- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2005

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Daily Telegraph

The next Bush administration

LONDON — Any faint-hearted observer who hoped that the second Bush administration would be less of a white-knuckle ride than the first had better think again.

For if Condoleezza Rice has her way, American diplomacy will no longer be used to rein in the president’s ambition to “create a balance of power in the world that favors freedom,” but rather to support it.

At her Senate confirmation hearing on Monday, the putative secretary of state set out a vision of global U.S. activism that, if not explicitly neo-conservative, is in stark contrast to her predecessor’s policy of cautious restraint. …

Miss Rice is a realist rather than an ideologist. Yet she is not an exponent of realpolitik in the mold of Henry Kissinger, the last national security adviser to make the transition to the State Department. Unlike Kissinger and most traditional diplomatists, she believes passionately that sowing democracy and uprooting tyranny is not only right for humanity, but also the key to U.S. security. She is now the high priestess of the Bush doctrine. …

Miss Rice made her name in the Cold War; she prefers to overthrow evil empires by fomenting revolutions, rather than mounting invasions. She wants “a conversation, not a monologue” with the world, but her solution to Islamist terrorism is identical to the president’s: “Drain the swamp.” Like Mr. Bush, she sees neutralizing Iran and North Korea as urgent. And woe betide any European leader who dares to condescend to Condoleezza.

Aftonbladet

President Bush’s second term

STOCKHOLM — On the eve of his inauguration, [President George W.] Bush [tried] to portray himself as a cooperative politician. But everything indicates that it will be the same old story as last time: Bush is ready for a dialogue, but only with those who stand by him from the beginning.

Initially, it will mostly be about foreign politics. The Asian tsunami has raised new questions about the U.S. relief policy and the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. The United States is good at immediate relief, as in Aceh, but much worse when it comes to long-term aid to poor countries.

The war in Iraq will be unsolved while elections there draw near. And according to opinion polls, a majority of the U.S. population says that the war was a mistake. Despite this, Bush is threatening a new war [in Iran].

Asahi Shimbun

The death of Zhao Ziyang

TOKYO — Tiananmen Square in Beijing shows how drastically the Chinese capital has changed in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2008. The changes have been so profound that it is hard to believe that in June 1989, the Chinese government used tanks to crush a democracy movement organized by young people and citizens.

Zhao Ziyang, then general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, stepped in among students and showed sympathy with their movement in the midst of the confrontation with the military. He was denounced by Deng Xiaoping, then China’s supreme leader, and other party officials for this action. Zhao thus fell from grace.

The crackdown at Tiananmen Square, which shocked the world, is far from a thing of the past. Behind the pro-democracy movement lay the people’s anger at the corruption among government and party bureaucrats, as well as the public’s craving for freedom of expression and news reports, and democratization of politics. A single misstep could have shaken the one-party rule by the Communist. …

It will be in the interest of China to make its diplomatic and military policies transparent and thus win the trust of the international community as a country that can share democratic values with them. China will be taking a first step in that direction if it takes a fresh look at the meaning of the crackdown at Tiananmen Square.

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