Mr. President, welcome to Europe, to Spain. There are a few differences
in outlook on policy between us older societies and
you, of the new world
A: Yes. Go ahead.
Q: for instance on the subject
of capital punishment. Your Timothy McVeigh is scheduled for execution
A: Yes. According to federal law, his
crime is punishable by execution.
Q: You say, "federal law." But there
hasn't been an execution under the federal code for almost 40 years.
A: Ours is a deliberate process. Perhaps
you will think it too deliberate. There are Americans who would
sympathize with you. It took what, ten years? to bring to trial
the two men accused of the Lockerbie bombings. And then what
one year to try them? The execution of Mr. McVeigh is accelerated
by his own action. He asked to move his sentence forward, rather
than go through the legal motions (they have averaged about ten
years) available to him.
Q: Here in Europe, we consider executions
themselves as crimes against humanity
A: In America, we don't. We think of
them, where warranted, as affirmations of the value we place on
human life. Public opinion in America favors capital punishment.
Public opinion in certain countries in Europe, notably Great Britain,
also continues to favor capital punishment. But these apparent anomalies
are for you Europeans to dwell upon Yes?
Q: Sir, we in the European community
are concerned over the deteriorating planetary picture, notably
the greenhouse effect. The United States has 5 percent of the world's
population and emits 25 percent of the greenhouse gases
A: Yes. But the United States produces
25 percent of the world's goods, so that our consumption is related
to our productivity. But something needs to be done, you are right.
Q: That was the reason for the Kyoto
gathering. But the protocol arrived at there you have rejected
A: The Kyoto Protocol was rejected
by the Senate of the United States by a vote of 95 to 0. There hasn't
been that kind of unanimity in the Senate since called upon to justify
entering world wars in, uh, 1918 and 1941
Q: You meant 1917?
A: Yes, yes. The war to help out in
Q: We are becoming, sir, a united Europe,
and we don't anticipate any further such needs as you mention, for
United States military intervention.
A: Yes, that is a very welcome development.
Muy noticias bienvenidas, as we sometimes say around the
house back in Texas. And we certainly know European pain. We had
a great civil war of our own. That was about 150 years ago, way
back before your shouldn't we call them civil wars? Since
we think of Europe as an entity now? I agree. De acuerdo, seņor.
Q: Mr. President, on the matter of
your antimissile plan, we are very much concerned, most of us here
in Europe, about the implications of it. The renewal of arms races
A: We are aware of your concern, and
very much regret it. The way we figure it is is, we need
to discourage those forces that want to gain a nuclear potential,
the only purpose of which, of course, would be to threaten peaceful
nations. Our aim it was first enunciated by President Reagan
is to develop a technology that seeks to adapt to developing
aggressive technology by such nations. We just don't see any way
in which that effort would damage our good friends in Europe.
Q: But sir, the anti-ballistic-missile
treaty was the solid plank of missile deterrence from 1972
A: Actually, it did not deter, has
not deterred. The Soviet Union developed most of its missile power
during the Seventies and the Eighties, and ceased doing so only
after the Cold War was won. As for the treaty's effect on anti-proliferation,
there are no signs of it. India and Pakistan have detonated bombs,
and we know that Iran and Iraq proceed without any reference to
any anti-proliferation tests, covenants, restraints
Q: But a treaty is a treaty.
A: The 1972 Treaty included the right
to rescind upon serving six months' notice. You have to understand,
Seņor I didn't catch your name? Tiasaferro? Yastafierro?
that the United States has to make such provisions as we
think prudent to protect ourselves and our way of life
Q: There are a lot of Europeans who
have deep reservations about the American way of life
A: I understand, I understand. We have
lots of debates about these matters I don't know whether
you listened in on my disagreements with Vice President Gore?
but there is the other side too that likes American productivity.
California has voted against my party it is a very Democratic
state, Seņor Estaferro but there aren't many Californians
who were put off last week when it was revealed that California's
production now exceeds that of France. We have had wonderful historical
relations with France, dating back to Lafaferro Lafayette.
And we want continued fine relations with Spain, the mother of the
Western Hemisphere, I mean, the co-mother, you-all and England.
A: Sorry, time's up, I'm told. We don't
want to let off any ho ho unnecessary gas. Cosas
malas, as we say in home ports.