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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
World media reviews Bush record
US President George W Bush
Bush's policies have sown "dismay and discord" abroad
International media assessments of George W Bush's first 100 days in office have focused on his pragmatism, conservatism and stance on the environment.

Many commentators note his popularity at home but warn that beyond US borders he has sown "dismay and discord".

One of the most damning critiques came from North Korea.


He handles international affairs in an intransigent, conceited and obstinate manner

Zhongguo Qingnian Bao

"Since the day he took office he has betrayed his true colours as a fanatic advocate of the policy of strength as he has been keen on aggression and war, harassment of peace and world domination," the party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.

"It is due to the US, indeed, that the world has hardly seen even a single tranquil and peaceful day over the last 100 days."

Arrogance

China's Zhongguo Qingnian Bao daily accused Bush of displaying arrogance and irritating America's traditional allies.


An idealist has been replaced by a cool manager

Mlada Fronta Dnes

"It will soon be 100 days since Little Bush became US president, but the impression he has given observers at home and abroad is one that cannot be considered as good - that he handles international affairs in an intransigent, conceited and obstinate manner, showing no strategic vision whatsoever."

"His decision to go forward with the National Missile Defense system has sown dissension among Europeans and made them feel ill at ease; the abrupt discontinuation of the missile talks with North Korea has bewildered and embarrassed the Korean people; and the hasty withdrawal from signing the Kyoto Protocol has displeased many countries," it said.

Inconsistency

Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah condemned Bush's foreign policy as "inconsistent" and "confused" and said his attempts to change the US approach to the Middle East had failed.

"At the beginning of his first 100 days in office, he decided to leave the Middle East peace process to the two parties concerned - the Palestinians and the Israelis.

"Close to the end of the first 100 days, he discovered what is considered common knowledge by anyone monitoring developments in the region. He discovered that the US cannot afford to do that for numerous and essential reasons," the paper said.

Pragmatism

The Czech Mlada Fronta Dnes contrasted Bush's approach with that of his predecessor.

"In Clinton's world, there were partners and cooperation, while Bush's world contains rivals and threats," the Prague daily said.

"This could be called a realistic approach. If so, the USA should be realistically expected to pursue its own interests much more than we have been accustomed to. It will do so using pragmatic means and, if necessary, irrespective of its allies' stands...

"The White House was left by an idealist, who has been replaced by a cool manager."

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also remarked on Bush's "pragmatic persistence" and gave him high marks for learning quickly and for treating Latin America with "respect and understanding".

"This is a welcome change of the mentality of former North American presidents who used to view these countries as their backyard," it said.

Like many European papers Spain's El Mundo noted Bush's popularity at home but said that abroad he had "sown dismay, not to say discord" by rejecting the Kyoto Protocol and pushing ahead with an antimissile shield "that is to the profound dislike of the EU, and of Russia, exchanges with which have so far been mostly of spies".

It concluded that Bush's policies defined "compassionate conservatism: a combination of domestic pragmatism and foreign egotism measured out in meticulous doses which may be exasperating abroad but which is the mirror in which the majority of American society looks at itself".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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See also:

30 Apr 01 | Americas
Bush: The first 100 days
30 Apr 01 | Americas
Bush gets 100-day report
25 Apr 01 | Americas
Bush defends Taiwan arms sales
17 Apr 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: US-China military rivalry
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