Dave Zirin on #RIP – Muhammad Ali

ixquick.com_2016-06-04_09-28-13.jpgThe Champ Meets The Chump – CBS News – This column was written by Dave Zirin. — The presidency of George W. Bush is collapsing under the weight of its own incompetence. The polls speak for themselves — only 35 percent of us approve of his job performance. Fifty-six percent — including one in four Republicans — say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, and more than half believe Bush intentionally misled the country to bring the United States into war. The response from the White House has been grimly predictable: Admit no mistakes and spin, slash or burn your critics. On Monday Bush seethed, “Only one person manipulated evidence and misled the world &3151 and that person was Saddam Hussein.” (Funny, I didn’t know we were being “led” by Saddam Hussein.) Bush went on to accuse opponents of rewriting the past. But this Administration, which has redefined the word “Orwellian” for a new generation, respects history about as much as it respects the Geneva Conventions. In fact, they seem to relish assaulting and rewriting history for sheer sport. This was seen quite clearly on November 9, when Bush hung a medal around the slack, immobile neck of former heavyweight boxing champion — and the most famous war resister in U.S. history — Muhammad Ali. Ali was one of a bevy of recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony. Bush, while Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld chuckled behind him, said, “Only a few athletes are ever known as the greatest in their sport, or in their time. But when you say, ‘The Greatest of All Time’ is in the room, everyone knows who you mean. It’s quite a claim to make, but as Muhammad Ali once said, ‘It’s not bragging if you can back it up.’ And this man backed it up…. The real mystery, I guess, is how he stayed so pretty. [Laughter.] It probably had to do with his beautiful soul. He was a fierce fighter and he’s a man of peace.”

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