Once Were Warriors
NY Times scribe David Sanger, on the Asian beat with the president's entourage this past week, files a report on Bush's moment of respite from the cares and worries that go with defending an unpopular war. Mongolia, it turns out, is a merciful waystation where "presidential entertainment is vivid":
As his limousine raced across the steppe, a team of Mongolian warriors - carrying spears and shields and wearing the body armor that Ghengis Khan used to subdue territory that Mr. Bush is still grappling with 800 years later - suddenly appeared and galloped alongside.
Gone from Mr. Bush's face was the let's-get-on-with-it look he had at Gigkakuji, the famed temple he visited in Kyoto, Japan. He talked with the warriors and stepped around camels and yaks to make his way into a quite luxurious ger [Mongolian domed tent]. . . . The man who once power-walked through Red Square in less than 10 minutes actually lingered.
The president grew yet more animated as the Mongol invaders explained how the doctrine of pre-emptive war was in complete accord with the teachings of Leo Strauss, and that they, too, do not torture. -- HOLLY MARTINS