Bush to Kick Off Tyrant Tour
Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/09/bush-smile.jpgPresident George W. Bush (WDCpix)
“I’ll bring wine for the Myanmar junta, roses for Kim Jong Il — maybe a nice necktie for that little Iran guy, who doesn’t seem to own one.”
So spoke President George W. Bush in disclosing his plans for a flurry of casual drop-ins on Asian and Mideast strongmen. He described this as the appropriate follow-up to his current effort to remove North Korea from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. Bush is planning these house calls right after he gives Chinese leaders a friendly pat on the back at the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics in August.
“How are the kids doin’? Little lady finally lose those pounds? What kind of mileage you getting with that armored Hummer? That kind of light chitchat, just keep things nice and loose,” Bush explained. “Those Iraqaranians and Mylars, they’re sensitive folks — just like us. So if I’m in the neighborhood and don’t stop by for a visit, I can understand how their feelings would be hurt.”
Bush denied that chummy drop-ins on sworn enemies signaled any change in U.S. foreign policy. “Threatening nuclear war, invasion and government overthrows is just business,” he said. “None of that means underneath we’re not caring people — who wouldn’t stop to help fix a flat on an armored car or send a get-well card to a tyrant recovering from a car bomb.”
The U.S. president said he would refrain from publicly raising controversial issues like Tibetan independence and human-rights violations with his Chinese hosts while in Beijing. “That would be rude,” Bush said. “But if they offer a snack, I might have to say something about all that M.S.G. in their food. Some issues are just too important to be ignored.”
Bruce McCall, a humorist, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He is the author of “All Meat Looks Like South America: The World of Bruce McCall” and “Zany Afternoons.”