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23 February 2005

Bush's "fence-mending" tour of Europe...

While anyone dependent on the U.S. media would be under the impression that Bush's "fence-mending" trip to Europe currently underway is a resounding success and that Europe has come to see the error of its ways (i.e. now supports Bush on everything - the arms embargo on China, the Int'l Criminal Court, Kyoto, the landmine convention, missle defense, the hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapons program, and so on).

Of course in reality nothing could be further from the truth. While Chirac and Bush may agree about the Syrians in Lebanon, that is hardly the basis of a lasting collaboration in view of the overall differences. More importantly, contrary to the glowing presentation found in the U.S. media, the European media is much more circumspect and reflective ofEuropean views. See, for example:

EU chief dampens mood of entente with Bush
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/22/weu22.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/02/22/ixnewstop.html

The EU's foreign policy chief ... disputed the American view that last month's elections in Iraq had vindicated the US decision to invade and questioned whether the Bush administration's promises of a new era in relations with Europe meant anything.

At the same time, a new poll taken in nine countries - including theUnited States - shows that a majority of the people (roughly two-thirds on average) in most of the developed first-world (Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Spain) are opposed to Bush's "mission" of imposing democracy (i.e. US sanctioned puppet regimes that properly obey US demands, like the "democracies" of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Colombia, and so on) on all the "evil" (i.e. independent) countries of the world.

Nine Countries Spotlighted by Poll
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4817113,00.html

BRITAIN: Two-thirds in Britain don't think the United States should take the role of spreading democracy.

CANADA: By almost a 3-1 margin, Canadians don't think the United States should be trying to spread democracy and end tyranny.

FRANCE: More than eight in 10, 84 percent, say the United States should not be in the business of exporting democracy - the highest level of opposition of five European countries polled.

GERMANY: By a large margin, Germans disagree with the Bush administration's goal of spreading democracy.

ITALY: Just over half of Italians, 53 percent, say the United States should not be in the business of spreading democracy around the world.

MEXICO: Those close economic ties to the U.S. remain healthy even though they disagree with President Bush's plan to spread democracy and end tyranny around the world.

SOUTH KOREA: South Koreans say by a 2-1 margin that they do not think the United States should be trying to spread democracy.

SPAIN: By a 2-1 margin, Spaniards say they do not think the UnitedStates should be trying to spread democracy and end tyranny.

UNITED STATES: A slight majority, 53 percent, disagree with President Bush's plan to spread democracy to other countries, while just over four in 10, 45 percent, agree.

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