GW has to be the most coddled and politically-protected president in history. We know how his town-hall meetings leading up to last year's election were finely-tuned fabrications, completely artificial and staged. We know that when he finally does agree to press conferences, they're heavily controlled and brief (and sometimes contain fake reporters).
Now we read that his Europe tour is being extremely cleansed, insuring he doesn't see the MANY protesters and exhibitions of dislike:
Most conspicuous was the lack of contact between ordinary Germans and an American president visiting what could almost have been a stage setting: a town with buildings but no people, the shops and restaurants in the center of town closed, and only uniformed police officers on the streets.He's like the king who must be shielded from seeing the ugly reality, the masses who may disagree with him and his rulings. And instead the "peasants" offer up their forced smiles, but all the while gnashing their teeth with disdain. It's been written that many of the European leaders are behaving in this same manner, shaking Bush's hand, smiling for the cameras, but at the end of the day looking to go opposite GW on many issues:
This president was entirely sealed off from Germans - other than Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the German journalists at a news conference, and even a town-meeting-type encounter with Mainz residents was scrubbed out of worry the mood would be hostile. A meeting with a group of carefully screened "young leaders" was put in its place.
Indeed, analysts said, European leaders are increasingly united against U.S. positions and feel emboldened to go their own way on such issues as Iran and China.Oh how wonderful. In his misguided intent to invade Iraq, we've managed to alienate and lose the goodwill relations of many of our European allies. What a wonderful trade-off. Of course, this tour is due much in part to Bush and Rice eating crow for these past digressions, but evidence points to it not working. What's done is done and as it was said by many prior to last November, it will require a new person in the White House to start us on the path back to mending relations with many allies -- in earnest -- and reestablishing close ties.
Like Soros, Dean LeBaron founded a financial firm and became very wealthy in the process and has since become involved in many things. He lives in Switzerland, among other places, and had this to say in a recent interview:
Well, I noticed something during my most recent stay in Switzerland, something so very substantially different that I commented on it in a video on my Website that I called "America's Under Quarantine." In some measure, it was a reaction to the recent election. But even a year or two ago, Europeans especially - but also others - were telling me, "We don't understand the American government. We were friendly and supportive of America after 9/11, and we tried to be helpful. But then America took such a high-handed approach" (essentially referring to the Bush Administration), "that we sort of pulled back and said, well, that will change after an election because Americans are such good and compassionate and generous people. They will not tolerate this degree of high-handedness." So, after the election, Europeans have been stunned. Some famously so. What was that headline in the The Standard of London? "How Can 53 Million Americans Be So Wrong To Have Voted For This-" I think they called him a dummy or something.All of this is a good thing?
But my point is that there has been a big change in Europe. Now, it is not just the U.S. government that they don't like. It's the American people. Sure, we have some friends there, but Europeans in general really are afraid of America. And they have decided, "We'd just better distance ourselves as much as possible." So they are forming a European Defense Union, which is essentially NATO, without America. They are seriously discussing which currency will be a reserve currency, other than the dollar. They're discussing trade relationships that do not depend on the World Trade Organization, which they see as dominated by America, and so on. What I am saying is that we are being sidelined, and it's serious. There has been a sharp drop in the number of foreign students applying to American universities this year.