On May 6 and 7 the President of the United States of America George Bush will visit Riga. Latvia is welcoming the leader of its ally state with mixed feelings.
Media are provoking negative hullabaloo among the public regarding the drastic, for some people possibly even offensive security activities around the visit, where the capital city of a sovereign state will be under the occupation of the American special services for two days. At the same time, the inevitable traffic jams are forecast to be quite apocalyptic.
Criticizers and yellers of various gradations turn their criticism against Bush. There are protests from the dissatisfied for whom the status of the USA as the only super power and the Americans’ «war against terrorism» during which Latvian soldiers are directly involved in the occupation of Iraq is unacceptable. Ready to yell are marginal anti-globalists and the greens, because the evil Bush symbolizes greediness of the Americans to use the world’s benefits, who moreover has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Sneering are also local mental workers to whom the Yale educated Bush seems undereducated and self-righteous jerk with a meager IQ and messiah’s ambitions to force the American understanding of democracy on those who think otherwise.
For the political elite of Latvia, on turn, Bush’s visit will allow for self-content discussions about the 15 years’ results of the consequent political line and internationally recognized achievements, and for feeling like full-fledged players in the geographical and political international combinations.
All of the USA Presidents, within the limits of own magnificence and the realistic political possibilities, put the national interests of America first. This is why the USA in principle did not recognize the fact of incorporation of the Baltic States in the «empire of the evil», furthered withdrawal of the Russian army and promoted accession of the three states to the NATO. Thinking about America, Bush will also visit Latvia. And it is out of place to expect that while hiding behind the back of the «world most powerful man» Latvian leaders will rush to finally shut up the Russian speaking screamers and will regain Abrene as a proof of capability of the local politicians. No, the high guest will take care of America’s good.
The USA is and will be the most important ally of Latvia helping this country to live with the almost genetic fear from the eastern neighbor. However, Bush is no philanthropist or benefactor ready to take the small Latvia on his knees. We have to pay for the political and military «umbrella» of the USA — by unconditional loyalty, by Latvian soldiers on the Iraq mission. It is modern to call names during these days both Bush and the inconveniences caused by his visit. Maybe it is worth considering: what’s the alternative? Which country could be the powerful ally of Latvia? What would this country look like if a free and democratic Latvia did not correspond to the strategic interests of the USA?
These things are worth thinking about before shouting WELCOME or GO HOME, MR. BUSH!