Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bush in Colombia, where the blow comes from: Words are easy to say in politics in the international diplomacy

In Bogota, Bush praised Colombia as “a fine democracy,” but didn’t dare stay there more than six hours.

The White House transcript of his press conference with Uribe is not a good one, especially the translated bits. Uribe, facing the recent revelations about links between senior officials and right-wing death squads (revelations, that is, to anyone who’s been paying absolutely no attention for the last five years), ranted on and on about the need to crush guerillas and paramilitaries and root out Marxists from universities, the media, the labor movement, etc. But not, of course, root out right-wing paramilitaries: “But we cannot fall into the trap of the guerrillas, that we should weaken the armed forces.” Scary.

Bush, standing next to him, pretended nothing was happening, and spoke dipshitily about shared values. How should these revelations be handled? “I support a plan that says that there be an independent judiciary analyzing every charge brought forth, and when someone is found guilty, there’s punishment. That’s the kind of plan I support. It happens to be the kind of plan the President supports. In other words, there’s no political favorites when it comes to justice, that if someone is guilty, they will pay a penalty. ... and I believe that’s the kind of justice this government will do.”

Asked about American hostages held by the FARC, Bush had a simple solution: “Their kidnappers ought to show some heart, is what they ought to show,” adding, “It’s amazing, isn’t it, that we live in a society where you’ve got part of your country where people just kidnap somebody who is here trying to help, without any regard to whether or not -- how their family feels.”

Asked about the statements made by Syrian and Iran at the Baghdad conference, Bush said, “Words are easy to say in politics in the international diplomacy.” Sure they are, George, sure they are.

I really want me one of them hats.

I got me one of them hats! And a poncho! And some (wink wink) “coffee”! And some... hello, there!

From the New Yorker, Steve Martin, “Seventy-two Virgins.”

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