The death of former President George H. W. Bush last month has spurred many an analyst to take up their swords and pens of partisanship for either canonizing or condemning the former leader of the free world.
Here at NEO, I found the most concise and objective (truthful) analysis so far, from Deena Stryker. The lady who once interviewed Fidel Castro captured the essential truth of our time in her description of the side story of the Bush state funeral, the sorry state of leadership consisting of country club elites led by the 43rd president and his colleagues:
“The younger Bush’s visible grief added to the pathos. However, the media managed to find an upbeat ‘human interest’ story in the alignment of past presidents and their wives, obligatory attendees at the ceremony in the National Cathedral. Former President Bill Clinton leaned toward his neighbors with a smile, while Hillary stared straight ahead, determined to avoid any suggestion of amity toward her former rival, Donald Trump, from whom she was separated by President Carter and the Obamas, both of whom shook hands with Trump and First Lady Melania.”
In Stryker’s short encapsulation I found the essence of all that is wrong with America and the world. The sideshow, the celebrity fanaticism, the gag reel that hundreds of millions have grown accustomed to, this is what we have become. George H. W. Bush maybe had a role in the killing of J.F.K. Probably; he had many others killed when he led the CIA. Certainly, thousands died in the wake of the initial war with Iraq, and as for Iran Contra, God knows what kind of carnage came of that. But, just as Stryker set the stage for this latest political clown show, the good and evil of the elder Bush is nothing but a symptom of our greater folly.
Googling the Bush funeral after reading Deena’s piece I was struck by the images of past presidents arrayed in a list by the Mountain View technocrats. Just type in “Bush,” and down the page, you will probably see what I did. A block labeled U.S. Presidents, which contains (in order) Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and the fallen John F. Kennedy. In this order, we see as profound and correct an explanation for the world’s current problems as exists. Let me explain.
Barrack Obama is the quintessential “Uncle Tom”, Bill Clinton is still the amoral chuckling reprobate, Donald Trump needs no introduction, Ronald Reagan was the Hollywood cowboy puppet president, Carter the peanut farmer, and Nixon patsy and fall guy the “order” put in place for the only intellectual aristocrat of the bunch, JFK. Oh, and the missing men in this FBI lineup, Gerald Ford and LBJ were also implicated in either killing or covering up the killing of Kennedy. The irony led me to wonder if this FATE that led me to the “lineup” of mediocrity and mayhem?
No, certainly I’ve become too cynical. These men were chief executives in charge of preserving the “American Way.” And that they surely have done. We are consuming more than ever. Anglo-European imperialism has never been so successful. The Walmart manager in Des Moines; Iowa is now assured of a second SUV in his two-car garage. Property values are up. Stocks are too. And global warming, Trump assures us, is a liberal fabrication meant to impede our journey into the promised land! Sorry, I can never be so crisp and concise as Deena Stryker. My litany over the monstrous stupidity in my country is just too damned inconsolable, irreconcilable, and unbelievable.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Hmm. A team of gunmen G. Gordon Liddy said were, more-or-less ordered by Vice President Lyndon Johnson murders our president – then we are led to believe a fairytale no infant would entertain. Vietnam goes full metal jacket, billionaires are made, then the guys who were the most likely suspects end up presidents. JFK and his brother Bobby die, and anybody who questions it all is a whacko conspiracy nut.
Later, when the time is right, some morons from over there in the deserts of Persia or wherever they come to Florida to learn how to fly jumbo jets. In a plot from the Amazon bestseller “Terrorism for Dummies,” a slapstick crew of Al Qaeda operatives flies airliners into U.S. landmarks. This time the son of the CIA guy whom some say was in Dallas when JFK was shot; he’s standing by to declare a “War on Terror” once Americans are asked to believe the unbelievable. The imagery of three skyscrapers dropping into their own footprints like carefully stacked dominos, it still tickles the tremulous reality. Oh, and let’s not forget the camera footage that showed what looked like a cruise missile hitting the Pentagon. God, who can know what actually happened on 9/11?
J.F.K., J.F. K., I cannot get my mind off the lineup, the way Google’s algorithm stuck certain presidents in that certain order for me to see. The missing ones, both Bushs, Johnson, and Gerald Ford left out of Google’s importance equation? Maybe it’s just nothing, only my imagination. But it does not matter. What’s important is the whole lineup since Kennedy. Bumblers and big mouths, actors and idiots, the whole crew make me sick to my stomach, and thankful at the same time. Thankful to God any of us are still alive. What a bozo team of leadership we Americans stuck in power. This my friends are even more unbelievable than building 7 destroyed by thin air.
The best I can offer for a eulogy for Bush or the rest is that they surely perpetuated “one” American Dream. Although I am sure, none of us were taught “that” one in grammar school. Like a friend said once, “Phil, we are not wearing the white hats.”
Oh well, I am sure God will decide whether or not dead presidents are worthy or not. Rest in peace, that’s what my Momma told me to say.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”