George Bush, yesterday:

“I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks,” Bush said. “The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat.”

Nick Broomfield, speaking about Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer later portrayed by Charlize Theron in the movie Monster:

I think Aileen really believed that she had killed in self-defense. I think someone who’s deeply psychotic can’t really tell the difference between something that is life threatening and something that is a minor disagreement: that you could say something that she didn’t agree with, she would get into a screaming black temper about it. And I think that’s what had caused these things to happen. And at the same time, when she wasn’t in those extreme moods, there was an incredible humanity to her.

I am not implying that George Bush is a serial killer. A political prostitute, maybe, but not a serial killer. I am saying that when I hear him continue to say the Iraq war was a war of self defense, what comes to my mind is the scene in Monster where Wuornos kills the innocent man.

This guy picked her up from the side of the road just because he wanted to give her a ride. By that time, though, she has already killed several men, at least one of which was legitimately in self defense. Her own brutal history, the past killings, and the profits she took from the killings, have poisoned her mind. She really sees the innocent guy as a threat, or she wants to see him as a threat. She does all she can to convince herself that she has to kill him. Then she does.

It’s horrific because we, as rational people watching the event from the outside, know she is wrong. She has completely misread the situation. Maybe intentionally because she wants the guy’s money so she can support herself and her young lover, but she needs to soothe her conscience about the murder. Or maybe unintentionally because by that time she is nuts. But either way, without justification.

Ditto Bush on Iraq. Obviously, Saddam was no innocent victim. But Bush’s continued claims of self defense really sound like Wuornos’s. Maybe, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, he really believes he did the right thing; that Saddam was so threatening that we needed to destroy a country, destabilize an entire region, incite the hatred of the world’s barbarians, debase ourselves, and send thousands of Americans to their deaths. Maybe he does question whether the war was justified, but because his political life depends on the war, he must force himself to silence those questions. In either event, anyone with their eyes open can see that the war was a big mistake; that it is causing the dangers Bush says it was supposed to prevent; that we need to end it.

Just like Wuornos, Bush is too personally committed to the violence to objectively evaluate the situation. He needs the war to be right. If it is wrong, then so is he. Self-doubt would follow. As would political harm. He thinks his friends, the people from whom he draws strength, would reject him. Like Wuornos, he can no longer see things as they are, only as he wants them to be. So he continues on his course of destruction.

Staying the course is stupid if you are going in the wrong direction. Bush needs this to be the right direction. So for him it is the right direction, and that’s that. The rest of us have looked at the map and realized that if we don’t find an exit soon, we are only going to be more lost.   

Explore posts in the same categories: National Politics

2 Comments on “Monsters”

  1. Kathy Says:

    W is definitely missing a piece of whatever it is that makes us human. Too bad he’ll never get the help he needs. I just hope the country can still recover after he leaves office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: