It goes a bit like this:

Americans are fat people with hunting rifles in enormous cars. They are led by a rich idiot cowboy who would rather drive his gas-guzzling cavalcade over the supine bodies of his country’s underclass than sign binding agreements with other peace-loving nations. They make vulgar films, which they force upon us like their greasy fast food and corporate rock. They send billions looted in their Third-World imperialist adventures to support the apartheid regime in Israel that cages the Palestinian people who only wish to be left alone to tend the fields they have cultivated since the dawn of time. They had 9/11 coming to them, the bastards.

Most people who express sympathy for “militants” have never bothered to read their public pronouncements. Most people who express antipathy for George Bush have never even skim-read one of his speeches.

I hate going back to primary sources. They are always a fag to track down, sometimes they have to be photocopied expensively by the British Library, and when you find them they can be verbose and painful to read. (Step forward, Charles Darwin.) Because it is difficult to read primary sources, often scholars don’t read them. Because they don’t read them, they use secondary or tertiary sources to inform their judgements. Because the secondary or tertiary sources are frequently wrong or biased, those scholars’ judgements are frequently wrong or biased.

In these important times you can inform your own judgements about World affairs by reading cartoons like this (easy) or by reading speeches like this (difficult). (At least you didn’t have to order it from the British Library.)

In the latter, an address made by George Bush in Whitehall, there is self-deprecating humour, an acute awareness of the state of the nations, and of their people’s perceptions of the speaker. Of course there is also a nice Bushism:

The second pillar of peace and security in our world is the willingness of free nations, when the last resort arrives, to retain [sic] aggression and evil by force.

Most importantly the text contains a profoundly radical admission that U.S. foreign policy must change. Bush implies that there will be no more sons-of-bitches representing Anglo interests in the un-free world, well, not American ones, anyway. Read the words of the idiot cowboy (though I’m not naïve enough to believe he wrote them with his own soft hand), then go back to the cartoon and ask yourself who lives in a bubble.