Views from Abroad

From Holden:

George Bush’s incompetence seems to have one German minister a bit upset.

A conservative German minister in a southern state has caused uproar by saying U.S. President George W. Bush should be “shot down” for his handling of the crisis in hurricane-struck New Orleans.

Andreas Renner, Social Minister in Germany’s southern state of Baden-Wuertemberg, clarified later that he had only meant Bush should be downed politically.

During a visit to a local company on Tuesday, Renner said of Bush: “He ought to be shot down.”

He later retracted the remark, saying he meant Bush should be shot down “in a political sense”, according to the Reutlinger General-Anzeiger newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Chinese nail it.

People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, said there was no excuse for Bush’s slow reaction to the unfolding tragedy.

“For the Bush administration, ‘unexpected’ perhaps can be a lame excuse, but it can never explain away the government negligence of duty,” it said in an opinion piece carried on its English language website Thursday.

“As a matter of fact, ever since ‘September 11’, the Congress had cut anti-flood allocation to Louisiana, which later became a main reason for the slow rescue work this time,” said the officially controlled paper.

“In the face of the hurricane, Americans accepted the challenge but failed to beat it off. This is really a shame on the United States.”

It said the anarchy and chaos seen in New Orleans after the hurricane looked to the world like America was “fighting a city war at home”.

“New Orleans has become Baghdad,” it said.

“People have reason to feel disgusted: when Indonesia was hit by the tsunami last year, everybody lent a helping hand and nobody looted. But now this happened in the United States, showing people another side of this ‘civilized country’.

“In fact, it revealed the fragility of American society, as well as despair and disorder in a state of anarchy.”