After reading more than a dozen articles about the failure of the U.S. to engage in the recent Kyoto negotiations in Bonn, President Jiang Zemin of China angrily called President Bush yesterday.
“Isolationism has always been our thing,” Jiang reportedly said during the phone call. “This would be like your Seinfeld saying, ‘Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’”
Bush responded with a trademark grin, at which point aides reminded him that Jiang couldn’t see him through the small holes in the receiver.
“I don’t like telephones,” Bush said.
A reporter who happened to be in the room asked the president how he felt about being “left in the cold” with regard to other nations and Kyoto accords. Bush declared that the White House would be answering no questions about the treaty on climate change.
“Is that because the administration is too busy hammering out an even ‘greener’ alternative to Kyoto,” another reporter asked.
“Precisely,” Bush said into the phone, which was now turned upside-down.
Indeed, if Jiang’s phone call to Bush says anything about perceptions of U.S. foreign policy, the White House has a lot of work to do. As head of the nation responsible for the most greenhouse gases on the planet, Bush appears determined to do some major-league hiding.
“He believes that the East — and the West — are evil,” a White House official said. “The plan is to close our borders as quickly as possible.”
Initial phases of this plan are already visible. Officials recently set up a foreign-film screening office to monitor movies entering the U.S. Smoke from a bonfire could be seen miles away, and many video stores complained that their Roberto Benigni films were missing.
“It’s not like anyone checked them out,” one clerk said.
Crackdown on Crack-ups
As isolationism goes, the similarities to China are striking.
- Just last week, a Washington SWAT team was dispatched to break up an outdoor group-exercise event — what Bush has called “a bizarre and dangerous cult.” When event organizers stated that their group was merely a fourth-grade physical education class, the SWAT captain grew enraged and kicked their bouncy red ball into a nearby thornbush.
- Before their Internet access was mysteriously interrupted, several government officials claimed in emails that the political climate was changing. Though the word climate itself was stricken from all messages — and in fact some officials reported mild electric shocks upon typing the word — it seems clear that Bush is trying to effect major changes.
- Bush would not comment on reports that he’s designing a “Great Wall” to surround his nation. ” I did not say ‘secret empire,’” Bush told reporters after signing a controversial piece of foot-binding legislation. “Notice I did not use those words, quite,” he added.
Environmentalists fear that Bush’s steps to isolate the U.S. will allow only more abuse of the country’s natural resources. One clean-air lobbyist, who asked that her name be withheld, said that she’d run into the president recently at a popular Washington restaurant. According to the lobbyist, Bush looked at her, smiled maniacally, and distinctly whispered, “Moo hoo ha ha ha!”
At least 20 other nations have vowed to impose sanctions on the U.S. if Bush doesn’t steer his country back into the international community.
“It’s such a shame,” one Chinese official lamented. “Americans make such good carryout.”