Wednesday, November 22, 2006

beautiful mind disturbed, again 


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Former President George H.W. Bush took on Arab critics of his son Tuesday during a testy exchange at a leadership conference in the capital of this U.S. ally.


"We do not respect your son. We do not respect what he's doing all over the world," a woman in the audience bluntly told Bush after his speech.

Bush, 82, appeared stunned as others in the audience whooped and whistled in approval.


"This son is not going to back away," Bush said, his voice quivering. "He's not going to change his view because some poll says this or some poll says that, or some heartfelt comments from the lady who feels deeply in her heart about something. You can't be president of the United States and conduct yourself if you're going to cut and run. This is going to work out in Iraq. I understand the anxiety. It's not easy."

Pretty revealing pronoun usage: "this" son, not "my" son. Putting that aside for the moment...

Sr.'s contempt for democracy and the heartfelt views of others beneath his station aren't particularly surprising. That's par for the course with these guys; we've heard plenty of like comments from his henchmen and his brood.

What's still somewhat amazing to me is that when the contempt is returned in kind, Mr. Bush "appeared stunned" (if the AP reporter is to be believed). If true, it would indicate that he actually thinks the lesser orders are so slavish, so unequal, that they aren't even capable of basic mammalian emotional response. It surprises him that any antipathy can be mustered by these odd beings who've endured pain.

How strange and disorienting, even frightening, it must be to walk the earth surrounded by Morlocks. How distateful must be the unfortunately obligatory ritual of talking at them and having to endure their incomprehensible responses to auditory stimuli. How pitiable to be so utterly trapped in the wrong century, a walking anachronism. Truly the White Man's Burden is a great one.


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