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Going, Going, Dubai!

Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2006 01:36 AM

It's no secret that I detest President Bush (and his administation's) penchant for answering questions with conditional statements.

But perhaps they'll want to rethink this one.

"If there was any doubt in my mind or people in my administration's mind that our ports would be less secure and the American people endangered, this deal wouldn't go forward," Mr. Bush said earlier today.

So there is no doubt in his mind, or in the minds of members of his administration: our ports will be less secure, and the American people endangered. The deal will go forward.

Perhaps some readers might find that a deliberate misreading of the president's words. All that does is take us back to the question as to why the president is using a conditional, when there is no reason for doing so.

The Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, made the stunning revelation that the situation in Iraq could expand to encompass neighboring countries as sectarian hatreds spiral out of control.

Gee, the Sunnis and Shiites haven't seen eye-to-eye for close to 1400 years, and you're just figuring this out?

Thanks for playing.

As to the congressional report characterizing the government's response to Hurricane Katrina as "woefully unprepared," and levelling harsh criticism at Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, Mr. Bush offered one of his highest accolades.

"He's doing a fine job," Bush said.

Someone hand the Emperor his fiddle.

Philippines Watch: The state of emergency enters Day 6. President Arroyo has promised a review of the situation within 72 hours, but laid down specific criteria in a televised address.

"I will lift the state of emergency once I am convinced that the security officials can assure me that we are in control of the situation," she said. "The justice secretary will report to me on the destabilization movements, the secretary of national defense on the conditions in the military, and the national police chief on peace and order and rule of law."

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