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Bush's Reaction to War
By Vincent Bugliosi
How has George Bush reacted to the hell he created in Iraq, to the thousands of lives that have been lost in the war, and to the enormous and endless suffering that the survivors of the victims -- their loved ones -- have had to endure?
I've always felt that impressions are very important in life, and other than "first impressions," they are usually right. Why? Because impressions, we know, are formed over a period of time. They are the accumulation of many words and incidents, many or most of which one has forgotten, but which are nonetheless assimilated into the observer's subconscious and thus make their mark. In other words, you forgot the incident, but it added to the impression. "How do you feel about David? Do you feel he's an honest person?" "Yeah, I do." "Why do you say that about him? Can you give me any examples that would cause you to say he's honest?" "No, not really, at least not off the top of my head. But I've known David for over ten years, and my sense is that he's an honest person."
I have a very distinct impression that with the exception of a vagrant tear that may have fallen if he was swept up, in the moment, at an emotional public ceremony for American soldiers who have died in the war, George Bush hasn't suffered at all over the monumental suffering, death, and horror he has caused by plunging this nation into the darkness of the Iraq war, probably never losing a wink of sleep over it. Sure, we often hear from Bush administration sources, or his family, or from Bush himself, about how much he suffers over the loss of American lives in Iraq. But that dog won't run. How do we just about know this is nonsense? Not only because the words he has uttered could never have escaped from his lips if he were suffering, but because no matter how many American soldiers have died on a given day in Iraq (averaging well over two every day), he is always seen with a big smile on his face that same day or the next, and is in good spirits. How would that be possible if he was suffering? For example, the November 3, 2003, morning New York Times front-page headline story was that the previous day in Fallouja, Iraq, insurgents "shot down an American helicopter just outside the city in a bold assault that killed 16 soldiers and wounded 20 others. It was the deadliest attack on American troops since the United States invaded Iraq in March." Yet later in that same day when Bush arrived for a fund-raiser in Birmingham, Alabama, he was smiling broadly, and Mike Allen of the Washington Post wrote that "the President appeared to be in a fabulous mood." This is merely one of hundreds of such observations made about Bush while the brutal war continued in Iraq.
And even when Bush is off camera, we have consistently heard from those who have observed him up close how much he seems to be enjoying himself. When Bush gave up his miles of running several times a week because of knee problems, he took up biking. "He's turned into a bike maniac," said Mark McKinnon in March of 2005, right in the middle of the war. McKinnon, a biking friend of Bush's who was Bush's chief media strategist in his 2004 reelection campaign, also told the New York Times's Elisabeth Bumiller about Bush: "He's as calm and relaxed and confident and happy as I've ever seen him." Happy? Under the horrible circumstances of the war, where Bush's own soldiers are dying violent deaths, how is that even possible?
In a time of war and suffering, Bush's smiles, joking, and good spirits stand in stark contrast to the demeanor of everyone of his predecessors and couldn't possibly be more inappropriate. Michael Moore, in his motion picture documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, captured this fact and the superficiality of Bush well with a snippet from a TV interview Bush gave on the golf course following a recent terrorist attack. Bush said, "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you." Then, without missing a single beat, he said in reference to a golf shot he was about to hit: "Now watch this drive."