Friday, September 22, 2006

Bush & Mush: He understands it just about as good as anybody in the world

Bush met Pakistan’s Generalissimo Musharraf today and praised him for his commitment to education, which is as good an excuse as any for me to make fun of Chimpy’s command of the English language: “The governor of the areas are with us here”; “He understands that we are in a struggle against extremists who will use terror as a weapon. He understands it just about as good as anybody in the world”.

Bush claims that he never heard that Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age until he read it in the newspaper today. Yeah, that’s believable: like Bush would ever read a newspaper. “You know, I was -- I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words.” Mush (as I believe Bush calls him in private) said he couldn’t say any more about the incident because he has a book coming out... (Armitage, by the way, denies having made any military threats. Tony Snow says “US policy was not to issue bombing threats” and suggests the whole thing was “a classic failure to communicate”. Bomb. Stone Age. Sounds like pretty clear communication to me.)

Musharraf insisted that his deal with the Waziristan tribes is actually a deal to fight the Taliban, not a deal with the Taliban. Just a big misunderstanding, he says. It is a “holistic approach that we are taking to fighting terrorism”. And Bush said, “When the President looks me in the eye and says, the tribal deal is intended to reject the Talibanization of the people, and that there won’t be a Taliban and won’t be al Qaeda, I believe him, you know?” Looked into his soul, did you, George?

Neither would say whether American forces would enter Pakistan to capture Osama bin Laden.

Bush said the “Kashmir issue will be solved when two leaders decide to solve it.” As ever, the views of any actual Kashmiris are irrelevant. Also, Pakistan is a military dictatorship, but aren’t decisions in India supposed to be made by more than one person?

Bush said “the free world and the moderate world must stand up to these extremists”. Of course I’ve heard the expression “the free world” before, but I didn’t know there was also a moderate world.

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