Monday, June 11, 2007

A hero's welcome

The only reason I can think of for such extraordinarily surreal outpourings of admiration for a US President who whole-heartedly believes in the advance of freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism, yet is loathed in almost every corner of what we know as "modern", "free" world is the fact that--to quote Mr Bush himself: "Albanians know the horror of tyranny." That's why Albanians are so tremendously thankful to the current leader of the free world --the dissident President as he proudly calls himself-- for what his predecessors, from Woodrow Wilson to Bill Clinton, have done to help lead Albania to freedom and idependence . This is what those self-righteous anti-American protesters on the streets of Berlin and Rome--unlike the ordinary people on the streets of Prague and Warsa-- will never get. Who knows? Maybe one day, when freedom and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan finally take hold, the people of these two nations will show their appreciation toward the US much the same way.


...Even the war in Iraq is popular here. “U.S.A. have the right and responsibility for all the world to protect the freedom,” said Ilir Lamçe, 37, a financial analyst who was among those waiting for Mr. Bush, using English to express the views of many. “This is the right war.” Sami Berisha, who drove seven hours from Kosovo to see Mr. Bush, said he could not understand anyone who would take part in a protest against the president. “I think these are crazy people,” said Mr. Berisha, who is not related to the prime minister, “because democracy begins in America.”