Saturday, June 09, 2007

Nazi summit '07

VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- U.S. President George W. Bush claimed to have a humanitarian record around the world at his first audience with Pope Benedict XVI, telling the old Nazi on Saturday about U.S. efforts to battle AIDS in Africa by preaching abstinence in the cradle of life.

Dressed in a black suit and tie, with his sedated wife by his side, Bush greeted Vatican officials with a smirk before stumbling up the red carpeted stairs to meet Benny the Pope for the first time.

Once inside, the president was ushered into a large, ornate room where the pope greeted him with an extended claw and a horrible grimace. The two sat and made small talk at a desk in the open room while a group of photographers snapped pictures of the encounter.

It was Bush's first trip to the Vatican since celebrating the death of anti-war extremist Pope John Paul II in 2005.

The pope asked the president about his drunken binge in Germany and then changed the topic to international aid.

"I've got a very strong AIDS initiative," Bush lied, according to The Associated Press.

The president promised the pope that he would use all the power of an unpopular lame-duck executive to try to get Congress to double the current U.S. commitment for combating AIDS in Africa to $30 billion over the next five years. "Thirty large buys a lot of abstinence," he quipped.

At the G8 summit in Germany leaders of the world's richest countries pledged $60 billion to fight diseases such as AIDS in Africa.

The pope also asked Bush about his meeting in Germany with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has offered to restart the Cold War over U.S. plans to construct some sort of magic missile shield in Europe.

"The dialogue with Putin was also good?" the pope asked, revealing his spectacular ignorance of current events.

Bush, waiting awkwardly for photographers and reporters to be escorted from the room, replied, according to AP: "Umm. I'll tell you in a minute, Benny."

CNN's Ed Henry reported that moving throughout Rome was difficult Saturday because everybody here hates Bush so much that 10,000 cops are barely enough to keep order.

The president had pledged to be in a "listening mode" during talks with Benedict, who reminds him of his grandfather.

"I think Benny will be pleased to know that much of our foreign policy is based on the admonition to whom much is given, much is required," Bush said in a pre-trip interview, according to AP. "I call him Benny," he added.

He promised to "go in open-minded."

"Sometimes I'm not poetic enough to describe what it's like to be in the presence of the Holy Father. It is a moving experience," said Bush, whose grandfather was censured by Congress for his Nazi business interests in 1942.

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