Krauthammer falsely claimed an "absence of angry demonstrations" during Bush European tour

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On the February 24 edition of FOX News' Special Report with Brit Hume, syndicated Washington Post columnist and FOX News contributor Charles Krauthammer asserted that there was an "absence of angry demonstrations against our president" during President Bush's recent diplomatic tour of Europe. In fact, many protesters greeted Bush at every stop on his European tour -- Brussels; Mainz, Germany; and Bratislava, Slovakia -- including a three-day demonstration in Brussels and an estimated 6,000-strong protest in Germany.

The Associated Press reported on February 20 that in Brussels, "[h]undreds of demonstrators protested George W. Bush's visit Sunday, hours before the U.S. president was to arrive in Belgium at the start of a conciliatory swing through Europe." According to a February 23 Boston Globe article, the demonstrations in Brussels continued for the duration of Bush's time there, reporting that "hundreds of demonstrators protested Bush's visit for a third day."

Bush's visit to Mainz, Germany, drew protesters by the thousands. The Los Angeles Times reported on February 24: "Police estimated that 6,000 protesters stood in the snow in Mainz, chanting slogans and waving signs that read, 'Bush: Number 1 Terrorist' and 'You can bomb the world into pieces but not into peace.'"

Bush ended the European tour in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he was again met by demonstrators, albeit on a smaller scale. "Several thousand people, some waving small Slovak and American flags, braved low temperatures, light snow and tight security to listen to Bush's speech. Many seemed more curious than inspired, and some said they had mixed feelings about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A small group of protesters tried unsuccessfully to drown out Bush's talk by chanting slogans and waving banners protesting his Iraq and environmental policies," The Washington Post reported on February 25.

From the February 24 Special Report with Brit Hume:

KRAUTHAMMER: The biggest event in Europe was the absence of angry demonstrations against our president. Which showed a cooling of the hostility and sort of an evening of the temperature. And that's about it.

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National Security & Foreign Policy
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