What they heard

Some years ago, Hart Seely (who writes for the PS) put together a collection of Donald Rumsfeld quotes re-imagined as free verse. Maybe it’s not just for fun that one can do this; maybe one can really get an insight on what so many people found inoffensive, or even attractive about the rhetoric that was endlessly recited by President Bush in the days after 9/11. It obviously had to be attractive to millions of Americans on some level, and for quite some time. Rather than hide behind hindsight, maybe we should just understand that maybe what sounded like bullshit to some of us, sounded like comforting country-rock song lyrics to someone else. Here, with a big tip of the hat to Mr. Seely, are some of Bush’s Greatest Hits…

“Peace”

it’s a lot safer today than it was a year ago
and it’s going to be safer after this year than it was this year
because the united states of america
will continue to lead
a vast coalition
of freedom-loving countries
and the american
this government will continue to lead the world toward more peace

and the american people need to be mindful
of the fact that our government
is committed to peace
and committed to freedom

you said we’re headed to war in iraq
i don’t know why you say that
i hope we’re not headed to war in iraq
i’m the person who gets to decide
not you

“Losing a Life”

any time one of our soldiers loses a life
i grieve with their parents and their loved ones
i pray for god’s comfort and god’s healing powers
to anybody
coalition force
american
brit
anybody who loses a life in this
in our efforts to make
the world more peaceful and more free

“Free”

you’re free!
and freedom is beautiful and
you know
it will take time to restore chaos and order
but we
order out of chaos
but we will.