Batshit at Annapolis: A Picture Show and a Pondering:
That's our goddamn President, grinning like he's wondering whether to rape Ronny Cox or Jon Voight next, standing between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (who, in the scheme of things in the Middle East, have pretty easily pronounceable names). Bush is smiling because the two leaders agreed that talking about shit is a good idea. Huzzah. Triumph.
That's Bill Clinton standing between Yithak Rabin and Yasser Arafat back in 1993. Clinton is smiling because the two leaders actually signed a peace deal. It would fall apart soon after, but, still, and all, it was a thing, an accomplishment.
That's Jimmy Carter standing between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978. Carter is smiling because the two leaders just signed the Camp David Accords, which led to a peace treaty in 1979.
We might look at this as the photo-ops of diminishing returns. But that would be cruel to Clinton. Instead, let's just ask which of these pictures looks the most dishonest in the context. The Rude Pundit's gonna go with the one where Bush seems like he's physically pushing Olmert and Abbas together by the scruffs of their necks, like trying to get frat pledges to tongue kiss for his amusement back at Yale.
One other note on the Annapolis meeting: Imagine being one of the delegates from Lebanon, which had the fuck bombed out of it by Israel, and having to listen to President Bush say, "[A] battle is underway for the future of the Middle East -- and we must not cede victory to the extremists. With their violent actions and contempt for human life, the extremists are seeking to impose a dark vision on the Palestinian people -- a vision that feeds on hopelessness and despair to sow chaos in the Holy Land. If this vision prevails, the future of the region will be endless terror, endless war, and endless suffering."
Imagine hearing that if you're Palestinian, having heard Bush say, "The Palestinian people are blessed with many gifts and talents." Essentially, the Leader o' the Free World just equated you and your people with an average toddler or a particularly bright spaniel.
Imagine listening to this man who is threatening to attack Iran and plunge your region into conflagration. You know, you see some crazy shit back home, but sitting there and listen to Bush and Rice talk about peace, well, that's like sitting next to a farting camel - you wanna make sure you're not on the downwind side of the stink.