Published on Thursday, October 2, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Paying for Sins Against the Father?
by Bill C. Davis
There have been theories floated that Bush Jr.’s obsession with invading Iraq had more to do with a mosaic of his father being tread on daily at the Al Rashid Hotel than it did with national security or even oil and contracts. Those theories help to complicate an already complex picture as the days and weeks go on and as lies not weapons are being uncovered.
The forces around George the son cunningly and comfortably use his pathology to advance their global architecture. This angry and cold aspect of his personality must have been the thing that recommended him to the Republican Party in the first place. The fire in George’s belly is not fueled by vision but by something more primitive, bilious and readily harnessed.
If Bush Jr. would threaten a journalist over a headline, as he did Al Hunt after Hunt predicted Jack Kemp would get the nomination of the Republican party instead of his father, and if he would invade a country because the image of his father was seeing the soles of Iraqi feet, what would he do to a country that rejected, retired and exiled his father in 1992? On some subterranean level is George the son making this country pay for what it did to his father? It wasn’t the Democrats or Ross Perot or Clinton himself, it was "ungrateful" America that humiliated his father in the election of '92 and the reflex response could be that America has to pay a price. 87 billion dollars maybe? Maybe more – some deaths – a few limbs – a pound of flesh – a trillion dollar deficit - a price has to be paid.
George has fashioned and appropriated his own definition of justice. Elimination and assassination are equal to justice in his lexicon. He and his military are not susceptible to war crime accusations. His standard of what constitutes an offense prevails and dictates action. By his own admission he lost no sleep over any of the executions carried out under his administration as governor of Texas – even a fellow born-again being executed did not wrinkle his steady brow. It’s strange even now how the weight of being a wartime president shows little sign of wear on his face. It’s the same taut countenance that ambled its way past serious scrutiny and into the presidency. And now that he controls the purse strings, the regulatory mechanisms and the military of the country that broke Bush Sr., does one wonder what Jr. is doing? Deficit, quagmire, bankruptcy, joblessness, decreasing numbers of people with health insurance, increased poverty, environmental rollbacks – is America paying a price for what it did to his father? Can Bush Jr. even know the answer to that question?
Bush has a tribal consciousness and as tribal boss he can satisfy outstanding debts by taking payment from the tribe itself. Whether consciously or not, it’s an inner imperative that he is both motivated by and helpless against. The model of “socialize the cost, privatize the profit” is well served by Bush’s internal Greek drama. It’s a public display of covert compensation. He’s entitled to do and get what he can at the expense of the offending party – that offending party being his own country. The neighbors (ie. other countries) can see it – but most of the family finds it impossible to comprehend or believe.
Former ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife are feeling the sting of the Bush brand of justice. Joe Wilson had to pay for exposing a lie. He wisely and publicly is calling massive attention to the stealth policy of payback which seems to be a deep need in the psychological economy of the inner sanctums of power as they are presided over by a son looking to avenge the political death of his father. It is perfect irony that he would compromise the ethos of the agency in which the same father invested so much of his and other people’s blood and sweat.
Even Bush Jr.’s recent challenge to journalists to come forward with the names of those who might be leaking has a sinister sort of perky innocence. It’s a dare that he knows will not be taken and he believes his open confident posture clears him. And if the offending party is found out he promises, using gangster terms, that he or she will be “taken care of.”
There is something deep and dark at the center of the shadowy labyrinth known as the Bush administration. And this center is sucking a fee from the bounty of the American people’s productivity. A fine is being levied against the voters – not only the voters that failed to elect him in the popular vote but also failed to re-elect his father.
In addition to the national anger and disillusionment that seems to be growing against the current forces at the top I see a need to be collected and organized as we try to extricate ourselves from their grip. The barbarians are not at the gate - they are well past it and they are looting with impunity. Any and all political and legal tools available to us need to be used sooner rather than later so that we can literally reconstitute our country. Maybe it will have to be election 2004 but for America’s spiritual, mental and economic health a different more pointed and democratic ejection would be advisable.
The more interest we display in the stories that expose the punitive and criminal subtext of this administration the more the stories will grow and the greater the chance that the barbarians will crack and be evicted. The media may be neither liberal nor conservative – it simply has to sell commercial space. If it knows it attracts an audience with this and other stories that expose the administration, they will press on. Tune in, click on, call in – even buy the product that is advertised after the story. Clinton’s story was juicy and many commercials were sold on the back of that tawdry tale, but still his approval ratings remained high and he stayed in power. This story needs conscious participation. Even if we say, “we know all this,” still – watch – let the media know we’re watching and we want to know every detail of the dark policies that are begging for light to be shined on them – we want the catharsis that reality TV can deliver – and they will deliver not only the catharsis but perhaps the resignations that will restore the government.
I imagine the CIA develops psychological profiles for world leaders. I don’t know if they have one for their own leader but if they do I think it would agree with the one that I’m offering here. The son must avenge his father’s fall. From the beginning the target of his vengeance has been the country he is leading.
Bill C. Davis is a playwright.