Magazine article New African

A Tale of Two State Visits: Mbeki vs Bush

Magazine article New African

A Tale of Two State Visits: Mbeki vs Bush

Article excerpt

A state visit to Britain is a grand affair. The Queen rides in the open-top state coach with the visiting head of state to receive the greetings and adoration of her subjects lined up on the pavements with flags and flowers. It is all an open and relaxed affair, with a lot of hand-waiving and smiles. That was what the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, got when he came on a state visit in June 2001.

From 18 to 21 November 2003, the American president, George W. Bush, was given a state visit by the Queen. President Bush is supposed to be a "fighter for democracy and freedom" for the peoples of the world, especially those in Afghanistan and Iraq. At least, that is what he says. Yet, on his state visit to London, George "Freedom" Bush arrived at Buckingham Palace in a helicopter and left three days later in a helicopter. His fast-moving motorcade (bomb-proof, with tinted windows) avoided the 200,000 demonstrators (the police insist 100,000) who wanted him to go home. …

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