Gerteiny expresses ire over Iraq invasion through prose
Published 1:01 am, Friday, February 12, 2010
In her book, published by Xlibris, Gerteiny uses prose and rhyming verses to point out the reckless actions made by the former president, and his advisors, which led to the "chaos" the United States battles today. Much of the book's contents were originally sent to newspapers' opinion pages for publication. Gerteiny's commentary also appears on her Web site, bushandcompany.org.
"I was so mad all throughout his administration," Gerteiny said. "It was infuriating to me. I wanted people to become aware. So many people didn't seem to realize what was really going on and I didn't know how they could be so ignorant."
A professional writer, Gerteiny is better known for her English translations of French poetry than political commentary. However, Gerteiny admits that she was so distracted -- and dismayed --by Bush's sending American military forces into Iraq in 2003 that she immediately dropped a project translating French love poems and spent her time writing political pieces, which she sent to the media.
A member of the Democratic Women of Westport for 20 years, Gerteiny said that although she follows local and national issues diligently, she has no desire to run for political office.
"I am too thin skinned," she said.
However, Gerteiny was so incensed by not only Bush's decision to invade Iraq, but his seemingly ignorant awareness of its consequences that she started to write about it.
The first chapter of her book describes the former president's declaration of "mission accomplished" while standing on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln less than two months after the invasion. Gerteiny concurs with the criticism Bush received from Republican Senator Dick Lugar in a story that appeared in The Washington Post. Gerteiny writes, "...That proclamation from the ship/Was slammed by savvy Senator Dick/Who understood George paid no mind/To what his war would leave behind/Why wasn't there a game plan for/The ruin to follow Bush's war?"
For the duration of his presidency, Gerteiny wrote about Bush's domestic and foreign actions that got her interest, she said, and sent it to local newspapers.
Gerteiny was pleasantly surprised to disover, however, that a newspaper which was published in close proximity to Bush's hometown in Texas was also regularly printing scathing commentary about his actions. She began to send her opinion pieces to them, too.
The President of War follows the campaign and subsequent election of President Barack Obama. Like many political commentators following the campaign trail, Gerteiny takes some humorous stabs at Republican Senator John McCain's vice-presidential choice, Sarah Palin, in her book.
For example, in response to Palin's enthusiastic support of the Philadelphia Phillies during a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, she is booed becasue this part of the states favors the Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburg Pirates. Gerteiny writes, "Sarah, Sarah, don't you get it?/ Pittsburgh never will forget it."
Palin's misrepresentation of facts went far beyond knowing which athletic team her audience cheered on. For Gerteiny, she was apalled by Palin's rebuke of the man, Senator McCain, who had brought the former governor of Alaska into the national spotlight. "The way she backstabed the guy is unbelievable," Gerteiny said. "She just started pushing herself once she saw the way the wind was blowing."
When asked to comment on Palin's possible future plans at a run for presidency, Gerteiny replied, "If she became in charge of this country, she would do a worse job than Bush."
About Bush's wife, Laura, Gerteiny has more empathy. "I have often wondered about her," she mused. "She stood by him as the wife of a president should, but I wonder what she really thought about him."
The President of War's final chapter is written about the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and the ending of the Bush legacy.
Although she has no plans to write another book, Gerteiny is passionate about current events and upset by the "hold up" in passing health care reform. And, although she likes President Obama overall, Gerteiny wishes that he did not "wimp out on the public option," she added.
Other issues that raise her ire include the recent Supreme Court decision regarding special interest campaign financing reform.
President of War is available online at Barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com and in the Barnes and Noble bookstores. Orders are also taken on the telephone by calling (888) 795-4274, ext. 7876.