It was not a good night by anyone’s standard unless you were perhaps someone that thought war was a good thing. The debates had gone on for months and in some ways years. “Saddam Hussein had to be taken out; we will have to deal with him eventually, it might as well be now. He has those monstrous weapons of mass destruction and he will use them….” On that March night in 2003 the second George W. Bush War Campaign would begin with a little something called”Shock and Awe.” We would have the pleasure of seeing it televised safely at home. A kind of macabre, historic, media event that was “Must See TV.” As I waited for the event I began a painted.
George Bush had been convinced by members of his administration principally Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz that because of the collapse of the Soviet Union we were without a compelling rival and thus unbeatable. The war on terror made it convenient and seemingly necessary to bomb Bagdad. It was time to extend the empire; America’s time for sole world domination was here. As the “Bush Doctrine” took effect I continued to paint. The painting I worked on during the premiere night continued to develop and I now called it “The Imperalist”.
Since that initial night which turned out to be neither especially shocking nor awesome we have moved on to other things along with the Bush administration (and Saddam). The wars have not. We now have a new administration; that isn’t exactly new anymore and with his book that is new Bob Woodward has dubbed Iraq and Afghanistan; “Obama’s Wars”.
Woodward wrote four books during Bush’s years and this is his first during Obama’s tenure. Woodward is becoming the principal presidential scribe of the twenty-first century. His is a true insider and highly respected.
The job description of the American Presidency though seemingly the same changes with each president. Things are inherited and new events change what is asked of each man while in office. Aside from “The Party Agenda”; personal policies and personality determine what we expect from each man in the oval office. Health care, the economy and the wars are defining Obama. The first drafts of his presidential histories are being written. Obama continues, health care, the economy and the wars continue; Bob Woodward continues. I continue to paint though I may change the title of “The Imperalist “to “The Inheritance”.