A tired and confused George W Bush gave a speech condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in which he blundered into what’s been described as an “epic Freudian slip” by describing the “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq, I mean of Ukraine”. This was met with laughter as he literally shrugged off the mistake in a way familiar to anyone who recalls his administration.
The once swaggering Bush, looking sadly diminished, appeared to barely have the energy to read the speech written for him, plodding through it as if for the first time, just like the old days.
While the gaffe came like the hand of God staying hypocrisy just too egregious to be allowed, the remarks leading up to it are almost as hypocritical as Bush’s miserably failed denunciation of the invasion of Ukraine.
“…in contrast, Russian elections are rigged, political opponents are imprisoned or otherwise eliminated from participating in the electoral process. The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, allowing one man to launch the wholly unjustified invasion…”
This is astounding considering the questionable nature of Bush’s own election and the fact that even absent that, he clearly does not represent the democratic process working but it being manipulated. The notion he was qualified, much less the most qualified candidate the Republicans could have produced, is tragicomic. But he also speaks after the recent election of another candidate somehow less engaged and capable even than he was.
Even if you reject out of hand that there was outright cheating in the election of Joe Biden, the vast, coordinated effort by media and powerful elites to prevent Trump’s re-election is a crime of the same order–which took place in plain sight and which was documented by a mouthpiece of that cabal in boasting fashion. This came after four years of deliberate disenfranchisement of voters by media, politicians and the intelligence community conspiring by all means available to thwart the Trump administration and its populist impulses as they produced one hoax after another, all revolving around the lie of Russian interference–a lie crucial in producing the very war Bush was obliviously denouncing.
Putin, in contrast, remains a popular president and clearly is on the side of Russians; and it was Trump’s, however inconsistent, populism–being on the side of Americans–that prompted the elite to sabotage him and institute the current era of censorship and repression of political opponents. George W Bush made his remarks while January 6 protesters sit in solitary confinement, threatened with life imprisonment; while the government attempts to bring Julian Assange to the US to jail him for the rest of his life for exposing them; while the government concocts plans for a “Misinformation Board” led by a lunatic; while the system of checks and balances itself is being trashed in the desperation of this elite to circumvent popular will.
Even the charge that “one man” in Russia is able to launch an “unjustified” invasion is less than meaningless–at least the Russians have that one man who can be held accountable. In the morass of our corrupted system, accountability is defrayed and obscured–yes, George Bush is guilty of war crimes, but no serious person should believe him to have been instrumental in originating them–no more than they should believe Joe Biden originates the policies he signs off on. Bush may be the deserved face of the crime, but it could have been anybody. Anybody of a similar lack of character and pliability. So here was the cutout for that hidden, diffuse evil, boasting of the superiority of our system.
Does he feel guilt? Has Bush, with mortality looming, finally begun to take his Christianity seriously? Does he sense divine retribution, like the Sword of Damocles, soon to fall upon his muddled head?