Thousands protest Bush in Europe
June 22, 2001 | Page 1
GEORGE W. BUSH was faced with something that he wasn't used to when he visited Europe in June.
Not so much from political leaders, who told reporters that Bush "left a very positive impression of knowing some facts," as one official put it.
Instead, the opposition came from tens of thousands of ordinary people, who mobilized at nearly every stop on Bush's five-day tour.
The demonstrators challenged Bush down the line--from the startup of the U.S. government's death penalty machine to the administration's insane plan for a Star Wars missile defense system.
In Sweden, where protests continued against a European Union summit meeting after Bush left, police shot three demonstrators with live ammunition, leaving one clinging to life as Socialist Worker went to press.
The establishment media dismissed the protests.
"Trying to build up Europe by acting outraged against America has become the European national sport," sniffed Gregg Easterbrook, of New Republic magazine.
Even Democrats like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)--a darling of Washington liberals--said they were "rallying around the president."
But despite the careful staging of the visit, Bush showed plainly why so many people despise him and the policies he stands for.
Within hours of setting foot in Europe, Bush claimed to a reporter that he opposed the execution of the mentally handicapped.
Problem: Bush signed off on the execution of two mentally handicapped prisoners as governor of Texas, and he blocked legislation that would have barred putting the mentally handicapped to death.
White House aides spent days "clarifying" President Blockhead's remarks.
Bush and the gang refused to budge on the issue of global warming, claiming that scientists couldn't agree on the facts--when, in reality, the only scientists who don't agree are the ones cashing a paycheck from Big Oil.
Bush pushed his plans for Star Wars--which led Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare that his government would build enough nukes to overwhelm a U.S. missile defense shield.
And if that wasn't enough, Bush unexpectedly declared that he wanted the NATO military alliance expanded to include the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania--something Russia says it won't tolerate.
The mainstream media may have bought the White House spin doctors' talk about Bush's "charm."
But there's nothing charming about this man.
George W. Bush and his pals are pushing a vicious right-wing agenda.
They'll do anything to line the pockets of their corporate pals--even if it puts the future of the planet in jeopardy.
It's time to build an opposition to show Bush that we won't tolerate his attacks.