Since he truly cares not a whit, let’s plan a real tone deaf legacy tour for George Bush and the team. The only thing missing from the current trip is bomber tour jackets made by Bangladeshi school children earning $1 a week in wages. Is it possible for one man to have so little sensory acuity and such immense tone deafness that he cannot even know that displaying the heel of a shoe in an Arabic nation is the lowest of possible insults? Yet there was smiling George joking about shoe size (“All I can report is it is a size ten.”) just moments into a victory speech a local Iraqi journalist found insulting to the max.
So as a public service, he’s not going to care anyways, we here at the UK Progressive/Vadimus Post wish to offer a set of victory tour destinations W can fly over and visit on his return trip to the White House for the last 36 days.
Mystery destination 1 – The Supremes: while I am sure he would love for Diana Ross and Co. to serenade him in the East Room, we’re talking a victory lap up the steps of the Supreme Court building to thank the boys and girls there for giving him the seat in the first place? Where would we be without that historic decree on 13 December 2000 that stopped the Florida ballot recount and awarded him the Presidency? Maybe they’ll even let him wear one of those funky ceremonial black robes? Take a spin in the Chief Justice’s chair? Play with the gavel?
Destination 2 – a trip to beautiful Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: here he can relax in a 17×17 cellbox overlooking the beautiful warm crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. While there he can take in the amazing torture tour where he’ll see the secret Gitmo waterboarding room, experience real sleep deprivation like those terrorist limo drivers and listen to non-stop head banging music for hours on end causing prisoners to literally go insane. It is the wildest ride on planet W.
Destination 3 – Return to Baghdad: where we’ve pimped out a special armoured tour bus just for you so you can visit the square where Saddam Hussein’s statue was toppled, check out the palaces where troops billet and on your magical bus tour include an evening stay-over in Abu Ghraib prison. That’s the place where US troops guarding Iraqis released dogs, stacked them like cordwood, defaced the Koran and electrocuted their genitalia. Your trip will resume in the morning with a visit the staff of the ancient and famous oil ministry building your troops preserved while looters raided priceless artefacts from the museum. I know you think the earth is only 2,000 years old and was intelligently designed, but there are more than a few of us who believe Baghdad was the cradle of civilisation at the intersection of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, now dead and filled with nuclear and conventional arms waste.
Destination 4 – The Naval Observatory: there you can spend a few hours in the residence of the most powerful man in government, Dick Cheney, your co- (errrr) Vice President. They used to say behind every great man stands a woman, in this case your shadow was Dick. No one shredded the Constitution better and so easily cut the spine out of Congressional Democrats and Republicans alike. When done there you can pop over to the steps of the Treasury Building with your sidekick Lurch (that would be Hank Paulson) smiling for a photo op in front of the building you used to save bankers but not autoworkers or the economy.
Destination 5 – A Waziristan fly-over: here you can train your field glasses on the caves housing that noted criminal, “wanted dead or alive” for seven years, Osama Bin Laden and his vast Al Qaeda network. You can tell us now, you never really wanted to catch him because that would mean you could no longer whip us into a fear frenzy and suspend civil liberties. So you owe him a debt of gratitude for staying in seclusion, finding an extension cord long enough to provide kidney dialysis and broadcasting satellite videos periodically you never could pinpoint despite owning the best equipment in the world for that sort of thing. Without him little things like the Patriot Act, wiretaps on US Citizens and extraordinary renditions could never have been possible.
Destination 6 – Dubai and Riyadh: here you can touch down and receive that hero’s welcome you so want and need. US petrodollars have helped to re-shape the Dubai skyline and your special relationship with the Saudi Royal family goes back to your Dad. They love you there and the consulting contracts awaiting you in 36-days will make Slick Willie’s post-Presidency $100 million look like the chump change it is.
Destination 7 – a spectacular fly-over over the nation’s National Parks and mountaintop mining sites. There you can see first hand the effects of your last minute EPA regulation gutting. You can watch water run-off, see for yourself increased arsenic levels in drinking water, even drive the first stake into the ground for mining next to Yellowstone, The Grand Canyon and Yosemite.
Finally on your arrival back to Andrews Air Force base, your motorcade will be held up by a deadly accident on the DC Beltway caused by an exhausted truck driver in his 11th hour of driving wiping out a bus filled with your arriving dignitaries staying at Blair House and preventing President-elect Obama from moving in and starting his daughters off to a ‘normal’ White House life at their new school. Justice, poetic or otherwise, has always been in short supply under your Administration.
My last tour stop is an as yet unscheduled one you will probably have to wait a bit to see. That would be a lifelong stay in a cell in The Hague’s prison at Scheveningen next to General Radic as you await trial for war crimes and Geneva Convention violations against torture.
The only joy I feel about this tour is that you may never get to use your shiny diplomatic passport again, as you will be a virtual prisoner inside the US, for fear of arrest by governments not tying their hands behind their back to avenge the last seven years in Iraq and otherwise.
No, I take it back. There will be unbridled global joy on 20 January 2009 at noon EST. Make no mistake, those will not be cheers of congratulation sir, they will be cheers because your reign of terror has finally ended.
Denis Campbell is a US journalist based in the United Kingdom. He contributes to newspapers and magazines, is a BBC Radio election commentator and publishes the daily e-magazine The Vadimus Post from the Latin Quo Vadimus – where are we headed and do we know why?
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