Anorak News | Four More Years

Four More Years

by | 24th, December 2004

‘IN the end, a simple salty snack came a lot closer than the combined efforts of John Kerry, a $500m election campaign and the letter-writing skills of Guardian readers to ending the presidency of George Dubya Bush.

How many more years, George?

Any man who can wrestle with a pretzel and survive is clearly someone to be reckoned with – and, in winning a second term as president, Bush Junior achieved what his dad failed to do.

It would be wrong, however, to suggest that his victory was greeted with universal applause – except perhaps in whatever Tora Bora cave Osama Bin Laden calls home at the moment.

“How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?” asked the Mirror on the day after the election.

[The number coincidentally refers both to the amount of people in this country who don’t buy the Mirror as to the number of people in the United States who ignored its advice not to vote for Bush.]

The result was also something of a blow for the Guardian, which had decided to encourage its readers to send letters to the good voters of Ohio advising them on how to vote.

“You look down the list and then you put a big cross next to the name of the person you like most…”

Unsurprisingly, the Yanks weren’t too happy about being told how and where to put their Xs and told the Brits how and where to put their XXXXs.

In doing so, they delicately reminded us of the only bit of European history that all Americans seem to learn at school – namely, that we’d all be speaking German if it wasn’t for them.

It’s not just us Europeans who have been accused of not showing sufficient gratitude to our American benefactors.

The Iraqis seem intent on throwing back in the Americans’ faces all the gifts bestowed upon them – freedom, democracy and, for the inmates of Abu Ghraib jail, the rules to a giant game of naked Twister.

With Abu Ghraib, the Americans at least achieved their promise to ordinary Iraqis that life would get back to normal as soon as possible.

Within months of the nominal end of the war, the prison was being used for exactly the same purpose as it was under Saddam – namely, as a giant torture chamber.

The horrific pictures of prisoner abuse that emerged from the prison caused outrage across the world and may even have made a small puncture in America’s certainty in its moral mission.

Determined not to be outdone, however, the Mirror printed its own pictures of similar abuse by British soldiers.

Unfortunately for editor Piers Morgan, what was obvious to everyone (even the 59,054,087 people who didn’t buy his paper) was that the pictures had been taken in a passport photo booth on Wigan station.

And he duly joined the BBC’s Greg Dyke and Gavin Davies as casualties of a war that has now claimed tens of thousands of lives and will no doubt claim many thousands more.

Elsewhere, the United Nations showed that it had learned the lessons of Rwanda by responding to more African genocide, this time in the Sudan, with a strongly worded resolution.

When that didn’t deter the murderous Janjaweed militia, they issued an even more strongly worded resolution – and threatened an even more strongly worded one than that if the massacre didn’t stop.

In international politics, it seems, things never change – and we are glad to say that relations between Britain and France are every bit as cordial as ever.

The Queen invited French president Jacques Chirac over to celebrate 100 years of friendship between the two countries.

Having disembarked the Eurostar at Waterloo station, Chirac was entertained by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle – in the Waterloo Chamber.

He was then invited to climb the Agincourt stairs, turn right and walk down the Crecy corridor, fork left at the Poitiers Pavilion…’

Posted: 24th, December 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink