Bush’s Buddha Road Show



Today’s scheduled embrace of the Dalai Lama by George W. Bush represents a major change in foreigner policy by the White House.

Bush’s new plan: If you meet the Buddha on the road, get a photo-op with him.

That’s a shift from the Blackwater philosophy: If you meet an Iraqi on the road, shoot him.

In any case, plagued by a war that his own regime started, the president has chosen to burnish his image by meeting with a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. No, not Al Gore, who looks as if he’s won several pizza prizes since Bush’s operatives stole the presidency from him in 2000.

This Nobel winner is Tenzin Gyatso, who was proclaimed the Dalai Lama when he was only two years old and ruled Tibet until China ousted him years ago. Gyatso won the 1989 Nobel prize “for his consistent resistance to the use of violence.”

Meanwhile, China is pissed, as the L.A. Times notes this morning:

“We solemnly demand that the U.S. cancel the extremely wrong arrangements,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told reporters before the meeting. “It seriously violates the norm of international relations and seriously wounded the feelings of the Chinese people and interfered with China’s internal affairs.”

Too bad that Hunter S. Thompson, the Dalai Lama’s deceased twin, isn’t around to write about this absurd face-to-face between two spiritual leaders whose approaches to violence are so different.

Will the peace-loving Buddhist leader have any impact on Bush? It’s too late for that. The best we can hope for is that, instead of gonzo pol Karl Rove whispering into Bush’s ear, “Stick to principle, stick to principle,” this Gyatso pol will whisper, “Stay in the moment, stay in the moment.”

It would be nice if he also told Bush, “Don’t stay in Iraq, don’t stay in Iraq.”