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Monday, November 13, 2006

World reaction to 2006

For Europe and much of the rest of the world, our repudiation of the Bush administration in Tuesday's midterm elections and the dismissal Rumsfeld on Wednesday confirmed the widespread view that Bush and his policies have done more to tarnish America's image abroad and destroy its world relations than any other U.S. president in recent history. Indeed, the seismic political shift in the U.S. was greeted in many places less with jubilation than with a deep sense of relief that Americans had at long last come to their senses.

The Socialist Group in the European Parliament, the legislative body's second-largest voting bloc, called the election results "the beginning of the end of a six-year
nightmare for the world."

"It took a while for the Americans to realize who they had elected and the damage he had caused in the world," said Philippe Bas, 56, whose newsstand near a Paris subway stop was stacked with newspapers from across Europe carrying analyses of the election.

That view was echoed in some newspaper editorials and headlines around Europe. In Britain, the headline over the Guardian newspaper's lead editorial read, "Thank you, America."

In many capitals, Rumsfeld's dismissal was even bigger and better news than the restoration of oversight that Democratic control of the House and Senate will bring.

"After the Democratic victory, Bush sacrifices Rumsfeld," the French daily newspaper Le Figaro declared in a banner headline Thursday.

An editorial in Le Figaro described Rumsfeld as "the symbol of the horrors of the American military intervention in Iraq," and said, "By dismissing the architect of this unpopular conflict, by sanctioning the neocons' idol, George Bush shows that he stopped believing that he could 'maintain the course' in Iraq."

"Rumsfeld never had many friends in Europe," Marcin Zaborowski, who monitors transatlantic relations for the Paris-based European Union Institute for Security Studies, said in an interview. "He exemplified anything that was bad about this administration. He personified the approaches Europeans had the most problems with - going to war in Iraq on the false premises that it was closely linked to the war on terrorism and directly linked to the events of 9/11."

Political parties, government leaders, pundits and citizens from many countries seized on the return of a bipartisan government in the United States as a harbinger of welcome change in the Bush administration's policy of using the military. But others expressed concerns about the Democratic Party's agenda promoting trade restrictions and human rights.

"I hope the policy will be better balanced regarding the use of armed forces outside the United States," Boris Gryzlov, speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, told reporters in Moscow. "However, there are fears that the Democrats are more prone to apply double standards in human rights."

"Democrats have traditionally had more complicated relations with Russia," said Tatyana Parkhalina, a senior analyst at the Center for Problems of European Security in Moscow. "And our politicians worry that they will pay more attention to human rights, the democratic development of the country and relations with former Soviet republics. They're not happy about that."

Some Chinese analysts also said the Beijing government is worried about potential changes in the way the United States approaches trade relations, noting that "Democrats have traditionally been more attuned than Republicans to labor union complaints about loss of U.S. jobs to low-wage Chinese factories."

Did you conservatives catch that? Democrats worry the commies. . .

Officials and analysts in other nations embraced the prospect of changes in U.S. social policies.

Germany's minister for economic cooperation and development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, a Social Democrat, told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, "There is hope that our concerns in the world - for peace, development, environmental and climate protection - will be given more weight on the political agenda in the USA."

On the opposite side of the globe, Mexican officials said they hope Democrats will use their new power to improve Bush's approach to immigration issues, particularly the question of constructing a barrier on the U.S.-Mexican border.

"The electoral strategy that proposed the possibility of building the wall as an element of the electoral battle failed," said Rubin Aguilar, spokesman for Mexican
President Vicente Fox.

Some European analysts expressed fear that some pressing issues, including the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, could be neglected with a lame-duck leader in the White House.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper said in an editorial that Bush had received a "richly deserved bloody nose," but the results had "left the free world with a severely
compromised leader, stripped of moral authority at home and abroad."

But one of Iran's hard-line newspapers, Kayhan, relished the prospect of a politically diminished White House. "Bush's government will be obliged to take more cautious steps and instead of creating war around the world, it will be obliged to fight politically with Democrats," it said.

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Blogger Stan Matuska said...

It's the beginning of the end.
Mending the American image is going to take some time, but at least we are now going in the right (left) direction.

title="comment permalink">November 14, 2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger Human said...

If the new Congress takes it's Constitutional responsibilities sincerely, we should be wary of any domestic attack by "Terrorists". As it is, with Pelosi as Speaker, it doesn't look like the Bush Regime has anything to worry about.
We'll see.

btw - my cmptr is fixed.

title="comment permalink">November 14, 2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

I hate to rain on your parade, but that collection of quotes from various sources around the world is absolutely freakin' hilarious. Now those are the pundits we most want to impress! The views expressed by those illustrious groups and representatives are probably not indicative of the entire rest of the world as you would have us believe.

This awful, terrible, tyrannical country of ours has saved the worlds collective ass more times than any other country in history and if the douche bag at the newstand in France doesn't appreciate that I don't really give a shit. Maybe he will the next time around, cause we'll probably have to bail their collective pansy asses out of the next take over in Europe by the freakin muslim extremists/boy scouts.

title="comment permalink">November 14, 2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger azgoddess said...

i was wondering how the world would see out victory...glad they ~ for the most part ~ are as happy as we are...

title="comment permalink">November 14, 2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Stan - Amen!

Human - I am, at worst, hopeful! Congrats on being back online. =)

Tim - I wouldn't have you beleive anything other than what I reported.That being said, the entire world HAS breathed a huge sigh of releif after last Tuesday.

AZ - Maybe they'll eventually like us again.

title="comment permalink">November 14, 2006 6:33 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

John, one thing you and I both understand about Tim that others may not know is that even if you showed the poor man irrefutable evidence of something he does not want to believe, he will not believe it. He probably still thinks the majority of the country is for the war in Iraq, that GW Bush is the greatest president the United States has ever had, and that Paris Hilton is a virgin.

title="comment permalink">November 15, 2006 12:33 AM  
Blogger Tim Zank said...

Paris Hilton isn't a virgin?

title="comment permalink">November 15, 2006 4:37 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Point proven!

title="comment permalink">November 15, 2006 10:08 PM  

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