Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bush in Paris: Difficulty should not cause people to do the right thing

Jargon alert: in a NYT article about the National Guards patrolling the border with Mexico, we are treated to this quote from an officer in the Virginia Guard: “At first we were constantly catching clients.” The paper explains that “clients” is what the Border Patrol calls illegal immigrants.

This morning Bush held a press conference with French President Sarkozy, enjoying the rare experience of not being the goofiest-looking guy in the room.

HE’S THE REMINDERER: “Yesterday I reminded the world, really, Nicolas, that America’s first friend was France.”

AND WITH A SLIP OF THE TONGUE, HE LETS FRANCE OFF THE HOOK: “And frankly, we wouldn’t be where we are today with the French support early in our revolution.”

WHAT NICKY SARKOZY IS FULL OF: “I really enjoy being with President Sarkozy. He’s an interesting guy. (Laughter.) He is full of energy. He’s full of wisdom.”

THE SUPPORTER: “thank you very much for supporting the Paris support conference”.

SUPPORTING THE YOUNG DEMOCRATS: “And I do thank the people of France for supporting the women and children and the young democrats in Afghanistan.”

WHAT HIS MESSAGE WOULD BE: Asked what demands he’d like to make of Syrian President Assad, he said, “Well, my message would be, stop fooling around with the Iranians and stop harboring terrorists”.

BUT HE ISN’T, SO WE WON’T: “Olivier, if I were a betting man, we’ll reach an agreement with the Iraqis.”

WE REQUEST THE PLEASURE OF YOUR COMPANY. BYOSAW (BRING YOUR OWN SHOCK AND AWE): “You know, of course we’re there at their invitation; this is a sovereign nation.”

WHAT IS INTERESTING: “And it’s interesting to be working with a democracy where, you know, people are trying to prepare the ground to get something passed in the parliament, for example, or the free press is vibrant.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “Most Palestinians want to coexist in peace with Israel. And that peace must be in a state that is clearly visible, well defined, and in actuality is a state. And so in other words, the concept -- and by the way, this is newly arrived; I’m actually the first President ever to have articulated a two-state solution, two democracies living side by side with peace -- in peace. And during my time as President I’ve seen a notable shift amongst folks in the Middle East that recognize the importance of having that state.” Does he actually believe that no one thought a Palestinian state was a good idea before he brought up the subject?

HE’S THE REMINDERER: “And therefore our diplomacy is to remind all the parties involved that they have now an opportunity to get a state negotiated.”

WHAT SHOULD NOT CAUSE PEOPLE TO DO THE RIGHT THING: “I understand how difficult it is, but difficulty should not cause people to do the right thing.”

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