President Bush recently spent two days in India, prompting
an estimated 100 million people to take to the streets to protest his
policies. Many carried banners calling him the world's biggest terrorist
and some really bad names in Hindi.
"Welcome to India, Mr. President," U.S. ambassador David Mulford said,
shaking Bush's hand in New Delhi. "You're going to like it here. Your
approval rating is higher here than in America. Indians absolutely love
"They love me?" Bush asked. "But 100 million of them are rioting and
calling me bad names. I'm afraid to see what they'd do if they hated
"Don't take it the wrong way," the ambassador said. "It's
only 100 million Indians. The other 90 percent absolutely
love you. They adore you. "
"So you think I'm safe here?" Bush asked, visibly relieved.
"No one will shoot me?"
"Very safe here," the ambassador said. "As long as you
didn't bring Mr. Cheney with you."
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the reports of 100 million
protestors were greatly exaggerated. "I'm not disagreeing that 100
million people were on the streets," he said, "but most of them were
simply waiting for the bus. And what looked like a riot to foreign
journalists was just our usual traffic."
Upendra Kumar, a Bangalore man who helped organize the protests, agreed
with Singh's assessment, adding that the protests would have been more
effective if all banners and signs had been spellchecked. Indeed, one
protestor, shown on TV networks worldwide, carried a sign that said, "Go
home, Amrican terrierist." Another displayed a banner that said, "George
W. Bush: world's biggest tourist."
Despite the protests, Bush's visit was a resounding success.
He and Singh reached an agreement to share nuclear
technology and expertise. "I feel very confident about India having
weapons of mass destruction," Bush said. "This is a peaceful country
that loves all its neighbors."
To underscore the point, Bush visited a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and
praised the leader's philosophy of nonviolence. "He has had a great
influence on me and the rest of America," Bush said. "It is because of
him and his principles that we have chosen not to invade more countries.
We are keeping our nonviolence to a minimum. I mean, our violence. You
know what I mean."
Singh took Bush on a four-hour trip to the southern city of Hyderabad.
They stopped at a high-tech center after Bush expressed a strong desire
to "visit all the American jobs."
Singh told Bush that most of the jobs at the center had been outsourced
from America in the last five years. "You mean I created all these
jobs," Bush said, beaming from ear to ear. "And to think the Democrats
say I haven't done anything for the economy."
As he left India for Pakistan, Bush said he hoped to foster economic and
political development that would make India's neighbor "a force for
freedom and moderation in the Arab world." Bush later corrected himself,
telling reporters that he meant to say "the Muslim world."
"I know that all Muslim countries are not Arabic," he said. "And I also
know that all Arab countries are not Muslimic."
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Scott McClellan,
hoping to prevent another round of protests in the Muslim world, refuted
reports in various Arabic newspapers and TV networks that Bush had said,
"I know many people who are putting their faith in Islam are bad."
"The president was misquoted," McClellan said. "What he said was, 'My
delegation is excited about President Musharraf's desire to bring about
positive change. I know many people who are putting their faith in
He added that the president had held important discussions
with Pakistani officials and had left the country with a
much better understanding of how to pronounce 'Islamabad.'
- At 10:16 PM, Said...
You ought to give credit to the author.
This piece was written by Melvin Durai: http://MelvinDurai.com
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