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The 18½ Minute Gap
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Sunday, November 16, 2003
What a difference six years makes.
Bill Clinton, 1997:
Cheering crowds greeted President Clinton this morning as he strolled through Sarajevo’s streets. His visit was one more sign that a semblance of peace as returned to Bosnia’s once war-torn capital. Mr. Clinton’s friendly welcome included a handmade sweater, the gift of a street vendor who expressed thanks to the President for America’s continuing military presence. Peace came to Bosnia two years ago after the signing of the Dayton Accords in Ohio. That agreement brought an end to three and a half years of civil conflict.

George W. Bush, 2003:

Home Secretary David Blunkett has refused to grant diplomatic immunity to armed American special agents and snipers travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week.

In the case of the accidental shooting of a protester, the Americans in Bush's protection squad will face justice in a British court as would any other visitor, the Home Office has confirmed.

The issue of immunity is one of a series of extraordinary US demands turned down by Ministers and Downing Street during preparations for the Bush visit.

These included the closure of the Tube network, the use of US air force planes and helicopters and the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters.

In return, the British authorities agreed numerous concessions, including the creation of a 'sterile zone' around the President with a series of road closures in central London and a security cordon keeping the public away from his cavalcade.

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