President Bush really is the Chance Gardiner of the 21st century. He spoke recently to Mike Allen, a writer for Politico, and, incredibly, it seems that the President has made golf a primary personal sacrifice during his war in Iraq.
For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families.
“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families 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 made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights.
“I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf — I think I was in central Texas — and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.’”
It occurred to me the other day that, with the war in Iraq now six years old, it’s lasted almost longer than the Second World War, during which over 70 million people were killed between 1939 and 1945. President Bush can kindly argue that at least that many people didn’t die on his watch because of this war.