President Meathead

How did George Bush feel when he saw that smart-bomb, a size-ten shoe and, then, its mate, zero in on his face?

I think I know. Because my senses have been assaulted repeatedly by Bush’s impoverished insight and developmentally-stunted language.

Here’s a case in point: Bush said the shoe incident was an “example of free speech in a democracy.” If this is true, why was the thrower of the weapon of minor proportion, reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi, tortured and imprisoned?

And then there’s: “I don’t know what his beef is.” After all, Bush has “liberated” so many of al-Zaidi’s countrymen, women, and children, including some of the reporter’s relatives. What an ingrate al-Zaidi is! But wouldn’t it have been better if Bush had said “his issue” rather than “his beef” which sounds so meatheadish? That’s George Bush, though, who told ABC’s Charles Gibson he’s been the Comforter in Chief, meeting and crying with the families of our fallen and visiting the wounded in military hospitals.

This master of war is no comforter. Instead, he’s the Meathead in Chief.

Here’s yet another verbal violation: “Yeah, that’s right. So what?” This was President Meathead’s question to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz’s challenge that there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before the US invasion and occupation of the country.

Add the above jaw droppers to the Bush family holiday video, starring Barney, and remember during a debate over eight years ago when Bush was asked what “political philosopher” he most admired. He answered:

Christ, because he changed my heart. When you turn
your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept
Christ as the Savior, it changes your heart and changes
your life.

And, then, try to imagine what George Bush might have wrought had “the Savior” not changed his heart and life. Even more atrocities? As if Iraq, Afghanistan, and support for Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem weren’t enough.

If Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich can be impeached for attempting to sell a senate seat, surely, terrorist masterminds George Bush and Dick Cheney should be prosecuted for selling an illegal and immoral war to the American public and for authorizing torture.

There have been more than 4500 troop deaths in Iraq since Bush hurled a “coalition” of servicemen and women into cycles of death and post traumatic stress disorder. So many lives will never be the same. Ask Iraq’s new hero, al-Zaidi, who has seen the carnage in his country where at least a million Iraqi civilians have perished and more than four million have been displaced.

In Afghanistan, coalition deaths have exceeded 1000 and thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed. President Hamid Karzai has criticized international forces for the recent increase in civilian deaths.

As we watch the reaction of the people of Iraq to al Zaidi, who now has star status, we need to recall that we were told our forces would be greeted with flowers.

Recently, in the Charles Gibson interview, Bush said his service to the nation has been “joyful,” that his “spirits have never been down.”

If only each family whose spirits will always be down, the result of losing someone in this Bush-created hell, would throw the empty boots, worn by their loved one, at the man who fails to follow the precepts of his favorite philosopher. If only all who feel the deep shame at what is being done in our names would sling their shoes at the pompous clod who will likely go unpunished for mass murder–unless enough of us demand accountability.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at:







Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: