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Europe Flattered, Unnerved by Kerry Overtures
reuters ^ | 10/1/04

Posted on 10/01/2004 11:03:52 AM PDT by knak

By Mark John

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. presidential contender John Kerry (news - web sites) will have won yet more admirers in Europe with his pledge during a campaign debate to restore alliances damaged by the transatlantic split over the Iraq (news - web sites) war.

But his forthright overtures may also prompt squirming in European governments as they realize a Kerry victory on Nov. 2 would force them to show willing by offering more help to end the violence there, analysts said Friday.

"Kerry created a mood of empathy for the Europeans, which is no surprise," said Annette Heuser, director of the Bertelsmann Foundation think-tank, of a debate Thursday pitting President Bush (news - web sites) against his Democratic rival.

"But I would warn Europeans it would then be up to us to deliver," she said, adding that Kerry's popularity with the European public could make it harder for war opponents such as France and Germany to ignore future calls for military help.

Iraq dominated much of a fierce foreign policy debate staged in Florida. Bush cast doubt on Kerry's ability to lead America in dangerous times while Kerry argued the president had left U.S. international partnerships "in shatters."

European analysts said it was unsurprising that in a debate aimed at domestic voters neither candidate offered much detail on how Washington would engage with Europe on Iran's nuclear ambitions, Middle East peace, or on other foreign policy areas.

Karsten Voigt, Berlin's coordinator of German-U.S. ties, said the debate would have served to confirm the gut preference of most Europeans in favor of Kerry, illustrated by a French poll Friday giving the Democrat nearly 90 percent support.

"Because in Europe, unlike in America, a lot of people were skeptical about the war, you'll probably find that the majority of Europeans found Kerry more convincing," Voigt told Reuters Television, doubting the debate would affect U.S. voting.

WHERE'S THE EXIT STRATEGY?

Arguing that Bush's decision to invade Iraq without the blessing of the U.N. Security Council had left the United States with "90 percent of the casualties and 90 percent of the cost," Kerry said it was time to get help.

"I think we need a president who has the credibility to bring the allies back to the table and to do what's necessary to make it so America isn't doing this alone," he said, pledging to invite allies to a summit on Iraq.

But while anti-war capitals such as Paris or Berlin -- which have ruled out any troop presence in Iraq -- welcome such displays of multilateralism, they would also demand a clear Iraq exit strategy from Kerry if he was elected.

"He fails to explain how he would suddenly manage to draw other allies to Iraq. That's not convincing. He fails to say how he would do it in concrete terms," said Bruno Tertrais, analyst at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

Bertelsmann's Heuser suggested that such unresolved issues might in the end convince some European officials it would be simpler to deal with a second Bush administration.

"Bush demonstrated the same unlistening approach (in the debate) as we have seen from him. But cynically speaking, it might be more comfortable for European governments if he were reelected," she added.


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: firstdebate; kerry; kerryforeignpolicy

1 posted on 10/01/2004 11:03:52 AM PDT by knak
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To: knak

A German speaking for "Europe". MSM SOP.


2 posted on 10/01/2004 11:05:37 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: knak

Sounds like a bad first date. Europe only wants to date Kerry to make their ex-boy friend jealous. Now they're worried he's going to want something.


3 posted on 10/01/2004 11:06:55 AM PDT by VisualizeSmallerGovernment (Question Liberal Authority)
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To: knak

Id rather complain about my brother-in-law than have lunch with my sister.


4 posted on 10/01/2004 11:09:39 AM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: knak

"He fails to explain how he would suddenly manage to draw other allies to Iraq. That's not convincing. He fails to say how he would do it in concrete terms," said Bruno Tertrais, analyst at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

***

No kidding.


5 posted on 10/01/2004 11:10:27 AM PDT by Zhangliqun (You want the frequency?.... You can't HANDLE the frequency!)
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To: Zhangliqun

Kerry and his wishful thinking strikes again. He's a laughingstock.


6 posted on 10/01/2004 11:12:02 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: knak
Maybe Kerry will re-instate the draft in France and Germany to get enough boots on the ground in Iraq.

However, I don't think Kerry will be able to use the trick that France used to get US into Vietnam to get France into Iraq and then leave.

7 posted on 10/01/2004 11:13:20 AM PDT by DrDavid (I'd Rather Not)
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To: knak

Kerry is unwittingly calling their bluff. France and Germany don't want to send troops, under ANY circumstances. The would also miss Bush as their favorite whipping-boy to rally their own voters. They know the US will them bail out when needed. At least under Bush we would.

Sometimes I think that the most fitting punishment to my liberal opponents would be for then to get everything they want - a world of John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, etc. That would teach them all very quickly how bad a world that would be. But I'd have to live in that world too. It would be a fitting punishment or them - getting everything they think they want - but i don't want to have to suffer thorugh it too.


8 posted on 10/01/2004 11:13:35 AM PDT by cvq3842
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To: knak

Old Europe: Be careful what you wish for. If Kerry wins, arent you going to feel a little adrift without the US backup you could always count on before? Unless spitballs make you feel confident.


9 posted on 10/01/2004 11:17:25 AM PDT by texas_mrs (Liberals are more fun than an enema.........)
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To: knak
Considering how France "politically stabbed" Colin Powel in the back over Iraq, I would be surprised if they treated Kerry much better.

I mean forged Nigerian documents on Iraq uranium yellowcake purchase.......sales of weapons in violation of UN sanctions....verbal promise to US diplomats that are then reneged upon....ah yes how FRENCH...

10 posted on 10/01/2004 11:17:28 AM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: knak

"...it might be more comfortable for European governments if he were reelected..."

...and in Europe, as in underwear, comfort comes first!


11 posted on 10/01/2004 11:18:30 AM PDT by WestTexasWend
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To: knak
It sounds like Kerry and Europe are dating.

"Psssstt... Asia! Can you tell Europe I like her? I like her alot..."

12 posted on 10/01/2004 11:19:07 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: sarasota
Kerry and his wishful thinking strikes again. He's a laughingstock.


13 posted on 10/01/2004 11:20:20 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: VisualizeSmallerGovernment

wow. So if Kerry is elected some Europeans might then feel compelled to assist the U.S? Assist with what, spitballs? Let these toothless doves sit on their hands and grumble. They are of no use to us.

But make no mistake, their weakness has not escaped the enemy's attention. If you negotiate with terrorists, you set yourself up for further "negotiations".

Spain, Italy, and France, you are now the soft targets of terrorism. Good luck.


14 posted on 10/01/2004 11:22:00 AM PDT by planekT
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To: Polybius

Perfect!


15 posted on 10/01/2004 11:29:59 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: knak
a French poll Friday giving the Democrat nearly 90 percent support.

According to Mideast Update.Com and the French press, the Iraqi governing council would likely let France bid on Iraqi oil contracts...But, this is opposed by the Bush administration. The French believe a Kerry administration in America would lower the price of gasoline in France.
...
16 posted on 10/01/2004 11:32:22 AM PDT by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
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To: knak
"But I would warn Europeans it would then be up to us to deliver," she said

Reminds me of my favorite lines from Ghostbusters:

Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results.
17 posted on 10/01/2004 11:42:58 AM PDT by marktuoni (Freepers, in their sleepers are getting to the truth)
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To: cvq3842

"But I'd have to live in that world too. It would be a fitting punishment or them - getting everything they think they want - but i don't want to have to suffer thorugh it too."

There ya go! Neither do I. We'll just plug away and get Bush re-elected. Save the "what ifs" for 08....
:]


18 posted on 10/01/2004 11:55:35 AM PDT by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: mugs99

Update:
Agence France-Press:
FISHERMEN BLOCK PORTS IN NORTHERN FRANCE OVER OIL PRICES
Received Friday, 1 October 2004 14:27:00 GMT

Poor frogs...since the downfall of Saddam their prices have skyrocketed!


19 posted on 10/01/2004 12:05:03 PM PDT by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
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To: knak

Has anyone thought that Kerry might actually restart the draft and then tell our European "friends" that we actually do not need their help?


20 posted on 10/01/2004 1:45:32 PM PDT by swampmonster
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To: knak

Since Kerry is so smart and perfect, and would do things so much better, I would expect him if won to immediately get French and German troops to Iraq, immediately to capture Osama and eliminate Islamist terrorism, resolve the Palestinian issue, resolve the North Korea and Iranian nuke issue, and create a paradise on earth. And he must foresee with 100% accuracy every potential pitfall and address the same. If he doesn't then he will have lied to the American public about how he would do.


21 posted on 10/01/2004 2:37:08 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: knak

Perhaps Kerry need to "return to his roots"....if he can figure our where that is ....and get the hell out of America..

His entire adulthood, he has been in conflict with the best interests of America..
He has been in close intercourse with our enemies in the Far East, South America and Europe...

The bastard is CLEARLY without honor or character..

His presidency would propel the nation into civil war..

Semper Fi


22 posted on 10/01/2004 2:48:12 PM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek...But I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: knak
So Kerry is going to somehow get EU to commit troops to what he calls the "wrong war at the wrong time".

Why didn't Bush nail him on this last night?

23 posted on 10/01/2004 6:18:44 PM PDT by Jorge
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