Blogs > Cliopatria > 4 out of 5 Foreign Leaders Recommend Kerry

Aug 4, 2004 3:11 am

4 out of 5 Foreign Leaders Recommend Kerry

Well, not really. I just made that up. You might remember that little tempest few months back when Kerry supposedly said that foreign leaders support his candidacy. Tom Delay et. al went to town labeling Kerry with endorsements from Kim Jong II and Jacques Chirac. That aside, I have been very curious about how the regions most affected by a Kerry presidency - Middle East and South Asia - think of him. I read the press in South Asia and the Gulf pretty closely after the Democratic Convention to guage their reaction.
Bottomline: Crickets Chirping.
South Asian English press carried coverage from Reuters and AP but no one had any reporters on the ground. We know that al-Jazeera was at the Fleet Center (the DNC had them take their banner down) and they have not been particularly kind to Kerry. The theme seems to be that there is little or no difference between Kerry and Bush and that the imperialist program will continue.
The central point in that understanding is Kerry's support of Sharon and his policies in Israel. It is highlighted that he has distant Jewish ancestory which makes him a complete and utter supporter of AIPAC. Both themes are highlighted in this editorial cartoon from PakTribune.
The Pakistani press (especially the Urdu) remains wary of Kerry - insisting that Republican presidencies are much nicer to Pakistan than Democratic ones. They do have a point. Recently sacked (uh, retired) PM Jamali even called for Bush re-election before HQ stopped his extemporaneous interviews. In an editorial column few days ago, Nawa-i Waqt highlighted the difficulties facing Kerry's bid and painted him as a cardboard stiff. My sense from reading it was that they just re-used the column from 2000 about Gore.
In India, the situation is similiar as outsourcing is a hot topic. With his protectionist platform, Kerry has not earned any free points in most newspapers. Though unpopularity of Bush remains the over-riding motif.
In fact, as I write this, I am convinced that Bush continues to dominate all news analysis and vitriol. Which could give Kerry a relatively clean slate when he begins his tenure.
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