Tony Auth's political cartoon in the Philadelphia Inquirer's January 14th edition is the quintessential picture that is worth a thousand words. It tells you almost everything you need to know about the uniquely evil Bush/Cheney regime — i.e., its lies about Saddam Hussein's WMD, its illegal torture at Abu Ghraib, its illegal wiretaps, its pathetically immoral and incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, its ideological trashing of politically incorrect scientific findings, its oversight failures, which contributed to Wall Street's collapse and Cheney's devilish torching of the Constitution. Moreover, it deftly pencils in the world's feeble response to such evil: the hurling of shoes at Bush from all corners.
As such, Mr. Auth's cartoon serves as a one-stop reminder of the catastrophic Bush/Cheney "Time of Troubles" at the very moment when these swine give interviews designed to spread a final round of self-serving lies — in a futile attempt to salvage their legacy of evil. Therefore, you might want to keep Auth's cartoon by your side, especially if you plan to watch Bush's prime time farewell address tonight.
(Unfortunately, many within America's servile mainstream news media remain all too eager to spread such lies. These sycophants seem to have learned nothing from their grossly erroneous "news" reporting (actually, cheerleading) in support of Bush's illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq. Thus, they are probably beyond redemption.)
Mr. Auth's cartoon does not include the obligatory "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq banner. Which is unfortunate, because, as David E. Sanger concludes in his new book, The Inheritance, "the long-term cost of the Iraq war goes beyond the tragic loss of more than 4,000 of America's finest young men and women, tens of thousands of Iraqis, countless casualties, and the roughly $800 billion spent since the invasion. There were also huge opportunity costs. We squandered many opportunities to project American influence around the globe and lost the credibility we needed to rally the world to confront far more imminent threats to our security than Saddam Hussein's Iraq ever posed."
Finally, one might ask why Mr. Auth portrays Bush as a hapless idiot, rather than a swaggering narcissist. Surely, Bush's narcissism was the source of his hapless idiocy. Columnist Frank Rich certainly was correct when he observed: "The man who emerges is a narcissist with no self-awareness whatsoever. It's that arrogance that allowed him to tune out even the most calamitous of realities, freeing him to compound them without missing a step." Let's face it, George Herbert Walker and Barbara Bush raised a smart-assed punk and gullible Americans twice elected him President of the United States.
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But, ponder this. Twenty-seven percent of Americans still think Bush has done a good job. Who are these people? Most appear to come from one of three cohorts: the "white males," the "poorly educated," or the crackpot "biblical literalists." Presumably, many of Bush's true believers distinguish themselves by belonging to all three. (Have the religious nuts, who believed that God sanctioned Bush's invasion of Iraq, also asked themselves why God permitted such an interminable, indecisive war? Have they asked themselves why God would permit Bush to be shamed — to the delight of most of the world — by an Iraqi journalist who hurled shoes at him?) Perhaps, Hendrik Hertzberg captured this true-believing 27 percent best, as living proof "that you can fool some of the people all of the time."
If the hurled shoes represent the world's token rebuke of Bush/Cheney war crimes, the decisive electoral victory by Barack Obama constitutes the most significant rebuke of President Bush and Vice President Cheney that Americans seem capable of delivering. God knows these swine deserve much worse: impeachment, conviction, eviction from office followed by criminal indictments resulting in guilty verdicts and years of incarceration.
Nevertheless, most Americans can take solace from the thought that, in a recent poll of historians, 81 percent considered the Bush/Cheney regime a failure. Many consider Bush to be America's worst President. Moreover, when future historians judge the 43rd President and his evil co-conspirator, they'll not be able to evade the fact that something about the Bush/Cheney regime prompted millions of Americans to shatter the taboo against electing an African-American to the most powerful position in the country — rather than risk electing a Bush/Cheney clone.
Senator Obama's landslide victory, which I predicted months before the vote, was the happiest political moment in my life. Not only because it delivered a well-deserved rebuke to Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin and not only because it constituted a partial payment to African-Americans for the enormous injustices they've suffered since the 17th century. It also was my happiest political moment because it validated Winston Churchill's famous observation: "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."
From this moment forward, I bid good riddance to Bush and Cheney. I'm consigning them to the trash heap of history. You'll not see me mention their names again, until steps are taken to bring them to justice. Instead, I'll simply insert the term "swine," whenever I need to refer to these two criminals.
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA). firstname.lastname@example.org
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