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Bush V’s Kennedy

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I couldn’t help contrast JFK’s famous, populist “Ich bin ein Berliner” visit to Germany with Mr Bush’s visit last week to Mainz. The German government basically put the whole town into lock-down. They closed roads, schools and even rivers for the day, as well as imposing a 37 mile exclusion zone for air traffic.

Meanwhile, there was also a “Red Zone” where no unauthorized personnel were admitted. 1500 people who lived there couldn’t have visitors.

There are also rumours that there was a request to close down the mobile phone networks – or have the ability to close them down, if they wanted to.

It’s one thing to protect Mr Bush. It’s another to inconvenience the good burghers of Mainz. But isn’t it another thing altogether to endanger their lives by depriving them access to the emergency services on their mobiles?

But the most striking thing is how different our world today has become since the halcyon days of the 60’s. Or were we just naive then, given Mr Kennedy’s eventual fate?

As a reminder, this is what the JFK gathering looked like

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About Russell

  • RJ

    Interesting post.

    Security is a big deal nowadays. The JFK assassination is just one example of why this is needed.

  • That was a different era. These days the US Secret Service is not fond of people watching a US president from windows, balconies, and rooftops, lest another president suffer Kennedy’s fate.

  • This reminds me of the hoorah over the decision to have a bullet-proof shield on the Pope’s limo when he visited the New World.

  • DrPat

    In fairness, there’s a big difference between taking sensible precautions and hiding!

    Don’t forget, His Holiness, has personally suffered an assassin’s bullet. For me, this would make every public appearance something of an ordeal.

    For any public figure, there must surely be a compromise between safety and allowing people to see you.


  • I would say that given heightened tensions in the world, precautions, particularly of the sort taken for this visit, are not out of place. Populism, or popularity, are another matter.

    The apostrophe indicates we are talking about a dynastic Bush, I assume you mean Bush Vs Kennedy.

  • Nelson

    Don’t forget Europe had no muslim population to speak of during the Kennedy era. Whereas today, the Islamic influence is not only heavy in France but also Germany.

    Bombings are a real threat in Europe. They have happened recently in Europe- Spain and England- and primarily by Islamic extemists.

    I guess your upset Mr.Bush didn’t allow himself to be an easy target for an attack- the way Kennedy did when he was assinated.

    Airport security and airport lines have gotten bigger as a result of plane bombings and crashes-is that George Bush’s fault as well?

    Ask yourself what is causing security worries before you going blaming Bush for everything.

    As a true liberal would, I guess you would rather critcize Bush for causing inconvenient German road blockades than Clinton causing inappropriate parade floats.