Daily Archives: July 18, 2006

The President Says Shit

The big news of course shouldn’t be so much what President Bush said or how he said it. It’s that he said anything. Here were the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom talking candidly for a couple of minutes. It’s that little voyeuristic insight that’s really the news. Most everything else is just chaff.

Especially that the President used the barnyard epithet. Big deal. Chaff.

But then what he and the Prime Minister said and how they said it is fairly interesting. First, there’s, “See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.” I’m not exactly sure what the irony is here, though. Or who “they” are. Later the President mentions Secretary-General Annan calling Syrian President Assad to “make something happen.” So likely he means the United Nations, through the Secretary-General, when he says what “they” need to get Syria to do.

I think maybe his point is more that Hezbollah is a client of Syria, though, that Syria has influence over Hezbollah, rather than anyone having much influence over Syria. Certainly we don’t have a lot of influence over Syria. We don’t have much dialog with them, having recalled our ambassador in early 2005. Maybe that’s why President Bush wants Secretary-General Annan to talk to President Assad.

But then why would Syria want to reign in Hezbollah? Hey, it’d be nice if they did, but I can’t seem to think of a single reason why they’d want to do it. Prime Minister Blair seems to understand this. He says, “What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if he gets a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way, he’s had it. That’s what this whole things about. It’s the same with Iran.”

(Different sources transcribe this a little differently. This is what it sounds like to me.)

I think by “he” the Prime Minister means President Assad. And this is all part of the model democracy that we are trying to establish in Iraq. The Prime Minister is saying that if Lebanese democracy flowers, if Israel and Palestine make peace, if Iraq turns out to be that model democracy, then President Assad and his autocratic regime are in trouble. So therefore why would President Assad reign in Hezbollah?

For the past week I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on and, more importantly, what’s going to happen. And the powers that be all make bland statements on this or that. But here, just for a minute, we get to see what they’re thinking.

That’s pretty cool.

I wish the President wouldn’t talk with his mouth full. But, hey, who doesn’t, at least every so often, right?