I've always loved to play name games, but recently I've realized I'm not the only one. There is actually an ancient and magical art form called nomomancy. What would happen if we tried to explore the name George W. Bush?The first procedure is to examine a name backwards. So Bush become H-sub. Hmm. That seems relevant. There are numerous hydrogen bombs on numerous subs of which he is commander in chief. Bush frontward makes me think of the "burning bush," bush fires and environmental damage, but that seems too obvious. There's something I'm missing here.
The "W" at first escapes my attention. Sure, the initial was inherited from Bush's great-grandfather, Herbert Walker, and sure, the old man was a big Nazi supporter, but if we hold our great grandfathers' misdeeds over each of us, we're all in trouble. Suddenly, it occurs to me I am looking at the wrong name. The key to nomomancy is to know the "true" name of a person, the name people really call you by. It isn't Bush that will yield up its cargo -- it's Dubya.
He's a double, a clone, a twin. Now I'm onto something. Does it mean he has an evil twin somewhere? My first thought is of the senior Bush. Dubya is in many ways his daddy's double, cloned for the purpose of carrying on his father's historic mission of murder. But again, this is too obvious. Who is the real double? Can it be Saddam? Here's a name that seems made for villainy. First there's that "sad" as in sadist, that "dam' as in goddam, and the unfortunate suggestion of sodomy, especially when backwards his name reads a lot like "mad-ass." But Saddam already has doubles. His whole cabinet appears to be cloned from the same moustache.
And then there are all those decoy doubles waiting to take a bullet for him. All of them named Gomorrah. Saddam and Gomorrah and Gomorrah and Gomorrah. Still, I have a strong feeling that Saddam and Bush are cosmic doubles.
I run through their achievements. What do they have in common? Both were recently elected in sham elections. OK. Both are big-oil people. OK. Both have a nasty habit of executing people. Dubya, of course, still holds the record for state governors -- more than "double' the executions of other state governors -- but Saddam's numbers are far higher, and they include children. Still, that's to date. Maybe by the time all this planned butchering and burning is over, H-sub might come out ahead. Maybe more Kurds will be gassed in all the uproar than Saddam would ever dream of.
So, as to the big question -- which is the more evil twin? -- only history can decide. Aren't they twin horns of the same dilemma, fused in satanic collusion through the underworld of oil? Then it hits me that there's another thing they have in common: a great willingness to risk the lives of the Iraqi people. Two double the trouble and double the rubble and multiply the murder.
The last twinning I make is when I realize there's a boy in Iraq who is my son's birth twin. He was born on the same day, maybe at the same moment. Maybe he even has the same name. And like my son, he wants to live and dream and love. And suddenly I am weeping. And I am swearing to double my efforts to stop his murder.