Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bush: See No Reality, Hear No Reality

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Iran holding meetings on the security situation in Iraq. Maliki met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in what the A.P. describes as a warm meeting, with the leaders walking hand in hand.

President Bush held a news conference (because the best way to recover from the widespread perception that the President is an incompetent congenital liar is to have him butcher the language while repeatedly lying) and was asked about the reports that Maliki and Ahmadinejad were swooning over each other in Tehran. Here is the exchange:
Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to pivot off of what you were talking about earlier, with Prime Minister Maliki's visit to Iran. Reports out of Iran today, out of Iran, say that Prime Minister Maliki told President Ahmadinejad that he appreciated Iran's positive and constructive stance. The pictures from the visit are very warm. I'm wondering, do you and your Iraqi counterparts see eye-to-eye on Iran, and what kind of message do those images send to your allies in the region and Americans who are skeptical about the Prime Minister's role?

THE PRESIDENT: Jim, I haven't seen the reports. Before I would like to comment upon how their meetings went, I would like to get a readout from our embassy, who of course will be in touch with the Prime Minister, and get his readout. And so it's a -- you're asking me to be a little speculative on the subject. I haven't seen the picture.

Look, generally the way these things work is you try to be cordial to the person you're with, and so you don't want the picture to be kind of, you know, ducking it out. Okay, put up your dukes. That's an old boxing expression. (Laughter.)

Q Once more, please?

THE PRESIDENT: And so, I don't know, Jim. You've obviously followed this a lot -- you've seen the reports. I'm sure you're confident that what you've asked me is verifiable. I'm not surprised that there's a picture showing people smiling.

Q However --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish, please. And so it's a -- anyway, let me get the facts on what happened. Now if the signal is that Iran is constructive, I will have to have a heart-to-heart with my friend, the Prime Minister, because I don't believe they are constructive. I don't think he, in his heart of heart, thinks they're constructive, either. Now maybe he's hopeful in trying to get them to be constructive by laying out a positive picture. You're asking me to speculate.
I wonder if the report which will supply the President with his information on the Maliki trip to Iran will actually delve into the facts which are deemed to cast Iran in a positive light. Even if the embassy's report does include those details in the original document what are the chances that those tid bits survive the Vice Presidents perusal before being forwarded to the President. I'm not speaking our of any certain knowledge regarding this particular report mind you... this is only based upon what we know about past examples of the flow of information to the President. It may well be the case that Bush has not, or will not, actually read independent news accounts of this meeting and the only information he gets would be filtered to reflect a situation which is not actually true.

Also, how is it that the President seems to accept the premise of the question, yet assures us that he knows Maliki, in his heart of hearts, is actually supportive of Bush's view of the issue? Yet again we can look to past experience to see that Maliki is closely aligned with Iran, and dismissive of American claims against Iran. It would be difficult to imagine that suddenly Maliki is seeing things our way, based solely upon the word of one of the most dishonest and disdained Presidents in American history. Especially when we have the photographic evidence which Bush is careful to avoid seeing himself. We are left with the question: Who do you believe... George Bush, who has demonstrated himself to be dishonest on a repeated basis, or your own freaking eyes?!

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