Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bush in the U.N. and the Rose Garden

This is late on the U.N. speech, of course, but I'm a full-time goddess, not a full-time blogger. And the snakes have been needy recently.

In any case, Bush gave a speech at the United Nations, an institution that he would like to see razed down as impotent, unnecessary and anti-American. It was an interesting performance, an attempt at a statesmanly delivery of snarky barbs.

This is what the European newspapers thought about it:

The editorial cartoon in the Times of London newspaper today was derisive: the first panel has President Bush telling the United Nations General Assembly, "Friends, our policy in Iraq is directed solely towards a successful election."
The second panel has him saying which election: "Mine."
European newspapers, including some that supported the American military campaign in Iraq, were largely critical of Mr. Bush's address on Tuesday to the United Nations.
The Financial Times contended in its lead editorial that the Bush administration "systematically refused to engage with what actually has happened in Iraq" namely, in its view, that American policy "mistakes" have "handed the initiative to jihadi terrorists" who "now have a new base from which to challenge the West and moderate Islam."

Other papers echoed these feelings:

The left-leaning Independent newspaper carried an editorial cartoon of Osama bin Laden putting up a Bush campaign poster saying "4 More Years" on a shell-pocked bit of masonry in Iraq. The cartoon seemed to be inspired by a diplomatic spat over remarks attributed to the British ambassador to Rome, Sir Ivor Roberts. After a private discussion on policy that was deemed to be off the record, Sir Ivor was quoted by an Italian newspaper as saying that Mr. Bush had become "the best recruiting sergeant" for Al Qaeda.

My favorite of all is the quote from the French Liberation which states that Bush "showed that slightly autistic self-satisfaction remains the dominant tendency of American power."

Bush would never be elected if the whole world could vote. Which makes me wonder why so many Americans (wingnuts, anyway) are either unaware of this fact or assume that it proves Bush's strong leadership skills or something. Don't they wonder what makes those funny foreigners think differently? Probably not.

At a more recent press conference in the Rose Garden Bush and his long-lost twin, Allawi, had astonishingly similar views on the events in Iraq. As one journalist commented on the radio, the press conference couldn't have been more successful if it had been staged by the Republican presidential campaign...