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The Crucible & Bush 18, June 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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I went to a rather nice open-air rendition of Miller’s The Crucible earlier in the week. In the midst of Regent’s Park, with the trees swishing around, the sun gently setting and birds chirping away, it was a delightful setting. The play itself didn’t disappoint.

Written about the McCarthyist purges in America in the 50s, much of the play seemed to have distinct echoes in much of Bush’s rhetoric: the absolute notion of you’re either with us or against us; the hysteria of rooting out Al Qaeda sleeper cells based on scanty often absurd evidence and the tautological sense of logic that so often seemed to pervade. Rumsfeld’s notion that the fact that there is no proof that x is a terrorist just means that s/he has hidden it really well not that s/he might be innocent, leapt to mind time and again.

The best line in the play was, however, nothing to do with such shenanigans:

The pure in heart need no lawyers.

Rove on Obama 16, March 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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Say what you will about Karl Rove but the man’s clearly got a sense of humor. I don’t mean this in a mean, quasi-facetious way either. Just look at this latest quote about Obama’s handling of the recent US-Israeli spat. Clearly, he’s just saying this to wind up the Left to epic levels and to have them choke on their Tofu-Bran Flakes over the morning paper.

I think this is part of a broader problem with the Obama administration. … We saw it in Honduras. Where rather than monitoring the situation, they let a cowboy president try to act in an extra-constitutional way to violate a fundamental principle in the Constitution, all without having done their homework in advance.

Rove ‘proud’ of US waterboarding policy 12, March 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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Karl Rove, the man many consider to be the brain behind George W Bush’s Presidency, has said that he is ‘proud‘ of the techniques such as waterboarding used by US authorities to obtain information as they saved lives. He also denied that waterboarding was torture. However, he is in a seemingly ever decreasing minority, holding that opinion. The journalist Christopher Hitchens, for example, underwent waterboarding in the name of research and unequivocally insists that it is indeed torture.

Waterboarding certainly looks fairly innocuous. All it involves, after all, is a flannel or cloth and a surprisingly small amount of water. Whilst clearly the torture that many human rights groups insist goes on routinely in many Arab (and Iranian) jails involves more ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth’ i.e. more blood, this does – obviously enough – not negate waterboarding as a form of torture in and of itself.

Bush finally admits the truth 18, March 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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Former President Bush just can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth. Bushisms have become something of a phenomenon thanks to the fabulously ineloquent Texan. Now that he has left the Oval Office, I suppose that there’s no reason to assume that he will not come out with some more crackers…and so it proves.

W Bush about the memoirs he is planning:

I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.

Perfect harmony of snipers, capitalism, Bush and the Nato summit in Bucharest 28, March 2008

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Here’s a wonderful snippet of news from The Times.

“Stringent security measures before a Nato summit in Bucharest next week to be attended by George Bush and Gordon Brown, irritated Bogdan Surdu, 29, a web designer, so much that he posted an internet ad offering his terrace with a clear view of the conference hall as a “sniper position” for rent at a price of €5,000 a day.

Dozens of people answered, including those claiming to belong to al-Qaeda and the CIA. But Romanian security services failed to see the joke. He has now been put under observation and has been classed as a potential security threat.”

All I’ve got to say is that Bogdan is either very brave or very stupid. I think I’m edging towards the latter…