On UK visit, PM Brown offers token extra troops for Afghanistan and Bush makes the best of it
June 17 – Public reception to the last European tour of Bush’s presidency was less than warm in the UK earlier this week. Amidst crowds of protestors crying “Terrorist”, US president George Bush and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown met at 10 Downing Street to strike new alliances in the “war on terror”. Among these agreements: the pledging of 230 new UK troops to the cause in Afghanistan, bringing UK troop levels to their highest ever, at just over 8,000.
While Bush admitted during an interview with Fox News sister station Sky TV that his “dead or alive” statement in regards to Bin Laden “sent the wrong signal”, he maintains that Saddam Hussein’s deposition and subsequent execution was an indisputable victory in the war against terror. Bush also asserts that the people of Iraq and Afghanistan “appreciate” how tough he and PM Brown are on terror. As the two leaders struck an agreement regarding further sanctions on Iran, Brown stressed to concerned British citizens that: “it’s in the British national interest” to confront the Taliban; “otherwise Afghanistan will come to us.”
In the same interview, Bush also offered his opinions on the current US economic crisis, claiming that “as a result of the Democratic Congress not letting us drill for oil and gas in America, our consumers are paying a higher price for gasoline.”
But does the president lose sleep when, according to a CBS-New York Times poll, about 80 percent of Americans say the country’s on the wrong track? “First of all, popularity’s fleeting,” says Bush. “And I want it to be said about George W. Bush that when he finished his presidency, he looked in the mirror at a man who did not compromise his core principles for the sake of politics or the Gallup Poll or the latest, you know, whatever.”