Monday, 11 June 2007

Bush in Albania

George Bush is given a "hero's welcome" in Albania - probably the most pro-U.S. country in both Europe and the Muslim world. Of course the reason they love America so much is because of Clinton's policy for armed intervention in support of Albanians in Kosovo - a policy that was opposed by Bush and publicly denounced by him during the run-up to the 2000 elections. Oh, the irony is killing me.

From an IHT article it's obvious Bush is more popular these days in Albania than he is back in the States:

On Sunday, all that love poured in Bush's direction, and when the president jumped briefly out of his limousine during a stop near the prime minister's villa in the town of Fusche Kruje, the crowd went wild, turning a presidential visit into a virtual mosh pit.

Hands were shooting at the president from all directions, grabbing his sleeves, rubbing his graying hair. Women kissed him on both cheeks. Men jostled to get close as Secret Service agents encircled him. As he stood on the running board of his limousine, waving before ducking back in the car, a second limo pulled up from behind to protect him.

From Jonathan Beale's tour diary of Bush's European tour:
President Bush has just received Albania's highest award "The Order of the National Flag". To Albania's prime minister I give the "Order of the Toady".

And why for example - if America's so loved and such a wonderful friend - did the president's Secret Service ask the Albanian military guard - who lined the road out of the airport - to surrender their weapons?

And why did the Albanians agree to such a ridiculous request? They all looked a bit silly with their hands behind their backs in army fatigues. It can only mean that someone out there in Albania actually doesn't like Mr Bush. But today I don't think we'll find him!

Albania is also the staunchest American ally in the "war on terror", reccently tripling the number of troops it has in Afghanistan to a grand total of 140.


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