Hundreds of soldiers and thousands of civilians have died because someone ultimately made some horrific mistake about those silly WMDs. Hoooo, well, let's not worry about it. Just have a good giggle. Hey, let's even make a funny slide show about the fact that we can't find them! Won't that be cute?
Does this sound abhorrent? Crude? Disgusting? Vile? Repugnant? All of the above?
Given that soldiers and civilians are still being killed and maimed in Iraq because we went there looking for WMDs, one may rightly and indignantly ask: who would DARE, in any way, make light of that fruitless search?
If you find intolerable this execrable display of callousness—and I believe most compassionate people, especially those who love freedom and democracy, should condemn it—please direct your disgust to the source.
If you still don't know what I refer to here, evidently you missed the national news reports of President Bush's presentation at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton on March 24, 2004. He showed the slides of himself looking around the Oval Office, under furniture, behind curtains, still trying to find those pesky WMDs. He acts confused.
And he played this for laughs.
The maturity and sensitivity (or lack thereof) Mr. Bush displayed in making these throwaway jokes might not surprise us if it came from, say, a 19 year-old frat brat illegally under the influence. But from any sober, sensible adult? And from the President of the United States?
Do you consider this a trivial complaint? Think of it from the standpoint of the several hundred families whose child, spouse, partner or parent dutifully followed Bush's orders to go to Iraq in search of WMDs. He has sent hundreds of our soldiers, and uncounted civilians, to their graves. And yet through the production of this tasteless and obscene "joke," President Bush literally laughs this off. If anyone dared confront his gall on this, he might invoke his trademark smirk and say, "Lighten up." And some of his defenders might likewise say we need to put it in perspective.
Would you likewise tell the grieving families to lighten up?
However much you may object to the despicable nature of this particular event, as I believe all decent people should object to it, remember that I did not make light of the WMD folly; Bush did. I do not dismiss the deaths of those who followed orders to search for them; Bush did. So please direct your justifiable contempt and properly scathing rebukes not to this messenger, but to the source: jokester George W. Bush.
For elaboration on Bush’s making light of his evidently flawed beliefs, and his apparent obliviousness to the devastating implications thereof, click here.