My friend Bernie says a lot of folks have George Bush figured all wrong. "Sure he lies," Bernie said, "every time he opens his mouth. But -- think about it. Even when Bush is lying he ends up telling us what he's gonna do. He can't help himself -- he just blurts it out. But by the time we understand what he's saying -- he's already made a stinkin' mess and moved on to the next one."
Bernie says he's sick and tired of Bush running crazily through Americans' lives, shouting at the top of his lungs -- "September the 11th! The terrorists are coming!" while bragging insanely about his carnivorous game plan for the entire universe. "What's the matter with the people in this country?" Bernie asked in frustration, "why can't they figure out this bozo?"
"Look, Bernie," I said, "maybe we're reading too much into Bush's psyche. He's not really that complicated. Once the corporate giants, the evangelicals and the cowardly warmongering neoconservatives had everything in place to seize power in this country and to move onto the world stage and the killing it would take to get the world population down to a manageable size so they could control its resources, they needed a front man -- a dispensable fool -- one of their own from which there would be no blowback.
With Bush, they got a 'two-fer,' I told Bernie. "Bush was not only chillingly insensitive, morally vacant, mean-spirited and incapable of regret, but because of his grandoise visions, it was easy to convince him that he was called by God and history to save, or to rule, the world.
"Remember," I reminded Bernie, "as a kid, Bush was a stubborn, spoiled brat who got his jollies by ramming lighted firecrackers into frogs' mouths and watching them explode. In college, he showed his penchant for torture when he initiated guys into his fraternity by 'branding' them with red-hot irons made from metal clothes hangers. You take a mean-spirited bully who won't compromise, won't negotiate, has no experience, no curiousity, no ability to succeed at anything, and he suddenly discovers he's the most powerful man in the world --what do you expect him to do?"
"Just what he's doing," Bernie said, "blow stuff up and torture folks. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of that bunch who like to call themselves the 'Vulcans' may be running things, but Bush is perched in the cat-bird seat, and he's where the buck stops. Just think of all the opportunities he's managed to seize in the last six years -- stole two elections, lost two catastrophic wars, created a virtual assembly line for terrorists throughout the world, and whipped up a violent civil war in Iraq. His lack of war planning and negligible troop support is directly responsible for the deaths of more than 2,700 American citizens and of untold thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians..."
Bernie paused, shaking with fury. "Do the people in this country even care about the thousands of injured soldiers and marines who return from this gang's illegal war, faced with learning to walk on metal stilts -- hug their families with metal hooks? Do they ever think of the thousands more infected with depleted uranium who will suffer the agony of long and painful deaths, the helpless anguish when, for generations, their babies are born without eyes, without limbs, and other ghastly deformations?
"Bush is drunk with power," Bernie said as he stood up and headed for the door. "He's destroyed the image and pride of our armed forces, destroyed our Constitution, destroyed three branches of government that have served us well for 230 years, destroyed the lives of countless Muslim-American citizens. He's rotted the soul of this nation, and given himself the power to rule as he pleases -- and nothing pleases him more than bloody, humiliating torture. He's not the dumb decider," Bernie added, "he's the mad destroyer."
Bernie's right. But even as everything Bush touches blows up in his face, he continues to say his will -- his resolve -- cannot be broken because history is calling, and God chose him to lead a global struggle to rid the entire civilized world of evil. Christians should remember that God does not suffer fools. Christians who can look out across the smoldering Iraqi landscape, see smoke rising from burning bodies of those who did nothing to deserve such an inhumane fate, and believe for one instant that God plays any part in Bush's greedy fantasy need to fall on their knees and beg forgiveness for such blasphemy.
Still, it's difficult to determine who's dumb and dumber here -- the American people or their foolish president. I cannot believe people don't realize that Bush gives the same damn speech over and over, word for word, and has for five years. He uses the singed flesh of the people slain on 9-11 to justify killing so many, many innocents throughout the world -- September the 11th...we're on the hunt...got the evildoers on the run...we're bringing them to justice...September the 11th...freedom's on the march...we don't kill 'em over there, they'll follow us home and we'll have to kill 'em over here...September the 11th...September the 11th...they kill without mercy because they hate our freedoms...September the 11th. His speeches are replete with hate, and with horror, fear, death, suffering, plotters, planners, and hateful ideologies..
Bush is obsessed with "September the 11th" -- so much so that he cannot force himself to refer to it as a mere 9-11. He revels in the delightful horror of that dreadful day upon which he became The Decider, the commander-in-chief -- history's most important war president. That day swept all Americans up in a state of collective insanity from which no healing process is allowed to begin. This nation's current ills -- its shame and disgrace -- spring from 9-11, and even as Bush flees from it, he clutches it tightly to his bosom. It owns him. And it will ultimately devour him.
Bush reveals the truth of 9-11 in so many ways, from body language to bungled spoken words. As recently as his Sept. 15 press conference, while belligerently demanding the right to torture and kill whomever he pleases, like some perverse imp, Bush justified torture by blurting out...
"For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping."
So we are left yet again to ponder the meaning of Bush's words while he eyes Iran and checks options on his table and paws through his tool box with the hallucinatory goal of killing his way to glory.
A fool. With a fool's goal.