It wasn’t meant to be overheard. Private luncheon conversations among world leaders, picked up by a microphone, provided a rare window into both banter and substance _ including President Bush cursing Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel.
Bush expressed his frustration with the United Nations and his disgust with the militant Islamic group and its backers in Syria as he talked to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the closing lunch at the Group of Eight summit.
“See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s— and it’s over,” Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll.
He told Blair he felt like telling U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who visited the gathered leaders, to get on the phone with Syrian President Bashar Assad to “make something happen.” He suggested Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might visit the region soon.
The unscripted comments came during a photo opportunity at the lunch. The leaders clearly did not realize that a live microphone was picking up their discussion.
Or did they? Don’t be so quick to think that Bush didn’t know exactly what he was doing. You see, diplomatically he would have never made that comment in front of the press corp. Yet this is a man who says what he believes. It’s obvious he wants Syria to get it together and control Hezbollah. Perhaps this microphone malfunction wasn’t really a ‘slip’ at all?
Still More: Bill Quick Deconstructs.