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February 20, 2002




President Bush's "Axis of Evil" remarks continued to reverberate in European media outlets.  Critics of U.S. foreign policy--found in nearly all capitals, but especially vociferous in the UK, France, Germany, Russia and Belgium--echoed recent protests by European officials.  These writers chided the Bush administration for its "Manichean" world view and "simplistic, go-it-alone" approach.  Many conceded that Iraq, Iran and North Korea present legitimate concerns with regard to weapons of mass destruction, but argued that the catch-all "Evil Axis" concept was "dogmatic" and unworkable.  The State of the Union formulation was widely interpreted as a rhetorical shot across the bow--aimed not only at the three "axis" countries, but also at coalition allies in Europe and elsewhere--signaling the end of Bush's brief post-9/11 flirtation with multilateralism.  A very few voices (mainly center-right British, German and Danish dailies) defended the U.S. position, emphasizing the threat posed by Iraq and decrying the "righteous whimperings from Brussels to Berlin." 



-- Editorialists are increasingly convinced that Washington will move to replicate its Afghan military triumph in Iraq.  Convinced of the strength, if not the wisdom, of Bush's resolve to oust Saddam Hussein, the question for most was not if but when and how. 


-- While warning that action against Iraq risks destabilizing the Mideast and unraveling the anti-terror coalition, papers appear more troubled by the negative implications that a go-it-alone American strategy would have for the future of NATO and transatlantic cooperation. 



Europe's voice:  A common thread in several papers was that European leaders have a responsibility to exercise a moderating influence on the "hyper-unilateralist" superpower.  Many warned that despite Washington's military superiority, the U.S. must be reminded that "to fight an axis of evil, even a superpower needs an axis of its own."  In that vein, most W. European commentators urged their leaders to resist rubber-stamping any U.S. action against Iraq.  Some Turkish dailies saw Ankara's stance complicated by the special "Turkish-U.S. partnership" and worried that their government would be caught in the middle of the U.S.-EU "tiff."  On Iran, commentators stressed that the U.S. "should listen to European arguments that dialogue with Iran is the best means of addressing Western concerns."


Powell's stance:  The secretary's aligning himself in recent Congressional testimony with Bush's "Axis of Evil" remarks, together with his well publicized rejoinders to European officials' criticism, led chagrined commentators to conclude that Europe could not count on the "moderate" Powell to counterbalance administration "hawks."  They judged Powell's remarks to be proof of the USG's "closing ranks" in expanding the anti-terrorism fight.

EDITOR:  Katherine L. Starr


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This report is based on 86 reports from 24 countries, February 5-20.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Blair's Insouciance"


Hugo Young of the liberal Guardian offered this view (2/19):  "The word that describes Tony Blair's attitude towards George Bush is insouciant.  He seems worried about almost nothing.  The main thing is that he remains inside the loop....  Blair also accepts the shift that has smoothly taken place in Washington's analysis, carrying the anti-terror targeting far beyond al-Qaida and into the countries that are producing weapons of mass destruction.  From global networks to an axis of national evils, in one easy slide.  Not all EU member states are so ready to agree with this, though none of them, apparently, has conveyed as much to the prime minister's office.  He feels comfortable on all sides.  The stories of transatlantic rifts, in his opinion, are exaggerated.  The possibility that the most painful rift might cleave through his own person, as he becomes a less a bridge than an illusion linking America to Europe, does not arrive....  The big challenge, however, is certainly Iraq, the main WMD state, where the escalation of American threats to act is meeting continued British wishful thinking that such action will not happen any time soon.  Parts of London, maybe including himself, see an Iraqi invasion as a fearful distraction from the defeat of global terror networks, a task that requires, above all, intelligence collaboration from many Islamic states that would be far ore opposed than Europe to an invasion plan.  Meanwhile, Mr. Blair does have options, improbable though it may be that he sees them this way....  One is to edge towards making common cause with continental Europe, and especially with Vladimir Putin....  If Mr. Blair were to express even one-tenth of Chris Patten's anguished critique of Washington, he could have twice the influence....  He disagrees.  If he did that, he thinks, he would be dealt out of the game.  So he will doubtless cling to the second option, which his to accept, without any abrupt attempt to shape it, whatever Washington decides on....  Instead of being Europe's voice in America and America's in Europe, Britain runs the risk of some day soon of having a small voice, and smaller audience in either place."


"To Free Iraq"


An editorial in the conservative Times held (2/15):  "Blair must prepare party and country for military action.  With a combination of military and covert methods now actively under discussion, the United States is preparing to destroy the regime of Saddam Hussein.  The timetable is flexible but will be dictated by America's strategic and military readiness and by nothing else, certainly not by righteous whimperings from Brussels to Berlin.   The goal is fixed.  There is now overwhelmingly strong agreement in Washington, throughout and beyond the Bush administration, that 'containment' of Iraq has failed and that the Iraqi dictator's overthrow is militarily feasible and politically urgent.  His removal is not an added dimension to the Bush strategy for dealing with global terrorism; for several strong reasons, it is integral to it.  The hardening of U.S. resolve to deal with Iraq is understood in the Middle East and in Turkey....  Europe's governments, by contrast, are running shrieking for cover, railing against American unilateralism.  Britain has not joined that chorus, but nor has Tony Blair yet aligned himself with America on Iraq.  Britain, alone among European countries, is on Mr. Cheney's itinerary.  That honour gives the Prime Minister only a few weeks to master the rising anti-Americanism in his own party and explain why this counmtry must stand by its most important ally.  This will be the loneliest decision of his premiership.  It could jeopardise his European ambitions.  But to back away from this test would be devastating to Britain's international credibility.  The U.S. will 'go it alone' if necessary.  Mr. Blair must be ready, in Europe, to 'go it alone' too."


"Saddam's Destruction Is Now A Matter Of Honor"


The liberal Guardian had this piece by columnist Martin Woollacott (2/15):  "At a moment when there seems to be a hardening resolve in Washington to destroy the Iraqi regime come what may, it is worth recalling that every element of American--and British--policy on Iraq was already in place then, long before the September attacks.  The American desire to dismantle that regime is not really a part of the campaign against terrorism, but represents instead an understandable wish to write the final chapter in an interrupted war against a dangerous state.  The policy in February last year already included the idea of moderating and repackaging sanctions in such a way as to regain international support.  A little modesty on both sides of this transatlantic debate would be in order.  European and Russian caution is not appeasement....  European fearfulness is justified.  Yet American readiness to consider military action against the dismal prison house that is Iraq today is not proof of madness.  If it is to be done, however, it must be done well and it must be part of a convincing overall policy toward the region, something which the axis of evil speech suggests the U.S. has not yet achieved.  There are dangers in doing and dangers, too, in doing nothing.  What America and Europe should agree on is that the most rigorous assessment of relative risks--and there is still time for such assessment--is the only foundation for wise decision-making."


"Speak For Britain"


An editorial in the liberal Guardian read (2/14):  "Across Europe, a chorus of alarmed but mostly constructive criticism of George Bush's 'axis of evil' state of the union speech continues to grow....  When such witnesses, all friends or would-be friends of America, make such points, they cannot be simply dismissed as the usual anti-American suspects.  But, lest anyone still think that such views are confined to Europe, not that there are some very significant American voices of doubt too....  There is a significant empty chair in this increasingly large and harmonious chorus of concern.  Almost alone among serious international leaders.  Tony Blair continues to believe that any public criticism of United States policy is self-indulgent and counter-productive....  Whether Mr. Bush really listens to Mr. Blair is open to some doubt, not just in the light of speeches like the state of the union, or of the continuing U.S. neglect of the Middle East....  Our support for action against terrorism cannot be questioned. But our national interest is independent.  It is not in our interest to reduce relations with Iran, North Korea, or even Iraq to the fight against terrorism.  Still less is it in our interest to pretend that these regimes can be dealt with only by overwhelming military means of the kind envisaged in Mr. Bush's shocking new Pentagon budget.  These things need to be said from the position of credibility which this country possesses."


"Can The U.S. Be Defeated?"


According to comment editor Seumas Milne in the liberal Guardian (2/14): "Those who have argued that America's war on terror would fail to defeat terrorism have, it turns out, been barking up the wrong tree.  Ever since President Bush announced his $45bn increase in military spending and gave notice to Iran, Iran and North Korea that they had 'better get their house in order' or face what he called the 'justice of this nation', it has become ever clearer that the U.S. is not now primarily engaged in a war against terrorism at all.  Instead, this is a war against regimes the U.S. dislikes: a war for heightened U.S. global hegemony and the 'full spectrum dominance' the Pentagon has been working to entrench since the end of the Cold War....  With his declaration of war against this absurdly named 'axis of evil,' Bush has abandoned whatever remaining moral high ground the U.S. held onto in the wake of September 11.  He has dispensed with the united front against terror...and he has made fools of those, particularly in Europe, who had convinced themselves that America's need for international support would coax the U.S. Republican right out of its unilateralist laager.  Nothing of the kind has happened."


"Powell's New Doctrine"


A report on an interview with Colin Powell by Richard Wolffe and Bureau Chief Gerard Baker in the independent Financial Times read (2/14):  "For Europeans hoping Mr. Powell is their best advocate in Washington, the closing of ranks round the president's 'axis of evil' approach may be disappointing.  U.S. military supremacy and its apparent determination to go it alone in its widening battle with its enemies has led to soul-searching in Europe and in Washington about whether NATO any longer has a purpose.  Mr. Powell is emphatic that the alliance continues to have a political role....  NATO connects the U.S. to Europe, he says, and will have an important political dimension `for years and years and years to come'.  Militarily, he acknowledges, there are big questions.  Europeans need to contribute more and rationalisation must accelerate.  But, tellingly, he is critical of those who understate the international contribution to the war on terrorism.  Mr. Powell points out that British and Canadian troops contributed and others offered help.  `The suggestion that NATO made a political statement on the September 12 and did nothing more and wasn't invited to the war, I don't think is fair.'"


"George Bush And The Axis Of Evil"


The independent weekly Economist expressed this view in the lead editorial (2/9):  "George Bush's declaration in his state-of-the-union to galvanize support by turning a long and tricky foreign-policy challenge into a simple, moral issue.  That very simplicity may lead many people, especially outside America, to dismiss it as empty or to condemn it as foolish.  On the second count, only time will tell.  But the first is surely wrong.  One thing that has become clear about President Bush is that, although he may not say very much, he tends to mean what he says.  This approach has some clear virtues.  First and foremost, it is surely correct that both the pursuit of Al Qaeda and the control of weapons proliferation are essential and urgent....  Second, it is welcome that America's president has committed himself to the task....  Third, a clear declaration of intent, by a man and an administration that have already showed that they mean business, could have a salutary, chilling effect on rogues and malefactors everywhere.  It brings vices, too, however.  One is simply integral to the task: that, by undertaking this project, America will undoubtedly make itself a continued target for terrorism and criticism....  The other vice, or, at least, hazard, lies with those 'non-negotiable demands' about values.  The list was impressive, and no westerner could disagree with the gist of it all.  The application will be harder because so many countries around the world do disagree with it, including many that now play host to American bases or are acting as allies.  And there is another task.  If America is to achieve these ambitious and worthy goals, it is going to need help....  That support is more fragile than it should be, but also American seems less conscious than it needs to be of the importance of maintaining it.  To fight an axis of evil, even a superpower needs an axis of its own."


"Shades Of Evil"


An editorial in the independent Financial Times asserted (2/7):  "President George W. Bush has bracketed two countries in the Middle East--Iran and Iraq--in his 'axis of evil.'...  But even if the threat from the two neighbouring states appears the same, they require different treatment.  Washington seems inclined to consider Iraq as the more urgent threat.  U.S. policy towards Iraq has lacked clarity and direction....  The Bush administration has started to put pressure on Iraq to re-admit inspectors.  The assumption in Washington is that Iraq will refuse, justifying U.S. military action.  The signs are, however, that the real aim of such a campaign would be to topple the Saddam regime.  If the U.S. is planning significant military action, it must first build a strong case against Baghdad and, preferably, forge another coalition of allies, as over Afghanistan.  America's friends will have to be convinced that all diplomatic options have been attempted and that the use of force will be effective.  More challenging for the U.S. will be persuading European and Arab governments that the aim should be to oust Mr. Saddam....  Securing a change of regime also poses practical difficulties. The Iraqi National Congress, the main opposition group, lacks both credibility and military experience.  An opposition force similar to Afghanistan's Northern Alliance will have to be organised and trained.  This is where Iran comes in.  Iranian backing for military action against Baghdad would facilitate Washington's task.... A forceful U.S. policy on Iraq, indeed, reinforces the need for a more measured approach to Iran.  The U.S. has valid concerns about Iranian behaviour....  But the Iranian regime is divided and the reformist wing led by President Mohammad Khatami has been attempting to moderate Iran's foreign policy.  A hard-line approach to Iran risks bolstering the extremists.  The U.S. is right to press its European allies to adopt a firm attitude towards Iran's procurement of weapons of mass destruction.  But it should listen to European arguments that dialogue with Tehran is the best means of addressing Western concerns.  Iranian behaviour must change, just as Iraq must admit weapons inspectors.  But bracketing the two together as targets for U.S. pressure risks forcing them into a common front, rather than weakening their resolve."


"Peremptory Tendencies"


An editorial in the liberal Guardian held (2/7):  "France's foreign minister, Hubert Vedrine, has become the latest European politician to voice alarm at what might be termed the peremptory tendency increasingly evident in U.S. dealings with the world at large.  The primary trigger was George Bush's state of the union address a week ago.  The U.S. president's bellicose, go-it-alone tone and his specific threat of military action against the so-called 'axis of evil'...continues to make waves as friends and foes ponder America's true intentions....  Bush's new hero is said to be Theodore Roosevelt.  The comparison is flawed in many respects, not least because Mr. Bush, far from speaking softly, backs up his big stick with much loud, noisome and foolhardy verbiage....  The peremptory tendency in U.S. policy has many other manifestations, all unfortunate.  Perhaps it is a passing phase, the unlovely product of rhetoric and deep, hidden indecision over how the 'war against terrorism' can now, in reality be prosecuted.  But its effects are corrosive and damaging.  And it sounds a premature death knell for the September 11 global consensus.  How quickly, Teddy Roosevelt might have reflected, has America's current warrior president simply squandered the opportunity presented by that rare moment of human unity and sense of shared purpose."


"Europeans Reject Bush 'Axis Of Evil' Line On Iran"


Judy Dempsey, diplomatic correspondent for the independent Financial Times judged (2/5):  "European Union diplomats said yesterday they had no intention of ending their dialogue with Iran, despite President George W. Bush's blistering criticism of the Islamic Republic as a rogue state belonging to an 'axis of evil'.... In what amounts to a snub to U.S. foreign policy, European diplomats said Mr. Bush's advisers had learned little from previous and current policies towards Iran. 'Bush can say what he likes and we listen to him.  But we've seen in the past how Washington's policy of containment with regard to Iran and Iraq has led nowhere,' said a senior EU diplomat.  'We have our own foreign policy interests as much as the U.S. has its own.' he added.... Washington, however, has already balked at the EU's growing rapprochement with Iran, especially since the U.S. still has an embargo on most Iranian imports.  The U.S. business community has balked too, but for different reasons.  The Europeans have the pick of any future contracts. The Europeans have diplomatic motives, too.  They believe dialogue with Iran is a way of reaching out to the reformers around President Mohammad Khatami.  'Bush's rhetoric plays into the hands of hard-liners in Iran,' said an EU official.  'It makes the region more unstable, not less.'...  U.S. officials close to Condoleezza Rice, one of the architects of Mr. Bush's state of the nation speech, believe the Europeans' policies towards Iran are nanve and shortsighted.  Europeans have responded by saying the policy of containment has proved ineffective in terms of promoting regional stability.  'We don't get with Washington,' said an EU diplomat.  'One day, the U.S. praises Iran for its part in the post September 11 war against terrorism.  The next day, as Condoleezza Rice said herself, Iran's aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed after September 11.  Is that a foreign policy?'"


FRANCE:   "The Geometry Of Evil"


Bruno Frappat judged in Catholic La Croix (2/20):  "How do we situate evil?  The U.S. president answered the question by using a geometric formula that will go down in history.  By referring to an 'Axis of Evil'...Bush showed a great deal of inventiveness in his powers of communication.  But not a great deal of intelligence with respect to the complexity of the situation....  We can understand that since September 11 the American people and their president have taken it upon themselves to oversee global security.  Why has the wounded giant...not understood that the best way to respond is by asking itself the same questions it asks others?  To decree an 'Axis of Evil' implies that one is the sole, even exclusive agent of good.  This dogmatic stance is not viable....  After having undergone too much, America now seems to be doing too much.  First they were the police of the world, now they are the conscience of the world."


"The Fifteen's Opposition To George Bush Misfires"


Yannick Laude wrote in Catholic La Croix (2/20):  "Uncle Sam did not even have to draw.  George W. Bush only had to raise an eyebrow for the Europeans to fall back in line.  The European foreign ministers were raring to go barely ten days ago in Caceres, Spain to show their determination for a renewal of the peace process in the Middle East.  The EU ministers backtracked Monday during their formal meeting in Brussels. The European 'initiatives' became 'ideas' and finally 'possible plans.'...  This would be but one more example of the wavering nature of the Europeans if it were not for the tense transatlantic context; the intensity of which was unseen before and is a result of President Bush's designation of an 'Axis of Evil' with himself cast in the role of global sheriff posting search warrants against North Korea, Iran and Iraq....  Hubert Vedrine has the vapors, according to Colin Powell, pressured by President Bush's adviser Condoleeza Rice, whose Euro-phobia is only equal to the offhandedness of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with respect to his partners."


"Taking Bush Seriously"


Right-of-center Le Figaro had this piece by Pierre Rousselin (2/18):  "Denouncing the 'simplistic' nature of such and such a statement is a bit...simplistic.  When George W. Bush spoke of an Axis of Evil...he was not attempting to rival with the sophistication and brilliant powers of analysis of Hubert Vedrine.  He wanted to rally the support of public opinion, we cannot begin to understand how traumatized this public opinion still is after the events that took place five months ago.  He wanted to send out a message of determination to those who support terrorism.  Whether Iran, Iraq and North Korea have anything to do with each other is irrelevant....  We cannot at the same time criticize the U.S. for having allowed Islamic fundamentalism to emerge in Afghanistan or elsewhere and then for intervening against these same fundamentalists.  Instead we should note that the U.S. did what it said it would do.  First in Afghanistan, now in the Philippines.  But also in Yemen...and soon maybe in Somalia, in Algeria....  There is nothing simple about this, and even less 'simplistic.'  It may be reductionist for Washington to base its foreign policy on the fight against terrorism, but we are going to have to get used to it. The Clinton era is over. The Republican Bush will not be the voice of human rights and universal peace.  He has found an enemy and a set a goal to win the war.  It is time to take him seriously."


"Transatlantic Irritation"


Left-of-center Le Monde's editorial read (2/17):  "Obviously in France as in Germany there were ulterior motives (for the declarations made by their foreign ministers on U.S. foreign policy)...but the European Commissioner Chris Patten cannot be suspected of electoral motives or anti-Americanism.  Yet he said the same thing...that the U.S. should use its leadership role to promote international cooperation rather than to continue thinking in strictly military terms....  Feelings may be running high, but this debate is especially symptomatic of the fact that the international situation is assessed differently (by Europe and the U.S.)...  It is true that sometimes Europeans do not see eye to eye, that they hold another truth even if they do not have the same means with which to defend it.  Is the fact of thinking differently a crime of lese-superpower?"


“The Return Of The Reagan Era”


Alain Frachon in Saturday’s left-of-center Le Monde drew a parallel between presidents Bush and Reagan in their handling of foreign policy in a commentary (2/16):  “In the air in Washington, in the political discourse as in the attitude, floats a scent that is a medley of the Reagan years.  It smells of a return to a type of Cold War, of patriotism as showy as it is military and of an economic policy that is the product of magic incantations....  The enemy has changed but Bush’s response to the axis of evil resembles Reagan's argument against the evil empire.  The Bush administration’s foreign and defense policies are centered around one single guiding principle: to militarily fight against...the axis of evil.....  The rhetoric is the same, organized around a few simple notions marked by the absolute conviction of standing for good.  It is a rhetoric that after September 11 coincides perfectly with the mood of the country and with what Americans think about the situation.”


"Washington, The Axis Of Evil And Iraq"


Left-of-center Le Monde's Patrick Jarreau opined (2/15):  "It would be a complete mistake to understand Mr. Bush's comments, namely the administration's desire to drive Saddam Hussein from power, solely in light of the mid-term elections....  It would also be a mistake to see his comments as intended to keep the anti-terrorist and patriotic fires burning....  Finally, it would be a mistake to believe that the president is only trying to stick the pieces of the policy he had tried to launch before September 11...back together.  For those who are still in doubt, the successive declarations made by Colin Powell approving the Bush 'axis of evil' expression and increasing the pressure on Iraq, demonstrate a political turning point since January 29....  His backing of Mr. Bush's the latter the support needed to rally to his side that faction of the public opinion who saw the former joint chief as the only true multilateralist in the government....  It would be an error to think that this political turning point focuses only on increasing pressure on Iraq...the message is much more substantial....  This 'decoupling' of Islamic terrorism and those countries seeking to obtain weapons of mass destruction is especially important in that no connection has ever been able to be made between the two....  Washington today says: 'those who are not with us are against us.'  To those in Europe who are outraged by the brutality of these words, the Americans ask 'what else can you suggest?'"


"Iraq Or The Unattainable International Coalition"


Right-of-center economic Les Echos said in its editorial (2/15):  "The U.S. is very far from having built a global coalition (on the subject of a possible conflict in Iraq).  Though the options are still open. Bush Junior seems to have closed the door on the possibility of an American air raid... after putting Teheran and Baghdad in the same basket.  He has also cut himself off from the Shiites in Iraq... The only solution left is to increase the pressure on Iraq diplomatically. But this seems doubtful. The post-September 11 solidarity with the U.S. has evaporated. To the point that answering Hubert Vedrine's statement on the 'simplistic' nature of U.S. foreign policy, Colin Powell, in the Financial Times, said that the French minister 'had the vapors.'  Yet Chris Patten, the European Commissioner, said that not only was Washington's attitude simplistic but absolutist as well."


"Washington Directly Threatens Iraq"


Washington correspondent for right-of-center Le Figaro, Jean-Jacques Mevel, commented (2/14):  "It is the Secretary of State Colin Powell, usually described as the voice of reason, who formally pointed the finger at Saddam Hussein who is once again public enemy number one in the U.S.  In the choice of words as in his analysis of the situation, the General/Diplomat is henceforth on the side of the hawks in the Bush administration....  Now, the Bush team is united as one and the Iraqi crisis that is taking shape will leave little room for France, Germany or even Great Britain....  Will this be the final conclusion of the Gulf war?  In terms of diplomacy, there are still a few months to go, even if the American president seems as unwilling as his Iraqi bOte noire to compromise."


"American Hyper-Unilateralism"


Pascal Riche argued in left-of-center Liberation (2/13): "Those who thought they saw the U.S. adopt a less unilateral approach to the world in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks have recanted.  After the quick fall of Kabul...the U.S. suddenly changed its tune.  The hyper-power seems to have invented something new: hyper-unilateralism....   American officials, carried away by the idea of leading a 'just war'...feel sure of themselves and are convinced they can handle the world alone. And why shouldn't they?  For Bush neo-conservatives, what is good for the U.S. is good for the world....  In this context, multilateralism is considered to be a cumbersome constraint.  Cooperation is one thing, but multilateralism requires international treaties and sharing power....  The Bush administration's unilateral policy goes perfectly with the traditional isolationism of the Republican voter....  In this new context, America's European allies have a major role to play, that of safeguarding (the world against madness.)  The world needs Europe...even if Europe's military capabilities weigh little against America's.  But its economic and trade potential are comparable to that of the U.S....  Threatened by the possible abuse of their own power, the Americans need to hear Europe's call.  Great Britain, America's closest ally, belongs to the EU.  So does America's oldest ally, France. And when the EU manages to speak with a single voice, America is forced to listen."


"Iran:  Washington's Number One Enemy"


Jean-Jacques Mevel held in right-of-center Le Figaro (2/5):  "The White House has taken on the task of darkening the image of a regime which Europe and even the U.S. were beginning to find acceptable.... The White House is placing Iran at the center of two world terrorisms: anti-American terrorism to the East, in Afghanistan, and anti-Israeli terrorism to the West....  For the U.S. the failed peace effort in the Middle East is more a consequence of fundamentalist terrorism than America's indifference....  Sharon will no doubt appreciate this explanation....  Whether justified or not, the accusations made against Teheran will put an end to Secretary Powell's hopes for dTtente with the Iranian regime....  The U.S. is making it clear it does not want to make a gesture towards Iran's reformers."


"A Military March"


Pascal Aubert wrote in centrist La Tribune (2/5):  "Even if Congress is playing hard to get, President Bush is sure to get most of the huge military budget he is asking for.  If only because the representatives who need to be reelected do not want to appear unpatriotic....  Like Reagan twenty years ago, President Bush seems to conceive of America's relationship to the rest of the world in one way only: through force and military might.  This was confirmed by his choice of words: after the 'empire of evil' it is the 'axis of evil.'...  The attacks of September 11 and the martial response adopted by the U.S. president increases concern for world stability in the years to come."


GERMANY:  "Copycat U.S."


Rolf Paasch noted in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (2/20):  "The historically inaccurate analogy of the 'evil axis' is a sign that Bush is more interested in pushing Republican interests in Baghdad, Tehran, and Pyongyang than in correctly analyzing threats.  The startling growth of the U.S. defense budget reveals to what extent the policies of the Bush administration is being guided by biographical factors and ideological criteria.  Against a backdrop of fear, all conservative wishes are being fulfilled.  The money has been given to the rich or promised to the military.  Without the 'evil axis,' Bush would have no agenda for the rest of his tenure.  More is at stake than rhetorical differences between the United States and Europe.  The Bush administration has strategically refocused all of its policies in reaction to September 11, while the Europeans, who have had plenty of experience with terrorism, continue to embrace the traditional laws of foreign policy.  It is necessary to acknowledge these differences in opinion and mentality."


"Too Much Hysteria In Debate Over Iraq"


Washington correspondent Michael Backfisch stated in business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (2/20):  "Bombs on Baghdad?  There is too much hysteria in the debate, as Colin Powell said.  Bush, who did not have a clear-cut political strategy before September 11, has found his mission with the fight against terror.  Since the anti-terror war is generating a high degree of support and political legitimacy at home, Bush is working on establishing a long-term perspective.  Both the upcoming Congressional elections and the 2004 presidential race need to be seen against this backdrop.  Bush's harsh rhetoric is supposed to solidify his image as the leader of the only remaining superpower.  It is also meant to deter countries that support terror.  Its main purpose is to have a disciplinary impact, not so much to prepare the ground for a military strike.  The double strategy of saber-rattling and negotiation offers is meant to trigger confusion and heighten pressure."


"Bush Plans War Against Iraq"


Regional radio station Suedwestrundfunk of Stuttgart (2/19) aired the following commentary by G. Weiss:   "The foreign policy experts of all German parties agree with the assessment of government experts:  Bush plans to wage a war against Iraq and insists on Saddam Hussein's ouster.  In the fight against terrorism, we are now faced with a basic decision....  The United States has decided to change its strategy and the consequences are unforeseeable.  The fight concentrates not only on the terrorists of September 11, but, as a preventive measure, on all the breeding grounds of terrorism which need to be destroyed.  But who is considered dangerous is a decision that is in line with U.S. national interests, and that is why there will be war against Iraq.  There is great concern in Berlin that it will be difficult to urge the U.S. president to give up his crusade.  If, after the U.S. Congressional elections, Iraq is about to disintegrate, if the whole Middle and Near East has turned into a powder keg, U.S. soldiers will move on.  But without reflection--like these days in Afghanistan--they will leave it to the Europeans to clear the rubble and pay a lot of money for reconstruction." 


"The Old Problem"


Berthold Kohler had this to say in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/20):  "The EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy, Javier Solana, has rightfully called upon the allies on both sides of the Atlantic not to lose track of their future polices by mutually accusing each other.  The renaissance of prejudices on either side of the Atlantic could quickly widen the rift in the West, which has developed on the need of a military strike against Iraq.  It will now already be difficult to talk the Americans out of their view that old, but powerful anti-American reflexes have been revived.  A while ago, those European politicians who are now insinuating that the Bush administration shows 'dangerous instincts' and has a 'simplistic view of the world' praised the circumspection and steadiness of the U.S. government."


"Cool Heads?  Harsh Words!"


Nikolaus Blome maintained in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (2/19):  "The United States will not watch Saddam's antics much longer.  But as tempting as it may be to topple the dictator, much will depend on when and how it is done.  Then the German government will also have to make up its mind whether to participate or stay out of it.  It is up to the Americans to tip the scales in one direction or the other.  The country does not need military support from Europe.  Nevertheless, the United States should not take this as a reason for demanding blind obedience. There can be common action only for a common cause, for a coolly planned enterprise that promises more good than harm."


"Washington Out Of Control"


Detlef Luetgert commented on ARD-TV's (national channel one) late evening newscast Tagesthemen (2/19):   "In a national elation, the hardliner administration in Washington seems to have gotten out of control on the international stage.  To strike against Iraq at a time when the United States feels so strong, this can cause a horrible conflagration with unforeseeable consequences in the Arab world.  With the threat to enter into such a crusade on its own, Washington is about to push such organizations as the United Nations and NATO into a state of insignificance.  Now it would be up to Europe to speak with one voice and to counter this superpower arrogance of the United states.  But this will not happen as long as Tony Blair in Great Britain almost plays the role of a U.S. vice president, France re-cultivates its old anti-U.S. reflexes, and German politicians continue to produce unclarities and contradictions in the election campaign.  Such a dissonant Europe is unable to call back George W. Bush if he runs through oil fields with a burning torch."


"Bush Doesn't Give A Hoot"


Juergen Burchardt commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (2/18):  "Bush appears incapable of not reminding the Europeans of the fact that he, in the end, does not give a hoot about their opinions and warnings related to the volatile Middle East.  It is obvious that Bush likes the role of global policeman.  The Europeans must let the U.S. administration know with one voice that they cannot and will not participate in this deadly game.  Anyone who is staying silent now is guilty of supporting a dangerous U.S. military imperialism.  The proven transatlantic alliance is currently facing a difficult test under the leadership of a U.S. president who is apparently not up to the task."


"The United States Fights, Europe Pays"


Christian Wernicke judged in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (2/18):  "What separates Europeans and Americans is their understanding of what all countries are striving for in the end: security.  George W. Bush appears to be able to sleep well as long as he knows that his army is well-armed.  The economic deterioration of large areas and the self-destruction of the planet by a lack of climate control do not scare him.  The latter concerns are what the Europeans focus on, hoping to prevent the worst and dry out some of the 'roots of terrorism.'  But as soon as things get serious militarily, they have to ask for help from the superpower, even in their immediate neighborhood.  The Europeans are right to criticize U.S. arrogance.  However, the claim to moral superiority does not help them much.  As Bush's junior partners they can rely only on the power of good arguments and on the hope that Bush will learn.  The first lesson is to keep cool vis-a-vis Iraq."


"Where Europe Can No Longer Go"


Christoph von Marschall observed in a front-page editorial in centrist Tagesspiegel of Berlin (2/18):  "Is not the United States putting the very values at risk it claims to defend if it attacks Iraq in the name of universal rights while simultaneously ignoring international law?  Europe was able to understand the legitimacy of the war on Afghanistan....  The United States had been attacked and had the right to self-defense.  So does not the United States have the right strike Saddam's arms factories pre-emptively?  Here the Europeans have understandable scruples....  The example of Afghanistan is a warning to take great care in determining whether the danger Saddam represents is not being exaggerated in order to prepare a war.  The first step has to be the legal route via the United Nations.  If this option fails, the Europeans will understand why only weapons can help against Saddam.  But if the Americans do not even try the UN, Europe can no longer follow the U.S. course."


"Baghdad, Not Washington"


Berthold Kohler had this to say in a front-page editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/15):  "Now that Secretary of State Colin Powell has closed the rhetorical gap to his president and expressly supported President Bush's description of the 'Axis of Evil,' the U.S. allies in Europe and the rest of the world will have to prick up their ears.  That does not mean that Cold Warriors are now the only ones in the White House discussing where and when the next battle in this war against international terrorism should be fought....  Europeans need not fear that the United States will leash out in the near future.  A military attack against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would require intensive military and political preparations that would take months...but Washington has already started laying the ground work, and nobody should harbor the illusion about the U.S. determination to topple Saddam's regime....  And even if it carries out the campaign in the name of September 11, Washington will not wait for a sworn oath of confirmation that Iraq supported the al-Qaida network.  'Ground Zero' exhorts Americans to defend themselves not only against hijackers, but also, now more than ever, against state terrorists, who have weapons of mass destruction at their disposal.  Other nations, in their own interest, should not forget this.... That is why other nations should be watching Baghdad, not Washington.  Saddam can prove that he is not building nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons any time he likes by complying with UN resolutions and by allowing UN weapons inspectors to return to the country.  This also the lever with which the Europeans could achieve most, or, at any rate, more than with their continuous complaining the United States does not listen to its weak allies."


"Iraq In The Cross Hairs"


Ewald Stein opined in an editorial in business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (2/15):  "Even though George W. Bush's 'Axis of Evil' consists of three states, Iran and North Korea obviously get a grace period in his fight against international terrorism.  Momentarily, Washington is giving highest priority to Iraq, and Saddam Hussein's ouster seems to be clear....  Even though U.S. intelligence services are unable to present clear evidence of a direct or indirect Iraqi involvement in the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the regime in Baghdad has thus far stubbornly refused to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to the country.  With such a decision, Iraq is exposing itself to the suspicion of producing weapons of mass destruction.  And in the view of the U.S. government, this suspicion offers enough arguments to weaken the accusation that the threatened operation in Iraq is a campaign of revenge....  However, it is not necessary to show great consideration for European warnings against an attack on Iraq....  Nevertheless, European politicians should make themselves useful:  By using all available diplomatic channels, Baghdad could probably be prompted to accept all well-known UN resolutions concerning the control of arms programs in return for a lifting of sanctions."


"America On An Instrument Flight"


Matthias Nass wrote in a front-page report in center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (2/14):  "All of a sudden, the mood has changed.  The fight against terrorism, which Americans and Europeans began together, is now driving them apart five months later.  Power and high-handedness, it is not a nice picture that America is offering us these days.  With the word of the 'Axis of Evil' Washington's foreign policy has derailed.  President George Bush now wants to lead the country into the second stage of the anti-terrorism war.  The aim is Saddam Hussein's ouster, possibly this year.  However, thus far, nobody has been able to prove that Iraq is behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or behind the anthrax attacks.  But those who want to oust Saddam must use ground forces.  Staging are this time is probably Turkey but Europeans, Russians, and Arabs fear a conflagration in the Middle East where the intifada has escalated the situation anyway.  That is why the Europeans are rightfully opposed to the war logic used in Washington.  Nobody really knows what kind of poisons Saddam has brewed together in his toxic kitchens since he threw weapons inspectors out of his country in 1998.  That is why pressure on Saddam is right to allow the inspectors to return to the country.  'Intelligent' sanctions must replace the previous embargo policy.  As the last resort, pressure can also mean the use of force.  But the sanctions agreed upon by the UN Security Council must be implemented.  An attack on Saddam as a consequence of September 11 would be the wrong war and the wrong reason at the wrong time."


"Lonely Superpower"


Michael Stuermer judged in an editorial in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (2/13):  "The United States thinks in global, nuclear, and unilateral terms, while the Europeans are thinking in domestic and regional terms and love their disagreements.  The Americans know that nuclear weapons in the hands of criminals can plunge the world into chaos.  That is why they force themselves to think not only in defense structures but also to act in a preventive way, like now with respect to Iraq.  This is terrifying Europe and invites [the Europeans] to teach moral lessons.  But the European virtue is based on impotence, not bravery.  And the Europeans owe it to nobody but themselves that they are so weak toward the lonely superpower."


"Against The Duty To Act As A Vassal"


Peter Brinkmann in left-of-center tabloid Berliner Kurier (2/13):  "Foreign Minister Fischer is assailing the United States, the chancellor the EU, and the president of the German Council of Jews is cautiously criticizing the policy of the Jewish state toward the Palestinians.  It was time to do so.  'Unrestricted Solidarity' with the United States was a quickly spoken word which the majority of Germans have never understood.  Now it is clear that the United States is using a broad, an excessively broad interpretation of this term, thus coming close to a dangerously great war.  It may consider many nations in the world its enemy, but we should not 'unrestrictedly' follow the.… U.S. president in his activities.  Loyalty to the Alliance does not mean duty to act like a vassal.  NATO is still a defensive alliance, not an aggressive pact.  We should not allow the United States to induce us to follow a crusade mentality.  We do not wage crusades, we wage a clearly limited war against terrorism. In the future, Europe must play a greater role and co-determine the tasks and the limits in this war.  And if the clear words of the foreign minister will result in slowing down the United States in its belligerent lust against Iraq and Iran, then this would be a good policy."

"Iran's Two Faces"


Michael Stuermer wrote in an editorial in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (2/12): "Iran, unlike Iraq and North Korea, has two faces, which makes it difficult to interact with the country....  The western-oriented technocrats have the majority in parliament and in the government.  However, final decisions, backed by fanatic revolutionary guards and the secret police, lie with the Mullah theocracy.  On the one hand, Iran closes down the long-abandoned offices of Afghan warlord Hekmatyar.  On the other hand, it helps Al Qaida fighters to escape....  Iran has two faces and two ways of conducting politics.  The Americans see the dark side, while the Europeans see the bright one.  This is not a basis for a shared strategy."


"Self-Centeredness And Indifference"


Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/12):  "What gets the Europeans riled up is the experience of their lack of influence and powerlessness, at least in situations when it really matters. Their outrage focuses on a United States that has quickly recovered after being wounded and has taken matters in its own hand without wanting to be slowed down by the concerned, the unwilling, or the incapable.  Anyone who believes this does not bode well for NATO is probably pretty close to the truth....  It is known that Europe can be become a serious U.S. partner only if it increases the vitality of its economy and begins to match political aspiration and material reality.  So far, this approach has not really been tried.  What the United States and Europe need is a framework in which to negotiate their different perspectives and develop common strategies.  After all, where is the political dialogue taking place about the Baghdad threat, the status quo in Iran, and the strategy for the Middle East?  Anyone who is not indifferent about the transatlantic partnership must give an answer to this question.  Strong words by Europeans, at least partially rooted in anti-American sentiment, are leading us astray.  U.S. arrogance is the other side of the problem and creates opposition.  This much is true: The 'new' honeymoon is definitely over."


"Dangerous Game"


Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg maintained (2/8):  "The U.S. administration is right to call Saddam a threat....  Almost nothing speaks in favor of Saddam's willingness to give up on weapons of mass destruction without military pressure.  But good reasons are not enough for a war.  Before the first bombs get dropped, Washington must answer two questions:  Who is to succeed Saddam?  And which alliance is supposed to wage war against him?....  Unilateral U.S. military action would be counter-productive.  It would fan Arab hatred for the West, deepen the Europeans' mistrust, and break apart the anti-terror alliance.  The United States needs allies--not militarily, but politically."


"New World Order"


Josef Joffe noted in a front-page editorial in center-left weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (2/7):  "Can the United States, the greatest power since Rome, get along without Europe?  Does Europe, equal but not equally powerful, want to try it without the United States?  No, the United States cannot.  How does the United States want to organize sanctions, embargoes, money flow control, police and secret service work against the 'evil trio' without international allies?  Especially in the area of non-military defense, Europe is first-class among the coalition partners....  The Bush supporters believe that they can find their partners on an ad hoc basis, that the nation can be strong only by itself.  However, the United States has always had the most diplomatic success when taking into consideration the needs and vulnerabilities of others....  Bush Junior must still learn this if he wants to avoid a 'coalition of the frustrated' against the United States.  And Europe?...  Anyone who wants to be a global player needs a lot more military strength than Europe can muster....  If Europe has more power, it will be able to have more influence in the world and on the United States--this giant that fills Europe with fear, envy, and admiration....  In the 21st century, power comes from an economy producing profits and a culture capable of radiating outward."


"Dictator On Probation"


Christoph von Marschall observed in centrist Tagesspiegel of Berlin (2/7):  All of the governments expecting that the United States let the UN take the lead with respect to Iraq are taking on great responsibility.  Theoretically invoking the UN's monopoly on using force is easy.  But can one expect the United States to sit tight and wait for a possible attack with weapons of mass destruction if the rules of international law do not offer reliable protection?  Anyone in favor of UN control of Iraq must make sure that it is effective and be prepared to accept the consequences:  If Saddam undermines the inspections once again, they must be imposed with military force if necessary."


"Bush Is Baghdad's Best Friend"


Peter Muench judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (2/6):  "The louder the battle cries from Washington, the more determined the objections put forth by the European allies.  All this should please the dictator.  The more the United States is targeting Iraq as part of the anti-terror campaign, the more statements of solidarity from the Muslim world are reaching the Iraqi leader.  George W. Bush is helping his arch enemy out of isolation while maneuvering himself into isolation....  With its campaign against Iraq, the United States has started down a path that is both politically risky and militarily dangerous....  Saddam is a burden for his country, the region, and the world.  Nevertheless, the question about what a military campaign could accomplish and what it could lose needs to be answered first."


"Europe, Limited"


Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger noted in a front-page editorial in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/5):  "Europeans are certainly correct when they say that security is not exclusively a military matter, and that the fight against terrorism needs to apply many tools.  But it is believe that the use of force has no role or only a subordinate role to play.  And as legitimate as the charges of unilateralism and self-interest are at times, there are no grounds for complaints of a general nature, for these would ignore the impact of Europe's own--alarming--shortcomings.  What use is an ally who has trouble with logistics and who would prefer not to be entrusted with leadership responsibilities.  The conclusion is painful, but unavoidable:  NATO now has two classes of members....  Only genuine partners can hope to be heard in Washington.  As a limited partner, Europe is merely hiding its weaknesses behind complaints of U.S. dominance."


ITALY:  "America Should Fight, And Europe Thinks It Can Avoid It"


Professor Carlo Pelanda opined in elite, classical liberal Il Foglio (2/16): "The growing differences between Europe and America on how to continue the war against terrorism do not depend only on different views, but there is now a new reason.  Washington...has good reason to think that a nuclear or bio-chemical attack might take place on its territory....  Therefore, it cannot but eliminate, in advance and at the global level, the threat at its roots--which means to bring down the hostile regimes in those states that have weapons of mass destruction...and, indeed, this is not an imperialistic turn, but it is a must.... Those who are hostile to the U.S. have a great interest in not attacking Europe, in order to ensure it keeps taking more and more distance from the U.S. and, thus, splits the Western coalition apart."


"Between a Manichean America And An Unrealistic Europe"


Alberto Negri opined in leading business Il Sole 24 Ore (2/16): "Bush is launching part two of the New World Order and Europe is not ready to stand out.... It only waves its arms about to make America note that on the road to Iraq and Iran...there is the Mediterranean Sea and Europe.... In the Balkans the U.S. filled the vacuum left by Europe.  And the same is happening in Central Asia....  n Manas, the U.S. is building  its biggest air base in Central Asia.... Bush's New World Order now only needs the Gulf, which is Iraq and Iran.... Sometimes, the Americans can seem Manichean to the Europeans, sometimes they seem even incompetent; but this time President Bush, by taking full advantage of the occasion of the fight against terrorism, seems decided to act as a pupil of Machiavelli, to which Europe only replies with a weak refusal."


"Countdown For Iraq" 


A front-page analysis in elite, classical liberal Il Foglio read (2/15):  "George W. the presence of...Pervez Musharraf, during the latter's official visit...reiterated his famous phrase 'make no mistake about it'...don't think that we are only threatening without taking action.  Silence then fell regarding 'action,' interrupted by...some newspapers, like the Guardian...reporting on the plans that are supposedly sitting on the desk of the Oval Office.  Also the theoretical Prince of the war on Iraq, Defense Under Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, went to Capitol Hill to say nothing other than claiming that too many rumors are circulating on that issue, and that the only useful thing to do is to listen and take the President's remarks seriously.  It is not a matter of if, but rather how and when, as a White House officer has explained, adding that the decisions are no longer going to be taken at the Department of State, but at the Pentagon and the National Security Council, meaning by Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice, and no longer or not only by Colin Powell....  The secretary of state, going along...reiterates that the United States has always been after Saddam Hussein and it won't give up obtaining the green light for smart sanctions from a reluctant United Nations."


"Bush Warns Saddam Hussein: 'We Will Defend Ourselves With All Means'"


New York correspondent Arturo Zampaglione wrote in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (2/14): "George W. Bush's umpteenth warning to Baghdad--issued yesterday at the conclusion of the first visit to the White House by Pakistani President Musharraf--suggests that the countdown has already begun for a U.S. intervention against Iraq.  Some in Washington are even making hypotheses about a date--the end of August, i.e., six months from now.  'Saddam Hussein needs to understand I'm serious about defending our country,' said Bush yesterday without, however, disclosing the various options that are being considered.  'I will keep them secret,' he said with an eloquent smile.  Certainly the White House has resolved internal differences, and even Colin Powell--the only real 'dove' within the administration--has become convinced of the need for intervention, diplomatic first, and then, possibly, military.... The United States knows well that any attempts at getting rid of Saddam Hussein will be received with skepticism in Europe, and that the reaction in Russia and in the Arab nations will be problematic.  But the success achieved in the Afghan war has strengthened the unilateral approach to foreign policy on the part of Bush and his collaborators."  Regarding Pakistani President Musharraf's visit, Zampaglione notes: "The Pakistani President-dictator was received at the White House with all honors: a sign of gratitude for Islamabad's contributions to the war against the Taliban and al-Qaida."


"Bush Speeding Up, Attack On Iraq In May"


An article by Washington correspondent Alberto Pasolini Zanelli in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale (2/13): "Everything seems to be ready for an American war against Iraq.  The Pentagon even allows for a date to circulate, albeit a little bit vague.  Nothing is going to happen until May, not because of climate considerations or because the U.S. military machine is not ready, but because that date should provide a suitable diplomatic excuse.  The UN has on its agenda a debate about the re-definition of economic sanctions against Baghdad.... It is unlikely that President Bush will let himself be influenced by 'doves,' also because terrorism continues to scare America.... And while there are many reservations abroad, there has been no open criticism.  The Israelis are, naturally, enthusiastic; the Jordanians can only say 'yes.'  Vice President Cheney will visit about ten countries next month and plans to obtain from Saudi Arabia, as well, a concrete form of support that will include the permission to involve U.S. troops stationed there in the attack."


"But Baghdad Is No Kabul"


A front-page analysis by Alberto Ronchey in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (2/13):  "Iraq after Afghanistan?.... For now, in Washington's consultations with its allies, the possibility of 'closing the game soon with Saddam' has been controversial.  A decision has been suspended, or postponed, for a number of reasons.  The mission in Afghanistan has not been completed yet, the guerrillas can continue with the support of tribal fighters, the extensive al-Qaida network has not been completely dismantled.  To attack Iraq, given the circumstances, involves the risk of dealing with too many unknown factors.... But what should be done against Saddam?  As we have already seen, periodical raids against military infrastructures are not enough.  But we can at least create a vast political and strategic anti-terrorism coalition that would include not only Western nations and the most exposed Third World countries, but also the Russians and the Chinese.  Strong arguments towards countering both terrorism and the spreading of nuclear or biological weapons seem to be prevailing in Moscow and Bejiing.... The most important thing is for Saddam to realize that he is under attack from different directions, due to his very risky isolation."


“Saddam Seeking UN Protection To Avoid Day Of Reckoning With Bush”


Washington correspondent Alberto Pasolini Zanelli noted (2/6) in pro-government, leading center-right Il Giornale:  “On the same day when President Bush, after a long silence, resumed talking about bin Laden...Colin Powell resumed talking like Powell.  The U.S. secretary of state has re-emerged from a phase of relative obscurity to offer his own interpretation--more acceptable from a diplomatic point of view and, therefore, more limiting--of Bush’s ultimatum to the three countries of the ‘evil axis.’… Everybody knows that, in the ‘evil sandwich,’ Iran and North Korea are the bread and Iraq is the beef, i.e., the real target.  Saddam Hussein has realized that as well, and he has launched a diplomatic counteroffensive, which began with his message to the UN secretary general offering to again discuss the return of UN inspectors and their role.  Annan has delayed a response, and it is obvious that he is consulting with the U.S. administration, which does not like Iraq’s offer.”


"The European Union Disagrees With The United States: 'Dialogue With Iran'"


A report from Brussels in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore (2/6): "Europe is more and more clearly taking sides with Iran, isolating it from the 'evil axis' in which President Bush placed Iran, putting it on the same level as North Korea and Iraq.... The European allies have always preferred a conciliatory approach that would engage moderate elements of the Iranian regime to the American policy of closure, and they are now accusing Bush of jeopardizing this style...  While being aware of some obscure areas, the Europeans realize, at the same time, that a battle between conservatives and reformists is under way in Iran, and reiterate that trying to help the moderate is better than isolating them....  For its part, Iran yesterday addressed the United States after the recent exchanges of accusations, asking it for help against al-Qaida militants."


RUSSIA:  "U.S. Should Be More Cautious"


Centrist army Krasnaya Zvezda front-paged this by Vadim Markushin (2/20): "The Americans, as they pursue a policy of global domination, ought to be more cautious if they really care about stability in the world.  They ought to watch their language not to strain things where they are strained, as it is, and they ought to use the word 'force' more sparingly, of course.  Much as the world respects force, it can't respect it infinitely."


"Aides' Peace-Loving Rhetoric Is Just A Smoke Screen"


Boris Volkhonskiy said in the reformist business-oriented Kommersant (2/19): "President Bush's stand is quite clear: should the United States decide to strike any of its adversaries, it would do so, without looking over its shoulder to hear what its closest allies say....  The peace-loving rhetoric by the President's aides is just a smoke screen for the White House's real plans."


"A New Anti-Iraq Coalition Is Unlikely"


Sergei Sumbayev contended in the centrist army Krasnaya Zvezda (2/19):  "The Americans, should they attack Iraq, would hardly have international support or be able to form a new anti-Iraq coalition the way they did in 1991.  They would also find it difficult to use NATO's military machine."


"A Blow To Iranian Reformers"


Aleksandr Timofeyev commented in the reformist Vremya Novostei (2/19): "Moscow does not consider Iran an 'evil' state, but it has had to be very careful, balancing between the war-hungry America and the offended 'pariahs.'  Even so, Moscow, clearly, is not going to phase down its cooperation with Tehran."


"Powell's Statement Ambiguous"


Georgiy Bovt and Aleksandr Shumilin said in the reformist Izvestiya (2/14): "Powell has attempted to comfort the world public by denying that the U.S. president may start a war against the 'axis' countries any day now.  The soothing statement sounded somewhat ambiguous.  Speaking in the Senate's budget committee, the secretary emphasized that the United States was still determined to replace the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.  So a military strike has not been ruled out."


"Under Attack, Iraqis Will Rally to Saddam"


Georgiy Mirskiy mused in the reformist Vremya MN (2/13): "Few people sympathize with the Baghdad dictator.  Even fewer will accept the Americans usurping the right to change governments in foreign countries at will.  In that sense, the operation may prove counterproductive.  In fact, it may end in a disaster."


"U.S. May Split Coalition, NATO"


Yuriy Pankov said in the centrist army Krasnaya Zvezda (2/8): "Since Washington's utterances on the world's 'Axis of Evil,' the Europeans, not without reason, have been worried that the United States is trying to use the antiterrorist campaign to settle scores with its old opponents abroad. That impedes the antiterrorist effort and whips up anti-American and anti-Western sentiments in the Muslim world.  Also, it risks the future of the antiterrorist coalition and NATO....  The Americans, still recovering from the September 11 shock, believe they can win the war on their own by turning their country into a military fortress and striking whoever they feel is necessary, without damaging their own security.  In the process, Washington hopes it can finally 'punish the bad guys' and dictate to other countries.  This is really odd, trying to ensure your own security by setting yourself against the rest of the world and acting the besieged fortress.  It is commonly known where witch-hunting can lead.  Apparently, Russia and Europe can't go along with Washington's policy, which adds a weird twist to the formula of the antiterrorist coalition, making it look like Russia plus NATO minus the United States."


"Bad Move"


Boris Petrovich commented in the reformist Noviye Izvestiya (2/8): "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that not even Iraq's hypothetical consent to accept international inspection will stop President George Bush from wanting to topple Saddam Hussein.  To dismiss that Saddam may adjust his policy, however hypothetical this may be, is a bad diplomatic move.  To say that the current regime in Baghdad will be removed, whether or not it submits to the UN, is to help Iraqi propaganda and suggests inconsistency and incompetence.  Powell couldn't pick a worse time for his statement.  The only plausible explanation for why he acted the way he did is that the 'war party' in the Administration has resolved to open a second antiterrorist front."


ALBANIA:  "200,000 American Soldiers Ready For Iraq"


Medium-circulation Koha Jond carried this op-ed piece (2/18):  "It appears that the second phase will be nothing but an attack on Iraq....  The Americans measured the pulse of the Europeans and the Siberian bear, Russia, regarding an attack on the dictatorial regime of Sadam Hussein....  Soon, Cheney [and] Wolfowitz will visit Ankara and this will be another diplomatic step towards the war on Iraq....  Powell, showing the resolve of Americans to change the 20-year-old dictatorship of Hussein said, 'The despotic regime in Iraq should either change or be changed.'"


AUSTRIA:   "How To Land Your Friends In Trouble"


Foreign editor Livia Klingl commented in mass-circulation Kurier (2/7):  "It would seem that the 21st century's new but not exactly innovative strategy for dealing with unpleasant contemporaries calls for military operations instead of negotiations or political pressure....  Perhaps George Bush merely wants to get the American general public's attention away from problems a little closer to home.  Perhaps he wants to correct the 'mistakes' his father made in the last Gulf War....  Whatever the reason, as a counterpart to the 'axis of evil,' an 'axis of good' including the US, Israel and Turkey is currently taking shape. Their prime targets: Saddam Hussein, the Iranian mullahs, the Hisbollah and other terrorist groups, even Yasser Arafat. This development can only harm the anti-terrorism alliance, which, let's be honest, is a true masterpiece."


BELGIUM:  "Warning About Anti-Americanism At U.S.-EU Meeting"


Diplomatic correspondent Mia Doornaert observed in independent Christian-Democrat De Standaard (2/19):  "The Americans may not be aware it but an anti-Americanism is growing in Western Europe -- which must not be ignored if we want to avoid a deep gap between the United States and Europe.  That was the message of several Western European journalists at the first 'Annual Atlantic Journalists Forum' which started in Brussels yesterday....  Journalists from several Western European countries said that, this time, the problem is not the traditional criticism (of the United States) but an anti-Americanism that is much more widespread and deeper.  It was remarkable how short-lived the general feeling of solidarity and compassion with the United States was after September 11.  At the newspaper we received a large number of e-mails and letters with the malicious message that 'the arrogant United States also should feel what it is to be attacked.'  There was a new mood--also in popular talk shows--that turned the Americans, from victims, into the guilty party."


"Question No Longer Whether, But When And How"


Foreign editor Paul De Bruyn argued in conservative Christian-Democrat Gazet van Antwerpen (2/19):  "Powell denies it, but the indications are becoming stronger and stronger that the United States is preparing for an attack against Iraq.  The question no longer is whether there will be such an action, but when and how....  The U.S. plans are causing cold sweat among the Europeans.  Bush should not count on much support.   Even the British have serious reserve. Turkey, a crucial country for an attack against Saddam, does not feel anything for such an action either.  There is even less support for an action against Iran.  The manner in which Bush in his State of the Union added Iran to the 'axis of evil' together with Iraq and North Korea was ill received in Europe.  The EU is intensively tightening the relationship with President Khatami.  No one less than Tony Blair is the motor of that rapprochement....  The main danger is that the United States views military power as the only tool for its security," the EU Commissioner of External Relations, Chris Patten, thinks.  The Americans will not be able to act without Europe.  But, that is not the reasoning of the hawks in Washington.  They prefer Europe to drop out.  In that event, nobody will be in their way and they will have the opportunity to do what they want."


“George W. Bush’s Eyes Are Focused On Iraq” 


Foreign editor Frank Schloemer held in independent De Morgen (2/16):  “Bush does not make it a secret that he wants to get rid of Iraqi President Hussein’s regime, that he is preparing for that, and that, if need be, he will take care of that task all by himself.... What if, except British Prime Minister Tony Blair, almost no other world leaders are willing to join the adventure?  It will be an adventure--one can be certain of that.  Just like one can be certain that there will be worldwide opposition....   Moscow has warned Washington that an American attack will deal a lethal blow to the international coalition against terror.  Some prefer to go on with Saddam because they more or less know him--rather than switching to an unknown ruler who causes the integration of the ethnically and religiously divided country.  Many Third-World countries will say that the United States is again imposing its will on the rest of the world.  Last but not least, there are also the critics in Western Europe.  Berlin and Paris are not in favor of an American unilateral action and they are certainly unwilling to join it....  If he goes to war again, George W. Bush will only have the support of Saudi Arabia, a few other oil states and, of course, Israel.  However, that is much less than a broad international coalition against terrorism.”


BULGARIA:  "When Anti-Terrorism Becomes An End In Itself"


Influential weekly Kapital commented (2/11):  "[At the security conference in Munich], the American representatives were astounded by the mass criticism of Washington's unilateral decision to launch an anti-terrorist campaign against the countries Bush called 'the axis of evil.'  The Europeans for their part were offended by the fact that by making these unilateral decisions, Washington is only taking into account its own  interests.  This is why the Americans had to listen to a number of  accusations of U.S. isolationism revival, which could undermine NATO's reputation and lead to a break-up with Washington's European Allies."


CROATIA:  "The Bush Doctrine in the Shadow of 'Preventive Attacks'"


Zagreb-based government-owned Vjesnik carried a commentary by foreign affairs editor Jurica Korbler (2/9):   "The European allies are once again criticizing the Americans that there is a victorious euphoria reigning among them and that they are no longer listening to anyone, not even their most loyal allies such as Germany.  Bush will obviously have to think twice before launching a new attack, because compared to what he will face in Iran or Iraq, the Afghanistan episode was more on the level of a rather complicated military exercise."


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "America And Its Doctor Watson"


Frantisek Sulc in the right-center Lidove Noviny (2/11): "Europeans are not willing to adopt the simplification of the fight between the bad and the good, dictatorship with democracy and freedom....   The biggest problem in American-European relations is currently the unclear definition of future goals of the campaign against terrorism, the lower sense of threat, European military backwardness and the open hectoring from the U.S. side... The old continent is in the position of the kindly Doctor Watson... The more clever and stronger [Holmes] must slowly and carefully steer him to attain the goal....  Europeans will not be reconciled with mere deployment of the Peace Corps after sophisticated American forces turn over some country nor with diplomatically participating only if their views match the views of U.S. and if they do not speak too much.  Even if Europe needs the U.S. and the U.S. may in certain circumstances make do without Europe; it is definitely not tactical or productive saying this out loud... Bush joined together three absolutely different countries - North Korea, Iran and Iraq."


DENMARK:  "We're Waiting For Europe"


Center-right Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten editorialized (2/20):  "It feels very liberating to see 58 leading U.S. intellectuals publicly giving President Bush their wholehearted support in his war against terror and evil....  Now we're waiting for a similar recognition in Europe....  [But] many European intellectuals have notoriously been drawn to totalitarianism-Nazism and Communism-in a very different way from their American colleagues....   If the intellectuals can't distinguish right from wrong it's good to know that ordinary people don't find it difficult.  That was obvious during the Cold War when the peoples of Europe stood by America's side while the elite was busy denouncing the Alliance.  And it's true today when the United States has taken the lead again."


"Bombastic Rhetoric"


Intellectual left Information editorialized (2/20):  "With his bombastic rhetoric about 'the axis of evil' and his reluctance to negotiate with tyrants Bush is automatically burying...Kim Dae Jung's 'fraternization policy.'...  Kim Jung II is an unpredictable leader who is afraid to open up.  But what is the alternative to patient disarmament negotiations with North Korea and humanitarian aid from the West?"


"Problematic Oversimplification"


Center-left Politiken (2/17):  "The axis of evil statement met with almost uniform criticism it is seen as a problematic oversimplification...needless to say, the three countries must be dealt with differently.... The Europeans have reason to differ with [Bush's] view, but must also face facts....  Arms control is one avenue to follow vis-a-vis Iraq, but whether Saddam agrees to new inspections or not, a crisis around Iraq is imminent before summer."


FINLAND:  "Unequal Friends"


An op-ed by Pentti Sadeniemi, based on a recent Financial Times analysis by Dominique Moisi who wrote: "How can the U.S. respect Europe if Europe does not even respect itself?  America may be 'simplistic' but Europe is inconsistent and irresolute,"  in leading independent  Helsingin Sanomat stated (2/12): "All over Europe the perception is strengthening that the U.S. is taking allied support for granted and asking them to stay out of the way.  This is, roughly, how things stand.  As much as the nations comprising the EU want to rectify the situation, they first need to determine among themselves what it is that they want....  It is as clear that this European point of view is uncoordinated, unspecified and impotent....  In addition to the disparity in military strength, there is also transatlantic asymmentry in political resolve.  Europeans may have their positions and policies but they do not have the ability to speak convincingly in one voice."


GREECE:  "Rupture"


The lead editorial in independent influential Kathimerini claimed (2/19):  "The unprecedented rift between Americans and Europeans over (a U.S.-intended war against) Iraq has two reasons:  First, the growing American unilateralism.  Europeans view this as a U.S. attempt to undermine NATO and downgrade them to second-class allies.  Secondly and more importantly, Europeans deem that a possible overthrowing of Saddam Hussein and his replacement by a pro-U.S. regime would inflict a severe blow on Europe's relative energy self sufficiency, given that most of the oil coming from Iraq, Iran and Libya--all states out of U.S. control--flows to Europe. Let's hope that this rupture in U.S.-European interests can be bridged without going to war with Iraq--an action in which only danger lurks for Greece, as it would dramatically upgrade Turkey's military power."


"Europe Criticizes 'Axis Of Evil;' Sole Superpower Begins To Feel Lonely"


Writing in influential pro-government To Vima senior diplomatic analyst Alexis Papahelas said (2/14):  "Washington watches with total surprise the strong criticism from throughout Europe to the new Bush doctrine about the 'axis of evil.'  On the other side of the Atlantic, the team of 'hawks,' i.e. VP Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, believes that it is best for the US to proceed alone without the unnecessary problems and obstacles that an international alliance against terrorism would raise. The quick U.S. victory in Afghanistan has made many Americans dangerously arrogant.  The tendency toward unilateral decisions and actions is strengthened, and Powell resists with limited success.  This means that Anti-Americanism will no longer be a characteristic of third-world societies but also of the elites in Paris, London, Berlin, and elsewhere.  There are two possibilities:  Either the Europeans will unwillingly and with great discomfort follow on the road to Baghdad with the Russians giving the green light in exchange for eight-nine billion USD, or Washington will once more feel what it means to be not only the sole, but also the lonely superpower!"


HUNGARY:   “America’s Rebelling Allies”


Foreign editor Gabor Stier concludes in pro-government conservative Magyar Hirlap (2/19): “The fear and worry that Washington has recently been generating in the circles of its allies casts a dark shadow over global security. The U.S.’s almost phlegmatic isolation from world affairs became even stronger after 9/11.  The United States had ignored the majority of international institutions, such as the UN even before 9/11.  It turned a cold shoulder to the problems of global warming  and rejected the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. has been riding on the waves of patriotism and cares only about itself.  It has become introverted and it pushes the missile defense plan instead of answering the challenges of terrorism.”


IRELAND:  "Mistaken Analysis"


The conservative progressive populist Irish Independent (2/14) commented:  "The great majority of our citizens approve the actions taken in Afghanistan.  And there could never have been a question as to which side we were on....  But that is not to say that we must support every American step and statement. Mr Bush should take no offence if we join in the widespread European and, increasingly, American criticism of his identification of an 'axis of evil' comprising Iran, Iraq and North Korea. This is a mistaken analysis which could lead, if not corrected, to dangerously mistaken actions. The war on terrorism will be won by strategies such as succeeded in Afghanistan, carefully targeted and measured.  Bush should listen when friendly countries talk in these terms. That's what friends are for."


"Beware Of War Talk That Leaves Us All Fired Up With Everywhere To Go"


The centrist Irish Examiner ran this opinion piece by Damian Byrne (2/7):  "Not so wowed, however, were commentators on this side of the Atlantic, who once more raised the spectre of American unilateralism and fretted about the potential of the Bush Doctrine to plunge entire regions of the world into an unconfined conflict.  Cheerleaders and opponents alike, however, have tended to overestimate the strength, coherence, purpose and resolution of the West's war against terrorism.  If Bush's speech confirmed anything, it is the chaotic, make-it up-as-you-go-along nature of a war in which the declared aims and purposes seem to shift from week to week."


THE NETHERLANDS:   "The U.S. Is Not A Policeman, But A Pit Bull"


Influential independent NRC Handelsblad (2/16) ran an op-ed by Clingendael Institute's Rob de Wijk: "Both the U.S. and Europe can be reproached.  Europe lacks a vision on the basis of which political unity can take shape; Europe cannot get its member states to agree, does not sufficiently know which role military power should play in European security and defense policy, and therefore has insufficient arguments for the increase in defense budgets.  The U.S. behaves as an irresponsible superpower which could care less about acceptable norms, is solely concerned about its own security and through this unilateralism contributes to the undermining of international organizations....  Eleven September was a missed opportunity....  Bush...maneuvers his country outside the international order through not observing existing norms and by applying American power only for its own security.  That is exactly the reasons why Samuel Huntington, two years ago already, wrote, in Foreign Affairs, that the U.S. in the eyes of the rest of the world, was rapidly developing into a 'rogue superpower'."  


NORWAY:  "U.S., Afghanistan And The Evil Axis"


In an op-ed penned by the Director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad judged in newspaper-of-record Aftenposten (2/19):  "In the war against international terrorism after September 11, the United States has accomplished much, incredibly much...  [But n]ow there are clear signs that the United States is on the verge of overplaying its hand.  The differences between Iraq and Afghanistan are great: There is no Northern Alliance in Iraq; the regime has access to a completely different power structure than the Taliban had, and the international sympathy for an attack against Iraq is much less.  Since no one has clearly laid out evidence that Saddam Hussein has given support to al-Qaida, an attack on Iraq will be seen clearly as a new front. There are other danger signals of an American overplay....  Most important of all is the present combination of terrorism fear and victory fever in America.  [These factors] keep [the US] from being concerned about what the rest of the world feels in the wake of the US victory over the Taliban.  Those that believed that the broad coalition against terrorism had broken the strong unilateralist sentiments that one finds in the Bush administration are wrong."


"Won America, But Lost The World"


In social democratic Dagsavisen, foreign affairs editor Erik Sagflaat commented (2/7):  "In the beginning phase of the war against terrorism, the United States did most things right....  But in the beginning of the second phase against terrorism, George W. Bush is about to throw away everything that has been won. With the war rhetoric, the stamping of Iraq, Iran as North Korea as the 'evil axis', and the suggestion that an attack against Iraq is now forthcoming, Bush might have won America, but he risks losing the world....  The reason for describing Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the U.S. major enemies, is not terrorism and support of terrorism but the production of weapons of mass destruction....  Openness, contact and treaties about mutual control are the only things that might give a certain hope of moving forward.  But then I must remind that it was the U.S. that last year was against a treaty that would open for international control the production of chemical and biological weapons."


POLAND:  "Bush's Peace"


Ludwik Stomma wrote in center-left weekly Polityka (2/20):  "America's absolute global military domination is proceeding increasingly fast....  The imminent Pax Americana--which will not be counterbalanced by Russia with its still powerful but aging nuclear arsenal, or by China with its limitless population--will not be limited to military issues.  The U.S. will not even have to apply pressure because the race of dependent states for the title of the top student will secure for the U.S. any economic concessions it wants.  This will further favor America, and, consequently, the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world will only become wider."


PORTUGAL:   "What Strategy Against Terrorism?"


In his regular column for top-circulation centrist weekly Expresso, former Portuguese President, prime Minister and current Socialist Euro MP Mário Soares asserts (2/16):  "The expression 'axis of evil,' used by Bush in his speech on the state of the nation, is unacceptable to European ears: Manichaean, elementary, reductive of the complexity of the situation.  Worse, however, than this: it leads one to think that the United States, in the struggle against terrorism it is engaged in, does not have a clear strategy, much less one that is coordinated with its allies....  What effect can be expected from Bush's threats, which happily have not yet been carried out?  I see nothing but this: exacerbating tensions and creating resistance among allies, even the United Kingdom.  It is surely certain that those who sow hatred--and misunderstandings--reap the whirlwind."


ROMANIA:  "Simplistic, Unilateral, Absolutist And Selfish"


Political analyst Andreea Enea opined in business-oriented Curentul (2/16):  "U.S. policy is simplistic, unilateral, absolutist and selfish, and focuses only on its own interests.  America treats its allies as if they were simple satellite-states in an almighty empire;  the easy success in Afghanistan brought back to life dangerous instincts –  the White House favors the military solution and does not hesitate to get involved in a conflict by itself, against everyone.  For the most powerful nation in the world, for the country with the biggest military force, a warrior spirit which lets its imagination loose is nothing but bad news. (…)  If the United States continues this way and makes a military intervention in Iraq, the road is open for other unilateral actions.  Not getting involved in the Middle East conflict, the refusal to ratify important international treaties, ignoring one’s allies, NATO, (and) Russia’s powerful voice, could be only the first examples of a long row of selfish decisions which bear the trademark: United States."


SPAIN:  "Lost Innocence"


Left-of-center El Pafs commented (2/17):  "The U.S. has lost its innocence and will never be the same, neither will the rest of the world.   Being an empire is a way for the U.S. to adapt the world to its own interests...and to ensure a hegemony for at least two more decades, a hope reflected in an arms program that was being designed before 9/11 and has received support afterwards....  NATO is loosing its importance, and the Old Continent doesn't worry the U.S. any longer....  9/11 increased the hope that the U.S. would shift towards a more multilateral approach in search of coalitions and support.   But the very opposite has happened.  If the U.S. wants to be successful in its fight against global terrorism, it will need more international cooperation and it will need to understand that some of the problems in the world are the consequences of its own actions, or omissions.  One has to have doubts about an empire that does not appear to be willing to either increase its expenditures on foreign aid to build states and economies, or to foster values such as human rights....  'Pax Americana' may continue to be just a myth."


TURKEY:  "Europe Or America?”


Cengiz Candar wrote in Islamic-intellectual Yeni Safak (2/20): “The relationship between the U.S. and Europe is not of an antagonistic nature, but in terms of policy-preferences, a gap is gradually widening.  In such a climate, the relationship between America and Europe, America and Russia, America and the Middle East, America and Iran and America and Central Asia must have an impact.  Turkey, located in the heart of European-Middle Eastern geopolitics, will be the one to face these effects more than anyone else will. … Regarding the current situation between the U.S. and Europe, the gap is especially wide along the 'axis of evil' concept, particularly on the Iraq issue.  Turkey looks as if it is standing with a foot on each side.  The issue is whether it should be closer to Europe or the U.S.?  … I think it is about time that Turkey discussed these matters.  Can you see the links between recent events and the increasing anti-EU provocations in Turkey?”


“The Deepening Gap Between U.S. and Europe”


Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet (2/19): “The Europeans are not welcoming the recent policy issues vis-a-vis the U.S.  Reasons vary from the Kyoto agreement to Star Wars project and the axis of evil issue.  Europeans very much disturbed with the fact that Washington seems determined to act alone on these issues.… Europe is also not welcoming the Bush administration’s Middle East policy. … Turkey should carefully watch the developments regarding the tiff between Europe and the U.S.  Some arguments of Europeans, such as on the axis of evil, are close to Turkey’s view.  Yet there is also a Turkish-U.S. partnership based on mutual interests which might provide an area of diplomacy flexibility for Turkey.”


“Turbulence Hits September 11 Coalition”


Ferai Tinc wrote in mass appeal Hurriyet (2/18): “The U.S.’ position as a superpower, and its manner of telling others what to do is creating unease. … Is this the end of the road for September 11 coalition? No. Not yet. Nor do I think that will happen. Yet the way that the Bush administration is operating on its own, taking into account only its own interests, is making everyone uneasy.  … What is really causing unease is not because U.S. wants to rid itself of Saddam.  He is already isolated.  Everyone wants to see an end to the Saddam regime.  However, the way the U.S. is unilaterally deciding how that should come about is alarming everybody."  


"Iraq Scenarios And Turkey"


Hasan Unal writes in moderate Islamic-intellectual Zaman (2/15): "If the U.S. comes up with a plan eliminating all of Turkey's worries about the future regime of Iraq, giving concrete answers to Turkey's questions, including a guarantee of Iraq's territorial integrity, then Turkey can, and in fact should, act with the U.S.  When that becomes the case, Turkey will put itself into an adventure where all moves are agreed upon and calculated. In the meantime, there should also be clarification on how Turkey's losses would be compensated."


YUGOSLAVIA (KOSOVO):  "Europe, America And The Differences Between"


Independent Zeri had the following comment (2/6): "European concerns have grown recently after warnings that Iraq could be the next target of the American war against terror. German politicians have stressed that there is no evidence that Baghdad stands behind September 11 attacks on the USA....  It seems that most of the European politicians still did not learn the necessary lesson from Kosovo where the International Community (the USA and Great Britain before all) engaged efforts to stop the genocide while leaving aside the Security Council, because  the Russian and Chinese veto would not allow the mandate for the international intervention in Kosovo. The Americans argued in Munich that after the last year's attacks America was in war, and consequently has the right to engage in a military intervention against any country that turns to be supporter or base for terrorists."




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