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Paul Mason's Idle Scrawl

Bush to Blair: That G8 peace strategy on open mic

  • Paul Mason
  • 17 Jul 06, 12:43 PM

bushblair203.jpgAn open microphone at the G8 photocall picked up the following exchange between President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair's comments are in brackets:

BUSH: "See the irony is what they need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over...
(BLAIR: yeah yeah...Syria)
BUSH: Right ...Felt like telling Kofi to get on the phone to Assad and make something happen.
(BLAIR: right)
BUSH: (words indistinct)..we're not blaming the Lebanese Government...

This is not a spoof! It really happened a couple of hours ago. What puzzles me is that if we are at the "trying to get Syria to do something" stage at the end of the summit, where were they at the beginning of the summit?

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:28 PM on 17 Jul 2006,
  • Eric Dickens wrote:

Great! Probably staged, probably not. Saw it just now on CNN where they didn't censor out the word "shit" (strong language) and call it "an expletive", like on the BBC. But it does demonstrate (yeah, yeah) that Scooby-Doo is the junior partner.

Bush's comments seem perfectly reasonable under the circumstances. And as for that soft-spoken joke statesman with the oily son...

Bush has obviously learnt, since he invited that mimic to perform at a party, that truth can be made stranger - and funnier - than fiction.

  • 2.
  • At 02:10 PM on 17 Jul 2006,
  • Candadai Tirumalai wrote:

The open mike is always the politician's peril. A few years ago Mr. Bush was, inadvertently, heard by one and all before a press conference four-lettering a well-known reporter to Mr. Cheney. The President, for some reason, seems to favour excremental ones in private--among men, that is.

"What puzzles me is that if we are at the "trying to get Syria to do something" stage at the end of the summit, where were they at the beginning of the summit?"

In the darkness is where they were, and that's where they still are, it seems to me. There is little doubt that Syria supports Hezbollah. To what extent it controls it, is another question. Additionally, even if Syria was in control, it doesn't necessarily mean that Assad has much say. Bush "telling Kofi to get on the phone to Assad" sounds like another way of saying, "There is nothing I can do about it folks and I'm not even sure if I care".

Let's not forget that things began to get seriously out of hands when the infamous "Quartet" annulled the Palestinian elections and imposed a policy of, in effect, collective punishment on population of Gaza. Kofi Anan figured prominently there, and I don't think that he has much credit in the Middle East right now. It is also true that UN was never a particularly strong player in the region. The UN troops are in fact stationed in Lebanon right now, and they've been there for a very long time indeed. What difference does it make? To my mind, neither Bush Syrian chew, nor Blair-Anan "international force [to impose peace]" proposition, would do nothing else but ensure that precious time gets wasted.

It seems then that further escalation is inevitable. Now, one thing I can agree on with most commentators, left, center, or right, is that Hezbollah doesn't look like it's responding to Israeli destruction of life in Gaza, but this is rather a broader campaign on their part. That's what their leaders are saying too, and they seem to be better prepared, and better equipped than most people apparently thought. The question of Iraq's WMDs creeps to mind here, not the virtual WMDs that were ready to be fired our way within minutes of Saddam's "Go get 'em!". The ones I have in mind are field ammunitions that late Robin Cook talked about, piles of rotting chemicals, things we can reasonably assume were there, but were not accounted for following the invasion. Nobody should be surprised if some of it is in Hezbollah's possession. Or if they have means of employing it, their only objective being to wreck havoc and get as many peoples and countries as possible involved. For Hezbollah know they can't defeat Israel militarily, they can only create chaos and set a on itself feeding cycle of ever escalating violence in motion, circumstances which may in the end result in serious damage done to Israel. This may sound like a long shot to some, but Israel is very vulnerable. A key word is water; water and control of it is why the Golan Heights are of such strategic importance to Israel, to give just one example.
see for more on this most underreported key issue

One force that can stop this is the state of Israel itself. But they would have to do more than just stop bombing Lebanon. The only political entity Israel that has a degree of international recognition sufficient to give it legitimacy, is the 1967 borders Israel. Before Israel recognizes itself, so to speak, and looks at the wider circumstances and deeper truths of its existence in the Middle East, there is little chance of peace, security, normality, for anyone involved. This option is valid if one assumes that Israel is a seriously sovereign state.

Ironically, I just Googled "little chance of peace" to check if it's a proper expression, and this is the very first return listed: Israel Defense Minister Sees 'Little Chance of Peace'
and the second hit was an article titled "Life after Arafat".
Now you tell me was it a good choice of words or what...

Another group of people, other than Israeli government, that could stop this, but they won't, are the people behind the War On Terror paradigm. This entity can be called "The Power Elite" with C. Wright Mills in mind - - or the good old "Military Industrial Complex" - - though it grew international, and it grew in complexity since Ike's times. Note that neither Mills nor Eisenhower were in any way radical individuals; they were both very much a part of mainstream in American political and social life, and culture in general.

The problem is that this entity represents a blank area on our (general public) geopolitical map, and I think it's journalists' job too, to explore, research and investigate that area, and to report from there. BBC is reporting from the Amazon, reporting from Antarctica, how about looking into heart of darkness? In the meantime, and for the time being, the only light will be fires burning across Lebanon today, and beyond Lebanon tomorrow, what can stop it in this dry heat?

I thought Bush was funny.

This was Bush in his comic form.

I used to believe in democracy, but if these are the leaders we get, I more or less give up.
The public gets what the public deserves. Kill 'em all!

  • 7.
  • At 12:18 AM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

My goodness, I think we might be seeing a bit of indiference here from Blair, I can´t wait to see what Blair says in his memoirs about what Bush was really like to work with.... I think he might sum him up with some kind of very direct peroratio:

At first God gave us one true and positive sign; the burning Bush, but that has been more than cancelled out by the Dumb Bush so hopefully next time the Bush will simply fly away and leave us all in peace!!

  • 8.
  • At 11:12 AM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Bush is just so funny. Tony Blair gives me the impression that he simply can´t ignore what Bush is saying despite really wanting to.

I imagine Bush as someone who doesn´t say much but has a powerful charisma someone who doesn´t like to be ignored, which is the sole reason why he is president.

Despite the fact that I´m sure he would say otherwise,I think he just likes the idea of being the most powerful man in the world and lacks real political belief and conviction, which is why he sought of acts the president role without actually being presidential. His work is the job that goes with the title and he gives me the impression here, that he simply has to put up with it from his point of view.

  • 9.
  • At 05:46 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Bimal wrote:

First thing to do is to move a resolution in UNO for all countries to contribute funds for special UN Army from all countries whose main purpose will be to pursue the Terror King Bin Laden and his Gang, alive or dead and then eliminate all the Training grounds in any country where the terorrists are trained.
No country can objet to this step unless that country is interested to support terrorists.

  • 10.
  • At 12:46 PM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

Bush and Blair were right. Typical BBC anti government bias, in the blog.

  • 11.
  • At 12:48 PM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Richard wrote:

Bush and Blair were right. Typical BBC anti government bias, in the blog.

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