Europe’s Misspent Influence

By NIR BOMS

April 21, 2005  Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111405417240212947,00.html

Politics is about changing things,” Javier Solana recently said, emphasizing that Europe has a leading role to play in promoting democracy in the world and particularly the Middle East.

Such rhetoric coming out of Europe begins to sound similar to President George W. Bush’s own vision of a “Greater Middle East”. Stressing the use of their “soft power,” Europeans like to make the point that they have long championed reforms and democracy in the region. Continue reading “Europe’s Misspent Influence”

Reform Lingo

By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck

Published July 14, 2004, The Washington Times


One of the more intriguing aspects of last week’s transfer of power in Iraq was the reaction it drew from neighboring governments in the region, particularly those that, traditionally, have been anything but democracy-friendly. 

Iran’s mullahs, for instance, “welcomed” the transfer as giving “sovereignty back to the majority of the Iraqi people.” Likewise, Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khader labeled the move “a step toward rebuilding political, economic, security and social institutions in Iraq,” while Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher called it “an opportunity for [the Iraqi people] to take control of their own affairs and restore complete sovereignty.” 

Continue reading “Reform Lingo”

Europe’s New Middle East Darling

Friday, November 19, 2004

By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck

With Yasser Arafat’s death, Europe has lost its oldest and dearest Arab despot. But the race to replace him as the European Union’s favored Middle East tyrant has already begun – and we seem to have a winner. Late last month, just days before Arafat was flown to Paris to receive medical treatment, the European Commission and Syria signed an “Association Agreement” that strengthened Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s iron grip on power. Amazingly, this significant development was all but ignored by the Western media.

Continue reading “Europe’s New Middle East Darling”