Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Eternal Darkness of a Spotless Mind

Having Scott McClellan's job must suck. Really, how would you like to spend large parts of many days of your life "clarifying" what George Bush's incurious mind manages to emit out of his undisciplined mouth?
I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world.
Within minutes of this confused utterance, McClellan had to stand up and tell people about what the President meant to say,
Bush meant to say Pakistan would be a force for freedom and moderation in the Muslim world. Pakistan is not an Arab country.
It is a good thing McClellan clarified this because otherwise there might have been a whole passel of confused Pakistanis wondering what the hell had happened to them.

This odd and ludicrous statement by Bush is especially amusing in light of the recent ports brouhaha, where Bush was calling anyone expressing reservations about the deal bigoted against the Arab world. Bush himself is apparently unaware of what actually comprises the Arab world. In Bush's brain, Muslim, Arab, hell what's the difference? Just don't be a bigot.

But the other "meaning" McClellan failed to deliver us should have regarded Bush's odd claim of a "democratic" Pakistan, which is under the rule of autocratic authority of President General Musharraf, a military leader who gain power in a coup in 1999. Although it might be that Bush was speaking of some imagined future democratic Pakistan and not the one that currently exists. Though Pakistan does have an elected parliament, it is mainly an ineffectual, nearly powerless gaggle of Musharraf supplicants. Kind of like our own gaggle of ineffectual, nearly powerless supplicants.

Given Bush's previous statements that being a dictator would be really cool, Bush might actually believe a coup d'etat to be an effective and precise democratic process. And these days, there is very little evidence that suggests otherwise.

But I do need to give Bush credit where credit is due. He did manage to start out his address in Islamabad with a factually correct statement, something all too rare for the president these days:
Pakistan and India are different countries....
Ok, so maybe his mind isn't entirely spotless. At least he recognises this much. Thank heavens for small mercies.


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