“More Americans blame former President George W. Bush for America’s failure in Afghanistan than any other president that succeeded him, according to a new Insider poll. Around four-in-10 respondents said Bush is most responsible for the war’s outcome — the Taliban regained power despite the US’s nearly 20-years of involvement there — ranking him ahead of former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump as well as current commander-in-chief Joe Biden.”
— Business Insider, 8/17/21
We’ve all been there. You leave the presidential office with a war or two under your belt, and all of a sudden everyone thinks you’re just the War Crimes Guy. Maybe your reputation will disappear after a decade or two, but then it’ll come back when the wars you started end up with terrorist groups in positions of immense power. Hey, it happens. Here are some things you can do to show people you’re more than just a man who committed a few war crimes.
Nothing screams “I did not commit war crimes!” like an old white dude who likes to paint. Honestly, you don’t even have to paint well. The quality of your paintings will not correlate at all to how much people associate you with war crimes. So go ahead, grab that paintbrush. In no time, people will be saying, “Wow, look at this cute, creatively inclined grandpa—I can’t imagine him committing war crimes at all.”
Distance Yourself from Your War Crime Friends
People are going to naturally associate you with other people from your political party, especially if your political party is generally pro-war and has a penchant for war crimes. This will be particularly difficult if your most recent party leader is the type of guy who gives off major “I’m going to start a Middle Eastern conflict” energy. It’s important you let people know that you’re nothing like him. If he’s particularly terrible, you’re in luck; people will actually just believe you were a better president than him.
Align Yourself with Cool Black Presidents
Are there any cool Black presidents around with a vibe that reads “war crimes are bad”? Be their friend, and let the world know that you two are peas in a pod. And be sure to display public physical affection toward their family members so people know you’re close. A guy that hugs a cool Black first lady couldn’t commit war crimes, right?
Comment on the Crimes
I know what you’re thinking: If the war crimes you committed have recently brought an international terrorist organization to power, maybe it’s a good idea to just keep quiet and lie low. But that’s exactly what they want to you do. The move here? Offer your condolences to the people suffering from the effects of your war crimes—but as if you have no idea how it happened. For example, let’s say, hypothetically, it was the Afghan people. Publicly state that your heart is with them, but never mention you had anything to do with it. People will soon be saying, “Whoah! I used to blame this person for these war crimes, but the way he’s phrased this apology makes it seem as if he had nothing to do with it!" Works every time.
And If All Else Fails…Paint Some More
Seriously, make this your whole thing. Paint some dogs and shit. Mark my words, it will really do the trick, and then it’ll be mission accomplished.