Friday, September 6, 2013

Bush, painting his toenails***

Allow me a political rant.

Humor my thinking out loud, my perhaps ignorant, inchoate thoughts.

If you don't allow it or don't humor me, please have a wonderful weekend!

It's the Syria thing again -- the morass this entire country is facing, is already struggling inside of -- what to do? what to do? what to do?

I saw one of those Facebook posts the other day of a picture of George W. Bush's smug mug with the words Miss Me, Yet? and this time I actually did feel physically ill as opposed to just disbelieving. I've been thinking about how even those of us who generally support President Obama and share many of the same values disagree with his and John Kerry's decision to strike Syria. I'm thinking that at the very least if it's so imperative that we do this, if we send target missile strikes (is that what they're called?) to kill people and thereby punish the lunatic who runs the country, why is there room for discussion? If it's so imperative, why not just do it? I know. I know. Because this is a democracy and these important matters deserve discussion. I'm thinking that the time it's taking to figure it out means there's time. There's literal time to do something different, something not so wildly incendiary, so violent, so in keeping with the bravado and bluster and bullshit of the Bush administration and the decade of war that has followed.

I like this piece, written by Timothy Egan:

He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.
Read the rest here.

I imagine the President is basically damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, and I guess it's the sign that democracy is still working if he took it to Congress (although conservatives have already derailed even that, saying it's a sign of weakness). I guess debate is healthy. I've heard all the arguments for and against, but my convictions that violence only begets violence and that nothing new is under the sun and that nothing new will come of it haven't changed. I say stuff flowers in the missiles.

***I wanted a photo of one of Bush's paintings to go right up there, but every time I tried to download one, the internets wouldn't allow it which sort of creeped me out as much as the painting does. It's probably for the best, though, not to allow the crude paintings of a mediocre man and war criminal to sully this sweet and gentle place. Would that the old war criminal had stuck to painting his toes instead of conjuring death, torture and destruction. Right?


  1. This is beneath you. when You Gonna Wake up. Bushobama: Masters of War.

    1. Anonymous, huh? Please clarify: particularly about this being "beneath me." I wasn't aware that I had taken some exalted position.

  2. I don't know who Anonymous is, but I wish he or she had had the courage to leave a real name.
    And isn't that what warfare is all about- the faceless bomb, the remote-sent missile strike, the hiding of faces and the desire not to see the faces of the victims of the results of war?
    And isn't this part of the insanity? If we can't do something in person, if we can't give our name to our actions, then we know that what we are doing is shameful.
    I, like you, Elizabeth, am confused and unnerved and like you, I don't think that war ever does good on this earth.
    Yes, stuff flowers into all of the guns and the missiles. Let us finally beat our fucking swords into plowshares.

  3. I do wonder a bit what you would be saying if a "Bush" or "Republican" would be asking for the same thing that Obama is asking for. All I read is "gee, I really don't know what to think...what to do...what to do".

    1. aint for city gals: I don't think you understood what I wrote. My feelings about bombing Syria are unequivocal. I'm against it, and I would be whether it was Bush or Obama. I didn't say "gee, I really don't know what to think." "What to do, what to do" seems to be the general mood of the country right now, no? As far as you wondering "a bit" what I would be saying if "Bush" or "Republican" were asking for the same thing that Obama is asking -- well, I think McCain has made it pretty clear that they'd be all over Syria by now. I'm cynical enough to believe that their present opposition is political only -- they would never want to "agree" with Obama. I maintain that Bush's war in Iraq makes him a war criminal, and I don't think the United States has any business dropping bombs in Syria.

  4. You make a stunning point, if to strike Syria is so imperative, why discuss? First Congress criticized the president for weighing unilateral action in Syria. Now they say he's abdicating responsibility by giving it to Congress. I believe there must be pieces if this puzzle we cannot see I wondered at first if taking the decision to Congress was an out, since they would never agree to do anything the president wanted. But now I am utterly confused. All I know is that among a raft of bad choices, bombing Syrians to punish Syria for killing Syrians seems like the worst possible idea.

  5. I've been a longtime reader but have always felt awkward commenting. But, I think that your thoughts on this are what a lot of Americans are thinking. We all think that the atrocities should be stopped. I think we all agree on that. And while I know there are humans suffering in Syria, it is right to be intelligently discussing our options. My father was a career military man, but all my life our family opposed war.

    I once spent 8 hours reviewing the foreign policies of all of the countries in the Middle East for a college level political science course titled "Conflicts in the Middle East." Our country is too young to fully grasp and understand all of the historical undercurrents that influence present history. This makes it difficult for the U.S. to intervene. What baffles me is why Syria's neighbors aren't doing more to talk to al Assad or support the fighters. The refugee crisis should be enough. I don't know and I don't know.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Sarah. Your experience -- both personal and academic -- is interesting and compelling!

  6. I completely agree with you. The refugee situation is appalling, not to mention the use of chemical weapons -- but how will our bombs EVER make this situation better? We need diplomacy and international cooperation (with or without Russia), but not missiles.

    Love your use of the photo of George Harris, aka Hibiscus!

  7. Hi there, I've been reading for a while, and am coming out of "lurk" to participate in this conversation. I am against war, against a lot of use of force, and painfully aware that I have NO IDEA about a lot of things that happen, both here and abroad. A friend of mine linked the following article on Facebook and I found it very informative. Perhaps you'd like to read it as well: 9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

  8. I am with you. I light a candle daily for the people who are living in that region in hopes that some peaceful work can be started. I wish that I didn't believe that Obama is ego-driven right now to prove himself 'tough' despite being a Democrat and I hope that he listens to the will of the American people. I believe that our country has backed itself into a corner whereby we have designated ourselves the Moral Police (although John Stewart's point that killing masses of innocent people WITHOUT chemical weapons didn't seem to enrage anyone as much as when they started using chemical weapons is well-taken by me. Why didn't we draw our 'red line' at the point of killing innocents, the method be-damned?) and other countries are allowed to bow out, knowing that we will ride in on our white horse to prove our supremacy. Diplomacy is a lost art and I wish someone would revive it.

    Until then, I will continue lighting candles and talking to my children about a world where we attempt to live in peace more fervently than we 'prove our point.'



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