diet coke for breakfast

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Posted by RFTR
I'm sitting here, at 7:20 AM Eastern, listening to Prime Minister Tony Blair give a joint press conference with President George W. Bush from London, specifically in reaction to the dual-attacks in Istanbul that occured last night. I am consistenly amazed by these men. It is a lucky twist of fate that two such honorable, respectable, moral, and unyielding men should lead the English-speaking world in this time of seemingly perpetual crisis. Both speak emphatically against the terrorist threat, while at the same time both are visibly shaken by the horrific tragedies that continue to shake the planet.

Mr. Bush opened his remarks by speaking to how grateful he is to be standing next to a friend. It intrigues me that when Mr. Blair came to power, the American and British Press both commented on the similarities between him and former President Clinton, and how likely they were to become fast friends. Indeed Blair and Clinton seemed to show a strong connection, as they shared very similar political ideologies. The union of Misters Blair and Bush, however seems to me to be much stronger. They obviously disagree strongly on issues such as the steel tariffs, and despite Blair's conservatism, he is the leader of the Labour party, and effectively a Liberal. Their connection, therefore, is not politically based, but on something deeper. These are two men of integrity who do see a clear line between right and wrong, good and evil, who truly believe that there is no place on this planet for the evil that Al Quaeda and other fanatical terrorists represent.

That being said, Bush will never be the orator that Blair is. The former handles himself much better in fielding questions than he once did, but he speaks for too long, runs on, and begins to muddle his thoughts. He has his burst of clarity, to be sure (today: "These are Al Quaeda killers killing Muslims. And they've got to be stopped.") but Blair easily puts him to shame (today: fielded a question roughly asking "doesn't your treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay belie your statements that you're fighting for freedom and tolerance worldwide" by saying, quite clearly, that the very fact that we are concerned with this shows you that we are explicitly concerned with these matters).
But, then again, reporter: "What do you say to the fact that so many people fear and even hate you?" Bush: "I'd say freedom is wonderful."

Ok, I'll stop now. I will post some great sound bites I catch from this press conference at if you'd like to read more.


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