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Being a Poodle Is Tougher Than It Looks

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United Kingdom

Andrew RawnsleyThe ObserverBrits were appalled to learn that President Bush addresses our prime minister with “Yo, Blair,” said Andrew Rawnsley in London’s Observer. Their outrage, though, is misplaced. The truly shocking lesson of the two men’s candid conversation, accidentally caught on tape at the Group of Eight summit and replayed endlessly on international television, was that Blair actually asks Bush’s permission to travel abroad. Blair offered to head to the Middle East to start negotiations for peace between Israel and Lebanon. “Between bites on a bread roll,” Bush “casually rebuffed” Blair, dismissing him with the news that “Condi is going.” How utterly “humiliating.” Bush was only too pleased to send Blair around the world to drum up support for the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Yet evidently, when the White House decides to handle things alone, “the prime minister of the United Kingdom is grounded.” Still, the revelation of how Bush really acts does, at least, illustrate what Blair “has been up against over the past five years with this American president.” Bush is quite obviously an ignoramus. And Blair’s position as lapdog surely can’t be comfortable.

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