On bearing witness
George W. Bush at a press conference Aug. 8, 2006:
"You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists."
Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America" March 18, 2003:
"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
It has been said that George W. Bush takes after his mother. I am not a psychologist and I won't pretend to understand this strange lack of empathy that they share for others.
But read President Bush's quote again: "You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists."
What he does not say is "Nobody wants innocent people to die."
He does not say it because the loss of innocent life apparently is not important to him. What is important is that nobody sees it.
This is more than just semantics. Tens of thousands of Iraqis who never had anything to do with the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, Saddam Hussein, terrorism, crime of any sort, have died in Bush's illegal, unjust and unnecessary war.
It is the loss of innocent lives that is appalling. Americans should see the results of this tragedy. Then perhaps people would be less eager for war, less eager to seek military action against Iran. If people saw the results of war on their televisions -- not the far off drifting smoke from distant explosions, but the horrific results -- perhaps people would support diplomacy and negotiation at every opportunity and war would be seen only as a failure of effort and not a cause to support.
Despite the war not being seen in all its graphic horror, Americans have turned against the war. Of course President Bush (nor his mother) does not want us to see the casualties. Because if we did, we'd see how much of their blood covers George W. Bush's hands. And the stain of innocent blood can never be washed clean.
To his crimes, we should all bear witness.