After several months of rattling the European allies, our nominal President travels today to an Old World which largely disagrees with him and his cronies on such issues as the environment, arms control, abortion, the death penalty, the use of land mines, an international court, genetically altered foods, and even the proper legal drinking age.
According to yesterday’s New York Times, Bush plans to rely on his “personal charm” (rather than an open clarification of his deeply-held beliefs, or his debating skills, I assume) in winning the heads of European states over to his points of view.
You folks think this is wise? He won’t, y’know, embarrass the entire continent while he’s over there, will he?
I’m sure the Europeans understand how unrepresentative Bush personally, and his policies generally, are of Americans in general. This may look like a visit for the holidays by your less-favored uncle, who always talks too loud, slaps everyone on the back and gives them unflattering nicknames, puts his feet on the table, repeats the same old, dull stories while laughing out loud at himself, but finally leaves after a few days.
Let’s face it. Everybody hates the US and it doesn’t matter who is president. If it were Lady Di they’d still dislike the USA. You can’t win. And they didn’t like the US any better with Clinton.
If the US tries to lead, they accuse it of being a bully. If it doesn’t they accuse it of doing nothing. This is what happened in Yugoslavia. For some years the US stayed out and Europe couldn’t get their act together and the problem snowballed. Then they criticise the US for intervening.
The fact is the US can’t win because other countries feel it is an affront to them for it to merely exist. I have found this attitude often in my travels. There will be anti-US demonstrations anywhere but, thankfully, the leaders of those countries are a bit more pragmatic.
IMHO Bush handled the Chinese incident pretty well. I disagree with his stance on Kyoto but I think he’ll handle himself OK.
And if you want to compare, I don’t think Clinton was much good at wooing foreign leaders. I remember he would routinely make heads of state wait outside the door of the White House, just keep them standing there, for 20 - 30 minutes. I believe he did it to the king and queen of Sweeden, Spain or some other country… How’s that for a good start.
Then he put all his efforts into trying to resolve the Palestinian conflict and we all know how that went, so I guess his charms and powers of persuasion were mostly for the interns.
I think Bush will do OK. In fact, I think he is doing better than you would expect for a guy who appears to have very low ability to express himself. He is not a good speaker.
As this is in GD rather than IMHO, would you care to substantiate that rather sweeping claim?
And who is this mysterious they you refer to? Sinister shadowy forces? The Illuminati? Or, worse still, the Dutch?
Where the hell were you travelling to? And who are these affronted countries? Are you sure you’re not being just a little paranoid here? Let’s be honest here - all countries criticise the dealings of other countries. It’s not as if the USA is the only nation to draw flack. I don’t think you need to sound quite so persecuted.
According to todays Washington Times, “Inside the Beltway”, Headline: “Georgies travels”; GWB, contrary to popular news reports, has been to Scotland twice in his life. Once when he was 13 in 1959 and agian in 1993. I dont how to do a link but the web sight is “washingtontimes.com”
Hey! You guys aren’t DEBATING! You’re just saying a lot of funny stuff! Gaudere’s gonna throw this right OUTTA here, and I hardly ever start GD threads…
C’mon, debate!..do you think Bush has the charisma to pull off a Ronnie-style hoodwink on the likes of Hubert Vedrine, French foreign minister? Should he even be trying, or should he speak honestly and candidly about his handlers’ plans for a missile defense system and scrapping of the 1972 ABM treaty?
…oh all right, I can’t help myself either. I bet George pees in his hotel-room bidet.