The Daily Mail in the UK has followed up its stories yesterday on the new movie, Death Of A President, with this 'What If?' piece by an historian on how the future may unfold if the events in the movie - Bush being assassinated in 2007 - actually did occur.
I think we'll move off this story for a bit after this. Just writing headlines like the above is way too creepy.
I have no wish for President Bush to be assassinated. I want him to grow old and spend the rest of his life thinking about the things he did and the choices he made, and living with the knowledge that he helped create the conditions that resulted in the untimely deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Maybe Bush at 80 years old will not care an iota about the carnage he helped to unleash, maybe he will never believe he did anything wrong, but a quick death like this movie portrays is a far too easy out for one of the most vicious (and thus far) untried war criminals of the 21st century.
You can hate President Bush's sometimes demented policies, his schitzoid behaviour, his knife-edge temper and his total disconnection with the realities of our world today, but if you think the War On Terror would change, or the War On Iraq would be over, with the death of Bush, you're living in the same kind of deluded fantasy realm in which he dwells.
The War On Iraq will last for years to come, and the War On Terror will roll on until the majority of the world's people vote out the government's who keep it alive and thriving.
Okay, here's some excerpts from the 'What If? piece in today's Daily Mail :
The murder of George W. Bush set off a global crisis with which we still live today, ten years after he was killed.
George W. Bush's hopes of bringing 'peace through democracy' to the Middle East after his invasion of Iraq had already worn thin by autumn 2006. Anti-war demonstrations had become more numerous and security tightened everywhere.The new President, speaking from a 'secure location' soon nicknamed Bunker One, announced that 'those who celebrate death will learn to taste it soon enough'. Dick Cheney appeared unfazed by the day's gruesome events.
Despite Britain's own experience of Islamic terrorism, the public response to the murder of the American president here was muted, at best — and in some quarters, not all Muslim, it was joyful.
At home and abroad, the gloating over Bush's death soon gave way to a sober realisation that he had actually been a check on Dick Cheney's ruthless way of defending America from enemies at home or abroad.
Executive orders authorising detention without trial of citizens as well as aliens suspected of 'terrorist affiliations' and closing America's borders were signed off with astonishing alacrity, as were military plans to strike regimes that had celebrated Bush's death.
Syria was attacked, but Iran bore the brunt. Mass strikes by bombers and cruise missiles knocked out any capacity Iran had for making modern weapons, let alone nuclear bombs, but at a huge price. A country of 70million cowered under the shadow of burning oil wells and the pollution from devastated petro-chemical plants.A grim war went on year after year in the lunar landscape which was much of Iran. As America struggled to find a replacement for the Ayatollahs' regime, even the willing support of Iranian émigrés from America wanting to wipe away the stain of the assassin's crime could not build a stable pro-U.S. government in Tehran.
Even as U.S. planes and cruise missiles struck at targets across Iran, American naval power went into action against Iran's ally Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. A wave of protests swept Latin America. Chaos engulfed much of Mexico, sending waves of refugees north to the American border.The backlash from these attempts to resolve America's foreign problems with decisive military strikes overshadowed the domestic impact of Bush's death. Iranian and Arab Americans weathered the wave of revenge pogroms set off by the assassination, but the bureaucracy of Homeland Security extended its surveillance over them, and pretty well anyone else.
Cheney's re-election campaign in 2008 was conducted in a virtual state of emergency, with him addressing the Republican convention by 3D video link from a secure location. The mood of ongoing crisis, combined with the choice of Jeb Bush as his Vice President, widely seen in America as a tribute to the slain President, ensured him a landslide.
For a man with a history of heart problems, Cheney's survival for almost ten years as president during what the New York Times called 'Our Time of Troubles' was remarkable.
'I thrive on crisis,' Cheney explained, 'it was peace that got me tense.' Occasionally he was short of breath, but Cheney even turned this to his advantage. Images of President Cheney in a wheelchair at Thanksgiving 2010 were carefully choreographed to recall Franklin Roosevelt in charge of the war effort 70 years earlier.
Despite the mayhem since Bush's murder, most Americans had preferred to stick by Dick Cheney. His no-nonsense manner reassured, even as crises kept recurring.