Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bush in Africa: The US desires to see that there be no violence

Bush has arrived in Africa, or as he describes it, “a large place with a lot of nations.” Dude should write travel books. It’s like he’s painting a picture with words.

I can’t figure the logic behind his itinerary. Today he flew from Benin to Tanzania, but he’ll also be going to Liberia and Ghana. Does no one in the White House possess a map?

Possibly I don’t really want to know the answer to that.

He held a press conference with Benin’s president, Boni Yayi. Another great name, but I’ll bet that a place that preferred “Benin” to “Dahomey” doesn’t even appreciate it.

Say it out loud: Boni Yayi Boni Yayi Boni Yayi. Fun.

(Update: evidently, his visit to Benin, the first by an American president, lasted three hours and he never left the airport.)

SO, WHY ARE YOU HERE? “One of the reasons I’ve come here, sir, is because leaders around the world have got to understand that the United States wants to partner with leaders and the people, but we’re not going to do so with people that steal money -- pure and simple.” Oil, that’s what you’re supposed to steal.

THE REMINDERER: “my trip here is a way to remind future Presidents and future Congresses that it is in the national interest and in the moral interests of the United States of America to help people.” I’m sure they’ll be grateful for that reminder, and for the suggestion that they need a reminder. From you.

WHAT MAKES GEORGE WEEP: “You know, the Malaria Initiative is an initiative that is very dear to my heart and Laura’s heart because we weep when we think about little babies needlessly dying”. As opposed to the little babies who were askin’ for it.

Asked why he is avoiding all the trouble spots in Africa: “When you herald success, it helps others realize what it possible”.

THAT’S WHAT DIPLOMACY IS. He is, however, sending Condi to solve the Kenya problem. She’ll be there part of Monday. So she should have time to solve the disputed election and get in a little shopping as well. “In terms of Condi’s visit, I will -- the key is, is that the leaders hear from her firsthand the U.S. desires to see that there be no violence and that there be a power-sharing agreement that will help this nation resolve its difficulties. That’s what diplomacy is, and we’ve been very active on all fronts.” Clearly, Kenyans wouldn’t have engaged in all that violence if they had just been made aware that the US desires to see that there be no violence.

And that was it: “Like, press conference over.”

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