November 10, 2003
World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
BUZZFLASH NOTE: Once again, these are the views and perspectives of the individual papers, not of BuzzFlash or Gloria. They offer BuzzFlash readers a way of reading what other nations are saying about the crisis, whether we like it or not. We repeat: This is not an endorsement of their viewpoints.
* * *
Press Service News Agency, Italy--ANALYSIS: U.S. STUCK
WITHOUT A TURKISH CRUTCH
("It is clear that the Iraqi Governing Council members
managed to convince U.S.
chief administrator for Iraq L. Paul Bremer that only a
new Iraqi security force composed
of militia members could really handle the security situation," says
Ilnur Cevik, editor of the English-language Turkish Daily
News. But banking on security from Iraqi forces, particularly
Kurds in the north and Shias in the south raises prospects
of a "warlord" culture, says Cevik. "The
Americans should be aware that once they invaded Iraq,
they let the cat out of the bag." )
3//The Scotsman, Scotland--BLAIR FORCED TO CONCEDE CONTROL OF LABOUR ELECTION CAMPAIGN (Tony Blair is to make a desperate attempt to avert open warfare with Gordon Brown by handing the Chancellor control of Labour's bid to secure an historic third term in government. The key concession, which will place the Chancellor at the heart of the party's next election campaign, was secured during last week's crisis talks between the two men at deputy prime minister John Prescott's flat after their relationship threatened to reach breaking point.)
Toronto Star, Canada--THE BOX SCORE ON THE CHRETIEN ERA
(...historians will be kind to Chrétien, because
he succeeded in slashing the $42 billion deficit and won
the day in Quebec...In his last two years in power, Chrétien
restored health-care spending, ratified the Kyoto Protocol
on greenhouse gases, declined to join the U.S.-led war
on Iraq, and passed a law weaning political parties from
corporate and union money.)
* * *
Press Service News Agency November 8, 2003
Analysis by Hilmi Toros
ISTANBUL, Nov 8 (IPS) - Turkey's decision not to send troops to Iraq has brought relief to Iraqis and Turks, but comes as a setback to an increasingly beleaguered United States.
Turkey acted Friday after the United States acknowledged that Turkish troops would run into an unfriendly reception, if not resistance. The Turkish government had obtained parliamentary authorisation under intense U.S. insistence earlier to dispatch as many as 10,000 troops. That was to be the first major force from a Muslim nation.
The parliamentary approval is valid for one year and Turkey could still send troops in the next 11 months. But few expect the anti-Turkish sentiment in Iraq to change.
"We were never eager (to send troops)," Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said following the decision Friday. Opinion polls find more than 60 percent Turks opposed to active involvement in Iraq.
The U.S. sees no role for Turkish troops over the next six months. It is counting on recruitment from within Iraq for security as it scales down its forces from 132,000 to 100,000 in the face of body bags coming home in increasing numbers.
"It is clear that the Iraqi Governing Council members managed to convince U.S. chief administrator for Iraq L. Paul Bremer that only a new Iraqi security force composed of militia members could really handle the security situation," says Ilnur Cevik, editor of the English-language Turkish Daily News.
But banking on security from Iraqi forces, particularly Kurds in the north and Shias in the south raises prospects of a "warlord" culture, says Cevik. "The Americans should be aware that once they invaded Iraq, they let the cat out of the bag."
Turkey's decision displayed publicly that the United States underestimated Iraqi opposition to troops from Turkey. This includes opposition from within the interim government installed by the United States.
CHINA'S ECONOMY RIDES THE RAZOR'S EDGE
Over the past 20 years, the world has witnessed one of the most remarkable economic transformations in human history. China, home to 1.3 billion people, has been expanding its economy by more than 8 percent every year since 1980 in its endeavor to pull its millions out of millennia of poverty.
If it succeeds it would be the greatest leap to prosperity ever, to be emulated elsewhere. But what if it fails?
The Chinese government is clear on its strategy for uplifting its people - chanting the mantra of growth and doing its best to deliver. And successfully so. The Communist Party government has been running really fast just to keep ahead of burgeoning unemployment - 30 million former public-sector employees are out of work, 150 million former rural citizens are between jobs in the cities at any given time, and about 200 million have no work at all.
Thus the Party, which like all authoritarian systems hates instability and social turmoil, has to create jobs. And jobs are created through growth and investment. So China has an undervalued currency and low interest rates and has now started to build an impressive fiscal deficit as well. With 150 billion yuan (US$18.14 billion) in treasury bonds in the 2002 fiscal a year coming into place, China's budget deficit is set to rise 19.24 percent to 309.8 billion yuan ($37.46 billion), or 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), an internationally recognized alarm level. In this quest of 8 percent growth, China might just have bitten more than it can chew. The Chinese economy may be overheating.
BLAIR FORCED TO CONCEDE CONTROL OF LABOUR ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Tony Blair is to make a desperate attempt to avert open warfare with Gordon Brown by handing the Chancellor control of Labour's bid to secure an historic third term in government.
The key concession, which will place the Chancellor at the heart of the party's next election campaign, was secured during last week's crisis talks between the two men at deputy prime minister John Prescott's flat after their relationship threatened to reach breaking point.
The move was last night regarded as a major victory for the Chancellor, who has masterminded Labour's last two victorious campaigns. His followers hope the election will be the launch-pad for his own bid to become Prime Minister once Blair steps down.
The frantic claims and counter-claims from the Brown and Blair camps came at the end of a feverish week in which the Chancellor has challenged the Prime Minister's authority in a series of public interventions.
The depth of concern within the government over the latest outbreak of feuding was demonstrated by the revelation that Prescott "umpired" Thursday's crisis talks.
Prescott hosted Blair and Brown for the dinner at his grace-and-favour apartment at Admiralty House, declared "neutral ground" for the summit. The deputy prime minister had earlier called to an end to squabbling between the two men and Home Secretary David Blunkett during a Cabinet debate over the introduction of compulsory identity cards.
THE BOX SCORE ON THE CHRETIEN ERA
OTTAWA- Impatient with all the talk about his pending retirement and suggestions that the Commons would devote time this week to tributes, the Prime Minister said no way. No tributes. Take that. Closure on the legacy debate.
A politician who relies on his gut instinct, nerves of steel and a shrewd ability to read the public mood, Chrétien never aspired to or expressed a grand vision or ideological drive.
He still cultivates the "p'tit gars" image, likes to have a beer now and then and hold court telling old political war stories.
Still, legacy is a word Chrétien, after more than 40 years in federal politics, cannot avoid now.
Next week, at the convention to crown a new leader, Liberals will honour and thank him for steering the party to three consecutive electoral majority sweeps in the last decade.
In the end, many say that's what stands out - winning, sometimes by the skin of his teeth. As much as, if not more than, reining in Canada's bloated deficit and taking a tough approach to Quebec secession after nearly losing the country in the 1995 referendum.
Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper says he articulated no ambitious or distinctive foreign policy, and was "extraordinarily cautious" on the economic file until, on his way out, he went on a spending spree.
The major marker, says Harper, will likely be how Chrétien finally handled the Quebec file, but only after bringing the country to a dangerous brink.
Tory Leader Peter MacKay criticizes what he says is the lack of real purpose and direction, and calls Chrétien's governments "the most partisan administration we've ever seen."
"He takes the win-at-all-costs approach, which is dangerous, and to an extent, I have a grudging respect for that, but it comes at a cost to his own legacy and to a more disturbing degree, to the country's," MacKay says.
However, most politicians of one sort or another cite Chrétien's back-to-back-to-back election wins when describing what he'll be remembered for.
In his last two years in power, Chrétien restored health-care spending, ratified the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases, declined to join the U.S.-led war on Iraq, and passed a law weaning political parties from corporate and union money.
GEORGIA 'PRACTICALLY OUT OF CONTROL'
Tbilisi, Georgia -- Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze met with opposition leaders Sunday night in a bid to ease growing tension, as demonstrators protested for a second straight day and the defense minister said the situation was "out of control."
The opposition is protesting alleged fraud in Nov. 2 parliamentary elections and an armed attack by masked men on an opposition demonstration Friday.
Shevardnadze met at a government residence with Mikheil Saakashvili, leader of the National Movement; Nino Burdzhanadze, leader of the Democrats; and former parliament speaker Zurab Zhvania, according to presidential spokesman Kakha Imnadze.
The meeting came after Shevardnadze waded into a crowd of protesters earlier Sunday to offer talks with opposition leaders but rejected resignation demands, saying he "cannot allow people who would destroy and devastate everything to come to power."
Earlier on Sunday, Defense Minister David Tevzadze said the situation in the country was "practically out of control."
"I think nothing good is going on here at the moment, and the situation has practically gone out of control. The situation is actually uncontrollable," he told reporters.
Shevardnadze and the country's religious leaders appealed for dialogue after masked men fired Kalashnikov assault rifles at a rally held Friday by Saakashvili's party in the western town of Zugdidi.
Votes were still being tallied a week after the election, and the slow pace was among the causes of opposition complaints.
With ballots from 91 percent of polling places counted, the pro-government party For a New Georgia had 21.4 percent, slightly ahead of the opposition Revival party's 20.1 percent, the Central Elections Commission said. The National Movement had 18.4 percent, while the Labor Party had 12.3 percent and the Democrats just over 8 percent, it said.
Burdzhanadze earlier had called for talks with Shevardnadze
but said he must acknowledge the elections were unfair,
call a new vote and punish officials responsible for alleged
The slow vote count and widespread allegations of fraud had also prompted a strong U.S. rebuke to Shevardnadze, who has sought close ties with the United States to offset Russian influence.
The election was watched as a rehearsal for politicians vying to succeed the 75-year-old Shevardnadze in 2005, when he is to step down after the maximum two terms. But opponents accuse him of failing to tackle corruption and economic troubles in the country and want him out now.
"Let him leave along with his whole band," said Amiran Asatiani, a 20-year-old who joined Sunday's protest.
otherwise noted, all original