Photo & press gallery of the BRussells Tribunal anti-Bush action february 20

President Bush: the world holds you accountable !

 

(photos by Ikuko Ueba, Salim Hellalet, Han Soete, Vinciane Convens, http://braindrain.be, taken from Indymedia, Comac)

 

 

- We made it to the cover of the New York Times  february 20 (PDF) and in the article "Continent Is Divided..." (PDF)

- We made it to the New York Times february 21 (PDF) and the International Herald Tribune (PDF)

- We were mentioned in Australia (PDF)

- We were in the local press, of course (PDF): De Standaard A - B  -| De Morgen A - B | De Gentenaar |
- We were mentioned worldwide:  "Protest Bush Brussels feb 20" give 35.700 results in Google.

- Revolt of the Unpeople in Brussels

- Overview action Indymedia

- Video report : Bush not welcome in Belgium (day1) Marc De Meyere en Andrés Morgan 2005-02-20 10:55 PM

- Video report: Actie beurs brussel 20/02/2005 Wim Swinnen - Pieter De Vos 2005-02-21 4:14 PM
- Audio report: Betogers, artiesten en intellectuelen tegen Bush - deel 1 - Paschyne Sabbe & Geertrui Poelaert

- Audio report: Betogers, artiesten en intellectuelen tegen Bush - deel 2 - Paschyne Sabbe & Geertrui Poelaert
- Audio report: Betogers, artiesten en intellectuelen tegen Bush - deel 3 - Paschyne Sabbe & Geertrui Poelaert


- Antwoord aan "hardliner" Mia Doornaert (De Standaard): Mia, wake up! Wij zijn de vrienden van Amerika, niet jij. Sommige van onze vrienden vind je bijvoorbeeld op  www.sorryeverybody.com. De meerderheid van de Amerikanen is tegen de oorlogsavonturen van Bush. Wij zijn evenmin een "kleine extremistische minderheid", wij vertegenwoordigen een grote meerderheid van de bevolking: lees Poll Shows Doubts Over Bush Democracy Push, en Continent Is divided, though views soften. Jij behoort tot die kleine extremistische minderheid van ultra-liberalistische haviken die graag aanschurken tegen de (Neocon)  Powers that be. Wij zijn diep geschokt door jouw leugens in "Voor De Dag" op 21 februari. Jouw commentaar was een journalist en Radio 1 onwaardig.

- Bush: Arrogance Instead of Diplomacy Before Summit

- Poll Shows Doubts Over Bush Democracy Push

Same Old Bush

Lost in Europe

- Comments of the artists / academics in the Beursschouwburg about this visit? (Dutch - French - English)

- Verslag van de protest-marathon in de Beursschouwburg


“President Bush: the world holds you accountable”
by Lieven De cauter Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005 at 4:40 PM

BRussellsTribunal [picture by han Soete]

This snapshot of the cultural manifestation in Brussels on Sunday february 20 2005 against the visit of president Bush, as opening to the street manifestations on Monday and Tuesday, gives a good idea of what the protesters want to say to the president of the United States. It summarizes, according to the organizers, all the criticisms against the Bush-administration. That it is responsible for crimes against peace and the crimes against international law and the war crimes that come with it; for crimes against human rights and for crimes against the planet; for the organised theft and plunder of the resources of the world. On these levels the politics of president Bush are considered by the protesters and a large part of the Belgian and European public as the worst possible scenario that America, as a world leader, can write out to the planet.

Brussels. February 20th. Some 1000 people braved the whether in Brussels to protest against Bush. This snapshot of the cultural manifestation in Brussels on Sunday 20th against the visit of president Bush, as opening to the street manifestations on Monday and Tuesday, gives a good idea of what the protesters want to say to the president of the United States, over in Brussels to get the Europeans on his side. The slogan you see on the pillars of the Brussels Stock Exchange, is a quote. It comes from Hans von Sponeck, former UN Humanitarian coordinator in Iraq (who resigned over the sanctions), from a mail he wrote to support this action.

It summarizes, according to the organizers, all the criticisms against the Bush-administration. That it is responsible for crimes against peace and the crimes against international law and the war crimes that come with it, for crimes against human rights (from Patriot Act to Guantànamo and Abu Graib) and against the planet (by not implementing Kyoto), that it is responsible for the organised theft and plunder of the resources of the world. On these levels the politics of president Bush are considered by the protesters and a large part of the Belgian and European public as a form of extremism, as the worse possible scenario that America as a world leader can write out to the planet.

It is not by incident that the human rights organizations, the environmentalist movement and the peace movement have joined force - 80 organisations subscribed the platform, from the big NGO’s to the small organisations. They have joined forces to appeal to their whole basis in civil society to come to Brussels and protest. It might be called a beautiful touch that it is intellectuals and artists who open this wave of protest; independently from these NGOs, but in solidarity with them.

The manifestation on Sunday was organized by the BRussells tribunal, a temporary citizens initiative that organized a Russell-like tribunal against the ‘Project for the New American Century’ (the think tank behind the imperial war policies of the Bush administration) and its role in the invasion of Iraq. The BRussells Tribunal is part of the World Tribunal on Iraq, a series of hearings all over the planet on all aspects of the war in Iraq.

Prof. Lieven De Cauter
B
Russells Tribunal

http://www.indymedia.be/news/2005/02/93069.php


Artistieke en intellectuele protestmarathon in de Beursschouwburg: een verslag
by christophe callewaert Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005 at 9:10 PM

christophe@indymedia.be

BRUSSEL -- Honderden mensen woonden zondagnamiddag een artistieke protestmarathon bij in de Brusselse Beursschouwburg. Tal van kunstenaars en intellectuelen uitten er hun afkeer van het beleid van de Amerikaanse president met een lied, een theaterperformance of een doorwrochte speech. Hieronder een greep uit het aanbod.

Zo'n opkomst hadden de organisatoren van het Brussels Tribunal – bekend van het tribunaal over het ‘Project for the New American Century’ (PNAC), de denktank achter de oorlog in Irak - duidelijk niet verwacht. Anders hadden ze wel een grotere zaal dan het café van de Beursschouwburg uitgepikt. Honderden mensen probeerden er een glimp op te vangen van de schare artiesten en intellectuelen die vanop het podium duidelijk maakten waarom je best tegen de Amerikaanse president Bush kan zijn.

Professor emeritus Jaap Kruithof mocht de spits afbijten. “Europa mag niet bezwijken voor de hofmakerij van de VS,” zei hij, “want er zijn veel redenen om tegen Bush te zijn.” Kruithof somde nog eens de motivatie van de verschillende sociale bewegingen op die de komende dagen betogen tegen de komst van de Amerikaanse president. De oorlog in Irak natuurlijk, maar ook de mensenrechten in het concentratiekamp Guantanamo, de Amerikaanse boycot van 'Kyoto' hoewel de VS de grootste vervuiler zijn en de reactionaire morele standpunten van de conservatieve protestanten in de entourage van Bush. “Fundamentalisten zijn het,” aldus Kruithof, “die in Jezus Christus een oplossing zien voor alles en die denken dat het goede en het kwade rondwaart op aarde.” Maar de linkse professor is niet pessimistisch. “In the long run kunnen ze het niet halen, dat is mijn diepste overtuiging. Daarvoor is mijn vertrouwen in de arbeiders en de gewone mensen te groot. In de VS is nu al bijna 50 % van de mensen tegen Bush.” Kruithof sloot af met een oproep. “Laten we samen strijden met al diegenen die zeggen: never a New American Century again.”

Filmmaker Robbe de Hert kwam een gedicht voorlezen dat de Amerikaanse beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti speciaal geschreven heeft voor het Brussels Tribunal. De Franstalige historica Anne Morelli vroeg zich af we de VS moeten dankbaar blijven voor die bevrijding tijdens de tweede wereldoorlog en of de VS wel zo'n natuurlijke bondgenoot zijn van Europa. “Wellicht moeten we de Sovjet-Unie tien keer dankbaarder zijn want zij hebben veel zwaardere opofferingen gemaakt om de oorlog te winnen. Het waren bijvoorbeeld de Russen die Auschwitz bevrijd hebben, maar tijdens de recente herdenkingen vergaten de meeste media dat te melden.” Op de tweede vraag antwoordt Morelli ook negatief. “Bondgenootdschappen veranderen. Eeuwen aan een stuk waren achtereenvolgens Spanje, Engeland en Duitsland vijanden nummer één van Frankrijk. Nu zijn het allemaal bondgenoten. Het is dus best mogelijk dat Europa andere bondgenoten kiest. Bondgenoten waarmee Europa kan werken aan een ander project dan het huidige imperialisme.”

Ook François Houtart, één van de geestelijke vaders van het Wereld Sociaal Forum in Porto Alegre, dacht na over alternatieve allianties. “In Porto Alegre zien we de globalisering van het verzet. Daat sluiten Europeanen en Noord-Amerikanen allianties met de volkeren in de derde wereld.” De Amerikaanse vredesactivist John Catalinotto van ANSWER stelde de aanwezigen gerust. “Na de verkiezingen waren jullie waarschijnlijk bang dat alle Amerikanen Bush steunen. Wel dat is niet zo. Die overwinning van Bush bewijst alleen dat de Republikeinen goed georganiseerd zijn en dat ze veel geld hebben. En ook dat Kerry geen goede tegen kandidaat was.” Maar de Amerikaanse vredesbeweging is springlevend, aldus Catalinotto. “Gisteren hebben we nog met tweehonderd mensen affiches uitgehangen en flyers uitgedeeld in New York. We proberen daarmee zoveel mogelijk volk bij één te brengen in Central Park op 19 maart, de tweede verjaardag van het begin van de oorlog in Irak.” Bush is een reus op lemen voeten, zegt Catalinotto. “Jongeren willen niet langer dienen in zijn oorlog. Het Iraakse verzet schopt de plannen van het Pentagon in de war. En zelfs dit charme-offensief tegenover Europa is een bewijs van de zwakheden van het regime van Bush.”


Moet Europa ingaan op avances van Bush? Betogers vinden van niet
by christophe callewaert Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 at 1:21 PM

BRUSSEL -- “Allemaal anti-Amerikanen,” fulmineerde De Standaard-journaliste Mia Doornaert vanmorgen in Voor de dag (radio 1). Ze had het over de meer dan 1000 betogers die zondag op de trappen van de Beurs protesteerden tegen de komst van de Amerikaanse president. Misschien had ze toch beter de moeite gedaan om ook even te luisteren naar de argumenten van de betogers.

George Bush komt in Europa de plooien gladstrijken. De oorlog in Irak is voorbij. Het wereldwijde verzet er tegen lijkt weggeëbt. En ook de Amerikaanse president lijkt milder geworden. Maar van dat laatste zijn de betogers niet overtuigd. “O ja, een heel sympathiek mens als je hem bezig ziet op tv,” zegt Jacques Mevis van 11.11.11. “Maar aan zijn beleid is niet veel veranderd. Kyoto wordt geboycot. De oorlogslogica wordt voortgezet. De groot-industrie krijgt alle steun en havik Cheney is nog altijd vice-president.” Europa moet dus niet te snel bezwijken voor het charme-offensief. “De Belgische regering gaf twee jaar geleden een duidelijk signaal en speelde daarmee een belangrijke rol in het wereldwijde verzet. De druk om mee te doen met de VS groeit nu, maar de Belgische regering moet standhouden.”

“80 % van de Belgen was tegen die oorlog. De regering deed dus alleen wat de bevolking wou dat ze deed,” zegt Peter die actief is bij de ACV-jongeren. “Verhofstadt moet nu dus ook niet toegeven aan Bush. Anders moet hij maar eens proberen een pro-Bushbetoging te organiseren die evenveel volk lokt als deze actie.”

“Betogen blijft belangrijk,” zegt ook organisator Lieven De Cauter van het Brussels Tribunal. “Zeker nu Bush naar hier komt om Europa te verleiden om in zijn logica mee te stappen. Zijn oorlogspolitiek is misdadig en een inbreuk op de mensenrechten en het internationaal recht. Denk ook aan Guantanamo, het eerste officiële concentratiekamp sinds 1945 en de boycot van Kyoto waarmee ze het voortbestaan van deze planeet in gevaar brengen. Europa mag hier dus niet aan meedoen. Not in our name!”


Revolt of the Unpeople in Brussels

by yossarian Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2005

We are on the train from Cologne to Brussels to cover Mr. Bush's visit to the European Union for Indymedia UK. Newsstands and websites display pictures of happy European statesmen - Jacques Chirac looking aggressively relaxed during the handshake - and the talk is of rapprochement, a new partnership between America and Europe. Like a bad song or an awkward lover, Mr. Bush declares to the assembled notables that “no power on Earth could ever divide us.”

An old friend of mine once talked about the collision between the real world of human experience and a virtual world. This virtual world of corporate media is inhabited by the Very Important People, he said, and it is what they say, who they sleep with, what they wear, and what they take off that is important in the virtual world. Ordinary people, unpeople, the ones that you and I know, never show up in this world, except when they die, or when they commit a crime and are punished. It is the task of the independent media to map out the vast gap between the virtual and the real worlds – one might say, the gap between Bono and Africa. Another old friend once said “don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining,” which is a simpler way of saying the same thing.

In light of these words of wisdom, what is actually going on in Europe today?

Probably the most interesting thing is the way in which Mr. Bush is being shielded from the mob by his gracious hosts and handlers. Although we might have expected a triumphant mini-trip to London so soon after the elections in Iraq, this was not on the table. Hundreds of thousands of people shut down London the last time Bush visited, but as I have already noted in the corporate media ordinary people do not exist...the media coverage at the time was like a set of spotlights playing around the edges of a black hole. Here, in the independent media, we can give a name to the unmentionable darkness that reared its head in November of 2003: it was the citizenry of London.

Tomorrow, Mr. Bush will visit the small city of Mainz, in Germany. Meaning no offense to the residents of these fine towns, it should be pointed out that the World-Emperor, unable to visit Berlin due to the massive disruptions that security will cause in the German capital, is on the equivalent of a state visit to Dundee, or in American terms, maybe Duluth, Minnesota. The fact that he will be visiting US military bases in the area should at least assure a polite audience.

This is nothing new, of course, and it's unfair to single out Mr. Bush. Since the late 1990s, it has been a certainty that any attempt by heads of governments, industrial leaders, or financial wizards to meet and discuss the business of running the “Free World”, will be met by a vast and unmentionable conspiracy. People who do not normally show up on the evening news organize themselves in novel ways that are increasingly difficult not to notice; the police use batons and gas grenades. Things get tricky. So, as the real world gets moving against the wars, environmental destruction, and the political and economic system, government and corporate leaders withdraw further into the virtual world, visiting small provincial towns under heavy guard. If this process continues, the most powerful men in the world will be forced to drop the pretense that they have any freedom of motion and hold meetings on specially-designed film sets providing the illusion that they are out-of-doors. This is very nearly the case already.

By chance, a group of British teenagers are sitting on the train next to me, taking the piss out of dumb Americans and Tony Blair, and hoping that they will not be “blamed for America” while in Europe because they speak English. In their conversation, they are uniformly against the Iraq war, which they seem to view as an American war, as if Britain were not involved (Mr. Blair seems to count as an honourary American). This view of things is common in Britain, where the corporate media routinely reports details of American atrocities next to tear-jerking accounts of the deaths of British “heroes”, who were presumably standing around innocently, busily not enforcing a colonial occupation. The attitude is echoed in the American media, where the atrocities are generally glossed over, but the “terrible cost of the war in Iraq” is measured in the lost lives of US soldiers. Now, it may be the case that 1,000 dead American soldiers weigh more than 10,000 dead Iraqi children, but it is poor form for anyone to base their moral calculations on this fact, and someone needs to interrupt the news anchors and point this out.

The Europeans have their own peculiar way of reconciling the real and virtual worlds: the statesmen of Europe, according to the press here, “oppose” the war, despite the fact that US aircraft, troops, and supplies move uninterrupted across European territory on their way to the conflict zones in Iraq and also to Afghanistan, the Occupation That Time Forgot. As I finish this in the Brussels indymedia center before heading off to cover the demonstrations, Mr. Bush is asking his fellow NATO members to take a more fundamental role in fostering Iraq's new “democracy.” He is proposing that the Europeans train some Iraqi prison wardens and police, and afterwards maybe contribute more troops in Afghanistan, still not fully under control after three years of occupation.

What we are seeing in the corporate media today is an attempt at a normalization of the world situation, a normalization that has been denied to Mr. Bush by the unpeople of Fallujah and Baghdad, who are executed in their own neighbourhoods by western helicopter gunships and pilotless drones. How the unpeople of Brussels responded yesterday with demonstrations at the Bourse (stock exchange) and will respond again at a large demonstration a few hours from now. Indymedia will be mapping things out as the situation unfolds. Stay tuned...


 Bush: Arrogance Instead of Diplomacy Before Summit


Bush insinuates that Russia is not democratic

Enough. If George W. Bush is arrogant enough to speak about Russia's supposed lack of democratic processes on the eve of his summit with President Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, then let us treat this insult with the answer it deserves.

"I also believe that Russia's future lies within the family of Europe and the transatlantic community", said George W. Bush in his address at the Concert Noble, Belgium, today.

For the information of this President, who parachutes into Europe once every two years because he dare not step off an aircraft in most countries outside his own, Russia has always been part of Europe, while the USA has not. Therefore what authority does this citizen of the USA have in speaking about European affairs?

"Russia, to make progress as a European nation must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law".

Democracy? President Putin was elected by a democratic process, was he not? Rule of law? Did the Russian Federation break every rule in the book by breaching the Geneva Convention and UN Charter, launching an illegal war, based on barefaced lies, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent people in a sovereign nation? No.

Therefore what authority does George Bush have to speak about the rule of law and a commitment to democracy?

"Our alliance stands for a free press", says Bush.

Well, let us be the judge of that. We are free to write what we want, when we want, where we want and as we want. We can criticize President Putin, we can praise President Putin. I have done both. Many times. But only when I criticize President Bush do I receive death threats in my private and personal e-mail account.

What is George W. Bush trying to do? Humiliate Russia? Expect Vladimir Putin to kiss his feet?

The rule of law depends on the respect for the legal mechanisms constituted by the collective will of the international community. The rule of law is neither about dropping cluster bombs on civilians nor about sending record numbers of people to their deaths, like a Nazi concentration camp. The rule of law is not about torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo or Baghram.

Russia respects the rule of law by insisting on following the UN Charter in all cases. Does the USA?

No? Then George W. Bush had better shut up and watch what he says. Who the hell does he think he is, anyway? He was elected by a percentage of his people to govern his country. Nobody asked for his opinion elsewhere and nobody accepts his authority outside the USA. He was not elected by Russians, after all.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey
Pravda.Ru

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 

 Poll Shows Doubts Over Bush Democracy Push

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) is calling on European leaders to support his campaign to spread democracy abroad at a time people in many of those countries have doubts whether that should be the U.S. role in the world, Associated Press polling found.

A majority of people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain said they thought it should not be the U.S. role to spread democracy, according to AP-Ipsos polls. A majority of those living in Canada, Mexico and South Korea (news - web sites) also disagreed with that role.

Bush is on a five-day fence-mending trip to Europe after tensions were raised there by the war in Iraq (news - web sites). In a speech Monday in Brussels, Belgium, the president promoted democracy as the path forward for a host of countries, from Saudi Arabia to Iran and Syria, and urged European leaders to move beyond the rift over Iraq and join his pro-liberty campaign.

"This strategy is not American strategy, or European strategy, or Western strategy," Bush said in an echo of the broad themes of his inaugural address a month ago. "Spreading liberty for the sake of peace is the cause of all mankind."

Yet the public skepticism reflected in a new AP-Ipsos poll in Europe indicates the American president faces plenty of work on that front — a development that analysts of international relations suggested was not surprising.

"There's still wariness and resentment of the United States in general," said Michael Mandelbaum, a professor who specializes in European studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Bush's efforts, he said, were having a limited impact in spreading democracy.

"In the wake of the Iraq war, there's particular suspicion of this administration," Mandelbaum added.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett suggested that foreigners may misunderstand Bush's plan to spread the liberties that Europeans and Americans take for granted.

"People get in their mind that spreading freedom means war and that's not the case," Bartlett said in an interview Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Some of those opinion polls are reading in to it a little more than what President Bush intends."

Resistance to Bush's plans to promote democracy abroad was strongest in France, with 84 percent saying the United States should not play that role, according to the polling conducted for the Associated Press by Ipsos, an international polling firm.

About as many Germans took that position, 80 percent, while two-thirds of those in Britain said they didn't think the United States should be exporting democracy. Just over half of those in Spain and Italy felt that way.

"It's hard to believe our allies are indifferent to the spread of democracy," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. "But they obviously don't feel comfortable with George Bush (news - web sites) as the self-annointed spreader of democracy."

In the United States, a slight majority, 53 percent, said the United States should not be trying to spread democracy, while 45 percent said the United States should play that role.

"Europeans in general — especially the European elites — tend to be more cynical about the possibilities of exporting democracy," said Mandelbaum, author of the book "Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy and Free Markets." "There is a general feeling that democracy just doesn't fit some cultures."

While people in many of the countries polls don't approve of Bush's policies, that does not appear to be having much impact on how they view U.S. consumer goods.

For example, attitudes about U.S. goods in France, lukewarm at best, have not shifted significantly since December 2001, before the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

About two in 10 of the French said they would rather buy U.S. goods than other types of goods available in their country if the price and quality were the same. About one in 10 said U.S. products were better quality than other goods available. Neither number has changed much since before the Iraq war.

"If anything there's been a little more traction to boycotting of French goods in America than of American goods in France, said John Quelch, a Harvard University professor who studies international marketing. "There is no evidence of significant spillover of tensions about American foreign policy into consumer purchase behavior in Europe."

In most of the countries polled, people were not likely to prefer American goods over local goods. They were inclined to think American goods were worth the money, but they did not think they were better quality than local products.

In most of the countries, young adults were more likely to be enthusiastic about buying American goods and working at American companies.

The findings are based on polling of about 1,000 adults in each of the nine countries surveyed from Feb. 9-17 and each poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 Same Old Bush

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, February 22, 2005; 1:08 PM

Not quite halfway through his European tour, President Bush was asked this morning: Is there anything to his visit beyond a charm offensive? What will make the second-term Bush presidency less dictating and unilateralist than the first?

The question was raised by a European reporter at this morning's joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Bush's answer, in short: Nothing. It's Europe that needs to get over the Iraq issue and move on.

Here's how he put it:

"The major issue that irritated a lot of Europeans was Iraq. I understand that. I can figure it out. And the key now is to put that behind us, and to focus on helping the new democracy succeed."

But Bush himself isn't exactly putting Iraq behind him. He's still trying to justify it. He continued:

"The policy in the past used to be, let's just accept tyranny, for the sake of -- well, you know, cheap oil, or whatever it may be, and just hope everything would be okay. Well, that changed on September the 11th for our nation. Everything wasn't okay. Beneath what appeared to be a placid surface lurked an ideology based upon hatred. And the way to defeat that ideology is to spread freedom and democracy. That's what NATO understands, see. . . .

"And so my message is, is that the past is -- I made some hard decisions -- as did other leaders, by the way, in Europe -- about how to enforce 17 different United Nations resolutions on Iraq. Not one resolution, but 17 different resolutions. And we liberated Iraq and that decision has been made, it's over with, and now it's time to unify for the sake of peace.

"And I believe that message -- I believe -- forget the charm part; I believe that message is a message that people can understand. And they're beginning to see that the strategy is working."

NATO's leaders did agree today to a modest pledge to help train security forces in Iraq -- but whether they think Bush's strategy is working there is another story entirely.

Bush's long answer was presaged by a much shorter exchange a few moments earlier. A reporter from the French newspaper Le Monde began a meandering question by noting that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, on a scouting trip to Europer earlier this month, described himself as a new Rumsfeld. (That was to distinguish from the "old Rumsfeld" who had condemned European countries that refused to back the war against Iraq.)

"Same old Bush," the president interrupted.

Here's the transcript.


 Lost in Europe

President Bush has reached a dead end in his foreign policy, but he has failed to recognise his quandary

Sidney Blumenthal
Friday February 25, 2005
The Guardian


President Bush has reached a dead end in his foreign policy, but he has failed to recognise his quandary. His belief that the polite reception he received in Europe is a vindication of his previous adventures is a vestige of fantasy.

As the strains of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, the Pastoral, filled the Concert Noble in Brussels, Bush behaved as though the mood music itself was a dramatic new phase in the transatlantic relationship. He gives no indication that he grasps the exhaustion of his policy. His reductio ad absurdum was reached with his statement on Iran: "This notion that the US is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table." Including, presumably, the "simply ridiculous".

Bush is scrambling to cobble together policies across the board. At the last minute he rescued his summit with Vladimir Putin, who refuses to soften his authoritarian measures, with a step toward safeguarding Russian plutonium that could be used for nuclear weapons production. This programme was negotiated by Bill Clinton and neglected by Bush until two weeks ago.

The European reception for Bush was not an embrace of his neoconservative world view, but an attempt to put it in the past. New Europe is trying to compartmentalise old Bush. To the extent that he promises to be different, the Europeans encourage him; to the extent that he is the same, they pretend it's not happening.

The Europeans, including the British government, feel privately that the past three years have been hijacked by Iraq. Facing the grinding, bloody and unending reality of Iraq doesn't mean accepting Bush's original premises, but getting on with the task of stability. Ceasing the finger-pointing is the basis for European consensus on its new, if not publicly articulated, policy: containment of Bush. Naturally, Bush misses the nuances and ambiguities.

Of course, he has already contained himself, or at least his pre-emption doctrine, which seems to have been good for one-time use only. None of the allies is willing to repeat the experience. Bush can't manage another such military show anyway, as his army is pinned down in Iraq.

The problem of Iran is in many ways the opposite of Iraq. The Europeans have committed their credibility to negotiations, the Iranians have diplomatic means to preclude unilateral US action, and Bush - who, according to European officials, has no sense of what to do - is boxed in, whether he understands it or not.

The secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, seeking to impress French intellectuals while in Paris, referred to Iran as totalitarian, as if the authoritarian Shia regime neatly fitted the Soviet Union model. With this rhetorical legerdemain, she extended the overstretched analogy of the "war on terrorism" as the equivalent of the cold war to Persia. Her lack of intellectual adeptness dismayed her interlocutors. One of the French told me Rice was "deaf to all argument", but no one engaged her gaffe because "good manners are back".

Regardless of Rice's wordplay, it is not a policy. Rice has vaguely threatened to refer Iran to the UN security council. The "simply ridiculous" remains on the table at the same time as the US is unengaged in diplomacy. Bush doesn't know whether to join the Europeans in guaranteeing an agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or not.

"So long as Iran remains within the non-proliferation treaty and the [UN weapons] inspectors remain on the ground there, there's nothing the US can do within the security council," John Ritch, the former US ambassador to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, told me.

The argument for keeping the Iranians within the treaty was overwhelming, he said. "As long as they are in the inspection system it gives us maximum opportunity to evaluate every step of their nuclear development ... The US should be willing to support a European-brokered deal under which the Iranians forgo their right to build a domestic nuclear enrichment and processing capability. Ultimately, the way to promote a satisfactory outcome is to empower the Europeans by asserting that the US will back up a sound agreement."

Bush has hummed a few bars of rapprochement. With their applause, the Europeans have begun to angle him into a corner on Iran. In time Bush must either join the negotiations or regress to neoconservatism, which would wreck the European relationship. If he chooses a course that is not "simply ridiculous", on his next visit the Europeans might be willing to play Beethoven's Third Symphony, the Eroica.

· Sidney Blumenthal is former senior adviser to President Clinton and author of The Clinton Wars


Some reactions (thanks to Indymedia.be)

Bush in Belgium - Officer, arrest that man!
by international detective

International war criminal, George W. Bush is in your country. We here in the States are wondering if the people of Belgium, the heartland of global justice, will apprehend and arrest this man and bring him to justice.

In the U.S. such an effort is impossible since the Republican police state and cowardly Democrats have surrounded the present occupant of the White House with a noxious veil of legitimacy. Of course, no such legitimacy really exists, given that the recent election was frought with fraud and irregularities and that the occupants of the White House have perpetrated a long list of scandals upon the nation and its people that would lead to impeachment and incarceration in any sane country.

We call upon the people of Belgium to bring truth to power, to bring justice to war criminals.
Officer, arrest that man!

Merci beaucoup pour la manifestation contre mon gouvernment.

Je suis americain mais j'habite en France, j'ai honte de mon gouvernment. Si le salopard W. était à Nice ou Cannes j'aurais manifestater contre lui aussi comme j'ai déjâ fait a Chicago et a Paris....

Thanks for protesting against my governemnt. I am an American living in France and I am ashamed of my government. If the bastard W. had been in Nice or Cannes I would have protested against him as I did in Chicago and Paris.

Désolé mais je ne sais pas parler le "Dutch" pour vous qui sont Belgique et parler pas le français...
Sorry but I can't speak Dutch for you Belgians who do not speak French....
SOLIDARITE!!!!
J'ai aimé particularment le drapeau Americain avec les étoiles dans qui ont fait le croix Nazi.
Malheureusement cette image est un bon representation de la vérité

I particularly like the American flag with the stars in the form of the swastika, sadly this image is a good representation of the truth.....
PEACE
PAIX
NON A LA GUERRE
NO TO THE WAR

Wasn’t the star alliance photo the best photo you have ever seen? I am still speechless, what a shot!

Please keep demonstrating against bush and his global oil crusade.

Thank You For the Reel News Coverage (Minneapolis)

We understand, believe me !

I note the intensity of the images, to judge the depth of our agreement: it is sympathetic, to say the least.

Hallo, 

Felicitaties voor uw werk vanuit Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Nederlandse, van Belgische moeder (Gent), leef ik mee met uw acties. More power to you!  Ik doe wat ik kan aan deze kant van de oceaan…

Hoe zal dit allemaal eindigen !? De toekomst ziet er somber uit ook voor de doorsnee Amerikaan; zelfs diegenen die voor hem gestemd worden meer en meer gedesillusioneerd met zijn (gebrek aan) binnenlandse programma's. 

Complimenten voor de duidelijke, wel gecoördineerde spandoeken; kreeg ik te zien in onze plaatselijke krant van foto van Geert vanden Wijngaert.

Andrea Ronkin.

Thanks for standing against bush in Europe! I agree with everything except the "Go Home Bush" signs, because then he'd be back with us. How about "Go Away Bush"? ;)

Thank You !

He is not really our President. He stole both elections with the help of electronic voting machines and criminal Secretaries of State. Keep up the good work. Great signs by the way.

Check this out to see what our major media does not report:

http://www.angelfire.com/nb2/www.dissentam.org

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND STAY SAFE.

I HOPE THAT SOMEONE WILL ARREST BUSH FOR WAR CRIMES WHILE HE IS ON ONE OF THESE INTERNATIONAL TRIPS.

WE NEED TO GET RID OF THIS NEO-NAZI (LongBeach, California)

SHOCK AND AWE BUSH!!
by another embarrassed american

THANK YOU, BELGIUM!!

WE NEED A *WORLDWIDE* RESISTANCE MOVEMENT TO THE MANIACS IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

We hate him too. You're not alone.
by Dr. Jay

Please know that the will of the few who stole our government from us does not represent the will of the totality. It is scary, just how parallel this situation is to the leadership of Adolf Hitler. The picture with the swastika of stars on the US Flag is particularly appropriate for our criminal leadership.

God bless you all and may He bring TRUE peace soon.

Dissent is the foundation of democracy
by Stephanie, from the US

The pictures are wonderful.
Being an American, some are shocking, but what can people expect after what our nation has done?
I just hope people know that not all Americans agree with what is being done in our name. And we're trying hard to have our voices heard, trying hard to stop what's going on... but many people here see dissent as being unpatriotic. I'm still standing, though.
Standing up for what freedom really is.

From the USA: Bless You
by C. L. Hallmark

I hope you give our non-president a non-welcome he won't forget.

The world is watching you, too.

at least spell the name of our president right.

it is NOT george w bush
the correct spelling is

george w HITLER bush

mike
in arizona

we (americans) don't want Bush either, you all keep him, PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

he's not my president either! only when this terrible administration has been sent back to the badlands of crawford texas will the united states be a country to be admired once again. it can't happen too soon for me.

Please note that most American citizens voted AGAINST Baby Butcher Bush: the election was tampered with by the American Treason Party ("Republicans"). We did not and do not approve of Bush2's butchering of harmless people. Please also understand that the USA is not a democracy, so voting is utterly pointless in the USA.

Baby Butcher Bush is *NOT* America! He is *NOT* our "leader:" he is our unelected dictator, and there's not a goddamn thing we can do about it.

Thank you for the photos. It is good to see our European friends still standing with us in our fight for truth and real freedom from Bush and his corporate madmen friends. Please do not stop. Continue to protest Bush and getting the truth out there. We need all the help we can get.
Peace to you.

GO Belgium!
by Lajo

Great pictures people! THANK YOU! We're marching with you in spirit! ABAJO BUSH! Remember March 19!

Great Photos. Thanks Belgium for the turnout.

-- an American ready for the next big 9/11 terrorist attack from the neocons. Wish us all luck.

Wow. Love it.

by Fredric L. Rice

I'm glad to see that people blame Bush and his regime for his actions and don't blame all Americans.

required
by usa

thank-you Belgium for screaming for justice!!!! you have lifted us up in protest against this butcher!!!!please don't blame us, its the gangsters running our country, our hearts are bleeding! thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!!!!
from:usa

Thanks guys
by N. Carolina resident

He's fooled most of the people here.
Great to know there is intellegent life elsewhere!!!

Arrest him!
by Desertphile

Please ARREST BUSH2 and put him on trial for war crimes! The USA refuses to, so it remains the task of the civilized world to do so. Bush2 belongs in a prison for the criminally insane.

Please DON'T send Bush home
by required

We don't want that mass murderer back home here, either!

And because he wants to send a manned mission to Mars, please forward him there (although I feel sorry for the poor Martians!).

MERCI BEAUCOUP!

C'est une honte que vous des gens devez protester pour nous dans le froid, puisque Bush ne voit jamais notre désapprobation, ni il s'inquiètent. Nous vous remercions de la portion en tant que nos voix de remplacement. Nous apprécions votre appui ! Dieu vous bénissent.

Europe and European people must keep firm against the American (neocons) to bring war, destruction and control of oil. The last hope of this planet (for the next 4 years) is Europe. The Europeans MUST make clear that they oppose the killing of children and the eradication of a different culture and religion.

Thank you!
by California resident

Thank you for being there to say no to the UNELECTED president Bush!

He was never elected and the researchers at US universities have proven the election was stolen :

"UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds 'Smoke Alarm' for Florida
http://ucdata.berkeley.edu

Statistical Analysis - the Sole Method for Tracking E-Voting - Shows Irregularities May Have Awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or More Excess Votes to Bush in Florida

Research Team Calls for Investigation

BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e-voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W.Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

Thank you Belgium!
by Janine
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005 at 7:08 AM

George Bush is a war criminal of immense proportion. Thank you for protesting, but I wonder why the Belgium authorities didn't arrest him? I wonder the same about the Canadian authorities when he visited here recently, and prompted thousands to take to the streets in protest. I guess some are above the law.

Forever vigilant for peace, earth, and justice:
http://pej.org

We're Sorry!
by American Too
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005 at 7:09 AM

Please accept our apologies for the uncivilized and nasty behavior of the Americans insulting you.

Bad Americans! Haha.

I also regret that you didn't arrest Bush for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

-Peace-

We love You, we hate him
by Jesus

Nous, des Americains qui ont subi la peine de ces derniers quatre ans, qui ont vote a fermer la Bush, vous soutient. Merci de prendre le relais pour l'instant contre les fachos, cela nous aide a avoir plus de courage, et de force de savoir que notre lutte est partage. Merci mille fois et sachez qu'il y a beaucoup de nous qui vous soutient!

To the Belgium people
by American

don't hold bushes actions against the people of the US. you will see demonstrations just like this here. if you want to learn about other countries or history you have to do it on your own in america. there's a lot of people here that know nothing about the different cultures in our own country, much less foreign ones. some that do know of other countries have gotten their information from skewed sources. you have to be informed to know there's a problem, they aren't very passionate about informing us here. i used to wonder how germany sat idly by while hitler was rising to power. not anymore.

Thank you brothers and sisters

THANK YOU, BRAVE BELGIANS
by D. Daniels

THANK YOU for expressing what we "citizen" have essentially lost the right to do. Protesters here receive abusive treatment in segregated pens and little media coverage. We who have forgotten the history of the world (German) are doomed to repeat it.

by Spiritwalker
BBC gave about 10 secs of protest stuff. Great to see such huge numbers feel the same as me!

Don't Let Up!
by An American

Europe please keep the pressure on. Don't give up. Voice your opinions! Half the country (probably more since the elections were rigged and stolen again) hate that personification of evil as much as we do. My apologies to the world for this monster that has been unleashed on our globe. My beloved America has been raped and pillaged by greedy evil people who care for nothing but money. Please remember the rest of us in your prayers.

Ashamed to Call Myself an American

Mr.
by Mark Gredell

I too wish to join my fellow Americans in extending my apologies for the nightmare the administration of bush has brought us all into, we are very afraid here in americkkka - the whole world should be afraid of what is happening, it is very reassuring to see that Europeans will not put up with US imperialism. The US must be stopped at all costs, GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Mark Gredell USA

Bush protests
by American bluecollar

Bush is really in Europe to squash the sale of British and French military technology to competitor China …its really just a business trip, the political issues have already been decided in a boardroom in New York long ago. Don’t you Euro-fools understand …Amerisrael is on a crusade to bestow its holy ‘freedom’ on the rest of humanity and will not be dissuaded from its divine mission! Bush is just the talking head for this international cabal so your noble protests are wasted focused on him …the warring and tyranny will proceed irregardless, the god worshipped by our zionist elite is a bloodthirsty oppressor and doesn’t tolerate criticism well so watch your backs …

It is nice to see people in the streets who actually care about something other than a stupid televised ballgame or some other corporate media generated bulls**t …this fool wishes he was there to protest with you …carry on!

Remember Thomas Jefferson?
by Overthrow Bush NOW!

Thomas Jefferson said, that in order to keep our country free and democratic, we must engage in revolution every now and then.

Problem is, nowadays Americans have become fully cowed by the powers-that-be into accepting their rule. Elections are stolen, legislators are bribed by corporations, prosecutors seek to put in jail those who dare oppose them.

That's why I ask Europeans to spend less time merely protesting and more time GOING AFTER tyrants like Bush. Federal law may make it a crime to "threaten" Bush (anything can be interpreted as a threat), but based on Jefferson's words, that is trumped by the natural desire of people to overthrow their oppressors and install a government that answers TO the people, not the other way around!

Change by democratic means? Not when the election is decided by a stolen election in one state, whose election supervisor openly supports Bush. Not when a manufacturer of voting machines vows to deliver votes to Bush. Not when the mass-media is completely controlled by corporations, supportive of Bush, and it is a CRIME (not subject to judicial review, but by mere seizure by FCC "agents") to open a radio station with dissenting opinion. That's democracy???

When all the avenues of peaceful change have been blocked by the Bush regime and the corporations that support them, it is RIGHT and MORAL to resort to stronger means to overthrow those despots.

Europe, we need your help! Come here and help us dump Father Bush!

Help Dump Bush!
by Paul Revere

Thank you.
Merci boquoo.

Well Done People!
by The QuoMan

How good it is to see so many of you out in the streets protesting at the profane presence of Bush. He is under the illusion that the people of Europe are behind his 'vision' of 'democracy'. Today you showed him that the people of Europe will have no truck with his tyranny.

I would like to apologise to my European brothers and sisters for the behaviour of Tony Blair this morning. Once again, he disgraces our country by offering Bush unconditional support and praise. He does not speak for Britain - only for his corporate and masonic friends.

God bless you all

planetquo.com

Europe helps 2nd US revolution
by Truth hurts

Europe helps lead US into another anti-reactionary revolution.
The first revolution, aka American Revolution against British Empire, lasted 200 years... time for another revolutionary push for independence from the neo-con imperialists.

Thank you France!
Thank you Belgium!
Thank you EU!

The Bush Problem
by American One

For us Americans here who did not vote for Bush, we are ashamed and scared even in this country. Sometimes I wish I could live in any other country but here. Truly, Bush has a few loose screws!

out of the coma, still in the nra
by extrafada

Why should he be locked up? Among a litany of crimes, genocide is # 1. Let his next trip to Europe be in custody to the Hague.

canada supports you
by mekanikbob

Kudus to the demonstrators, as gw bush has never seen them at home. The major media in the great free republic of jesusland won't put them on the news or front pages. My biggest fear is that when the rest of the world tells the yanks to truck off, he's gonna march up here for his energy. Keep it up.

by Ashamed and saddened in America

Iraq.

But we must remember, with no compassion for those with none, we will become the ones with no compassion.

He belongs in prison, for crimes against humanity.

I apologise to the World for the horrendous acts being committed in the name of America. It is not with my consent, they do it with my sorrow.

My heart breaks for each moment of suffering that is caused by this government.

I remember the Lunatic's father's "a thousand points of light" when he was ruler here, now his son has caused the lights of over a hundred and fifty thousand souls (unofficial count) to be extinguished from this Earth.

There is great danger to this Earth now. Do what needs to be. It is as it is. I am truly sorry. Forgive us, please.

Bush protest photos
by mstfd

Some of the signs need to be translated, though "Bush Go home" is quite clear. Thanks, my dears, for protesting!
Many of us despise him and his orgy "press"titutes too!
Will the day come where the world will have to rescue the US from our "elected officials"? PROTEST the WAR in Iraq-MARCH 19-EVERYWHERE!
Thank you, the mother of two young reserve soldiers

Protest Bush, yes - but who else
by Martin

Thank you for committing your time to these protests. They are certainly very important to show our dissent with the politics of the USA.

But let us not forget: Bush, even though a thieve himself, is only a stooge for those who really rule and who do not appear in public (for more information you may want to read Jean Ziegler, "The New Masters of the World").

We must not tire to oppose the robbery of our societies by what those in power call privatisation, liberalisation, flexibilisation, spreading of democracy and freedom, increased security.

Don't let us believe in terrorism à la Bin Laden, let us relentlessly oppose the lies we are served by the rich.

by stephen bennett

The good thing is that Bush is bankrupting the USA. Therefore, his evil cannot last very long. The bad news is that within 20 years, no one will be able to afford to buy bread.

by douglas

I am in total agreement with your protests and efforts. I, along with half the nation, did not want Bush back as our president.

I am ashamed and sorry for what Bush's USA has come to stand for and worry now for our children.

Emperor
by Nelson

Thank you Belgium!

GranniesAgainstGeorge
by GranniesAgainstGeorge

Thanks to the U.S, citizens who have apologized for our arrogant, air-head, & totally fake president. I don't believe that this man has ever been legally elected to any public office. George bu$h is the world's foremost freeloader & welfare cheat. He has always lived at the expense of others & with handouts from multiple corporate thugs. Here is one of my favourite quotes from Scoop (New Zealand)

About the only thing both Bush and Rice are proving is that they don't have a clue. They seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that the trans-Atlantic alliance is at the breaking point......................

The US media is out there, playing the game. The media boasts that Bush plans to "go beyond" the European leaders and seize the opportunity to chat with the "peoples" of Europe. The thousands of protesters are "disappeared" as if they didn't exist, and there is no mention of the iron bubble surrounding Bush as he rolls around in what is reported to be an unprecedented security lockdown. How do you talk to a guy in a bubble while a sniper on a rooftop has you in his sights and you're being shackled and pepper-sprayed?

If the crude and ill-mannered Bush is aware of the strain he has caused throughout Europe; if he cares that the "peoples" of every corner of the world see him not only as a danger, but as a threat to their very survival, it doesn't seem to matter to him or to his pantleg-humping media courtiers. Bush continues to slyly warn Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, et al, that some of the options on his table could be for them if they don't behave. And, later this week when he meets Vladimir "You call me President Bush and I'll call you Pootie-Poot" Putin, Bush will put him on notice that he will not tolerate any further backsliding in Russia's democratic reforms.

But, at least Bush seems to be enhanced with France. When asked if he would invite French President Jacques Chirac to his Texas ranch, he joked, "I'm looking for a good cowboy."

The Bush/Chirac handshake was shown so many times from so many angles on CNN that it's surprising someone didn't suggest the two leaders get a room.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00240.htm

www.GranniesAgainstGeorge.us

Thank-you for screaming against this gangster
by poe

thank-you Belgium! they have taken our rights from us here in america, we have no voice! these thugs made it legal for international torture and murder, now its legal to them here on the home front, in the memory of jason tharp,marine corp basic training,age 19, and marine corp basic trainingcoey paradis killed 12/9/2002 3rd week basic training fort jackson,nc. keep up the protest against these thugs, we need your voices!
poe
usa