Bush Gets Heroes Welcome In Albania

I'm constantly amazed at the difference between countries that have truly known oppression and those that think they know what's best for everyone. Whenever George W. Bush goes to Britain or France or some Western European country, he's met with protesters and their "Stop American Imperialism" bullsh*t, but when he visits Eastern Europe or a country like Albania that has known almost nothing but oppression until the last 15 years or so, they treat him like a rock star.

Nearing the end of an eight-day trip, Bush got a hero's reception in this desperately poor country, still struggling to recover from being cut off from the rest of the world for four decades under the harsh rule of dictator Enver Hoxha. Hoxha died in 1985, and Albania emerged from isolation in 1990 but still is one of Europe's most impoverished lands.

Cannons boomed salutes from mountains overlooking the capital. Huge banners proclaimed "Proud to be Partners," and billboards read "President Bush in Albania Making History."

Throngs of people grasped Bush's hands, arms and fingers on the streets of Fushe Kruje, a small town near the airport where he stopped to chat in a cafe with business owners. Unused to such adoring crowds in America, Bush reveled in the attention. He kissed women on the cheek, posed for pictures and signed autographs. Someone reached out and rubbed his gray hair."

Bushie, Bushie," people shouted.

Amazing contrast, isn't it?