JED CLAMPETT VISITS EUROPE By The Jackal So, King dubya the Lesser has returned from his European sojourn. About the best that could be said for his little trip is that no one spit on him and, unlike his daddy, he threw up on no one. His Royal Spin Meisters would like us to believe everything went just swimmingly. The European leaders who suffered through those meetings seem, shall we say, less enthusiastic about our President’s performance. Young dubya jetted off to Europe to get to know his leadership peer group, and to explain why we want nothing to do with the Kyoto protocols and would like to break the ABM Treaty forged with the old Soviet Union back in 1972. It didn’t appear the other leaders, absent Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who is required to say nice things, were all that impressed. Our boy managed to insult Spain’s leadership and butcher the Spanish language at the same time. He made no attempts to emerge from his official bubble, demonstrated virtually no curiosity about the countries he was visiting, and his official meetings were described by one wag as “icily courteous”. This American leader sticks to his schedule and to his script, by God. It ain’t exactly the same adoration still shown Bill Clinton, is it? Here’s the problem – on both the global warming and missile defense system issues, Bush and his cronies continue to ignore the science. There is no longer any scientific question about the reality of global warming. The latest to add their voices to the growing list was our own National Academies of Science. They, too, now believe that higher temperatures, melting polar caps and rising ocean levels are part of a trend. The only remaining question is whether human beings wholly create this phenomenon, is part of some natural cycle we do not yet understand or a combination of both. The dubya administration, now virtually alone in the world on this issue, says we need more studies. dubya says the Kyoto protocol was never going to be implemented anyway and, besides, it unfairly excludes emerging industrial nations from environmental controls. The rest of the world’s leaders look at the pResident, who leads a country with less than 5% of the earth’s population but emits more than a third of the greenhouse gasses, and shake their heads in wonder. This is not some sort of theoretical exercise to them, dependent on balancing the needs of the environment against the profit-making needs of their rich friends. For example, the Netherlands has created an elaborate and complicated series of dykes and levees just to keep the North Sea at bay. A miniscule rise in ocean levels could literally inundate most of their country. Dubya’s the Lesser’s problem, and everyone knows it, is that his efforts to protect the profligate polluting of his oil drillin’, coal minin’, gas guzzlin’ pals force him to ignore the reality of global warming and oppose any efforts to stop it. And it makes him look like a dunderhead in the process. We’re also pretty much alone on the missile defense system. It has two major problems among many. First, it doesn’t work. Eight of the nine incredibly simplistic tests we’ve run have been abject failures. The technology simply does not yet exist which allows this idea to come to fruition. Second, new offensive systems will be created that defeat it. Russian leader Putin said as much when he cautioned that any such system could “start a new arms race”. The underlying message was crystal clear – you build a missile defense system and we have no choice but to build something that can get around it. And, of course, there’s that pesky business of our having signed a legal treaty that specifically prohibits exactly this kind of system. Yes, it was signed a long time ago (1972) with a country that no longer exists. The solution, at least in polite society, is to sit down with the interested parties and negotiate a new agreement, not to simply behave as if we are above all laws and treaties. We’d always assumed that Bush family lawbreaking was the result of stupidity. It’s beginning to appear as if it’s rather some kind of genetic defect that predisposes the entire family to seek out laws and rules they can break. There’s no reason to suspect that Dubya’s deadly dull and unsuccessful trip to Europe will be anything other than the template by which he will hereafter operate. Cloistered with the rest of the suits, glad handing and backslapping, accomplishing absolutely nothing. We now have a pResident who not only has no foreign policy experience, but who lacks the intellectual curiosity to gain any such meaningful experience. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to get any better. King dubya the Lesser is in the process of turning the United States into isolationist outcasts, not by intentional policy but by blockheaded stupidity. Did you ever wonder what would happen if Jed Clampett took a whirlwind trip through Europe? Now you know.