But He Is A Moron!
) – Françoise Ducros, director of communications for Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chretien, said in a private
conversation that Mr. Bush was a moron for the way he pushed his obsession over Iraq at a NATO meeting in Prague that
had other, important issues to treat. Most informed people on the planet would classify her observation in about the
same category as "sugary cereal makes a terrible breakfast," but it is so rare to hear even the slightest truth
expressed regarding America's pathetic chief executive that a bit of a flap has arisen.
This happened only because her private remark was reported by a newspaper founded by Canadian press baron, Conrad Black,
a man who gave up his citizenship in order to accept membership in Britain's House of Lords, something which enables him
to pontificate in neo-gothic halls while costumed in a sweeping scarlet robe topped with puffs of white fluff. But his
good works in Canada continue behind him, and the absurdly-biased paper he founded, The National Post, goes right on
doing its duty - in this case, the reporting of an unmistakably-private remark just to embarrass Canada's Liberal Prime
I don't know what it is about the "neocon" crowd, perhaps it is their affinity with the flaky religious right, perhaps
it is stunted emotional development, but they have this urge to crawl about sniffing into the private affairs of others.
They sniff around bathroom stalls, under beds, or into the soiled contents of laundry hampers on their quest for
suitable political material - the absurd impeachment of President Clinton being the century's greatest product of their
A stain on a dress, a few weasel-words by a President, naturally enough, anxious to avoid embarrassment, and voila, you
spend a hundred million dollars, tie up an entire nation for months, and publish as official government documents,
available for any young child to read, words and descriptions best suited to the fiction genre known as bodice-rippers.
One of Canada's feeble, American-neocon wannabes, summoning every ounce of authority his pinkish, plump, baby face is
capable of displaying (ever notice how many of these people resemble plump babies? Gingrich, Falwell, Robertson,
Limbaugh, etc. Likely there's a solid clue here to some unknown syndrome or genetic abnormality.) demanded an apology
and the dismissal of Ms. Ducros. But Prime Minister Chretien is made of sterner stuff. He was photographed in Parliament
with his hand covering a yawn.
To my mind these events add considerable force to arguments for women's greater involvement in politics. Women have
demonstrated a superior ability to recognize the embarrassing nakedness of a very eccentric emperor.
Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, daughter of a former prime minister, last year made the private observation at
a dinner in America that Bush "is totally an asshole." This, again publicized by "neocons," of course, involved
precisely the word Bush himself had used himself during his election campaign to describe, not a politician who
threatened the world's peace, but a newspaper reporter whose honesty he resented. Bush refused to apologize for what was
a private remark made before a live microphone. Tanaka's remark, too, was private, but she was soon forced out of the
German Justice Minister, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, another tough, astute woman, made the observation recently that Bush's
approach to avoiding domestic difficulties through war had previously been tried by Hitler. Students of history will
know that her statement was no more than dry fact, but to this day Washington's Baby-Face-in-Chief refuses even to meet
with the German Chancellor, a pathetic display for a man holding such power. Any politician with some effective
intelligence would allow the matter to pass, calling upon a quality variously called grace or largesse or class, but
don't waste your time looking for that quality in America's "neocon" crowd.
Bush's petulance over an inconsequential remark highlights why we now are made to orbit dangerously around Iraq, a
fairly inconsequential country, already beaten-down by war and embargo. Saddam embarrassed Dad, and that's reason enough
to endanger, quite literally, the future of world peace. We are to have Clinton's impeachment re-staged on an epic scale
and set to Wagnerian music drenched with blood and mysticism.
The obsession is particularly distressing acted out against a background of revelations that North Korea, a bizarre
regime if ever there was one, likely has a couple of atomic bombs and certainly has a very active program for
manufacturing fissile material. North Korea also has missiles that can reach several major population centers in Asia.
The obsession is acted out, too, against a background of explosive instability in the Middle East. Mr. Bush simply
ignores America's immense obligations there. He refuses to see that his Teutonic-knights war on terror, viewed by many
as hopelessly infected with anti-Muslim prejudice, only makes a deadly situation more deadly.
Meanwhile, America busies herself deploying immense resources to swat a fly.
- [John Chuckman is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. He has many interests and is a lifelong
student of history. He writes with a passionate desire for honesty, the rule of reason, and concern for human decency.
He is a member of no political party and takes exception to what has been called America's "culture of complaint" with
its habit of reducing every important issue to an unproductive argument between two simplistically defined groups. John
regards it as a badge of honor to have left the United States as a poor young man from the South Side of Chicago when
the country embarked on the pointless murder of something like three million Vietnamese in their own land because they
happened to embrace the wrong economic loyalties. He lives in Canada, which he is fond of calling "the peaceable
John Chuckman encourages your comments: jchuckman@YellowTimes.org
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