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European Press Review: America is Not Washington

European editorialists on Friday took a look ahead at the D-Day celebrations in Normandy and also commented on the resignation of CIA director George Tenet.

In its editorial, Britain’s Financial Times, urged not to forget the lessons from the landing of allied forces in Normandy to defeat Nazi Germany. In an unusual step, the paper published a guest commentary by the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. In it, Ivanov wrote that the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landing should serve as a model on how to bring people and nations together to meet our common challenges. Only when we learn the lessons of history, Ivanov said, can we successfully fight the threats that appear. Hopefully, that will not be forgotten by the allied countries of that era when it comes to establishing stability and security on our planet, Ivanov said.

The French daily L’Humanité noted that the enormous efforts for the D-Day celebrations are meant to polish up America’s image that has suffered under President Bush. But, that isn’t even necessary because that would mean equating the whole nation to the politicians in Washington. There will not always be a Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice, the paper said. Instead, the paper extolled the likes of William Styron, Bob Dylan or Michael Moore. That’s the America we love, it said.

Italy’s Corriere della Sera looked at George Bush’s stopover in Rome. This is a visit for reconciliation and hope -- a visit for understanding. Never before, the paper commented, has Bush needed Europe’s support as he does now to reinstate the moral voice of the West. To deny this would be a big mistake.

The Dutch daily De Volkskrant turned its attention to the mistakes of CIA director George Tenet. His resignation on Thursday, the paper wrote, draws a line in the sand. It was the intelligence services and not the president that were responsible for the mistakes in Iraq.

Austria’s Die Presse said Tenet should have resigned years ago. But his resignation now, the paper said, is a great benefit to President Bush and will not hurt the president politically. After all, the CIA chief was appointed by Bill Clinton.

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