Monday, October 9


So North Korea has called Bush's bluff. I wouldn't suggest that this is not an ominous development, but really, is it any wonder that nations feeling threatened by Dubya's cowboy "axis of evil" rhetoric would fail to take note that the U.S., under Bush, has invaded two non-nuclear nations yet developed a "hands-off" policy towards nuclear-club members such as Pakistan and India?

You'd think that any afficionado of old Western films (and Bush certainly seems to have made a fetish of adopting the tough-guy posture) would have picked up on two of the most popular themes.

There is the quick-draw artist who has realized the fact that his youthful ambition, and ensuing success, have earned him a place as the target for any gunman hoping to establish a reputation. (Think the late-great Glenn Ford in The Fastest Gun Alive.)

Then there is the arrogant, boastful, threatening gunslinger who is always shot dead in the last reel. It is the noble sheriff who only picks up his gun as a last resort, and then walks away from the carnage resolving "never again" that is the hero.

But, no! George W. Bush has somehow convinced himself over the years that a "tough guy" (rhetorically, since he never, ever had to personally face a physical threat), a man-boy who could goad his own father after a drunken car crash, “I hear you’re looking for me. Do you wanna go mano a mano, right here?”) image suits him, and the nation, better than the deliberative policies of his father. Of course, the consequences of his policies, his actions, have not affected him personally. He has no children at risk in Iraq. He will retire in two years to his beloved Texas ranch, where he can clear brush to his heart's content, guarded and served by the Secret Service. He will always have the money to do whatever he pleases. He can die still believing that history will regard our current crises as "a comma" and that he will be assessed as a resolute leader (which is all he cares about).

And you know what? His father and mother are his biggest enablers. Despite what we see and know, you'd better not criticize their darling son to them!

Anybody else longing for the relative peace and prosperity of the Clinton years?

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