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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Bush's New Shoes (size 10)

According to the BBC reporter, Humphrey Hawksley, 'It was billed as the start of a farewell visit to help define Bush's legacy to Iraq, but turned out to be full of surprises.' That's the understatement of the year! It was great to watch the look on Bush's face when he saw the Iraqi reporter take off his shoes and throw them at him in a news conference yesterday. As they say on Anderson Cooper's show 'What were they thinking?'

Click on here for a link to the story -

For me though, it was the beginning of my day (early morning news) and probably the highlight of my day, too! As in Thailand where I now reside, taking off your shoes and throwing them at someone is considered the height of insult as the feet in Buddhist as well as Islamic cultural traditions are considered, not just the lowest part of body, which of course they are, but also closest to the earth and the furthest away from Buddha or Allah. Thus, Bush was treated with contempt by the reporter of the highest possible magnitude short of physically attacking him. A similar event was to happen a few days later in Thailand as if proof of the Thai practice of using shoes to express an opinion in a negative way - At a rally of About 55,000 people, 'An old woman was cheered as she struck the poster [of the new Thai primeminister] with one of her shoes - one of the rudest gestures a Thai can make'.

Bush's shoe thrower said 'This is a farewell gift from the Iraqi people you dog!' Then with the second shoe, 'This is for all the widows and orphans of those killed in Iraq.'

How did Bush respond? In a post shoe-throwing interview, he declares that it was funny, 'I found it amusing!' Yes, you may have Mr. Bush, but in your very last visit to Baghdad, when you wanted to go out in a blaze of glory like one of them cowboys you so admire, in them there Westerns, you wanted to stroll into Baghdad town on a black stallion, say how great things have been over the last 8 years of occupation in Iraq, and how you made that all happen, then ride out again without incident, you have been clearly told what the Iraqi people think of you. When a man of professional standing feels compelled to do something that is so out of character, he must be pretty upset to say the least; A man who was tortured and beaten during those eight years

In the same interview, Bush says (and for me this really is 'amusing' because of it's entertainment value), 'I don't know what his beef is!' Can you believe he had the gall to say that? As if every Iraqi shares his view of the situation Iraqis now find themselves in? At least with Saddam Hussein, the power was centralised and so people could more or less keep to themselves and avoid trouble on their own doorstep. Since Bush arrived most Iraqis are afraid to go outside for fear of suicide attacks or straying into gunfights with coalition forces. And he doesn't know what the reporter's beef is? Pullleeeeease!

On the same day, Bush gave a speech to the troops stationed in Baghdad. 'Thanks to you, Iraqi is now dramatically freer, dramatically safer, dramatically better'. This continual reference to drama is interesting for that's what many people believe - war is theatre, where drama continually unfolds on TV screens and newsreels throughout the world. How telling it is then later, when the Iraqi man interviewed on the street declares, 'It's true that Bush delivered us from Saddam Hussein, but now we are living in a tragedy.'


cos67 aka costick67 aka cosine67 said...

hey Tom,

I hope the media interpretation has some of your bite and precision about the interpretation so people around the world can put it into context. Of course, Bush will try to minimise the importance by asking "what's his beef?'. So maybe he's not a complete political neophyte.
keep fighting the good fight.
Tone down those eyes though, wouldya?

cos67 aka costick67 aka cosine67 said...

There have been some excellent documentaries that have shown that, bush43 is worse than Reagan with regards to how much he recognises the difference between movies and reality. Bush43 was shown to be enamoured of hollywood prototypes, but changes from white hat to black hat quite quickly. and says stuff like 'get 'em'. He is a momunental fool who was isolated from reality by his father, who got him his presidency. We'd be laughing more if the world wasn't in such turmoil. You might like to know a Nostradamus documentary said a guy with the name nabus would destroy the world in 2007. And I , like an idiot, thought well 2007 is over, so Nostro was wrong. However, economically-speaking, 2007 was the beginning of the end of Western economic life as we know it.

Tommy said...

second time around! Got chewed up before.

thanks for your comments. I hope so too! I just read an amazing essay by an NYU lady called Prof. Julia Evergreen Keefer - 'Searching for a Global Master or Meta-Narrative'.

She suggest that we need to create a new post Bush narrative structure to replace the master one that he promulgated over his presidency, the Neo con agenda basically, and that to fight the global war on terror, his arguments' premise that "You are either with the terrorists or with us. You are not with us. Therefore you must be with the terrorists" is a faulty one because it is 'a clear disjunctive syllogism'. Check it out. It's really good!

'President George W. Bush's war on terrorism, inspired by the terrorist attacks of September 11 in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, expresses a clear disjunctive syllogism, in an attempt to gain support global support for his agenda: "You are either with the terrorists or with us. You are not with us. Therefore you must be with the terrorists." A conditional enthymeme then follows: "Because the US has declared war on terror, anyone who is with the terrorists, either by harboring terrorists or by direct conspiracy, is guilty of terrorism and therefore subject to attack by the US, the world's foremost military power." This enthymeme contains the threat of complete annihilation of guilty parties, a claim of policy that would in itself, instill fear in many.'

In other words, as human with the thanatos drive that Freud and others spoke of, the human instinct to drive forward which can result in conflict, the force '...that must be catharsized and quenched in play, sport, humor and drama, instead of literally in war and violence.'

It's so good I think I am going to use some of it in my PhD.

Worth the read!