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The World on George W. Bush — Who Is the One Getting “Am-Bushed”? (Part 2)

What does U.S. President George W. Bush say about the world after his first months in office?

July 27, 2001

What does U.S. President George W. Bush say about the world after his first months in office?

After a bumpy start in office, George W. Bush has now made clear to the world what he stands for and what his program for U.S. foreign policy will be. In this second installment of our Read My Lips features on the U.S. president, we take a look at what impression he has left on allies, friends and foes abroad.

Guess who was impressed with George W. Bush?

“When a president of a great power says that he wants to see Russia as a partner, and maybe even as an ally, this is worth so much to us.”

(Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 2001)

Do the French agree?

“This is not an isolationist administration, as has been the case before in the Republican tradition. This is more like a unilateralist administration.”

(French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, July 2001)

What about extremist views?

“He is the anti-Christ.”

(Bianca Jagger, human rights and environmental campaigner, June 2001)

What do EU leaders think?

“If one wants to be a world leader, one must know how to look after the entire earth — and not only American industry.”

(EU Commission President, Romano Prodi, April 2001)

… and the journalists?

“In his first 100 days, George W. Bush has acted as if he were Jimmy Carter reborn on the right.”

(Josef Joffe, editor of Die Zeit, on U.S. presidents generally alienating their allies during their initial period in office, April 2001)

Are the British more neutral?

“In just 14 weeks, he has angered China, cold-shouldered Russia, humiliated South Korea, worried Japan, dismayed the Arab world, irritated the European Union, outraged environmentalist and snubbed campaigners for global justice.”

(Paul Taylor, Reuters’ Diplomatic Editor, June 2001)

What is the overall result?

“Bush’s mere arrival in the White House is likely to be the best recruiting sergeant that the new anti-Americanism could have hoped for.”

(Martin Kettle, U.S. correspondent for the Guardian, January 2001)

Are the Chinese a little more understanding?

“We are opposed to the national missile defense system because it destroys the global strategic balance — and upsets international stability.”

(Sun Yuxi, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, May 2001)

How do the Japanese plan to deal with President Bush?

“Japan will make serious efforts until the last moment to look for ways that will enable us to achieve U.S. cooperation.”

(Junichiro Koizumi, Japan’s Prime Minister, June 2001)

Is anybody giving up yet?

“Say we agree to disagree.”

(Göran Persson, Sweden’s Prime Minister, on President Bush’s policies, June 2001)