Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just Try Harder

I never thought I would say this, but I'm starting to feel sorry for George Bush.

Truthfully, the guy irritates me and always has. His rather silly, empty face. His undeserved privilege. I knew a lot of rich kids at uni, guys who rarely did any work but whose families always pulled them through. It's annoying. It really pissed me off when he started a reckless invasion, posed on an aircraft carrier and then cut entitlements for veterans. Plus, my Big Dude's PTSD got much worse when the Iraq war started and he really hasn't recovered since. Thanks for that, George.

But now, of course, I am feeling a bit sorry for him and all the haggling over his latest plan for Iraq.

My Big Dude can hardly restrain his bitter laughter about all the talk of simultaneously sending over more troops while relying more on Iraqi forces. American boys (and girls) shouldn't be doing what Iraqi boys ought to be doing? Somehow, he seems to have heard that song before.

But there is something that is stopping me from open and even bitter mockery. Something he is trying to do that secretly appeals to me. And not just because it really was a noble ideal to try to bring democracy to the Middle East, however many other motivations existed. Really believe in what you're doing? Staked everything you have on it? Still struggling and failing? Then try harder. Do more. You just haven't done enough.

Never mind how ill-conceived the whole thing was from the beginning. Never mind that trying harder is just throwing good money (and good lives, good money, good intentions, the welfare of your own nation) after bad.

There is something sort of dumb and well-meaning and hopeless about the whole thing. Something I recognise in myself. Something that is stopping me from gloating about his difficulties, no matter how much I would like to see him out of power and some sanity restored.

Poor guy. Sometimes I think I know how he must be feeling.

Was Iraq ever really a nation? A nation is, the theory goes, a kind of "imagined community". Most of us will never know most of the other people in our nation, but we perceive ourselves to be part of the group, based on commonalities like language and (often untrue) stories we tell about ourselves, our history and our culture. Can the people of Iraq, made out of communities forced together by the western powers and then by a tyranical megalomaniac, ever imagine themselves as one group? Do they really even want to?

Iraq is reminding me more and more of the former Yugoslavia: a federation held together by a military strongman, whose apparent unity obscures the reality that it only exists because one group is able to dominate the others. Take away that strongman, undermine that domination, however flawed, and what happens? Fragmentation. Neighbours slaughtering neighbours. Hating each other more because of that forced intimacy. No daydream of an imagined community. Just a nightmare.

It's also reminding me of that old joke about pessimists and optimists. The pessimist thinks that things are so bad, they can't get any worse. The optimist believes they can.

6 Comments:

Blogger oldbear said...

Hi Emily, no need to feel sorry fo rthis lot. trust me, there is not an altruisitc bone in W2's body. Same fo rmost of his close associates. For more information try the book bBush on the couch, or Fiasco by Thomes E Ricks.

They all showed their their true colors in teh 60s when they avoided combat.

They did not switch to democracy as a motiove until 2 or 3 other things proved to be false.

The president is a bad man wiht bad intentions. I used to be an ardent supporter/defender of him, bu tcareful examinatin of the facts precludes any othe rconclusion.

About th eonly substantial things I can say in his defense is that he ahd a terrible childhood, and his parents never made him fix any of his own messes.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Fusion said...

Even the most arduous supporters in my family and my friends have just given up on the man. Pretty sad, as I think he wanted to help. But the good ol boy businessman in him always kept coming out. Americans better check out the best democrats in the running, because I don't think there's a snowballs chance in hell of a another republican president.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Satan said...

I have nothing good to say on any subject you've written about here sooo . . . . Happy Friday! And have a great weekend, darling!

5:51 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I just hope and pray the damage that has been done can be repaired. When I think of the balloon of billions in tax breaks we would see in a few years I just shudder. Can anyone be so irresponsible? So inclined to help a few at the expense of many? Well the last 7 years have taught me the answer is yes, absolutely...

9:12 AM  
Blogger LePhare said...

I still recon he thought he was completing what daddy started. Taking care of family business. I'm sure he thought it would be like France in 1944, people throwing flowers to a liberating army. They are throwing something...... but not flowers.

3:26 PM  
Blogger hasarder said...

His rather silly, empty face.

That's what strikes me most about him. He seems a bit simple.

But I don't feel sorry for him. Not one bit. He may be simple, but we can't afford that level of ignorance and stupidity in someone who affects the world so much.

7:33 AM  

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