Wednesday, March 19
The Nightmare World of a Paranoid President
Mary Dejevsky, Independent/UK, March 19, 2003
Exile or war, he threatened the Iraqi regime: you have 48 hours to decide. But neither the staging of the President's address nor his manner matched those words. Rather than sitting behind his Oval Office desk, Mr Bush had chosen to stand at a lectern, between two flags. He was visually diminished by the upright comparisons. He looked pale (what had the make-up and lighting people been doing?) and diffident. His brow permanently furrowed, his eyes squinting, he fluffed lines. He could not settle on a constant pronunciation of even his chief adversary (Iraq or Eye-rahq, or Eye-rakk). Was this the sole superpower's Commander? In Chief? [...]
At times, the American President came across as a scared suburban parent, terrified of the unknown, averse to all risk and fixed on keeping his household and his neighborhood"safe". "Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety." And before "the day of horror" could come, "this danger will be removed".
Having annihilated the tyrant (Biff! Bang!), erased the evil tentacles of his power (Crash! Wallop! Zap!), Mr Bush held out for Iraq's hard-pressed and soon to be bombed people a paradisiacal future in the image of the American ideal. [...]