Bush just sat down for an interview with two reporters from The Times of London and said, among other things, this:
I will never forget the lessons of September 11, and that is that we are in a global war against cold-blooded killers.
And you're seeing that now being played out in Iraq, and we're going to win in Iraq and we're going to win because, one, we're going to find him and bring him to justice, and two, we're going to train Iraqis so they can do the fighting.
Is he just jamming two talking points together without thinking? Or have his handlers actually told him to say that catching bin Laden will lead to victory in Iraq? Or, worse, does he actually believe that? Does he believe that bin Laden is the micromanaging head of the International Angry Muslim Cartel, who approves every car bomb set off everywhere in the world, and without whose guiding hand both the international-jihadist and native Sunni wings of the Iraqi insurgency will simply collapse?
Nice to know he still remembers who bin Laden is, I guess -- but this strikes me as a variation on the "no terrorist movement can exist without state sponsorship" nonsense that got us into this Iraq mess in the first place, only now al-Qaeda is the "state" he thinks is the insurgency's sponsor.
And yeah, I suppose this isn't very different from his usual attempts to sow confusion. But his standard M.O. is to mention Iraq and then launch into an orotund narration that begins, "On September the eleventh ..." -- or, alternately, to talk about "the enemy," as if there's only been one. Hey, maybe that's it -- maybe the "him" we're going to find and bring to justice isn't Osama but, rather, "the enemy," a nameless, faceless guy in a djellaba who Embodies All Evil.
A separate story about the interview is here, with an edited transcript. From the story, we learn that Bush tried to lighten the mood of the interview -- with some of the most painful banter imaginable:
It’s an executive office, he points out, a place where decisions are made. “So the first decision I had to make was what colour the rug should be.”
The next thing he learnt about the presidency, he says, is the importance of delegating: “So I asked Laura to design it.”
It is, he notes, a soft yellow, like the radiance of the rising Sun. “It says an optimistic person works here.” ...
Mr Bush added a bust of President Eisenhower. It sits to the left of his desk, made from the timbers of HMS Resolute, a Victorian transport ship, another gift from the British. You’re probably the only people in here for whom I don’t need to explain what ‘HMS’ means,” he says. “My Texas friends have no idea what I’m talking about when I tell them.” ...
Across from the presidential desk, a portrait of the very first war leader of the United States, George Washington.
“He’s always been there,” Mr Bush notes. “No choice, really; the father of the nation. Had to be there. Rutherford B. Hayes just wouldn’t work,” he quips.
Yikes -- it's like going to a comedy club on audition night and watching amateurs bomb.