al zaidi

The greatest failure of the anti- Iraq war movement is that they were never anti-Iraq war.

Never.

The Iraq War was opposed not because it was immoral, not because it was illegal, not because we were lied to in order to justify it then the entire justification kept getting switched around then we were told we HAD to stay because of the new problems we caused by invading in the first place……

It was because AMERICANS were dying.

It was because a star football player died by “friendly fire” (and they later lied and stated an enemy combatant killed him).

It was because a grieving mother who son was killed in action camped outside Bush’s ranch.

But no one camped outside the Bush Ranch for the victims of Haditha. The world only paid just enough attention to Abu Gharib when the abuse became too obvious to ignore. No one cared to follow up on “Shoe Guy” - no one cared that Muntadhar al-Zaidi was tortured for that. We laughed it off.

And then people have the audacity to ask me why I fucking despise the military and this shit show of a country. Why I won’t stand for the allegiance or “support the troops” - a phrase just meaningless enough that I gotta defend myself with entire fucking essays on how YES I GET THAT military preys on poor people - I GREW UP IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS THEY PULLED FROM - but I will not congratulate you for volunteering to massacre Arabs. And I will never trust that a single American truly opposes war for the sake of ARAB lives - especially when Obama get darling treatment on this hellsite when he ramped up drone attacks that got kids SCARED OF BLUE SKIES - and a majority of Americans SUPPORT that.

The greatest work of art George W. Bush ever took part in was in 2008, when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at his head. “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog,” screamed the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who had been arrested twice by U.S. forces during the occupation.

Bush dodged the shoes with the same ease with which he’d had dodged consequences all his life; those for drunk driving, for ruined companies, stolen elections, war crimes, the destruction of Zaidi’s country.

After he dodged the shoes, Bush joked about free countries. Meanwhile, guards beat Zaidi bloody. Police tortured him during the nine months he served in jail.

Inside the cellblocks at Gitmo, where men have languished for more than a decade, not charged with any crime, the palette is cold too—fluorescent bulbs on concrete. I wonder if Bush ever sketched there. Abu Zubaydah did. He was rendered by the CIA, tortured and locked forever in the secretive Camp Seven. Documents obtained through recent Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that Zubaydah drew the torture inflicted on him. The drawings, however, are classified.

I believe Bush paints because Bush can do anything. Every American dream, Bush got—an Ivy League education, running his own sports team, even the presidency. When each dream ended in failure, he grinned and moved on. Bush’s paintings are one more way of turning away from the past, just as he ignored the trail of blood Zaidi left as guards dragged him from the room.

—  George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny, Molly Crabapple at Politico Magazine