With the continuing decline in his domestic approval ratings, one should not be surprised by news reports coming from Mongolia indicating Bush’s popularity with the locals. The Australians , and report that he skipped out of Rosa Parks’ recent funeral in order to escape being booed.
The International Herald Tribune reports it this way:
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia — If you are an American president in need of just a few hours of temporary political asylum – no debate about Iraq, no Chinese leaders stiff-arming the U.S. agenda, and plenty of adulation – here is the solution: Come to the endless steppes that Ghengis Khan made famous.
For those not up on their history, Wiki provides us with this refresher course:
Destruction and effects on civilians
Genghis preferred to offer opponents the chance to submit to his rule without a fight, but was merciless if he encountered any resistance: in such cases he would mercilessly attack the population of the resisting cities leaving engineers, submitted troops, artists, spies and human shields to survive. There also were instances of mass slaughters even where there was no resistance, especially in Northern China, where the vast majority of the populations had long histories of accepting nomadic rulers.
Genghis’ conquests were characterized by wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale and radically changes in the demographics of Asia. Over much of Central Asia Indo-European Persian-speakers were replaced by Turkic speakers. According to the works of Iranian historian Rashid al-Din, the Mongols killed over 70,000 people in Merv and more than a million in Nishapur. China suffered a drastic decline in population. Before the Mongol invasion, China had 80 million inhabitants; after the complete conquest in 1279, the census in 1300 showed it to have roughly 60 million people. How many of these deaths were attributable directly to Genghis and his forces is unclear.
One might think that Dubya and Genghis have a lot in common, such as their love of empire or general ruthlessness. There are some striking differences between the two, though. To begin, Kahn’s military personnel file is significantly
Air Guard Calvary service records. Additionally, Genghis Kahn had a true love of horses, unlike the American fake tin star president. As reported in the International Herald Tribune article:
Gift horse? No thanks.
Bush may love Texas, and love his ranch, as he reminded Mongolians Monday when he stood in their Parliament and compared their land to his. But his enthusiasm does not extend to another Mongolian passion – horses.
When the U.S. defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was here a month ago, the Mongolians presented him with their highest honor: a beautiful gelding that he named Montana. When the White House caught wind of this tradition, they knew they would have to head it off at the pass, so to speak. “There aren’t any horses at the Bush ranch,” one of his aides noted. “At least none that he rides.”
Despite the common history of ruthless empire building, it seems that even the Mongols could begin to hate Bush as much as we do when they get to know him a little better.