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George Bush - Forgive Him, For He Knows Not What He Does - Articles Surfing
I am a patriotic American. Politically, I consider myself slightly to the right of center. But if I held George Bush fully responsible for everything he has done, I'd consider him a war criminal. The only reason I don't see him that way is that, after watching him, I have concluded that the man is simply unconscious. There's nothing unusual about that - in fact it's quite a common condition. Indeed I wonder just how much I am unconscious of. After all, we can't be aware of what we're unaware of, if that makes any sense. In my humble opinion, this is what is wrong with W:
1. He is utterly blind to his own unconscious motivations
George W. Bush invaded a sovereign nation that no longer posed a threat to the United States - in order to prove he was as much of a 'man' as his daddy. The pattern was established long ago - why do you think he got into the oil business? I honestly don't think he realizes it. We all deceive ourselves sometimes - at least those of who have an emotional investment in thinking of ourselves as good people. But thinking of yourself as good doesn't make you good anymore than sticking feathers up your tail makes you a chicken.
Suppose I want to do something bad that will gain me some perceived benefit. The cost of that benefit will be to abandon the idea that I am a good person. This presents me with a dilemna - I must either give up the benefit or give up my good opinion of myself. But wait - there's a way I can keep both! Just come up with a bogus justification for my bad action and then work really hard to convince myself that it's true. After all, how can God fault me when I'm so sincere? We can deceive ourselves just as easily as we can deceive others.
And so presto - Iraq was suddenly filled with Weapons of Mass Destruction. And if none were found later - "hey, I 'genuinely' believed they were there, so the Man in the Mirror is still a good person. Besides, we're already out there now; we might as well 'stay the course'." It is only because I prefer to give W the benefit of the doubt that I consider him too unsophisticated for this kind of unconscious bargaining with God.
Afghanistan I can understand. But Iraq? How quickly the lessons of Vietnam have been forgotten! My government seems to have a memory little better than that of the average goldfish.
2. He is indifferent to the suffering of others
John Hinkley shot the President of the United States to impress a girl. George Bush killed 600,000 people (and counting) to impress his daddy.
According to yesterday's headlines, Saddam Hussein looks to be Number 600,001, and I for one will not shed a tear over him. But most of the others, being fellow human beings, were worthy of more tears than I have in my head to cry. How does God bear it all?
JFK was America's first Television President. When 'W' was growing up 'Pong' hadn't even been invented yet, but he is nevertheless America's first Video Game President. Previous war presidents aged decades while in office, but W seems good as new - apparently the deaths of over half a million people doesn't keep him up nights. This is no strength - it's weakness. It's easy to deal with the deaths of that many people when it has no more significance to you than PAC Man eating 600,000 dots. It amazes me how anyone could be so detached from such an ocean of suffering. Is this man awake or asleep? I fear that events that are soon to take place will cause history will judge the invasion of Iraq to be a foreign policy mistake of historic proportions, along the lines of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
I suppose I am asking for it by criticising my government so harshly while on foreign soil. But allow me an answer: I love my country, but I fear my government.
I reckon you can't get much more American than that.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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