No President Wants to go to War
For Once, Let's Give Him the Benefit of the Doubt
by Joaquín Ramón Herrera
"No president wants to go to war."
—George W. Bush, White House Occupant
One day we will realize that Bush was far more honest to the public than we gave him credit for. True, he is delusional and deadly, but when he speaks to you and tells you things like "we won't cut and run on my watch," he means it. He means that as long as you are afraid to impeach him, he will keep his war going. And no matter what happens to our troops, he will keep them in harm's way. That is just who the man is, and he tells you so.
When Bush says "I get up every day and think of how to protect America—every day" he means it. The first thoughts in this man's dawn-pure mind are not of sunrise, calm, or the simple, nameless thrill of gratitude for one more day alive. The first thoughts in this poor man's mind are those of death, bombs, spies, and lurkers. The lost soul is paranoid, terrorized, and exists in an utter state of negativity. He projects his inner chaos upon the world, and magnifies what is there by horrifying degrees. George W. Bush's vision for the future is one of fear, martial might, and unchecked Executive power. Sound familiar?
When Bush implies with his banners and speeches that the Mission is Accomplished, he means it. He has achieved what he set out to achieve. He walks with the pride of a man who has reached his goals. He wanted to stage a hostile takeover of the America Corporation Conglomerate, and he did. He wanted to steal the election, and he did. He wanted to Bomb Iraq before he ever wedged his Connecticut-Cowboy posterior into the throne, and he did. In fact, Mister Bush does whatever he wants. Just like the little, spoiled, rich boy that he always will be.
When Bush says that he has been spying on Americans, and that he intends to keep doing it, he means every word. Nothing he signs, nothing Congress says, and nothing you type into your little keyboard or fax to your Senator will change that. He intends to keep doing it, and he will.
When Bush tells you that he doesn't feel he has to answer to you, that he doesn't pay attention to the polls, or that he doesn't feel Congress' approval is necessary, he means it. He does not see himself as a "President." The man has no respect at all for the office of President. He has no Old Glory sewn into his soul, no shining Ideals behind his battallions. Despite his empty rhetoric. Those are just soundbites for the camera and the history books. Those words are advertising. To Bush, this game is just one more company to be milked, one more deal to be bilked, one more gambit to be run. His sunbeam rug holds more reverence in his heart than do the near-sacred walls and traditions of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When Bush says that God told him to bring Freedom and War to the Middle East, he means every word. When he talks about the Bad Guys (I thought we stopped talking like this in grade school) and the Evil-doers, he is not using shorthand. He perceives in shorthand. And if we choose to ignore the language of Crusade, Cleansing, and Inquisition, we should not blame him for our trepidation. He is not afraid to confess to slightly deranged cognitive processes, why on Earth are we afraid to confront them?
Let's not misplace our anger. Let's not get riled when the man asserts that "no president wants to go to war." I think we can all agree on that! No president does. What harm is there in Bush saying what we all know to be true? Bush, who was never legally elected, is not our President. He is the self-authored sequel to the Nuremberg Trials. And he has always wanted to go to war. In fact, it is the only thing he wants to do. This is why his "Presidency" will see war after war after war, if we remain docile. Iraq will not be the end, nor will Iran. I promise you. This man needs war like a junkie needs a fix. In fact, war is George W. Bush's current drug of choice, to use the proper parlance. Why would he drink? He's moved on to murkier spirits.
Don't get me wrong: Bush lies. In fact, one could safely say that Bush is a lie, such is the screaming paradox between who he purports to be by design, and who he is by deed. As we all know, a man is judged on his deeds. The problem is not that Bush lies. The problem is that we let him get away with it. The Press, Congress, and far too many who have power accept what he does because either they, too, see through a lens of fear, or because their cake is sugared with Bush's shrapnel.
But again: let's not pin too much hostility on Mister Bush. He is usually telling us his truth. We are afraid to hear it for what it is. But at least he is gracious enough to swagger and preen, in recognition of his feat. I suppose it is the only form of gratitude this man is capable of communicating sincerely. At at least he doesn't hide his happiness.
And after all, you have to admit: You may not like war without end, spying on citizens, the negation of our most beloved ideals, or torture, but at least you know that George W. Bush stands for it.
Joaquín Ramón Herrera is an author and illustrator by trade, a rebel at heart, and a fugitive from the iron claw of ennui. You can delve deeper into his brand of hyperreality at wreckingboy.com, Lookingglass, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, and Escaping the Frame.