"Bush, #1 Terrorist."

Bush Nation abroad

By Luciana Bohne
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"Your war is the real terror, Mr. Bush."

"Two world wars are enough."

"The world is safer without George."

"Fifty years of arrogant US foreign policy has created terrorism."

"Bush, #1 Terrorist."

These were some of the signs carried by protesters in the streets of Mainz, Germany, that repelled Bush's "charm offensive"on his recent trip to Europe. Charm and Bush just don't blend, while "offensive" hits the mark!

In a speech to NATO and European Union leaders, the Republican muscular-Christian announced a "new era of translatantic unity." What unity? Spain pulled out its troops from the Coalition of the Killing in Iraq last year; then Portugal; and the Netherlands is next, followed by Ukraine and Poland.

"Our strong friendship is essential to peace and prosperity across the globe and no temporary debate, no disagreement of governments, no power on earth will ever divide us," said our Dear Leader with impeccable cognitive dissonance. Who writes this stuff and for whose benefit?

"Temporary debate"? He calls "temporary" and "debate" the protest of millions of people who marched against the invasion of Iraq on 15 February 2003? The masses of Europe know that Mr. Bush is not a Nazi but neither was Napoleon or Gengis Khan! Yet their imperial ambitions were no less destructive than his own. While he spoke, his army in Iraq was busy bombing the towns along the Euphrates River in "Operation River Blitz." Blitz, mind you! Does he think Europeans are tone deaf? That they can't tell the tune he's whistling? "America, America uber alles"?

Then there was the obligatory appeal to spreading democracy in the Middle East. Yeah, right. The means? Preventive war, collateral damage, collective punishment, more Fallujah-like destructions of cities, foul tortures (involving—among other mentally retarded sado-masochistic, pornographic fantasies—menstrual blood, no less!), "renditions," indefinite detentions without charges, assassinations, war-profiteering, the trashing of international law, and the cultivation of worship of the leader, the folk, and their one-sided God. Such grotesque delusions may play well on Fox Channel, but they sound deranged to the survivors of the twentieth-century's wars to make the world safe for democracy!

The United States' declining economic power makes these absurd postures of heckling dominance doubly embarassing and humiliating to witness. Listening to Bush, anyone outside the range of US propaganda has got to ask: is the man a lunatic or what?

How does he propose to stop the fall of the dollar, which he thinks he controls but, in fact, is threatening to acquire a life of its own as central banks in Asia, Russia, Latin America begin to diversify their holdings and disinvest in the direction of the euro? Does this pseudo hog-rancher really think that the enfeebled American economy can be sustained by military force? Sure: buy American products or we shoot! Give us your resources or we bomb! Take your sixty-five cents' day's pay or we death-squad you and your meddling, "communist" union leaders! Is that any way to advertise a free-market economy? And, by the way, isn't the essence of the free-market economy . . . hmmm, supposed to be gun-free? Liberty, liberty—how wronged is thy name!

Does Bush contradict himself? Well Europeans might ask!

Another cracking fault line of Bush's illusory rapprochement with Europe is China, where the European Union has surpassed the United States in trading partnership. Should China switch from its holdings in dollars to euros (an increasingly appealing alternative unavailable in the past), it's doomsday for Uncle Sam: Asian central banks finance more than three-quarters of the ever-inflating US account deficit, standing at $600 billion today. So the friendship thing is basically public relations hot air. Washington fears that the increasingly tighter economic ties between Europe and China will be fatal to the US economy.

Let us not even dwell on the pathetic lecture on democracy Bush visited on Russia's Putin! The Cold War is over Mr. Bush. Hasn't anybody told you? The rhetoric is shop-worn and invalid abroad. Save it for the senile anti-communists at home and their imbecilic grandsons who may well support your sting operation on Social Security out of sheer loathing for that "Trotskyist" Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who planned to enslave Americans by forcing them to secure some government-imposed dignity via pensions in their old age.

Last we reflect on Iran, one of Europe's major economic trading partner and resource provider. While European leaders gingerly avoided confronting the Little Emperor from the former colonies on US policy, they refused to sing the chorus of threats against Iran, mumbling polite phrases about exhausting diplomotatic channels. More assertively, Putin announced the continuation of nuclear cooperation with Teheran.

So the diplomatically-challenged cowboy comes home on a lame horse, his "charm offensive" leaving bad odors in its wake, the Europeans fanning themselves free of his flatulent rhetoric. This is real political isolation—the unintended effects of a bully's former snarling which depended on his megalomaniacal assurance that his force would prevail. Iraq has gone awry. The bully stands exposed: he must be quarantined, restrained, isolated. He is dangerous but not omnipotent. He can be defeated. Economically, where he is most exposed.

And let him, by all means, like Don Quixote in his mad days, look for an "ethically adequate object"* (democracy, freedom, liberty) for his emperor-sized ambition to dominate the world, enshrined in the pastiche theories of Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and Nuclear Posture Review. While he staggers distractedly drunk with the ideological fumes of a bygone era through the corridors of an increasingly powerless power, the world will suffer his tantrums as it has always done when unilateral madmen roamed the earth—by organizing, opposing, and resisting, economically, diplomatically, and, if necessary, militarily. Herein lies the danger of this vacuous Bush—this reincarnation of the banality of evil in the last stages of its desperate greed.

* The phrase "ethically adequate object" comes from an anecdote about President Bill Clinton, which reveals a great deal about the misguided values that motivate our ruling elites. The American Shakespearean scholar, Professor Stephen Greenblatt, was invited to the White House, where Clinton disclosed that he had read "Macbeth" as a child. "Don't you think it's a play about someone compelled to do the morally disastrous?" asks the professor. "No," says Clinton. "It's a play about someone whose immense ambition had an ethically inadequate object." Impressed with this brilliant repartee, the good professor thought Clinton should have made a splendid academic critic. A little later, the professor heard Clinton on TV, praising the late King Hussein of Jordan as a man "whose immense ambition had an ethically adequate object." Stoically, the professor confessed, "It suddenly occurred to me that, although the phrase was marvellous, it was also somehow off. No one with immense ambition has an ethically adequate object. I realised [sic] that Clinton had chosen the right profession after all."

Not a bad insight: think of Bush as a latter-day Macbeth, so steeped in blood that he must look for an "ethically adequate object" through which to justify his crimes.

It works for me anytime he blathers on about freedom, liberty and democracy.


Luciana Bohne teaches film and literature at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
She can be reached at

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