Bush Did What He Thought Was Right

Saying Bush did what he thought was right is weak. Psychos hear voices and do what they think is right too. So does every extreme fanatic, self-indulgent rich person, capitalist and general, bigot and Moonie. Bush lied, he knew it, and he took the country to war. He may have thought it was right but not so right that he explained it to his subjects—oops, I mean the citizenry— and not right in the sense that he offered a moral case for it; just vivid images to invoke fear and vague references to our way of life and democracy and so on. So beyond the supreme leader thinking he was right, how do you justify invading a country that was no threat to the US, had no connection to the thugs who attacked here, had no WMDs? How do you justify occupation and the murder of tens of thousands of innocents? Torture and mass imprisonment? The spending of billions on a war-of-choice? Think about it—don’t drink the Kool-Aid Bush is dishing out while you’re thinking— and then think of the implications: if WMDs is a reason to invade, for example, then on to Israel, India, Pakistan, France, Korea, China and, of course the biggest threat of all, and the only country to have actually dropped a nuke on a bustling city, the US itself.
And think about the question of having a mind of your own. True, no doubt,  but to be sure you have one of those minds-of-one’s-own it’s worth asking yourself what has influenced, nourished and challenged you, what the range of sources of knowledge and inspiration is, who you know and the experiences you’ve had. Whatever they are, what is your plan to expand and extend? What do you want to read? What conversations and experiences do you want to have? What borders do you want to cross, what pilgrimages undertake? As above, junkies and lunatics can feel super-free and think they possess those minds-of-our-own, but we might question that condition as sufficient.
There’s a wonderful scene in the film LIFE of BRIAN where a reluctant messiah calls down to the crowd, and everything he says gets parroted back. No, no, he says, You have minds of your own, and they all answer, We have minds of our own. One guy in the crowd says quietly, Funny, I don’t think I have a mind of my own, and those around him say brusquely,  Shut up! You have a mind of your own!

One Response to Bush Did What He Thought Was Right

  1. tamarika says:

    This is an important post. As always, you challenge me to think more deeply, critically and honestly.

    I have been working on this topic not only politically, but in how I came to “be me” at all … I mean: the “mind of one’s own.” These past few years I have discovered how much of my ways of thinking or seeing myself has been influenced by the opinions of others. Being critical of my political own mind seems to have been easier than my personal.

    Bill, how exciting to discover your blog!

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