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Bush's Visit to Europe

The gift that most of the great American comedians have, from Buster Keaton, to Jack Benny, and Jim Carrey, is the ability to walk unconcernedly through life leaving chaos in their wake.

And yet still be innocent, funny and loveable. Well, your new President George W. Bush has just visited us here in Europe, tried the same trick and though he has left chaos in his wake, he’s failed to be funny or loveable. And I haven’t even mentioned innocent.
His main achievement was to inspire the citizens of Sweden, one of the most boring countries in the world, to riot for the first time in living memory. I guess that’s something to boast about back in Washington. George W. was here to tell us that Star Wars 2 is a great idea, and that the Kyoto accord, to curb deadly greenhouse gasses is a bad idea. He cantered down the steps of Air Force One onto good Spanish soil, and immediately set about mangling their language and insulting European history. In his opening speech, he seemed surprised and delighted that we were democratic. He might just as well have expressed amazement that we can read and write. He then advanced a political vision so absurd that for a while the ghost of L. Ron Hubbard seemed to be sitting on his shoulder. The idea that war in the 21st century is just going to consist of a rain of high tech missiles from a probably bankrupt Third World country, is to us crazy.

Most of us are more worried of the idea of a man getting off a plane at Paris, London, or Rome, carrying a suitcase with high explosives or worse, a deadly virus to unleash on the subway. Don'’ forget, we'’e lived with rehearsals for this for the last thirty years, from the likes of the IRA, ETA. That's the real threat; Star Wars is for the movies. And even our politest leaders, as they watched Mr. Bush’s stumbling performance, couldn’t go all the way with this particular hotch potch. The less polite chuckled nervously and comforted themselves in the knowledge that their political majorities were probably more genuine than his. One thing’s for sure: when it comes to foreign relations, your president is no JFK. He’s more like Monte Wooley, you remember, the man who came to dinner and simply didn’t know when to leave.

Simon Bates