And the winner of Yahoo!’s Person of the Year is George W Bush, which I’m sure has come as quite a surprise to anyone not living in the USA. Whatever one’s personal opinions, I think it’s quite likely that the rest of the world would find such a ‘victory’ inappropriate, unlikely, completely out of the blue. I would love to be able to have the figures at hand, but from my impressions of the media in my country and the general consensus of general opinion that one absorbs in day-to-day life, the vast majority of the world has a radically different view of him. The worrying thing about this is less that there is a radical discord between public opinion on this issue in the US and the rest of the world, but that it can only be a sympton either of a radical cultural divergence between the US and the rest of the world or between the coverage of the leader in the media. Here are a few articles from BBC News that I think hint at some of the international impressions…
- Russia ‘regrets’ US anti-missile plan (Russia)
- ‘Moron Bush’ aide resigns (Canada)
- A Tale of ‘Two Speeches’ (Romania)
- Schroeder shunned by ‘cordial’ Bush (Germany)
- US Jews and Arabs criticise Bush (Jews & Arabs)
- Bush Bestriding the World?
- Europe concerns over US Iraq policy