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27 Jan 2009

Brave New World

Gallery snapshot. View gallery of Brave New World

So Bush is gone, Obama is the new 'leader of the free world' and the 'War on Terror' and everything else remotely associated with the Bush administration is being rapidly swept under the carpet by just about everyone (apart from Israel, who are still revelling in the possibilities afforded to them by the magical concept of the "pre-emptive strike"). Is this the new beginning we've been hoping for?

Sorry to put a downer on things but we don't think so. While most of the world is singing, "Ding! Dong! The Witch is dead" and project 'Rebrand America' is virtually complete, we'd like to take this opportunity to cool our heels a bit and get a couple of things straight.

First off, you can never, ever truly move on, without both acknowledging and dealing with the mistakes of the past. That's what we should be doing. However, now that George Bush Jnr isn't the most powerful man in the world, the American media is intent on marking the occasion by compiling amusing and mildly mocking clips of Bush's fumbles, essentially reducing 8 criminal years to a series of TV bloopers. The most nauseating we've seen so far being Letterman's Top Ten Bush Moments. Remember, this is the same man that the United Nations special torture rapporteur has just said should be tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly even genocide.

Let's clear this up. George W. Bush is a bastard, an evil bastard, up there with any of your traditional despotic hate figures. In terms of body count alone, he has no modern equal. To present him as some sort of clueless, bumbling fool almost humanises this lowlife, so we took the liberty of remixing Letterman's clip to include what Bush really ought to be remembered for. (You're not even meant to end a sentence with a preposition, but that's just how ruddy angry I am right now, I simply don't care).

By the way, if you're thinking ol' Dubya can't be held responsible for all the bad things that happened in the numerous wars he waged, consider what the Nuremberg Tribunal concluded following WW2 - that initiating a war of aggression is the "supreme international crime", in that "it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole". The buck stops with the decision makers and they all need to be held to account. Simple.

Secondly, it's not pleasant but it's vital to remember that while Bush and Co. behaved like psychotic loonies, they are sadly not unique. The policies and ideologies that the Bush administration presided over are really only a very extreme version of what has been before. The Bush Doctrine and the Clinton Doctrine are not too dissimilar when you look at the core ideas behind them. In fact, the Clinton Doctrine declared that the US had the right to use force in order to protect American "interests" abroad. That's not even evoking the mythical defence ploy of "pre-emptive strikes". So yes, it's wonderful to finally see an end to the tragically inept and brutal Bush years, but let's not forget that he's part of a pattern going back well over half a century.

President Obama, the money (although not the odds) is on you to change all that. Here's hoping ...


Posted by Andy S on 27 January 2009 - 0 comments

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