George Bush has spoken with admirable frankness on the way the war in Iraq has affected him personally, and some of the sacrifices he’s had to make.
Although a devoted golfing enthusiast for many years, the President has had to curtail his semi-professional engagement in the sport, as a result of increased pressure to at least try to run the most influential country on the planet half-way competently.
“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he told a crowd of heartbroken fans, who had been hoping that next year might finally see him emerge as a serious competitor in the Ryder Cup, once many of his lesser commitments are delegated to his successor in January. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”
Shelly Hargreaves, whose 23-year-old son was killed by a truck bomb in Iraq last year, was particularly moved by the President’s gesture. “I know Mr. Bush doesn’t want to give the impression of indulging in frivolous leisure activities while thousands of people die on his orders,” she said, “but it makes me weep to see him throw away such a chance to really make an impression on the world. The guy could slice a follow-through shot like I’ve never seen. My Ashton wouldn’t have wanted to get blown up thousands of miles from home for this.”
This is not the first time the real human cost of the Iraq war has been brought home with a jarring harshness, of course. In August 2006, Dick Cheney announced that he would be retiring from his occasional role of children’s party magician – a job that many close to the Vice President claimed he always considered his real calling in life, and the most truly important thing he did.
“I’ll miss the looks on those kids’ faces when I whip the coloured handkerchiefs from out my sleeve,” he said sadly at the time. “But there’s some sort of big fight going on in one of those Arab countries, and everyone keeps telling me I ought to be paying it more attention.”
Hat-tip to the EvolutionBlog.