Tuesday 18 November 2003 11:37am
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WHEN BRIAN MET DUBYA
Nov 18 2003
EXCLUSIVE: THE INTERVIEW THEY ALL WANTED.. BUT ONLY THE MIRROR GOT
IT WAS an offer even the White House couldn't refuse. Because the Daily Mirror gave it to the President straight.
"You have spoonfed hand-picked toadies from right-wing British newspapers," we told him, "but nobody over here has swallowed a line of it.
"So, if you want to win British hearts and minds this week do so by being frank and honest with The People's Paper."
He thought long and hard (half a second, which is very long for him) then agreed.
So we laced his soda pop with sincerity pills, wired him up to a lie detector and threatened to blow him up to daddy if he dropped any porkies. And it worked right from the off.
As he ushered me into the Oval Office, he put away the Winston Churchill bust and replaced it with the Homer Simpson doll which usually sits there, switched off the Rugrats episode he was watching on TV and told me he was giving this rare interview for the sake of world peace.
Read his words and you will agree that one thing comes over loud and clear.
His enduring love of power, oil and wealth and the freedom that can bring to himself and his Texan mafia.
The first question I asked was the one that scores of our decent, hard-working readers asked me at the Beachcomber bar in Torbay Sands caravan site last summer: Is the world a safer place after the Iraq War?
GEORGE W BUSH: You joking buddy? Twenty-three dead in Istanbul, five Black Hawks down in four weeks, 30 attacks a day on coalition forces in Iraq, Israel mired deeper in bloodshed, London brought to a standstill for fear of an al-Qaeda attack, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden still at large. A safer place? You kidding. Why do you think ah'm asking the Queen to gimme iron curtains in my bedroom?
BRIAN READE: Iraq is turning into your new Vietnam, just as we predicted, isn't it?
GWB: You betcha. You were bang on the money. Listen up, more US troops have been killed during this war than in the first three years of Nam.
And that's from our own Defence Department. So far we've had 417 killed in the past seven months, which is more than died in Nam between 1962 and 1964. Ah'm in deep doo-doo.
BR: If, as expected, you pull out of Iraq to win re-election, does that mean that the 52 Britons killed over there died in vain?
GWB: That's one way of looking at it, ah s'pose. They died to give Iraq a secure future but a far more important future is at stake. Mine. And Donnie Rumsfeld's and Condoleezza's.
Us Republicans can't have body bags flying home in the run-up to next year's election. So we're outta there. But they didn't die totally in vain. They made a lot of Party donors very rich.
BR: Are you referring to the fact that you have made Iraq a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America, causing massive unemployment as you sold off the public sector?
GWB: Sure. On September 19, we enacted the now infamous Order 39. It announced that 200 Iraqi state companies would be privatised; decreed that foreign firms (mainly ours) can retain 100 per cent ownership of Iraqi banks, mines and factories; and allowed these firms to move 100 per cent of profits out of Iraq.
BR: Is it true the beneficiaries of the $8billion rebuilding contracts so far awarded are virtually all American firms and overwhelmingly donors to your re-election campaign?
GWB: You've got it buddy. Washington's Center for Public Integrity said 70 firms who were handed contracts gave more than half a million dollars to my 2000 campaign. Most of the 10 largest contracts went to companies that employed former high-ranking government officials, or executives with close ties to members of Congress.
A $2billion contract went to oil firm Halliburton, which used to be run by my big pal and Vice President Dick Cheney.
BR: Amazingly, the contracts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan were awarded by the White House without any competitive bids. Is that usual?
GWB: Since 9/11 we live in unusual times mah friend. I will never forget the smell at Ground Zero in the days that followed...
GWB: Hell, I dunno but it's what I always say when I get a tricky question. What was it again? Oh yeah, giving all the contracts to my backers? It's called rewarding friendship.
That's why I'm coming to Britain, because Tony Blair has been a great friend to me over this war thing.
BR: When exactly did Blair commit himself to your war? After all diplomatic channels had been exhausted?
GWB: Diplo-what? I don't understand. I won Tony over by making Congress give him a standing ovation after 9/11. I could see in his eyes he got drunk on the same power as me.
Then in April 2002, when he stayed in my Texan ranch, he told me the Brits would follow us to war whatever happened. All that UN resolution stuff was just bulls**t.
BR: Do you and Tony pray together?
GWB: Yep. Whenever we see our opinion poll ratings.
BR: Did you know there was no hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction?
GWB: Like I give a s***.
BR: Or that Saddam Hussein had no link to Osama bin Laden?
BR: Your family has links though, hasn't it? You've done business with them for 25 years, haven't you?
GWB: As my good friend Michael Moore says, the bin Ladens have extensive dealings with our friends. Friends such as Citigroup, General Electric, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and the Fremont Group.
The bin Ladens have donated $2million to my alma mater, Harvard. They own property in Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. In short, they have their hands deep in our pants.
BR: You knew Iraq would descend into chaos but went ahead regardless, didn't you?
GWB: Sure. Yonks ago, the US State Department issued a report called The Future Of Iraq after consulting with 200 experts which forecast everything from the looting to the overt hostility against us. But we ignored it 'cos, hey, whadda they know?
BR: You famously said when you gave the order to go to war: "I feel good." Do you still today?
GWB: Six months after the war the country is still without a regular power supply. Sabotage has destroyed about 700 transmission centres. The whole reconstruction effort is foundering under allegations of favouritism and corruption.
Congress has gone ape over my demand for another $87billion and more than half of Americans say they can't rely on me in a crisis.
Now I have to come to Britain to send back pictures of me looking like a world statesman when most of you Limeys hate mah guts and thousands are gonna tell me so. Would you feel good?
BR: What will you be giving Britain as a reward for our help in the war? Will you drop steel tariffs, release our citizens in Guantanamo Bay, adhere to the Kyoto Treaty?
GWB: Erm, kinda nope.
BR: You don't really give a monkeys about the rest of the world, do you?
GWB: The rest of the world just outside Texas, yep. Because I need it to vote for me. The world outside America? Uh-un.
BR: Do you have plans to liberate any other country run by a despotic regime?
GWB: Let me tell you this. If people are getting slaughtered and tortured by fanatics running nations where only cabbages or rice grow, they've got nothing to worry about.
But if there's oil there, we will unleash all of our awesome might to liberate it. And that's a promise folks.
Clearly, whatever those who protest about the protesters say in editorials tomorrow, Bush is a force for evil, not good.