February 24, 2005

"No German Flowers for Bush"

The title of this post links to an article describing the excessive security measures required by our president's heroic paranoia:
'But Bush and his backers, American and German, want to play it very safe, and this has become a nightmare for the people of Mainz. All air traffic to the nearby Frankfurt airport is being suspended for part of the day (today, Wednesday). Boat traffic on the Rhine will be suspended despite all economic losses involved. The autobahns surrounding the city and connecting it with the airport will all be closed to traffic.

'That is still just not safe enough for this popular statesman and his giant entourage. Every manhole lid along the route has been soldered down tight. No terrorist rats will be tolerated this time. All mail boxes along the route have been carted away. Cars must not only be removed from along the route but also from garages of people living along the route. Windows must be shut and no one is allowed to stand on the balcony to wave. There won’t be much waving anyway, it seems, and the police have issued severe warnings: Anti-Bush banners or slogans must not be visible anywhere along the route, and no "insulting" banners will be allowed anywhere. There’s a law to take care of that matter. All traffic, vehicles or pedestrians, will be restricted in the areas George Bush is planning to visit.'
Even the New York Times today ran an article about the empty stage set that Mainz was made into for Bush's transit. There was supposed to be a "town meeting" with a carefully vetted group of Germans (it would have been too obvious if he only met with the U.S. troops in the base there, as Laura Bush had done), but it was cancelled. Too likely one or more of those Germans would not keep to the script.

Even so, and although Bush himself would never see them, and probably never be told of their existence (just as he was never troubled -- and neither were the media -- by nonsupporters during his self-regarding campaign for a second term), 10,000 or so Germans gathered the day for a lively demonstration of disgust.