This is something that was shown on BBC while I was in the UK.
The news story was about the protest against the war, with
comments by a woman whose son was killed in Iraq, followed by a
brief clip of Bush's response.
I didn't post on it the instant I came home because I was too
tired and brain-scrambled to say all I wanted to say. At this
point maybe I can.
What was an outrage--obscene, in fact--was not so much what Bush
said but the fact that he laughed when talking about her
protest. It was a contemptuous, demeaning snigger directed at
the mother of a man who died for his country.
Whatever you think of Bush or the war in Iraq, the fact is that
no commander with a milligram of morality will be contemptuous of
the deaths of soldiers under his/her command. No good commander
will laugh, giggle, snigger, or otherwise indicate that such
deaths are (heh, heh, heh, as Bush chuckles indulgently) not that
big a deal...and especially not to the mothers of the soldiers
It was beyond disgusting. I sat there in my hotel room, mouth
open, immobilized with a combination of horror and rage. How
COULD he? Well, he could because he just doesn't get it, as he
just doesn't get a lot of other things. Yes, soldiers die in
wars, and yes, all our US Presidents who have sent soldiers to
war have had complaints from the mothers of the dead. *Other*
presidents have summoned the gravitas, the sober and serious
mien, the courtesy due the mothers of the dead (and the dead
themselves) which indicates--even more than their words--that
they take seriously their responsibility for sending soldiers
Instead, Bush chose to chuckle. To disrespect the dead, and
their families, by making light of their sacrifice. That hideous
heh-heh-heh-heh thing he does, that labels ridiculous anyone's
disagreement, that infantilizes opposition.
Some Commander-in-Chief. Not.