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Dear George
November 19, 2003 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Dear President Bush, I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments. Harold Pinter, Playwright. Some caustic open letters in The Guardian for the big state visit.
posted by serafinapekkala (45 comments total)

 
I wonder if the Americans who wrote in are now on Santa Ashcroft's list of naughty boys and girls...
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2003


First off, as an expat, let me welcome you to England. The good news is that both of your daughters can drink here legally. You see, here in England they believe that if you are 18 and old enough to fight and die for your country you should at least be able to have a drink or two legally.
Love it.
posted by skallas at 11:44 AM on November 19, 2003


I might have read it here or somewhere else but I remember seeing an article saying that there are more troops on the streets of London for Bush's protection than there have been since WWII.

I wonder if the tape of their conversation is just filled with lots of cackling and laughing?
posted by fenriq at 11:44 AM on November 19, 2003


Ladies and gentlemen of the Transatlantic, I give thee PinterFiilter!
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:55 AM on November 19, 2003


that there are more troops on the streets of London for Bush's protection than there have been since WWII.
The above is a very broad statement. Saw on the telly a lovely Bobbie holding a pretty little machine gun.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:01 PM on November 19, 2003


Yep, I know its broad and vague but it still stuck with me anyway.

Heck, Bush needs as much protection in the US now too.
posted by fenriq at 12:07 PM on November 19, 2003


While we're on the subject, here's some other interesting info the Guardian has published recently:
A majority of Labour voters welcome President George Bush's state visit to Britain which starts today, according to November's Guardian/ICM opinion poll.

The survey shows that public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the US is "generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world". It explodes the conventional political wisdom at Westminster that Mr Bush's visit will prove damaging to Tony Blair. Only 15% of British voters agree with the idea that America is the "evil empire" in the world....

The ICM poll also uncovers a surge in pro-war sentiment in the past two months as suicide bombers have stepped up their attacks on western targets and troops in Iraq. Opposition to the war has slumped by 12 points since September to only 41% of all voters. At the same time those who believe the war was justified has jumped 9 points to 47% of voters....

The detailed results of the poll show that more people - 43% - say they welcome George Bush's arrival in Britain than the 36% who say they would prefer he did not come.
Of course, Playwright Harold Pinter doesn't like him, so that's worth noting.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:09 PM on November 19, 2003


What a brilliant idea for a feature! The contributors were well chosen and did themselves proud. It's my reluctant impression that The Guardian just keeps getting better and better.

That said, you have to respect the Brits. They're downright rude, ungrateful and inappropriate - but they truly are a free people, thank God. Although a part of their hysterical over-reaction to the visit of the President of their closest ally is, imo, undeniably rancour at no longer being the big Imperial cheese they once were, at least they've shown themselves to be anything but poodles.

(Even though I not only like Bush but poodles too. They're very intelligent, highly-strung but amiable beasts who will bite if abused. I also think, as occurs with green, that it's not easy being one.)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:19 PM on November 19, 2003


I didn't think it was possible, but the British poet laureate is even worse than the typical American one.
posted by ptermit at 12:43 PM on November 19, 2003


The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin. - Frederick Forsyth

Not all of the letters are anti-Bush or anti-U.S.
posted by davidmsc at 1:09 PM on November 19, 2003


Pinter is, as he always has been, a stupendous loudmouthed masturbator who only gets headlines these days by being just plain rude. If it means defending a regime of joyless fascists, gangsters, comedians and torturers, he'll go there to get in the paper.

The anti war demos in London were the high point for the strange alliance of deeply subversive old stalinists like tanky-n-proud Andrew Murray, Englands finest living coffee table Trotskyite Tariq Ali, and cuddly populist family favourites like Ken Livingstone who knows a big crowd when he sees one and long ago learnt the art of out-manoevring the far far left by gesture and outrage. Oh, and Mr. PaymeGalloway, who is a long way beneath contempt.

There they stood in Hyde Park, at the head of the angry and disturbed newspaper sellers, no doubt very gratified by the massed ranks of the politically innocent and naive who felt a genuine, human and very unsurprising aversion to acts of war, however neccessary. All these, along with Palestinians who should never have allowed themselves to be drawn into an alliance based purely around routine kneejerk anti Americanism. (Not every enemy of George Bush should be their friend).

Since then the mass graves and torture chambers have been found and much of the crowd has melted away, vaguely embarrassed. What remains amounts to mopping up the usual suspects.

And now George Bush is here in London, the traffic is up the creek and I welcome him. As an old communist I take the long Marxist position of standing with capitalism - as long as it lasts - against the medievalist fascist muslim reactionaries that would destroy the nation that builds the Fatboy and turn back the tide of history.

Anybody that makes George Bush look progressive must be stopped.

Oh, and fuck you too Pinter.
posted by terrymiles at 1:51 PM on November 19, 2003


Even though I not only like Bush but poodles too. They're very intelligent, highly-strung but amiable beasts who will bite if abused.

Yes, but we didn't abuse Bush, so why is he biting us? (I dispute the "intelligent" part, too).
posted by rushmc at 2:01 PM on November 19, 2003


there are more troops on the streets of London for Bush's protection than there have been since WWII

Almost certainly. Why would there have been troops in London for Bush's protection before or during WW2?

/willfullyobtuse
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2003


The survey shows that public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the US is "generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world".

I would hardly consider "62% don't think they're evil" to be "overwhelming" support for a country's greatest ally.
posted by jpoulos at 2:11 PM on November 19, 2003


I would hardly consider "62% don't think they're evil" to be "overwhelming" support for a country's greatest ally.

Notwithstanding your point, you should at least be accurate -- it's not "62% don't think they're evil," it's "62% believe the U.S. is a force for good in the world, generally speaking." And in political terms, I think 62% is fairly impressive (we can quibble over "overwhelming"). What makes this most significant, however, is that it was in The Guardian!
posted by pardonyou? at 2:23 PM on November 19, 2003


terrymiles is, as always has been in this thread, a stupendous loudmouthed troll whose onanisms here are matched only by his boundless efforts to make no rational sense whatsoever. That he has failed to understand Pinter's admittedly cheap shot is self-evident, in his astonishing leap of logic that Pinter's remark somehow makes George Bush look "more progressive."

He makes some unintelligible conclusion about Bush and Palestine being best buds. He rambles onward about "mass graves and torture chambers" without referring to anything specific. And it's clear to all and sundry that terrymiles is a man without penis. This is a man whose vas deferens dried up long ago. Nipped at the bud by, in terrymiles' words, "a antiwar demo in London subversive old Stalinist commie Palestinian enemy of Bush also friend," who arrived in terrymiles' home five years ago with a dulled pickaxe, cried out "Hello Leon! How's Mexico?" to terrymiles, and, seeing terrymiles' hydrocephalic head, sans a single healthy follicle of hair or a brain cell capable of even a modicum of ratiocination, undid terrymiles' zipper, and nipped the other head proper off accordingly.

Said condition has resulted in frequent fulminations from terrymiles, sometimes posted to Metafilter, sometimes not -- all of them making no sense whatsoever. But we wish him well.

Oh, and fuck you too George Bush.
posted by ed at 2:28 PM on November 19, 2003


pardonyou?, of COURSE the british people know we are not the evil empire. it's that goddam darth vader in the white house everyone hates. keep your eye on the ball, fer chrissakes!
posted by quonsar at 3:02 PM on November 19, 2003


"The League of Nations, lacking both credibility and will, collapsed at the first challenge of the dictators. Free nations failed to recognise, much less confront, the aggressive evil in plain sight."

Well put, and still true today, unfortunately.

Text of Bush Speech.
posted by hama7 at 3:06 PM on November 19, 2003


the British poet laureate is even worse than the typical American one.
Yeh - sorry about that. None of our good poets would actually take the job, so Motion it was. I am really, really sorry.
posted by seanyboy at 3:41 PM on November 19, 2003


Yeah, me too.
Sorry, couldnt really be avoided I'm afraid.
Awfully, awfully sorry. But there you go, eh?
Sorry...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:52 PM on November 19, 2003


Oh wow, the best they can muster is:

If (against Iraq && Bush Administration)

echo Non-relevant items about communists and dictators


Pathetic really.
posted by skallas at 3:57 PM on November 19, 2003


terrymiles is, as always has been in this thread, a stupendous loudmouthed troll

And it's clear to all and sundry that terrymiles is a man without penis.


Nice way to counterpunch with a bunch of personal attacks, ed. We're all impressed. Characterizing terry's comments as "making no sense whatsoever" is the ultimate head-in-the-sand business you so routinely decry.

::Waits for breathless explanation about how the whole thing was clever parody, and subsequent MetaTalk implosion::
posted by dhoyt at 4:06 PM on November 19, 2003


Everybody knows that you drink delicious Quenchâ„¢ with cucumber sandiches, silly poet.

The blood goes in the beer.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:11 PM on November 19, 2003


He rambles onward about "mass graves and torture chambers" without referring to anything specific.

Google searches are exhausting aren't they?

Iraq torture chamber found

Torture cells are reminders of Saddam's regime

Iraqi child prisoners freed

Torture devices found at Iraqi soccer HQ

Iraq Mass Graves Field Report
posted by dhoyt at 4:16 PM on November 19, 2003


Google searches are exhausting aren't they?

Not as exhausting as wasting time with Kelly fans. As they say here on the Internet, idle hands are the devil's tools. Probably just as onerous as my little joking about with terrymiles, a joke 1st and 4most, which I'm sure terry will understand.
posted by ed at 4:51 PM on November 19, 2003


I just love the standard of debate on Metafilter!

Go and take your smart pills, ed. Learn to read English and follow an argument and wash your grubby and banal little mouth out, there's a good boy.

I fail to see the connection between a polemic and a penis (how dare you assume I have one!) but maybe you keep what remains of your brains in yours so I must forgive you. I'll be watching out for such idiocy in future.

And your webpage is very boring too. No wonder you gave up the ranting. You're crap at it. Joke my arse. I know where you live.

Goodnight from London. Keep smilin!
posted by terrymiles at 4:59 PM on November 19, 2003


"The League of Nations, lacking both credibility and will, collapsed at the first challenge of the dictators. Free nations failed to recognise, much less confront, the aggressive evil in plain sight."

Well put, and still true today, unfortunately.


hama7, please explain the similarity between the situation then and the situation now? I'm having a hard time finding any resemblance at all?
posted by cx at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2003


Glad you enjoyed my practical joke, ed (it actually started as an in-joke among people at another music message board). Idle hands, indeed.

Why you'd Google my email address is sort of beyond me, unless digging Nixonianly for some dirt (instead of, say, addressing my links or terry's arguement).

Score two personal affronts for you in this thread alone. Maybe it's time for another "break"?
posted by dhoyt at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2003


terrymiles: I've printed off this thread and handed a hard copy to the headmistress. She too is appalled at the current level of dialectic and holds you, me and dhoyt responsible for this "bogwater." At first, I misheard her. But sure as shit, she beat me repeatedly in the nose, so I couldn't say What God Hath Wrought. The only problem is that I now pronounce this place Etafilter. So much for bilabial and alveolar hijinks. Strangely enough, two longs and a long and a short seem to work. Though no one else seems to toe-tap.

I assure you, good sir, that my webpage sucked when it was running. But I will continue to live in fear. The penis ships next Wednesday. Airborne Express. Leon says hello. I'm taking the hit for the team. And I'll be living off Mr. Pinter's recommended diet for the next week. We'll get this thing sorted out.

All clear. In the pink. Keep the aspidistra parking.
posted by ed at 5:19 PM on November 19, 2003


Translation: "I have nothing salient to contribute, but I do enjoy hearing myself type"
posted by dhoyt at 5:30 PM on November 19, 2003


(And, no that doesn't apply to the Kelly essay which was spat out of the Postmodern Term-Paper Generator)
posted by dhoyt at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2003


*steps over broken glass, little pools of beer, a few bloodied teeth on the carpet*

Pinter could have managed to do better than that -- but he's definitely ready for MeFi, the tone is there, just a milk-curdling ~chuckle~ here and there -- and I'm glad that at least Portillo managed to shoehorn the road map in his lame-o letter (but with all his flaws he at least seems to have a pulse, and remains way better than Howard imo, not that that's saying much).
I kinda liked Salam Pax (his usual polite stuff, nice last line).

Good idea, but I'm pretty underwhelmed by the result.
and nobody told them that Bush doesn't read the papers (he has admitted that he's irked by "opinions" in the reporting and sticks to his staff's unbiased memos and news summaries)
posted by matteo at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2003


Interesting to note that the letters are actually fairly evenly split. Despite the fistfight that seems to have broken out...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:58 PM on November 19, 2003


...and I'm glad that at least Portillo managed to shoehorn the road map in his lame-o letter...
Do they still shout "Portillo is a faggot" when he makes public appearances? (Ages ago, I was in London and ended up joining in a rush of some part of parliament's doors during an age of consent demonstration...that was the most popular line then. Apparently Portillo was/is closeted and invariably votes against any gay-rights measures)
posted by amberglow at 6:10 PM on November 19, 2003


ed, it's the bilabial and alveolar hijinks that keep me coming back for more.
posted by quonsar at 6:12 PM on November 19, 2003


just wondering.. why is there a need to protect bush from all the pro-peace demonstrators? aren't they pro-peace and won't touch a living thing?
kill! fuck! resist!
/end-fark-discourse
posted by bokononito at 6:15 PM on November 19, 2003


...I'd really like you to answer one question. How come Tony does everything you say? You can detain British citizens without trial, break every international agreement going, and still you get to make this full state visit. George, you won't be able to see us protesting because they'll keep us out of sight, but how did you persuade him to use our taxes to help your re-election campaign? Do you have pictures of him in bed with Prince Charles? Or a goat? It has to be something like that. Please let me know. Yours, confused, Hari Kunzru, Author
I love that one! Why does Blair do whatever Bush wants, anyway?
posted by amberglow at 6:31 PM on November 19, 2003


I love that one! Why does Blair do whatever Bush wants, anyway?

They're both Christians, and that gives them a common bond that spans across all ideologies, allowing them to take comfort in their shared willingness to kill and maim righteously in the name of business. God is, if anything, mercantile.
posted by The God Complex at 6:41 PM on November 19, 2003


he has admitted that he's irked by "opinions" in the reporting and sticks to his staff's unbiased memos and news summaries

::: snort :::
posted by rushmc at 6:51 PM on November 19, 2003


They're both Christians...
Ah, I wondered what i was missing out on, not being Christian. Now I know: The Capitalist Crusade for Christ ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:52 PM on November 19, 2003


alveolar
that's a beach resort in brazil, right?
posted by carfilhiot at 8:04 PM on November 19, 2003


Yup, carfilhiot - that's it, famous for its off-the-meter incidence of heart attacks.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:08 PM on November 19, 2003


Truthfully, George, you are a disaster. You have managed, in a few short months and years, to identify the first part of the 21st century as the time when a voracious new American empire burst upon the world. In the world outside the US, nobody believes in your calls for democracy. You stole your own election. You try to strangle democracies, like Venezuela, which do not deliver pliant regimes. And everywhere the ordinary people of the earth, the overwhelming majority, will pay the price for your corrupt adventures.

My favo(u)rite.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:32 AM on November 20, 2003


The leader in today's Spectator is well worth reading for the opposite view - and, imo, the more sensible.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:22 PM on November 20, 2003


, imo, the more sensible.

because, of course, exhuming Ricky Ray Rector's and Philby's sorry corpses to defend Bush is in fact sensible journalism


and Miguel, I'm sure you actually recognized by yourself the many straw men happily burnt by the Spectator's writer -- "Bill Clinton, feminist, liar and all-round feng shui king, against whom they would not dream of marching"? Like, all the pacifist marches against Clinton's various wars, the marches and vigils against the death penalty? the pro-Tibet marches? have the guys at the Spectator ever heard the words "Ralph Nader", or they're just pretending that the European Left is some kind of monolithic DLC-supporting "the lesser of two evils" movement? etc etc...
of course, the Spectator can't bring its glum Tory butt to admit the fact that, abroad, Bush is simply the most unpopular US President ever -- with the possible exception of Lyndon Johnson. and that's saying something. (Nixon was at least considered a smart -- if corrupt and amoral and paranoid -- man)
how do you say "bullshit" in Portuguese?
bah


posted by matteo at 4:45 PM on November 20, 2003


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