Thursday, February 14, 2008

America is trapped in this notion that we care about human life

The BBC interviewed Bush today (video, transcript evidently made by someone who didn’t quite understand the Texas accent) about his Africa trip.

Why is he going? “I go where needed.”

As a special Valentine’s Day gift to you, gentle readers, I pass on to you that straightest of straight lines, and ask: where else is George needed?

The people of Africa might well contest the notion that they “need” George Bush, and indeed might contest the way he defines Africans solely as “people who are suffering from disease and hunger and hopelessness.” “[M]ine is a mission of mercy,” he says (and who knew he was familiar with the concept of mercy?), “and a mission of the cold realism of the world in which we live” because “The only way a radical can recruit is to find somebody who’s hopeless. I mean, their vision is, like, really dark and dim.”

GEORGE DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD “SEMINAL”: Says the decision not to send troops into Darfur was “a seminal decision. ... I think a lot of the folks who are concerned about America into another Muslim country.”

What about Steven Spielberg boycotting the Olympics over Darfur? “That’s up to him. I’m going to the Olympics. I view the Olympics as a sporting event.” It’s a desert topping! It’s a floor wax!

HE’S THE REMINDERER: “On the other hand, I have a little different platform than Steven Spielberg so, I get to talk to President Hu Jintao. And I do remind him that he can do more to relieve the suffering in Darfur. There’s a lot of issues that I suspect people are gonna, you know, opine, about during the Olympics. I mean, you got the Dali Lama crowd. You’ve got global warming folks.”

The Dali Lama “crowd.”

TRAPPED! “America is trapped in this notion that we care about human life. We respect human dignity. And that’s not a trap. That’s a belief.”

WHY DOES THE ELITE HATE ME SO MUCH?: “I hope by now people have learned that I’m not one of these guys that - really gives a darn about elite opinion.” On himself being associated in the world’s mind solely with Iraq: “Well, I mean... that’s what the current, you know, elite would like everybody to think about.”

WELL, THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING: “And I’m happy with Iraq.”

HE GAVE US PIZZA AND BEER: “The decision to move Saddam Hussein was right.”

Asked if he regretted not listening to advice to use more troops in Iraq early on: “You know, my commanders didn’t tell me that early.”

On his threat to veto yesterday’s bill outlawing waterboarding and other forms of torture: “The reason I’m vetoing the bill – first of all, we have said that whatever we do is for legal... will be legal.” Only if you veto the bill making those things illegal. (And not even then, of course.)

Then he obnoxiously asked again (but with a use of verb tenses, although an awkward use, whcih I didn’t think he knew existed), “which attack would they have hoped that we wouldn’t have prevented?”

“SOME,” “SOME,” WE WANT NAMES: “Now, I recognize some say that these - terrorists - really aren’t that big a threat to the United States anymore. I fully disagree.”

Does the US still hold the moral high ground (Note to Matt Frei: “still”?): “Absolutely - absolutely. We believe in human rights and human dignity. We believe in the human condition.” We believe in the human condition? What the hell does that even mean? We believe humans should use conditioner?

He accuses the world of being too impatient with his policies: “You know, we live in a world like - and all due respect - the 24 hour news. We live in a world where everything’s, like, instant.” Really? Because the next 341 days seem, like, really long.

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