I don’t like the idea of seeming to be a vengeful
person, someone wishful to relentlessly pursue an adversary. I had
promised myself to wait a bit and see how the contradictions between
Bush and his European allies would unfold on the vital subject of
climate change. But George W. Bush went too far when he made a
declaration that we read in an AP piece last Friday. The President
of the United States stated that he would go to the Vatican "with a
very open mind and…ready to listen" to the Pope, and he assured that
they share a "common respect for human life and human dignity" and
"History has demonstrated that democracies don't go
to war with each other and therefore the best way to reinforce peace
is to promote freedom," he added.
"This will be the American leader’s first visit to
Pope Benedict XVI. His last trip to Italy was in April 2005 for the
funeral of Pope John Paul II", the agency reported.
In one of my reflections I said that I wouldn’t be
the first or the last person that Bush would order or authorize his
agents to remove. Having seen his unusual declaration, I think that
if Bush had ever read any history book, he would be aware that there,
in Rome itself, an empire was born that nourished the vocabulary of
political language for almost two thousand years; the Vatican City
was also born there as time went by, after Constantine's Edict of
Milan which officially removed obstacles to the practice of
Christianity at the beginning of the fourth century A.D.
Historians tell us that the Caesar Nero who ordered
the capital of the empire to be set on fire was heard to exclaim in
satisfaction while the tragedy was in progress: "What a great poet
If only the historians were right! If only Bush were
a poet! If only the inhabitants of the planet were those belonging
to those times! If only nuclear, chemical, biological and mass
destruction weapons did not exist! Even though it was a sad
occurrence, including the death of the poet, who would be alarmed by
a fire consuming what today would be just a great village?
Evidently Rome is not yet included among the 60 or
more dark corners of the world that the United States military must
be ready to pre-emptively attack, as Bush proclaimed at West Point
on June 1, 2002.
Bush would now like to con Pope Benedict XVI. The
Iraq War doesn’t exist, it doesn’t cost a cent, not one drop of
blood has been spilled, nor have hundreds of thousands of innocent
people died as part of a shameless bartering of lives for oil and
gas, imposed by force of arms on the peoples of the Third World. Nor
does the danger of another war against Iran exist, including
possible tactical nuclear strikes to impose the same infamous
formula. We are all required to believe that Russia does not feel
threatened by a possible shower of annihilating and accurate nuclear
missiles giving rise to a new and ever more dangerous arms race.
Following the chronic course of his rude lies, we
might well wonder: why did Bush free an infamous, self-confessed
terrorist like Posada Carriles on the same day that the 45th
anniversary of the imperialist defeat at the Bay of Pigs was
commemorated? Worse still, would he feel even a smidgen of pain
about the injustice of keeping 5 Cuban heroes prisoners, some
serving two life sentences, because they were informing their
country about terrorist plans? Banish the thought that Bush didn’t
know who funded the countless assassination plots on Castro!
We have seen Bush making strange and disturbed
grimaces while making official speeches to United States senators
and representatives, boasting about the enemies he has had removed
by issuing personal orders. He created official torture centers in
Abu Ghraib and at the Guantánamo Naval Base; his agents, acting
illegally, kidnapped people in many countries where CIA planes would
secretly fly in, with or without permission from the corresponding
authorities. Information would have to be extracted with well-studied
physical torture methods.
How could he possibly think that Pope Benedict XVI
would share values with him about respect for life, human dignity
Tall tale: an artfully disguised lie.
To con: to deceive, to hallucinate, taking advantage
of someone’s naiveté.
I promised brief reflections and I am keeping my