Tuesday | May 28, 2002
Are there any blacks in D.C.?
From Germany's Der Spiegel: During Bush's last Latin America tour, the perpetually perplexed Bush asked Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso: "Do you have blacks, too?"
Condoleezza Rice jumped in to save the day: "Mr. President, Brazil has more blacks than the USA. Some say it is the country with the most African blacks." (Okay, that's my translation of Der Spiegel's translation, so it can't be too exact.)
Cardoso observed dryly that when it comes to Latin America, Bush "still has a lot to learn."
While this story may be humorous (or depressing, I can't decide which), it points to a much deeper problem for Bush. The story ran in Germany's premier newsmagazine (kind of like "Time" or "Newsweek" in the US) ahead of Bush's European tour. The lead-in paragraph basically pokes fun at the Bush's inept understanding of the world around him, a theme oft repeated in the European press.
While Bush's unilateral tendencies may lead him to ignore such criticisms, or dismiss them as irrelevant, it does means that international opinion has zero confidence in Bush's understanding of the world. They poke fun at his "axis of evil" comments. They love to trot out examples such as the Brazil story above.
And when Bush tries to make his case for perpetual war against Iraq, Iran, and the rest of his comic book villians, the world shrugs, laughs, mocks, and eventually gives him the big finger.Posted May 28, 2002 09:20 AM | Comments (0)