The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The Golf War

May 14, 2008

According to President George W. Bush, the U.S. has been engaged in a “war on terrorism” for almost the entirety of his presidency. Indeed, he frequently laments the fact that he’s been a “war President” despite not knowing in 2000 that that would be his destiny.

have often bashed the President for failing to urge the American people to make common sacrifices in support of that war. Even sympathetic voices say that soldiers have made virtually all the major sacrifices in this war.

Indeed, rather than make sacrifices, the President has long encouraged the American people to live their lives as if the war did not require personal hardship. Go shopping, he often said:

the American people have got to go about their business. We cannot let the terrorists achieve the objective of frightening our nation to the point where we don’t — where we don’t conduct business, where people don’t shop.

As recently as December 2006, Bush said “I encourage you all to go shopping more.”

Now that his term in office is about over, however, the President has revealed the personal sacrifice he’s making. From today’s Washington Post:

President Bush said yesterday that he gave up golfing in 2003 “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq, concluding that it was “just not worth it anymore” to play the sport in a time of war.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” Bush said in a White House interview with the Politico. “I feel I owe it to the families to be as — to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Bush said he decided to stop playing golf on Aug. 19, 2003, when a truck bomb in Baghdad killed U.N. special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and more than a dozen others.

I’m sure the parents of the troops must feel much better about the commander-in-chief.

Scratch that. I’m sure we’ll see that quote in a future Michael Moore film

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.