Sunday, November 20, 2005

I remember our visit very well

George Bush does not travel well. With jet lag, he actually gets stupider and less coherent. Here’s Bush, meeting the Chinese premier:
Thank you. It’s good to see you again, sir. I remember our visit very well. And I thank you for this invitation to come and talk and have lunch. It will give us a chance to continue to strengthen this very important relationship. And I agree with you, it’s a relationship where we’ve got common interests.
It’s always important when you meet the premier of a country to reassure him that, yes, you remember having met him before.

And here, talking to the press pool: “a society that welcomes religion is a wholesome society, it’s a whole society.” It’s a whole-grain society, it’s a holy soci... whoops, didn’t mean to say that out loud!

“it’s a really important relationship. I mean, China is a big, growing, strong country.” Big, yes, but growing? Is this something we should be worried about?

Granted, there’s something about going to China that turns American presidents’ brains to mush. Nixon famously said, “It sure is a Great Wall.” Bush, on the other hand, went bicycling with Chinese Olympic hopefuls and said, “this trail is a great bike trail”.

“And I explained to them as clearly as I could that the value of the Chinese currency is very important for manufacturers and farmers and workers in the United States.” As clearly as he could. Oh dear.

He also explained the importance of intellectual property: “And I made it clear that if you’ve got a vibrant economy, and people feel uncomfortable about the piracy of product, that it’s going to affect the economy in the long run.” Uncomfortable about the piracy of product, yeah that’s just so completely clear. Also, I’m pretty sure Bush was just trying to get Hu to say “long run.”

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