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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:32 AM
Original message
"Arab world was left dumbfounded" by Bush, Maliki summit

As the Summit on Iraq Ends, Arabs Wonder, Is That All?

By HASSAN M. FATTAH
Published: December 1, 2006

AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 30 For days, Arab governments lobbied against any American opening to Iran, Jordanians planned protests against President Bush and politicians braced for a possible announcement of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

But as the summit meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of Iraq concluded Thursday morning, the Arab world was left dumbfounded that nothing had come of it.

I am baffled by what I saw, said Abdel Moneim Said, director of the Ahram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. This was an expression of the Americans in deep trouble, but Bushs approach to dealing with the Iraqi problem also bore the signs of someone out of touch with what is going on.

Mr. Bush said American troops would remain in Iraq unless Mr. Malikis government asked them to leave and pledged to accelerate the transfer of authority to Iraqi security forces, but without offering any details. He dismissed calls for a timed withdrawal and emphasized that he and Mr. Maliki would oppose any plan to partition the country. And he appeared to dismiss the possibility of opening relations with Iran, while insisting he is realistic about the difficulties in Iraq.

I did not see a coherent strategy that really deals with the situation, Mr. Said said. I did not see Bush realizing how bad it is. Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki appeared in a joint news conference after an hourlong breakfast meeting with aides at the Four Seasons Hotel here that was followed by a one-on-one session that lasted 45 minutes.

The night before, Mr. Maliki took the unusual step of backing out of a planned meeting with the president, an embarrassment to the White House that came on the heels of the publication of a classified memo from Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, that raised doubts about Mr. Malikis leadership.

But on Thursday morning, an animated Mr. Bush stood at one lectern, while a decidedly reserved Mr. Maliki stood at another, at times looking tense, at others bemused.

I saw someone trying to buy time for the next six months, said Turki F. al-Rasheed, director of the Saudi Voters Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, speaking of Mr. Bush.

more...


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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. America '"was left dumbfounded" by Bush, Maliki summit' as well.
Edited on Fri Dec-01-06 12:40 AM by Pirate Smile
From Andrew Sullivan's blog:


Priceless
30 Nov 2006 08:13 pm

From the NYT:

"When Mr. Bush, at one point, asked prime minister if he wanted to continue taking questions from reporters, the prime minister swiveled his head toward the president and shot Mr. Bush an incredulous look."

At least one of them is sane.

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/11/priceless.html
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Kellyiswise Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
52. I am dumbfounded that GW Bush became US President ..twice!!
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Sensitivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Dumbfounding " seems to be his special skill.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. Turki got it right. It was plain as plain can be...
I saw someone trying to buy time for the next six months

And those Arabs aren't stupid. They saw what they saw:

Yet many Arab analysts saw Mr. Bush as managing Mr. Maliki. At one point he encouraged Mr. Maliki to call on members of the Iraqi news media and told him good job! as the news conference drew to a close.

Theres an inherent contradiction in the discourse, said Fares Braizat, an analyst at Jordan Universitys Center for Strategic Studies and Fulbright fellow in Washington.

While Mr. Bush sought to emphasize that Washington was helping Mr. Maliki achieve Iraqi goals, Mr. Braizat said, he appeared to be guiding Mr. Maliki and at times twisting his arm. Ultimately, he was dictating to him what to do, he said.

The sessions ultimately proved disappointing for Arab nations, Mr. Braizat said. The meeting showed that Bush cared about the game, but he did not know how to make the right moves, he said. There were no tangible results. And results, he said, were what Arab leaders were looking for. ...

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bush does that to all leaders he has press conferences with and
he treats the American people that way as well.

I'm sure it is going to cause Maliki problems but Bush is that condescending to everybody.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. He doesn't pull that shit with the House of Saud, and he never has
He kisses them, he holds their hand, he walks them through the bluebells, and hugs them up on the porch. He NEVER does that hectoring and guiding and cajoling with those boyz, ever.

He got tired and got controlling and bullying. He totally screwed the pooch. Totally lacking in any sense of grace or taroof...the basic bullshit-politeness that may be insincere, but is always displayed as a sign of good manners and respect. He behaved badly, both towards al-Maliki and towards his Jordanian hosts, who did do a fabulous job at putting that clusterfuck together. King Hussein picked the right one (his kid rather than his brother) to plunk his ass on the throne, IMO....
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #8
21. The Saudis may be the only exception to the general rule that he always behaves badly - Graceless.
I also think his condescending assholishness has a much more damaging effect re Iraq and Maliki, then when he does it to the other non-Middle Eastern leaders.

Blair may be seen as his poodle but Maliki is viewed as his puppet.

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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
44. Oh yeah, but the reason is twofold, you see. The Saudis don't just have that oil
they have the sway in the Arab world because they've been doling out the largesse all these years. The countries with less oil or none at all look to the House of Saud for leadership...and dough. The House of Saud is also the self-appointed Keeper of the Holy Places. They've got Meccah, and they've got Medina. And with those two chunks of religious real estate, they occupy the religious high ground.

They can make things happen, even when the political situations get shaky. They are not stupid people at all--they know better than most how to gain and hold power. They value education and they don't let dummies in the family have the "good" jobs--those go to the sharp minds, like "Bandar Bush" (Prince Bandar) whose mama was an African slave. Yes, a slave. Pedigree only counts through the daddy in that world, and Bandar was a smartie as a toddler.

And they're ruthless enough to off anyone who causes too much trouble for them. Those beheadings do a fine job of keeping troublemakers in line. They wrote the Strongmen Regime textbook, and sprayed a veneer of romantic, Bedouin camel-chasing 'royalty' over it to make it go down nicer. But make no mistake--they control the joint, and they do it with harsh adherence to religious standards, beatdowns and murders of troublemakers, and a zero tolerance attitude towards any bullshit that interferes with their ability to get richer or further consolidate their power.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
42. Always the frat boy.....
the PRESIDENT of the frat, dictating to his pledges what they can and can't do. The moran actually thinks he's the most important person on the planet, that everyone should bow down in his presence and grovel at his feet. :eyes: He REALLY doesn't get it, how despised he is, how little respect he has on the national and world stages. He still thinks he's the BMOC. He's never grown up. He's perpetually stuck in his College days where he was the Big Cheese, the guy that got to tap the keg. As serious a case of arrested development I've never seen.
He IS trying to stall. He'll stall until someone bails his ass out, as usual, of another terrible situation he created. He's never had to finish anything or take responsibility before, why should he start now?
Our greatest national mistake, our greatest national embarrassment, George W. Bush. We HAVE to impeach this guy. Our country can't take two more years of his "leadership" even WITH a Democratic Congress to slow his present rate of ineptness and destruction.
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maxrandb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
39. Bush the ventriloquest!
"Yet many Arab analysts saw Mr. Bush as managing Mr. Maliki. At one point he encouraged Mr. Maliki to call on members of the Iraqi news media and told him good job! as the news conference drew to a close."

Might as well just put Bush up there with a wooden doll.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
5. I did not see a coherent strategy that really deals with the situation,
Ding! Ding! Ding!
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
6. Did Bush talk about what was on the food menu?
Edited on Fri Dec-01-06 01:03 AM by Old and In the Way
He likes to talk about that...maybe they let him do the shishkabob? He likes 'em with Texas beef.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Wasn't it a pig?
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Oh you wicked wag! In Germany it was the pig (heh heh)
I rather think the only pig at the table in Jordan was Porgie himself....
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, he was in rare form on that visit. The pig & the neck massage.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
26. I suppose it could have been worse:
He could have massaged the pig and eaten the Chancellor.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #26
45. ~~~~~ !!** !! ** !!! ~~~~~~
:rofl: :rofl:

Touche!!!!
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rudy23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
11. Applying the Katrina strategy to Iraq: Pretending it isn't happening
I really think he's frustrated that he can't just will these problems away.
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solara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Junior isn't pretending
And will has nothing to do with it.

Since the universe revolves around Junior, all he has to do is close his eyes and everything disappears: these problems; the war; his critics; those 'evil' Liberals and the Ay-rabs...all of it gone ....

and -that- is how he sleeps at night.

:eyes:
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Just shoot the ones wearing the black keffiyehs
The ones with the white keffiyehs are the good guys. Junior is a binary thinker with a comic book mentality.
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solara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. He thinks? n/t
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
15. It sure firms up the worlds thinking of him as a screw ball.
I love to read history and right now I am reading about the last Kaiser and have read about the last Czar. They both are a lot like this Bush. And we all know what we think of those two guys. They sort of rode the bomb down and I have a feeling Bush will do the same for us. What can one say, the voters put him into office. This seemed to be what they wanted. Second rate man who had a history of never doing a thing right and always needing a person to bail him out. I am not mush into a 'special' type as I think what really happens if some one gets in front and runs with the herd and that 'special' type is rare and usually people will not vote him in. Who knows we may find that 'special' person tomorrow. I think that it will come from some other country. Each 'Empire' seems to have its day. Not that what Am. gave to the world will be forgotten as our way of life has moved into every culture in the world in the last 200 years. Some of it very troublesome to some places but to rule your self is out there and will not go away.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. The voters did not "put him into office"--he inherited it like the Baby Caligula he is.
He can only fool about half the people, maybe less, for as long as it takes to get into office. He needs help to make it appear he does any better than that in a national election.

But you knew that.

Hekate

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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Well I think he rode in on father's name and court help but still
Even if the people wanted Gore this is who we got and then to rub salt in they really voted him in the second time. Hard to believe it but they did. The bad part is a bout half the people who could vote did not even show up. So I guess I could say 25 percent wanted him in. 25 did not want him in and 50 percent did not care. I would think a good way to get just what we have a second rate man as our President.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #18
46. Uck: "50% did not care." I know -- what a dismal day for our nation. nt
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. I think Maine is one the highest percent in the country and
I think it was about 62 percent. I do not know how these percents fit in with say 40/50 years ago but I guess it would be interesting to know.
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katsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 04:40 AM
Response to Original message
16. Problem: I did not see Bush realizing how bad it is.
Solution: Drop the fucktard in the middle of Baghdad.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #16
33. He doesn't realize how bad it is because...
the yes-men around him select only the best news from Pox News to present to him.
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Theduckno2 Donating Member (905 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
19. "...a decidedly reserved Mr. Maliki...".
I would be reserved too if my offices were in Baghdad!

Bushco was only effective when they drove the debate and they retained full control over which political events to address. The minute they have to deal with events not of their choosing their ineptness shines through.

I think their avoidance of the term "civil war" is proof of their unwillingness to deal with events that they find politically difficult.

Reality bites doesn't it Mr. President?
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Olney Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
20. Dumb and dumbfoundering- that's our Chimperor.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. The Arabs Obviously Haven't Been Paying Attention to BushCo Operations
It's always all hat and no cattle.

These fools can't do anything EXCEPT PR, and they do it very badly, on top of it.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
51. My thought as well. (n/t)
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dmoded Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
23. so sad..
theres no exit strategy, the poor army doesn't know who their enemy is. A safe guess would be any iraqi aged 14-40. Wow, thats quite a lot of enemies! I think 'the job that has to be done' is them leaving, ASAP. He should listen to IRan's leader and sit down with him for immediate crucial talks after that last letter. Sorry to say for Bush it isn't propaganda.

-dm.
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civildisoBDence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
24. Is it just me, or does Bush look older and more confused every day?
As hard as he tries to keep that macho posture up, his face betrays the fact that he's the biggest fuckup in modern history (though in his mind, it's the world that's fucked up--darn those ungrateful Iraqis!)

Newsprism
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DWilliamsamh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
49. It's all the Coke he's doing.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
25. Break into my house, wreck it, take hostages, kill a few famiy members,
appoint your friend as the new head of my family, keep confiscating our income and stealing our stuff, tell said friend you'll leave when you tell him to ask you to leave...what have I left out?
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
27. That's my Bush!
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oc2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
28. Why is anyone surprised?

there strategy in Iraq is simple.

3 choices.

1. go big
2. go long.
3. go 'f' yourself. or stay the course.

which did you think would happen?
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Bob Loblaw Donating Member (159 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
29. Half right?
Mr. Braizat said. The meeting showed that Bush cared about the game, but he did not know how to make the right moves,

Half of what Mr. Braizat says is right perhaps, but no more than that.


They burnt some flags, but for us, burning flags is not a security issue, its an environmental issue. - A senior security official

As long as you're not an American trying to exercise your 1st amendment rights.
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
30. Um, partitioning the country is in the Iraqi Constitution
It is to happen 18 months after adoption of the constitution, so there is about a year left for it to go.

No one ever talks about that and Smirk says he's opposed to it. He lives in a neocon dream world
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
31. very funny line at the end
We kept the situation under control, and still the people were able to protest, a senior security official said Thursday evening, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak with the news media. They burnt some flags, but for us, burning flags is not a security issue, its an environmental issue.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
32. Bush is dumbfounded all the time. nt
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disndat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
34. Stick a fork
in the BushCo turkeys, they're done. Even the Arab world knows that Bush is a lame duck after the November elections. They only have to wait until January when the Dems take over.
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tandot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
35. They really expected more than just a photo-op???
Knowing how utterly stupid and incompetent that idiot is, how can anyone be surprised that nothing was accomplished?
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
36. "Bushs approach.... bore the signs of someone out of touch...." Oy vey! Who knew?
Those guys weren't born yesterday!:sarcasm:
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sleepingdog Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
37. I'm STILL fuming!
DAMN that faulty pretzel!!! :banghead:
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maxrandb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
38. Maxrandb has been dumbfounded since November 2000!
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
40. Many of us in America have been dumbfounded by Bush ever
...since he began campaigning in 2000! Now, we are totally discussed by anything he says or does.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #40
48. I was dumbfounded for a short time. It soon changed to gobsmacked.
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ktowntennesseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
41. We're all dumbfounded -- B*sh on the otherhand...
is just plain dumb!

Don't know which is more embarrassing: having to suffer through these past six years with that dumb-ass representing my country, or knowing that roughly a third of our citizens are just as big as dumb-ass as their moran-in-chief.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
43. Out of touch...
"I am baffled by what I saw, said Abdel Moneim Said, director of the Ahram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. This was an expression of the Americans in deep trouble, but Bushs approach to dealing with the Iraqi problem also bore the signs of someone out of touch with what is going on.

If you read or listen anything Bush says (when he's not reading a script) you'll see that he displays NO HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS. No evidence of analytical or evaluative ability. None. His utterances are superficial and mostly empty of content. I don't know how other world leaders can stand to listen to him without breaking into hysterical laughter.


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Dulcinea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-01-06 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
47. If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance....
...baffle them with bullshit!
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
53. There is a small movement in historiography which is termed "generational history".
"Bungling Generations" have been noted by many. Viz., the Bush handling of the Middle East and the entire cadre in the administration and its cheerleaders; the entire German and Austro-Hungarian, French and Russian leaders on the cusp of the First World War and the Russian Revolution.
And even more notably, the politicians which led the US into Civil War: Buchanan's impotence to handle the bunglers North and South, as well as the fire eaters of the South and the intransient Northerners who had refused to address Jefferson's "wolf by the ears" for so long.

It isn't so much a generation which bungles, rather an entire mindset of "fat dumb and happy" politicians who are satisfied with their own absolute correctness.

Right now, the US is filled with such a generation in our administration.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-02-06 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
54. America is a rudderless ship..
There is no one at the helm. We are adrift. (With the engines at full ahead)
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