“Strange Dreams” by Paul Street

Paul Street is the author of many books, articles, speeches, blogs, reviews, and book chapters. The opening excerpt from his most recent ZNet commentary: 

I keep having the same two crazy dreams. I’m just not sure what they mean. In the first dream, George W. Bush becomes obsessed with disproving the charge that he’s a “chicken hawk” – a military hawk who has never seen or experienced military action and its terrible consequences. He has a vision from God. It comes to him in prayer. He orders his staff to call up the Pentagon and arrange for him to be flown to Iraq to participate in a night patrol. “Make it a dangerous one,” he says. He reaches into his bottom desk drawer for a bottle of whiskey.

“This will show the world I’m not a wimp like they said my Dad was,” Bush thinks to himself. “Hell, I’m going to lead this SURGE myself.”

The Army sets him up with a unit three miles outside the U.S. base in the Iraqi town of Ramadi. He climbs into a moderately well-armored Humvee. Ten minutes into his adventure, with sweat pouring down from under his helmet and the smell of bourbon on his breath, the Decider hears a loud explosion.

Everything goes quiet and numb. His head is swimming. There’s a bright shining light. Soldiers and medical staff are yelling, but he can’t hear a word they’re saying. Everyone around him is staring at him in horror. Some are looking down to where his legs used to be. Bush looks down himself and sees two bloody stumps. “It’s so unreal,” he thinks, “why don’t I feel anything?”

He starts to lose consciousness but is jolted back awake by a sharper pain than he ever knew existed. He looks over to see a badly injured soldier. The soldier couldn’t be more than 18 years old. He’s lost half of his face.

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