I haven't done any Bush-bashing in several days. I'm overdue and so...
But first, a disclaimer: I'm just joking about Bush-bashing. George is just another passenger on this planet, just like me, just like you. We're all imperfect human beings with our own shortcomings.
What I'm trying to do when I'm criticizing Bush or his supporters is not, in fact criticize them. I'm trying to look at the logic and justice or lack thereof of our policies and practices. This following screed is not a criticism at all of Bush, the man. This is a critique of our logic.
There's a huge difference.
Now, on with the bashing!
I've spent much time in conversation with Bush supporters debating the Iraq War. Our conversations have been at times tumultuous, but in the end, rather reasonable with give and take and room for growth and better comprehension. I actually think I'm beginning to understand them – their concerns, fears and reasons for supporting Bush.
They don't mean what they say. Or rather, they do, but they don't really.
They will agree that torture is wrong – it's certainly wrong for Saddam's supporters to engage in it. However, if Gonzales tells Bush that it's really okay – after all, the Geneva Convention is quaint and out-dated and this is a post-9/11 world – then it is okay for Bush. He has his reasons. It's necessary to save lives. To protect the innocent. It's only murderers that are getting the ill-treatment and it's not really torture.
Yes, they tell me, of course it's wrong for others to do it and we should avoid it ourselves, but there are terrorists out there wanting to do us harm.
What they're saying is that the ends justifies the means for us. That's not an acceptable argument for others, but, well, this is us we're talking about.
The problem with this is that if Bush is willing to lie, torture, kill to accomplish a good end result, how do we know if we agree with that end result? What if, just for argument's sake, Bush was insane and he believed that if he blew up the world, that we'd all get to heaven that much sooner. That'd be a good thing, right?
And so Bush lies about WMDs or about torture or human rights abuses in order to move us towards what he considers a good end. Do we want this?
No, we don't. But, say his supporters, Bush isn't for blowing up the world, he's just trying to protect us.
Ahh, but how do we know that? Well, because he's told us.
Exactly! But he's also told us that the ends justifies the means, that it's okay to lie to accomplish a good end. How do we know he's not lying now?
Well...he's just not. He's a Christian!
How do we know?
He told us.
The man who thinks it's okay to lie to accomplish his desired ends has told you he's a Christian?
But he's sincere about it!
How do you know? Wait! Don't tell me, it's because he told us, right?
Not just that. He looks sincere. I just have a gut feeling.
So, you think that Bush is going to do the right thing so you'll trust that his lies and torture and deceptions and death are all going to work out based on your hunch?
Faith-based logic. It's a magical, marvelous, maddening thing.