Bush is heading to London amidst U.S. diplomatic snafus and
London’s mayor calling the president the ‘greatest threat to life
on the planet.’ Still, Alan Travis and David Gow reported for
The Guardian today that 67% of Brits think the U.S. is
‘generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world,’ and
voters thinking the Iraq war was justified reached an all time high
In The Observer, Martin Bright reports that as London
gears up for the visit, with security costing roughly $8 million
and more than 14,000 police on duty, many British are seething over
a list of U.S. demands that were refused by the British government.
The demands included diplomatic immunity for American special
agents and snipers, closure of the underground subway network in
London, overflights of armed U.S. air force planes and Blackhawk
helicopters, and the ‘shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use
against rioters.’ Add this to Bush’s cancellation of a speech
before parliament due to fear of heckling and probable walk-out of
anti-war MPs, as well as comments by the London mayor that The
Independent‘s Nigel Morris says ‘will infuriate Downing
Street,’ and the trip is not looking to be the post-Iraq victory
lap the White House had planned.
Still, with The Guardian reporting that opposition to
the war has slumped to 41%, Tony Blair’s popularity gaining, and
more people welcoming the arrival of Bush than opposing it, the
trip might not be the catastrophe some on the left are hoping for.
A recent Alternet piece by David Livingstone, ‘Bush Goes
to England, Blair Goes to Hell,’ may well be the perfect example of
jumping the gun. Regardless, while the outlook for Bush
spin-doctors may be slightly better than the lefties would have it,
Bush will certainly not get the warm reception of landing on an
aircraft carrier, and thousands of protesters in the streets will
be enough to warm any progressive heart.