Friday, June 25

Bush Basks in the Warmth of Ireland - Emphasis on "Ire"

Is there a country on the planet that isn't pissed at us?

Irish plan cool Bush welcome

When U.S. President George W. Bush jets into Shannon airport in western Ireland this weekend for an EU-U.S. summit, he will face a reception never before afforded an American leader by the Irish: a cool one.

Conscious of its strong emotional attachment to the United States, where some 40 million people claim Irish ancestry, and huge U.S. business interests - half the foreign companies in Ireland are American owned - Ireland has traditionally welcomed U.S. presidents with aplomb.

For Bush, however, widespread opposition to the Iraq war has turned a large swathe of popular opinion against him and made him, for some, an object of scorn.

Most of the crowds gathering in the West of Ireland to catch a glimpse of the president are not waving the Stars & Stripes but banners castigating U.S. policy in Iraq.

Across the country, in Dublin, the council has hoisted white flags along the banks of the River Liffey to signal its opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq.

"As a war criminal, George Bush should not be welcomed in Ireland. He should be arrested for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity," said one letter writer in the Irish Examiner newspaper.