Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Artful Dodges

I can't remember the last time I've laughed out loud listening to the news, but last week was exceptional. Listening to Hugo Chavez sabotaging his own bid for a seat on the UN Security Council with his "Bush is the Devil and I can still smell the sulphur" performance was amusing enough. But then on Friday, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan comes out with the most astonishingly shameless evasion at a joint press conference with President Bush. When asked point blank to confirm rumors that the US had threatened Pakistan in the wake of 9/11 ("join our War on Terror, or else we'll bomb you back to the Stone Age"), Musharraf parried saying he was "honor-bound" by a book deal with Simon & Schuster not to disclose information from his soon-to-be published memoir. "Buy the book, is what he's saying," translated Bush, who was laughing as hard as everybody at the press conference (after they'd picked their jaws up off the floor). At least that was an honest if bald evasion. When the same question was put to President Bush, he dodged, saying that the first he'd heard of the rumor was when he read it in the paper the day before. Come on. We all know (and Bush has admitted as much) that the President doesn't read the newspapers.

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