Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tom Friedman, Picture this Scene

I'm more used to scenes where Tommy burns his expense account on more traditional items like cabs (cab drivers) and restaurants (waiters) but today, the Times foreign policy columnist and barbershop singer writes words of allegedly sage advise from a new location. Friedman advises Bush to "just listen" to europeans:

I heard it while doing interviews at the Pony Club, a trendy bar/beauty parlor in East Berlin.
I hope he was dressed all in black.

Tommyboy then says that what Europeans most dislike about Bush is:

Europeans love to make fun of naïve American optimism, but deep down, they envy it and they want America to be that open, foreigner-embracing, carefree, goofily enthusiastic place that cynical old Europe can never be. Many young Europeans blame Mr. Bush for making America, since 9/11, into a strange new land that exports fear more than hope, and has become dark and brooding - a place whose greeting to visitors has gone from "Give me your tired, your poor" to "Give me your fingerprints." They look at Mr. Bush as someone who stole something precious from them.

Tim Kreutzfeldt, the bar owner, said to me: "Bush took away our America. I mean we love America. We are very sad about America. We believe in America and American values, but not in Bush. And it makes us angry that he distorted our image of the country which is so important to us. It is not what America stands for - and this makes us angry and it should make every American angry, because America lost so much in its reputation worldwide." The Bush team, he added, is giving everyone in the world the impression that "somebody is coming to kill you."

That's how a huge chunk of this country feels too Mr. Kreutzfeldt.

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