I have often thought about George W. Bush and about whether any of what he is doing to Iraq, to the Iraqis, to America and the demise of its constitution or to America’s young soldiers ever troubles his conscience.
I’ve wondered whether he has a soul, or whether he is a man without a soul who is endowed with the carcass of one.
Listening to Cindy Sheehan being interviewed by Amy Goodman today, Wednesday, May 30th, I got part of my answer. The answer to this, for me, came when Sheehan related that in her June of 2004 meeting with George Bush . . . “a couple of months after [Casey] was killed. . . [She and her family] tried to show him pictures of Casey when he was a baby and before he enlisted in the military, but he wouldn’t look at them. He wouldn’t even look at them. . . He wouldn’t acknowledge Casey’s name. He kept referring to him as, ‘the loved one’. . . He called me ‘Mom’ throughout the entire visit. . . He came up to me and he said ‘Mom, I can’t imagine your loss. I can’t imagine losing a loved one, you know, whether it be a mother, a father, a sister, or brother’ and before he could go on with the litany of relatives lost, I stopped him” Goodman then asked, “What did you say to him?” I said,
“You have two children. Try to imagine them being killed in a war. How would that make you feel? And he got a little bit of—just a little bit of human flicker in his eye, like he might be connected for a minute, because this is a man that’s disconnected from humanity. And he got a little flicker in his eye and I said, Trust me you don’t want to go there. And you know what he told me? He said, ‘You’re right. I don’t.’ . . .
And for a minute Cindy Sheehan penetrated the carcass of Bush’s soul finding a way into his core from which Bush revealed much more than he had been prepared to reveal. Namely, that he does have an Achilles heel, that he thinks nothing of sending other people’s children to war to be killed, mutilated, tortured or otherwise make them victims of PTSD for the rest of their lives, but to even think about the possibility that it could be one of his children out there, out in the Iraqi desert who could come back in a body bag . . . that is something that he doesn’t even want to imagine.
This exchange calls Bush’s bluff to light, in my mind, at least. The bluff in which he tells people that, “we have to fight the terrorists there so we won’t have to fight them here.” He knows that Iraq is his personal Butchery Shop from which he wants to keep his children far and away from. I mean, whatever happened to, “Honor and Sacrifice for your Country?” If he were an honest, integral person, and if indeed the United States had to fight terrorists “there” so we would not have to fight them “here”, would it not be an honor for his children to take up sword and armor to fight terrorists in Iraq alongside everyone else’s children who are fighting those terrorists there?
His admission to Cindy Sheehan, You're right. I don't” . . . also points out, like a well calibrated compass, to the reason why he has evaded Cindy Sheehan, so, throughout all of these years. She can get to him through the carcass of his soul. She can get through his mud and his lies, she can shine the light of truth in the deadness of his soul, and it can let out a little bit of human flicker if only for a minute. She can make him see the very light of his truth that he has been running away from since only heaven knows when.
He, in running away from Cindy Sheehan, is really running away from himself and from that Light of Truth from which, ultimately, no one can escape.