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George H.W. Bush: making another genocidal American great again

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I was expecting plenty of flak from John McCain’s fans and assorted American nationalists upon his death in August when I questioned the postmortem lionisation of the veteran politician and justification for celebrating him as a “hero”.

They delivered right on cue, condemning my “lack of humanity and decency” for speaking ill of the dead. Since I’m doing it again in this column, let me start with a pre-emptive defence by quoting Sigmund Freud’s Reflections on War and Death, in which he devotes one section to mulling over the rather curious human trait of suspending criticism and overlooking a man’s misdeeds when he dies.

“This consideration for the dead, which he really no longer needs, is more important to us than the truth and to most of us, certainly, it is more important than consideration for the living,” was how the father of psychoanalysis explained it.

In the same vein, I feel no compunction about objecting to the nauseating veneration of another undeserving American icon, George H.W. Bush, following the former US president’s death last month at the age of 94. The breathless mainstream media coverage of his funeral this week was as hyperbolic as it was hypocritical.


© South China Morning Post