Trans-Atlantic Rift


I discovered this weekend that the BBC’s World Service has returned to the Icelandic airwaves. Stoked to be able to once again tune in to world events, I listened to a “Talking Point” discussion on the relationship between Europe and the US.

At one point in the program, the journalist had a caller from Texas on the line with a caller from France discussing the invasion of Iraq.

While there might be tension between the US and the governments of France and Germany, rest assured that the relationship between the US and Iceland is as strong as that of Pet owner and Weiner Dog.

That comparison might seem unfair, especially since Iceland tries, on occasion, to stand up to the US (hey, they gave the jailed Fischer a tourist visa). But a press photo of the photo-op last week in Brussels where Bush was meeting with European leaders perfectly captured the dynamic of US-Icelandic relations.

The photograph showed President Bush shaking hands with one European leader, while Iceland’s Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson, stood behind, desperately reaching out, fully extending his arm to touch Bush on the shoulder.

Thankfully for Icelandic prestige, Ásgrímsson was actually touching Bush when the photo was snapped. Unfortunately, the photo didn’t reveal whether or not Iceland’s proud, determined, non-charismatic leader who is now in hot water over his unconditional support for the US war in Iraq, received any face time with President Bush. EW

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.