The Israeli government is deciding whether to cut off Gaza’s electricity, gas, fuel, and, oh yes, water. Or they may just bomb the shit out of it. Or both.
Bush is in Australia, which is the sort of country where being spotted in a lap-dance club has increased the personal approval rating of the opposition leader by 2 points. Bush and John Howard, who is prime minister and is also in charge of the sheep dip, held a press conference.
Bush praised Howard in terms he often uses for foreign leaders: “you know where he stands, you don’t have to try to read nuance into his words.” For once, it was true. John Howard really is as unsubtle as George Bush. It is to marvel.
Bush informed Howard, “I’m a meat guy” and “I’m looking forward to some Australian beef.” Larry Craig immediately applied to be the ambassador to Australia.
He let us in on the private conversations that take place between world leaders: “As I told John, we’re in the midst of an ideological struggle against people who use murder as a weapon to achieve their vision.” And I have no doubt he told John exactly that.
He talked about Anbar: “The province I saw wasn’t lost to the extremists. The place I went had changed dramatically”. I’m guessing Anbar province now looks like... an American air base?
For about the third time this week, he accused people who disagree with him of being blinded to reality by their beliefs: “By the way, people who don’t believe we should be in Iraq in the first place, there’s no political reconciliation that can take place to justify your opinion. If you don’t think Iraq is important, if you don’t think it matters what the society looks like there, then there’s not enough amount of reconciliation that will cause people to say, great, it’s working. If you believe like I believe, that the security of the United States and the peace of the world depend upon a democracy in the Middle East and Iraq, then you can see progress. And I’m seeing it.”
IN OTHER WORDS: “They [Iraq] got a budgeting process that’s funding their military. In other words, there is a functioning government.”
He explained economics (he’s got an MBA, you know): “When trade is up it means commerce is up”.
On things in Burma that are inexcusable: “It’s inexcusable that we’ve got this kind of tyrannical behavior in Asia. It’s inexcusable that people who march for freedom are then treated by a repressive state.”
On urban legends: “Now, I know some say, well, since he’s against Kyoto he doesn’t care about the climate change. That’s urban legend that is preposterous.” Urban legend, as in the sunken city of New Orleans (and Venice, and Amsterdam, and...)
IN OTHER WORDS: “We’ve got great relations with China from a diplomatic perspective. In other words, we’re able to talk with them openly and candidly.”
Of course, as a reporter reminded him, China hacked into the Pentagon computers. It doesn’t matter much whether or not we’re candid with them if they can hack into the Pentagon computers. He said, “it’s best to be able to discuss these issues in an environment that is frank and open and friendly, as opposed to one in which there’s tension and suspicion.” You know what’s an appropriate response to China hacking into the Pentagon computers? Tension and suspicion.
He explained what interested him about Iraq, and what did not: “I’m not interested in artificial timetables or dates of withdrawal; I’m interested in achieving objective.”