Today George Bush will be celebrating his birthday. Some will protest and say, that's not true, the president's birthday was July 6. But we're not talking about the same person, apparently. And the George Bush I have in mind will hardly be doing much bona fide celebrating, actually, in view of the fact that he turns only 3 today.
The George Bush I have in mind is not the one whose full name is George Walker Bush, nor the one whose full name is George Herbert Walker Bush, but the one whose full name is George Bush Abdul Kader Faris Abed El-Hussein (no relation to Saddam). And this George Bush was born in Baghdad on July 11, 2003.
As far as can be ascertained, George Bush’s parents named him in honor of some Western leader one of whose recent feats they found to be not only impressive and admirable, obviously, but worthy enough to name their new-born son after. They must have been plenty impressed, in view of the fact that they gave their child the name of someone not of their faith, with linguistic roots not of their culture. (Sort of like a Westerner — say, someone from the Bush clan — giving a newborn son a name such as Mohammed Ahmed Yusuf Bush.)
Now, here is what I suggest. I suggest that the West should send a number of representatives to Baghdad. The type of people that David Brooks calls “the members of the sneering brigade”, “the think-tank johnnies and the rest of the commentariate” in “their usual sky-is-falling mode” — people like José Bové, François Hollande, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder, José Luis Zapatero, Jean-Marie Colombani, Plantu, Willem (to name only the Europeans), etc… They should choose a couple of high-visibility VIPs, “arm” them with all the usual arguments, and send them to Baghdad.
And there, they should seek out the parents of George Bush. Once the couple has been found, they should patiently explain the “truth” to them and seek thereby to install some common sense in them. That would include telling them…
• that the war was unnecessary and a sham, conducted for bogus reasons;
• that Iraq, and the world, were far better off before the conflict;
• that the presence of foreign soldiers is “humiliating” for George Bush and his fellow countrymen;
• that they must resent America (or at least, the Bush administration) for the current situation in which thousands have been killed over a period of more than three years and hark back to the previous situation in which the secret police killed several thousands per month with total impunity;
• that, in contrast to the administration of George Bush’s namesake, they, the holier-than-thou members of the peace camp, had (and have) nothing but the best interests of his parents in mind;
• oh, and, of course, that George Bush’s namesake is nothing but a nincompoop and a despicable liar.
Once the parents of George Bush have been converted to the sky-is-falling truth, the “the members of the sneering brigade” could go to work convincing more of Iraq’s population.
The members of “the commentariate” could start with Mohammed, Ali, and Omar, the brothers from Iraq the Model and expand outwards, to include the Iraqis who lost hands and tongues to Saddam’s thugs, had their faced scarred by acid, had their sisters, mothers, and daughters raped, and had their parents, brothers, and children shot down and their bodies thrown into unnamed graves. With luck, “the think-tank johnnies” would eventually reach that vast majority of people who in polls believe life has never been better since the war toppled Saddam and who say they feel more optimistic than they ever had in the past.
Let us join together and wish them “good luck and godspeed with your sacred mission”.
Oh, and by the way, Georgie: Happy birthday!