The surprise resignation of the forty-third President of
the United States, George W. Bush, on the second anniversary of the
terrorist attack on America, was hailed by chiefs of state throughout
the world. Mr. Bush announced that after, "two years of bloodshed,
economic devastation, and spreading fear in America and abroad," he saw
no choice but to accept that, "I have held a title which I did not win,
and for which I have proven unqualified."
The text of the former President's September 11 address to the nation
"My fellow Americans:
I come to you tonight with a heavy heart. Two years ago today,
thousands of innocent Americans were murdered by terrorist maniacs.
In the script I've been handed, I'm now supposed to tell you that
America is safer today, and that the world is kinder and nicer and
happier, because of I'm such a brilliant general in the War on Terror.
But who are we kidding? Yesterday, Osama released his new hit video.
The terrorists are having a picnic ever since I turned over our foreign
policy to Saudi Arabia and Exxon-Mobil.
And here's the point in my speech where my handlers would have me tell
you about how I've been praying hard, making it sound like I just got
off the phone with the Lord. I don't know about you, but I find it
pretty darn offensive, downright blasphemous, to drag the Lord's name
into every cheap campaign speech and chest-pounding war threat. Osama
says he talks to God too. Let's leave Him out of the politics from now
Look, in my speech this past Sunday, I used the word "democracy" about
11 times when talking about Iraq. It's democracy Florida-style, I
suppose. Except we're not fixing the vote this time. We aren't
letting these people vote at all. "Iraqis aren't prepared for
democracy." That's what Dick Cheney and Saddam Hussein told me.
So we're blowing 100 billion bucks we don't have to colonize a country
we don't want. Rummy tries to explain it to me each morning -- oil
this and oil that -- but I just don't see it. And one of our kids dying
there every day - where are their parents, anyway? My dad didn't let
that happen - he got me out of the service. Didn't I look neat in that
And, let me tell you, I just looked at our nation's piggy bank. Uh-oh.
When I arrived, the last guy left me $4 trillion and said, "Be
careful with all that cash in this neighborhood." Well, I have to level with
you, America: it's all gone. The cupboard's bare and this year alone
we blew half a trillion more dollars than we have in our bank account.
Man, I can't believe I went through all that dough stone sober.
And what did we get for it? A Fatherland Security Department that's
trying to read the labels on everyone's underpants. Think about it,
all this Total Information Awareness KGB stuff: two years ago
Americans were the victims - but my government has made Americans the
suspects. I don't know about you, but this guy Ashcroft scares the
bejeezus out of me.
And today I'm told that over nine million Americans are out of work.
That's not so bad: I haven't done much work in my lifetime either.
But my mama explained to me that not everyone's daddy can lend them an
oil well to tide them over.
It's like I can't get anything right. The lights are going out in Ohio
and the North Pole is melting. I don't get it. I appointed all those
regulators that Ken Lay told me to, and I got rid of all the rules that
got in the way of patriotic Polluter-Americans .. and what's the
upshot? America the Beautiful is looking like she's had a pretty rough
night. Won't be long before the whole country smells like Houston.
And now the stock market's floating face down in the swimming pool --
despite everything I've done for those guys on Wall Street. Even my
plan to give every millionaire an extra million seems to have
backfired. Greenspam says I've created "business risk." Says I spook
investors. But when I asked Greenspam for a solution, all he did was
hand me a bag of pretzels.
Hey, I can take a hint. OK, I'm over my head on this one. I look back
over these last years, and what have I got to show you for it: two
years of bloodshed, economic devastation, and spreading fear in America
When I ran for this office, I said the issue was, "character." And
just look at the characters around me. I've gotten all their
resignations today. And while I've got some character left, here's my
own good-bye note too. Let's face it: I have held a title which I did
not win, and for which I have proven unqualified. You know it. And I
It's at this point in the speech where I'm supposed to say, "And may
God bless America." God better, because Dick Cheney won't. Don't
panic: I'm not turning over this sacred office to Mr. Contracts-R-Us.
Instead, I've petitioned the United States Supreme Court to pick a
President for us. Those guys picked the last one, why not the next
And so, my fellow Americans, you can take this job and .."
Here, Mr. Bush's words became unintelligible. As usual.
Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, 'The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy'. Subscribe to his writings for Britain's
Observer and Guardian newspapers, and view his investigative reports
for BBC Television's Newsnight, at http://www.gregpalast.com//contact.cfm