Popular consensus holds that George W. Bush is something of a simpleton. An illiterate buffoon. A doofus. It’s not a theory I have generally subscribed to myself, despite some fairly convincing evidence to the contrary. I suppose I’m just not prepared to believe that someone of such inferior intelligence could make it to the highest political office in the world. Perhaps I’m misguided. Many hold that, although Bush is far from being a great orator, he possesses a keen political mind and a shrewd grasp of issues: the ditherer image is pure schtick. Contrast this with the image of John Kerry in the 2004 elections – New England aristocrat, adept political thinker and statesman – the American electorate hated him. Bush, meanwhile, pushed all the right buttons of his supporters and pretty much breezed to a second Presidential victory. So who’s the stupid one?
But then you read these transcripts of a conversation between Bush and Tony Blair, surreptitiously recorded at the G8 conference, and you really have to wonder. Some bizarre moments here. Check out Bush’s initial greeting: “Yo, Blair. How are you doing?” What is this? Bush and Blair’s Excellent Adventure? Dude, Where’s My WMDs? The exchange about the knitted sweaters was also particularly surreal. But most astonishing of all was Bush’s statement that: “You see, the irony is, what they (the United Nations) need to do is to get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over”.
That’s all they need to do? Why did nobody else think of this? Not sure what’s “ironic” about this actually. The only irony I can see is that Bush, whose administration has been such a vociferous critic of the UN, now sees a crucial role for them in the Middle East peace process.
But really, this is a stroke of genius. A unique way of looking at the world, with universal applications. Iraq? All you need to do is get the jihadists to stop doing this shit and it’s over. Global warming? All you need to do is get the weather to stop doing this shit and it’s over. Organised crime? All you need to do is get the mafia to stop doing this shit and it’s over.
At last, someone has come forward with a practical solution to all the world’s problems. All you need to do is get those problems to stop, and the problems end. Conversely, if you want the problems to end, you’ve just got to stop the problems from happening. Who would have thought it?
Good to know that the great leaders of our world have it all under control. Sleep tight, everyone.