British offer views on Bush

SUN JOURNAL

November 19, 2003

Britons are full of opinions about the United States and its president as George Bush begins his state visit. Newspaper editorials thunder for and against him, making the British newspapers even livelier than usual. Here is a sampling of what people are saying, as seen through letters to the editor and an editorial:

Letters to George Bush in The Guardian

Dear George,

Please, please, please don't kick the Queen out of Buckingham Palace so you can give it to Halliburton to rebuild.

William Dampier

Dear George,

Welcome to Britain. It is a shame that you will be received so badly in some quarters. However, you must remember that this vocal minority cannot speak for most of their countrymen. As a trusted ally, and the elected leader of a democratic state, you are entitled to better treatment.

Yours sincerely,

James Birkett

Dear George,

I feel that we are already on first-name terms because of the many things which you and your allies have done "in my name" this year. They say that travel broadens the mind. The most important new idea for rich and powerful people like you and me? The terror of being too poor to educate or feed your children, and the hatred that can breed. I hope you have a very mind-broadening and educational time in the British Isles.

Regards,

Amanda Baker

Dear George,

How I wish I could write to say that I was wrong and you were right. How I would have welcomed your predictions of peace and democracy in the Middle East after your invasion of Iraq. I did not want a war because I believed it would cause serious instability in Iraq, make Israeli/Palestinian peace more elusive, increase risk of worldwide terrorism, and I feared that many soldiers and innocent Iraqis would be killed and maimed. Unfortunately, I was right and you were wrong. Are you going to apologise to me?

Judith Brown

Letters to The Times of London

Sir:

When a country goes to war must be the responsibility of its government.

Whatever the feelings about the conflict in Iraq, British casualties must be laid at the door of the British Government that committed them to fight.

President Bush may or may not have been right in instigating the war, but it was our Government that committed British troops, not the United States.

Yours faithfully,

M. Dunton,

Devon

Sir:

Thousands will be on our streets this week to show George Bush that we detest his foreign policies.

Far from being anti-American, we are sending a strong message of support to Americans - "Give America back to her people." This is the rallying cry of the majority of Americans who voted against Bush for President, and who now realise they were deceived over the reasons for invading Iraq.

Yours,

Bob Banks,

Grindleford, Derbyshire

Letter to the Daily Mirror

I'm a 17-year-old British kid, keen on the Michael Moore books and films. One theme I've noticed that even Moore himself seems to have not pinned down is how "Freedom" is used by Bush as an excuse for clearly inhuman acts. Any American people reading this message please consider this: What do you consider freedom? Is it freedom to purchase vast quantities of low cost fuel for your inefficient petrol guzzling cars? The freedom to feel safe? Or is it simply the freedom to live, a right that innocent Iraqis are being denied?

... The general message that emanates from your media is one that your freedom must be protected at any cost, a selfish and patriotic view that is the cause of so much sadness and pain in the world today. Sorry if I've offended any of you, but this is my state of mind.

Elliot Paul,

Swindon

Letters to The Independent

Sir:

The reluctance of ordinary Britons to host a state visit by the U.S. President has prompted Americans to write asking if we have forgotten the sacrifices made by U.S. troops who defended our freedom in the Second World War.

... No, we have not forgotten America's vital role in that war, but nor have we forgotten that America wages war in its own interests at a time of its own choosing. The tragedy is that those interests are increasingly defined by the greed of a few corporations and their friends in the White House, while ordinary people pay the price.

So it is our duty as America's friends to exercise the freedom defended at such a price in the Second World War by protesting against this court-appointed global carpet-bagger of a president and Blair's craven complicity in his policies.

Chris Webster,

Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Sir:

Michael Toomey believes that fairness is a uniquely American ideal? (letter, 14 Nov.). I would suggest that this type of arrogance which is transparent nonsense to anyone without a zipcode demonstrates perfectly the difficulty of dealing with the USA. A population that knows little beyond its immediate boundaries (because it doesn't need to) leads to a world view that is fundamentally ignorant. And boy, does their president reflect this.

Steve Kersley,

London

Sir:

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