When he heard the news that George Bush Jr. cancelled his trip to Switzerland due to the threat of torture charges, the fat man sitting on the bar stool next to me burped. He had meant to say something, but only gas came up. He was here alone; I was here with a short girl I had met the previous evening.
“I voted for that George Bush bastard!” he shouted and slammed his fist on the bar. “You mean Bush actually tortured people?” The man was bewildered and hurt. I felt sorry for him. “I liked Bush,” he continued. “He was a real American. I thought.”
The bar was full at this early evening hour, but for some reason it felt like just the three of us; the fat man, myself, and the girl were sitting on our own island, nursing our mental wounds and shitty childhoods with America’s favorite drug. The bartender frowned at the fat man, and then at us.
I was sipping whiskey. My girl had vodka and tonic. The fat man was drinking beer out of a tall glass. I shouted to the bartender, Get this heavy man a shot of expensive whiskey, and put it on his tab. The man was obsessed with the TV. The bartender reached high up and grabbed a good dry whiskey. With his other arm, he reached to the middle of his back and scratched.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday. (source)
Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on Feb. 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.
“Can you believe it!” he said to me, pointing to the screen above the bartender’s head. The bartender placed a healthy shot in front of him. A ring of whiskey formed around the base of the shot glass.
Calm down, sport, I said, loosen your tie and drink that whiskey. It’s on the house, apparently. He threw back the shot, wiped his lips with the back of his hand, and belched. My girl tugged my sleeve.
You didn’t think George Bush Jr. was an upright American, did you? I asked him.
“I knew he had an unhealthy interest in the prosperity of rich people, yeah, but I didn’t think he allowed people to be tortured.” He pounded his fist against the bar again. Good thing we were in a seedy Hollywood dive, otherwise they would have kicked us out.
He also raped people, I told him.
“Raped people? Now you’re joking with me. I’m a large man, my heart can’t handle this.”
I’m serious I told him. I don’t mean Bush Jr. raped girls in college-I’m sure he did that too-I mean he allowed our troops to stick their fingers into the most sacred and tightened orifices of their military prisoners. For humiliation. That’s military prison dogma by now. (Abu Ghraib)
The man’s face went red. His nose hairs vibrated with his breath, yet he seemed to be struggling to breath. What’s your name? I asked.
“Call me Jimmy; ain’t my real name, in case you’re one of those Obama henchmen.”
I’m Larry Craig, I said. We shook hands; he was sweating, but he had a solid grip. I liked him.
Our military really got off when they stripped down the Arab prisoners and dressed them up in their mother’s lingerie, I said. Sexy stuff, if you’re a speed freak with an M16.
Jimmy drank his beer. He viciously set his beer glass on the varnished bar. “Fill it,” he said to the bartender. My girl kept saying my name so I told her to quiet down or I would tell Jimmy to take a go at her. Order another drink, I said, this is going to be good.
Not all of the U.S. military guards were on speed, of course, but most of them were. No human could stay up all hours of the night beating and raping these prisoners. Gauntanamo was open 24/7. It’s still open. Constantly an American orgy going on. Sex toys hooked straight into the camp’s jerry-rigged electrical system with enough voltage to explode an Arab prostrate. Well, I said hitting him on the shoulder, you voted for the bastard, we could call the whole thing Jimmy-rigged. Seems fitting enough.
The fat man let out a series of curses that would make Captain Ahab blush. The bartender, two notches mightier than the monomaniac captain of the Pequod, did not blush, but instead gave the man a look and motioned for him to “cut it.” Jimmy shook his head and wiped his mustache with a bar napkin. “I voted for that guy because I thought he was upright.”
Human rights groups said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in the Swiss city on Monday for alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base in Cuba where captives from Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts in the so-called War on Terror were interned.
Freshen my drink and put it on his tab, I said, pointing to Jimmy. For cussing so much. It’s only fair.
Jimmy didn’t seem to mind. He waved a hand. “I never heard nothing about Bush torturing people. I used to call Switzerland a bunch of pussies, but not anymore. They actually stand for what I thought Bush stood for.”
No way! You’ve been living under a mountain, man! I continued:
You ever read the Marquis de Sade? He predicted this stuff. A well-sheltered haven designed solely for mercilessly brutal torture and rape of helpless individuals. Sure, Bush called them scoundrels, said it was OK to plunder their souls and obliterate their orifices and shred their dignity. Scoundrels aren’t people. 24 hour sadism is all these people deserve. And that’s what they’re getting, thanks to your Bushy boy.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush has cancelled a visit to Switzerland due to the threat of torture prosecution, the TV said again. “Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he cancelled his trip to avoid our case. The message from civil society is clear – If you’re a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It’s a slow process for accountability, but we keep going,” the Paris-based FIDH and New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said in a joint statement on Saturday. An ominous warning for Bush and his waterboarding torture.
“Don’t tell me you’re condoning this kind of behavior. I’ll smash your face in if you’re condoning raping and torturing Arab people. They’re people too,” he shouted, and then shouted it again. His spit sprinkled my face.
My girl grabbed my arm and whispered, Let’s go, he’s making me nervous. No way, I said, we’re not leaving this behind. Not now, not yet.
Don’t blame me, I said. George Bush Jr. was down for all of this. He couldn’t bear to watch the carnage live, the ruthless destruction of sub-humans called Arabs, but the president loved to imagine it. And for God’s sake, and Jesus Christ’s sake also, Bush wouldn’t shut down Guantanamo, even after the horror and sadism was made known to the world.
“For the love of St. Peter, Martha and Mary. Jesus! Christ!” Jimmy’s heart was going to explode. I made a quick motion for the bartender to get this man another whiskey. I pointed to the man’s heart; the bartender nodded. “I’m going to throw up,” the man said.
“President Bush has admitted he ordered waterboarding which everyone considers to be a form of torture under international law. Under the Convention against Torture, authorities would have been obliged to open an investigation and either prosecute or extradite George Bush,” Brody said.
Hold onto it, Sonny Boy, this is just the beginning. “I want to smash his face in!” he said. “I want two minutes with him, alone, in an isolated room.”
Don’t say that, I warned him, that could get you landed in the Brig, in Quantico, Virginia. You’d be cellmates with Bradley Manning.
Jimmy drained the whiskey. His left eye was murderously bloodshot. His hands trembled. “Look what I’ve done.”
It’s not just you. Many Americans like rape and torture. They kept the bastard in office. It gets good ratings on TV.
“I care,” he said and grabbed my thigh. On my other thigh was the hand of my girl.
Bush was probably just trying to keep America safe from another terrorist attack. That’s all. Who knows, I said, he was probably doing what was necessary. You would have done the same, I’m sure.
“I wouldn’t have tortured nobody!” Jimmy’s cheeks were shaking and his head trembled. “You can’t keep America safe by raping and beating prisoners.”
“All right, buddy, calm it down or take a hike,” the bartender said. “I don’t need a bunch of ranting and raving here.” Jimmy stood, his bar stool toppled behind him and clattered. He had the entire bar’s attention. “Our 43rd president CONDONED TORTURE–“
And rape, I mentioned.
“And RAPE and I didn’t even know about it.”
He’s never apologized for it, and he sticks by the decision to this day, I said, helping him out; flustered men can rarely make a good speech.
“George W. Bush has never apologized for allowing the American military to TORTURE real human beings and letting them get RAPED and BEATEN!”
It’s time to go, I told the girl.
“You’re outta here,” buddy, the bartender said and pointed to the door.
“Listen here,” Jimmy said. “I’ve never felt more betrayed in my life.” He was holding his chest. “My president destroyed human lives on behalf of me. And you! And all of us here! I’d like to take a high voltage rod and stick it–“
The bartender turned the music so loud nobody could hear Jimmy.
Don’t forget to PAY YOUR TAB! I shouted into his ear. Great meeting you. See you around. And we were out of there. A lot of freaks in Los Angeles, and they’re concentrated in Hollywood. Some people can’t even watch the news without overreacting. Outside the pavement was wet. The smell of car exhaust and rain. Everything was normal. We could breathe free again.