Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bush in Africa: A chance to herald courageous people in their efforts to deal with hopelessness

On his way home from Africa on Air Force One, Bush chatted with reporters.

HERALDRY: “the second trip to Africa for me, the fifth for Laura -- was a chance to herald courageous people in their efforts to deal with hopelessness.”

WHAT REALLY MADE HIM HAPPY: “And what really made me happy was that the people of Africa have come to appreciate the generosity of the American people.”

WHAT WAS INSPIRING TO HIM: “To have the little orphans in Rwanda put on such a cheerless -- a cheery face because somebody is trying to provide them love, was inspiring to me. To watch their little guys play tee ball...”

THAT’S WHAT I THINK WE ARE: “Anyway, it’s the human condition that matters. You heard me say a lot on the trip that we’re on a mission of mercy, and that’s what I think we are.”

YOU SAY POTATO: “America should not be dictating to these countries. America ought to be helping leaders make decisions.”

At this point Laura Bush spoke up, and explained what she considers fun: “One of the really great things that I got to do was be a part of the Tanzanians new Action Plan for Vulnerable Children and Orphans. A lot of these countries have huge numbers of orphans, either from AIDS or malaria or from conflict. And they are so proud to have started their -- to be, really, the first country to come up with their plan on how to identify orphans all over the country and vulnerable children all over the country, and then what to do to help them. And that was fun.”

Asked about African interest in the Obama candidacy, Bush insisted that it “never came up,” and that Africans really have no interest in Obama:
Q: People would mention it to us.

Bush: If you asked them, yes. “What do you think about Obama?” Yes, they mentioned it to you all right; yes.
THE HISTORIOGRAPHER-IN-CHIEF: “I would just tell you this -- and you’ve heard me say it and it’s true -- there’s no such thing as short-term political history. I mean, short-term history of an administration -- forget ‘political’ -- there is such thing as short-term political history because there’s an end result, win or lose. There’s no such thing as an accurate history of an administration until time has lapsed -- unless you’re doing little-bitty things.”

THE REMINDERER-IN-CHIEF: “And one of the great dangers for America is to become isolationist or protectionist. And the purpose of -- on trips like this is to remind people of the need not to become isolationist.”

Condi Rice was asked about her attempt to get the people who won the Kenyan elections to form a government with the people who lost the Kenyan elections. “This is a matter of the two sides setting aside personal animosities and personal agendas and doing what’s right for their country.” Oh, and the elections, those have to be set aside as well.

She does believe that such a deal is possible: “they are under enormous pressure from the Kenyan people -- from the business communities, civil society, the media -- everybody talks about outside interference with the -- the impatience of the Kenyan people who see their society, their economy -- the Serena Hotel, where Kofi Annan is staying, 30 percent occupancy; the InterContinental, 1 percent occupancy. And Kenya can’t stand that for very long. So that’s where the pressure is coming from.” Oh, and the mass killings and violence. That, and the 1% occupancy rate at the InterContinental Hotel.

NOT THE THING: “The PEPFAR program has been great. It’s a bipartisan success. Congress funded the thing -- not the ‘thing,’ Congress funded the program”.

The video you asked for, the video you demanded, the video... oh, just watch Bush dance. Dance, monkey boy, dance!

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