/ "We have a deranged president. We have despotism. We have no due process." ./ - Gore Vidal, November 2003
"One power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." / - Nelson Mandela, January 30, 2003 / // dfbsbbw "We don't want this foolish, ignorant, and dangerous man in our country." - Labor MP George Galloway on Bush's UK Visit / "There is madmen in the world, and there are terror." - George W. Bush, AP, 2/16/00 fhsgn yrkrk 01 dbsbbwr "This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses." - George W. Bush, Financial Times, Jan. 14, 2000 / "The human race consists of the dangerously insane and such as are not." - Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903 / ? "And when you've been around the world and seen what the lack of freedom produces, you're going to take it personally when someone violates it, it, or when it's threatened--which I think it now is-- and you just get crazy, and you say, 'C'mon, surely someone's going to see thru this'." / - Robert Redford, on the Charlie Rose show / ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d /
"One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal.
It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.
Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.
- From"There Is No Tomorrow", by Bill Moyers,The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sunday 30 January 2005
?"The fact that he relies on facts - - says things that are not factual - are going to undermine his campaign." / - George W. Bush on Al Gore, New York Times, March 4, 2000
/__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ d/f "Bush Sr. called the neocons the 'crazies in the basement'.... Brent Scowcroft for example is not a neocon, yet people call him one. Scowcroft worked hard to reign in the 'crazies in the basement,' as did Reagan. " / - "Scott Ritter: Neocons as Parasites " / / / // "Conservatives are crazy as bedbugs. They are bullies." - Kurt Vonnegut, "Strange Weather Lately", May 9, 2003dfbsbb . / (ACTUAL PHOTOS) //b // dfb"Character matters; leadership descends from character." - Rush Limbaugh / / "International law? I better call my lawyer! I don't know what you're talking about, about international law." ; - George W. Bush, in response to the administration's handing out of reconstruction contracts in Iraq, Dec.11,2003 /"He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be peruasded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them . . ." / "Without a Doubt", by Ron Suskind, New York Times Sunday Magazine, October 17, 2004 yrkrkr bv ` "There's no negotiations with these terrorists," he said. "You know, you don't sign a treaty with people who are -- -- who don't believe in rules, people who don't have a conscience." / George W. Bush, 22 April 2004 // "Do I hate for the simple sake of hatred? Do I hate Bush because he is a Republican, a Texan, a white male, a meat-eater? Certainly not. I hate George W. Bush and all of his people because they have done an incredible amount of damage to this nation I hold so dear. I hate them because they are professional liars, thieves, brigands without conscience. / - "Anyone But Bush", by William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t, 22 October 2003 "...when it was becoming ever more evident that the infant German democracy was about to be murdered by psychopathic personalities hereinafter P.P.s the medical term for smart, personable people who have no conscience. / P.P.s are fully aware of how much suffering their actions will inflict on others but do not care. They cannot care. An American P.P. at the head of a corporation, for example, could enrich himself by ruining his employees and investors and still feel as pure as the driven snow. A P.P., should he attain a post near the top of our federal government, might feel that taking the country into an endless war with casualties in the millions was simply something decisive to do today. So to bed." // /- Kurt Vonnegut, "Vonnegut at 80", January 10, 2003 /// No one can be that callous. Forget his legacy, there are people dying on the ground every day. Even if you don't care at all about your own presidency and don't care about the thousands of Iraqis dying every month, you have to care about the American servicemen and women you sent in to die in Iraq. You'd have to be inhuman not to care about that. No one could be callous enough to receive incredibly important recommendations on how to rescue this mission and not ask a single question." // - "The Incredibly, Unbelievably, Stupendously, Incurious George Bush by Cenk Uygur, Huffington Post, December 8, 2006 / fggnenndn fggnenndn "This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at a lot. I understand the emotionality of death penalty cases." - Seattle Post-Intelligence, June 23, 2000 fggnenndn "The only things that I can tell you is that every case I have reviewed I have been comfortable with the innocence or guilt of the person that I've looked at. I do not believe we've put a guilty ... I mean innocent person to death in the state of Texas." - All Things Considered, NPR, June 16 fggnenndn
Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer criticized Gov. George W. Bush Tuesday for making fun of an executed Texas woman in an interview Bush gave to Talk magazine.
"I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," Bauer said of Bush.
Bush is portrayed in Talk as ridiculing pickax killer Karla Faye Tucker of Houston for an interview she did with CNN broadcaster Larry King shortly before she was executed last year. Just before her execution date, Tucker appealed for clemency on the grounds that she had become a born-again Christian.
" It has long been clear that President Bush doesn't feel other people's pain. His self-centeredness shines through whenever he makes off-the-cuff, unscripted remarks, from his jocular obliviousness in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the joke he made last year in San Antonio when visiting the Brooke Army Medical Center, which treats the severely wounded: "As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself - not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch."
"Before starting his game yesterday, Mr. Bush, his driver in his left gloved hand, took time to condemn an overnight suicide bombing of a bus in Israel that killed at least nine. "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers," Mr. Bush said on the first green of Cape Arundel, at 6:15 a.m. "Thank you. Now watch this drive." Without the slightest pause, Mr. Bush turned to his game - and hit his first ball into the rough." - New York Times, August 5, 2002 fggnenndn "It's so inspirational to see your courage, as well as to see the great works of our Lord in your heart." - Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 10, 2003 fggnenndn "You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this. " - Said to Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt, 1986. /
"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear." - Reverend Dubya is confusing and spooky all at the same time, Los Angeles, California, Mar. 3, 2004 fggnenndn Republican state Rep. Toby Goodman said Bush sought his support for property tax reductions near the start of the 1997 legislative session by grabbing Goodman's lapels during a face-to-face encounter. "I want to bring those property taxes down," Bush told the legislator, "and I'm going to kick your butt if you don't go along with me." - "Retaliation Over Iraq Fits Bush's Pattern", by Ron Hutcheson, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, 13 December 2003 fggnenndn "I'm grateful to all of you, who remind us that a great people must spend time on bended knee, in humility, searching for wisdom in the presence of the Almighty." - So much for that pesky separation of church and state, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2002 fggnenndn Standing on a stage just prior to making an address, Bush leaned into vice presidential running mate Dick Cheney's ear and said, "There's Adam Clymer, major league asshole from The New York Times." Cheney replied, "Oh, yeah, big time." - Heard during the 2000 campaign, when Bush-Cheney thought the mike was off fggnenndn fggnenndn "We can achieve peace -- we can achieve peace -- by being strong and diligent, reminding people of the great, God-given values that are important to all humanity." - Stockton, California, Aug. 23, 2002 fggnenndn "We will export death and violence to the four corners of the Earth in defense of our great nation." - George W. Bush, quoted in Bob Woodward's "Bush at War" / dnFINK: When you're not talking about politics, what do you and [your father] talk about? hbrfgfdg 77737 DUBYA: Pussy. - Interview with David Fink, editor of the Hartford Courant at the Republican Convention, 1988 (VERIFIED--see nex t page) fggnennd dfb"Character matters; leadership descends from character." - Rush Limbaugh hbrfgfdg
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / Kurt Vonnegut: Profile of a "PP"
Vonnegut: "I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka "Christians," and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or "PPs.
To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable medical diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is "The Mask of Sanity " by Dr. Hervey Cleckley. Read it! PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!
And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country, and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And so many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick.'
What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!
--Kurt Vonnegut Vs. the !*!@ , by Joel Bleifuss, In These Times, February 10, 2003 http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15098
VONNEGUT: "...These anti-war posters by Micah Ian Wright are reminiscent in spirit of works by artists like Kathe Kollwitz and Georg Grosz and on and on during the 1920s, when it was becoming ever more evident that the infant German democracy was about to be murdered by psychopathic personalities - hereinafter P.P.s - the medical term for smart, personable people who have no conscience. P.P.s are fully aware of how much suffering their actions will inflict on others but do not care. They cannot care.
"The classic medical text about how such attractive leaders bring us into unspeakable calamities is The Mask of Sanity by Dr. Hervey Cleckley. An American P.P. at the head of a corporation, for example, could enrich himself by ruining his employees and investors and still feel as pure as the driven snow. A P.P., should he attain a post near the top of our federal government, might feel that taking the country into an endless war with casualties in the millions was simply something decisive to do today. So to bed.
"With a P.P., decisiveness is all. Or, to put it another way, we now have a Reichstag fire of our own."
Q.: What's become of conscience?
VONNEGUT: Again, as Cleckley says, these people are around and do rise. Women are attracted to them. I mean, this is a defect, but women are attracted to them because they are so confident. They really don't give a fuck what happens - not even to themselves. But this is a serious defect and, no, we haven't been invaded and conquered by Martians. We have been conquered by psychopathic personalities who are attractive.
- Kurt Vonnegut , from "Vonnegut at 80" By David Hoppe, NUVO January 10, 2003 http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14919ß
ddsfb "All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure." - Mark Twain //________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell /________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // A P.P., should he attain a post near the top of our federal government, might feel that taking the country into an endless war with casualties in the millions was simply something decisive to do today. So to bed." - Kurt Vonnegut .. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(October 17, 2004) : ''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them . . .
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said,
"Faith didn't make Bush a decisive person. He's always been one. His birthright as a Bush gives him a sense of obligation to serve, and a sense of an entitlement to lead." "They appreciate his moral clarity and decisiveness. But they wonder if he is ignoring nuances in what sounds like a messianic mission." " A frat man at Yale in an increasingly radical time-the late 1960s--he came to loathe intellectual avatars of complexity and doubt--especially when they disparaged his dad." / - Quotes from NEWSWEEK, "Bush and God"
/ "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people are so full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell / "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. . . A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages and is confident." - Proverbs / ____________________________________________________________________________ /
vfgbvdfbswb "We don't want this foolish, ignorant, and dangerous man in our country." - Respect Party MP George Galloway on Bush's UK Visit / "We have a deranged president. We have despotism. We have no due process." - Gore Vidal / / "Direct threats require decisive action," Cheney said in a speech to the World Economic Forum. He urged European allies to "act with all the urgency that this danger demands." "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are," Cheney said. "At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve." "The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of hatred are over." / - Dick Cheney, World Economic Forum January 24, 2004 ////Oh, and one more thing...
...Go fuck yourselves.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "With a P.P., decisiveness is all." "...I mean, this is a defect, but women are attracted to them because they are so confident."
Women voters agree: President Bush is a hottie!
BY LISA SCHIFFREN Wall Street Journal Friday, May 9, 2003 http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110003472
I had the most astonishing thought last Thursday. After a long day of hauling the kids to playdates and ballet, I turned on the news. And there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking--how to put it?--really hot. Also presidential, of course. Not to mention credible as commander in chief. But mostly "hot," as in virile, sexy and powerful.
You don't see a lot of that in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (I'm told there's more of it in the "red" states.) I was mesmerized. I flipped around watching W. land on many channels. I watched the whole speech, which was fine. But a business suit just doesn't do it the way a flight suit does. In the course of this I peeked over at my husband, the banker. He was in his third month of reading a book about the Six Day War and didn't seem to notice.
Nonetheless, I know that I am not the only one who entertained these untoward thoughts. The American media were fully aware of how stunning the president looked last week. And they chose to defuse it by referring endlessly to the "photo-oppiness" of the event. The man uses overwhelming military force to vanquish a truly evil foe,
facing down balking former "allies," and he is not taken seriously as a foreign-policy president.
He out top-guns the Hollywood version, and all the media can talk about is the impending campaign commercial.
Meanwhile David Gergen, arguably as bloodless a creature as has ever graced too many White Houses and TV shows, actually broke into a grin and said: "This will set the standard for advance men for years to come." Advance men? I think it will set a new standard for women voters.
I decided to run a reality check among the soccer moms I spend my days with. At my daughter's East Side school, my friend Emily, a mother of two and probably a liberal, examined the picture of the president in his fly-boy gear that I just happened to have in my purse. She looked carefully, grinned and said, "He's a hottie. No doubt about it. Really a hottie. Why haven't I noticed this before? He looks so much better than Michael Douglas in that movie we saw," comparing the tired, indifferent megastar of "The American President" to the totally present leader of the free world.
As with her unrequited love for the Gipper two decade before, Noonan likes to indulge "leader of the free world" fantasies, but they are strictly PG-rated. Sure, she blushes at the notion of Bush tearing open his shirt, but all she really seems to want is a nice romantic dinner and maybe a little bit of manly nation building.
/ "During the 2000 campaign, candidate George W. Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administrationfor being too interventionist: " "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that." " "I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders." " - George W. Bush, October 3, 2000 /
Alexandra, an unmarried event planner in her 30s, e-mailed: "Hot? SO HOT!!!!! THAT UNIFORM!" In a more restrained way, my friend Maggie, a writer/mom, explained: "I think he is actually protecting me and my sons, and I find that attractive in a man." Suzi, who did her mom time and now writes biographies, also began with restraint. I asked, casually, what she thought about President Bush. She answered, carefully, "He's so confident. He is a very credible, trustworthy leader." "Yeah," I pursue, "but do you think he's sexy?" "Oh God, yes," she said. "I mean, that swagger. George Bush in a pair of jeans is a treat to watch." This from a soft-spoken woman inclined to intellectual pursuits.
Back on the West Side, among the liberals I live surrounded by, there was dissent. At my younger children's preschool, comments ranged from "well he's cute, but not my type" to "I can't think of anything more revolting." Many of them still cite Bill Clinton and his allegedly penetrating intellect as more appealing.
Liberals make such a fetish of intellect. But who cares how smart you are if you can't make a decision and follow through?
Mr. Clinton could not seem to do that with foreign policy, or with Miss Lewinsky. Still, I concede that having a Republican president with sex appeal is kind of a new idea. We haven't actually seen one in living memory.
--Lisa Schiffren, Wall Street Journal http://www.kathygorman.com/georgebush.htm
It should be noted that Schiffren works for the Independent Women's Forum, a group that, despite the moniker, is expressly dedicated to encouraging women to be as dependent as possible. Schiffren's one claim to fame is penning that Dan Quayle speech chastising TV character Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / c vSCDnf LUCKY GEORGE and the TRIFECTA fbbdbd "I remember -- I remember campaigning in Chicago, and one of the reporters said, would you ever deficit spend? I said only - - only in times of war, in times of economic insecurity as a result of a recession, or in times of national emergency. Never did I dream we'd have a trifecta! (Laughter.)" / - George W. Bush, June 7, 2002. The "compassionate conservative" repeated this sick 'joke' on no less than 15 different occasions ( see all quotes ) fbbdbd c vSCDV"When I first reported this remark, angry readers accused me of inventing it. Mr. Bush, they said, is a decent man who would never imply that the nation's woes had taken him off the hook, let alone make a joke out of it." / - Paul Krugman, "The Memory Hole", New York Times, August 6 , 2002 ( Full article ) / / "Making a joke once about death, war and national catastrophe could be chalked up to nothing more than a rhetorical misfire by a man famous for mangling his scripts. Fifteen repetitions, however, makes it a standing part of his routine. The fact that this joke is used while he is asking for money makes it all the more unseemly. How can a man with honor and integrity use the deaths of thousands of Americans, a wounded economy and a frightening state of war as a punch line to earn laughs and money for the GOP?" / - William Rivers Pitt, "Behold, A Child Shall Lead Them", t r u t h o u t, June 27, 2002 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / / 'I never took him as a compassionate conservative. I'm a Texan. I saw what he had done to Texas and I knew he would do to the nation what he had done to Texas. And by God he's done it.' - Bill Moyers// ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / gsdhg Families of Soldiers Not Amused By Bush's Comedy Routine / "It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country." - George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq // By Kenneth R. Bazinet New York Daily News Thursday 25 March 2004 r
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - President Bush got some laughs at a Washington dinner when he spoofed the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but some family members of dead G.I.s said Thursday there was nothing funny about it.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have to be here somewhere," Bush joshed as he narrated a slide show of him looking behind furniture, as if hunting for the weapons of mass destruction.
/ (M.O.W. editorial insert)
"Nope, no weapons over there. Maybe under here," Bush joked Wednesday night at the annual dinner of Washington radio and TV correspondents, an event where Presidents typically poke fun at the press and themselves.
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
George Medina, 43, of Orange County, who lost a son in Iraq, heard about Bush's remarks when his outraged daughter, an Army sergeant, called him Thursday. "She was very upset," Medina said.
"This is disgraceful," Medina continued. "He doesn't think of all the families that are suffering. It's unbelievable, how this guy tries to run the country."
His 22-year-old son, Spec. Irving Medina, died Nov. 14 in Baghdad when an explosive device struck his convoy.
Charles Celestin, 28, of Coral Springs, Fla., and Irving Medina's brother-in-law, blasted the commander in chief's remarks.
"To be poking fun; it's just a travesty to the soldiers who lost their lives. I think it's disrespectful," he said.
The camp of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry last night fired off a statement from Iraq war veteran Brad Owens, who said he was "insulted" by the President's comments.
"No weapons of mass destruction have been found and that is no joke - this is for real. This cheapens the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families are dealing with every single day," said Owens, who served in the Army Reserve.
The dinner performance put the President on the defensive for the second time this week. The Bush campaign was already dealing with fallout from testimony by former presidential aide Richard Clarke, who has claimed in a new book that Bush and his cabinet were looking for reasons to attack Iraq within hours of the 9/11 terror attack despite being told Saddam Hussein was not linked to it.
The President's dinner act also bombed with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), who called it "out of line and in poor taste."
"It's disgusting that during his little performance on stage, the President seemed to forget that people are dying in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction he lied about," Nadler said.
Asked whether the comment was appropriate, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he was not at the dinner and so could not comment.
White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan noted that Bush ended his remarks at the dinner with a very serious tribute to U.S. forces serving in Iraq, but "was poking fun at himself" with the comments about weapons of mass destruction.
"Anyone who has followed the President's views on this knows how seriously he takes this issue," Buchan said.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f /" (WHITEHOUSE.ORG) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f vbabv sad/ /
"If George Bush thinks his deceptive rationale for going to war is a laughing matter, then he's even more out of touch than we thought." - - John Kerry /______________________________________________________________ / He Just Doesn't Get it / Win Back Respect October 22nd, 2004 http://www.winbackrespect.org/ads/ / "My brother DIED for weapons of mass destruction." / See Bush's pathological sense of "humor" for yourself (video). See if you think he was just "poking fun at himself". One of the most disgusting Bush Moments so far (and that's saying a lot) . /
Brooke Campbell's family have felt first-hand the tragic results of George Bush's foreign policy. Win Back Respect produced this ad (video) to showcase Brooke's moving, unscripted remarks and contrast them with the President's flippant attitude and ongoing deception. An open letter with more details of Brooke's story is reproduced here. Pollsters Greenberg, Quinlan & Rosner tested the ad and found that after viewing it just once, there was an almost unprecedented 8 point gross shift away from Bush in voting intentions among the 750-person test sample. It also badly eroded support for Bush across a wide range of measures including confidence in his Iraq policy and key measures of character, including honesty and sharing the concerns of ordinary people.
Sergeant Ryan M. Campbell and his mother Ryan was Iraq serviceman death Number 832.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / Speaking of 'comedy' routines... No, this is not a Bush item, but further illustrates this mindset, and is a model example of Vonnegut's "P.P." principle: gsdhghsd
(AP) The serious news of the day - from Saddam Hussein's spider hole to Medicare to gay marriage - served as fodder for song, dance and silly dress-up Saturday night in the Gridiron dinner, a 119-year tradition of Washington journalism.
In the most unusual turn of this year's satirical script, syndicated columnist Robert Novak - who sparked a federal investigation by printing the name of an undercover CIA officer - was taking the stage as that CIA officer's disgruntled husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.
Dressed as Wilson in top hat and cutaway coat, Novak sings of himself: "Novak had a secret source ... so he outed a girl spy the way princes of darkness do. ... Now John Ashcroft asks Bob who and how, could be headed to the old hoosegow."
A federal grand jury is probing whether someone in the Bush administration leaked the CIA officer's identity, possibly a felony. Novak hasn't commented on the investigation - until the Gridiron, in song.
"...In one of the spicier skits, Robert Novak, the columnist who revealed the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, starred in a skit about the incident, called "Once I had a Secret Source." Lyrics recall the outing of "a girl spy," thanks to a secret source "who lived within the great White House." The song follows up with, "Cross the right wing you may try / Bob Novak's coming after you."
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "Imagine a reporter in World War II destroying a network of American spies protecting America from Nazi saboteurs - - and then doing a "spicy" song and dance number about it !"/ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /
Yes, the outing of a CIA operative, and by extension an entire spy network protecting us from weapons of mass destruction, putting all their lives (and ours) in danger is hilarious! Who says right wingers have no sense of humor? Imagine a reporter in World War II destroying a network of American spies protecting America from Nazi saboteurs -- and then doing a "spicy" song and dance number about it ! These are the same people constantly reminding us we're at war, this is serious business, and you're either with us, or the terrorists!
Remember this one...?
and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is." / - White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, September 17, 2001. Fleisher later implied that (Bill) Maher and his program were just as reprehensible as the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. / /
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f //// "Conservatives are crazy as bedbugs. They are bullies." - Kurt Vonnegut, "Strange Weather Lately", 5.9.03
Sean Hannity: A classic bully / "I'm gonna pound him too like this other guy." / /
Sean Hannity, the talking-point spouting mouthpiece on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes was recently caught by Harry Shearer slamming a Democratic congressman as an "asshole" when Hannity didn't realize he was being recorded. Click here to listen.
______________________________________________________ / Bill O'Reilly, AKA "Bully Bill" / / Favorite phrase: "Shut up. Just SHUT UP." / "If you cross Fox News Channel, it's not just me, it's (FOX president) Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it is gonna change forever. That day will happen, trust me." "Ailes knows some very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top. Just look at who's on the cover of his book (Bush and Cheney). They're watching him, and will be for years." / - Bill O'Reilly, quoted by Andrea Mackris'sin the sexual harrassment deposition she filed. This gives "who's looking out for you" an altogether different, scarier meaning / / COMPASSIONATE QUOTATIONS / / "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." - Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, 8-22-05 / "Thou shalt not steal..." (unless, of course it's OIL!)
"Thou shalt not kill..." (except of course, for socialists or liberals!) - "Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him." - Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton, as reported by journalist Steve Miner of KSUB radio who overheard his conversation, 11-01-98 / "Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past -- I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble -- recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed." - John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01 u/ u/ "I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - - living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for." - Oxycontin-laced wisdom from Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95 // / "...But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could - - if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. " - former Reagan administration Secretary of Education, Gamblin' Bill Bennett / /u/ / "I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - - living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for." - Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95 hp98ut099 / "We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors." - Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02 9 "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." - Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02 / hp98ut099 "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." - Ann Coulter on The Muslim Problem. This got her fired from the conservative National Review. http://www.nationalreview.com/coulter/coulter.shtmlu / "I couldn't have said it better myself, Ann. Kill 'em all---and let me sort 'em out." peohhp98ut0998ut ohhwpeohhp98ut0w998ut0w9 o"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." - Michael Ledeen , resident scholar in the "Freedom Chair" at the American Enterprise Institute. It's too bad we can't do the same to crappy little Republican men with Napoleonic complexes.
"I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing." - Michael Ledeen, the American Enterprise Institute Breakfast, March 27, 2003 / wpeohhp98ut0998ut0wbrhrhrhhr "At the American Enterprise Institute, some of the finest minds in our nation are at work on some of the greatest challenges to our nation. You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds. I want to thank them for their service, but I also want to remind people that for 60 years, AEI scholars have made vital contributions to our country and to our government, and we are grateful for those contributiions." - The President Discusses the Future of Iraq. February 26, 20039 / 9 ? "Who is this chickenshit?" - President George H.W. Bush, after the late senator Paul Wellstone grilled him about Iraq him during a reception for new members of Congress. / "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - Barbara Bush, said on 'Good Morning America' the day before the Iraq war started, New York Times, 01-13-03 ? ? "The story of what we've done in the postwar period is remarkable. It is a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day." - U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA) // hw "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." - Henry Kissinger, quoted in "Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW's in Vietnam". Kissinger was Bush's first choice to head the 911 comission. / / / "Boohoo, boohoo," Kissinger said, pretending to cry and rub his eyes. "He's still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty." He spoke in a mocking, singsong voice and patted his heart for emphasis." - Henry Kissinger, on Robert McNamara's public repentance for his part in the millions of lives lost in the Vietnam war / / / ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f
Talking with Mark Crispin Miller Author of Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order
Mark Crispin Miller is sort of a Renaissance man of the progressive movement. You can read his books, see his one man show in New York, listen to him as a political/media commentator or attend one of his classes in culture and communication at NYU.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
BuzzFlash: Tell us about your new book, Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order.
Mark Crispin Miller: I wrote Cruel and Unusual to make the case that Bush & Co. is fundamentally un-American -- an order wholly alien to the spirit of our founding documents. Certainly the regime represents some dark old strains in U.S. history: nativism, white supremacism, theocratic tyranny. But as far as our mainstream political traditions are concerned, Bush & Co. have simply junked them. They've hijacked the U.S. ship of state, and have it on a suicidal course.
/? "I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction." - KEN LIVINGSTONE, the MAYOR of LONDON /? "I think this is a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America." - BILL MOYERS
BuzzFlash: What's unique about the Bush Administration is how overt its complete lack of humility is for institutions such as the United Nations and for the leaders of other countries.
___________________________________________________________________________________________ / "Ours will be a humble nation," Bush said during the Presidential debates in 2000. "Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance." /// - John Eisenhower, lifelong Republican and son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower ___________________________________________________________________________________________
Mark Crispin Miller: I agree. That's why Bush, in the fall of 2002, had such a hard time uttering that Quaker axiom, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." As ever, his tongue went AWOL not because the man's an imbecile, but because he just can't make his mouth say things that are completely foreign to his nature. One of those things is, of course, contrition. Bush could just as easily say "Shame on me" as he could dance Swan Lake.
The far right's shamelessness, I believe, marks a certain turning-point in American politics. Throughout the history of our politics, of course, there's always been a streak of lunacy, there have always been explosive types, and public vitriol per se is nothing new. But what we've been experiencing since the Clinton era represents a whole new ball-game. Imagine a game where one team wants not just to win, but to destroy the other side, which they regard as evil. They use their bats as clubs, they throw their fastballs at the batters' heads, they tamper with the scoreboard, wreck the field and take over the stadium. They need to feel that kind of animus -- which is really all that they're about. And what makes them shameless is their firm belief that God approves of everything they do.
What we're confronting now,
in other words, is something wilder, something much harder to
deal with, than mere political corruption -- although this bunch is so corrupt that it defies description. I think that there is madness at the
top of this enterprise -- not just in the Oval Office, as in Nixon's
all throughout the upper tier of Bush & Co.'s managers.
Whether it's Bush melting down onstage or, say, Karl Rove behind the curtain, there's a fanatical unreason -- an unnatural unanimity of viewpoints -- that you finally cannot argue with, and that you can't defeat in the traditional way because they will do anything to win. The same mind-set is evident at the grass roots. Certain millions of our fellow-citizens enjoy Bush's short temper, his intransigence, his swaggering, because it makes them feel vicariously powerful. There's certainly no other reason to explain why any have-nots would support this administration, which has been screwing them royally from the get-go.b
BuzzFlash: You're the astute observer of George W. Bush's rhetoric and lack thereof. Explain the significance, if you will, of Bush's statements around probably one of the most damaging issues, the Iraq prison abuse scandal. What is your analysis of how he handled this utter tragedy and embarrassment to the country?
Mark Crispin Miller: He's responded to it as he always does to revelations that discredit him or threaten to discredit him. He's denied it, tried to minimize it, blamed others for it. He can speak clearly on the issue only if he sticks to the "few bad apples" talking point. I'm struck also by the fact that Bush cannot pronounce the prison's name. He can't say "Abu Ghraib," but keeps coming up with strange new variations. He has such trouble saying it because he doesn't want the story to be known -- perhaps not even to himself, although he obviously signed off on the torture plans.
Bush feels no empathy. There's no evidence that he can empathize with anyone. There is only evidence that he's incapable of empathy, because whenever he tries to make an unscripted empathetic statement, his language melts into amusing gaffes. In place of empathy, he expresses what he regards as righteous wrath, indignation, disgust, nausea at the gruesomeness and sadism of the enemy's acts. As far as I can remember, he's outdone every modern president in the explicitness of his gruesome and inflammatory charges. He goes on in such gory detail with, let's face it, a certain relish. his is a guy who, as a lad, blew up frogs for sport. This is a guy who set a record for executing people in Texas. This is the guy who made fun of Karla Faye Tucker when she was facing execution. The guy's a sociopath.
So he needs some way to broadcast the impression that he's full of kindness. This is why he needs the formulas of evangelical oratory: to convince us, and perhaps himself, that he's "compassionate." He's mastered that idiom. I submit to you that it's both a psychological and a political necessity that he have that mode of discourse so that he can mask his actual cruelty, the peculiar hardness of his heart.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f / George W. Bush: Presidential or Pathological? / / /By Arianna Huffington AlterNet July 13, 2004
GO TO ORIGINAL
That is the highly provocative question being asked in "Bush on the Couch," a new book in which psychoanalyst and George Washington University professor Dr. Justin Frank uses the president's public pronouncements and behavior, along with biographical data, to craft a comprehensive psychological profile of Bush 43.
It's not a pretty picture, but it goes a long way in explaining how exactly our country got itself into the mess we are in: an intractable war, the loss of allies and international goodwill, a half-trillion-dollar deficit.
Poking around in the presidential psyche, Frank uncovers a man suffering from megalomania, paranoia, a false sense of omnipotence, an inability to manage his emotions, a lifelong need to defy authority, an unresolved love-hate relationship with his father, and the repercussions of a history of untreated alcohol abuse.
Other than that, George Bush is the picture of psychological health.
One of the more compelling sections of the book is Frank's dissection of what he calls Bush's "almost pathological aversion to owning up to his infractions" - a mindset common to individuals Freud termed "the Exceptions," those who feel "entitled to live outside the limitations that apply to ordinary people."
Limitations like, for instance, not driving while drunk. Or the limitation of having to report for required Air National Guard duty. Or the limitation of having to adhere to international law.
And it doesn't help one outgrow this sense of entitlement when Daddy and his pals are always there to rescue you when you get in trouble - whether it's keeping you out of Vietnam by bumping you to the top of the National Guard waiting list or bailing you out of lousy business deals with cushy seats on corporate boards or making sure the votes in Florida (just another limitation) aren't properly counted.
But you don't make it as far as W. has without some psychological defenses of your own - especially when it comes to insulating yourself against your own fears and insecurities.
Raised in a family steeped in privilege and secrecy, and prone to the intense aversion to introspection and denial of responsibility that are the hallmarks of a so-called dry drunk - one who has kicked the bottle without dealing with the root causes of the addiction - Bush has become a master of the psychological jiu-jitsu known as Freudian Projection.
For those of you who bailed on Psych 101, Freudian Projection is, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a defense mechanism in which "the individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressors by falsely attributing to another his or her own unacceptable feelings, impulses or thoughts."
In layman's terms, it's the soot-stained pot calling the kettle "black."
On the 2004 campaign trail, it's the pathologically inconsistent Bush attempting to portray John Kerry as a two-faced flip-flopper.
It's become the Bush-Cheney campaign mantra. GOP talking points 1 through 100. The president's go-to laugh and applause line:
"Senator Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue," chided Bush at a spring fundraiser. "My opponent clearly has strong beliefs, they just don't last very long." Ba-da-bum! (Incidentally, how is this consistent with Bush's other contention, that Kerry is a rock-ribbed liberal?)
Or as Dick "Not Peaches and Cream" Cheney ominously put it at a Republican
fundraiser: "These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds, saying one thing one day and another the next."
I couldn't f---ing agree more, Mr. Cheney. But it's your man George W. who can't seem to pick a position and stick to it. He's reversed course more times than Capt. Kirk battling Khan in the midst of the Mutara Nebula. Gone back on his word more times than Tony Blundetto. Flip-flopped more frequently than a blind gymnast with an inner-ear infection.
The list of Bush major policy U-turns is as audacious as it is long. Among the whiplash-inducing lowlights:
In September 2001, Bush said capturing Bin Laden was "our number one priority." By March 2002, he was claiming, "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important."
In October 2001, he was dead-set against the need for a Department of Homeland Security. Seven months later, he thought it was a great idea.
In May 2002, he opposed the creation of the 9/11 Commission. Four months later, he supported it.
During the 2000 campaign, he said that gay marriage was a states' rights
issue: "The states can do what they want to do." During the 2004 campaign, he called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Dizzy yet? No? OK:
Bush supported CO2 caps, then opposed them. He opposed trade tariffs, then he didn't. Then he did again. He was against nation building, then he was OK with it. We'd found WMD, then we hadn't. Saddam was linked to Osama, then he wasn't. Then he was sorta. Chalabi was in, then he was out. Way out.
In fact, Bush's entire Iraq misadventure has been one big costly, deadly flip-flop:
We didn't need more troops, then we did. We didn't need more money, then we did. Preemption was a great idea - on to Syria, Iran and North Korea! Then it wasn't - hello, diplomacy! Baathists were the bad guys, then Baathists were our buds. We didn't need the U.N., then we did.
And all this from a man who, once upon a time, made "credibility" a key to his appeal.
Now, God knows, I have no problem with changing your mind - so long as you admit that you have and can explain why. But Bush steadfastly - almost comically - refuses to admit that there's been a change, even when the entire world can plainly see otherwise. He's got his story and he's sticking to it. But that darn Kerry, he keeps shifting his positions!
At the end of his analysis, Dr. Frank offers the following prescription: "Having seen the depth and range of President Bush's psychological flaws our sole treatment option - for his benefit and for ours - is to remove President Bush from office."
You don't need to be a psychiatrist to heartily second that opinion.
© 2004 ARIANNA HUFFINGTON.
is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."
"I don't care what the polls say. I don't. I'm doing what I think what's wrong." - New York Times, March 15, 2000
"You're free. And freedom is beautiful. And, you know, it'll take time to restore chaos and order--order out of chaos. But we will." - G. W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 13, 2003
"Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment." - New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001
"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the - in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen." - George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Aug, 13, 2001
and the General were briefing me on the --
the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world.
And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice."
-- Yikes. White House, Oct. 27, 2003
"I've got confidence in the Palestinians, when they understand fully what we're saying, that they'll make the right decisions," said Bush. But he warned: "I can assure you, we won't be putting money into a society which is not transparent and corrupt, and I suspect other countries won't either." - Reuters, 06.26.02
"First, we would not accept a treaty that would not have been ratified, nor a treaty that I thought made sense for the country." -George W. Bush, on the Kyoto accord, April 24, 2001
"Unfairly but truthfully, our party has been tagged as being against things. Anti-immigrant, for example. And we're not a party of anti-immigrants. Quite the opposite. We're a party that welcomes people." -George W. Bush, Cleveland, July 1, 2000
"If he's - the inference is that somehow he thinks slavery is a - is a noble institution I would - I would strongly reject that assumption - that John Ashcroft is a open-minded, inclusive person." -George W. Bush, Jan. 2001
"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.'' -George W. Bush
"If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign." - George W. Bush, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Feb. 16, 2000
by Murray Whyte Toronto Star November 28, 2002
Since the 2000 presidential campaign, Miller has been compiling his own collection of Bush-isms, which have revealed, he says, a disquieting truth about what lurks behind the cock-eyed leer of the leader of the free world. He's not a moron at all - on that point, Miller and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien agree.
But according to Miller, he's no friend.
"I did initially intend it to be a funny book. But that was before I had a chance to read through all the transcripts," Miller, an American author and a professor of culture and communication at New York University, said recently in Toronto.
"Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."
Miller's judgment, that the president might suffer from a bona fide personality disorder, almost makes one long for the less menacing notion currently making the rounds: that the White House's current occupant is, in fact, simply an idiot.
If only. Miller's rendering of the president is bleaker than that. In studying Bush's various adventures in oration, he started to see a pattern emerging.
"He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge.
"Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East?" / "Cold Turkey", By Kurt Vonnegut, In These Times , May 10, 2004 (M.O.W. editorial insert)
"When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller said.
"It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
While Miller's book has been praised for its "eloquence" and "playful use of language," it has enraged Bush supporters.
Bush's ascent in the eyes of many Americans - his approval rating hovers at near 80 percent - was the direct result of tough talk following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In those speeches, Bush stumbled not at all; his language of retribution was clear.
It was a sharp contrast to the pre-9/11 George W. Bush. Even before the Supreme Court in 2001 had to intervene and rule on recounts in Florida after a contentious presidential election, a corps of journalists were salivating at the prospect: a bafflingly inarticulate man in a position of power not seen since vice-president Dan Quayle rode shotgun on George H.W. Bush's one term in office.
But equating Bush's malapropisms with Quayle's inability to spell "potato" is a dangerous assumption, Miller says.
At a public address in Nashville, Tenn., in September, Bush provided one of his most memorable stumbles. Trying to give strength to his case that Saddam Hussein had already deceived the West concerning his store of weapons, Bush was scripted to offer an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What came out was the following:
"Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you." Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me - can't get fooled again!"
Played for laughs everywhere, Miller saw a darkness underlying the gaffe.
"There's an episode of Happy Days, where The Fonz has to say, `I'm sorry' and can't do it. Same thing," Miller said.
"What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude."
If what Miller says is true - and it would take more than just observations to prove it - then Bush has achieved an astounding goal.
By stumbling blithely along, he has been able to push his image as "just folks" - a normal guy who screws up just like the rest of us.
This, in fact, is a central cog in his image-making machine, Miller says: Portraying the wealthy scion of one of America's most powerful families as a regular, imperfect Joe.
But the depiction, Miller says, is also remarkable for what it hides - imperfect, yes, but also detached, wealthy and unable to identify with the "folks" he's been designed to appeal to.
(M.O.W. editorial insert) / "I want the folks to see me sitting in the same kind of seat they sit in, eating the same popcorn, peeing in the same urinal." - Explaining his choice to sit "among the fans" when involved in management of the Texas Rangers, interview with Time Magazine, 1989 / / "I'm really skeptical of people who try to parlay exposure at sporting events into votes." - Duhbya on the campaign trail, on his way to the Kentucky Derby
An example, Miller says, surfaced early in his presidential tenure.
"I know how hard it is to put food on your family," Bush was quoted as saying.
"That wasn't because he's so stupid that he doesn't know how to say, `Put food on your family's table' - it's because he doesn't care about people who can't put food on the table," Miller says.
So, when Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," or observes on some point that "it's not the way that America is all about," Miller contends it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him.
"When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it," he said.
This, then, is why he's so closely watched by his handlers, Miller says - not because he'll say something stupid, but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels.
"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy. He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protestors, because he would lose his temper."
Miller, without question, is a man with a mission - and laughter isn't it.
"I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and death," he said. "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."
(M.O.W. editorial insert) ' " To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement. I'm anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous. " - Former Nixon White House counsel JOHN DEAN ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f
Bush isn't a moron, he's a cunning sociopath By Bev Conover Online Journal Editor & Publisher December 5, 2002 hndfgnhndfgn http://www.serendipity.li/wot/conover01.htm
If any of us are to have a future worth having, the world's leaders, the members of Congress, the US corporate media and people of all political persuasions who value freedom and democracy had better start seeing George W. Bush for what he is: a sociopath and a passive serial killer.
Psychiatrists tell us that all serial killers lack the emotions that make us human; that they have to learn to emulate those emotions in order to get by in society. Hence, a charming, well educated fellow like Ted Bundy who is known to have murdered 15 women and may have killed 36 before he was caught.
While Bush is no Bundy, when it comes Bundy's education and acquired charm, and to our knowledge has never personally murdered anyone, it has been evident to us that there is something missing in George W. in terms of his lack of compassion and empathy. As governor of Texas, he set a record in signing death warrants - 154 in five years. He even made fun of the way convicted killer Karla Faye Tucker begged for her life.
If we believe the psychiatrists, a sign of a future serial killer is a child who delights in torturing and killing animals. George W., as a child, did exactly that. In a May 21, 2000, New York Times' puff piece about the values Bush gained growing up in Midland, Texas, Nicholas D. Kristof quoted Bush's childhood friend Terry Throckmorton: "'We were terrible to animals,' recalled Mr. Throckmorton, laughing. A dip behind the Bush home turned into a small lake after a good rain, and thousands of frogs would come out. 'Everybody would get BB guns and shoot them,' Mr. Throckmorton said. 'Or we'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up.'"
On Sept. 12, 2000, Baltimore Sun reporter Miriam Miedzian wrote, "So when he was a kid, George W. enjoyed putting firecrackers into frogs, throwing them in the air, and then watching them blow up. Should this be cause for alarm? How relevant is a man's childhood behavior to what he is like as an adult? And in this case, to what he would be like as president of the United States."
We're finding out, aren't we? While we, in two articles before the 2000 election - Sept. 21 and Oct. 23 - noted Bush's penchant for blowing up frogs, the corporate media blew it off, just as it had no interest in what he was trying to hide by obtaining a new Texas driver license and his 1976 drunk driving conviction, or the fact he was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. Instead, they bought into his nonsensical claim of being a "compassionate conservative" and "a uniter not a divider" who was going to "restore honor and dignity to the White House."
All through the 2000 campaign and up to Sept. 11, 2001, the corporate media depicted Bush as an affable, tongue-tied bumbler - the kind of guy Joe Six-pack would like to have a beer with - turning a blind eye to his dark underside. It mattered not that he stocked his illicit administration with the worst of the worst: John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Gale Norton, Paul O'Neill, Harvey Pitt, Thomas White, John Negroponte, Otto Reich and convicted Iran-contra felon Elliot Abrams who received a 1992 Christmas Eve pardon from George W.'s father.
Then, despite his peculiar behavior on Sept. 11, the corporate media and his handlers transformed him into a leader extraordinaire in the mold of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill rolled into one.
And as Bush had Afghanistan bombed back beyond the Stone Age to rid the world of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, then switched to claiming it was the Taliban that had to go, then declared there was an "axis of evil" and it was really Saddam Hussein who was the "mother of all evil" and that war with Iraq was in the offing to get rid of Saddam, the corporate media cheered him on and to this day continues to beat the war drum. They have yet to consider that the passive serial killer needs to feed his lust for blood by sending others to put their lives on the line and do the killing for him.
In his Sept. 12 article, White House insiders say Bush is "out of control" (below) , Mike Hersh wrote, "Some among Bush's trusted White House staff fear what they are seeing and where Bush is taking us. His state of mind hauntingly reminds them of Richard Nixon's Final Days. They fear Bush is becoming Nixonesque . . . or worse. Although Bush lacks Nixon's paranoia, he may entertain even more dangerous notions."
But their desperate late night phone calls to trusted reporters has not seen the light of day in the corporate media. Yet, some of us outside the Beltway have long had an inkling of what we are dealing with.
More proof lies in Alexandra Pelosi's documentary, Journeys with George. Pelosi, the daughter of inco
From the surface, Pelosi's "home movie," as she calls it, seems to be nothing more than a love fest as George W. works to charm the pants off her and the rest of the press corps. The striking thing about this George, even though Karen Hughes is often seen hovering at his elbow, is that he isn't tongue-tied when he is pumping up his ego, dishing out digs and being sarcastic and crude.
Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon and professor of media studies at New York University, who also sees the darker Bush, said in a Nov. 28 interview with the Toronto Star, ""Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."
Miller said he did intend The Bush Dyslexicon to be a funny book, but that was before he read all the transcripts, which revealed, according to reporter Murray Whyte, "a disquieting truth about what lurks behind the cock-eyed leer of the leader of the free world. He's not a moron at all on that point, Miller and Prime Minister Jean Chretien agree."
"He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge," Miller told Whyte. "When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine. It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
In a speech last Sept. in Nashville, trying to strengthen his case against Saddam, Bush's script called for him to say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." But the words that came out of his mouth were, ""Fool me once, shame . . . shame on . . . you," followed by a long pause, then, "Fool me - can't get fooled again!"
Said Miller, "What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, 'Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude."
Another example, Miller said, occurred early in Bush's White House tenure when he said, "I know how hard it is to put food on your family."
According to Miller, "That wasn't because he's so stupid that he doesn't know how to say, 'Put food on your family's table' - it's because he doesn't care about people who can't put food on the table."
Miller told Whyte, "When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it."
"This, then, is why he's so closely watched by his handlers, Miller says not because he'll say something stupid, but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels," Whyte wrote.
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy. He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protestors, because he would lose his temper," Miller said.
"I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and death," Miller told Whyte. "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."
A grave mistake, indeed.
If all that has happened since Bush was first mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate hasn't set off alarms, his naming of war criminal, mass murderer and international fugitive Henry Kissinger last week to head up the 9/11 investigation should have. And this week another alarm should have gone off when Bush promoted Elliot Abrams to lead the National Security Council's office for Near East and North African affairs, which oversees Arab-Israeli relations.
Bush must be stopped now, before he sets the world aflame. And set it aflame is what he intends to do, even if Iraq has no "weapons of mass destruction" or Saddam stands on his head, naked, on the White House lawn.
/ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f d/f ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________d/f d/f / Paul Craig Roberts, also known as "The Father of Reaganomics", is part of a crescendo of credible voices stepping forward to blow the whistle on the megalomaniacs in the White House as the insanity of the US government reaches unprecedented levels./ / "/ / Prominent Conservative Leader: Government in Hands of Psychopaths May stage terror attacks
November 15, 2005
Former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts expressed his dire warning that the US government has fallen into the hands of psychopaths and that the Neo-Cons in the Bush administration may be set to stage another terror attack in the US as part of a black operation to demolish growing dissent and coerce the public to rally behind the government once again.
During an interview with the Alex Jones Show, Roberts cited a Capitol Hill Blue article concerning a leaked memo circulating between top Republican leaders.
The memo outlines potential strategies
to bring their agenda back online, including the capture of Osama
bin Laden, a drastic turnaround in the economy or a resolution
of the war in Iraq.
The most alarming option includes a terrorist attack that would validate the President's war on terror and "restore his image as leader of the American people."
This document adds to the mountainous pile of smoking gun evidence of government complicity in staged terror attacks and other false flag operations. It has now been declassified, as we already knew, that the Gulf of Tonkin never happened. It was staged to get us into Vietnam. Operation Northwoods was the official US government plan to carry out 9/11 style attacks against the American people and blame it on foreign enemies as a pretext for war.
Publicly published PNAC documents before 9/11 had saliva stains all over them as Dick Cheney and others talked about helpful Pearl Harbor attacks.
Roberts went further than he has ever gone before in stating that the Neo-Cons were worse than Hitler and Stalin because they publicly embrace torture and pre-emptive war, something that past despots at least tried to hide.
As the Senate bill to block torture is blocked by Bush and Cheney, the promotion of torture in official circles continues.
US National Security advisor Stephen Hadley refused to rule out torture in the case of an imminent attack, telling CNN's Late Edition that there are cases where the Bush administration's empty pledge not to torture would apply.
George Bush' repeated statements of "we do not torture" would certainly ring hollow to the thousands of disappeared individuals, now subject to God knows what in secret ex-Soviet gulag camps all over the Eastern Bloc.
And also to those subject to torture
mastermind Donald Rumsfeld's Copper Green program, which
manifested itself with arbitrary rape and fatal beatings at
Camp X-ray and Abu Ghraib.
Paul Craig Roberts said that the US government is in the hands of dangerous psychopaths who are a disgrace to the human race and who should be arrested as war criminals and turned over the the Hague.
Roberts outlined his conviction that the torture program was not set up to gain any kind of real information from accused detainees because torture is renowned for extracting useless and false information. The real reason for the torture is to make the terrorists implicate themselves and thus create the perception of a real terrorist threat.
This is exactly the process in Uzbekistan, where the government was caught torturing innocent people into confession and then using the confessions as evidence that the government needed to crack down on terror.
Roberts said that the CIA was
aware that the vast majority of detainees are not terrorists,
proven by the fact that Pakistani gangsters admitted to rounding
up innocent people in street sweeps and selling them to the US government as terrorists for anything up to $25,000. These people are now at Guantanamo Bay.
Roberts pointed out that only nine so-called terrorists have been brought to trial and none have been convicted. Why do individuals have to be held for four years without trial if there is proof that they can be convicted with? Army interrogators have gone public with their frustrations that these people are obviously not terrorists but they are still ordered to keep them. Images of mass ranks of terrorists are pure lies on the part of the insane Neo-Cons.
People who refuse to torture and blow the whistle on it, like General Janis Karpinsky and Rick Baccus are ejected and replaced with cadres of torture teams willing to do the dirty work. Roberts that these torture teams would be turned loose on US citizens before long.
Roberts said that America is the most hated nation on earth by design and that the military is completely out of control. The barbarism in Iraq practiced by the US occupational government will live in infamy when it is historically judged by hindsight.
Paul Craig Roberts, also known as "The Father of Reaganomics", is part of a crescendo of credible voices stepping forward to blow the whistle on the megalomaniacs in the White House as the insanity of the US government reaches unprecedented levels.
/"'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.' (Short pause) "And having said that, all options are on the table.' "Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: (Laughter).'"
a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of
U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to
boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration
would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems
insane. And still more insane if the objective
includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this
time under the rubric of "regime change."
But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.
According to James Naughtie, author
of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency,
former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's
sobriquet in referring
to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense
Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard
"the f---ing crazies"
during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply
concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without
UN approval. Small
wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon
as they had no more use for him.
If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.
It Can Get Worse
are not finished.
And we do well not
to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and
the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four
years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled,
they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with
a value system in which "might makes right." Operating
out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable
misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced
that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a
clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers
they put out at the Project for the New American Century over
The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.
But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.
Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.
What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented moderates in Iran who, with a little help from the U.S., could seize power in Tehran. I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegalarms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.
George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"
During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.
Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?
Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times, forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.
The Return of the Neocons
In 2001, the new President Bush
brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions.
Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted
in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of
Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted
to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the
president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again
be dealing closely with John Negroponte,
an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has
now been picked to be
the first director of national intelligence.
Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu. They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.
Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only
to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of
readily accessible oil something of which they are all too
aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction
smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay
an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case,
the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November
election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And
with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear
determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.
Next Stop, Iran
When a Special Forces platoon
leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend
of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training
their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously.
It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level.
For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from
the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the
spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing
of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed
me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home
saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father;
you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In
his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying
Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."
Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran; and that appears to be what they mean.
Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles, accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.
So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."
Why Would Iran Want Nukes?
So why would Iran think it has
to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show
a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed
to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you
know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and
Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."
Is alleged to have? Lugar is chair
of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know
that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting
of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are
allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every
now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)
Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.
If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."
The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon
has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support
for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American
defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials
have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And
the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a
nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense
Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.
In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.
As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly, has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.
When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil
To remember why the United States
is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953
when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically
elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure
access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power
who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in
cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can
build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house
of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do
some regime change of their own.
Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.
Nuclear Is the Nub
The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.
On the other hand, I'll bet that
95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel
has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" --
which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator
Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many
Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies'
in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who,
after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis
The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?
A Nuclear-Free Middle East
How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.
The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.
That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.
A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.
Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.
Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence
Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.
It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather...
"Israel Is Our Ally."
Or so said our president before
the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a
treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving
one. Did I miss something?
Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris, has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."
An earlier American warned:
"A passionate attachment
of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation
facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases
where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and
betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars
of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted,
or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation,
facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)
In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.
served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration
of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early
1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily
Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior
advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In
January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity.
© 2005 Ray McGovern
I had a debate with my boss last night about Sy Hersh's terrifying New Yorker article describing Bush administration plans to attack Iran, potentially with nuclear weapons. After reading the Hersh piece, my boss was understandably worried, describing his reaction to the article in road-to-Damascus-revelation terms. They're going to do this, he said.
I told my boss that I couldn't believe it was possible the Bush administration would do this. I ran through all the reasons why an attack on Iran, especially with any kind of nuclear weaponry, would be the height of folly.
Iran, unlike Iraq, has a formidable military. They own the high ground over the Persian Gulf and have deployed missile batteries all throughout the mountains along the shore. Those missile batteries, I told him, include the Sunburn missile, which can travel in excess of Mach 2 and can spoof Aegis radar systems. Every American warship in the Gulf, including the carrier group currently deployed there, would be ducks on the pond.
The blowback in Iraq would be immediate and catastrophic, I reminded him. The Shi'ite majority that enjoys an alliance with Iran would go indiscriminately crazy and attack anyone and anything flying the stars and stripes.
Syria, which has inked a mutual defense pact with Iran and is believed to have significant chemical and biological weapons capabilities, would get into the game.
China, which has recently established a multi-billion dollar petroleum relationship with Iran, might step into the fray if it sees its new oil source at risk.
Russia, which has stapled itself to the idea that Iran's nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes, would likewise get pulled in.
and Britain want nothing to do with an attack on Iran, Berlusconi
appears to have lost his job in Italy, and Spain's Aznar is already
gone. If the Bush administration does this, I told my boss, they'd
instantly find themselves in a cold and lonely place.
The nuclear option, I told my boss, brings even more nightmarish possibilities. The reaction to an attack on Iran with conventional weapons would be bad enough. If we drop a nuke, that reaction will be worse by orders of magnitude and puts on the table the ultimate nightmare scenario: a region-wide conflagration that would reach all the way to Pakistan, where Pervez Musharraf is fending off the fundamentalists with both hands. If the US drops a nuke on Iran, it is possible that the Taliban-allied fundamentalists in Pakistan would rise up and overthrow Musharraf, thus gaining control of Pakistan's own arsenal of nuclear weapons. All of a sudden, those nukes would be loose, and India would lose its collective mind.
It was a cogent argument I made, filled with common sense. My boss seemed mollified, and we bid each other goodnight. Ten minutes later, I had an email from my boss in my Inbox. He'd sent me Paul Krugman's latest editorial from the New York Times, titled "Yes He Would." Krugman's piece opens this way:
"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace. "But he wouldn't do that," say people who think they're being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn't sensible. It's wishful thinking.
Things have come to a pretty pass in the United States of America when the first question you have to ask yourself on matters of war and death is, "Just how crazy are these people?" Every cogent estimate sees Iran's nuclear capabilities not becoming any kind of reality for another ten years, leaving open a dozen diplomatic and economic options for dealing with the situation. There is no good reason for attacking that country, but there are a few bad reasons to be found.
The worst of the bad reasons, of course, is that an attack on Iran would change the conversation in Washington as the 2006 midterm elections loom. Bush and his congressional allies are about as popular as scabies right now, according to every available poll. If the current trend is not altered or disrupted, January 2007 may come with Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. sitting as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee with subpoena powers in hand.
"As Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently pointed out," continued Krugman in his editorial, "the administration seems to be following exactly the same script on Iran that it used on Iraq: 'The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The US secretary of state tells Congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on US troops.'"
For the moment, one significant departure from the Iraq script has been the Bush administration vehemently denying that an attack on Iran, particularly with nuclear weapons, is an option being considered at this time. Bush himself called the Hersh article "wild speculation," and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan bluntly stated that the US is committed to diplomacy. Gary Sick, an Iran expert quoted by columnist Jim Lobe in a recent article, seems to think the reputation for irrational and dangerous actions enjoyed by the Bush administration is being used as a psychological lever. "That is their record," said Sick, "so they have no need to invent it. If they can use that reputation to keep Iran - and everybody else - off balance, so much the better."
Then why this cold feeling in the pit of my stomach? Julian Borger, writing for the UK Guardian, has some added insight. "Vincent Cannistraro," writes Borger, "a former CIA counter-terrorism operations chief, said Mr. Bush had not yet made up his mind about the use of direct military action against Iran. 'There is a battle for Bush's soul over that,' he said, adding that Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser is adamantly opposed to a war. However, Mr. Cannistraro said covert military action, in the form of special forces troops identifying targets and aiding dissident groups, is already under way. 'It's been authorized, and it's going on to the extent that there is some lethality to it. Some people have been killed.'"
A battle for Bush's soul? Some people have been killed? It's a wild day here in Bizarro World when I find myself in total agreement with Karl Rove. It is the uncertainty in all this that makes the situation truly terrifying. No sane person would undertake an action so fraught with peril, but if we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that sanity takes a back seat in this administration's hayride.
I bought a coffee this morning at the excellent café, around the corner, which is run by a wonderful Iranian woman. I asked her point-blank what would happen in her home country if we did attack. She dismissed the possibility out of hand. "I read that Krugman article," she said, "but there's no way they would do this. They'd have to be crazy."
Indeed. Too bad that hasn't stopped them yet.
Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author
of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to
Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.
A P.P., should he attain a post near the top of our federal government, might feel that taking the country into an endless war with casualties in the millions was simply something decisive to do today. So to bed." /// /- Kurt Vonnegut, "Vonnegut at 80", January 10, 2003 ///
Yes He Would
"But he wouldn't do that." That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.
Now people with contacts in the administration and the military warn that Mr. Bush may be planning another war. The most alarming of the warnings come from Seymour Hersh, the veteran investigative journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal. Writing in The New Yorker, Mr. Hersh suggests that administration officials believe that a bombing campaign could lead to desirable regime change in Iran - and that they refuse to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
"But he wouldn't do that," say people who think they're being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn't sensible. It's wishful thinking.
As it happens, rumors of a new war coincide with the emergence of evidence that appears to confirm our worst suspicions about the war we're already in.
First, it's clearer than ever that Mr. Bush, who still claims that war with Iraq was a last resort, was actually spoiling for a fight. The New York Times has confirmed the authenticity of a British government memo reporting on a prewar discussion between Mr. Bush and Tony Blair. In that conversation, Mr. Bush told Mr. Blair that he was determined to invade Iraq even if U.N. inspectors came up empty-handed.
Second, it's becoming increasingly clear that Mr. Bush knew that the case he was presenting for war - a case that depended crucially on visions of mushroom clouds - rested on suspect evidence. For example, in the 2003 State of the Union address Mr. Bush cited Iraq's purchase of aluminum tubes as clear evidence that Saddam was trying to acquire a nuclear arsenal. Yet Murray Waas of the National Journal reports that Mr. Bush had been warned that many intelligence analysts disagreed with that assessment.
Was the difference between Mr. Bush's public portrayal of the Iraqi threat and the actual intelligence he saw large enough to validate claims that he deliberately misled the nation into war? Karl Rove apparently thought so. According to Mr. Waas, Mr. Rove "cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged" if the contents of an October 2002 "President's Summary" containing dissents about the significance of the aluminum tubes became public.
Now there are rumors of plans to attack Iran. Most strategic analysts think that a bombing campaign would be a disastrous mistake. But that doesn't mean it won't happen: Mr. Bush ignored similar warnings, including those of his own father, about the risks involved in invading Iraq.
As Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently pointed out, the administration seems to be following exactly the same script on Iran that it used on Iraq:
"The vice president of the United States gives a major speech focused on the threat from an oil-rich nation in the Middle East. The U.S. secretary of state tells Congress that the same nation is our most serious global challenge. The secretary of defense calls that nation the leading supporter of global terrorism. The president blames it for attacks on U.S. troops."
Why might Mr. Bush
want another war? For
one thing, Mr. Bush, whose presidency is increasingly defined
by the quagmire in Iraq, may believe that he can redeem himself
with a new Mission Accomplished
And it's not just Mr. Bush's legacy that's at risk. Current polls suggest that the Democrats could take one or both houses of Congress this November, acquiring the ability to launch investigations backed by subpoena power. This could blow the lid off multiple Bush administration scandals. Political analysts openly suggest that an attack on Iran offers Mr. Bush a way to head off this danger, that an appropriately timed military strike could change the domestic political dynamics.
Does this sound far-fetched? It shouldn't. Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?
© 2006 The New York Times Company
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Masters of War has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Masters of War endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
/ "We have a deranged president. We have despotism.
We have no due process." ./ - Gore Vidal, November 2003
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