Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Great Sacrifice, giving up Golf

President Bush and those in his family and administration can't seem to grasp the meaning of sacrifice or understand the impact war has on military families in this country. Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Barbara Bush said 'Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?' (yes, she did!)

In January 2006, when the Commander-in-Chief visited wounded troops at Brooke Medical Center and said As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. Their Commander-in-Chief said this to soldiers wounded in a war of his choice. I'm pretty sure those wounded warriors didn't find the humor in his comments.

In April 2007 First Lady Laura Bush revealed how far removed she was from the American public when she said believe me, no suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this (news of Iraq on TV)” The First Family will never suffer enough until they lose a child in a war that should never have begun. They will never suffer enough until they accept a folded flag that recently covered the cold coffin of their dead child as the mournful tones of Taps plays in the background.

When I first heard that George Bush gave up golf to show solidarity to the families of troops who have died in Iraq, I thought that was a little bit like a kid giving up green beans for Lent, a bit disingenuous. As it turns out, giving up golf might be a huge sacrifice in the mind of our 43rd president, who has a handicap of 15, which I am told is pretty good. Comparing giving up golf to the sacrifices of a Gold Star family, one who has lost a loved one in war, however, may well be the worst attempt at empathy, solidarity or sympathy that this president has ever shown. Bush was interviewed by Politico and was asked questions submitted by online listeners. Let's listen in:

Q Mr. President, you haven't been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it really is. I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.

Q Mr. President, was there a particular moment or incident that brought you to that decision, or how did you come to that?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life. And I was playing golf -- I think I was in central Texas -- and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, it's just not worth it anymore to do.

This interview, of all the malignant narcissist interviews this President has given, rendered me speechless. That those thoughtless words could come out of any public figure is appalling. That this public figure could ever imagine that those words would provide solace to any grieving family is unimaginable, yet this president continues to disgrace his office and offend. Golf, indeed! This president gave up golf in some pathetic attempt at solidarity with me, while I wonder what it would be like to hear my son's voice one more time and while I wonder what it would be like to feel his arms hug me, just one more time. I go to bed clutching my son's baby blanket in hopes that long ago memories will bring me precious sleep to escape from the reality of my new normal and this president gave up a game!

People may wonder why we Gold Star Families just don't get on with our lives, perhaps they think this grieving thing is going on a little too long. I explain that until the last soldier comes home, until this dying ends and until January 19, 2009, when this pathetic, poor excuse of a president leaves office and shuts his mouth will I even be able to consider getting on with my life.

This President has never demonstrated one bit of empathy, one bit of sympathy nor has he ever shown a glimmer of recognition that anything has gone wrong in his presidency, nor a hint of recognition of individual responsibility for anything that has occurred in the past 7 years. Whenever George Bush opens his mouth I know what comes out is likely to be full of malapropisms and other mispronunciations, but I steel myself that he will not say anything painful or hurtful to or about anyone. In this interview, he stepped way over any line of decency or respect. When Ken was killed 4 years ago, I did not expect to be continually abused by the uncaring words of the president.

Playing golf doesn't send the wrong signal to Gold Star Families. The fact that this president is still in office sends the wrong signal. If giving up golf is the best he can do to show solidarity, then George Bush needs to leave the White House today, not in 252 days, but now.

1 comment:

Captain Anne Bonny said...

Well said and beautifully written. I totally agree with you.