Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Hail to the chief

I'll scream if I see another cut-away drawing of 'Air Force One' or the presidential car 'the beast' . Or hear any more stories of the medical team that is accommodated on the president's jet, or the electronic counter-weapons on board, or the sealed panic room inside his car that can withstand a chemical attack.

Don't think for a moment that it's simply about practical security - it's a carefully constructed image that is supposed to impress upon us a sense of awe at the power of the US state.

But just like the dark glasses and the mormon suits on the secret service guys - it all just seems a bit silly and over-blown.

It also seems ironic that what is supposedly the world's most powerful democracy is so concerned about the safety of one man - and that he is treated with the reverence accorded a medieval monarch or pope.

But flaunting all this in a foreign country seems particularly insensitive and arrogant. Let's face it - the president faces a far greater risk of assassination from some homegrown white-supremacist redneck than he does from an islamo-mentalist or a European anarchist.

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