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Saturday, July 31, 2004

The New York Times > International > Europe > The Allies: Europeans Mostly Rally to Kerry, but With Few Illusions

The New York Times > International > Europe > The Allies: Europeans Mostly Rally to Kerry, but With Few Illusions: "THE ALLIES
Europeans Mostly Rally to Kerry, but With Few Illusions
By RICHARD BERNSTEIN

BERLIN, July 31 - The front-page cartoon in Le Monde on Saturday represented the general European preference in the wake of the Democratic National Convention: It showed John Kerry brandishing a Stars-and-Stripes broom and sweeping George W. Bush, along with the detritus of missiles around him, out of office.
Europeans seemed to feel that, with a Thursday night speech that included searing criticism of President Bush's administration, Mr. Kerry emerged from the convention a strengthened candidate, modestly bolstering their hopes that he could win the White House. Mr. Bush is not just widely disliked in Europe; he is viewed as the essential cause of divisions in the trans-Atlantic alliance.
The belief across Europe seemed to be that a Kerry administration would be more multilateral than the Bush administration has been, more willing to listen to the views of allies and take them into account.
'The speech was music to European ears because of the attacks on Bush,' said Justin Va�sse, a French historian. 'It put the blame where many Europeans see the blame, at the door of the Bush administration.'
But there was a strong countercurrent among some commentators, who expressed the view that while Europeans might like Senator Kerry more than President Bush, the speech contained little concrete indication of how his policies would be different from those followed in the past four years."

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