When they think we're not listening

We learned yesterday that President Bush has a bit of a potty mouth (at least when he’s abroad; I bet Cheney makes him wash his mouth out with soap when he talks dirty back home) and a not particularly nuanced view of foreign policy:

Bush: What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over.
Bush and Prime Minister Blair go on to talk about the wider situation:
Blair: Syria.
Bush: Why?
Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing.
Bush: Yeah.
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way…
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet.
Blair: He is honey. And that’s what the whole thing is about. It’s the same with Iraq.
Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to call, to get on the phone to Bashad [Bashir Assad] and make something happen.
(Thanks to Adam Boulton’s Sky News blog for the transcript.) I really love the world-leader slang of “he is honey.” But who is the mysterious “he” that seems to be pulling the strings?

(Surprisingly, a number of US media outlets were willing to reproduce the exchange in full, including what may be the first ever use of “shit” in the New York Times. The BBC had no qualms, of course, at least out of the so-called “watershed”.)

It happens that I watched the last-ever episode of The West Wing last night. Pretty much void of dramatic tension, the contrast between the real world and a Foucault-reading, lefty, peace-in-the-middle-east-sponsoring president in a world without 9/11 and 7/7 still made me want to retreat to a safe, fictional burrow somewhere deep underground.