The Financial Times
looked at the Republican Convention in
, and wrote that historical precedent said that the coming election should be a referendum on the President Bush’s first term, but he couldn't afford that, the paper noted. The president knew his record wilted under scrutiny. It has scarcely been mentioned this week. On every vital issue except the war on terrorism – the economy, healthcare, education, Iraq –Mr. Kerry claimed a higher poll rating. So any time someone mentioned jobs, Falluja, or the budget deficit, the Republicans changed the subject, the paper pointed out.
reflected on the Republican voters themselves and what it was about Bush that’s so appealing to them. Bush was dismantling the few social programs in the
that helped the poor, the paper noted, but he talked up his agreement with the hyper-patriotism, homophobia, evangelism and opposition to abortion prevalent among poor Americans. That’s how he passes as a “regular guy”– unlike pro-gay, pro-choice, quiet-about-religion John Kerry. Since Kerry had no alternative class agenda, the paper said, the American poor of course opted for the guy who at least agreed with them on something.
The Dutch paper
commented on the hostage situation in
. It wrote that although Chechen terrorists had in the past made other such spectacular attacks, taking children as hostages proved that terrorists could become even more merciless. Choosing a school as a battlefield, the paper pointed out, showed that some of the Chechen resistance were no longer worried about their public image. The captors were truly living in their own terrorist universe, concluded the paper.
The French paper
remarked on the fate of its countrymen taken hostage in
and questioned how their release might be secured. Regardless of whether the captors were bought out or forced to bow to stronger powers, or even if they refused to do so, the way the negotiations were conducted would have an effect on
’s future position in
and in the entire region, the paper predicted.