Thursday | August 15, 2002
Alienating our allies
Mexican President Vicente Fox snubbed Bush today, cancelling a visit to Bush's "ranch" to protest the Texas execution of a Mexican national.
Most commentators and news accounts are focusing on Mexico's opposition to the death penalty. That's significant and laudable, but frankly, not the key to this story.
What's key is that Bush's best foreign leader friend, Vicente Fox, rejected an invitation from the world's most powerful leader. Not only rejected the invitation, but did so last minute, with a metaphorical slap in the face. If Bush can't get even Fox to visit him in Texas, it doesn't bode well for his standing in the world.
USA Today took a look yesterday at rampant anti-Americanism around the world, while even our European allies can't stand the sight of Bush. (Indeed, they trust Russian leader Putin more than Bush. Shouldn't be too surprising. Bush looked into Putin's soul and gave the thumbs up!)
The Blair government is distancing itself from Bush, as private polls indicate Bush is radioactive. And the German Chancellor is making opposition to the US the cornerstone of his reelection campaign.
Now Fox has joined that group. Bush has been unpopular with Mexicans for some time now, and Fox, bowing to domestic pressures, used this high-profile snub to prop himself up at the expense of Bush. (So much for wooing the Latino vote by using Fox as a photo-op prop.)
Bush's international image will hamper the administration to the end of its four years -- from prosecuting the war on terror to negotiating a Pan-American free trade zone.Posted August 15, 2002 09:47 AM | Comments (1)