What did the 99% of Canadians who aren’t among the lucky one per cent at the top of the socio-economic ladder – but who turned out in their hundreds to give former U.S. president George W. Bush an energetic “welcome he deserves” on October 20 – see of the man who some say is the world’s next war criminal overdue for a meeting with justice?
The answer is this: George W. Bush slipped invisibly into the City of Surrey, B.C. accompanied by his fellow ex-president Bill Clinton, where the two were scheduled to speak at Surrey’s $650 per seat summit on regional economic development at the Sheraton Surrey hotel. Having slipped by the several hundred peaceful protestors surging around the hotel entrance, Bush immediately banned the media from the convention room; we can only guess what furtive peeks he might have taken outside at the chanting crowd.
Click↓ C’mon down to the demonstration. Get yer fair share of the noise:
Bush and Mr. Clinton spoke for about one hour to the summiteers. Bush then sortied out the front doors of the Sheraton towards a waiting car – waving like a rock star, (!!) likely still curious to get a closer look at the protestors. How many had he drawn? Such peeks at the outside world likely help confirm for Bush the timelessness of his draw as a celebrity, after so many years away from the White House. Like Paris Hilton, Bush is such an empty personality, he needs to know that someone notices him. It makes him feel like a real person.
Why did Canadians give Bush “the welcome he deserved“: boos, taunts, insults and all manner of scornful signs decrying his administration’s war in Iraq? Why is Bush such a marked target for protestors?
This blogger is not alone in his cynical views about George W. Bush. Many books have been written trying to get inside the man’s head. The most accessible of them is “Bush On The Couch,” by psychoanalyst Justin A. Frank.
In his 2004 book Frank writes: “As a psychoanalyst I’m troubled by [the] president’s current and future mental health.” The author explores “the smirk heard around the world,” particularly in reference to how often “the smirk” was employed by Bush as governor of Texas when sending death row prisoners to their execution:
“Bush’s trademark smirk makes his sadism easy to spot…At once arrogant and cowardly [the smirk puts] the nation on notice that the act of inflicting pain – and the good fortune of having a job that allow[s] it within the laws of the land – brought Governor Bush a certain pleasure that he couldn’t quite stop himself from expressing.“
Bush’s strut to his waiting car at the Sheraton was spoiled by a loud protestor who shouted out at him: “Hey Bush. How does it feel to be a big fat war criminal?” In response, Bush gave his infamous smirk! Some things never change.
Dear reader, when Bush is in the City of Surrey, he is on Canadian soil. When he deploys that sadistic Bush “smirk” on our streets, there is a problem. If you, dear reader are a citizen of the United States of America, I have faith in your individual acumen to recognize why Canadians hold the former president in such deep derision, and why we protest his presence here.
The “problem” is not Americans, it is George W. Bush’s America. His imperial arrogance and slightly moronic hauteur…never mind for the moment his war crimes …are justification enough for our antipathy.
We come by our national phobia for people like Bush honestly. Bush is, in fact, the very antithesis of his own folksy assessment of some people he meets: Bush himself is not “good people.” Russian demi-autocrat Vladimir Putin, however, garnered the “good people” seal of approval from Bush! So much for Bush’s self-proclaimed instinct for astutely assessing personalities upon first meeting.
Bush is the kind of guest who can’t leave soon enough…
…He entered Canada commandeering vast Canadian security resources for his personal protection; he set about peddling such dubious expertise as he claims to have in the area of economics, of all things (this from the man who nearly wrecked the world economy)! He orders the media out of the room. Ultimately, Bush took off carrying a bag full of cash for his jackanape quickie-commerce. The City of Surrey refuses to reveal Bush’s speaking fee, but it’s estimated to have been in the order of $200,000. In fairness, Bill Clinton was likely paid the same amount. (Everything any member of the Bush family has ever affected is cloaked in secrecy, including George W’s own White House papers, so no big surprise here. But it is confounding that Bush’s paranoiac demand for secrecy should apply to a foreign country.)
The Canadian Center for International Justice (CCIJ) filed a criminal indictment against Bush timed to synchronize exactly with the protest at the Sheraton, for his alleged criminal complicity in the torture of prisoners,
At the time of writing, disposition of the CCIJ’s indictment is unkown – over the weekend – but there is the possibility, though slim, that Bush may now be a fugitive from Canadian law.
But the Sheraton crowd’s anger over Bush’s alleged war crimes spills over into a broader unrest, a simmering stew of general gut-felt loathing of Bush’s Imperial America: its illegal wars, the bald-faced contempt for international law, broken treaties, bad faith trade pacts. And the startling spectacle of the top executive of the United States denying any responsibility for, or having had any inkling of a warning about the events on September 11, 2001. We all know now that Bush brushed off a clear warning delivered to him by a security briefer about an al Qaeda plot to use commercial aircraft as missiles to attack American tall buildings, imminently, a very short time before the awful events unfolded. Oh! The Humanity. Oh! The Stupidity!
Bush lives now in a shrinking world. Everywhere he goes criminal charges await him.
Chronology of the War Crimes Hunt For George W. Bush
George Bush named in criminal complaint by two torture victims. At the last minute Bush cancels his speaking engagement in Geneva. He knows that in Switzerland no preliminary investigation can begin against an accused if accused is not present in the country. The complainants had no choice but to drop their complaint. Bush won’t be visiting Switzerland again.
Canada, October, 2011
A Gang of Four: the New York based Centre for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International, the Canadian Centre for International Justice, and four private individuals present Rob Nicholson, Attorney General for Canada, Jason Kenney, minister for immigration and refugees for Canada, Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada and (timed to coincide with Bush’s speaking engagement in the City of Surrey) the provincial court in the City of Surrey, B.C. with a 69-page criminal indictment against Bush alleging his authorization, condonation, oversight, aiding and abetting, and failing to prevent or punish acts of extraordinary rendition, punching, kicking, isolation in “coffin cells” for prolonged periods of time, solitary confinement, forced nudity, and water boarding of prisoners.
So far Canadian leaders have lacked the political will to act on the charges brought against Bush. So Bush skipped the City of Surrey unimpeded with a rich pay packet for a one hour speech, and likely feeling some trepidation about another close brush with the law. ♦COMING IN NEXT POST Breaking News:
COVERUP: Canada’s Cowardly Legal Lions secretly shut-down criminal investigation into Bush war crimes. Leave no paper trail.