“I think that sometimes, for understandable reasons, there’s been a hesitation in putting the real truth of this situation up to people, and the fact is there are those out in that region, notably Iran and Syria, who do not want this process of democratization and peace and negotiations to succeed.” – Tony Blair
I really hate to bang on about this, but there’s also those in another region, most notably Missouri and Washington, who do not want this process of democratisation and peace and negotiations to succeed either.
Even if you choose to deny that there’s an active conspiracy to strategically place Israel at the centre of unrest in the Middle East in order to fulfill biblical prophecy and pave the way for the End of Days, you have to acknowledge that the Republicans are going to need all the support they can get in the the upcoming mid-term elections, and Bush is unlikely to say or do anything that’s likely to upset his
Christian extremist base.
Prepare yourselves for a few weeks of very careful phrasing….
UPDATE – Hmm. I’d best correct that statement; Bush is unlikely to *intentionally* say or do anything *publicly* that’s likely to upset his
Christian extremist base.
Reuters – Mideast crisis drives Bush to colorful language: A microphone picked up an unaware President Bush saying on Monday Syria should press Hezbollah to “stop doing this shit” and that his secretary of state may go to the Middle East soon. Bush was talking privately to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during a lunch at the Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg about an upsurge of violence in the Middle East, not realising a microphone was transmitting what he said.
UPDATE – The BBC has a report and a partial transcript of their ‘quiet chat’. Wider transcript here. CNN has a video on this page. More video links here at Crooks and Liars, who also highlight Rush Limbaugh describing this conflict as ‘a gift to the world‘…
UPDATE – Newt Gingrich is being equally optimistic. Let’s go make us some lemonade!
UPDATE (18 Jul) – There’s a nice bit of analysis on the front page of today’s Independent which is also appears here. Highlights are repeated below:
Bush: What about Kofi? (inaudible) His attitude to ceasefire and everything else … happens.
(Change of subject. Now they are on to Lebanon and the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan)
Blair: Yeah, no I think the (inaudible) is really difficult. We can’t stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
(Mr Blair is trying to push the idea of a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. That ‘yeah’ does not sound like a wholehearted agreement)
Blair: I don’t know what you guys have talked about, but as I say I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is, but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral.
(Meaning: ‘Please, George, let me go to the Middle East and be a world statesman’)
Bush: I think Condi is going to go pretty soon.
Blair: But that’s, that’s, that’s all that matters. But if you… you see it will take some time to get that together.
(Meaning: ‘Oh well, all right, if you don’t want me to. Just a thought’)
Bush: Yeah, yeah.
Blair: But at least it gives people…
Bush: It’s a process, I agree. I told her your offer to…
(Meaning: ‘Drop it. You’re not going.’)
Blair: Well… it’s only if I mean… you know. If she’s got a…, or if she needs the ground prepared as it were… Because obviously if she goes out, she’s got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk.
Oh, and a lot of emphasis has been placed on the whole “Yo, Blair” thing, but the reality is probably closer to “Yo, boy!” (or perhaps “Here boy!”).
UPDATE – Blair Watch – Margaret Beckett and the Middle East: Listen to Margaret Beckett outline British Policy over the chaos in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon… Clue – there doesn’t appear to be a policy past Dubya’s analysis and a refusal to say anything bad about the grotesque actions of plucky little Israel.
UPDATE – BSSC – A Problem Denied is a Problem Solved: Those who believe that the answer to the question is “no, it isn’t the case that a new generation of militants has been created as a result of the invasion of Iraq” might want to reflect on the reasons why the Foreign Secretary has gone to such great lengths, preposterous lengths you might say, to avoid giving that answer. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the reason for her evasion is that she knows that the actual answer is “yes, it is the case” and she can’t admit that for obvious political reasons. If there is any other explanation, I certainly can’t think what it could be.
UPDATE – Bush gave the German Chancellor an uninvited neck massage at the summit! (Another video link here.) Poor Tony! First George won’t let him play statesman, and now somebody else gets his reach-arounds. He’s going to be in a bad mood when he gets home…. we’d best prepare our excuses for tell-tale bruises.
UPDATE – Hahahahahaha! Steve Bell is some kind of psychic genius!