Bahrain: George W. Does a Dance

During his tour of the Middle East, George Bush came to Bahrain for a brief visit, the first of a sitting US president to the country.

Mahmood told us what to expect:

Bush is coming to town.
He’ll probably fly in on a helicopter from some big tub floating in the Gulf, that the Iranians have taken an inexplicable fancy to all of a sudden, land in the naval base in Juffair, shake some hands, visit with some illustrious personages whom he will make sure they understand that Eye-Ran is pretty bad for their survival and that of the wouurld, tell them to expand the bases and use their facilities and airspace to tame the Eye-Ranians, just a bit, like, a couple of 10,000 lbs bombs strategically targeted at military and dangerous areas.
Easy peezy. No one on our side will be hurt.
Like Eye-Rack.
In and out job. And it is predestined and ordained, as the Big Guy told him.
And then his vision of a Destruction Crescent from Palestine to Afghanistan will become reality. An area that thenceforth will become known as Bushistan.

In a jam
Most bloggers were concerned by one issue; Scarlett Cyn, an American living in Bahrain, explained:

There is a very special guest in Bahrain yesterday and today.
Pres. George W. Bush – “Dubya”. Actually, Condi is here too. … I am not overly happy with Dubya this morning. Because he personally made me 40 minutes late for work this morning. This means that my normal 30-ish minute commute took me almost an hour and a half. Never in my life would I have thought that-with me living here in Bahrain- that the President of the United States, the President of my country, could so directly effect me. But sure enough, he did.
I’m sure he didn’t really mean to do it.
But JEEZ MAN, all the freaking roads were blocked (read: blocked by police) so basically all the major highways and connecting roads in a country which is the size of WASHINGTON D.C. were parking lots… AT RUSH HOUR.

Redbelt was also frustrated; he offered an imaginative solution (to be tried at your own risk):

This morning was the most catastrophic morning commutes in a long time. My work day starts at 8, and I usually leave home by 7:30 and get there on time or 5 minutes late, tops.
So today, I get in at 9:13. … Reason one being that it rained lightly, and Bahrainis usually skate over wet roads rather than drive on them. So everyone was driving cautious like.
Second reason, the real reason? George W. Bush. … Roads were blocked all over, in an attempt (in my understanding) to funnel cars into limited routes for security reasons or to clear up certain roads for same the reasons. … George W simply screwed up our day.
Its amazing, just by being here he can screw things up! It's like he has an aura around him or something! Anyway, I suggest for such cases: A Nintendo DS. Get a good game that does not require timely responses (Phoenix Wright or Pokemon would do, since they are mostly turn based) and away you go. This method is also good for killing time quickly until Dubya's term is over.

Dancing to the same tune
During a ceremony President Bush was presented with a sword by the King of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and proceeded to dance a little in a traditional style. Ammar was thrilled:

He came and left so quickly we didn't even realize it. Well, we wouldn't have if it wasn't for the ridiculous traffic today morning! Every single road seemed to be blocked to make sure ‘the bush’ was safe, and all of us ended up at work a good hour late or so. But hey, the visit wasn't without its benefits! Just seeing Bush wiggle that sword (part of a traditional dance) with a huge baby grin on his face totally made it up for me. Seriously, it's like giving a baby a rattler for the first time.

Mahmood was equally pleased:

It was thrilling seeing Bush dancing the ‘Ardha with our king this afternoon! The guy just pulled that sword out like he was born to it. At last, though, Bush found someone to impart him some culture.

The bigger picture
SoulSearch wanted us to remember other things:

On an official visit to Bahrain, President Bush honored us with his presence and asked us “to lend a hand of peace” to Israel. Awwwwwhh, the poor threatened Israelis, who so badly need our help. They are so frightened from the God-awful naughty naughty Palestinians who keep tossing fire-crackers at their parties and ruining the party mood.
Sorry Mr. President. You've got it all wrong…
You hold the sword so well. You definitely know how to wage a war or two, or three…
Let me remind you that Palestinians have been in diaspora for 60 odd years. They have been stateless across the globe and live in tents in the Occupied Land while the Israelis continue to expand their settlements on stolen lands…

And Hayat was concerned by matters closer to home:

يا ترى هل تأثرت ميزانية الدوله بسبب التكاليف التي صرفت لزيارة بوش و الوفد المرافق الكبير “في العدد” ؟ .. و من أين اتت الميزانية بالأموال الكثيرة لبناء قصر الصخير .. و كل الأمور المفوشريه و الترفيهيه و المخمليه التي يتمتع بها الملك و افراد اسرته ليلا و نهارا .. بينما هنالك مواطنون يتمنون الحصول على 100 فلس لشراء .. جيس روتي رول او سليس
I was wondering if our country's budget was affected by Bush's visit, with his large accompanying delegation? Where did all the money from come for building the Sakhir Palace and all the furnishings, entertainment facilities and lavish lifestyle the King and his family members enjoy day and night – while there are citizens who can't afford a bag of bread for 100 fils.

Open to discussion
Desert Bloom thought the visit was important:

a lot of arabs are saying that our leaders (those countries who Bush has visited) are lacking manhood, not brave, or lack strength. Arab leaders should not meet with him and just go to war with him and the rest of the world who support him. To those people who think this way I have a question for you, Are You Serious? :S Is that what islam taught you? Our prophet 3alaih il 9alat wilsalam was the most peaceful man on earth! So why are most muslims the opposite? … If there is a chance to talk to the other side then Why Not Use It?

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