Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bush press conference: cauldron of chaos

This morning Bush castigated the “Democrat leaders” for being “more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than in providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq,” and suggested sending the troops to fight political battles in Washington and the Democrat leaders to Iraq. Okay he didn’t, but you know he was thinking it.

(Fun with perspective, from Reuters photographer Larry Downing)

He went on: “If Democrat leaders in Congress are bent on making a political statement, then they need to send me this unacceptable bill as quickly as possible when they come back. I’ll veto it, and then Congress can get down to the business of funding our troops without strings and without delay... and we go about our business of winning this war.” See what he’s doing here? He’s suggesting that the Democrat leaders are acting childish and he’s the mature, responsible one.

He repeated the assertion, previously made by others, that Nancy Pelosi is sending “mixed signals” in Syria: “photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they’re part of the mainstream of the international community, when, in fact, they’re a state sponsor of terror”. I always get those two confused myself.

Continuing about Assad, Bush lets loose with an “in other words”: “There have been a lot of people who have gone to see President Assad -- some Americans, but a lot of European leaders and high-ranking officials. And yet we haven’t seen action. In other words, he hasn’t responded.”

And another, about former aide Matthew Dowd’s criticism of his policies: “Matthew’s case, as I understand it, is obviously intensified because his son is deployable. In other words, he’s got a son in the U.S. Armed Forces”.

And another: “Again, Plante mentioned that people don’t think we can succeed -- in other words, there’s no chance of succeeding.” There were 5 more “in other words”’s during the press conference.

Things that would happen if we withdrew from Iraq: “watching the country go up in flames,” “Iraq becomes a cauldron of chaos which will embolden extremists, whether they be Shia or Sunni extremists; which would enable extremists to have safe haven from which to plot attacks on America.” So they’d be emboldened by the cauldron of chaos, and they’d have safe haven in the cauldron of chaos.

Ken Herman of Cox asks him if he knows the current price of gas. $2.60, he says. Herman asks where he’s shopping.

Asked if the, how you say, Democrat leaders aren’t simply doing what they were elected to do in November, Bush interprets: “I think the voters in America want Congress to support our troops who are in harm’s way. They want money to the troops.”

You know, I hear people equate supporting this war with “supporting our troops” twenty times a day, but every so often it just pisses me off all over again.

Asked about Peter Pace and the gays (sounds like a bedtime story) (which I suppose, in a way...): “I will not be rendering judgment about individual orientation. I do believe the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is good policy.”

In case you were wondering why we have a Department of Homeland Security: “We do everything we can here at the homeland to protect us. That’s why I’ve got a Homeland Security Department.”

That’s also why we have an Iraq, there in the, you know, uncivilized world: “Iraq is a very important part of securing the homeland, and it’s a very important part of helping change the Middle East into a part of the world that will not serve as a threat to the civilized world, to people like -- or to the developed world, to people like -- in the United States.”

(More fun with perspective, from AP photog Gerald Herbert)

No one asked him about the naked chocolate Jesus, which was disappointing.

And no one asked him about “comfort women,” a subject he evidently discussed today with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has denied that women were forced into brothels for Japanese soldiers. Bush evidently told Abe that he appreciated his “candor” and that Japan today is not the Japan of World War II.

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