Monday, March 12, 2007

Bush in Guatemala, where the evil spirits come from

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune (whose website, by the way, has a short audio clip which is misquoted several times in the article; makes you wonder about the accuracy of newspaper interviews generally), the alliterative asshole Peter Pace complains about Al Qaida and Taliban members using Pakistan as a safe haven for their operations in Afghanistan: “It is proper for us to point out to President Musharraf that people are continuing to come across the border.”

Speaking of not liking people continuing to “come across the border,” if you know what I mean, Pace also strongly supported the continuance of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, repeatedly using the word “immoral,” as in, “I believe homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts”. Which is of course a misrepresentation of the policy, as was his comparing it with the military prohibition on adultery with the spouse of another member of the military. He also attributed his position to his “upbringing,” as if the source of his personal homophobic bigotry had any relevance to... oh, honestly, enough.

Also... “homosexual acts between individuals”? Would he be happier with group orgies?

Bush was in Guatemala today, and held a press conference with President Oscar Berger. Again, the translation in the transcript is not that good, as it has Berger saying “thank you for your visit. Guatemala feels honored.” That just can’t be right.

He observed a program with a US Navy medical ship. “The American people would have been incredibly proud of watching our military folks dispense with basic health care needs to people who needed help.” Sounds like Walter Reed. Dispense with basic health care needs, indeed. “Imagine not being able to see, and then all of a sudden somebody appears in your life, gives you an eye test and fits you for glasses so you can see better.” Imagine if the first thing you see is George Bush.

In the village of Chirijuy, they made him do the first useful work he’s done in his entire life: “As a matter of fact, I got to pack some lettuce. The President and I were hauling boxes of lettuce, we were putting them in the truck.”


A lot of the concern in Guatemala is about American immigration policy and some recent raids that resulted in Guatemalans being seized and deported. And Bush referred to... well, I don’t actually know: “He also mentioned to me that there’s some conspiracies about how children are being left behind in Guatemala. No es la verdad. That’s not the way America operates.”

He was asked about the Salvadoran members of the Central American Parliament killed in Guatemala: “As to the Salvadorians [sic], of course, I’m deeply concerned about their death, as is the President. And we have sent, I think, four FBI agents down here to help with forensics and to help track down the leads, so that wherever those killers may light, the authorities can go get them. And that’s what we need to do.” Or would need to do, if the killers hadn’t been caught and killed in their prison cells last month.

He praised Guatemala’s democracy, but sadly no one took opportunity of what I believe is the first visit by a sitting US president since the ‘54 coup to ask him to apologize for the CIA’s role in it.

Nor did anyone ask him about the Mayan site that will be cleansed of evil spirits after his visit. Reporters. Feh.

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