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Europe

European Press Review: Washington's Moral Authority in Tatters

European newspapers on Monday commented on the implications of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal for the U.S., the raging civil war in Sudan and South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

British newspaper The Guardian said two women represent U.S. President George Bush’s battle between good and evil in Iraq. On the side of good there is Jessica Lynch, the soldier who was captured after a "valiant gunfight" and later rescued. Representing evil is Lynndie England, the women in one of the torture pictures shown giving a thumbs- up while pointing at a naked, hooded Iraqi prisoner. The daily opined she’s being used to symbolize not all that is wrong with the war but the only thing that is wrong with it. The paper pointed out that despite new allegations that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized physical coercion and sexual humiliation in Iraqi prisons, the White House keeps pointing at England and her six colleagues to bear the moral burden for their immoral war.

Rome’s La Repubblica wrote that now everyone wants the United Nations to provide a solution for Iraq. But, the daily said, the problem is how to enable the U.N. to effectively negotiate the international coalition out of a dangerous cycle of violence or pull it out of what the paper sees as an even worse crisis of credibility while at the same time saving the U.S. from a quagmire with incalculable consequences. The daily wondered whether the U.N. would function as part of an ‘exit strategy’ or as a fig leaf that would cover up a withdrawal from an unwinnable conflict.

Spain's El País newspaper commented on the raging civil war in Sudan. The U.N.’s commissioner for refugees has made it clear that despite April’s cease fire, there is no peace, the paper wrote. The daily pointed out that Sudan is an oil rich country, which makes it possible to support a permanent conflict. The result: Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The paper compared Sudan’s situation to that of other African countries with promising economic possibilities that are spent on rebels rather than on a solution.

Paris daily Le Figaro turned towards the successful bid by South Africa to hold the 2010 Soccer World Cup. It will be the first time the international soccer event will be held in Africa. The paper wrote that Fifa’s decision to award South Africa with the honor was purely political. The paper predicted that the country of 44 million people, will in the future be counted as one of the world’s most powerful.