Friday, October 05, 2007

Wow, what a compassionate group of people

So I went to the supermarket today, and tried to buy one-third of a pound of ground beef from a butcher with a less than solid grasp of fractions. He asked me if a third was more or less than a half; he thought it was about the same as three-fourths. It is to weep.

Speaking of ill-educated butchers, George Bush gave an interview
to Al Arabiya yesterday. He was even less coherent than usual. His average sentence sounded like this: “And they’re making progress that I believe where the average Palestinian and average Israeli will begin to see what a vision looks like.”

He explained to the interviewer that “One of the hardest things for me is to meet with a mother.” Er, I think he meant mothers of soldiers killed in one of his wars (he had met once such mother the day before). Fortunately, there was an upside: “I leave most of the meetings reassured that the loved one, in this case, fully understanding what we were doing. ... And so I leave those meetings saddened by the fact that a person has pain in her heart -- and yesterday she had pain in her heart -- but encouraged by the fact that her son died for a noble cause and a necessary cause.” So that’s okay then.

IN OTHER WORDS: In response to the idea that he is an enemy of Islam: “I’ve heard that, and it just shows [sic] to show a couple of things: One, that the radicals have done a good job of propagandizing. In other words, they’ve spread the word that this really isn’t peaceful people versus radical people or terrorists, this is really about the America not liking Islam.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “The reason I do this [the Iftaar dinner] is I want people to understand about my country. In other words, I hope this message gets out of America.”

THE MOST VALUABLE THING ABOUT AMERICA: “And the value -- the most valuable thing I think about America is that -- particularly if you’re a religious person -- you can be free to worship, and it’s your choice to make.” Particularly if you’re a religious person.

Indeed, as I believe Henry Ford once said, you’re free to worship any god, as long as it’s black: “See, I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham.”

BY “NOISE,” PRESUMABLY HE MEANS THAT CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION: “And I know there’s some noise out of here about partition [of Iraq]. But most folks who follow this issue don’t support partition, and they don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“You can’t make the decisions if you’re worried about getting blown up. And what the enemy wants to do, the enemy of a free Iraq, they want to create enough chaos and confusion inside Iraq that causes people to doubt. And they want, by the way, to kill enough innocent people that causes the American people to lose their patience and determination to help freedom movements.”

THE MAIN PROBLEM: “the main problem has been not the Iraqis or not the United States, but it’s been the fact that people have murdered.”

THAT’S PRETTY DARNED HARDENED: “Their hearts are so hardened that they’re willing to kill innocent people.”

WHAT GEORGE BELIEVES: “See, I believe murderers murder”.

“The Iraqis have been through a lot of bloodshed and violence. And yet they’re still strong in their desire to achieve -- the Iraqis will be successful.”

He talked about political assassinations in Lebanon: “And we need to know who is doing that assassinations”.

IN OTHER WORDS: About the Hariri assassination: “There needs to be a definitive moment where the evidence is laid out, and if it’s clear evidence -- in other words, if somebody’s guilty, they ought to be held to account so that murder is not -- so that there’s this clear signal that murder is not going to be accepted.” Dude, it’s Lebanon. They may not accept American Express, but they sure as hell accept murder.

WHAT HE REALLY WANTS THE PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST TO HEAR: “And that’s really what I want the people in the Middle East to hear -- that each issue is an issue that’s got difficult problems, but there’s an interconnection.”

THE MEN, NOT SO MUCH: “I think one of the great potentials of the Middle East is women.”

WOW: “Our country is a loving country. It’s hard for me to believe that people can’t look at America and say, wow, what a compassionate group of people – because we are.”

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