CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ten years ago George W. Bush had a real pilot fly him to the deck of an aircraft carrier where he arrogantly strutted onto a podium in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner to declare major combat in Iraq was over and we had won. As of that time, about 130 American soldiers, a few allied forces and about 1,200 Iraqi civilians had been killed.
Between that bit of cockiness and eight and a half years later when the last of the combat troops left Iraq, more than 4,000 young Americans had been butchered, the lives of more than 1,500 American contractors had been snuffed out, and more that 112,000 Iraqi civilians had been slaughtered. The number of those mutilated emotionally and physically on all sides is so vast as to be nearly incalculable. And, thanks to the depleted uranium and waves of toxic chemicals we left behind, incidences of spina bifida and other horrible birth defects have exploded in Iraq, damning at least an entire generation of innocent civilians to living hell, and have many researchers estimating that we are directly responsible for the death of more than one million innocent Iraqis.
When I first brought up this topic to a philosophically mixed bag of friends, I was almost immediately assailed with the "blame Bush" and "looking backwards instead of forward" Fox News talking points. Why on Earth would I dare blame Bush for the things Bush did?
The Bush reputation rehabilitation effort recently was brought into sharpest focus with a wide-angle juxtaposition captured at the opening of the Bush Presidential Library, with a photograph of a female Iraq War veteran's thigh-high American flag-laden artificial leg providing the foreground of an image of Bush 43 basking in the glory of his multi-million dollar monument to his monumentally disastrous presidency. The caption of "God Bless America" or some other "We're Number One" platitude would have been laughable had it not been so morbid and macabre.
Half the country can't bring themselves to admit this young woman sacrificed a good portion of her body for a mistake, but the other half can't, in good conscience, allow the injustice of her unnecessary injury to go unacknowledged and the person responsible for this grievous injustice to go unpunished.
What has me truly flummoxed is that his approval rating among Americans now is about 47 percent -- the vast majority of those claiming to be Christian.
Ignoring the entire rest of his miserable legacy of greed, selfishness, lying and general incompetence and basing judgment solely on his illegal war and the murder of all those I mentioned above, how can one claim to be a moral person -- Christian or otherwise -- while approving of this miscreant? I contend that it is not possible to reconcile the two. I contend that those professing approval now either are ignorant, willfully or not, of his effect on the world, or are aware but just don't care. For the former, please educate yourself. For the latter, you may be a lot of things, but Christian is not one of them.
If the 47 percent number is to be believed, I have very little hope for the future of our country.
Namay is owner of PC Specialist, Inc. in Charleston.