Wednesday, March 01, 2006

U R Not Welcome

Indian protesters all seemed to have signs saying “Bush Go Back” instead of the more traditional “Yankee Go Home.” Since he had added a “surprise” visit to Afghanistan to his itinerary, this meant that Indians wanted him to return to Afghanistan.

And here’s a protest sign in Bangalore written in text-message-eze. Tom Friedman would be so proud.

Bush in Afghanistan: “One of the messages I want to say to the people of Afghanistan is it’s our country’s pleasure and honor to be involved with the future of this country.” We invaded and occupied Afghanistan, but it was our pleasure and honor to do so.

As Mr. Karzai is asking how he might honor and pleasure Mr. Bush, Bush is thinking “Where can I get me one of those hats?”

Something about being in Afghanistan for the first time made him use an old favorite word of his, “evildoers.” Sorta takes you back, huh? He used it for Al Qaeda, “people who have hijacked a great religion and kill innocent people in the name of that religion.” Can you actually hijack a religion? Indeed, isn’t it an insult to that religion to suggest that you could? But then, Bush thinks democracy can be imposed on one country by another country through military force, and that an occupied country can be “free.”

When a reporter from Afghan tv asks a question about “if” Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar are captured, Bush insists “It’s not a matter of if they’re captured or brought to justice, it’s when they’re brought to justice.” After 4½ years, I think we can all agree that it is actually a matter of if. Also, one presumes that the point of capturing them would be to put them on trial, so that “or” in “captured or brought to justice” is rather revealing, showing that, for him, justice would mean their being killed; their being merely captured and tried would not.

No more questions about why we haven’t caught bin Laden.

Then he went to cut the ribbon on a new American embassy. Which is more dangerous to bystanders, Dick Cheney with a hunting rifle or George Bush with a large pair of scissors?

He says that when he meets Afghans, “they always ask me -- they ask me with their words and they ask me with their stares, as they look in my eyes” [George may not be too good with the English language, but he speaks fluent stare.] “-- is the United States firmly committed to the future of Afghanistan? ... It’s in the interests of the United States of America for there to be examples around the world of what is possible, that it’s possible to replace tyrants with a free society”. Yeah, not actually interested in Afghanistan for its own sake, couldn’t find it on a map, only just now bothering to visit, but it’s an example, it’s like the animatronic presidents in Disneyland. Speaking of symbols: “And so my message to the people of Afghanistan is, take a look at this building. It’s a big, solid, permanent structure, which should represent the commitment of the United States of America to your liberty.” Right, because if we’d constructed the embassy out of old newspapers and egg cartons, it would have been a dead giveaway.

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