We will return to our Three Stooges weekend marathon after this important word from the U.S. Department of Hooey:

Q Scott, yesterday, the senior administration officials who briefed us on the Middle East plan suggested that the early reaction, adverse reactions, from the Palestinians were based on the fact that they hadn’t seen the plan and that they were responding to three weeks worth of media reports about the plan. Now, presumably, they have had a chance to see the letters, the exchange of letters. They’re still reacting adversely. What is the administration doing to assuage the Palestinians that this deal actually is in their interest?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, we have remained in consultation with all parties. I don’t have any update on any consultation since yesterday, but we are going to, as the President pointed out, continue to consult with the Quartet, continue to consult with Arab nations, and continue to consult with all parties. The President said that this represents a real opportunity to move forward toward a viable, democratic state for the Palestinian — viable and democratic state for the Palestinian people.

Q Then why are they so opposed?

MR. McCLELLAN: And we will — we will continue to consult with all parties, including —

Q Why are they opposed?

MR. McCLELLAN: — including the Quartet, and make it known that the President’s views — the President remains committed to the two-state vision that he outlined and remains committed to the road map as the best way to achieve that two-state vision. And the Quartet has talked about that, as well. And Prime Minister Sharon reiterated his commitment to the two-state vision the President outlined.

This is — it is historic step that Israel will be withdrawing from Gaza, and withdrawing from parts of the West Bank. And that represents an opportunity to, as the President called it, it opens the door for progress toward a — toward a Palestinian state.

Q But the Palestinians don’t seem to think so.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we’ll continue — we’ll continue to talk with all parties in the region and make it clear that any issues involving final status negotiations are to be worked out between the parties. (WH Press Gaggle 04/15/04)

Just throwing stuff out here but, as with the August 06, 2001 PDB titled “Osama bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the US”, one red flag might be the title of the negotiators’ recent hooey: Bush, Blair Discuss Sharon Plan. [Transcript of 04/16/04 Bush/Blair public appearance as a still-together couple in front of the press. Excerpt in the extension.]

The other might be the reluctance of the Palestinian people to define a state as living in perpetuity in noncontiguous ghettos under the jackboot of the Israeli military. (For those who missed it, Mr. Blair will represent the Duchy of Palestine in the “negotiations”.)

And now back to our Stooges marathon. In the classic, Nyuk Nyuk, A Roadmap!, three bumbling auto valets knock coconuts trying to refold Schmoe’s roadmap nice-like and drive Mrs. Parkyurkarkus’s swank Bugatti off a cliff.

[Excerpt from the Bennifer of world leaders’ press conference in the extension.]

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you, sir. We will take three questions a side, and so why don’t you ask one question to each of us. You can start, Mr. Hunt.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, did you ask Secretary Rumsfeld to draw up war plans against Iraq in November, 2001, just as the military action was getting underway in Afghanistan? Why couldn’t Iraq wait? And Mr. Prime Minister —

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I thought — one question apiece. Not one question or one question apiece. You know, I can’t remember exact dates that far back. I do know this, that at a key meeting at Camp David, the subject of Iraq — this was on September the —

Q Fifteenth.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Fifteenth. We had been attacked on September the 11th, obviously. On the 15th, we sat down, I sat down with my national security team to discuss the response, and the subject of Iraq came up. And I said as plainly as I possibly could, we’ll focus on Afghanistan. That’s where we’ll focus. I explained this to the Prime Minister, as well, in a subsequent meeting. That was about the 20th of September, I think, we came and talked about the response we were going to take in dealing with the attacks on our country.

So I don’t remember in times of — what was being developed or not being developed. But I do know that it was Afghanistan that was on my mind. And I didn’t really start focusing on Iraq until later on, particularly about the time I started going to the United Nations with this message. To the United Nations, I said, let’s uphold the demands of the world, finally, after decades of — after a decade of threats to Saddam — you know, if you don’t do this, this will happen — why don’t we finally just say something that we mean?

And it was at that point in time, when a President steps up in front of the United Nations and you say, either take care of business or we, others will, you better mean it. And I meant it when I went up in front of the United Nations at that point in time.

Q I was asking you about November. (Bush, Blair press conference, 04/16/04)


Comments: 1


Peanut, you outdid yourself on that one. I was laughing so hard at that photo of Schmoe that I almost choked.

Of course then I saw a copy of his press conference and I really DID choke but that’s beside the point.


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