Muntazer al-Zaidi demonstrated something important today.
You might not recognize his name yet, but we all know what he did.
The man threw a shoe – scratch that, two shoes – at our Great White Father today during a press conference.
You know the rest – he called him a dog, Bush made a joke, and al-Zaidi (a reporter) was probably taken to one of our "special" jails.
This isn't a diary about Bush getting shoes thrown at him. Rather, it is about a man standing up and throwing his shoes at Bush.
Okay, that doesn't read very well, but give me a minute.
(more on the flip)
Let me flesh this out a bit.
Here's a question:
What will we say when our grandchildren ask "Grandma, what was President Bush like?"
The easy answer: "Son, Bush was a psychopathic cheerleader who believed he had a divine right to rule. He sucked. I know that’s a naughty word, but he SUCKED."
A longer answer:
He took us to war, needlessly, and lied about it.
He let an entire U.S. city, a national treasure, drown.
He staffed our government with sycophants, ideologues, and pirates.
He took every opportunity to use the power of the government to 1) hurt working people, and 2) shield rich people from the potential power of working people.
He took us to war, needlessly, and lied about it. Yeah, I know – I’m saying it again.
He defended and encouraged the wholesale rape of our planet.
Depending on how old this child is, they might reasonably ask if Bush went to prison for this.
Our answer: "No, because in our country we don’t have courts for people like Bush."
Why don’t we have courts for people like Bush?
Everyone on this site knows that this fucker will get away with it. For God’s sake, the monster just bought a home near Dallas. I heard it’s nice and white, too.
Can you imagine if this was happening in Russia? A leader who’d wreaked such havoc on his own country, destroyed other countries, and gave the government away to corporations? We’d look at that, and judge – rightly – that when it came to the rule of law, to democracy, to accountability, that Russia had completely and utterly failed.
We, the United States, have failed. As long as Bush continues to walk free, we have failed. Everyone on this site knows it. Republicans won't do anything about it (they would if he were a Democrat, though), and Democrats definitely won't do anything about it (though they might if he were a Democrat).
What is more, everyone on this site also knows that the day Bush is imprisoned will be the day we’ve had a revolution in this country, when we as a people drag him from his white home and lock him up ourselves.
An important reason for our independence, you recall, was to prevent this kind of vigilante justice - as delicoius as it sounds right now - from being meted out. To establish some system in which people accused receive a fair trial, due process, and where the guilty can be dealt with accordingly. We’ve failed.
There are many reasons for this failure, of course, but here’s one:
We have no Muntazer al-Zaidi.
Instead we have Charlie Gibson, and others, allowing the President one last media tour in an attempt to help his image. They don’t challenge him, they don’t challenge his answers, and no one – NO ONE – asks why he let New Orleans drown. No one asks why he misrepresented the intelligence on Iraq. When Bush said we would probably have gone to war even if he’d known about the intelligence, Gibson did not say "Dude, what in the fuck are you saying? Are you on crack?"
Being a "serious" journalist, he nodded soberly, and went on with his charade.
Nor did Gibson throw his shoe at him, literally or figuratively.
No one does, no one has, and no one - meaning those in the elite - ever will.
Remember the press conference before we invaded Iraq? A reporter stood and asked Bush – because he called on her, because it was scripted, which the media accepted without question – how his faith was guiding him during these times?
She didn’t throw a shoe at him. What’s more, no one threw a shoe at her for asking a fucking idiotic question.
So Bush will walk free, and Obama’s administration will squash any attempts by Congress to make Bush pay.
I know, many of us on this site think "Obama’s administration will be different."
In some ways, it will. But it won’t be in this respect: Bush will walk free. The elite protect their own.
Go back up and read the long answer above, if you like. You shouldn’t have to; if you’re on this site, you already know the horrors of this presidency. If you work for a living, you really know. If you’re an Iraqi, or a Haitian, you know this in a way we never could.
There are no courts in this country for people like Bush.
We have to fight back. We have to resist. I don't know how, and would never presume to know what any of us should do, but some kind of resistance is vital.
What al-Zaidi did was to demonstrate, with one (sorry, two) dynamic expression, what resistance means.
Resistance is not about voting. Resistance is not about blogging.
Resistance is not about "speaking truth to power" – the stupidest phrase I have ever heard, by the way; as if the powerful aren’t fully aware of what they’re doing.
Resistance is about standing up and saying "I won’t follow you, I won’t accept your authority, and I will fight you every step of the way."
The degree to which we resist is the degree to which we are free.
I’m with Muntazer al-Zaidi. Who are you with?