It's good to know Fearless Leader Bush is so well beloved he will be greeted by freedom and liberty in Germany. People love him so much The Bubble he usually travels in on the road has now been expanded to include a whole city. Just read what is being done to shut down the city. Sadly and very unfortunately the only Bubble is the one between his ears.
P.S. Derek - you said in an earlier post the War on Iraq has increased freedom and liberty around the world - apparently the folks in this city won't know such increased freedom and liberty while Bush is there.....will they now???
Germans locked down for Bush visit
Allan Hall, Berlin
July 13, 2006
EAST Germany is sealed off again with barbed wire, tanks, warships and fighter planes.
It is not the return of communism but the arrival of President George Bush that is giving Germany a taste of the Iron Curtain once more.
The security concerns surrounding the World Cup pale compared with the ring of steel and firepower thrown up to protect Mr Bush in a country where 84 per cent of the population loathe him.
Mr Bush is visiting Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where Chancellor Angela Merkel has her constituency.
Relations between Washington and Berlin were plunged into the diplomatic deep freeze over the war in Iraq. They thawed after socialist leader Gerhard Schroeder was ousted by the conservative Dr Merkel in November.
Mr Bush is visiting Dr Merkel on the way to the G8 summit in Russia.
But nothing is ever simple when the most powerful individual in the world also ranks among the most reviled.
Security operation costs have already soared from a budgeted £8 million ($A19.7 million) to £16 million, and they continue to rise.
A planeload of Secret Service agents arrived last week to co-ordinate Operation Ironclad — the codename of the operation to protect Mr Bush.
Stralsund, the Baltic coastal town known for its herrings and biting cold winters, resembles the armed camp it was during 40 years of the Cold War.
About 40 tonnes of barbed wire have been erected around the hotel in nearby Heiligendamm where Mr Bush is staying.
Welders have sealed 400 drain covers in case bombers plant explosive devices in them. Another 1200 manhole covers in a 16-kilometre radius from his hotel have been treated similarly.
During the Cold War the Baltic Sea was a no-go zone dominated by security forces determined to stop people fleeing to the West. Until tomorrow night it is out of bounds inside a radius of about 80 kilometres.
Boats risk being gunned out of the water by 11 naval speedboats, 15 patrol boats and 28 high-speed inflatables. Fishing boats and pleasure craft have been ordered to stay at anchor.
In the middle of the old town of Stralsund, where Mr Bush will dine with Dr Merkel today, all residents have had to move their cars to a special area 11 kilometres from their homes.
The police are running a special bus service for residents to and from their cars.
But when they are in their homes from midday they are prisoners until nightfall. They are forbidden to open windows, walk outside or receive visitors.
About 12,000 police are on duty — four times more than were at the 64 World Cup games. Several hundred of them are SEK marksmen trained by Britain's SAS and sited on rooftops and other strategic points.
Social democrats in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, whose national party rules in coalition with Dr Merkel's conservatives, have declared Mr Bush an unwanted visitor.
They have organised anti-Bush demonstrations for his visit, but they will get nowhere near the man they hate.