Bush Cancels Switzerland Visit Amid Threats Of Protest, Arrest

Apparently, Europe isn’t ready to welcome former President Bush just yet:

President George W. Bush has canceled an event in the famously neutral country Switzerland because of expected protests to his presence there.

Bush was supposed to give the keynote address at a Jewish group’s charity gala on Feb. 12 in Geneva.

Leftist groups had planned to protest the visit, according to news agencies. But several human rights groups had also filed criminal complaints against Bush, demanding that he be taken into custody if he stepped on Swiss soil and investigated for allegations of ordering torture.

A right-wing member of the Swiss parliament also demanded last week Bush’s arrest on war crimes allegations if he came to the country, according to Reuters.

Swiss officials countered that, as a former head of state, Bush would be protected with a level of diplomatic immunity, and Keren Hayesod, the group that had invited Bush, said the court actions against the former president did not play into the decision to go forward with the dinner without him.

It all seems rather silly to me.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Yes, it is silly when people expect the US to be subject to the rule of law, rather than doing whatever the hell it wants.

  2. Davebo says:

    Here’s a good indicator of just how incurious George is.

    Prior to becoming President and despite being from a wealthy family he never visited Europe.

    I doubt they nor he missed each other then, or now.

  3. Jay Tea says:

    Bush is being a wimp. After all, we have been told repeatedly that the only dangerous protesters are right-wingers, and the people mad at him in Europe are left-wingers, and we all know that they are always harmless and civil and respectful and polite…


  4. Gustopher says:

    Yes, torture and those who order it are very silly.

  5. tom p says:

    *”War crimes???? What war crimes?? We didn’t actually torture anybody… or have black sites…..”*

    “It all seems rather silly to me.”

    Doug, now you seem silly to me… Some people (in some countries) still take war crimes seriously. Why don’t we?

  6. anjin-san says:

    > It all seems rather silly to me.

    Possibly because no one you love was killed during the “shock & awe” bombing of Iraq.

    Pretty lame Doug. Grow up.

  7. anjin-san says:

    > the people mad at him in Europe are left-wingers

    Actually, Bush appears more concerned about the threat of arrest or legal action, which is something the right in Switzerland seems to be interested in. The Swiss are very good at security, and Bush is in no danger from protesters there, left wing or otherwise.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Doug, why is it “silly” that a former president of the US gave other countries legitimate grounds to arrest him? He has admitted to authorizing torture (the right wing and the MSM may choose to pretend that calling torture something else is a super-judo-mind-trick capable of making it disappear, but fortunately that delusion is not shared by our allies). The current leader of the US government has publicly stated there will be no investigations of the alleged crimes. And that is all that is needed for other countries to prosecute.

  9. Loviatar says:


    Its all about IOKIYAR for Doug.

    Its kind of sad that as a lawyer he would have that attitude, I guess party ideology overrules the law.