Just Above Sunset
February 27, 2005 - Bush in Europe

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Bush flew over.  No one gave him trouble.  He flew home.  Success.


No one said anything embarrassing – about the war or the debt-based economy or the torture stuff or how global warming seems to actually be happening when we say it is not.  How can it be that no one stood up and said anything? 


I think the answer is you don’t taunt and mock and call-out the bully with the hard fist and six thousand times your strength.  No one is THAT dumb.


The most pointed comment one could find -


… It is now undeniable that the US administration, at the highest levels, is responsible for the torture that has been routine not only, as seen round the world in iconic photographs, at Abu Ghraib, but at Guantánamo Bay and Bagram. Meanwhile, in prisons in Egypt, Jordan and Syria (and no doubt others we do not know about), Muslim men have been tortured by electric shocks to the genitals, by being kept in water, by being threatened with death - after being flown to those countries by the CIA for that very purpose.


How can it be that not one mainstream public figure in Europe has denounced these appalling practices and declared that, in view of all we now know of cells, cages, underground bunkers, solitary confinement, sodomy and threatened sodomy, beatings, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, mock executions and kidnapping, President Bush and his officials are not welcome? Perhaps it's not surprising given the British army's own dismal record in southern Iraq. Why has no public figure had the honesty to admit that the democracy and freedom promised for the Middle East are fake and mask US plans to leave Washington dominant in the area? And why does no one say publicly that what is really happening in the "war on terror" is a war on Muslims that is creating a far more dangerous world for all? …


Well, duh!


That was from this -


Why are we welcoming this torturer?
Europe is tacitly condoning the Bush regime's appalling practices
Victoria Brittain, The Guardian (UK), Thursday February 24, 2005


Victoria expects too much.  International politics and diplomacy doesn’t work that way.  Never did.


But the leaders are one thing; the people in the street are another.


The usual Reuters stuff here on the days Bush was in Germany – with this nugget - German police confiscated one poster that read: "We had our Hitler, now you have yours."


Not nice!  More details -


"I'm disgusted by the war in Iraq Bush started that has cost thousands of civilian lives," said Thomas Odenweller, 49, a computer technician. "Now he's trying to normalise relations with Europe. It must be stopped."


Ignoring snow and freezing temperatures, the demonstrators held banners chastising Bush in English with slogans such as: "You can bomb the world to pieces but not into peace." Many had pre-printed posters reading: "Bush, No. 1 Terrorist".


Before the march, which Mainz police said was one of the largest ever in the city of about 300,000, one speaker told the crowd: "Mr. Bush, please leave our country. You started an illegal war against Iraq."


And their own leader?


Some protesters praised Schroeder for his anti-war stance.


"Schroeder's opposition to the Iraq war made me so proud to be German," said Helmut Bach, 50, a pilot who marched with his 20-year-old daughter. "That's why I voted for him."


Ah – roles seem to be reversing in the land that gave us Adolph.  And we’re told several protesters wearing fake US army uniforms pulled a trailer with dummies of blood-covered Iraq prisoners impaled on iron bars under a banner: "We don't want your type of freedom."


"When John F. Kennedy came to Germany he drove through cheering crowds," said Mark Reichelt, 20, a student. "Now Bush is here and will drive through empty streets."


Oh well.


From the continent that gave us fascism we’re getting odd feedback.


Here is Luciana Bohne speculating on when it all started.  That fascism word is coming up again and again…


February 22, 2005 - Fifty years from now, historians (if any survive the next 50 years in any fit shape to take time out from foraging for food to scribble and to theorize) will puzzle over this question as Italians still do today over the exact beginning of fascism (roughly, 1920-1943).

Was it with the USA PATRIOT Act? The military tribunals? Nine-eleven—Reichstag fire that some think it was? Florida elections 1998-2000? Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib? Gonzales? Negroponte? PNAC? Panama invasion? Gulf War I? Reagan? NAFTA and the Washington consensus, in general? Chile coup?

Or was it with Hiroshima and Nagasaki—when the US showed the world that it would back its existing economic hegemony with its military death machine?


And this -


The Rise of Rove's Republic - Stirling Newberry - February 24

The Agonist - Most people in the outside world do not explicitly believe we are passing through a period of constitutional crisis. That an impeachment was run over a blowjob didn't clue them in. That a president was installed by judicial fiat did not clue them in. That a war was launched which is, and was, essentially a giant looting expedition on the Treasury has not clued them in.

So what is going on? What is the thread that unifies Iraq and Social Security, the election crisis of 2000?

The process of American Constitutional change, and according to that process, the greatest dangers lie ahead, not behind us. …


It’s actually very, very long.


Ah, well.  We’ll be the other side this time.






Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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