Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bush, Bongo and Mohamad.

The L.A. Times reports Jack Abramoff helped former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad get a visit with Bush. Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten write: " When the government of Malaysia sought to repair its tarnished image in the U.S. by arranging a meeting between President Bush and its controversial prime minister in 2002, it followed the same strategy as many other well-heeled interests in Washington: It called on lobbyist Jack Abramoff for help." Not that W. knows who Abramoff is or anything or asked why Mahathir was showing up on his door step. He's not a very curious George.

Surprisingly enough, "Abramoff contacted presidential advisor Karl Rove on at least four occasions to help arrange a meeting. Finally...Rove's office called to tell Abramoff that the Malaysian leader soon would be getting an official White House invitation....A White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy, said Tuesday that Rove had 'no recollection' of any conversations with Abramoff regarding the Malaysian meeting." It's amazing how into every aspect of the president's business Rove is, but can't seem to remember anything about anything.

Imagine the great friend of Israel having someone like Mahathir to the White House! Remember the Jews rule the world speech in 2003? 'They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking," Mahathir said of the Jews. From SMH: 'They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. the world's orld's 1.3 billion Muslims 'cannot be defeated by a few million Jews,' but suggested the use of political and economic tactics instead of violence to achieve a 'final victory.' In today's world, we wield a lot of political, economic and financial clout, enough to make up for our weaknesses in military terms,' he said."


And then of course, there was the whole arrest and bogus trial of Anwar Ibrahim, but that was before Bush was on the scene. In that case, instead of having him over to the White House, Al Gore went there and blasted him in a speech at the Apec summit in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Bongo a-go-go.

I wonder if Boy Genius remembers anything about the visit of President Omar Bongo of Gabon, who gave Abramoff $9 million to meet Bush on May 26, 2004. The WaPo reports: "White House and State Department officials described Mr. Bush's meeting with President Bongo, whose government is regularly accused by the United States of human rights abuses, as routine." Yeah, right, Bush meeting with human rights abusers is pretty routine. He even had King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to his ranch in Waco, so meeting a dictator like Bongo is no big whoop.


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