircraft carrier, thirty ships, and as many helicopters are bringing relief aid to tsunami victims.“In the eyes of the President, the aforementioned examples are two expressions of the same ‘compassionate’ policy....“ with the departure of Colin Powell, the promotion of Ms. Rice, and the fact that Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz are staying - without forgetting Dick Cheney - U.S. ‘diplomacy’ is henceforth in the hands of a group where there will be no dissonant voice. “George Bush wanted such a consensus in order to conduct a more efficient policy. However, one can fear that, being in the hands of hawks, this policy remains an extremely hard-line one.”
“Bush II Will Be More Diplomat”
Catherine Dehay opined in Catholic Vers L’Avenir (1/20): “The fact that, immediately after his reelection, George Bush announced his visit to Europe in February was the first strong indication that the U.S. Administration wanted an improvement of Transatlantic relations. The hand that it lent out to the Old Continent is the result of the need to obtain some political - if not military - support to get out of the Iraqi quagmire as soon as possible…“While keeping his cow-boy composure, Bush is very smart when it comes to adjusting the fire without going back on what he has said. Neither U.S. casualties nor the absence of weapons of mass destruction or widespread violence have altered his conviction that the war was right. But Iraq requires him to be more realistic on the international scene, at the moment when some Republicans are beginning to grind their teeth because of the human and financial cost of the war in Iraq. “That is why President Bush wants to patch things up with Europe and improve America’s image, especially in the Muslim world. And that is why he has everything to gain by multiplying signs of opening, which in no way mean that there will be a fundamental change in the way the Republican Administration sees the world, where those that are not its friend are necessarily its enemy…”
"Bush's Second Term"
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn opined in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (1/19): “Now that President Bush is at the beginning of his second term...will he continue on the same path and will the world be divided even more, or will he enter history as the ‘unifier’? The least one can say about his first term is that is was controversial. A large part of the world has turned against America. There are two reasons for that: his use of power, and his vision on the world and America’s role in that world. Bush has no problems with using his enormous military power. That powers serves...remaking of the world according to American values and ideas.... Because American values are ‘universal’...Washington has a mission. Linked to that is the reaction to the 9/11 attacks. That shock and trauma have toughened the American conservative circles’ ideas about defense and strategy. America must be protected against all threats--also future dangers. Enemies must be eliminated.... Friends must not become competitors. That is the essence of the ‘pre-emptive strategy’.... America must not be contained by outside forces. The UN, in particular, must not curtail America. America does not need allies. Permanent coalitions are not needed because such coalitions impose unwanted obligations and weaken America. That vision has culminated in the war in Iraq whose consequences have a serious impact on the international relationships. That war has cost the United States a lot of support and goodwill.... Bush is starting his second term with a much changed team. The consequences are unpredictable. Nine of the fifteen Secretaries have been replaced--including Secretary of State Colin Powell. Many fear that, with his departure, the last bit of moderation has gone as well. His successor Condoleezza Rice has always leaned towards the side of the hawks. Donald Rumsfeld has managed to maintain himself in the Pentagon and the neo-conservatives stay in office. That has made commentators conclude that Bush II will be a tougher version of Bush I.”
CYPRUS: "What Can We Hope From A 2nd Bush Presidency?"
The independent English-language Cyprus Mail noted (1/21): "George W. Bush was formally inaugurated fro his second term as President of the U.S.... Much of the world will watch his foreign policy unfold with grave concern, expecting little good from an administration that has established heavily interventionist, aggressively unilateralist credentials in its first term. A degree of realism may temper some of the worst fears. The new-conservative agenda of delivering democracy through the barrel of a gun has been somewhat deflated by the difficulties experienced by American occupation forces in Iraq. For all the recent talk of moving against Iran, the 'who's next' rhetoric that immediately followed the downfall of Saddam Hussein would seem to have moved onto the back burner.... There is reason to hope that the Bush administration may be chastened by its experience in the Iraqi quagmire. But while that may preclude another large-scale military operation, it is hardly likely to bring America back into the fold of multilateral international cooperation. The rhetoric remains tough, and all the signals that Washington intends to continue in its robust foreign policy, whatever anyone else in the world may think.... Although President Bush is on his way to Europe soon, American engagement with its allies will be driven only by necessity, not by any desire for multilateral decision-making. Europe's response to a second Bush administration must therefore be driven by pragmatism. Many may not like the prospect, but that is the choice of the American people, and Europe can no more ignore America than America can ignore Europe."
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Bush Has More Ambitious Plans than His Predecessors"
Lubomir Heger remarked in mainstream MF Dnes (1/21): "If President Bush were in the habit of looking into history he would have to get nervous. The second terms of U.S. presidents oftentimes turned into their nightmares.... They have only two years to realize their plans, since in the second two years the public is only interested in their successor. The presidents usually adjust their agenda accordingly. Not so President Bush who plans to push through the greatest social reform since F.D. Roosevelt--spread democracy in the Middle East and mend relationships with Europe. This can be done only by someone very courageous with a tendency to gamble. This approach can in some cases be successful.... The disadvantage, however, is that Bush usually doesn’t bother to counsel or persuade others of his intentions. Why should he do so when he is always right? There will hardly be any change in this approach so all we can hope for is that he is actually right as often as possible."
"Depreciation Of Freedom"
Ivan Hoffman broadcast on popular Czech Radio (on the most widely listened channel RadioZurnal) (1/21): "There is no word that would be able to withstand being devalued if used twenty-seven times in one speech, as was the case of President Bush’s inauguration speech. Freedom was defended, expanded, sustained, achieved, wanted and promised.... It seemed as if there could never be freedom enough. Listening to this speech leads one to wonder whether President Bush understands the true meaning of this key word himself.... Referring to freedom twenty-seven times is good for nothing if it is not clear what you mean by it. Moreover, there have been cases when arbitrariness, aggression, unscrupulousness, or indifference have been labeled as freedom.... The idiosyncratic style [of President Bush] in which he promises to spread and defend peace throughout the world in the name of freedom does not herald anything good for the world, be it for peace or freedom. After the inauguration speech, there remains nothing else for us to do than to freely remark as loudly as we can that, no offense intended, but he does not have a patent on freedom."
"Good Luck! He Will Need It”
Catherine Mommaerts said in financial L’Echo (1/21): "The least one can say is that George W. Bush’s second term is beginning under more unfavorable auspices than four years ago. His country is at war in Iraq--a conflict out of which Washington apparently does not know how to come, which does not prevent it from looking at Iran--and, more globally, it is at war against a terrorism that has probably been aggravated by the Bush Administration’s policies. And it is not the American relief operations in South Asia that will wipe out all the mistakes of the past--especially since it was yet another opportunity for Washington to show that it still prefers to go it alone, no matter what Condoleezza Rice said. On top of these huge diplomatic and military challenges, the new Bush Administration is also facing social and economic challenges that are as politically difficult.... In other words, Bush will need more than a group of persons who are very close to him within his Administration. A lot of chance will, indeed, not be superfluous if he wants to be successful in at least a part of the contract that he set for himself for his second term."
Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn opined in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (1/21): "In addition to all the rhetoric there is also reality. Bush cannot escape from that either. The war in Iraq shows that America’s military power is not unlimited. He has put a heavy burden on the armed forces that costs handfuls of money--while the deficit amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars. Another war could kill Bush’s domestic plans. He wants to carry out far-reaching reforms in the pension system, but that will cost a lot of money. That means that he will have to make cuts. Even the Pentagon--whose wishes are usually honored - will have to make cuts. On top of that, Bush cannot ignore his own people. His popularity vacillates around 50 percent--the lowest figure of a re-elected President since Richard Nixon. That shows how deeply divided the country is. It should motivate him to be cautious. Bush is confronted with a fundamental choice. Four years ago, he promised that he would be a ‘unifier.’ He has four more years to carry out that promise.”
"Helping George W. Bush Is Quite A Challenge For His Allies"
Foreign editor Jurek Kuczkiewicz asserted in left-of-center Le Soir (1/21): "It is obvious that the Western world and Europe in particular, even if it hard to admit, has no choice but to not only get along with Bush II but also to help him. For, no matter what their mistakes may have been--and some were huge, in particular in Iraq - the U.S. President and his Administration will in no way be able to repair them by themselves nor, more globally, to make the world better, i.e. safer in military, economic, social, and environmental terms. It will not be sufficient for us to hope that, after having won a first mandate on compassion before waging war, George Bush will make peace after having won a second term on war. We will have to help him. It is not only a challenge for George W. Bush, it is also a huge challenge for us, who are the Americans’ historical and natural allies.”
"Bush’s Inauguration Speech"
Martin Zverina opined in center-right Lidove noviny (1/21): "The inauguration speech of President Bush was addressed not only to Americans but also to the rest of the world, even to those countries he aims to fight against.... It might be significant that Bush didn’t use the word “terrorism” once and it is not quite clear whether his references to the propagation of freedom doesn’t really mean aggression.... The inauguration speech showed that President Bush in his second term in office would be more experienced and knowledgeable, but hardly more compromising. Let us only hope that with regard to Euro-American relations he would be a president more restrained and generous. It will also be a second term for Europe, which has not always been an ideal partner for the U.S."
GREECE: "The Second Term"
The lead editorial in leftist pro-opposition Eleftherotypia said (1/21): "George Bush spoke as a planet ruler, a supporter of freedom, and a warrior against tyranny.... He returned to Cold War terminology to declare Washington’s intention to prevail in the world using any means, even war.... Bush said the U.S. seeks support to strengthen democratic institutions to ‘put an end to tyranny in the world.’ This pursuit could be seen as sincere had there not been Iraq and a multitude of blunt U.S. interventions in countries not wishing to yield to the superpower’s hegemony.... It is obvious that the warlord’s second term will begin with a new strike ‘against tyranny’ unless world public opinion reacts to stop the irrationality of war.”
"President Bush’s Manifest"
Elite opposition To Vima said (1/21): "George Walker Bush was sworn in for his second term promising ‘to expand freedom to the darkest corners of the world.’ In his second term’s manifest the planet ruler promised (according to others ‘he threatened...') to export ‘democracy everywhere.’ He spoke about the final triumph of freedom,’ and committed to ‘place the U.S. in the service of the oppressed of the world’ warning the ‘leaders of illegal regimes.’ ‘Our country has made commitments that are difficult to carry out, but it would be dishonest to abandon them,’ stressed the president who led the U.S. to two aggressive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in his first term."
HUNGARY: "Expectations In The Spirit Of Certain Disappointment?"
Gabor Zord opined in right-of-center Magyar Nemzet (1/21): “While many--especially in Europe--naively hoped that after the period of unilateralist confrontation Bush would act conciliatorily and put the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz 'forward line' on a short leash, the reality of the government changes has shattered these illusions.... It hardly makes a difference if the unchanged policy is, perhaps, coupled with a more conciliatory rhetoric, of which there is every chance. For a longer time now, both the other side of the Atlantic and Europe have been promising to glue together the family china that broke on account of the Iraqi war. In all likelihood, many such utterances will be made during Bush’s European tour in Europe, but the concrete developments almost rule out any chance of getting closer.”
Oszkar Fuzes pointed out in top-circulation, center-left Nepszabadsag (1/21): “W is going to be President for another four years, and what he screws up he will screw up for us, too. If only for selfish reasons, it is worth it for us to root for him. Especially as Europeans. Bush is not our man--we hear--but we hear less often that we are not helpful to him either. Most often we let him down when we object to him acting alone, moreover, without us. He does not understand us--goes our criticism of him--but we do not even attempt to understand him, not even since September 11. Nor [do we try to understand] them. Whether we like it or not, the Americans elected Bush their President for the second time, because there is something about him that they like. We must face it: America is no longer the auxiliary, the continuation, nor the self-sacrificing helper, or the crisis-managing judge of Europe. But rather its partner, that is if Europe is ready and capable of being a partner. That works doubly: if W is given a chance from us, we will give one to ourselves as well.”
IRELAND: "Bush's Agenda"
The center-left Irish Times concluded (1/21): "George Bush used the occasion to send a message to the rest of the world that America identifies its interest, its very safety, with their freedom, and pledged his administration to an activist global policy that will support all those struggling against tyranny.... The speech, in which he used the words ‘freedom’ 27 times and ‘liberty’ 15, did not refer specifically to Iraq once, or to terrorism, but hinted that he would not be pulling US troops out soon.... He promised to create an ‘ownership society’, a Republican project to make every American a shareowner with the conservative values they believe will follow. That theme is central to Mr Bush's determination to press ahead with his most controversial policy, the reform of the social security or pension system. It is a radical project to allow taxpayers remove part of their savings from the safety of the state system to invest on their own and has caused alarm even in the ranks of his own party. The evidence yesterday was of a President determined to press on with a radical agenda at home and abroad. Yet many warn of the inevitability that he will be dragged down from such ambitions by events and the so-called ‘second-term curse’, the reality that not one of the post-war presidents did better in their second terms than in their first.”
"Bush Inauguration--Conciliatory Moves Hard To Swallow"
The left-of-center Irish Examiner editorialized (1/21): "Liberty is the new catchword as the 58-year-old President emphasizes that the survival of freedom in America increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands.... This newfound sense of consensual diplomacy will be viewed with a degree of caution.... Having failed to find WMD in the armory of Iraq’s monstrous dictator Saddam Hussein, the White House is now preparing to lace its bellicose policies with more conciliatory doctrines. There should be no misapprehension, however, about the Bush concept of liberty. Essentially, it means liberty based on terms conjured by a coterie of hawkish advisors determined to advance the hegemonic ambitions of the present US regime.... Undoubtedly, his commitment to the precept of making the world a better and safer place warrants applause. But the irony is that many people, include those who count themselves pro-American, view the coming four years with trepidation because they regard Mr Bush as potentially the most dangerous man on the planet.”
"In The Name Of Freedom"
The center-right populist Irish Independent declared (1/21): "George W Bush began his second term as American president yesterday with a remarkable inaugural address. Critics who were hoping that he would get mired in detail about Iraq were mistaken. Instead he went back to basics, reaching out to the belief of most Americans in the fundamental importance of freedom and using that to explain his policies at home and abroad. At times it sounded more like a sermon than a speech. Mr Bush may not be much of a speaker. But sometimes the message is more important than eloquence and what he had to say yesterday had the power of real conviction. For George Bush, America's present stance in the world is a reflection of its deepest beliefs from its earliest days.... America was founded on these ideals, Mr Bush said, on this belief in freedom and democracy. Now America finds that its future liberty depends on the expansion of freedom in all the world. The reason, according to Mr Bush, is that there are whole regions of the world which ‘simmer in resentment and tyranny,’ with ideologies that feed hatred. Left unchecked, he believes, this violence will ‘multiply in destructive power and cross the most defended borders.’ The only way of preventing this is to confront the threat, he said. That must be done not only because it is in America's interest but also for the sake of those who are oppressed. The ideals on which America was founded demand no less. So in the Bush view, America's present foreign policy is not an aberration; it is part of a continuum based on its fundamental beliefs. No doubt the Bush credo will be dismissed as simplistic in many quarters. But is he wrong?“
NETHERLANDS: "Atlanticist Bush?"
Influential liberal De Volkskrant remarked (1/21): "In his upbeat inauguration speech, President Bush yesterday emphasized the assurance that the U.S. finds it important to seek consultations with its allies. These are encouraging words. For George W. Bush's first term was marked by a high degree of disinterest for the opinions of allies.... If this attitude changes then that would be a gain. Certainly for Europe...even though the Atlantic alliance is no longer the same as during the Cold War, the U.S. and Europe strongly rely on one another. A partnership fed by common values and shared interests. But the question now is whether the American charm offensive toward the allies also includes an American willingness to change
its policy in certain areas. For if more consultations would only mean more Washington efforts to just explain an already set course then that would not be consultation, but just improved public relations. And the only change would then be that the world would get unilateralism in a friendlier tone. Unfortunately, it is quite possible we will see this happening because unilateralist champions Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz are all still in office. Will Condoleezza Rice be able to stand up against them--that is if she wants to? One positive aspect is that Bush appointed his confidante to the State Department--this automatically gives diplomacy more weight."
"George W. Bush, Titan-President Takes on a Huge Task"
Centrist Algemeen Dagblad stated (1/21): "George W. Bush is a radical and ambitious President. He is not bothered by criticism. He is convinced of his mission to expand freedom and democracy. The danger of overconfidence and arrogance is looming."
NORWAY: "The Gospel Of Freedom"
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten declared (1/21): “Yesterday, right after he [Bush] had taken the oath for his second and last four-year term, his theme was freedom and its significance, not just for the U.S., but also for the rest of the world.... The speech had a clear missionary tone. This is not new in U.S. history; It goes back to times long before Kennedy assumed office, with a program that would lead to the Vietnam war.... As a heartfelt commitment to the idea of freedom, it was an unctuous and remarkably good speech. As a foreign political program it has many of the weaknesses--and possible costs--that were also embedded in John F. Kennedy’s speech on January 20, 1961. But few people noticed those weaknesses that winter day in their enthusiasm over the ‘torch being passed on to a new generation.’ That speech also lit a fire in the spirit of the people -- because Kennedy spoke with the power of conviction after an election victory many were unprepared for. This always gives strength. Let’s hope it also gives wisdom.”
"Bush II Has Taken Office"
Social democratic Dagsavisen observed (1/21): "In his inaugural address Bush emphasized freedom and reconciliation.... From being a President who has divided, he now wants to unite. We’ll see. Bush is a man who needs to be judged more by what he does than by what he says. He promised the same four years ago. The freedom Bush stands for is also not necessarily what everybody views as freedom. Examples are women's freedom to choose...and gay freedom to marry. In the U.S., the world’s richest country, freedom from poverty is not something one can count on.... The costs of war will make it harder to reduce the country’s catastrophic budget deficits. It will take cutbacks. And, with the Bush-administration’s inclination to protect the richest, the danger is that it will still be the United States’ poor, sick and old who will have to pick up the tab. That may be steep.”
POLAND: "To Make The World Safer"
Krystyna Szelestowska asserted in leftist Trybuna (1/21): “The policy of the U.S., the only super power, is not exclusively the matter of the Americans. To Poland, George Bush’s policy is of special significance. We are his biggest supporter in Europe, and--as the recent [BBC-conducted] survey found--the only country on the Old Continent that favorably assesses the President and his actions. We are a faithful ally, one that endorses Oval Office decisions even if Warsaw was not consulted.... George Bush has a strong mandate to make the world a safer, more peaceful and better place during his second...term. This is what we expect of the 43rd President of the United States, not new military interventions or preemptive strikes.”
"The President Of Fundamental Values"
Bartlomiej Niedzinski observed in right-of-center Zycie (1/21): “After the reelection of Bush, the world is more insecure--or so the opponents of the American President, and the leftist of every description, like to say. Fortunately, their protests...will not change anything. Those who really should feel less secure are the leaders of the six ‘outposts of tyranny’ named by new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.... Whether the Bush Administration will have succeeded in expanding freedom, and, accordingly, the world has become safer--this will be possible to assess only after January 20, 2009. But even today it is evident that America and the world are becoming better off.... The power of President Bush is his unfaltering faith in fundamental values: good, honesty, truthfulness, freedom. The power of America stems not only from its military force, but also from the fact that moral principles matter again in its policy after a few years’ break.”
SLOVENIA: "In The Name Of Liberty"
Barbara Kramzar wrote in left-of-center Delo (1/21): "During his first presidential term [George Bush] profoundly divided the domestic and international public. Therefore, everyone will understand his words about freedom and liberty in one's own way, while history will judge him by the results his words will bring about.... George Bush will begin his second term with an unfinished war and the largest budget deficit in U.S. history. In spite of this, the Americans and the world might see a new Bush during the inauguration; a more self-confident Bush, differing profoundly from the Bush we saw four years ago.... After his second victory, the Republican leader is now a politician who knows what he wants.... Freedom--the way Bush sees it--has generated ardent supporters and bitter opponents at home and in the world.... There is no doubt that George Bush will also divide people in his second term; his supporters will be even more enthusiastic, and his opponents even more indignant. But nobody will remain indifferent."
"Bush, Part Two"
Andrej Brstovsek commented in left-of-center independent Dnevnik (1/21): "Opinion prevails that George Bush's second term will be more demanding and full of challenges.... The world is different, more insecure and dangerous, despite the President's explanations that the fall of Saddam Hussein has made it less threatening.... Bush's second term will be more demanding also due to the consequences of his first term. Four years ago, he enjoyed the trust of the people and had a free hand to prove himself.... He was not burdened with earlier policies.... The situation is different now; his credibility is weakened.... Bush will not have 100 days to do what he likes; the policies of his first term have cast a shadow on the second one. This was first demonstrated by the Democrats, who announced their symbolic postponement of Rice's confirmation...since she had not admitted to mistakes made in Iraq."
"Four More Years"
Vojislav Bercko stated in left-of-center independent Vecer (1/21): "Although George Bush swore that he would protect basic the achievements of democracy...certain doubts exists about these promises. Bush spoke about peace, but his co-workers have been preparing for war.... Bush speaks about peace while investing more than any American President in the U.S. military industry. He speaks about the well-being of his citizens, but has created the largest budget deficit in the history of the U.S. He speaks about cooperation with partners in NATO, the EU, and OSCE, but has divided them.... Will the U.S. ignite wars in Iran and North Korea? Unlikely. The U.S. budget is not a bottomless pit.... It is more likely that the Bush Administration will--during its second term--try to justify what was done during Bush's first term, i.e. prove that the attacks against Afghanistan and Iraq were justified and that the world is safer because of them. And...that the Republicans deserve to maintain their leadership in Washington after the end of Bush's second term. After all, this is what the politics is all about."
SPAIN: "Freedom According To Bush"
Independent El Mundo contended (1/21): "It is certainly worrying to not be able to yet distinguish what the specifics of such an inflamed rhetoric will be. It is difficult to separate the announcement of this liberating mission from the list of the six countries 'bastions of tyranny' advanced by Condoleezza Rice the day before yesterday, all the more since Iraq was not even mentioned in the opening speech. But one may also think that exaltation had priority over practical sense yesterday, because if Bush decided to apply his maxims to the letter, he should immediately cut his relations with countries such as China or Saudi Arabia, which are not exactly models of freedom. Next February 2, the State of the Union Address will clear up some of these questions."
"Bush, Second Term"
Centrist La Vanguardia maintained (1/21): "Bush does not have Reagan's communicative skills, but shares with him two big characteristics: the wish to radically change the world, starting with his own country, and the suicidal tendency of his adversaries to underestimate him.... The speech that he gave yesterday after being sworn in for his second term followed what was predicted: rhetorically rich and extremely moderate in concrete measures... We will have to wait for the upcoming State of the Union speech to know the priorities of the second President Bush's second mandate."
"Bush's Foreign Illusion"
Business-oriented Expansión held (1/21): "It remains clear that the US will not renounce its unilateral strategy...despite the announcement by Condoleezza Rice that the hour of diplomacy has arrived, a clear reference to the necessity of widening the transatlantic ties. The upcoming visit of Bush to Germany could be a good opportunity to start to reconstruct (U.S.-EU) relations, but it will be very complicated while the U.S. is not disposed to developing a foreign policy more along European lines. We should not expect grand advances in transatlantic relations. The hard line pursued by the 'neocons' that surrounded Bush will be obstructed by the limitations of military power, as has been seen in Iraq, and by the important economic and financial conditions the country (US) finds itself in at this time."
"Freedom 42 Times"
Left-of-center El País held (1/21): "The differences between yesterday's speech and the one that President Bush delivered in his first inauguration of four years ago were as much in the words he used as in the change of circumstances, now with an unprecedented mobilization of security. In 2001 he didn't appear radical in his foreign policy...yesterday he presented himself as a grand liberator.... It is the reflection of his vision, including for the Iraq he never mentioned.... (The next two years) will decisive, and predictably not very calm for the US nor the rest of the world. It is important to come to an understanding of the reforms that international institutions will need to adapt themselves to these new challenges."
SWEDEN: "Now We Want To See A Successful President"
Conservative Stockholm-based Svenska Dagbladet editorialized (1/20): "George W. Bush will not rest on his laurels during his second term. The U.S. President looks forward to four years full of high ambitions and intense activities, and is striving for real changes. This will be evident from his inauguration address. There is every reason for Americans and the international community to wish President Bush good luck. The very day when some of his most political goals have become reality, the world has become a better place. But at the same time one has to continue to question the attitude and methods of the Bush administration. The White House needs both friends and constructive criticism.... The question is whether American contributions during President Bush’s administration have served the goals of freedom and democracy? The answer is yes: i.e, dethroning the rogue regimes in Kabul and Baghdad; but also no: the outrages symbolized by Guantanamo and Abu Graib have been politically devastating to U.S. credibility.... Skepticism towards Bush may be great, but the eyes of the world nevertheless fall on America, and what is tested and is working there is copied elsewhere.... In the next few years we want to see less of American ‘the end justifies the means’actions, and less self-sufficiency. But more success stories, please.”
"A Second Term That Will Be Similar To The First One"
Independent, liberal Stockholm-based Dagens Nyheter stated (1/20): "Many say that the next four years will be calmer than the previous ones.... But President Bush shows no sign of weakening. He will pay more attention to domestic issues and the President is presenting an ambitious agenda.... Bush aims high; he pushes his demands to the limit, knowing that at the end of the day he will be able to push more things through than anyone believed to be possible in the beginning.... Condoleezza Rice may become one of the most influential secretaries of State in recent years. She is experienced, has the ear of the President, and also dares to hold her own line when fighting an uphill battle. Her view of the world hardly differs from the President’s, but she wants to focus on diplomacy after four years during which use of military force have dominated. ‘It is high time for diplomacy,’ she emphasized time and again at the Senate hearings the other day. The tone from Washington may, paradoxically enough, be softened when Colin Powell leaves the office. A change of tone would mean a lot, especially taking into consideration the prolonged international skepticism toward the Bush administration.... There may be a more flexible (U.S.) approach, but those who think that the president has lowered his ambitions risk making a great mistake. He will probably aim high, with regards to both foreign and domestic policy.”
YUGOSLAVIA: "Bush's New Mandate"
Momcilo Pantelic pointed out in Belgrade-based influential Politika (1/21): "President Bush had an exquisite honor to hand over the power of the president to himself, and that gives this event dimension of a national spectacle. President Bush is a phenomenon because his career is better than surveys and polls predicted. For example, majority of citizens criticized him for the war in Iraq and for many other things, however, at the end the majority voted for him. The word freedom was the most important in his message and all other messages revolved around that key word.”
ISRAEL: "Speak Softly--Or Carry A Big Stick"
Shmuel Rosner wrote in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (1/21): "While the world is looking for signs of a shift in U.S. foreign policy--for dialogue, for a respite from tension--it is Bush's determination to act that stands in the way. If Bush wants to do, he can't speak softly; if he speaks softly, there is not much he can do. Bush and his administration are caught in a bind between this driving ambition to change the world and resigning themselves to the limitations of power.... Tempting as it may sound to European statesmen, the diplomatic scenario is not a likely choice today, and for one very potent reason: it goes against Bush's instincts and activist temperament. Most of the people who surround the president strongly believe that military might, and not diplomacy, is the best way to handle a crisis."
"A Celebration With A Limited Warranty"
Rafi Mann asserted in popular, pluralist Maariv (1/21): "If Bush wishes to rehabilitate his relations with 'blue Europe,' in a hope to rescue the North Atlantic alliance from a veritable rupture, one of the first currencies he will have to disburse for doing so is the Middle East--not only to the supporters of a traditional pro-Palestinian line in the EU, but also to his friend and ally Tony Blair. As the date of the British elections is approaching, Blair is expanding his courting of Muslim voters ion his country, including with promises of substantial aid to the Palestinians. What will Bush do about this? A serious handling of the Middle Eastern problems worrying Israel--principally Iran and Hizbullah, will require serious Presidential energy-spending, not just shuttle diplomacy by the new Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who will come and go. As the old-new President is celebrating in the palaces of Washington, there is still no answer to the following question: Will Bush, from the depths of the Iraqi quagmire, be able not only to save himself, but also to do something useful in his close entourage?"
"The World According To Bush"
B. Michael contended in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/21): "The lessons learned from Bush's terms--the one that was and the one that will be--go far beyond the borders of daily events, political account-settling and the feverish Israeli angle. In the days of his reign...there have been universal and edifying lessons. It looks as if the most bitter, the most disappointing, the most eye-opening lesson lies in the fact that the Bush administration has efficiently and cruelly exposed the brittleness and the thin veneer of enlightenment, democracy, human rights, in fact the cultural aspect of the 'largest democracy. It took that society, supposedly the beacon of freedom, no longer than one and a half years to brutally crush much of its principles. Not only did it mercilessly pound distant countries, but it did so at home, too. It turns out that an awful disaster, several years of frustration and violence, a power-thirsty leader devoid of intellectual inhibitions, were enough to crush like an egg-shell a nice wrapping laboriously shaped during over two centuries."
"The Middle East Awaits Rice"
Independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz editorialized (1/20): "The most important appointment in [Bush's] new team is the promotion of Condoleezza Rice from national security advisor to secretary of state.... Rice's testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the hearings this week show that the Middle East, after September 11, 2001, will continue to be the focus of American foreign and defense policy. Seemingly that is good news for those who believe that active involvement by the administration is necessary, expressed in energetic personal involvement by the president and secretary of state, in an effort to calm the tensions between Israel and the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular.... The equation Rice waved about in front of the senators and the rulers and nations of the region was 'justice, dignity and a viable, independent and democratic state for the Palestinians; peace and security for Israel.' As an overall vision that is reasonable, but the test will be in its fulfillment as the two states move toward concessions on their mutual demands regarding territories and borders, enabling them to establish thriving societies and economies with a demographic balance. Rice evaded the issue of appointing a presidential envoy to the region. She is aware of her responsibility, along with the president's, to prevent neglect and a deterioration of the situation. Expectations in the Middle East are for practical steps that will make tangible that Bush and Rice understand the severity of the situation and the urgency of dealing with it."
"A Mission To Accomplish"
The conservative, independent Jerusalem Post stated (1/20): "The decision to invade Iraq was the most decisive act of the President's first term; his success in bringing security and freedom to its people will begin the deciding verdict of his second term. It is hard to imagine Iraqi democracy succeeding, however, if the Iranian mullocracy achieves a nuclear umbrella.... In the post-9/11 world, securing Iraq may be the linchpin of the administration's efforts to drain the swamps of despotic regimes in Muslim countries where radical Islamic fundamentalism has been allowed to fester, but America does not have the luxury of dealing with region one country at a time.... It is the job of George W. Bush from the inaugural podium today not only to convince the American people that accomplishing their mission in Iraq is well worth the sacrifices being asked of them, but that success in Iraq alone is not enough to win this war. His success in doing so will be crucial to the future freedom and security of the United States, and for the fates of free and unfree people all over the world."
"The White House Won't Be Changing Its Colors"
Akiva Eldar commented in independent, left-leaning Ha'aretz (1/20): "The rose-by-any-other-name evolution of the national security adviser to secretary of state will not generate any change in Ms. Rice's views and in what are termed as the three main elements of foreign policy in the Middle East: democracy, democracy, and democracy. It may be assumed that the senior echelons of the State Department, which tried their hand at artificial respiration of the peace process, will either leave or form a new line, on the right. Departing Secretary of State Colin Powell once admitted to his colleague Silvan Shalom that basically, he didn't really intend to push the President into our swamp. Powell said he was fed up with receiving a phone call every morning from yet another European foreign minister offering solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Formation of the quartet and the road map, he said, were inventions that were intended to silence the Europeans."
"Bush And The World, Chapter Two"
U.S. expert and Middle East lecturer Professor Eytan Gilboa wrote in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/19): "The changes Bush has made in his government cannot herald changes in his policy. What he did was to replace Secretary of State Colin Powell, who opposed his war strategy, with his loyal National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. He didn't touch the Pentagon leadership, which is responsible for the world war on terror--and this isn't because he believes the Defense Department staff did a good job. Continued failure in Iraq will certainly cause the replacement of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and his deputy Wolfowitz.... The tasks Bush is facing are colossal; in order to fulfill them, he'll need international cooperation, even with hostile and reticent elements such as the UN and the EU. Most paradoxically, in order to earn a good place in history, he will need to design a policy recognizing the limitations of the U.S.--actually during an era when it is considered the only superpower."
"Clouds In America's Skies"
Economics editor and columnist Sever Plotker remarked in mass-circulation, pluralist Yediot Aharonot (1/19): "When he swears to serve the American nation for four more years. George Bush will not only have to fight a phenomenon that dogs U.S. presidents during their second term--fatigue of the fighting spirit--but, first of all, [will have] to remove the heavy cloud marring all the inaugural ceremonies. That cloud is not the situation in Iraq, but the situation--economic conditions--in America itself. The American economy is in a quagmire.... It isn't the American taxpayer who pays for the U.S. government's huge deficits, but China's central bank, which buys hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. bonds. This is an absurd and dangerous dependence: the world superpower will cease to be a power if it continues to live above its means and to rely upon the whims of foreign capital.... Only by putting his house--the U.S. economy--in order will George Bush succeed in fulfilling his ambitious plans during his second term."
SAUDI ARABIA: "Bush's Message To Arab Tyrants"
London-based Arab nationalist Al-Quds Al-Arabi editorialized (1/21): "The speech President George Bush's made yesterday, on the occasion being sworn in for the second term, seemed like it was being mainly directed at Arab leaders, precisely US allies. There are no tyrants in this world except those who have been sitting on the top seat for several decades in Arab countries.... Oppressive Arab regimes should feel very worried about President Bush's speech...especially if he actually decides to make this speech a political programme for his second term.... The democracy President Bush's Administration is promising is a bloody one. It has, up to now, claimed the lives of 100,000 martyrs, with the same number being wounded. It has turned the country into a failed one, where chaos and booby-trapped cars prevail.... As long as the US policies continue as they are at the moment, then all the American talk about democracy and liberties will remain ink on paper."
OMAN: "It's Bush Once Again"
Atif Abd-al-Jawad contended in semi-independent Al-Watan (1/20): "The tense situation between the USA and the Muslim world will continue...with the victory of President Bush."
QATAR: "America Towards The Year 2020"
Bassam Dhau noted in semi-official Al-Watan (1/20): "What we read in the report by the U.S. intelligence service is a planned programme and not research. The first aim of the plan is American peace and it is not lost to anyone that the meaning of this is only to increase American domination of the world."
UAE: "Looking For Change"
The English-language expatriate-oriented Gulf Today held (1/21): "A deeply divided America and a more deeply sceptical rest of the world are united in the hope to see positive changes in U.S. policies as George W. Bush signed in for his second term.... This may sound odd because it is unusual for a re-elected president having to promise change--and not a continuation--in his policies. This hope for change could be the reason for rest of the world to accept another four years of a president whose first term raised the spectre of more wars.... The reason for the international community's scepticism is the contradictions in Bush's new foreign policy script. On the one hand he talks of diplomacy and dialogue, while on the other he retains the intimidatory tone of pre-emption. This gives the impression that in the second term he has already set the frontiers of diplomacy and intimidation. Washington has also retained a list of rogue states and friends. Be it the war in Iraq or the rejection of many international treaties, the Bush administration's biggest first term flaw was its foreign policy.... The Middle East, where the U.S. has some if its biggest 'stakes,' nurses nothing but hopes that a new realistic approach would emerge in Washington. But, for all that matters, this is hoping against hopes. The clearest evidence of this is America's refusal to accept what went wrong in Iraq. In spite of everything going wrong, the US feels there are no lessons to be learnt from Iraq.... Bush's proclaimed eagerness to see freedom and democracy marching all over the planet, particularly in the Middle East, should see the roadmap for peace getting a new push. However, there is little optimism in the Middle East because the people know that an American president has no menu to choose his options here other than the prescriptions Israel gives him."
"Four More Years Of Fears And Tears"
The expatriate-oriented English-language Gulf News opined (1/21): "The U.S. president is clear about one thing.... He has a mandate from the people to continue in the same way as his first term in office. Probably that, more than anything else, is what so unnerves the majority of people around the world. That he got voted in for a second term at all was a surprise to many. But whereas in the past people in foreign climes said while they disliked Bush and his Administration, the American people are all right, now they question even this last statement. How can the American public be fooled, twice over, by the same man, they wonder?.... The appointment of a new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who vows to use diplomacy with America's allies as a bargaining tool may seem a step in the right direction. But Rice is a hawk in hawk's clothing, ready to do her master's bidding. And her master listens most attentively to the neoconservatives and the Christian right in and out of government."
CHINA: "Protesting Voices At Bush’s Inauguration Celebration"
Weng Xiang commented in official Communist Youth League-run China Youth Daily (Zhongguo Qingnianbao) (1/21): "The U.S. president’s inauguration is an important part of U.S. history.... But at present the U.S. is at war, and the first Presidential inauguration since 9/11 is so luxurious it naturally has become a target for the world’s people’s accusations. People are comparing Bush to the luxurious French Emperor Louis XIV. Bush’s inauguration is surely a great spectacle, but there are thousands of protesters as well.... The most compelling protest is some protesters carrying paper coffins symbolizing dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq."
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "Why Bush's Speech Lacked Bite"
Peter Kammerer said in the independent English-language South China Morning Post (1/21): "U.S. President George W. Bush, his eye firmly on his legacy, went to painstaking efforts to ensure that his inauguration speech set the right tone to usher in his second and last term in office. This was, after all, the stuff by which the nation and world would remember him. The final draft was the result of much forethought to map out, as grandly as possible, Mr. Bush's agenda. In effect, it was the blueprint for the material that would later fill his presidential library and, hopefully, make his mark in history alongside America's presidential greats -- Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy. Alas, there was a last-minute mix-up, and the version that Mr. Bush read so passionately was one of the earlier 49 drafts. The one that should have been presented, composed by the president's favorite dog, Barney, was a no-holds-barred attempt to lay out a vision that would right any perceived wrongs committed earlier by Mr. Bush and his team."
"Challenges For President Bush In His Second Term"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao editorialized (1/21): "Examining the just concluded first Bush term, he committed three political errors. First, he believed that democracy could be exported. Second, he believed that the use of force could settle all issues. Third, he believed that 'going it alone' could help the U.S. safeguard its hegemonic status. These three errors are lessons for Bush as they have created serious global consequences and have negatively affected the U.S. itself.... Bush's second term has just begun. He will have to face huge challenges. Looking at recent events, the first test for Bush will be the Iraqi elections. Diplomatically, he will have to mend U.S. relations with its allies as well as with other big nations to handle the nuclear issues in Iran and North Korea; to clean up the messes in Iraq and Afghanistan; and to improve the U.S. image abroad. Domestically, Bush must deal with the huge U.S. budget deficit, unemployment, Social Security reform, and reduced competitiveness of U.S. exports despite the weakening dollar. All these require Bush to develop practical solutions. Over the past four years, Bush made counter terrorism his overriding mission in an effort to divert public attention from domestic issues. Over the coming four years, however, these domestic and diplomatic issues will pose great challenges for Bush. To meet them, Bush must learn from past experience. He must give up unilateralism, enhance cooperation with the international community and change his mentality of power politics. This will not only be good for world peace, but also for enhancing U.S. status and strength."
"People Worry That Bush May Make The World More Dangerous"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Wen Wei Po editorialized (1/20): "On the eve of U.S. President Bush's inauguration, the BBC has announced a public opinion survey conducted in many countries around the world. The result shows that more than half of respondents believe that Bush's election victory will make the world more dangerous. Bush's power is equivalent to that of a king. Bush's image has gone from bad to worse since September 11. Today, he is being anointed as president of a super power, worrying the whole world. The cause of this concern should be carefully reviewed by Bush and his new ruling circle. How can they rebuild the U.S. image? How can they improve relations between the North and South? How can they mend the rift between the U.S. and Europe? How can they establish a fair and reasonable political and economic order with other countries? How can they promote world peace? And how can they further enhance Sino-U.S. cooperation? All these are areas that President Bush must deal with in his second term."
TAIWAN: "Rice Has Endorsed the Neo-conservatism”
Centrist, pro-status quo China Times commented (1/21): "Secretary of State appointee Condoleezza Rice’s congressional confirmation hearing showed that neo-conservatism is indeed a powerful force in the Bush administration. Even though Rice herself is not a follower of neo-conservatism, her testimony showed her determination to implement neo-conservative policy--namely, she will promote global democratization even if it means that she has to use force to do so.... But in the aftermath of the U.S.' invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, what are the results of Washington’s attempts to implement political democratization [in these two countries]? The answer is evident if one just takes a look at the situation in Iraq. The Bush administration is clearly aware that it is a ‘mission impossible’ to hold a genuine democratic election in Iraq now. The UN and European countries all believe that holding an election so rashly [now] would do more harm than good [to Iraq]. Some Iraqi officials who are like United States’ puppets also believe that the election to be held in Iraq in late January should be postponed. But the Bush administration is determined to have the election held as scheduled and its purpose is to show [the world] the success of the United States’ overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime and the implementation of democracy [in Iraq]. The blacklist proposed by Rice [during her confirmation hearing] is just a move to endorse the Pentagon; also, it is actually an excuse prepared for the Bush administration’s move to launch another war again and a warning signal sent in advance to the international community.”
"Hopes For Peace In Bush’s Next Term"
The pro-independence, English-language Taipei Times observed (1/20): "Anyone familiar with international politics must agree that the greatest challenge to US diplomacy is a clash of civilizations between the US and the Muslim world, and the question of how to deal with China’s rise in Asia.... The question of China’s growing strength directly clashes with the traditional friendship between Taiwan and the US since Washington’s China policies have a direct impact on the quality of Taiwan-US interaction. Bush will not be controlled by electoral concerns during his final four years in office. Nor will he be as likely to be controlled by vested interests. He will be able to let go and demonstrate a politician’s vision and ideals. Hopefully, Bush will be able to strengthen his insistence on the universal values of democracy and human rights in the US-China relationship, and carefully measure the latent threat that China poses to the Asian region, while at the same time offering stronger support for Taiwan’s democratic development and its realization of human rights. Taiwan and China share a common language and heritage as well as historical links. For this reason Taiwan is ideally placed to understand China’s authoritarian nature.... Although Bush’s involvement in the Iraq war has been repeatedly criticized, the fact that he won a second term shows that this involvement passes the test of US popular opinion. As a staunch ally of the US, Taiwan supports Bush in his war against terror, and hopes that by working with the US, stability in the Taiwan Strait can be strengthened and Taiwan’s democratic reforms can avoid becoming a victim of manipulation from across the Strait."
JAPAN: "Rice Remarks Set Tone For U.S. Diplomacy"
An editorial in liberal Asahi read (1/21): "Secretary of State-designate Rice's remarks about 'outposts of tyranny' appear to have set the tone for U.S. diplomacy under the second Bush administration. Her term is likely to replace President Bush's dubbing of so-called rogue states including Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of evil.' President Bush has expressed his eagerness to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world. Rice appears to believe that establishing human rights and democracy as central themes of U.S. foreign policy will help improve Washington's damaged ties with European nations. The fact that Belarus and Zimbabwe, whose human rights records have drawn strong criticism from European states, were grouped with North Korea and other miscreant states reflects Washington's hope for better ties with Europe. But Rice's failure to clarify how the U.S. plans to promote democracy in such outposts is problematic. Political intervention or the use of force by the U.S. would not only trigger strong opposition from such nations but would also become a new source of friction with Europe and the international community."
SOUTH KOREA: "Expectations For The Second-Term Bush Administration"
Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo commented (1/21): “President Bush said in his inauguration speech that when freedom is achieved in other countries, the U.S. will enjoy more freedom. In addition, Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice has called North Korea an ‘outpost of tyranny.’ Given these remarks, the U.S. will likely make the value of democracy and freedom as the basis for its diplomacy. That is also closely related to Washington’s plan to ‘transform’ the North Korean regime. Such U.S. doctrine and North Korea’s possible reactions may escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula. In this regard, we hope diplomatic principles will be applied wisely. During the first term of the Bush Administration, ROK-U.S. relations have seen conflicts too serious to call the relationship ‘an alliance.’ The ROK’s dispatch of troops to Iraq mended the fissure significantly. During the next four years, the alliance must mature further. Washington must expand its understanding about Koreans’ evolving attitude toward the U.S.”
"Hoping The U.S. Becomes A Country That Leads Global Peace"
Pro-government Seoul Shinmun declared (1/21): “It is necessary to spread democracy across the globe, but forcing democracy [upon other countries] by mobilizing military force entails too much sacrifice, as evidenced in Iraq. Washington is pouring 300 billion won into Iraq every day, and is expected to spend as much as $250 billion in war expenses by the end of this year.... If the U.S. uses these war expenses for external aid, hundreds of millions of people in abject poverty around the world will be relieved of worries about basic necessities.... The spread of democracy, on which President Bush has put much emphasis, will be effective if the U.S. expands its external aid and strengthens its diplomatic capabilities.... The second-term Bush Administration must acknowledge that its power-based foreign policy during the first term has created problems and conduct a whole new diplomacy based on that recognition. The transformation of the North Korean regime and the resolution of its nuclear problem must be achieved by inducing the country to reform and open itself up by making bold diplomatic concessions, not by using military force.”
THAILAND: "Thailand Is Low In Bush Priorities"
The lead editorial in the top-circulation, moderately-conservative, English-language Bangkok Post read (1/21): "As much as it would like to, Thailand cannot expect to move up in the sights of George W. Bush in his second term as president of the United States. That much was made clear by his secretary of state-designate, Condoleezza Rice, in her statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. The first black woman to rise to such high political office said her priorities are to mend fences with U.S. allies in Europe, and peace in the Middle East… President Bush would show greatness if he consulted allies more and gave more time to smaller countries like Thailand in his second term. But it is wiser not to expect such a transformation and be pleasantly surprised if it comes. For all her attributes and experience, Ms. Rice has still to prove herself as the foreign policy chief of the world's sole superpower. If she treads carefully, well and good. If she tries too hard to leave her stamp, then the future is bleak.”
"Bush’s Second Term--Chance To Restore Image”
The top-circulation, moderately-conservative, English-language Bangkok Post said (1/21): "We think President Bush should use his second term to tone down his hard-line foreign policy and if he wants to pursue the war against terrorism, he should only do so through cooperation with the UN. Another Iraq case must not be allowed to happen because it has been proven that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction as claimed by the U.S. We hope U.S. government assistance for tsunami victims which has helped improve its image in the eyes of the world, Muslims in particular, will be a good omen and herald a new era of Bush’s second term foreign policy.”
“What Will Rice Bring To The Post?”
The independent, English-language Nation asked (1/21): "Now that she has been approved as the U.S.'s top diplomat, Asia will have to learn to deal with her. Rice is likely to be more active than her predecessor, Colin Powell, because she has a lot to prove. As one of the most trusted aides to emerge from Bush's first term, she will have to prove to Asian leaders that she means business and is not just a mouthpiece for her boss. It was one thing to serve as security adviser. It is quite another to be the chief diplomat, speaking on behalf of the administration and country in the global arena.... Washington's position on the emergence of closer cooperation between East Asian countries will also serve as a yardstick for U.S. policy towards Asia as a whole. Since the early 1990s the U.S. has viewed closer ties between the East Asian economies as a threat to its interests. Rice can either work to build confidence in her Asian counterparts or cause further animosity. It's up to her now.”
"New Term, Old Agenda For Bush"
The independent, English-language Nation contended (1/20): "Given that his approval rating--is the lowest for any re-elected president starting a new term in more than 50 years, that he is confronted with deep fiscal and trade deficits, a weak job market, the Iraq mess and mistrust abroad, many are hoping Bush Jr. will use the speech to send a more conciliatory tone to the world. But that is unlikely to happen.... Yet in many ways Washington doesn’t have much choice but to be more yielding. It needs help from the international community to restore peace in Iraq, for the sake of its economy it needs to avoid creating too much friction with China over trade, and it needs help from Asia in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. In much the same way, Bush would be wise to try to strike a conciliatory tone in his inauguration speech to reach out to the Democrats and seek their cooperation on his domestic policies.... Open and unfettered debate and public participation are two of the strengths of the American political system. They are part of the reason the country’s democracy has been so enduring, dating back uninterrupted to 1789. Pluralism ensures everybody’s interests are considered. The international system through the UN similarly tries to ensure the world doesn’t fall victim to the law of the jungle. Bush needs support to get things done. To continue in his uncompromising and unilateral way, either at home or on the global stage is simply too dangerous.”
Pseudonymous 'Lens Zoom' commented in the mass-appeal, Thai-language Daily News (1/19): “Analysts have said the country that Bush will need to keep an eye on is China, whose political and economic influence is mounting. However, since the U.S. needs Beijing to restrain North Korea, which is said to have nuclear weapons in its possession, Bush cannot afford to pressure China as much as he’d like to, particularly on human rights and trade issues.... An impending challenge that Bush will certainly face is Europe’s lift of the 15-year-long arms containment of China. The U.S. fears that China could use this opportunity to oppress its own people or attack Taiwan.... Nevertheless, given the number of major problems China has yet to deal with, be it transparency and accountability, intellectual property rights or environmental safety, one may ask how China can become an efficient leader in this region. Therefore, Washington should not have to be overly concerned over China’s feelings despite its certain degree of reliance on the latter’s influence.”
VIETNAM: "President Bush's Challenges In His Second Term"
Official Vietnam National Youth Federation-run Thanh Nien maintained (1/21): "President Bush enters his second term with many challenges ahead, including an unfinished war in Iraq, the Middle East Peace process and a looming budget deficit. He starts his second term with an approval rating of approximately 50%.... The world is watching his inauguration with anxiety, fearing that the most powerful man on the planet may do more harm than good. People have lost their trust in him. More than half of people surveyed in a BBC World Service poll say the re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush has made the world more dangerous. Many leaders, alienated by President Bush's go-it-alone foreign policy and the Iraq war, have been urging him to listen and consult more since his re-election."
"What Does The World Want From The U.S.?"
Official state-run Quoc Te declared (1/21): "Peace in the Middle East is what the world expects the most from Washington. President Bush and Secretary of State Rice can reduce the region's hatred for the U.S. if they bring in new, fresh air or have a fairer attitude in the process to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict, and if they want to withdraw from Iraq this year. The war against terrorism is certainly still the top concern for the U.S. But if concentrating too much on terrorism and neglecting other issues, that can cause the rest of the world frustrated. The tsunami on Dec. 26 made people concentrate on the poverty issue and they also want to see the U.S. role in this issue. What the world wants the most from Mr. Bush is that the U.S.'s might must be used wisely. If not, alliances set up by him to deal with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear weapons or Iran's nuclear ambition will become fragile, or he alone may be led to new, dangerous and costly wars."
"Can He Rise Above Himself"
Tri Duong wrote in offiical Communist Youth Union-run Tien Phong (1/21): "The four years ahead are full of challenges, so many that analysts say Mr. Bush will not be able to enjoy the period called 'honeymoon week' after his swearing-in ceremony.... His big targets have caused a lot of arguments in Congress and at other forums for weeks.... Although his Republican Party holds the majority of seats in both the Senate and the House, that does not mean everything is under his control. On the other hand, the rate of support for him has decreased to 49 percent, the lowest level compared with the rates for other U.S. presidents when they began their second terms, and that will also add difficulties when he tries to achieve his targets."
INDIA: "The Second Coming"
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri stated in the nationalist Hindustan Times (1/20): "Bush's second presidential inaugural address is going to be his 'liberty speech'. He is going to say that the U.S. must spread democracy overseas for both moral and security reasons.... When it comes to democratic imperialism, Bush has got religion. Parts of the world, most notably Europe, will recoil. They will fear that democracy-crusading means the new bogeyman of international relations-the neoconservatives-have consolidated their hold on the sole superpower's foreign policy. The neocons have three key foreign policy ideas. Numbers one and two are that the U.S. must be prepared to intervene overseas, militarily and unilaterally, and that a key goal of such intervention should be the spread of American values. Amid all the talk of mom, soft-serve ice-cream and democracy, the neocons also have a specific target: transforming the Arab Muslim world. So will 'Bush 2' sail away on a neocon boat? For an answer; look at his decision to make Condeleezza Rice his new Secretary of State. She isn't a neocon and has put paid to neocon hopes of one of their own.... In fact, not one key Bush 2 cabinet position has fallen to any member of this supposedly all-powerful cabal. Just as they did during Bush 1, neocons remain providers of ideas but not the wielders of ultimate authority. But Rice is also not what she used to be at the time of Bush's first presidential election..... No one should think Bush 2 will be about rolling back a declared readiness to use military force unilaterally. Pre-emption will reign supreme. However, the wild eyed look in Washington just after 9/11 will be more cool and calculating. Part of the reason is that Bush 2 can afford to be thoughtful. Regime change in Iraq is over. Regime building is on. This requires not unilateral military action but multilateral political involvement. So Rice will build bridges with Europe and elsewhere."
"Indians Feel Safe With Bush"
The centrist Kolkata-based Telegraph stated (1/20): "If it's hard to find what's common among India, the Philippines and Poland, look no further than George Walker Bush. They all love the man who begins his second term in the White House after tomorrow's inauguration.... The trio is not quite in agreement with the rest of the world, the majority of whose citizens think Bush spells trouble.... The American President, who is slated to visit India this year, might find its metropolises more welcoming than, say, California. And that includes Calcutta, which shares with Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai India's love for Bush.... A Democrat-run White House is often seen in India as being too tough on trade issues. In the election campaign, when Democrat John Kerry was severely critical of outsourcing of American jobs, Bush aides described it as a fact of globalization. Observers also point to the terrorist threat that the two countries share. Bush aides made well-publicized claims about persuading General Pervez Musharraf to end cross-border terrorism. Foreign policy mandarins may or may not agree with the urban Indian view of Bush, but the current government led by the Congress is seen to be less pro-US than the one headed by the BJP. Bill Clinton was a big hit when he came to India, so may Bush be if he can get the Prime Minister's name right."
"War Policy Or Diplomacy"
Kolkata-based independent Bengali-language Ananda Bazar Patrika declared (1/20): "The voice of dissent in...Condoleezza Rice's remarks vis-à-vis President Bush's warning to Iran to stop the use of nuclear energy gains relevance. Rice is in favor of solving international problems through diplomacy. She clearly favors engaging the world in dialogues...in order to wipe out America's loneliness and alienation.... Who will point out that the allegation of Iran's developing nuclear weapons is entirely false, like Saddam's arsenal piling up WMD? It is significant that the Bush Administration is not attaching much importance to Pakistani scientists' connivance in nuclear black marketing to develop the dirty 'Islamic bomb.' Isn't Pakistan's own nuclear bomb being considered as an Islamic bomb since it happens to be a strategic partner of the US?.... If Bush does not admit his mistakes about his strategic policy he may get some applause now but infinite rejection will be in store for him as well as America in the future. He had better abide by the advice of his Secretary of State."
"Rice And Curry: Diplomatic Time And Space For India Under Bush II"
Raja Mohan observed in the centrist Indian Express (1/20): "As the fragile peace process in the subcontinent begins to fray at the edges, Condoleezza Rice, the top diplomat in the Second Bush Administration, has promised to simultaneously expand relations with both India and Pakistan. Rice, a day before being confirmed as Secretary of State, told the U.S. Senate that the Bush Administration would continue to defy the logic of the historical zero sum game in South Asia.... In dealing with the Second Bush Administration, India and Pakistan will have to come to terms with this new strategic reality in Asia-peace and cooperation among all the major powers. As they squabble over many issues small and big-from the Baglihar project to the nature of the final settlement in Jammu and Kashmir-New Delhi and Islamabad might want to leverage their growing relationship with Washington against the other. They will find it very difficult. The short-term American interests in Pakistan might occasionally overwhelm the long-term imperatives in relation to India. At the same time, Islamabad's tactical leverage in Washington has never been too strong to force India to do what it does not want to. In his first term, Bush has refused to put pressure on New Delhi on the question of Jammu and Kashmir. Nor has he stopped rewarding Gen Pervez Musharraf and his Army in Pakistan for cooperating in Afghanistan and the war against the al-Qaida. Unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton, Bush has not made a fetish of non-proliferation in South Asia. If the Indo-Pak peace process collapses and military temperature rises in South Asia, the Bush Administration will certainly intervene to prevent a war between the nuclear rivals in the subcontinent. That precisely is what Washington did in the summer of 2002."
"An Eagle And A Vulture"
Ravi Amle had this to say in Mumbai-based centrist Marathi-language Sakaal (1/19): "President George W Bush's inaugural address theme is 'Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service.' It is still unclear as to whose freedom President Bush is going to celebrate. If the president's recent interviews are any indication, the upcoming January 30 Iraq elections will feature prominently in his address. Bush has already claimed that his electoral victory is a popular mandate won in favor of his Iraq policy. Therefore, his conservative agenda is expected to be further accentuated during his inaugural speech.... Bush's swearing-in remarks do not hold much significance, mainly because his rhetoric does not reflect the reality. It is very obvious that the Bush administration espouses the cause of neocolonialism in all its foreign policy goals. The American aid for tsunami victims, announced after much delay, is a recent example of America's self-seeking foreign policy objectives. The U.S. pretends to serve the cause of freedom, democracy and humanity in the tsunami tragedy, but America's relief distribution and humanitarian assistance is a ruse for restoring its military bases in Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It has now become easier for the U.S. to make inroads into Asia.... America's national emblem is the eagle, a majestic bird soaring to freedom, but the Bush administration seems, symbolically, to represent a vulture looking to pounce on its intended preys around the world."
SOUTH AFRICA: "World Looks On With Mixed Emotions"
International affairs editor Peter Fabricius noted in the moderate Pretoria News (1/21): "Judging by the Senate hearing of his Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice, Bush has heard the world and is ready to be less unilateral in his second term.... Yet she also reiterated Bush’s continuing ambition to bring democracy to the world, including the Middle East. It is not clear whether Bush’s mission to Europe will be more than a PR exercise.... Let us hope that the old alliance patches up its quarrels now and takes a united stance on problems such as Iran. America must be softer, Europe must be harder.”
"Bush’s New Broom"
The liberal Witness maintained (1/20): "Rice...developed a reputation as Bush’s security adviser for hard-headed determination to press the American cause. Many have seen her succession to Powell as the replacement of a hawk for a dove. Yet at her Senate hearing, she has spoken about the need for diplomacy in areas of the world that cause anxiety to Americans.... The U.S. does not always get things right and easily tends to be prescriptive and overbearing, but at heart it is the harbinger of a bold vision based on firm democratic ideals. Rice’s present demeanor could be a barometer of something less strident and more open in the Bush administration. She will be watched with interest as she seeks to build diplomatic bridges and foster freedom, not least in the Middle East where Iraq is poised for a traumatic election and where Palestine under new leadership has a window of opportunity if Israel can be persuaded to co-operate.”
"Bush Notices The World"
The liberal Star opined (1/20): "Bush has also realized he will have to adapt to the world.... Bogged down in Iraq and thwarted elsewhere, Bush has realized, after all, that he needs the world. He will start by visiting Europe.... But it is too early to say whether Bush really intends consulting with allies, or merely explaining himself better.... For Africa Bush has not been a bad president, offering more aid and trade access. This will be the time to put more money and political capital behind the promises. We hope the Texan cowboy will now hang up his spurs. But the world--especially Europe--must also meet him some of the way by taking a more aggressive stance against dangerous despots. Bush’s lesson from his first term is that diplomacy is indispensable. The world’s lesson should be that when diplomacy is too passive, force becomes inevitable.”
NAMIBIA: "How Fresh Is Condoleezza Rice’s ‘Fresh’ Diplomacy?"
The government-owned English-language New Era commented (1/21): "The more President George W. Bush changes his Secretaries of State, the more things remain the same. Actually, the more they may get even worse.... Condoleezza Rice is promising a fresh start in US diplomacy. She ways the US would use diplomacy to resolve world issues. But to do that, Rice needs to come into the world of international diplomacy with an honest and open mind. She needs to engage the world community meaningfully and respectfully. She and the US cannot prescribe to others what to do. The U.S. cannot bullishly impose democracy on other nations as in the case of Iraq. The people of the world who are yearning for freedom and democracy would seek it. The must draw lessons from the world’s trouble spots and seek consensus to break the stalemates."
NIGERIA: "The Challenge Of Second Coming"
Sebastine Ebhuomhan commented in the Lagos-based Daily Independent (1/19): "Beyond the pomp, pageantry and razzmatazz of tomorrow's historic event, lies the main challenge of Bush's second inauguration, which is obvious even in the wildest imagination of not only leading an increasingly divisive nation of politically conscious citizens but also leading an increasingly divisive world in search of global peace and freedom beyond 2008.... Bush should learn to pay more attention to Africa, which as at now still holds the key to global peace, freedom and safety. It is the expectations of Africans that Bush would use his highly regarded office to help reduce the burden of debt and its servicing and fight poverty and corruption, which, right now, are posing the greatest threats to democracy, freedom and development of the continent. Indeed, one can only conclude that the challenge of ensuring a world of freedom is a responsibility that President Bush must not only shoulder in his second term, but also achieve within the next four years if he must walk off into history as one of the greatest leaders that ever lived."
UGANDA: "Time For Africa To Claim Own Legacy"
Muniini K. Mulera had this to say in the independent Monitor (1/17): "September 11...did not just change the New York skyline. It changed George W. Bush and America, and created a new dynamic in international relations that will probably reverberate for decades to come. For the last four years of unilateralist, arrogant, bullying and utterly reckless foreign policy and actions have left America in a position where it is feared, but not necessarily respected. The fruitless search for phantom weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has dealt massive destruction to America’s credibility. Any future claims of similar threats from its enemies are destined to be dismissed as fraudulent even where they might be true. Yet all is not lost. The re-invention of Bush has begun in earnest, and the task of changing the world’s attitude towards him has fallen on another African American, the indefatigable Dr. Condoleezza Rice, his new Secretary of State. And while it is too early to tell how history will judge him, Bush may very well confound his critics by becoming a towering figure in the shaping of America’s foreign policy and international order."
CANADA: "Canada's Answer To Bush's Agenda"
The liberal Toronto Star opined (1/20): "U.S. President George W. Bush launches a hugely ambitious 'big agenda' at his swearing-in today, as Washington struts its pomp and power in a glitzy, $40 million inaugural bash. He intends to lose no time implementing it, because U.S. presidents are fated to become lame ducks halfway through their second mandates, and because, for now, Bush enjoys the rare advantage of a majority in both houses of Congress. In his inauguration address, Bush will try to mobilize Americans behind his drive to promote freedom at home — freedom from government, that is — by creating an 'ownership society' that hinges on cutting the atrocious $400 billion deficit in half, privatizing part of the pension scheme and, far more dubiously, making permanent tax cuts tilting to the rich.... Yet Americans themselves are evenly split on Bush's stewardship of domestic and foreign policy and are pessimistic about his ability to address key problems, after a bitterly divisive and closely fought election. He has a low approval rate.... If Bush seeks allies for another pre-emptive war, without a stronger case, he will find many declaring themselves to be otherwise engaged...."
"Welcome To Bush Fantasy Land: The Sequel"
Editorial page editor emeritus Haroon Siddiqui observed in the liberal Toronto Star (1/20): "It has been said that George W. Bush is in denial of reality, in Iraq and elsewhere. But what of America itself? More particularly, what of the majority of Americans who re-elected him? They had the right to their democratic choice. Still, what sort of nation rewards a leader who misled it into war, spawned worldwide anger, eroded America's moral authority, turned the Iraqi occupation into a showcase for American ineptitude, and increased terrorism? ... Of course, nearly half the American electorate is as upset as the rest of the world, if not more so, and has fallen into shell-shocked silence since Nov. 2. Bush promised to reach out to them. But, as usual, his words and deeds never did connect.... Bush is at loggerheads with most democracies but closest to autocracies. In the Muslim world, he is chummy with petro-monarchs but distant from the leaders of emerging democracies Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia. To neighbours Mexico and Canada, he poses a unique problem. To protect trade, their leaders must do what their publics don't want them to. Paul Martin must sign on to the missile defence shield, tilt toward Israel and censure Liberals who echo their constituents. Surveying the scenes of these military and political disasters, Bush sees only the need for better public relations and more spin...."
ARGENTINA: "Bush Inaugurates His Second Term In Office In A City 'Under Siege'"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading Clarin, commented(1/20) "Amid a spectacular security operation and encouraged by his triumph in November elections, President Bush will today launch his second term in office with great confidence and very ambitious projects. On an international level, he wants to consolidate a democratic regime in Iraq that can serve as a precedent and example for other countries that are still ruled by 'tyrants.' His purpose is exporting democracy to the largest possible number of countries, which, according to him, will guarantee a more peaceful and stable world. On a domestic level, his top priority is the privatization of the retirement system and the consolidation of tax reform, which has enabled him to drastically cut down taxes during the last four years. However, according to two opinion surveys, in contrast to Bush's great optimism, the country continues divided into two parts. While it has been said on many occasions that he obtained a clear mandate through h
is election triumph, according to the opinion surveys, Bush's popularity rate is currently only of 51 percent, which is the lowest rate obtained among all reelected presidents during the last forty years. In addition to this, less than 45 percent of the people believe the country is going in the right direction. The opinion survey, published in yesterday's USA Today, points out that 45 percent of the people are against the retirement system reform. 52 percent of the people believe that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake."
MEXICO: "Condoleezza's Agenda"
The nationalist El Universal editorialized (1/19): "Even when logically she spoke mainly on the domestic issues of most concern to Americans, she still had time for the relationship with Mexico, especially migration; she affirmed that it would be one of her priorities, for both humanitarian reasons and labor needs. She noted the immigration reform proposal, already outlined by President Bush; although not an amnesty, it would mean a different way of talking about the problem --from a less rigid perspective than that of the past-- in which both countries would recognize officially that there is a Mexican supply of labor because there is a demand; and from there to granting more humanitarian treatment to fellow citizens looking for a job in the U.S. it would be a shorter distance... Migration and trade opening are not small offerings from Washington, however they should be more than words on paper, as a way to convince the Senate to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, and instead become true government commitments from a serious administration that truly wants a closer relationship with Mexico."
ECUADOR . “Bush Four Years More,”
Quito’s center-left Hoy editorialized (1/21): “While Latin America seems not to be a priority in the agenda of the Bush administration, the support to democratic institutions he promised yesterday should be reflected in assistance to social development and commercial openness of the U.S. market to the countries where [there is] the greatest risk of instability, such as the countries in the Andean region.”
EL SALVADOR: “El Salvador, Bush and the United States,”
José Miguel Cruz, Director of the Public Opinion Institute of theCentral American University, UCA opined in the conservative El Diario de Hoy (1/20): “A recent UCA survey revealed that a little more than half of all Salvadorans feel satisfied with the re-election of George W. Bush…. Nearly three out of four … said … that [Bush’s] re-election…would be beneficial for Salvadoran interests. This is in strong contrast with the predominant attitude (elsewhere in) Latin America, where Bush is not very popular.
“Rice and Latin America,”
Sergio Muñoz Bata observed in the moderate La Prensa Gráfica (1/20): “During her hearings... Condoleezza Rice outlined the central lines of a possible agenda towards Latin America. Hugo Chávez is in George W. Bush’s gunsights. Rice will work for CAFTA ratification in the Congress of CAFTA. The choice of Robert B. Zoellick as Deputy Secretary of State has been praiseworthy. Zoellick, as the U.S. Trade Representative, has been a spokesman for Bush in Latin America. Neither Rice nor Zoellick have the warmth or sympathy that Colin Powell exudes, but Zoellick’s deep knowledge of the region, combined with Rice’s closeness to Bush, suggests attention to the region could be greater than during the first term.
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