- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2003

LONDON — President Bush, seeking to emulate President Reagan’s 1982 “ash heap of history” speech on communism, today will challenge free nations to unite in a historic quest to eradicate terrorism.

A senior administration official traveling with Mr. Bush aboard Air Force One told reporters the president will espouse “effective multilateralism” in a “major foreign-policy speech” during his state visit here.

But Mr. Bush was characterized as a reckless unilateralist by British leftists who gathered to protest his visit. Some demonstrators openly espoused assassination of the “evil” president, prompting authorities to take unprecedented security precautions.

However, there were more supporters than opponents of Mr. Bush’s visit, according to a poll in the left-leaning Guardian newspaper. The poll, which was touted by a White House that usually claims to pay no heed to polls, showed 62 percent of Britons consider America “a force for good, not evil, in the world.”

The White House is making a conscious effort to compare today’s speech by the president with Mr. Reagan’s address to Parliament 21 years ago.

“Why did Ronald Reagan go to make a case that communism was going to end up on the ash heap of history?” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“It was to call everybody to their better beings, to their higher angels, to challenge and to motivate the great alliance of democracies to be more active, and to act and to not turn inward, or to try and sweep problems under the rug,” the official added.

Mr. Bush views today’s speech in the same light.

“American presidents have taken moments in history when there is great opportunity lying before democratic nations — the democratic alliance — to challenge that alliance to take up that mantle and to work for great causes,” the official said.

“They also tend to be moments of tremendous challenge, sometimes of danger,” the official added. “And it’s extremely important in that regard to call people to this higher calling.”

Even before Mr. Bush arrived in London last night, a handful of protesters gathered outside Buckingham Palace, where the president planned to stay for the next three nights with first lady Laura Bush.

British artist Raymond Dell, 60, clutched a full-color placard showing the president with a bloody bullet hole through his forehead.

Asked by The Washington Times whether he seriously advocated assassination of the president, the self-described communist replied: “Yes, I do, of course, because he’s evil. The American government is evil.

“Sorry I have to say that about your country, but you’ve got to have truth,” he added. “I know I’m a bit of an extremist, but that’s my view.”

While Mr. Dell was raised in a democracy and espoused communism, Moscow resident Sergei Jargin was raised in a communist society and espoused democracy. During a visit to Buckingham Palace yesterday, the 47-year-old teacher defiantly waved the American flag just yards from the anti-Bush demonstrators.

“I would like to express my solidarity with President Bush,” he said. “Russia is in the same boat with Western countries. We have the same problems, the same political goals and the more we cooperate, the better.”

A short distance away, across the street from the Big Ben clock tower at the Parliament, protesters draped anti-Bush banners across a park fence. The words “Bush not welcome,” all in capital letters, were scrawled across a mock-up of the American flag, with its stars arranged in the shape of a swastika.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide