Friday, January 04, 2008

One of the reasons I’m going is to remind them of the work they got to do

In preparation for his upcoming trip to the Middle East, Bush gave a couple of interviews today, the first to Israel’s Yediot Ahronot, the second a roundtable with newspapers from the other countries he’ll be visiting. At one point he said that he went to war with Iraq because “I decided to make sure words meant something.” I assume this was meant ironically.

TO MAKE SURE WORDS MEAN SOMETHING, THEY MUST FIRST BE IN OTHER WORDSED: “In other words, as far as we were concerned, he had weapons of mass destruction which could have been used in a deadly way.” “In other words, there’s got to be a recognition that we need institution-building, there needs to be work.” “In other words, Russia has basically taken that argument away from the Iranians that said, we are -- have the sovereign right to have a civilian nuclear program, and they said, fine.” “And there’s a lot of church and faith-based groups involved in southern Sudan trying to improve the lot of people living there, in other words, the great humanitarian outreach that takes place.” “In other words, the rebel groups cannot take advantage of -- continue to take advantage of this notion that they can do what they want without being serious about the peace.”

He talked about creating a Palestinian state “subject to the road map.” He said that Olmert “understands the significance of defining a hopeful state.” He knows that because he did that soul-looking-into thing he does so well: “And so when I talk to Prime Minister Olmert, I listen very carefully to whether or not he’s able to think beyond the moment. And I’ve come to the conclusion that, yes, he is a man of vision.”

“BY THE WAY” IS THE NEW “IN OTHER WORDS”: “And the United States, by the way, can help both parties. That’s why I’m going: to help boost the confidence of both parties to reach out for a vision. And by the way, the trip is more than just going to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I’m also going to the Arab world”. And 6 more “by the ways” in the roundtable.

AT LEAST HE’S GOT AN AGENDA: “Now, they got work to do, and one of the reasons I’m going is to remind them of the work they got to do.”

IN FACT, THERE WILL BE A WHOLE LOT OF REMINDING: “the American President can help move the process forward by reminding friends and allies in the Middle East about the importance of the two-state solution and what they can do to help.” “I remind people that the President should -- must understand, like in the Middle East, that the conditions must be ripe for people to go for peace”. “I will remind them that we’ve got a three-track strategy”. “part of my trip is to remind our friends and allies how important it is for Lebanon to succeed”. “I will remind them that what happens in parts of the world matters to the security of the United States of America, and that we look forward to being a constructive force and working with allies like allies should do.” “remind them of this ideological struggle in which we’re involved”. “My job is to remind people that laying out a substantive, real vision around which people of good faith can rally is instrumental to peace.”

IT’S GOOD THAT SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE HELL HE’S SAYING: “Both understand, as well, that I said conditions on the ground, the realities of the situation will help determine what a -- the borders look like.”

He said, “You know, women are now very active in the Kuwaiti parliament.” As what? This is not the first time he has tried to claim that there are women in the Kuwaiti parliament.

He said, “My friend, King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia doesn’t get enough credit for beginning to reform his society.” Yeah, wonder why that is. “I admire him because he is a man who commands a lot of respect from me, personally”. Incidentally, Bush has never been to Saudi Arabia before, which surprised me.

“[T]he Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognized that murderers threaten not only other parts of the world, but threaten the Kingdom’s own security.” You know, with the murdering and all.

Q: Thank you. Thank you again, Mr. President. Mr. President, I wanted to ask you, your visit to the region will not include the Maghreb Arab.

BUSH: Will not include --

Q: The Maghreb Arab --

BUSH: Yes, that’s right.

The reporter then took pity on him and explained the term.

He actually has been to Morocco, before he was president: “I’ll never forget drinking crushed almond milk [as opposed to Bogie, who came for the waters], and enjoyed the wonders of the desert... I threw snowballs in Morocco one time in the Atlas mountain range.” See, he’s already done everything there is to do in North Africa.

BUSH REVEALS WHAT HIS GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO HISTORIOGRAPHY WILL BE: “I’ll be dead before the true history of the Bush administration is written.”

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