0

by RAY FLEMING
AS befits a meeting held at the home of the waltz, the mood music at yesterday's EU–US summit meeting in Vienna was noticeably more agreeable than at previous summits. President Bush had a number of strong points to make but did so with due recognition of those who disagree with him. President Schuessel of Austria and European Commision President Jose Manuel Barroso also took care to emphasize areas of agreement. Two discords remained, however. On the Guantanamo Bay detention centre Mr Bush repeated his new line that he wants to see it closed. ”I'd like it to be over with” he said, a statement that probably comes from the heart because Guantanamo has done untold damage to America's reputation. Unfortunately, he rather spoiled things by adding: ”There are some detainees who need to be tried in US courts. They are cold-blooded killers.” It is astonishing that Mr Bush cannot see the conflict between those two sentences. Concerning Iraq the President insisted that he understood why there had been differences of opinion between Europe and the United States but then threw that olive branch away by saying, ”What's past is past, and what's ahead is a hopeful democracy in the Middle East.” Tony Blair is also a ”past is past” man, understandably so. He also wants to ”move on”. But it's not like that. The slate of their appalling joint misjudgements throughout the Iraq adventure cannot be wiped clean so easily.