Friday, November 18, 2005

Bush’s Face Unsaved at Summit

South Korea has 3,600 troops in Iraq, the third largest contingent after the US and Great Britain. Surprisingly for such a supine ally, it turns out there’s some South Korean government opposition to renewing its full strength for next year. The South Korean Defense Department has just announced plans to bring a third of the troops home when legislators vote on reauthorizing support for the US war in the next few months. (Full BBC story here.)

In a conversation on Morning Edition with host Steve Inskeep, NPR’s David Greene reported that President Roh Moo-hyun had allowed word of the move to surface during the Asian Summit when he could just have well suppressed the news for another week. Though Roh was reported not to have raised the issue in face-to-face discussions with President Bush, Greene observed that maybe Roh wanted to send Bush a message.

In a very precise use of a piece of 1970s hepcat talk, the Slangwhanger-in-Chief was moved to remark to his car radio, “No shit, Sherlock.”

Meanwhile, over on BBC Newshour, one of several thousand Korean farmers demonstrating outside the summit was interviewed by a correspondent whose name cannot be commended because it was not heard by a certain embarrassed blogger. The farmer the BBC reporter enterprisingly sought out said, “How can we with our small farms compete against huge machines? After we are all driven out of business, is the US going to feed us?”

Well, no, of course not. The Slangwhanger-in-Chief reminds all US allies that our policy for friend and foe alike is, Work or Die. Or Inherit Stocks and, Especially, Bonds.

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