Saturday, April 10, 2004

Fun With Juxtaposition 

Terrifying, soul-destroying fun:

Bush Catches Bass With Crew From TV Show
President Bush skipped a second round of fishing in his ranch pond Saturday with a crew from an outdoors show, though his performance the day before was something to brag about.

"He took the biggest one of the day,'' a bass nearly four pounds, said Roland Martin, host of the Outdoor Life Network program, "Fishing with Roland Martin.''
At about 5:30 p.m., Bush looked at his watch and said he had time to "make a couple casts, so we jumped into the boat real quick.''

Iraq didn't come up. "He didn't really talk about politics at all,'' Martin said. "He was just relieved to have a minute to fish.''

The TV host said Bush is "a very accomplished fisherman. He handled the tackle really well and caught three fish,'' Martin said. "He complains he doesn't fish there enough; so he misses that a lot.''

They floated on the pond for about 1 1/2 hours. White House aides told Martin that "things were kind of calmed down'' in Iraq and that prospects were good for another session Saturday.
-The Associated Press

Turmoil in Iraq Jangles Nerves in Allied Capitals, and Bush Works to Shore Up Support
London, April 9 - With their troops threatened and their citizens in Iraq facing kidnapping and worse, allied governments displayed a mix of resolve and unease on Friday as images of the turmoil seemed to encourage their opponents at home.

Even in Britain, the staunchest United States ally with the biggest contingent of non-American troops in Iraq, Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, acknowledged in a radio interview that "there is no doubt that the current situation is very serious and it is the most serious that we have faced."
Significantly, Mr. Straw countered suggestions from the Bush administration's supporters in Washington that the sudden spike in violence, drawing in both the Sunni minority and the Shiite majority, had been provoked by small numbers of opponents of the United States-led occupation or non-Iraqi Muslim fighters.

"It is plainly the fact today that there are larger numbers of people, and they are people on the ground, Iraqis, not foreign fighters, who are engaged in this insurgency," he said. "The lid of the pressure cooker has come off, and some of the tensions and pressures which were there and would have come out in any event have to a degree been directed toward the coalition."
-Alan Cowell, New York Times

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