Thursday, June 22, 2006

Toxic Bush Creates Tension in Vienna

Alice, over at 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera, brought this photo of Toxic Bush back from Vienna. They really don't like him. She has more here. Apparently they use this stuff for wallpaper in Vienna.

Alice hopes pResident Bush can keep his smirking to a minimum until he returns to the USA, but we doubt it:

"George arrived in Vienna last night and he's going to spend the next several days meeting with the leaders of the EU. Let's hope that he can keep the smirking to a minimum and save the wise-cracks for the sympathetic and forgiving reporters we have here in the States."

The New York Times has more on the love they don't feel for Bush in Vienna:

"That's absurd!" Mr. Bush declared, dismissing a reporter's suggestion that most Europeans regard the United States as a bigger threat to global stability than North Korea, which has proclaimed it has nuclear weapons, and Iran, which is suspected of developing them. . .

Mr. Bush's heated exchange with European reporters — under the glittering chandeliers of the marble-columned throne room in the Hofburg Palace, once the imperial home of the Hapsburgs — followed a summit meeting between the president and leaders of the European Union, who spent the morning talking about a wide range of issues, from nuclear tensions in North Korea to a faltering world trade agreement. . .

"I don't think Europeans are ever going to learn to love George Bush; he probably remains the most unpopular U.S. president in history within the European Union," said Mark Leonard, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Freedom, a research institution in London.

"I think there has been a remarkable honeymoon between governments and their rhetoric and the way they talk about issues, their desire to find agreement rather disagreement," Mr. Leonard said. "But it is quite fragile; on a whole series of different issues the wheels could come off at any point. Iran is the most obvious."

That honeymoon does not extend to the local press. Mr. Bush's image is plastered around Vienna on the cover of the Austrian news magazine Profil, under the headline "The Mad World of George Bush." On Tuesday, anticipating Mr. Bush's arrival, an Austrian commentator, Hans Rauscher, offered a brutal assessment of the president in the daily newspaper Der Standard.

"George W. Bush is probably the worst president of the past 100 years," Mr. Rauscher wrote. "The world has to suffer him until 2008.

The European opposition to Mr. Bush was underscored by the protests that greeted him today. Hundreds of people marched in Vienna carrying banners reading "World's No. 1 Terrorist," a reference to Mr. Bush, whose policies on Iraq remain hugely unpopular here.