Friday :: Aug 6, 2004

The World Is From Missouri


by pessimist

Not being privy to FAUX News digesting and spewing forth all the news the proles need to know, the rest of the world has to go by reports from their correspondents traipsing around with the Kerry campaign. Here's a few tidbits as to what they think:

Kerry fails to convince press

Despite a strong performance at the Democratic Party's convention in Boston, US presidential challenger John Kerry has still to convince the world's press that he has a good chance of beating George W Bush in November's elections.

In both Europe and the Middle East, most papers feel that the differences between Mr Kerry's policies and those of President Bush are too narrow for him to represent a compelling alternative. The hardest part still lies ahead: to put across the message that he is made of the stuff of presidents and has the stature of a commander-in-chief... - France's Liberation

We report, you decide.

The doubts raised by the Bush administration's methods in Iraq, and the disappointments of the occupation, serve Kerry better than clear-cut speeches... In many respects, Kerry's best asset remains Bush himself. And by refraining from coming out clearly on Iraq, Kerry is allowing "Bush to beat Bush". But the antipathy among a section of US opinion to Bush has not yet been converted into enthusiasm for John Kerry, and the candidate remains more respected than liked, even among Democratic voters.
- France's Le Figaro
The doubts raised by the Bush administration's methods in Iraq, and the disappointments of the occupation, serve Kerry better than clear-cut speeches... In many respects, Kerry's best asset remains Bush himself. And by refraining from coming out clearly on Iraq, Kerry is allowing "Bush to beat Bush". But the antipathy among a section of US opinion to Bush has not yet been converted into enthusiasm for John Kerry, and the candidate remains more respected than liked, even among Democratic voters.
- France's
Now the convention has been wound up, the hour of truth is beginning for Kerry, starting out with the opinion polls placing him on a par with President Bush... The polls show that Kerry continues to be little known by Americans. In presidential elections in the USA, the perceived character of the candidate counts for more than his political programme. Spectacular party conventions do not change the opinion of the voters substantially. Before George Bush's followers take New York next month for their great spectacle, Kerry will have to surpass himself to reach a sceptical nation, and in particular its millions of undecided voters, with his ideas.
- Spain's El Pais
Convention speeches are not for facing up to difficult subjects; they are a compulsory step to tell people about the alternative and to give courage and hope to the voters. The Democratic Party, often divided, has shown itself more united than ever, galvanised by the idea that any candidate would be better than another four years with Bush, but already convinced that Kerry is their man.
- Spain's El Mundo
Having chosen Kerry, the Democrats are betting on an assumption that America is living in the post-11 September world. And in that case - if the Americans decide in favour of a change in the White House - they will want the replacement to be experienced in high politics and above all in foreign affairs.
- Czech Republic's Hospodarske Noviny
To a great degree there is no Democratic party candidate John Kerry. There is an abstract "anti-Bush" candidate who has been compelled, in accordance with the US electoral system, to take on human form and assume a human name... The weakness of his positive programme, his sombre mien, so unusual for an American... and finally, his unique, from the American point of view, potential first lady, create the impression that Kerry is not destined for victory at all.
- Sergei Lopatnikov in Russia's Russky Kuryer
Assuming Kerry wins, there will be no radical changes in US policy. There were none under Bush, either. Let's look at their election manifestos. The differences between them are only in the nuances. They are treading the same old ground.
- Sergei Rogov in Russia's Moskovsky Komsomolets
We can look at the two horses that are competing for the US presidency as two faces of the same coin in regard to the central Arab and Muslim issue, which is the Palestinian cause. It is not possible to hope for more if the Democrats' nominee takes over from the incumbent.
- Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah
What fruit will the Arabs and Palestinians reap from the victory of the USA's Democratic Party nominee, John Kerry, in the US presidential elections? They will harvest nothing, other than bitterness and offences of US policies, which are bent on serving the Zionists' and Israeli lobby... Bush and Kerry have no differences in their love for Israel, but each of them has his own way of expressing it.
- UAE's Al-Bayan
Whether Bush remains in the White House or it is taken over by Kerry, the political ideologies in the USA remain intact. What may change are the tactics and strategies.
- Oman's Al-Watan
US Senator John Kerry announced at the Democratic Party's convention in Boston that he has accepted the party's nomination to challenge current President George Bush in the forthcoming US presidential elections in November. This means the hot race to the White House has officially begun... A big portion of the world's future and its stability is in the hands of US voters, who will have the option to choose between two clearly different pictures regarding the future of America and that of the world.
- Egypt's Al-Ahram

I'd say that John F. Kerry has some work to do! But then, from the sound of these quips, so does Bu$h!

French nationals from Guantanamo Bay

The release of four French nationals from Guantanamo Bay is the major story in France's national dailies. Welcome home?

"What is to be done with the Frenchmen from Guantanamo?" Le Figaro asks in its main headline. Four of seven French nationals seized by US forces in Afghanistan were handed over and flown back to France, where they were immediately taken into custody.

Le Figaro says their release marks "the beginning of a long judicial process" as France awaits to see if they will be charged or released by its own legal system.

"The fate of the men will - finally - depend on justice. An anti-terrorist justice system, yes, but one which obeys the rules of law and founds its decisions on tangible facts," says an editorial in Le Monde.

"If they are acquitted, it will be an new blow for the credibility of the 'war on terror' being fought by President Bush in contempt of the law - national and international - and morality".

Liberation hails the detainees' return with the headline "Return to the Law Zone". The least these men deserve is to be presumed innocent after their two-year detention without charge, it comments. "They were in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people - Bin Laden's foreign legion - but this does not constitute a crime."

"Bush and his team have set aside the law and lowered the standard of personal freedoms," and France must therefore "refuse to imitate him" by offering these men the "most scrupulous legal guarantees".

The fact that these men may follow an ideology which would "happily throttle these guarantees" is "completely irrelevant", the paper concludes.

Le Monde carries a cartoon showing the freed prisoners being shepherded off a "Guantanamo Airlines" plane by a very disgruntled Uncle Sam and led into the arms of a puzzled French judge - who one of the former inmates mistakes for an imam.

And just why would Uncle Sam be disgruntled? Because there are that many fewer 'Terrists' to line up against the wall once the kangaroo kicks?

And now it's time to listen to the wrong-wingers bleat.


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