Monday, November 8, 2010

Shelve under: crime

There's a move afoot to encourage people to re-shelve George W. Bush's memoir when it hits bookstores tomorrow, November 9. The guy is, above all, a war criminal. He is directly responsible for the murders of over 100,000 people in Iraq and Afghanistan. He can also be fairly held accountable for thousands of deaths in New Orleans after the levees broke, based on his failure to order immediate effective emergency action to save lives. Go down the line--social service cutbacks, school and hospital closings, the destruction of affirmative action, bank bailouts, the foreclosure crisis, union busting, the war on women's reproductive choice and on LGBT rights--and you can tote up how every part of his record led to death and devastation. Of course, to varying extents you can say the same of every U.S. president, Democrat or Republican. But the special animus that so many hold against GWB is well earned, I'd say.

So tomorrow, go ahead and do it. If you can stomach even touching the thing, pick up his book. Saunter about the bookstore. Find yourself in the Crime section. Leave it there.

There's even a Facebook group promoting this mild bit of subversive rebranding. From its statement: "Be part of a literary movement. Literally. They did this to Tony Blair's book and I think we should do the same here. ... Make bookshops think twice about where they categorize our generation's greatest war criminals."

I must add that Bush had already established himself as a serial killer well before he moved into the White House. As governor of Texas he presided over 152 executions. That's more than any other governor in U.S. history. Texas is well known as the headquarters of the racist death penalty in this country, and for its outrageously unjust courts and abysmally inhuman prisons. Bush personifies the worst of this.

Go ahead, put him where he belongs.