Sunday, November 23
How Europe Gets Bush Wrong
Michael Elliot, Time Magazine, November 23, 2003
"Why do they hate you, Mr. President?" asked Nick Robinson, the political editor of Britain's ITV News, at a press conference in London last week. "I don't know that they do," the President replied. But I fear he's too optimistic. There is something about Bush that just gets under the skin of Europeans.
But why? Start with the obvious: the dislike of Bush is the repayment, with interest, of an old slight. Bush and his closest advisers were dismissive of Europe from the start. After spats over global warming and the International Criminal Court, the Administration rebuffed NATO members who pledged their support to the U.S. following Sept. 11, 2001. Other slurs followed, like Bush's sneer at the American reporter who dared ask the French President a question in French. None of that made Bush loved. Now many Europeans simply doubt that his commitment to democracy in the Middle East is genuine and cannot fathom why the U.S. does not lean harder on Israel to secure a lasting peace. [...]