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The War President

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Message Charles Sullivan
Clearly, George Bush embraces the image of being a tough, strong and decisive leader. In his well choreographed speeches he often refers to himself as the 'war president' with a cocky smirk on his face and a glint in his eye. He comfortably bandies about terms like 'terrorists' and 'protecting the American people' with reckless abandon. Evidently, Bush has come to believe this manufactured clap trap about himself. If only he were that man.

Like all things connected with the Bush regime, the reality of George Bush is the exact opposite of the image crafted by Karl Rove and his skillful handlers. George Bush has roughly the same mental capacity as the darling of the neocons, Ronald Reagan (when he was living). Even his staunchest ally, Margaret Thatcher, said that Reagan didn't "have much between the ears." Ronald Reagan was the great prevaricator. His presidency was a sham characterized by corruption and death. Like his pretend cowboy hero, George Bush is nothing more than an empty suit, as devoid of character, heart and conscience as was Ronald Reagan.

It is no accident that Bush was selected to serve the interests of empire. He is an ideal subject. Like Reagan, Bush is mere window dressing the creation of public relations firms. Frankly, the war time president lacks the mental capacity and the moral character to manage a Laundromat, much less complex US foreign policy. The people who are really running the government prefer men like Reagan and Bush. It is easy to control them men who have little intellectual capacity, no conscience, and no soul. It was no accident that Reagan was chosen to be president because of his experience as an actor. The whole of his presidency, second only to the Bush regime in criminality, was as choreographed as a Hollywood production. It was a work of utter fiction that was bought by an adoring but ignorant public.

The dwindling few who continue to insist upon defending the Bush presidency do so because they admire his perceived toughness and his apparent decisiveness. To his admirers Bush exudes the viral traits of manliness that white skinned conservatives so admire, even if they aren't real. They worship the empty suit, while ignoring the vacant man wearing it.

It is interesting that Bush's admirers, many of them stemming from the religious right, ignore the fact that Bush, with the aid of his powerful daddy, shirked his duties with the National Guard. Yet, who can forget the striking image of him landing that fighter jet on the deck of a US aircraft carrier(Bush was not the pilot); seeing him strut with purposeful and erect stride in his leather flight jacket to the microphone to proclaim victory in the war in Iraq (That too was an illusion). Who can forget the war time president urging the enemy to "bring it on" from the safety of the presidential mansion, while thousands of young men and women suffered the consequences of Bush's juvenile challenge?

Like most people born into a class of power and privilege, Bush does not have a clue about real service or real sacrifice. With silver spoon in hand, Bush deftly speaks the language of ordinary Americans, even while mocking them in his every political decision. Bush is playing his supporters for chumps even more successfully than did Reagan, whose posthumous reputation has reached mythical proportions among the appallingly ignorant and willfully misguided.

The truth is that George Bush is not the strong, tough leader that his handlers portray him to be. Bush is a moral coward who hides behind the curtain of class privilege. According to clinical psychiatrist Dr. Justin Frank (see Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President), Bush suffers mental illness that makes him delusional and pathological. This makes him incapable of acknowledging reality, admitting mistakes, and uttering truth. Bush is a man who cowers from open public confrontation and discourse. Over powered by intense anxiety, Bush is a man who comes apart at the seams in these situations. This is why the war president could not face Cindy Sheehan; nor endure the wrath of her terrible accusations against him. Rather than face his critics and engage them in verbal combat, Bush inevitably retreats to the safety of a captive military audience to state his case. Only in these carefully selected venues can the war president continue his charade of leadership and toughness. In reality, however, it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors: Bush cannot stand up to close scrutiny in spontaneous public forums.

It is important to understand that when it comes to presenting Bush to the world, nothing is real. One might also make the case that Bush's handlers are as ill as Bush himself. Clearly, they bear many of the same traits of mental illness and instability as Bush. Certainly, they are as dangerous as Bush on the world stage. To think that this horrible, vindictive little man has his finger on the nuclear arsenal is enough to scare the spots off a leopard. It should be enough to keep any sane person awake at night; or trouble their sleep with hellish nightmares of nuclear fire.

One suspects that Bush embraces playing the role of a tough heroic leader, because he is in fact anything but tough and heroic. The war president's incoherent babble about things and events he knows nothing about are as embarrassing as they are pathetic. They are reminiscent of a lonely but cruel delinquent who plays soldier; but who lacks the fortitude and courage to actually be a soldier. He had his chances but he reneged. The Commander-in-Chief isn't fit to run a hot dog stand, much less to command the most powerful military in history. This is why Bush and his illegitimate regime must be removed from office with all possible speed. Accomplishing this should be the priority of all good and decent people in the New Year.
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Charles Sullivan is a photographer, social activist and free lance writer residing in the hinterland of West Virgina.
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