Here’s the thing.
You can give up golf. You can stand in the bright sunshine and spew platitudes and justifications.
But just as it comes to those of us who did the killing, three aye emm will come for you, Mr. President.
Oh, I know, you don’t think so. Frankly, many of your most fervent opponents think you don’t have the capacity for that kind of suffering.
But you and I? We know different, don’t we Bush? We know they come to haunt you already, and that’s will all the crimes and games and stories still in play. You’re already starting to get it. Get the pain, the horror, the guilt. You kind of understand, in a fuzzy way, that you’ve got a lot to process in your remaining years. That those nights are long and dark, and they just get longer and darker.
Some night, in a few years, you’re going to be pacing the house, angry, scared, sweating, gripping Saddam’s pistol in your hand, knowing the lies were lies and the lives were wasted.
I killed, Mr. President, at my country’s behest. In large numbers. A few nights I took more lives than you did as governor. And I pay for it, over and over again, in spite of the awards and rewards of my “grateful nation”.
My family suffered for my damage. My country suffered for my crimes, as I was unable to stop fighting a war that never ended.
You know these pains, Mr. President. You recognize the haunting guilt, the things you did, the things you could have done, the things you didn’t do. And every crime is so much greater in your case. You never held the line. You never fought to hold a perimeter, you never killed at eyeball range to keep from dying, to keep from losing your friends, to get one more goddamn hour when you are nineteen years old and you just know you don’t fucking want to die.
Oh no. You owe the devil so much more. The lives you through into the grinder, American lives, Iraqi lives, American families, Iraqi families, widows, orphans, amputees, those that died quick and those that died hard and slow.
There are those who say only you know why. But you and I know the real truth, don’t we. That there is no why. You did it because you could, and you wanted to. You can never offer up a justification because you know that ultimately, there is none. All this blood. All this horror.
Go into your dotage in peace, Mr. President. The ghouls and the souls of the dead will not allow you to sleep in peace.
And that is, I suppose, as it should be. At last, you are a veteran…