Tuesday, December 31, 2002

I'd forgotten about this:
Given below is a Newsweek account of a meeting of George Bush and a group of US senators, during which Bush called Kim Jong Il a pygmy among other epithets A SUDDENLY EMBATTLED president felt the need to talk tough—at length—behind closed doors. “No question, when he walked into the room he was shaken,” one senator later said. What followed, according to several sources who were in the room last Thursday afternoon, was a jut-jawed, disjointed discourse with a tinge of diatribe and a crescendo of podium pounding. The president dismissed questions about his administration's counter terrorism actions—or lack of them—before September 11 as mere Democratic partisanship. “I sniff some politics in the air,” he scoffed. Then he wandered off to the Middle East, recounting a blunt Oval Office conversation with Ariel Sharon. He said he'd asked the Israeli leader if he really hated Yasir Arafat. Sharon had answered yes, according to the president. “I looked him straight in the eye and said, ‘Well, are you going to kill him?´ ” Sharon said no, to which the president said he'd replied, “That´s good.” Bush was just getting warmed up. “Now you guys really got me going,” he said. He threatened to block the entire defense bill if it contained money for the controversial and costly Crusader artillery system. “I mean it. I'll veto it,” he said tersely, glancing at Sen. Don Nickles of Oklahoma, where Crusader would be built. Bush ended with an attack on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. “He´s starving his own people,” Bush said, and imprisoning intellectuals in “a Gulag the size of Houston.” The president called him a “pygmy” and compared him to “a spoiled child at a dinner table.” Stunned senators didn't know quite what to make of the performance. “It was like in church, when the sermon goes on too long and you're not sure what the point is,” one told NEWSWEEK. “Nobody dared look at anybody else.”
This occured at the height of the FBI whistleblower scandals that showed that the FBI and other Bush administration officials were ignoring the potential threat of terrorism. Bush's response to having his manhood called into question was to belittle several world leaders. Aren't you glad the grownups are back in charge?

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