Archive: Europe

Waiting for Baker

British online commentators sniff change in the air at the White House at the hands of Bush family friend and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. The British speculation was ignited by last week's report in the Los...

By Jefferson Morley | October 24, 2006; 12:08 PM ET | Comments (23)

Britain Cries Murder Over Journalist's Death

If the "special relationship" between the United States and Britain has been strained by the fallout over Iraq, it seems to have become especially troubled as of late. A beleaguered Tony Blair, President Bush's strongest ally in the world, is...

By Jefferson Morley | October 18, 2006; 11:32 AM ET | Comments (25)

Unveiled: Another Debate About Muslims in the West

The controversy started local and went global in a week. "I want to unveil my views on an important issue," wrote British MP Jack Straw in an Oct. 5 blog entry for the Lancashire Telegraph, a daily news site in...

By Jefferson Morley | October 12, 2006; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (104)

Journalist's Murder Seen as Indictment of Putin

The murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya is seen by many not just as a political assassination, but as an indictment of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the European governments that have embraced him. Thousands turned out Tuesday to mourn the...

By Jefferson Morley | October 11, 2006; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (31)

Berlin Opera Flap Brings Cries of Self-Censorship

"The cancellation of four performances of a Mozart opera has reignited an anxious and heated debate in Europe over free speech, self-censorship and Islam," reports EITB, the Spanish news service. "Debate" may not be the right word, because virtually nobody...

By Jefferson Morley | September 29, 2006; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (21)

European Reflections on 9/11

In its "bitter legacy of 9/11," The Independent attempts to quantify the carnage related to the international war on terrorism in the last five years. The numbers, for which sources aren't provided, are ferocious: 2,973 Total number of people killed...

By Jefferson Morley | September 12, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Comments (19)

Blair SkiddingToward the Exit

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's announcement Thursday that he will leave office within a year is a sign of deep tensions in the Labour Party that may force him to leave even earlier than that, say British online commentators. PM...

By Jefferson Morley | September 8, 2006; 08:48 AM ET | Comments (15)

Beslan Anniversary Highlights State of Russia's Media

On the second anniversary of the Beslan school siege, the Russian media says unanswered questions about the tragedy illuminate the gap between the Russian people and their government. But with the Russian media "in shackles," in the words of Washington...

By Jefferson Morley | September 7, 2006; 09:27 AM ET | Comments (10)

Putin's Russia -- Case Study in Media Control

Starting Saturday, the leaders of the world's wealthiest democracies will for the first time hold a major summit meeting in a country without a free press. The heads of states attending the 32nd annual G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia,...

By washingtonpost.com Editors | July 13, 2006; 08:55 AM ET | Comments (8)

Guantanamo as Backdrop for Bush's Trip to Europe

The U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo is not just a threat to the men held there, say online commentators in advance of President Bush's meeting with European Union leaders in Vienna today. It's a threat to Europe itself. The suicide...

By Jefferson Morley | June 21, 2006; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (22)

Immigration Politics, European Style

Europe is engulfed in an immigration debate that resembles America's in many ways. Just as President Bush sent National Guard troops to reinforce the U.S.-Mexican border last month, so the European Union last month dispatched military units to Spain's Canary...

By Jefferson Morley | June 15, 2006; 07:03 AM ET | Comments (40)

Are British Soldiers Deserting Iraq?

The British government finds itself on the defense following a BBC report from this weekend that more than 1,000 members of the British military have deserted since the start of the Iraq war. With Iraq still engulfed in violence and...

By Jefferson Morley | May 31, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (27)

Racism Shadows Germany's World Cup Party

Is it safe to go to the World Cup soccer tournament? The question is obsessing the German online media as the country prepares to host an estimated 3 million visitors for the month-long competition that opens June 9. Beneath the...

By Jefferson Morley | May 23, 2006; 07:40 AM ET | Comments (54)

Dutch Reconsider Expelling Islam Critic

Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born woman who has made waves in Europe for her sharp criticism of Islam, may not have to leave the Netherlands after all. Amidst a barrage of negative press coverage, the Dutch parliament today forced the government...

By Jefferson Morley | May 17, 2006; 05:25 PM ET | Comments (48)

Islam's Female Foe Reported to Seek Washington Perch

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has become a household name in Europe for her controversial renunciation of Islam, may soon be coming to Washington, according to the European online media. Today, Ali resigned her seat in the Dutch parliament and said...

By Jefferson Morley | May 16, 2006; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (132)

Russia Downplays Iran's 'Good News'

Russian experts are downplaying Iran's "good news" to have joined the world's nuclear technology club.

By Jefferson Morley | April 12, 2006; 02:43 PM ET | Comments (9)

As Iran Celebrates, Europe Worries

As the Iranian online media celebrates a nuclear technology breakthrough, European observers see a deepening confrontation between the Islamic Republic and the rest of the world. The disparate reaction to news that Iran has processed a small amount of uranium...

By Jefferson Morley | April 12, 2006; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (43)

Berlusconi Curses as Italy Prepares to Vote

Right up to the end, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's outrageous personality has dominated news of Italy's general election to be held Sunday and Monday. If it wasn't the right-wing media magnate's personal poll of phone sex girls (seven out of...

By Jefferson Morley | April 6, 2006; 08:28 AM ET | Comments (19)

The Drum Beats Again for Blair

Is Tony Blair finished? That's the question the British media are asking amid speculation that the Prime Minister will soon resign or be forced from office. The Economist says he should "quit while he is ahead." The Daily Telegraph, citing...

By Jefferson Morley | April 4, 2006; 09:12 AM ET | Comments (33)

In French Eyes, 'Anguish,' not 'Fantasy'

In the U.S. media (the Washington Post, for example) it is hard to find opinion makers who have much sympathy for the French students and workers staging a nationwide general strike today in opposition to a new employment law for...

By Jefferson Morley | March 28, 2006; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (52)

Elusive Justice in the Balkans

"If you are by chance hearing loud laughter," says Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes, "it is Slobodan Milosevic laughing loudly on his way to hell, having escaped and shown us that we do not know how to try war criminals."...

By Jefferson Morley | March 14, 2006; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (33)

Russia Flexes Muscle in Iran, Hamas Talks

On the eve of today's meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations says President Vladimir Putin's increasingly authoritarian ways pose a problem for the United States. But the Russian online media played up agreements over differences.

By Jefferson Morley | March 6, 2006; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (15)

Sweet Sixteen in the U.K.

Old enough to drive, old enough to vote. That's the conclusion of a British parliamentary commission, which recommended lowering the voting age to 16 years of age as part of a broader effort to reinvigorate democracy in the United Kingdom....

By Jefferson Morley | February 27, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Comments (6)

Cartoon Debate Cont'd: Iran's Ebadi 'Fed Up'

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights lawyer and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has joined Muslim writers who see a Western "double standard" in the publication of Danish cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammed. But she also underscores her frustration...

By Jefferson Morley | February 16, 2006; 05:40 PM ET | Comments (37)

'Double Standards' and Dissenters

As the worldwide protests against Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad show no signs of subsiding, a debate within the Muslim world is also visible. While many online Islamic commentators accuse the West of hypocrisy about freedom of expression, a...

By Jefferson Morley | February 16, 2006; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (61)

Britain's Abu Ghraib?

Will newly-released video footage of British troops beating four Iraqi teenagers turn out to be Britain's own Abu Ghraib nightmare? The story has prompted a round of soul searching in the United Kingdom's online media, even among pro-war commentators, and...

By Jefferson Morley | February 15, 2006; 08:34 AM ET | Comments (101)

Editor Fired as Cartoon Controversy Goes Global

As European Newspapers republished controversial images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad from a Danish daily, the cultural conflict between the Islamic world and the West over the drawings continued to flare around the world. Across the political spectrum, European editors...

By Jefferson Morley | February 2, 2006; 12:28 PM ET | Comments (481)

UK Denies Bush-Blair Talk on 'Bombing' Al-Jazeera

Two months after a British tabloid claimed that President George W. Bush told Prime Minister Tony Blair that he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera, the Arab TV news channel, the British government has denied the allegation. A spokesman for Blair "said...

By Jefferson Morley | January 19, 2006; 02:00 PM ET | Comments (10)

Renewed Doomsday Debate Abroad

It is hard to imagine any American news organization doing what The Independent of London's online edition did this week: give top billing to a dire global warming scenario from a leading environmental scientist. "The world has already passed the...

By Jefferson Morley | January 18, 2006; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (26)

Condoleezza Rice's Mission Impossible

Visiting Romania and Ukraine gave Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice some respite from blaring headlines about secret CIA prisons and flights. In Ukraine, local media coverage was respectful. In Romania, where Human Rights Watch has claimed one secret CIA prison...

By Jefferson Morley | December 8, 2005; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (49)

The Euro-Right Responds

Amid the furor over CIA secret flights and prisons, the outnumbered online commentators of the European Right offer an alternative to widespread indignation -- the shouldering of collective Western "responsibility" in doing what it takes to fight terrorism. The Times...

By Jefferson Morley | December 6, 2005; 04:25 PM ET | Comments (22)

The Politics of the German Media

As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kicks off a European trip in Germany this week, it's a good time to survey the political landscape of the German media, which is largely focused on the continuing uproar over secret CIA counter-terrorism...

By Jefferson Morley | December 6, 2005; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (5)

Speigel Online's Scoop on Secret CIA Flights

A new story in Spiegel Online about secret CIA flights to transport terror suspects through Europe to clandestine prisons may complicate U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's scheduled meeting Tuesday with German Prime Minister Angela Merkel. The German newsweekly reported...

By Jefferson Morley | December 5, 2005; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (58)

Rice to Face European Heat

As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice begins a five-day European trip, she and her hosts must confront a wave of commentary in the Euro-media about reports of secret CIA prisons and plane fights. In recent weeks, newspapers in virtually every...

By Jefferson Morley | December 5, 2005; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (52)

Al-Jazeera Demands Bush-Blair Transcript

The story of President Bush's alleged comment about bombing the headquarters of Arab TV network al-Jazeera continues to reverberate in the British online media. Al-Jazeera's managing director delivered a letter to No. 10 Downing Street demanding that the British government...

By Jefferson Morley | December 1, 2005; 05:00 PM ET | Comments (26)

Bush's Brother and the Fugitive Russian Tycoon

It sounds like the pitch for a Hollywood comedy. The younger brother of the president of the United States, seeking to establish himself independently of his more successful sibling, visits a small country in the company of a ne'er do...

By Jefferson Morley | November 28, 2005; 03:46 PM ET | Comments (15)

U.K.: Media Gag Order Over Leaked Memo

Britain's attorney general yesterday told the Daily Mirror and other newspapers not to publish further details from a top-secret memo that detailed a meeting between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in which Bush expressed a desire...

By Jefferson Morley | November 23, 2005; 08:45 AM ET | Comments (68)

Bush, Blair, Bombs and al-Jazeera

The Mirror, a British tabloid, claims a British government transcript shows that President George W. Bush wanted to bomb the Arab TV station al-Jazeera in Qatar last year but was talked out of it by Prime Minister Tony Blair. BBC...

By Jefferson Morley | November 22, 2005; 01:45 PM ET | Comments (35)

Canary Islands Also Seeking CIA Flight Information

"A dispute over alleged CIA use of Spain as a base for transporting Islamic terror suspects spread Wednesday to the Canary Islands," according to EiTB4, a Basque news site. The local government there has asked Madrid to explain newspaper reports...

By Jefferson Morley | November 16, 2005; 06:30 PM ET | Comments (4)

Europe Tracks CIA Operations

Reporting on CIA's alleged use of European facilities in secret counterterrorism operations continues to proliferate in the European online media. Spain's El Mundo reported Monday that the European Union's justice commissioner has asked all EU countries and countries applying for...

By Jefferson Morley | November 15, 2005; 06:33 PM ET | Comments (14)

Mideast Media Ask: Can France and Islam Coexist?

Who is to blame? The French people? France's government? The Muslim immigrants themselves? When it comes to the riots that swept France over the last two weeks, commentators in the Arab online media are divided. Some blame French secularism, many...

By Jefferson Morley | November 14, 2005; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (26)

European Media See an American Gulag

From Iceland to Turkey, The Washington Post's Nov. 2 story, "CIA Holds Terror Suspects In Secret Prisons," has elicited denunciations and denials in the online media. While every East European government denied the presence of secret CIA detention centers within...

By Jefferson Morley | November 11, 2005; 07:48 AM ET | Comments (53)

The End of Teflon Tony Blair?

"Blair's darkest day," said the Daily Mail. "The end of Teflon Tony," said The Times. "Humiliating," said The Sun. "Shattering," said the Scotsman The British online media are not shy about passing judgments on the implications of the House of...

By Jefferson Morley | November 10, 2005; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (5)

French Fried: Readers Respond to the Riots

In a wide-ranging Live Online discussion on the French riots yesterday, readers weighed in with some timely questions and comments, including: From Windsor Mill, Md.: "Fox News has bannered this story as 'Muslim Riots.' Has that been the trend with...

By Jefferson Morley | November 9, 2005; 04:42 PM ET | Comments (10)

Europe Wonders 'Could It Happen Here?'

Could it happen here? That's the question London's Daily Telegraph is asking its readers about the riots in France. It's the questions people all over Europe are asking themselves. The answer varies by country, but it almost always revolves around...

By Jefferson Morley | November 9, 2005; 09:51 AM ET | Comments (16)

Live Online

I will be hosting a Live Online discussion about international media reaction to the rioting in France at 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 9. Questions, comments, and links welcome. Check in here....

By Jefferson Morley | November 9, 2005; 05:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

Sharing the Blame in France

A sense of desperation continues to pervade French commentary on the rioting that has spread across the country. There is a widespread feeling that the country's "Republican social pact" is falling apart. Even after President Jacques Chirac declared a state...

By Jefferson Morley | November 8, 2005; 02:10 PM ET | Comments (20)

French Conservative Defends Himself

Those French liberals, soft on Iraq and soft on their Muslims, are getting their comeuppance from Islamic terrorists as the "clash of civilizations"  arrives at chez Chirac. So say some readers of this blog in written comments on the spread...

By Jefferson Morley | November 8, 2005; 07:07 AM ET | Comments (30)

France's Left and Right Debate Riots' Causes

Ten days of intensifying riots in Muslim-dominated suburbs of Paris and other cities has left France shaken and divided. The toll is evident in the French online media. "A country which prides itself as the fatherland of the humans right...

By Jefferson Morley | November 6, 2005; 01:25 PM ET | Comments (97)

More on Secret Prison Location

The Times of London reports today with even more specificity about the location of the secret CIA prison for terror suspects. Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch told the British that he is "90 percent certain" that the secret CIA...

By Jefferson Morley | November 3, 2005; 01:37 PM ET | Comments (30)

Overseas Media Ask: Where Is the Secret CIA Prison?

European parliamentary officials moved yesterday to investigate The Post's report that the CIA operates a secret prison for suspected al Qaeda operatives in Eastern Europe. For the international online media, the top question is, Where is this prison? Aljazeera.net cited...

By Jefferson Morley | November 3, 2005; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (40)

First European Reactions to CIA Prison Story

The Washington Post story reporting that the United States maintains a secret prison for suspected al Qaeda operatives in an unnamed East European country "has caused strong concern in Europe," according to the EU Observer. Sarah Ludford, a liberal British...

By Jefferson Morley | November 2, 2005; 05:30 PM ET | Comments (34)

Scottish Police Probe 'Torture Flights'

Scottish police have launched an investigation of so-called CIA "torture flights" that allegedly transport captured terrorism suspects to undisclosed locations for interrogation, according to the Glasgow Sunday Herald. The investigation is the latest sign of growing European unease with U.S....

By Jefferson Morley | November 2, 2005; 08:06 AM ET | Comments (39)

Leak Case: Leading Spanish Daily Weighs In

"As in the Watergate case," says an editorial in El Pais (in Spanish), a liberal leading daily in Madrid, "lies about something non-central may be the thread from which everything unravels.... The White House is starting to founder and what...

By Jefferson Morley | October 31, 2005; 08:06 AM ET | Comments (10)

International Media Make 'Watergate' Comparison

The indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has some international online commentators envisioning a Watergate-style scandal swamping the Bush White House. "Bush faces his Watergate," says the Independent. The London daily says the issues...

By Jefferson Morley | October 30, 2005; 12:31 PM ET | Comments (20)

The Niger Papers: Obstacles to Coverage

Could a media scandal from the 2004 election wind up hindering a major U.S. media organization from following up on the Bush administration's alleged use of forged documents to justify the Iraq war? The Los Angeles Times is one of...

By Jefferson Morley | October 29, 2005; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (40)

DSM Sequel: Roots of a Scandal

As Washington awaited news of possible indictment of Bush administration officials in connection with the leaking of a CIA operative's name, a sensational series in an Italian newspaper was laying bare the roots of the scandal. Three stories published by...

By Jefferson Morley | October 28, 2005; 11:05 AM ET | Comments (28)

The Merimee Affair

Reader Elle writes from France that I was wrong to report that the French media have not been covering Paris's relationship to Saddam Hussein. She's right, at least when it comes to the Oil-for-Food scandal. Le Monde published two revealing...

By Jefferson Morley | October 19, 2005; 03:24 PM ET | Comments (9)

Antiwar Europe Worries About Saddam Hussein Trial

For European online commentators who opposed the invasion of Iraq, the trial of Saddam Hussein is a welcome event, with worrisome undertones.  Two concerns stand out: International legal norms may not be observed because of U.S. influence and the proceedings...

By Jefferson Morley | October 19, 2005; 07:19 AM ET | Comments (24)

The Radical Gardener

Spy novelist John Le Carre talked to The Guardian about his "radical politics" and the movie version of his latest book, "The Constant Gardener." Among his targets: The Iraq War: "It destroyed our relationship with the Middle East and with...

By Jefferson Morley | October 10, 2005; 05:00 PM ET | Comments (7)

'Iron Lady' Talks in 'Hammer' Probe

Tom Delay, the indicted House GOP leader, is known as "The Hammer." Margaret Thatcher was "The Iron Lady." So it may come as no surprise that these tough-talking conservative leaders had a meeting in May 2000. But U.S. authorities now...

By Jefferson Morley | October 3, 2005; 09:20 AM ET | Comments (3)

Angela, Gerhard or Bozo?

"Americans take heart: the United States is apparently not the only major western democracy unable to pull off an election. Germany's vote on Sunday has been a disaster from the get-go," says commentator Marc Young of Deutsche-Welle. The problem is...

By Jefferson Morley | September 21, 2005; 07:17 AM ET | Comments (2)

Germany Upside Down

Angela Merkel, the conservative candidate, led her Christian Democratic party to a first place finish but suffered a "bitter defeat," according to Spiegel Online. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was expected to lose and did -- but the Social Democrat leader is...

By Jefferson Morley | September 19, 2005; 08:53 AM ET | Comments (11)

Sour Orange

The rhetoric of "democratic revolution" sometimes gets ahead of the reality. As in Ukraine, where Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko just fired his whole cabinet amid allegations of corruption. The so-called Orange Revolution "promised much but has so far delivered little,"...

By Jefferson Morley | September 9, 2005; 07:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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