A while back I wrote about my memories of Reagan and Thatcher – The blunting of the blood. (You don’t have to read it as this piece is based on that one.) How some of us now have such fond memories of those leaders of the 80’s. Yes, our memories take on such lovely scenery when we think of the days of yesterday. The good old days. Those photos of their smiling faces. When we still had crap music and even crappier clothes. I am so not going to talk about the hairstyles… We can laugh at how silly we were. But we can never allow ourselves to look back at those days and think that they were okay. They weren’t.

But all this reflection and softening of views make me turn to the current leader of the free world. G.W. Bush. Sorry, President G.W. Bush.

Let me be clear about this piece. Very clear. I don’t want any misunderstanding. I don’t want to be accused of something that isn’t there. No misreading please. This is not a reflection on America or the American people. I love America and Americans – and everything this country and the people stand for. I will back them till death do us part. This is one hell of a country and more important than most Americans will know. I am proud of the fact that my daughters have to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school. But I won’t go into that today. Let’s just leave it at that. This is about President G.W. Bush and what he stands for and what he has done. I respect the office of the President of the United States and what it stands for – but I don’t respect President Bush and what he stands for. This is about never forgetting and never forgiving. This is about the memories we will have when we look back at the time President G.W. Bush ruled the free world.

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neverforget_500

I am shocked, or rather surprised, by a few people close to me who mentioned that he looks like such a good dad. He looks like a good guy. Maybe a bit stupid, but a good guy you know.

No I don’t.

I was shocked by my first immediate reaction when the person said that they hated what he has done but that he seems like such a good dad and that it looks like he really loves his wife. My reaction?

“Well, Hitler loved Eva Braun.”

I did regret saying it but it was an immediate reaction. Like the one second rule in self defense. I didn’t think about it – it just popped out.

I regret saying it because I did not mean in any way that Bush is like Hitler. Not in any way. What I meant was that loving someone does not mean I have to have any compassion for you. Or that I should in any way view your actions as okay. It’s not.

You loved someone. So what? There are a shit load of people out there you didn’t love.

You had good intentions? Well… We know about that road and good intentions…

You are better than Hitler. So what? It’s not really a yardstick to measure anyone now is it? I can only judge you on your own actions. And for that reason there will be no forgetting. No forgiving. No favorable views. No good memories. No blunting of the blood.

I can’t look at him and think that somehow there is a good man hidden inside. I can’t read minds. I can’t see his soul. I can only judge by the actions I see. And the bodies in the street.  

I can’t wipe away the bad that happened yesterday. The pain doesn’t actually feel less important. Time does not heal the dead left behind. I can’t blunt the memories of those who suffered. 

Can we look at Bush and think that he was a good guy who loved his country and not remember the warmongering? I don’t doubt or question his love for his country. A great country. It is worth loving. And it is worth defending. But the love for his country does not make him a good guy. It doesn’t change the lies of WMD’s. It doesn’t change the lies of victory never achieved in his time. The empty promises of war and vengeance.

Can we look at Bush and think that love ruled his life before anything else? Even though he never spoke out against terrorists of human rights in Saudi Arabia. He didn’t fund them. But he never spoke out against them. You are judged by the company you keep. And they weren’t nice people. And he wasn’t a nice guy. Sitting on a horse for the cameras or chopping wood for the reporters are called acting. Not real life. How many people died because of his policies? How much blood must he have on his hands before you look at the man and say he was fundamentally flawed? And remind yourself never to forget that this is the man who ruled and not the guy we want to remember as the one who loved.

Can we remember Bush as the President who amused us with his silly words and stupid remarks? Can we laugh at how much fodder he gave the late night shows and comedians? No we can’t. We can’t forget how he slowly but surely strangled the last line in Pledge of Allegiance. “…liberty and justice for all.” How the freedoms and rights and liberties and justice were slowly eroded under his watch. The Patriot Act was sold as the car with the latest safety measures and gadgets. And all we got was a second-hand salesman selling us a car that guzzled gas and made us more addicted to foreign oil. Guantanamo Bay was the victim of the hit-and-run accident that involved that car.

And I won’t forgive or forget his favorite side-kick either. Tony Blair… How can we forget his wishy-washy attitude about the war that was against the popular wishes of his own people. Now hiding behind his religious beliefs as if God send him to go into a senseless war. His willingness to follow Bush to the graves of the innocent. Like Thatcher and Reagan. So was Blair and Bush. Different sides of the same coin. He was bad. They are bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.

I am sorry. I can’t look at Bush and his stupid smile and feel any warmth. I can’t see his love for those close to him. All I see is the people dying in the streets and the erosion of rights. And him not speaking out against the terrorists of human rights. People dying senselessly. Blood on his hands. No forgiveness. No love. Nothing.

I am sorry. I can’t. I can’t… I can’t forgive if the person doesn’t ask for forgiveness. I can’t look at him and see a “good guy”. I can’t. I see him and I see the look of Reagan and Thatcher in the 80’s. He has given leadership a bad name. Because he did bad things. Blood on his hands. No love. No forgiveness. No good memories. Nothing.

I see his fake smile and teary eyes when he realizes his time in charge is over. And then I see his deeds. The blood on the streets. Rights ripped to pieces. Honor gone to shit. Ideals flushed down the toilet. I see him selling me shit but calling it sweets. You didn’t fool me then. And my memories won’t fool me now.

I won’t let time fade my memories. I won’t. No blunting of the blood. You ask for forgiveness and I will forgive. But not an inch until then. I won’t do it. I will honor the dead of yesterday. And I will honor the dead of today. I will honor them by not forgetting them. And not forgiving you.

You should have known better. You should have known better. You ruled the free world. It came with a responsibility. An oath to walk the straight and narrow. A promise to be the shining light in our dark world. And you snuffed it out like it was a single candle in a storm. Without a blink. Without regret. Without a moment given to the dead lying in your path. Without a moment of asking forgiveness. Because you didn’t care. You only cared about yourself. You were selfish and self absorbed.

Wash your hands and turn your back. That’s what you will do. Like they did then and you will do now. I don’t feel sorry for you. I don’t think you were a nice guy. I have nothing for you. You are empty. Meaningless to humanity. You have meaning only in the blood you left behind in the streets. The rights lying in the gutters of life. And the blood etched in our memories.

I don’t give a damn about what the terrorist and the fucked up coward in the cave did. I don’t give a damn about what Saddam did. I don’t give a damn about what the Taliban did. They deserve death beyond comprehension. But I don’t care about their deeds. I expected them to be evil. It was in their bones. In their blood. They were in my face. They were bad. And we knew it. We know it. We heard their hatred and saw their murdering ways. Like Hitler they were.

But you. You were supposed to be the promise keeper. The good one. The fair one. The just one. The one who would fight for us. Be on our side. On the side of the innocent. The bystanders. And you spat on us and those who suffered. And gave us a fake cowboy smile and a gun to our heads.

I won’t let my memories be blunted by the troubles of today. Today is today. Yesterday was yesterday. You were bad yesterday. And you remain bad today. I won’t let them say “he was really a good guy who loved his family”. I won’t let them think of you as being out of depth and maybe a little stupid. I won’t let you get away with it. I won’t. You weren’t stupid. Your mistakes were made by you. Knowingly. I won’t forget. Not while the blood is still on your hands. Not while the rights and freedoms and liberties and justice are lying shattered at your feet. Not while I still have my memories of the dead. Not while you forgot to ask for forgiveness.

No blunting. You let us down. You have blood on your hands. You. Are. No. Great. Leader.

No blunting.

Never forget. Never forgive. Don’t let it fade.

No blunting. Of the blood.

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I am 1% Angry and 99% African. But sometimes the Angry part wins. It did this time. I don’t apologize for that. It’s me. But it might not be the usual post you get from me. For that I apologize.

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Who did you kill today sweetie?

Who did you kill today sweetie?

Why is it that we remember Western leaders of yesterday so fondly? Yes, I agree, we should never forget the evil murdering leaders like Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Botha. Those are memories we should put away in the vault. And never forget to never let them happen again. They were evil. But we knew that. It was obvious. We heard their evil words. And saw there evil deeds.

But why do we look back at the Western leaders and think they were good? Why is it that we wipe out the bad that happened yesterday like we forget what pain actually feels like? We remember the bad things like Apartheid and World War II, but remember the Western leaders so fondly. Why? Why do we blunt our memories?

Reagan hanging with his Taliban friends

Reagan hanging with his Taliban friends

We remember Reagan as a “great leader” and not as the warmonger he was. Funding terrorist organizations left, right and centre throughout his time in that big house up on the hill. He supported Jonas Savimbi for god sake. He wasn’t a nice guy. Sitting next to the fireplace with a warm smile is called acting. Not real life. How many people died because of his policies? How much blood must he have on his hands before you look at the man and say he was fundamentally flawed?

We remember Thatcher as the Iron Lady. A woman strong enough to show woman can lead as well as men. And now we want to remember her as a great British leader. We should feel sorry for her now that she has dementia. And we forget how many people she spat on with her wishy-washy attitude towards Apartheid. Her willingness to follow Reagan to the graves of the innocent. Like Blair and Bush. So was Thatcher and Reagan. Different sides of the same coin. She was bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Maggie and Pinochet sharing a special moment

Maggie and Pinochet sharing a special moment

I am sorry. I can’t look at Reagan and his stupid smile and feel any warmth. I can’t see what you see. All I see is the people dying in the streets of South and Southern Africa. And him supporting the terrorists in Mozambique and Angola. And the white supremacist in South Africa and Rhodesia. And people dying in South America thanks to him. And his friends the Taliban. People dying. Blood on his hands. No forgiveness. No love. Nothing.

I am sorry. I can’t feel sorry for Thatcher. I can’t. I can’t forgive if the person doesn’t ask for forgiveness. I can’t look at her and see an old sick woman. I can’t. I see her and I see the look of a tyrant of the 80’s. A woman who wanted to be a man. As if men are any better. She order the killings like a “man”. Supported men like Pinochet who murdered before breakfast. She gave woman a bad name. She gave leadership a bad name. Because she did bad things. Blood on her hands. No love. No forgiveness. No good memories. Nothing.

I see their fake smiles and teary eyes. And then see their deeds. The blood on the streets. I see them selling me shit but calling it sweets. You didn’t fool me then. And my memories won’t fool me now.

I won’t let time fade my memories. I won’t. No blunting of the blood. You ask for forgiveness and I will forgive. But not an inch until then. I won’t do it. I will honor the dead of yesterday. I will honor them by not forgetting them. And not forgiving you.

You should have known better. You should have known better. You ruled the free world. It came with a responsibility. An oath to walk the straight and narrow. A promise to be the shining light in our dark world. And you snuffed it out like it was a single candle in a storm. Without a blink. Without regret. Without a moment given to the dead lying in your path. Without a moment of asking forgiveness. Because you didn’t care. You only cared about yourself. You were selfish and self absorbed.

Wash your hands and turn your back. You always did. Then and now. I don’t even feel sorry for you. I have nothing for you. You are empty. Meaningless to humanity. You have meaning only in the blood you left behind in the streets. And the blood etched in our memories.

I don’t give a damn about what the Soviets did. I don’t give a damn about what the Chinese did. I don’t give a damn about what Apartheid South Africa did. I expected them to be evil. It was in their bones. In their blood. They were in my face. They were bad. And we knew it. We heard their hatred and saw their murdering ways. Like Hitler they were.

But you. You were supposed to be the promise keepers. The people who would fight for us. Be on our side. On the side of the innocent. The bystanders. And you spat on us and those who suffered. And gave us a Hollywood smile and a gun to our heads.

The 80’s wasn’t just about crap music and bad hair. It was also a time of oppression, murder, terrorism and leaders selling us short. It was a bad time. With bad leaders. Doing bad things. And you let it happen. No. You made it happen.

I won’t let my memories be blunted by the troubles of today. Today is today. Yesterday was yesterday. You were bad yesterday. And you remain bad today. Dead or not. Dementia or not. I won’t let you die in peace. I won’t let them say “oh, those were the good old days”. I won’t let them think of you as the good old Gipper and the Iron Lady. I won’t let you get away with it. I won’t. Not while the blood is still on your hands. Not while I still have my memories of the dead. Not while you forgot to ask for forgiveness.

No blunting. You let us down. You looked the other way. You were friends with those who killed and oppressed. You have blood on your hands. You. Are. No. Great. Leader.

No blunting.

Never forget. Never forgive. Don’t let it fade.

No blunting. Of the blood.

A bit late. But, as my mother always said, rather late than never. And with the current crop of news, it really doesn’t matter. Let’s stroll through some of the news making headlines on God’s urinal – The (not so) Great Britain.

1. Why smokers will never listen

Smoking will kill you, you know. We know the “facts”. Heart disease, cancer, blood pressure, hearing loss. WTF? Hearing loss? Yes, of all the things that they can think of, hearing loss is now also linked to smoking. Hum, yes. Really? Apparently the same thing goes for obesity. I don’t think there is actually any scientific proof behind this all. Okay, maybe that fat roll hanging over my ear makes it difficult for me to hear, but smoking? I think the doctors and scientists got it all wrong this time. Smokers just act as if they can’t hear. Maybe they are just sick and tired of everyone telling them of all the horrid ways that they will die. Eventually the moaning and bitching becomes a little bit like pictures of Pamela Anderson. Interesting the first few times, but the same old same old after the tenth time of watching and listening. Smokers hear just fine. They just have selective hearing. Or maybe they hear, but they don’t listen.

2. Working the system

From the island country that gave us packaged holiday tours for teenage offenders comes their latest great idea for social cohesion. Getting prisoners a job. No, I don’t mean letting the jailbirds work in jail for a few pennies stitching together pillows or building roads. No. Not for the British. They want their jailbirds to have proper jobs. You know. It is difficult for a guy to get a decent job if he spend the last 25 years in jail for a double murder and theft on the side. Gotta feel sorry for him. Right sah? The poor fella never had a decent chance to make something out of life. So now they want to give them proper jobs so they can get some work experience. They want to give prisoners a job outside jail to gain some work and life experiences. WTF? Let me say that again… WTF? This is pathetic isn’t it? You give a guy free eduction, almost free medical care, so much support through your welfare system that it almost doesn’t pay to go and work, and now you want to give the guy a job because he said that he never had a proper chance to get some work experience? Huh, yes he did. He just decided that it was easier to break the law. You are such a bunch of suckers. The next thing they’ll tell you would be that Saddam needed to be taken out as he was capable of launching an attack with his WMD in 45 minutes. Oops. They already did. Sorry. Go get a job. A real job. Maybe you’ll learn how to deal with real problems and not get suckered into thinking that every social problem needs a civil solution.

3. The demon children

Those poor, poor kids in the United Kingdom. They have it sooo tough. You know, everyone is just so hard on the little angels. We really shouldn’t be so hard on them. We should stop demonising them. Hum, people! They are yobs! I have lived on three continents and can honestly say that the British kids are the most spoilt, lazy and pampered lot that I have ever seen. They refuse to do anything. Okay, anything constructive. They hang out in the streets and all they want to do is drink and smoke. Okay, huge generalization, but you know what I mean. In general. Now they are on about how the little angels are demonised and that they have it sooooo tough. And they moan and bitch that too many of the sweethearts face criminal charges. Hum, sorry to say, but don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time… Apparently, the UK are to hard on their kids. The same report says that British kids “drank more alcohol, (and) had deteriorating mental health”. You get the picture? These kids aren’t allowed to compete at school because there shouldn’t be any winners or losers. That they don’t fail, they are having “deferred success”. You have a problem with your kids because you pamper them instead of loving them. You think that throwing money at them is the same thing as hugging them. You think that… Aargh. Let me just stop there. I just can’t stand people not taking responsibility for themselves or their kids. Love them and teach them. Don’t let the government do it for you. They can’t even get a train to run on time – how do you think they will run your kid?

4. Here kitty

The headlines on the page read, “Two in court over pizzeria murder“, “Attacker stamps on man’s head“, “Man’s death in explosion probed“, etc. Just one bit of bad news after the other. Hey, I didn’t even read these articles so don’t bother – sure that it is some Scot being Scottish. But all you have to do is throw a cat story in there and they go all soft. Yes, it was all about murder and death and political warfare in the news. And then one popped up about a woman who rescued a six-hour old kitten with a vacuum cleaner. A sock was pulled over the pipe and she sucked the poor kitten out the drain it was stuck in. Great story. Right… But was it really newsworthy? Oh yes it was. Especially in Scotland. Imagine this… You live in a place where it always rains, you depend on the English paying you to stay afloat, you lose almost each and every sporting event you compete in (even after you hired a German to try and fix it), your best beers are warm and from Ireland, even your whiskey was actually invented by the Irish, you think deep-fried pizza is food to be proud of, and your economy is tanking so badly that you don’t wear anything under your kilt because you can’t afford it. Imagine you live in that little place called hell. Wouldn’t you put the woman who saved a kitten with a vacuum machine on the front page? Especially if she owns the only working vacuum machine in the country? I mean really. The Scots did lose the war against the English. I bet you it was a Dyson – an English invention.

5. Parting shot

I wanted to end the weekly weakly report on a political note. Tell you about the great leaders following in the footsteps if Churchill, Thatcher and Blair. Okay, one out of two isn’t bad, but I can’t think of another “great” British leader in the last 100 years apart from Thatchers. Hah! I meant Blair… Anyway. But apart from stories about terror laws and pulling the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan in the next 1-100 years (pick a number), I just couldn’t find anything really new. Apart from David “Toff” Cameron and his bloody hair. Apparently he had a middle parting the other day and it made headline news all over the place. Such a rebel. Instead of his normal parting to the side he stood up for all those little middle-of-the-road partings across middle England and had one himself. Or maybe he just put the helmet on and forgot to brush his hair afterwards. But newsworthy? I guess I would also go for the hair option if I had to pick between watching Cameron’s hair or listening to him speak. Could be worse I guess. Could be the choice between watching Brown’s eye and listening to his policies.

Cheers. See ya later.

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