(Press Conference with President Bush)
Bush: Israel has the right to defend herself. I know that the moms and dads of Pittsburgh have some concerns about our strategy of victory in western Pennsylvania. But they have to understand that strengthening Israel helps bring stability and peace to the region.
Reporter B: Mr. President, Pirate fans believe it isn’t fair for Jewish settler trailers to be popping up near the bullpens. Longtime season ticket holders say that every night after the game the foul lines get erased and moved, more and more trailers appear and the playing field gets smaller. It’s harder to hit home runs, they say, and the games are much lower scoring. Attendance is down. Radical extremists, taking advantage of the situation to tell the truth, say that the fans are being “cleansed” from the ballpark. Groundskeepers report that every morning they have to tear down a confusing array of barriers and razor wire which seem intended to separate fans from the concession areas.
Bush: America will not be held hostage by any special interest groups. As far as low-scoring games go, the Pirates are adjusting to a post 9/11 world -- they’re playing better defense.
Reporter C: Are you concerned that the situation may be spiraling out of control? Last week a Pittsburgh little league team renamed itself from the Southside Sluggers to the Holy Christ Mujahideen and one of those dads you spoke of, who manages the team, said, quote, “I never saw a Jew camping out in the Pirates’ bullpen before, here, or at the old Three Rivers Stadium. And I’ve been to every home game in the last 25 years. First, we were told that we stole the land from the Indians and now they tell us that we stole it from the Jews. Where’s the white man’s world, that’s what I want to know?”
Reporter D: And what about those out of work steelworkers in the bleachers who threw empty beer cans at the settlers’ trailers last week? The settlers opened up on them and killed seven and wounded 12 others during the Cincy doubleheader.
Bush: Peace is hard work, especially when there’s no peace partners in those bleachers.
Reporter E: Yeah, and then the steelworkers escalated and started throwing rocks. And the Pirate street is restive -- a common cry is: “Where is the next great pan-baseballer? Where is a Roberto Clemente to throw out the Jews for stealing ‘home’ ”? As Wolf Blitzer asked last Sunday, “What can America do, realistically, about this cauldron of ancient hatreds?”
Bush: If there’s a question in there somewhere, I’m not going looking for it.
Reporter F: Mr. President, is there any chance that the steelworkers could open up a can of kosher whup-ass on the settlers like Hezbollah did on Israel?
Bush: If they didn’t riot for their jobs, why would they riot for their baseball?
Reporter G: Are you disturbed about the Jewish-only “bypass inclines” that the Israelis are building alongside the Monongahela Incline. Isn’t this segregation -- separate and unequal?
Bush: Freedom is on the march. If Israel wants to improve the American transportation system, and get people up and down a mountain faster, who are we to interfere? It’s called initiative and privatization. If it’s good enough for the West Bank, it’s good enough for us. Israel’s airline has never had a hijacking... I’m not expecting their inclines to get hijacked or attacked either. We can learn a lot from our friend Israel. This is like the ruckus about the Dubai Ports deal. People need to understand that xenophobia is disgraceful when it blows out the candle of freedom -- and by that I mean the freedom for people with money to make more money.
Reporter H: There have also been border skirmishes at the Warhol Museum, resulting in damage to some of the art inside. The Warhol Museum director claims that the Department of Homeland Security slights the Warhol compared to Fallingwater. The director decries your refusal to call back the Pennsylvania National Guard from Venezuela. He publicly humiliated you by putting in a call to Hezbollah to protect the museum. Sheik Nasrallah declined and gave a televised three-hour speech which illuminated his thoughts on pop art and electrified the Islamic world. What’s your response?
Bush: I’ve told every single person in the world; I’ve knocked on every hut, every door, every cave, with the same message: supporting a terrorist group makes you a terrorist. The enemies of America can’t hide in America or pretend that they are real Americans just because they were born here. 9/11 changed everything. Whether it’s Saddama bin Laden or Osamadinejad, we will stay focused and bring the 9/11 killers to justice.
Reporter I: Some Pirate fans have noticed almost imperceptible changes in PNC Park, like images of the pirate being replaced with ones of Moshe Dayan. Is it wrong for fans to be worried about this?
Bush: I wish people wouldn’t worry so much, but what can I do?
Reporter J: Was it wrong for Prof. Alan Dershowitz to call for that little league coach to be waterboarded until he gave up everything he had on the former Southside Sluggers?
Bush: If my enemy’s back was against the
wall, if they were shackled and hung, if they were drowned or burned, if
they were beaten and raped or electrocuted, if they were naked and hooded
and down on their knees and begging for their lives, or just plain
killed, and I needed somebody to torture the Geneva Conventions for me, it
would be Prof. Dershowitz.
Reporter J: A follow-up, sir: Why doesn’t the Pittsburgh Police Department simply remove the illegal settlers from the PNC bullpen?
Reporter A: Anti-Semite!
Reporter D: Holocaust-minimizer!
Reporter L: What a waste of a question!
Bush: No, no, I’d like to answer that. I remind the world that The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is now the supreme law of the land and by land I mean the entire earth. It supersedes the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It eliminates habeas corpus. Yes, you can have your guns and your vocalizations but if I choose to kidnap and hold you without charge and torture you, and use the statements that I get out of you against you, well, you get the idea of how free you are. The whole world -- the whole universe, in fact -- is a battlefield and I can declare anyone anywhere a terrorist whether they’re in Beijing or Poughkeepsie. One day, it will be possible for a President to sit in the Oval Office and shoot a laser from space down at anyone anywhere in the world who is interfering with freedom. Now, to your point, in the Military Commissions Act there is a passage about protecting the interests of our allies like Israel. Those fine men and women of the Pittsburgh Police Department understand the new realities. They don’t want to run afoul of the Act and end up in some black hole any more than you do. 9/11 changed everything -- boundaries and borders don’t mean anything. In the post-9/11 world, there is a seamless web between the cop at the protest, the soldier near the oil well and our CIA interrogators roaming the earth, all working together to eliminate terrorists. I’m the King of the World now and the Lord God of Torture. I’m the most powerful creature who ever walked the earth. Too bad there aren’t some dinosaurs around -- I’d show those bastards too. God told me to invade Iraq, but I swear I feel like God myself, so possessed am I of the Holy Spirit. I can kidnap, torture and slaughter any person anywhere on earth at a time and place of my choosing -- and the world can hold its breath. You, yourself, exist at my pleasure -- and you’re not making me very happy, hehehe.
Reporter B: Sir, will there be enough time today to talk about existential threats to Israel?
Bush: Now that’s a waste of a question. You know we only do that on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays -- and today is Tuesday.
Reporter K: Sen. Santorum is calling for sanctions on the Pirates and an embargo which could ban so-called “dual-use” items like ball bats. The fear is that the bats could be used to terrorize Jewish settlers in what was once left field. Should Americans get used to playing baseball without bats or can there be a compromise to satisfy Israel’s need for security? Sen. Hagel recently wondered whether the Republicans could win the upcoming elections if they were perceived as being more pro-matzoh ball than pro-baseball. Lastly, how many Muslims need to be killed before Americans can feel safe like we did before 9/11?
Bush: It’s so hard to tell. We have people studying this all the time. I’d hate to give some number, alarm folks and then find out that it wasn’t enough.
Reporter L: A member of the Israeli Knesset has called you the “greatest Arab killer in Israel’s history.” How do you feel about that?
Bush: I’m humbled, of course. But I point out that leaders in the modern era, like myself, have advantages in equipment, training and nutrition that Hall-of-Famers like Ben-Gurion never had.
Reporter M: Nutrition -- are you referring to performance-enhancing drugs?
Bush: No, no, I mean we have the ability to confine and starve people, put them on a really good diet, on a really big scale now.
Reporter N: What is the origin of your strong feelings for Israel?
Bush: Well, I was watching the 1972 Munich Olympics on TV when those terrorists killed the Israeli athletes. Before this, I didn’t know anything about Jews or Arabs. It was then I had my revelation: even though Israel was minding its own business, Arabs were so unpredictable that they could wake up from a sound sleep one morning and just start hating freedom and democracy and Jews. It was only after I became a born-again Christian that I could forgive those Arabs for ruining my sports-viewing pleasure. The Munich Olympics was the 9/11 of its day.
Reporter O: There’s a rumor that the Rabbinical Hydrologists will rename the three rivers. Is that right?
Bush: My understanding from the experts in Israel proper -- and by that I mean the Israel over there, not the Israel over here --is that the three rivers will go back to their original Hebrew names. I’ve been told that the rivers will be much easier to pronounce. We shouldn’t be afraid of change. It may be as simple as calling them the Morty, the Seymour, and the Joan Rivers. You’ll see, one day I’ll be vindicated. Someday you’ll all be singing “Somewhere Down the Izzy River.”
Reporter P: Can you really risk offending Ohio’s swing voters by changing the river’s name?
Bush: I’ve directed Secretary of State Rice to negotiate a separate peace between Ohio and Israel, a two-name one-river solution that lets Ohioans call the river by its old name and keeps the signage once the river passes west near Cincinnati.
Reporter Q: But isn’t that a lousy deal for Ohioans -- the river is essentially beyond Ohio by that point -- they won’t really have a river will they?
Bush: The river’s not going anywhere and if Ohioans want to jump in it, they can. We have to be realistic. After all these many months, facts on the ground have been established in the Pennsylvania terrortories. I can’t change history.
Reporter R: Did you ever foresee that so many American Jews would stand side by side with your deer-slaying, Arab-hating, immigrant-blaming, race-baiting, gay-bashing, anti-science, know-nothing base?
Bush: No, but Karl Rove, the “Wizard of Odds,” did.
Reporter S: Your base has always been pretty conspiracy-friendly and mistrustful of government. Do you worry that these folks -- because of the need to explain 9/11 as an inside government job, or simply a notoriously short attention span -- will lose interest in hating Arabs and go back to what they know, go back to their historical comfort of hating and blaming Jews for everything? Or, are their hearts big enough to hate everybody?
Bush: I question the respect of your premise. We only want the American people to hate terrorists -- and they have more choices, colors, selections and worldwide availability from 1.5 billion Muslims. The Muslims are putting up Communist-sized numbers.
Mr. President, I hate to bring up the “Der Beagle” incident again but many
people around the world are still confused about one thing that you said
in the Der Spiegle interview. Everyone accepts that there was a
mix-up between you and the White House staff about the name of the
publication and the nature of the questions. But right after you opened
with telling the Der Spiegle reporter about a favorite hunting dog
you once had, he asked if the US plans on ever leaving Iraq. Perhaps
still assuming that this was an outdoor publication, you said, “Does the
Pope shit in the woods?” This Zen-like answer troubled a lot of people
around the world. Many people were shocked that you believe the Pope would
be capable of taking a dump, especially on God’s creation. Was this just a
way of saying “Are bears Catholic?” Could you clarify this?
Bush: I was misquoted. What I said was: Islamic fascism is a greater threat to the world than Hitler or Stalin.
Reporter C: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman has lauded you as a “Catcher In The Rye” kind of guy, one who’s trying to save the world. Do you agree?
Bush: Well, I consulted with Laura about that book and I believe that’s a fair estimate. I’m trying to save freedom everywhere, I’m trying to save the Iraqi children for freedom. I’m creating a glorious world.
Reporter U: Could you share your thoughts on the recent killings involving a Christian militia at Fallingwater? The militia mistook a Jain tourist group from India for Arabs. The Jains ran away but were shot in the back when they stopped to remove some grasshoppers from a paved parking lot and put them back onto the grass.
Bush: Yeah, people like those Jain tourerists aren’t going to make it in this world. When I hear about things like that I almost believe in evolution.
Reporter U: Could sectarian violence, a la Iraq, ever happen in America?
Bush: Allah Iraq? What’s your problem? Of course that won’t happen here.
Reporter U: What makes you so sure, Mr. President?
Bush: Because in America all the right people have most of the guns. The wrong people know that if they ever get too far out of line and interfere with freedom that they’ll be cleaned up on in about a month or two.
Reporter U: So it will be a cakewalk?
Bush: Yeah, something like that.
Reporter V: Mr. President, a follow-up question on the Jains: Does the Jain ideology of “dynamic harmlessness” pose any threat to America?
Bush: To be honest, I’m not familiar with that term but I will say that our government has all the tools it needs to deal with whatever that is. Non-state actors like the Jains need to know that they will be held to account. What goes around comes around. I saw that Jain preacher man on TV, you know, with the rats running around his temple and I said to myself, “That’s a religion that needs Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay.”
Reporter V: Mr. President, there’s no indication that the Jains are terrorists. Their most well-known belief seems to be that of not hurting animals.
Bush: I knew they hated our values! I don’t have to know the details about something to know that I’m right about it. There’s still so much freedom that needs spread in the world.
Reporter W: Mr. President, some people are saying that we’re making the same mistakes in Greater Greater Israel, the Pennsylvania “terrortories,” as you call them, that we made in Iraq. I refer to paying vast sums of money to shady or desperate people for unreliable information. For instance, a Christian militia wouldn’t be guarding the shrine of Fallingwater were it not for the bogus tip from that Syrian small businessman, the failed hamster breeder Ahkmed Schulubbi. This man fed the CIA a little known online magazine, Architectural Jihadjest, with this fatal line -- fatal for those Jain tourists: “Fallingwater, aka Fallingdownwater, is a claustrophobic, cold, muggy, dumpy, fucking ugly piece of capitalist hubris ... may the God of style, peace be upon him, smite it down.” Other than this critique there appears to be no plan, no weapons, indeed, no people to actually smite Fallingwater and yet because of this, the Department of Homeland Security funded a Christian militia to guard it twenty-four hours a day. They diverted the entire stream that runs under the house, for fear of waterborne poisons and rubber ducky IEDs, and put up twelve foot concrete blast walls and planters, albeit in the “Prairie” style. Should taxpayers be paying Christian militias 50 times as much as you could get for a Mexican roofing crew?
Bush: OK, I’m not happy with this. In the world we’re trying to create, we could match those roofers with more urgent unmet American needs... We could turn the Mexicans into instant Quaker Oats Minutemen... We could screen those roofers right at the border to see who’s good with a gun and who believes in the Rapture and get some faith-based dollars in their hands and send them on their way to the nearest Christian militia -- all for NAFTA prices. I have a theory of freedom and it’s magical: freedom warms the hearts of normal people but it burns the asses of terrorists.
Reporter W: But does this militarizing of everything really work in the real world, does it get the results that we want? I ask because, after the Jain family was slain, the 75 year-old leader of the Jains issued a first of its kind fatwa, saying, in part, “For every time there is a season and it’s now open season on that bastard Bush.” Previously, no one had ever heard this man raise his voice.
Bush: How big’s his air force? Maybe he’d like some vitamin B-52.
Reporter X: The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service says that there’s now a Sandlot Crescent forming in Pennsylvania, from the Pirates in the west to the Phillies in the east. Shin Bet estimates that, within six months, there will be more terrorists in Breezewood than hotel rooms. Local proprietors like Mater Patel, Paneer Patel, Aloo Patel and Hamhock Patel, all unrelated, are alarmed at the loss of business caused by Shin Bet’s comment and, coincidentally, Israeli businessmen buying up hotels in nearby cities. The Patels issued this statement: “So long as the terrorists/Pirates pay their bills and don’t blow us up, it’s cricket. We will talk with them as brothers about the infield fly rule but they should not bring up Kashmir or the disputes in the PNC Park bullpen area.” Given all this, should Americans stay overnight in Breezewood anymore?
Bush: You know, I have a question for you: Are any of those Patels related? Are they all related? This has kept me up a lot of nights. Laura found me a book, “The Genealogy of Super 8 Owners, Volume One” but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. It’s huge -- it must be 300 pages long -- you can’t run through it like a PDB.
Reporter Y: Mr. President, filmmaker Steven Spielberg is making a documentary about the settlers and their struggles to live in peace in the PNC Park bullpen. In the film the settlers claim to be making the bullpen “bloom” but so far, besides the trailers, there’s only a knish stand and a couple Caterpillar bulldozers. Do you plan on seeing the movie?
Bush: Yes. In fact, I’m in it. I have a cameo, what’s called in the business a “walked-on” role.
Reporter Z: Polls show that the nation is extremely polarized between the people who dislike you and the people who really hate you. What do you say to that?
Bush: I’d say that I’m not playing “gotcha” today or any other day. Thank you very much.