July 17 2006
Arianna Huffington: The Blog
Bush and Blair's Less Than Excellent Conversation
President Bush's already depressing world tour hit a new low today with his "oops, is thing on?" conversation with Tony Blair.
I haven't heard dialogue this addle-brained since Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. But these aren't a pair of stoned out slackers looking to score some burgers. These are the leader of the free world and his faithful British sidekick, trying to keep the conflict in the Middle East from kickstarting World War III.
Yes, on one level, it's great comedy -- as funny as anything SNL or The Onion could come up with. "Yo, Blair!"? Bush's kindergarten insight that "Russia's big and so is China". The dripping with sarcasm frat-boy banter:
Bush: Thanks for the sweater; it was awfully thoughtful of you. I know you picked it out yourself.
Blair: Oh, absolutely!
What was next, the two of them high-fiving and yelling "Psyche!"?
But on another level, the conversation was the most dispiriting exchange I could imagine hearing at a moment like this.
Has there ever been a more feeble statement by a U.S. president than "See, the irony is what they really need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over"?
Churchill it ain't.
Indeed, it says all you need to know about how this president's disastrous mismanagement of foreign policy has undermined America's standing in the world.
The Middle East is teetering on the brink, and the President of the United States is reduced to sitting on the sidelines, helplessly ruminating on what "they" need to do to try and broker a settlement.
Even worse, he tells Blair: "I felt like telling Kofi to get on the phone with Assad and make something happen."
You want irony? How about a president who has shown nothing but disdain for the UN, wistfully fantasizing about being bailed out by an organization his man John Bolton felt could lose 10 stories of its headquarters without it making "a bit of difference."
You want impotence? How about a president who is so paralyzed he doesn't even tell Kofi to make the call.
More of the "Less Than Excellent Conversation" Tuesday July 18, 2006
'Yo, Blair, how are you doing?' - overheard chat reveals the real special relationship
During a quiet moment at the G8 summit yesterday, Tony Blair and George Bush swapped candid views on the Middle East. Only after several minutes did Mr Blair realise that a microphone had been left on
Bush Yo, Blair. How are you doing?
Blair I'm just...
Bush You're leaving?
Blair No, no, no not yet. On this trade thingy ...[inaudible]
Bush Yeah, I told that to the man.
Blair Are you planning to say that here or not?
Bush If you want me to.
Blair Well, it's just that if the discussion arises ...
Bush I just want some movement.
Bush Yesterday we didn't see much movement.
Blair No, no, it may be that it's not, it may be that it's impossible.
Bush I am prepared to say it.
Blair But it's just I think what we need to be an opposition...
Bush Who is introducing the trade?
Blair Angela [Merkel, the German chancellor].
Bush Tell her to call 'em.
Bush Tell her to put him on, them on the spot. Thanks for [inaudible] it's awfully thoughtful of you.
Blair It's a pleasure.
Bush I know you picked it out yourself.
Blair Oh, absolutely, in fact [inaudible].
Bush What about Kofi? [inaudible] His attitude to ceasefire and everything else ... happens.
Blair Yeah, no I think the [inaudible] is really difficult. We can't stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
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.
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.
Bush Yeah, yeah.
Blair But at least it gives people ...
Bush It's a process, I agree. I told her your offer to ...
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.
Bush You see, the ... thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hizbullah to stop doing this shit and it's over.
Blair Because I think this is all part of the same thing.
Blair What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way ...
Bush Yeah, yeah, he is sweet.
Blair He is honey. And that's what the whole thing is about. It's the same with Iraq.
Bush I felt like telling Kofi to call, to get on the phone to Assad and make something happen.
Bush We are not blaming the Lebanese government.
Blair Is this...? (at this point Blair taps the microphone in front of him and the sound is cut.)