Friday, May 16, 2008

Sympathy for the devil

The mysteries of the human heart continue to astound.

Here I was, prepared to write another outraged screed about Junior, about his callow and insulting assertion that he had given up golf to show solidarity with Iraq war dead. I was going to rail about how he used the floor of the Israeli Knesset to compare Barack Obama to Nazi appeasers and invoked the name of the archenemy of all Jews, Adolf Hitler. I was prepared to spew out a new dose of vituperation and contempt, regardless of how many, many times I have already done so. Such idiocies must be repeatedly brought forth and ridiculed.

But this time, before I started writing my blog, I saw this:

You see? He was crying. Bush was crying. Even as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert praised him (as well he might, since no other president has given Israel such a free hand to oppress the Palestinians), Junior wept.

Could it be that Junior regrets the hatred and loathing he has brought upon himself from all corners of the globe (Israel being one of the few exceptions)? Behind his boorish, cocky facade, is he truly a frightened and overwhelmed little man who can scarcely understand how he has come to this pass?

I don't know. But as I watched this video, and I saw the emotion on his face, I was shocked to recognize a new feeling in my heart, a completely new response to this man whom I have reviled for so long: Pity.

I felt pity for this man, this poor flawed creature. In fact, as I thought back on all the scenes of him clowning around, and telling jokes, and trying to be a nice guy, my heart actually ached for him.

Let me be clear: in no way do I believe Bush should be allowed to escape any justice that may someday be meted out to him by an angry people. In fact, I hope he is investigated, prosecuted, found guilty, and imprisoned for any number of his unspeakable crimes. I know he is responsible for thousands of deaths. I know he is a contemptible human being.

But I pity him. And watching him suffer, as I imagine he suffered on the floor of the Knesset, reflecting on how badly things have turned against him, I suffered with him. Tears actually came to my eyes.

Although the magnitude of my many sins pale by comparison, I could empathize with the emotions that I was projecting onto him. I, too, have found myself in very bad positions and been the subject of animosity and contempt as the result of my own stupid decisions. And when you're in that place, it is a very, very lonely place.

Bush's karmic debt is staggering, and, if my speculative projection is anywhere near the mark, his payments are coming due.

A certain part of my heart, a part that I have not known for a long time, breaks for him.

Take it for what it's worth.


Ridwan said...

A very human post Dade. I do however struggle with feeling anything but hateful contempt for Bush and the ideas/empire that created him.

We had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and it was supposed to move the nation to see the value in moving beyond revenge.

A decade later we can barely claim that we have moved any closer to that ideal.

But I hear you on the personal diemnsion here. I too have inhabited places where my decisions have causes pain to others, and I have grown closer to those who forgave me and loved me despite my faults.

I would, however, continue to see Bush as a piece of a system that does not demand the same.

Nontheless, a great and thoughtful post whose substance will continue to weigh heavier as we grow.

Peace brother.


Eugene said...

Undoubtedly co-King George is human. So is Condeleeza, Kissinger, Adolf Hitler, Peter Brzica, Columbus, King Dick, Donald Rumsfeld, Andy Jackson, George Washington, Padilla, and so many other horrific genocidal criminals.

It's a show. It's fanfare. Genocidal criminals praising other genocidal criminals. In the meantime, millions suffer so we can watch such a sickening show and it's disgusting fanfare.

Reality check, here. Those are genocidal criminals. All genocidal crimals are human. All genocidal criminals should be hanged.

I'm the rain on the parade, and the acid within each drop.

Heather Ann said...

Powerful post! I,too, struggle with how to reconcile his humanity with his destructive power. It is hard to know what those tears meant. Were they tears of joy at the recognition he was receiving...fear, as you speculate...? I don't know! I do believe that God loves all us humans, flawed as we are, but he also loves justice! I am glad his fate is not in my hands!