Sunday Paper

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I was greeted by this headline on Sunday’s front page. Now this is a country that knows a little something about the ravages of terrorism, invasion and conquest, and rule by a brutal empire. I think their opinion should carry a little weight. And the poll is actually even worse for America’s foreign policy than the headline makes it out to be. Of the remaining 20%, 8% don’t think Bush has made the world more or less safe, 4% don’t know, leaving only 6% of Irish who think the present American government has made the world a safer place. In another poll question, people were asked “How do you rate George Bush’s performance as a world leader?” 72% responded “a poor job”, 20% “an average job”, 4% don’t know, with only 5% saying “a good job.”

Anyone who knows me certainly knows that I side with the majority of Irish on this one. I will say though that I’m thankful the Irish people do seem to draw a distinction between the actions of the U.S. government and the American people. While this poll would indicate much disdain among the Irish for the U.S. government, we’ve been treated absolutely wonderfully by the Irish people we’ve met. I’ve not yet had a good political discussion with anyone, but hope to do more of that. So far, most of our conversations with people have centered around logistical details - “What should we see?”, “How do we get our garbage picked up?”, etc. It’s amazing how many little day-to-day details you have to learn over when living in a foreign country.

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