Bush is a Rock Star in Albania


His poll numbers may be in the basement, but when he zipped through this small, relentlessly pro-American nation on Sunday, President Bush was treated like a rock star.

Someone less generous than I might suggest that being “relentlessly pro-American” might actually have less to do with Albanians being so decidedly pro-Bush as the fact that Albania was once the most Stalinist country in Eastern Europe. But naturally I would never suggest that Albanians’ love for Bush for more of a second-coming-of-Stalin kind of thing, because that would just be plain old rude, and I would never, ever, piss on this very, very disturbing parade.

On the trip into town from the Tirana airport on Sunday morning, official-looking billboards and banners alternately proclaimed “President Bush Making History in Albania,” and “Proud to be Partners.” At the city’s pyramid-shaped cultural center — built as a monument to Albania’s isolationist dictator, the late Enver Hoxha – a giant picture of the U.S. president now covered much of the façade. The arrival ceremony included a 21-gun salute that flashed and reverberated from a hillside above the capital.

At a joint appearance in a baking hot courtyard, [Prime Minister Sali Berisha], a former cardiologist, hailed Bush as “the greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in all times,” and the U.S. as “the greatest and the most precious friend of Albanian nation,” as translated.

…The crowd shouted “Bush-y, Bush-y,” whistling, cheering and clapping, as Secret Service agents pulled the president from behind, holding onto his waist. It was extraordinary even by the standards of eastern Europe, where the Bush administration remains enormously popular for its steady support in the face of growing Russian aggressiveness.

Dear Albania—You can have him. Love, America



Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

14 responses to “Bush is a Rock Star in Albania

  1. blusilva

    Why is it that they’ll let Albanians manhandle Bush in a mob scene, but any American who doesn’t sign a loyalty oath isn’t allowed within a mile of the man?

    This disturbs me.

  2. does this mean he’ll be elected the first president of the newly independent nation of Kosovo in 2010?

  3. Jeff



    The friggin’ photo looks like a screen capture from every George Romero film ever made….unfortunately, if these Albanian zombies are gonna crack Bush’s cranium in search of brains to eat, they’re gonna leave aweful hungry.

  4. Bitty

    I had an Albanian student a few years ago, the summer after the beginning of the war. He was one aggressive, hyper-macho man in many ways. In class he riled up his peers by saying (not joking) that the US needed to nuke the entire country of Iraq. When we argued back that this would kill innocent people, he was decidedly unmoved. He said there were no innocents and this would solve the problem.

    Until today, I thought that was just his personality.

  5. nightshift66

    Since I’m the resident cynic of these parts, I’ll posit that Bush’s handlers only allow people in the bubble that they are confident will follow the script and treat him as the greatest thing since sex. (Sliced bread is overrated.) Some Americans still have that silly old notion that they can speak truth to power as their right, and might make W feel bad about himself, so Bush must be shielded from them.

    What’s that? That’s exactly what’s happened for nearly 7 years now? Well, alrighty then…

  6. Yglesias was saying that the reason people like Bush in Albania is because of widespread pro-American sentiment, dating back to when Clinton helped the Kosovo Albanians. It’s always sad to see the fruits of Clinton’s labors being enjoyed, and often destroyed, by Bush.

  7. (cue the murder drums and snotty guitars)

    I got the style but not the grace
    I got the clothes but not the face
    I got the bread but not the butter
    I got the winda but not the shutter

    But I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan But hey I’m big in Japan

    I got the house but not the deed
    I got the horn but not the reed
    I got the cards but not the luck
    I got the wheel but not the truck

    But hey I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan

    I got the moon I got the cheese I got the whole damn nation
    On its knees I got the rooster I got the crow
    I got the ebb I got the flow
    I got the powder but not the gun
    I got the dog but not the bun
    I got the clouds but not the sky
    I got the stripes but not the tie
    But hey I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan

    Hey ho they love the way I do it
    Hey ho there’s really nothing to it
    I got the moon I got the cheese
    I got the whole damn nation on their knees
    I got the rooster I got the crow
    I got the ebb I got the flow
    I got the sizzle but not the steak
    I got the boat but not the lake
    I got the sheets but not the bed
    I got the jam but not the bread
    But hey I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan I’m big in Japan
    I’m big in Japan, I’m big in Japan

    tom waits

  8. SAP

    Yeah, those pictures were just disturbing.

  9. Neil the Ethical Werewolf
    Jun 11th, 2007 at 10:18 am

    If that’s so, it’s really sad. Everyone truly pro-America should be anti-Bush. (The Albanians deserve more slack on that than Americans, though.)

  10. redlegphi

    Well let’s see, he’s supporting almost immediate Kosovar independence. And there’s a decent chance the ethnic Albanian Kosovars are just gonna add their new country onto Albania, Republic of Texas style, so it’s not exactly hard to figure out why the Albanians might like him.

  11. Angry Irish Bitch

    I don’t supposed we could convince him to take “early retirement” and move himself to his loving throng???

    Didn’t think so.

  12. SAP

    P.S. Let us know when we can send over Cheney, too.

  13. Grandjester

    Well then, they can keep him.

  14. Arkades

    I’m half-surprised not to have seen quotes from Dubya saying that he expected everyone there to be really pale-skinned with pinkish eyes.

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