The 43rd president of the US may now be beloved by the mainstream left, but some anti-war activists, who want to hold him accountable for the invasion of Iraq, continue to target his public appearances.
The latest disruption happened when George W. Bush was delivering a speech in Long Beach, California on Monday evening. A small protest by about 30 members of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition met him at the location, demanding his arrest for war crimes. The group followed Bush from Beverly Hills, where they picketed his speech on Sunday.
Activist Jeb Sprague said he was briefly detained after disrupting Bush’s Monday talk at Terrace Theater with his message and kicked out of the venue. He said he failed to livestream his protest as he intended due to a technical malfunction.
Fellow activist Mike Prysner was more successful on the previous night, when he interrupted Bush’s speech at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills with accusations of lying the nation into the Iraq War.
Bush used to be a bogeyman for the US left, loathed for the destructive hawkish policies of his administration. The 2003 invasion followed a relentless PR campaign to rally public support for the planned war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, based largely on claims that later proved to be false. Those included accusations that Hussein was in league with Al-Qaeda or was prepared to strike Europe with weapons of mass destruction. The war claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, became a drain for US resources and sent shockwaves of instability and extremism throughout the Middle East.
Dubya managed to reinvent himself in the eyes of many former critics after Donald Trump emerged as a more convenient target for their hatred. He is now perceived by many as the face of the good old decorous pre-Trump GOP, an opposite number to Joe Biden in a drive for bipartisanship. The liberal media has been reliably gushing about his painting hobby, appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, being buddies with the Obama family and many other episodes in the past few years.
People who preserved their attitude to the former president find this appalling, disturbing and dangerous for the future of the country.