Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Adventures of Bush the Crackpot By Carlos Fuentes Le Monde Wednesday 19 May 2004 "April is the cruelest month." Here we are; May 1st, just a little over a year ago on the bridge of an aircraft carrier close to the California coast, George W. Bush, dressed up as an aviator declared: "Mission Accomplished." One year later, the famous opening of T.S. Eliot's Wasteland applies. The month of April just past has been the cruelest of a "selected presidency" (to use Susan Sontag's expression) that owes its election more to the Supreme Court than to voters. While he was governor of Texas, Bush, according to Richard A. Clarke in his best-seller Against All Enemies, declared: "God wants me to be President." Guided by the Almighty from the Highest Heavens, Bush has recently confirmed his Messianism by asserting that he does not obey his father, former president George H. W. Bush, but the Most High: God in person. Since God has no channel to answer Bush's absurdities in words, He does it through acts. One year after having declared the end of major military operations in Iraq - "Mission Accomplished" -, Bush confronts the brutal and naked reality of the war he on his own initiative needlessly unleashed. Chaos reigns in Iraq. The Bush government was not prepared for the war after the war: the violent peace in an occupied and resistant country. The North American proconsul in Iraq, Paul Bremer, aggravated the initial mistakes. He dismissed 30,000 officials of the Saddam regime, for the most part members of the official Baath party. So from then on, as long as it was not replaced, the bureaucracy ceased to function, with chaotic consequences for the country's administration. That was May 16, 2003. On May 22, 2003, Bremer proceeded to dissolve the Iraqi army, persuaded that the "coalition" forces dominated by the United States were going to impose the post-war order he expected. Result: a half-million unemployed Iraqis, armed and ready to fight, should the opportunity arise, on the side of forces recruited against the occupier.
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