Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Following Bush on his expedentions abroad


Like Stephen Hadley, Bush today referred to Iraq as being in a “phase” rather than a civil war. A phase of what, he didn’t say. Phase of the moon, phasers on stun, whatever. He’s putting a lot of emphasis on who started the “phase” (“There’s a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented, in my opinion, because of these attacks by al Qaeda, causing people to seek reprisal”), which wouldn’t be particularly relevant to stopping it even if he were right. He says, “You know, the plans of Mr. Zarqawi was to foment sectarian violence. That’s what he said he wanted to do.” “[W]e’ve been in this phase for a while,” since the Samarra bombing (everything was going perfectly in Iraq until February), which was intended by Al Qaida “to create sectarian violence, and it has. The recent bombings were to perpetuate the sectarian violence.” That’s funny, because I thought all those things actually were sectarian violence. He seems to think that violence and civil war is an end in itself to the bad guys, forgetting that some people actually prefer to finish wars.

Bush grudgingly admits that he can’t really object to Iraqi leaders talking to Iranians: “Iraq is a sovereign nation which is conducting its own foreign policy. They’re having talks with their neighbors. And if that’s what they think they ought to do, that’s fine. I hope their talks yield results. One result that Iraq would like to see is for the Iranians to leave them alone.”

He praises Estonia for being a COW (Coalition of the Willing) country: “And the interesting contribution that a country like Estonia is making is that, people shouldn’t have to live under tyranny. We just did that; we don’t like it.”

Asked about the Russian attempts to subjugate Georgia, Bush is clearly bored with the whole subject, unwilling to criticize Putin, and may possibly have forgotten a few words into his answer which conflict he’d been asked about: “Precisely what we ought to do is help resolve the conflict and use our diplomats to convince people there is a better way forward than through violence. We haven’t seen violence yet. The idea is to head it off in the first place.”

In Latvia, he said that “Europe no longer produces armed ideologies that threaten other nations with aggression and conquest and occupation,” while lauding NATO’s armed occupation of Afghanistan in the name of freedom and the transformation of NATO into an “expedentiary” alliance, and he demanded that members increase their military budgets so they can participate in these, um, expedentions I guess.

Mortis


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