War Costs Mount: President Says that He Gave Up Golf in Solidarity with the Families of the Fallen

The horror of the war became apparent this week when President Bush announced that he had given up golf out of solidarity with the families of dead soldiers. It is truly Apocalypse Now meets Caddyshack.

The President did not take this major step until 2003.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights.

“I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers .taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf — I think I was in central Texas — and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.’”

It was like listening to Col. Walter E. Kurtz himself:

I’ve seen horrors … horrors that you’ve seen. . . . It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face … and you must make a friend of horror. . . . [after describing atrocities] And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized … like I was shot … like I was shot with a diamond … a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God … the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men … trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love … but they had the strength … the strength … to do that. I . . .

Across the country, middle-aged men in plaid are bowing their heads in solemn recognition. What is curious is why all those shots of the President at play like his many photographed biking moments. It may be confusion with the term Gulf states.

In fairness to Bush, this was not meant to be the measure of his personal commitment to the families, but once again a wiser man would have left the golf-sacrifice a private observation.

Of course, the best way of being pro-widow is to make fewer to them, but then again, I don’t play golf.

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12 thoughts on “War Costs Mount: President Says that He Gave Up Golf in Solidarity with the Families of the Fallen

  1. Did I mention…

    Pulling in every single marker we have with our allies and every country in the region to end the war diplomatically, get our people the hell out of there and rebuild Iraq. Don’t tell me we can’t do that, we can.

  2. When I read this (“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” ), I wondered what those Moms thought when they saw him having a good yuk in the skit where he pretended to look for WMD? I’d love to think that someday Bush will be tormented by Banquo’s ghost since he’ll no doubt walk away from his wreckage unscathed, but that can’t happen without a conscience.

  3. Solidarity with troops:
    1. do not send anyone to kill or be killed for a lie
    2. do not deny proper equipment (to include food, water and clothing, not to mention parts and proper armament for safety and health
    3. do not poison troops’ water
    4. do not send the sick into a war zone
    5. do not order the use of torture and other brutalities
    6. ensure complete and excellent medical care upon return from battlefield
    7. ensure vets do not lose jobs, home and family due to all of the above
    8. quit playing golf

    I’m certain that ignoring 1-7 is fine as long as he quit the golf. That golf thing means a lot to our people on the battlefield and their loved ones back home. This man needs to be impeached.

  4. Bush apparently lied about not playing golf.

    http://www.vetvoice.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=0901189EB2AFA44704F230D710D177A6?diaryId=1241
    Bush Finally Speaks to the Ultimate Wartime Sacrifice
    by: Brandon Friedman
    Tue May 13, 2008 at 19:32:14 PM EDT

    With the ghosts of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower looking down, President Bush finally admitted today that he has been touched by the true cost of war:

    For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf.

    “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

    In unity and spirit with Americans who will never see a child or a parent again on account of his policies, George W. Bush made the heart-wrenching decision to take a five-year hiatus from the game. He chose to make this sacrifice several months after the invasion of Iraq.

    Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights.

    “I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf – I think I was in central Texas – and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.'”

    In a just world, words like these would cause our nation’s capital to come to a screeching halt. But not in today’s America. In today’s world, sacrifice is defined in terms of not being able to afford a Hummer; of having to see a few images of war on TV; and of giving up golf.

    If past Commanders-in-Chief were alive, they’d wretch at such a statement from this wartime “leader.” Imagine Washington at Valley Forge. Imagine Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War. Imagine what Truman went through in August 1945. And then listen to this asshole:

    “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

    Of course, George Bush, Sr.–a combat veteran himself–was never so crass when he made the decision in 1991 to commit the most troops to combat since Vietnam. And if he wasn’t ashamed of his son before, I think it’s pretty safe to assume he will be now.

    As are we all.

    UPDATE: Warren Street at Blue Girl, Red State says that Bush is lying about why he quit golf:

    Actually, it is far more likely that Bush quit playing golf because he was suffering from knee problems throughout the latter half of 2003.

    Street then links to a CBS News article published in December 2003:

    Bush, 57, will have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test on Thursday, Dec. 18. The body-scanning device enables doctors to see internal organs in 3D.

    The MRI is being performed on the advice of the President’s regular White House physician. Last summer, Bush suffered a minor muscle tear in his right calf and that injury, along with aching knees, forced him to abandon his running routine. The calf strain healed by August when he had his annual physical, but the president said in September that he suspected he had a meniscus tear.

    (H/T to Cernig)

    UPDATE II: Bush actually played his last round of golf on October 13, 2003. This means that the reason he gave for quitting after the August 2003 U.N. bombing is dubious at best. More likely, he made the story up in a clumsy ploy to gain sympathy. In many regions and cultures around the world, this is called “lying.”

  5. It seems to me impossible that we’ve ever had a President who was so ignorant and had such a lack of self-awareness. I’ll bet that Warren G. Harding was aware that he was corrupt and embraced it, so at least he had some self-awareness. I don’t believe that Bush has any understanding of the stupidity of this statement on its’ face.

    The truth has come out today that his giving up golf came after he developed a leg injury that affected his mobility. This play for sympathy for his “sacrifice,” which in turn was a lie, indicates how out of touch with it he really is. The other possibility is that he is so mentally disturbed and narcissistic that he doesn’t understand that his giving up golf cannot make up for his causing this illegal war.
    Most disturbing thought of all is that all of the above describes his mental and intellectual condition.

  6. I just thought for the sake of being controversial that I would send this message – using my blackberry – from the driving range. I just don’t have the time to play golf.

    Only a veteran sociopath could construe this notion. Perfect logic – tell America to go shopping and the President gives up golf ??

    Fore …………

  7. JT:

    Thank you for that except from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”–my favorite novel. I hadn’t thought about that author or that work in years. Here’s my favorite line that sort of applies to our current POTUS:

    “Whether he knew of this deficiency himself I can’t say. I think the knowledge came to him at last–only at the very last. But the wilderness found him out early, and had taken vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude–and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.”

    How’s that for great writing and prescience!

  8. I am also in favor of making less widows. We can start by leaving Iraq and concentrating on Afghanistan. We can make less widows by not building up naval forces around Iran. We can make less widows by merely removing George W. from office. I know the Congress won’t do that, but every day he is in office, someone else is going to die for his whims or for the whims of one of his corporate friends.

  9. If Bush has really such a depth of compassion, let him declare that the Iraqi people are his own bretherns and sisters and cease the unholy inhuman war on Iraq and stop the blood-bath right now.

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