You might wonder if you are overly suspicious pondering if Laura Bush’s operation for a pinched nerve coming just before War Is Peace week was a part of the elaborate media charade in pursuit of eternal war. Of course, voicing such suspicions would be out of bounds, in our media, about a conservative Republican First Lady. Openly accusing Hillary Clinton of the murder of Vincent Foster on even the most officially august organs of the media was not out of bounds but wondering if the scheduling of minor surgery could have a political dimension is unthinkable. And you might wonder yourself, but you can’t possibly say for sure if you are being paranoid. The Bush II regime is the phoniest, most dishonest and most successful media presidency in our history. They have shown over and over again that nothing is sacred, nothing is out of bounds in their pursuit of getting their own way through exploitation of the willing media who will deliver exactly what they want in terms designed to deceive the public.
In a very short and very effective article Susan J. Douglas asks how Laura Bush can live with herself. Far from being the twinkly-eyed china doll she is usually presented as being, Laura Bush has been a stock part of the media show, delivering some of the most hypocritical, advocacy for women’s rights on behalf of her husband’s presidency as it has done more to damage women’s rights, here and abroad, than any previous modern administration.
The short article gives so many examples that it is hard to figure out which ones to highlight. What the article points out about Afghanistan, where any hope of progress for women was jettisoned as soon as Laura’s empty words about it died from the airwaves, is a complete disaster for women. The fact that the present reality came after the Taliban under which women had no rights is the only and entirely deceptive mitigation to her subsequent lies that things were “very encouraging” *for women in Afghanistan. But it has to be in Iraq, where women went from a relatively liberated situation in the region, where women’s position has suffered the most under Bush II policies. George W. Bush, by his invasion of Iraq, has very likely reduced more human beings to the status of chattels than any other person alive today.
Literally every time the Bush regime has something to do with women, women come off the worse for it. And just about any time Laura Bush talks about women’s rights, it’s a lie to cover up that record. In criticizing a First Lady, Susan Douglas breaks the rule that a presidents wife is out of bounds. As anyone who remembers recent history knows, it’s a rule that has never been followed, certainly not for Rosalind Carter, Betty Ford and Hillary Clinton. But she makes an excellent case that no other modern First Lady has combined a complete lack of personal effort with a willingness to be put to such cynical use as has Laura Bush. Douglas asks how she can live with herself, but maybe she answers herself when she asks how she can live with him.
* Said from Jay Leno’s platform for Republican propaganda. Jay Leno is about as amusing as a lipid filled puddle of slime.
Note: You might also want to look at this book review by Erin Wiegand of Rethinking Global Sisterhood: Western Feminism and Iran By Nima Naghibi.