News

    International Journalists Discuss Reaction to Second Bush Inaugural Address

    Multimedia

    Audio

    In his second inaugural address, President Bush pledged to spread freedom throughout the world, and he suggested an aggressive foreign policy to promote the ideals of liberty and democracy.  But reaction abroad to his speech has been mixed.  Journalists from Germany, China, Iran, and Lebanon talked with Judith Latham on VOA News Now’s “International Press Club” about how the President’s address is being interpreted overseas.

     

    The response among many of America’s traditional allies was one of skepticism.  Matthias Rueb, Washington bureau chief of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said President Bush’s second inaugural did little to diminish the prevailing skepticism in Europe about a second Bush term, even though many people respect the ideas of freedom and democracy that America stands for.  According to Mr. Rueb, the chairman of Germany’s Green Party – which is part of the governing coalition – said that President Bush is “hijacking the notion of freedom for a kind of imperialist policy.”  And furthermore, Europeans in general are “quite pessimistic” about a second Bush term.

     

    Hong Kong-based China analyst and journalist Willie Lam said the Chinese leadership closely monitored President Bush’s speech but has kept to what he calls “their fairly cautious stance in commenting on Sino-U.S. relations.”  Although they have reiterated their opposition to unilateralism, Mr. Lam said the leadership has been careful not to pinpoint individual U.S. leaders or to “come across as excessively aggressive.”  However, behind the scenes, Beijing is concerned that President Bush has targeted six countries where he said he hoped there would be accelerated changes in the direction of democracy.  And Beijing is close to three of those countries – North Korea, Burma, and Iran.

     

    Not coincidentally, London-based Iranian journalist Ali-Reza Nourizadeh said the Iranian government was not pleased by President Bush’s address. But people from all sectors of Iranian society warmly welcomed it.  Mr. Nourizadeh said that’s because at this point “their only hope to have some sort of democracy established in Iran is to rely on American support.”  According to Ali-Reza Nourizadah, Iranians in the diaspora also welcomed Mr. Bush’s inaugural address, calling it “one of the best speeches they had ever heard.”

     

    In the Arab world, however, the editor of Beirut’s Daily Star said the prevalent reaction was that President Bush’s message about freedom was “nice, but the messenger was not credible.”   Rami Khoury said that’s because during the first Bush administration the Israeli occupation was tightened and the Palestinians in fact now have less freedom.   However, Mr. Khoury said a “small minority” in the Arab world want the United States to be “interventionist” and were enthusiastic about President Bush’s second inaugural address.

     

    To listen to all of the comments, click on the audio link above. 

     

     
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora