This is my first day on the internet since that date.
In France, I tried to read the International Herald Tribune as often as possible, but it wasn't always available in small towns in Normandy. And of course, there's no Sunday edition. Note to Marc Lynch: the May 19 edition had an advertising insert called Jordan "modern and vibrant liberal state."
We were able to pick up BBC radio, but I didn't listen that often. BBC did keep me posted on the latest concerns of the White House. Compare these statements by the Bush's Press Secretary.
First, May 17
MR. McCLELLAN: Look, this report caused serious damage to the image of the United States abroad. And Newsweek has said that they got it wrong. I think Newsweek recognizes the responsibility they have. We appreciate the step that they took by retracting the story. Now we would encourage them to move forward and do all that they can to help repair the damage that has been done by this report. And that's all I'm saying.Next, May 18
Q Scott, the President of Uzbekistan has now admitted that his government killed upwards of 170 of its citizens, some anti-government protestors, some escaped prisoners, apparently. Opposition groups say the figure could have been far, far higher. What's the President's view of this situation?Which act made the White House angrier, I wonder?
MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, we spoke about it just the other day. The State Department addressed this very matter and expressed our concerns about it. Obviously, we have continued to urge restraint by all and for all to work for calm in Uzbekistan. We were deeply disturbed by the reports that authorities had fired on demonstrators last Friday, and we expressed our condemnation about the indiscriminate use of force against unarmed civilians. And we certainly deeply regret any loss of life.
Since all the TV was in French, and I don't speak the language, that medium wasn't much use to me. However, I did watch the nightly ads by various French political parties weighing in on the forthcoming referendum vote on the European constitution. With Spain's acceptance last week, nine nations have now joined. France is up in the air, but I know how I'd vote. After all, the Greens urged "Oui" and Le Pen "Non."
Finally, just to obtain a bit more baseball news, I twice purchased a USA Today (available only in larger cities, like Paris and Rouen). It really wasn't worth 2 Euro (about $2.55; same as the IHT).
Oh, I did watch the second half of the finals of the UEFA cup. The Lisbon team held a 1-0 lead at the half, but Moscow scored at about 56:45 on a nice bounce kick. About 10 minutes later, the Russian team scored again (by Zhirkov) on a nice breakaway play. Then, nearly 10 minutes later, the Portugese team missed a point-blank shot and Russia immediately pushed the silver ball up the field and scored the final goal: 3-1. I kept the volume down as commentary wasn't necessary to enjoy the match.