June 6, 2003
Bush Promises To "Ride Herd" Over Peace Meetings; Mideast Interpreters Mistakenly Fired
Some Arab Leaders Privately Tantalized By Suggestion
Israeli and Palestinian leaders could not understand one whit of President Bush's cowboy rhetoric at a recent photo opportunity cum meeting, so they fired most of their translators today, thinking that President Bush's garbled speech and strange Texan turns of phrase could only have been the result of poor translation. President Bush's most confusing statement was his recent declaration that he was going to "ride herd" over them until they came to an agreement. Virtually all of the translators involved in the meetings were fired, replaced, or suspended, or, in the case of some, summarily executed. Part of the problem lay in the fact that the Arabic translation of "ride herd" was, according to one source, "Morrocan and profane."
"He's going to what over us?" said Prime Minister Abbas. "Is that legal in his country?"
Sharon was no less startled by the remarks. "We in Israel ride many things," said Sharon, "but never that."
Some lower level Arab officials were secretly curious about the statement, saying they "were willing to try it," and that it sounded like they might "really, really like it."
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:57 PM