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George W. Bush, International Mistress of Mystery
March 12, 2003
By Dennis Hans

In the greatest achievement of his still-young presidency, George W. Bush has become the "international mistress of mystery" for a string of Arab dictators.

A steady stream of news reports have noted that, aside from Kuwait, the Arab governments in the Gulf region that are providing various forms of hospitality and assistance to the U.S. commander-in-chief are doing their best to keep their citizens in the dark about the illicit relationship.

From Jordan to Saudi Arabia, from the United Arab Emirates to Bahrain, proud potentates appear ashamed of the ties with Bush that bind. Each exhibits the scheming, secretive behavior of a cheating husband determined to keep his unsuspecting wife barefoot and clueless.

Let us think of each of these governments' rulers as a husband and their respective citizenries as their wives. The husband/ruler loves to be seen in the company of his wife/citizenry. Whether his declared love for wife/citizenry is real, fake or somewhere in-between, he nevertheless wants to advertise to the world the warm, tight bonds that allegedly unite the monarch and his subjects.

Think of George W. Bush as the husband/ruler's mistress. Although their relationship is real, it is conducted and consumated in the shadows. Sadly, the philandering husband/ruler refuses to be seen on native soil with mistress Bush. When hubby goes to a soccer match to cheer or to Mecca to pray, it is to bask in the company of the wife/citizenry, not his Crawford cutie.

King and cutie co-mingle covertly not merely to spare the feelings of wife/citizenry, but to protect their own hides from the righteous eruption that surely would follow if the sordid details of the long-term affair were revealed.

The long-suppressed wife/citizenry just might takes matters into her own hands and decide she can get along quite nicely without her good-for-nothing husband/ruler and his hot Texas tamale.

What sets Bush apart from other international mistresses of mystery is that he is the payer, not the payee, for services he himself renders. "Let me care for you and protect you from that Baghdad bully," he coos to each and every royal Romeo. "Name your price, your Highness, and I'll gladly meet it."

Congratulations, Mr. President. You are the first "geopolitical kept woman" in history to pay for the privilege of being your sugar daddies' sugar.

Dennis Hans is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Post (Canada) and online at, Slate and The Black World Today (, among other outlets. He has taught courses in mass communications and American foreign policy at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, and can be reached at



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