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Bush was "taken aback"
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Pakistanian president Pervez Musharraf claimed in a press conference that the US - specifically former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage - had threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" after 9/11, if they did not assist in the hunt for Al-Qaeda. Armitage denies this, though he acknowledges that he did have a meeting with president Musharraf shortly after 9/11. When asked about this alleged threat, Bush said he was "taken aback" by it.

"Taken aback"?! Shouldn't that sort of thing provoke a much stronger response? I usually use "taken aback" when my pizza got overcooked or I lost in a game of poker. I don't use it when one of my subordinates threatens to annihilate another country. Bush simply said that he had no knowledge of such a conversation.

The comments by president Musharraf are widely (by the US media anyway) being called into question as a publicity stunt to promote his new autobiography. Or perhaps simply to drum up anti-US sentiment within Pakistan. But what I'm not hearing here is that anyone from the White House is going to investigate the matter. Pakistan was a strong supporter of our efforts in Afghanistan after 9/11. If that help was secured under threat of bombing, I want to know about it and I want someone held responsible. If that means a short wild goose chase to find out whether it was true or not, so be it.


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Do you mean you're actually listening to him, still? Bush rarely means what he says or says what he means. He's an atrocious public speaker. All he's saying there is the typical non-committal double-talk that he thinks will make him look reasonable in the face of something pretty shocking. Or another explanation is that he heard someone else use that expression earlier in the day and it just popped in his head. The man has no ability to think for himself.


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djimmy wrote:
Bush rarely means what he says or says what he means. He's an atrocious public speaker.

Really? Did you watch his speech at the Republican 2004 Convention? I thought he gave a powerful speech and some members in the audience were in tears. If you asked for advice from anyone who ever worked for Ann Richard, the former Texas Gov., now resting in peace, on how to beat Bush, you will get perhaps only one piece, "Never underestimate Bush." The media is portraying him like an idiot, but looks who was the smart guy after the 2000 and 2004 elections. Back to the original topic, Bush can really speak when it really matters.


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Bush can really speak when it really matters


What you mean is that Bush can really speak when he's got months to prepare and speechwriters to help him.

Yes, I've seen Bush give "powerful" speeches before, but when put on the spot and unprepared he's absolutely terrible. All of the blunders and verbal missteps are embarrassing at the very least, and results in the public losing confidence in our dear leader. It makes the US look awful to the rest of the world. Make no mistake, the ability to think and speak "on your feet" matters when you're the President. Don't lower your expectations of your leadership - that's what they want you to do.


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