I don’t know much about Michelle Obama.
I have long thought her husband to be a very slick performer, whose lofty rhetoric far outweighed his achievements. But Maureen has voiced her respect for Michelle, as a progressive voice for females and mothers.
Puzzling, then, that Mrs Obama has sung the praises of a bloke who was involved deeply in the murder of about a million Iraqis, all of whom had mothers. “We’re all Americans. We all care about our family and our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead,” Mrs Obama said last weekend, in widely-quoted comments about George W. Bush. “And that’s how I feel about [Bush]. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.”
Well who am I to deny Michelle’s opinion? Maybe it was sincere, and the endless piles of Arab corpses which Georgie boy was at least partially responsible for creating, for no legitimate reason, just slipped her memory. It happens. My dad forgot where he had placed his car keys a couple of days ago.
Also, and this is a really important point which the US media drilled deep into, Mr Bush has now given Michelle two pieces of candy. Two. On separate occasions. She had this to say. “He has the presence of mind and the sense of humor to bring me a mint, and he made it a point to give me that mint right then and there and that’s the beauty of George Bush.” Well said girl. I’m beginning to wonder if I may have to reconsider GWB. I had this idea of him as a war criminal, at the helm of an illegal invasion soaked in blood and gore. Maybe this is a heart-warming, redemptive moment where my perception changes.
Could it be that he is actually just a cute, cuddly guy, whose mind-boggling levels of deception about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and deliberate targeting of a nation’s civilian infrastructure to gain a strategic advantage were just a mistake that any regular Joe might make? Michelle knows his “beauty” better than me. She has taken his candy deep inside her.
Imagine one of your neighbours who you see going to the newsagents each day, whistling as he takes the morning air. It turns out that he is a serial murderer who has killed thousands of humans, yet has never suffered any consequences. If you mention this, people throw you anecdotes about what a nice man he is, the real man. “OK, so he’s not squeaky clean but try and focus on the positives. He is a stalwart in the neighbourhood litter patrol, and our streets feel safer. Some of the people he butchered were homeless. It’s not right that you let a small detail in his life override all the small but good things he has accomplished,” they protest.
In all societies around the world, murder is treated as the most serious crime anyone can commit. No greater violation of personal sovereignty exists. If I am ever involved in the deaths of a million people, and the unimaginable trickle down of grief through their families, and communities, I now know that handing out smarties would get me off the hook.
I once believed that if you conspired to murder a large number of people, then you were a mass murderer. On that basis, here are two of them.
Once I would have felt sick at the sight. But now, now I can start to see two beautiful, funny, kind and sweet men. All thanks to Michelle.