Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A vision that’s clearly defined

Bush met Turkey’s president today. His speech was prepared, I assume, by a junior high student: “Turkey is a strategic partner of the United States. Relations between the United States and Turkey are important for our country. ... We deal with common problems. One such problem is our continuing fight against a common enemy, and that’s terrorists, and such a common enemy as the PKK. It’s an enemy to Turkey, it’s an enemy to Iraq, and it’s an enemy to people who want to live in peace. The United States, along with Turkey, are confronting these folks. And we will continue to confront them for the sake of peace.”

He called on the EU to admit Turkey, which is never gonna happen, and added, “I view Turkey as a bridge between Europe and the Islamic world, a constructive bridge.” As opposed to a destructive bridge.

The White House website has an amusing “Setting the Record Straight” item today, responding to a WaPo article which said that Bush is scaling back his ambitions for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process just to that “defining a vision of what a Palestinian state will look like” thing. No, says the website, setting the record very straight indeed, Bush’s ambitions have always been vague and unambitious.

In the afternoon, Bush had a video conference with members of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq, after which he talked to reporters. He explained what they know: “The PRT leaders have gotten to know the Iraqi people. They understand the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in freedom and peace; that’s what they know. You know why? Because the citizens tell them just that.”

Asked about yesterday’s game of naval chicken in the Strait of Hormuz, he began with the six truest words he has ever spoken: “I don’t know what I think -- what their thinking was, but I’m telling you what I think it was. I think it was a provocative act. ... And my message today to the Iranians is, they shouldn’t have done what they did.”

A OUTLINES: Bush explained what he hopes to accomplish in the Middle East: “What has to happen in order for there to be a peaceful settlement of a longstanding dispute is there to be a outlines of a state clearly defined, so that at some point in time, the Palestinians who agree that Israel ought to be -- exist, and agree that a state ought to live side by side with Israel in peace, have something to be for. They need to have a vision that’s clearly defined that competes with the terrorists and the killers who murder the innocent people to stop the advance of democracy.”

And who better to offer a vision that’s clearly defined than George W. Bush?

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