Sunday, December 07, 2008

It’s contradictory to say, I am going to use violence to achieve my objectives, and oh, by the way, I’m for peace


Bush gave an interview to Dubai-based Arab satellite tv station MBC.

IT’S INTERESTING HISTORY HERE: “It’s interesting history here, and I think one thing that your viewers might be interested in knowing is that the first decision I ever made as President -- but I was actually President-elect -- was, what color rug do you want?” Arab viewers would be interested in knowing that, all being rug-merchants.

A UNIVERSAL GOD: “And I tell people this, that I do believe there is a universal God, and a gift of that Almighty to all of us -- whether we be Methodists or Muslims or nothing -- is freedom. And so freedom is a great alternative.” Isn’t it nice of the Almighty to give a gift to people who are Methodists or Muslims or nothing? I’ll bet the nothing people didn’t get Him anything.

MOMS CAN GROW UP: “If you believe there’s an Almighty God, and a gift of that Almighty to everybody is freedom, then I think you have to -- if you can do something about it, that you have to act on that -- so that moms can grow up in a society that is hopeful for their children, you know, that their children are -- can realize dreams.”

WHAT THE VOICES IN GEORGE’S HEAD ARE SAYING NOW: “And I hear people say, George Bush doesn’t like Muslims; he wants to fight Muslims.”

WHAT WAS A TERRIBLE DISAPPOINTMENT: Asked if, looking back, he would do anything differently, he said, “I’m sure there will be” – that is, he might be able to come up with something when he actually does look back, but he hasn’t looked back yet. So he decided to turn it around and respond with an answer to a question that hadn’t been asked, one which didn’t require him to admit fallibility, saying, “there’s been some disappointments.” For example, “Well, like, Abu Ghraib was a terrible disappointment. And admittedly, I wasn’t there on the site, but I was the Commander-in-Chief of a military where these disgraceful acts took place that sent the absolute wrong image about America and our military.” Yeah it would have all been totally different if he had been there on the site to, like, supervise.

Other disappointments: “You know, parts of Iraq -- it’s taken longer than I thought it would. On the other hand, I am pleased to see a multiethnic society begin to emerge.” I’m pretty sure they had more than one ethnic group before we invaded them.

WHAT GEORGE LOVES TO HEAR: “I talked to the leaders of Iraq yesterday and today and congratulated them on doing some hard work. And I love to hear their spirit in their voice.” They only have the one voice, I guess.

WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY: “I believe when people objectively analyze this administration, they’ll say, well, I see now what he was trying to do.”

NORMAL: Asked what he would miss about the White House, he repeated that he’d miss being Commander-in-Chief of the cannon fodder, and like Laura he’d miss the servants: “But, you know, the White House is full of incredibly gracious and kind people who work hard to make family life as normal as possible.” You know, for most of us, a “normal” family life doesn’t involve lots of servants working hard to make it normal.

IN OTHER WORDS: “I’m grateful that at the Annapolis conference all Arab nations were represented -- which is an important signal, because I learned a lesson in studying previous efforts for peace, that there must be regional buy-in. In other words, the nations in the region must stand with the Palestinians, in particular, and say this is -- we support you.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “I share the vision that the only way there’s going to be peace is where those who assume that violence is necessary to achieve peace cannot be a part of the process. In other words, people have to renounce violence in order to have peace. It’s contradictory to say, I am going to use violence to achieve my objectives, and oh, by the way, I’m for peace.” Say, did I mention that the US refused this week to sign the treaty against cluster bombs?

IN OTHER WORDS: “Well, I think we’ve left [the Palestinian peace process] in good shape. We’ve left it with the vision intact. In other words, a lot of people now share the vision of two states.”

A LOT OF DEBATE: “There was a lot of debate on the SFA and SOFA, and there were people that were -- you know, a lot of people were saying, well, this will be bad for Iraq, and others say this will be good for Iraq.”

WHAT PEOPLE SAY: “We tried to avert it [the invasion of Iraq]. I know people say, oh, George Bush likes to use the military.” He’s right. People do say that. I’ve heard them.

COMPETE WITH HEZBOLLAH? “I believe a Middle East with Saddam Hussein in power today would be different, much different than the one today. I think you’d see a man with a lot of oil wealth willing to use terrorist connections to try to compete, for example, with Hezbollah.”

When the interviewer mentioned the US incursion into Syria in October, Bush interjected, “Allegedly, yes.”

And how would he like to be remembered by people in the Middle East? “I would hope they would remember me as George W. Bush, as a man who respects their religion, respects human rights and human dignity, and prays for peace.” Well, they probably will remember him as George W. Bush. That’s one out of four, which is higher than his average success rate, so well done, George W.... um, what was your name again?

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