Thursday, June 14, 2007

An unqualified success

Tonight Bush went to the aptly-named and no doubt delicious “2007 President’s Dinner,” of which he said, “The only way to call this dinner is an unqualified success.”

In his speech, he only found two things “interesting”: 1) “It is interesting that David Petraeus, our commander on the ground, has declared that al Qaeda is the number-one enemy to the people of Iraq.” 2) “Isn’t it interesting, my dad fought the Japanese, I’m making peace with the Japanese.”

If you’re wondering about that last one, no, he hasn’t started and ended a war with Japan without you noticing. He means that 60 years after World War II, he can sit down with the Japanese prime minister and “talk about peace in the world.” Which isn’t really the same thing as making peace. But then they also, he says, “sit at the table talking about making sure that the leader of North Korea doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.” Um, has no one told him that North Korea has had nukes for a while now?

Anyway, now he’s making peace with the Japanese. “Something happened. What happened was, liberty took hold in Japan. Liberty has the capacity to convert enemies into allies.” You know what else happened? We “converted” two of their cities into charcoal. Somehow in all these anecdotes about Koizumi and Graceland and “Japanese-style democracy” that he tells over and over and over, that part always gets left out of his little just-so story. Maybe Japan isn’t really a template for how the United States should, in Bush’s words, “spread freedom far and wide across the globe.”

But for Bush, it is. Elsewhere in the speech, he says, “Our strategy is, in the short-term, to take the fight to the enemy and defeat them where we find them. In the long-term, the way to defeat an ideology of hate is with an ideology of hope.” Got that? Short term: mass slaughter; long-term: ideology of hope. How could that possibly fail?

He doesn’t see why, correctly and repeatedly and simply explained, that policy wouldn’t be tremendously popular in this country: “And I believe if our candidates take the message of doing what is necessary to protect the American people, and take the message, the hopeful message of helping others realize the blessings of liberty, that we will retake the House and retake the Senate, and hold the White House in 2008.” Can’t wait to see the bumper stickers. 2006 elections or no 2006 elections, dude still thinks his policies are wildly popular.

Speaking of wildly popular, it does seem as if Bush’s surprisingly cheap Timex was not stolen, that he really did take it off because he was afraid some Albanian would steal it. This action has made him just a little bit less popular in Albania than he was.

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