THANK GOD OUR PRESIDENT IS A HYPOCRITE
THANKSGIVING DEDICATION 2001
REMEMBERING PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
BY DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
Our noble President’s actions have contradicted almost every ideological principle he declared during his political campaigns. And now I am pleased to take this opportunity to say, “I told you so.”
Before President Bush was elected, I wrote, “This is one of the greatest hypocrites who ever ran for office.” Although I had written a scathing indictment to prove it, I looked in the mirror, then deleted my essay. When the President was inaugurated, I said, ” This progeny augurs ill for the world, poverty and war are sure to follow.” His adulators certainly seemed like fools to me; who needs a god in heaven when their arbitrary President is in the Oval Office? But I was told not to worry; he is a puppet, I was informed, just look at the strings. After the President held office for awhile and had changed his mind several times , swinging around to what was almost my own position on the issues, I had very little left to complain about; one day I actually publicly exclaimed:
“Thank God our President is a hypocrite!”
Because we love ourselves, we tend to ignore the hypocrisy of those we vote for. And during war, even if it is a war of our grand civilization led by the most powerful nation on Earth against a minority who violently object to being civilized, to call our illustrious Commander-in-Chief the chief hypocrite seems traitorous to that blessed unity confirmed by the polls, a unity even Adolf Hitler would envy even if it were for a good cause. Hopefully, after scanning the transcript of my unprivileged conversations with my lawyer, the military tribunal will accept my plea behind closed doors than I meant it as a compliment.
Yes, hypocrisy. And I shall not bore you with a tedious list, but shall speak to the most recent case in point. Oil candidate Bush spoke eloquently against Nation Building, yet now the President is doing just that for stateless Afghanistan. Granted, at first it was an half-hearted, foot-dragging sort of Nation Building. That is, with the exception of his military support of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, whose past atrocities, including the rape and murder of women, led to the Taliban clamp-down welcomed by the beleaguered population so desperate for any kind of order at all.
But we should not blame the President for his initial reluctance, for Nation Building was contrary to his ideology. What was he supposed to say? that the terrorist attack was a golden opportunity for neo-liberal capitalism to gather military forces and exploit the world in the united name of Civilization? to admit China into the WTO and to build that Oil Hub for pumping black gold to India and China in the glorious name of Free Trade? After all, plenty of Russian and Persian oil is available to diminish the importance of the Arab exporters who export not only oil but fund violent resistance to allied exploits.
No, no matter how dumb our President looks, looking that dumb would be stupid. He was quick to call for a popular war instead of a police action. It is a self-defensive war in response to “the attack on civilization itself.” But, true to his campaign ideology, there was to be – read his lips – no Nation Building; hence some prejudiced folks were pleased to infer that the people of Afghanistan are uncivilized therefore are not to be defended. Nonetheless, to make his propaganda more effective, the President used the persecution of the people of Afghanistan as ammunition for wiping out their oppressors, knowing full well that would only restore them to worse oppressors unless the rich and powerful leader of the world’s greatest civilization engaged in Nation Building.
When he pounded the war drum from his bully pulpit in Congress, the President spoke highly of democracy; he vehemently denounced the brutal suppression of women by the Taliban; but when he came to his conditions, he did not include civil and human rights for the people of Afghanistan, yet notable women surrounding him applauded vigorously with eyes glazed by his former eloquence.
Now that the Taliban is almost out of the way, the President has put his wife on the radio to spread the word about the abuse of women and children in Afghanistan; she asks for our Thanksgiving commitment to achieve “dignity and opportunity for women and children of Afghanistan.” But no remedy is prescribed, and one should be prescribed by the First Lady of the leader of our most advanced civilization, for the status of women is the barometer of civilization. Now Great Britain’s First Lady follows in Lady Bush’s footsteps. The first ladies are evidently paving the path for the first men, perhaps preparing us to put 50,000 peacekeepers or more on the ground for a generation or so. And now Colin Powell is on television extolling Free Trade and our Second Priority: Nation Building in Afghanistan.
Well, now, the President has reversed himself to my position again, to accomplish what two competing universal ideologies, Islamism and Communism, have failed to accomplish in Afghanistan: enduring social justice. But is Organized Greed willing to pay the price? For whether Greed likes it or not, its organizations must pay or eventually perish.”Your money or your life,” is poverty’s caravan creed. Wallow in your wealth and pay only lip-service to God if you will, provided sufficient poor tax is paid.
Now I pray for a Sufi miracle in Afghanistan, because, you see, the President’s original position against Nation Building had some merit, merit amply supported by the history of the human race. In this case of Afghanistan, where people have been living for 50,000 years, modern and ancient problems reside. Fundamental Islam is theocratic, and owes no absolute allegiance to secular political authority. And it hates with a passion infidel troops between its Muslims and God, the one and only god. Before universal Islam united tribes in jihad against infidels, tribes and their branches were loyal to themselves only; intertribal affairs were regulated by complicated laws of blood feuding. In many cases in the rugged mountains, Islamic comrades fought together as brothers, but when the battle was over they could be seen fleeing from one another lest some old score be settled. After one great jihad organized by the Naqshbandi Sufi order in Dagestan and Chechyna during the nineteenth century, the mountaineers reverted to the traditional ways of original “group feeling” abhorred by fundamental Islam, and spoke of the jihad period as “the Time of Shar’ia,” of Muslim law.
Yes, indeed, we are playing with holy Fire in Afghanistan, where Zoroaster is said to have realized the difference between Good and Evil as he gazed into Fire and concluded Evil is not simply the absence of Good but is the twin and independent enemy of Good. He who ignores Evil is good for nothing.
Hypocrisy is the underlying crisis of human existence found in every abode including my private Faustian study. Empirical existence demands a pragmatic approach to changing circumstances, and resists a universal order except in times of war; for such an order is a response to fear and can only be imposed by force or the threat of same, say the wrath of God which is quite hellish in fact. But we have high hopes for the reverse side of hate. I mean Love, and in all its multitudinous forms. May each have their own love and be content. Therefore once again I pray for a miracle in Afghanistan and say:
“Thank God our President is a Hypocrite.”