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"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade... if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

From an October 2004 Geurilla News Network article, via

Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."

That President Bush and his advisers had Iraq on their minds long before weapons inspectors had finished their work -- and long before alleged Iraqi ties with terrorists became a central rationale for war -- has been raised elsewhere, including in a book based on recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. However, Herskowitz was in a unique position to hear Bush's unguarded and unfiltered views on Iraq, war and other matters -- well before he became president.

In 1999, Herskowitz struck a deal with the campaign of George W. Bush about a ghost-written autobiography, which was ultimately titled A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House [here], and he and Bush signed a contract in which the two would split the proceeds. The publisher was William Morrow. Herskowitz was given unimpeded access to Bush, and the two met approximately 20 times so Bush could share his thoughts. Herskowitz began working on the book in May, 1999, and says that within two months he had completed and submitted some 10 chapters, with a remaining 4-6 chapters still on his computer. Herskowitz was replaced as Bush's ghostwriter after Bush's handlers concluded that the candidate's views and life experiences were not being cast in a sufficiently positive light.

According to Herskowitz, who has authored more than 30 books, many of them jointly written autobiographies of famous Americans in politics, sports and media (including that of Reagan adviser Michael Deaver), Bush and his advisers were sold on the idea that it was difficult for a president to accomplish an electoral agenda without the record-high approval numbers that accompany successful if modest wars.

The revelations on Bush's attitude toward Iraq emerged recently during two taped interviews of Herskowitz, which included a discussion of a variety of matters, including his continued closeness with the Bush family, indicated by his subsequent selection to pen an authorized biography of Bush's grandfather, written and published last year with the assistance and blessing of the Bush family.

Herskowitz's continued close relationship with the Bush family resulted in a 2003 biography of Prescott Bush. See also this contemporaneous Salon article on Herskowitz's removal from the George W. autobiography.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hunter, (none)
    love this format.


    May I suggest a timeline at the end?

    •  Bush told Gen. Clarke to blame Iraq on 9/12 (none)
      This is an excellent post, and I think it will be up to bloggers to keep bringing up this "Bush's obsession with attacking Iraq" time-line issue, to keep it in the forefront:

      On a related note, it is probably relevant to bring this item to public attention again, for I've never seen anyone else comment on it. (Perhaps someone more adept than I at searching for things on the internet can find the exact quote):

      I definitely remember seeing, around the time Paul O'Neill came forward -- perhaps in something originally posted by Bob Harris? -- a statement by General Wesley Clarke.

      In it, Clarke stated that on the day after 9/11 -- or perhaps it was even on 9/11 -- he received a call from the Bush administration telling him that in interviews he should pin responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on Iraq.  Clarke said he was troubled by that because at that point there was absolutely no evidence for Iraq's -- or anyone else's -- involvement.

      It might be a good time for someone to bring this subject up with General Clarke again.

  •  Head Case (4.00)
    Bush has always come acrossed as some sort of delayed puperty adult trying to escape his father's shadow.  In other words: Head Case

    A vote for Bush is a vote for torture

    by Gator on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:24:01 PM PDT

    •  Let's ... (none)
      Let's print up some bumper stickers for Republicans who are coming around to our side:

      (and I'm sorry)

      2006 - America Wakes Up

      by socratic on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:31:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad Shakespeare isn't alive today (none)
      His "George I" and "George II, Parts 1 and 2" would be better than "King Lear" and "Hamlet" put together.
      •  Shakespeare Lives - George II (4.00)
        George I
        All gathered  -- perceive mine lips:
        Like Adam in the garden
        I answered Heaven's task
        To christen its name
        The ages to outlast
        When first I beheld the wicked brew,
        I saw Satan, and proclaimed, "Voo-doo,"
        Raising to boil, over the crown,
        For the venomous nectar
        Were to trickle down.
        We begin first with the apothecary's coin,
        A pinch of tobacco I make it join,
        Holy water to make the broth,
        A wad of currency, will keep it soft,
        We add the scrolls of collector of taxes,
        To make the brew as thick as molasses,
        For the ancients we shall add the pensions,
        Spirits to abate their tensions,
        Come, patron, mine lips apart,

        Vice Chancellor
        This swelling tonic heals the heart,

        When first he held the wicked brew,
        He met Lucifer, and uttered, "voo-doo,"
        Raising to boil, over the crown,
        For its venomous nectar
        To trickle down.

        (p.s.  my script is about 40% done!)

    •  psychotic (none)
      to find a weak opponent to slaughter in order to cover for a fascist domestic agenda

      pure evil, to his core.

  •  We owe the Iraqis BIG TIME (4.00)
    Six Iraqi trade unionists, under fire from both the military/industrial occupation AND the insurgents, are now in the US on a two-week, twenty city tour, sponsored by US Labor Against the War (USLAW).

    Show them you give a damn about what our government did to them; tell them you're with them in their fight for justice and democracy. Send your message of solidarity here.

  •  Lil' George wanted to be Maggie when he grew up (4.00)
    Guerilla News Network, October 24, 2004:

    'According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush's beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House - ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. "Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade."  

    'Bush's circle of pre-election advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher collected from the Falklands War.  Said Herskowitz: "They were just absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back, of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches."  '

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:26:28 PM PDT

  •  Don't even try to get in Bush's head (none)

    "Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father."

    •  Well, he sure as hell accomplished something... (4.00)
      He's killed more Americans than his dad, he's presided over more economic destruction than his dad, he's embraced more radical, irrational ideas than his dad, and he won a second term to give America more time to learn a painful lesson: do not elect another Bush

      2006 - America Wakes Up

      by socratic on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:23:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  bush's head (4.00)
      Bush is a classic sociopath with narcissistic tendencies. He is a dangerous creep at the head of a cabal of delusional neo-cons. All of them are criminals of historic proportions.

      I'm glad that all of this is finally making it into the news. I hope the puppy dog press will finally smell blood and turn on these scum. The damged they have done to our nation and the world is enourmous.

  •  Irresponsible then...and now (4.00)
    How can we be surprised at how irresponsible and reckless he is now after we saw the same behavior in him when he was a youth?  Although he tries to claim he "changed", he is still the same dangerous man he was when he was younger....
    The only difference is that he is now an irresponsible, reckless, dangerous man with POWER!
  •  I always hated the psychological (4.00)
    explanation for the Iraq War (Bush did it for his daddy). It seemed so... pat, so Oprah-y. I mean, Tommy Franks wasn't trying to prove anything to his daddy. Nor Rummy, Cheney, Halliburton, the Likud

    And yet... sometimes I think the more sophisticated and sinister reasons may overrate the influence of the rational in human affairs. I always had trouble seeing the oil angle. The mid east base angle seemed a bit far fetched to me as well.

    Domestic political angles seem much more important to me, as far as catalyzing the war. I'm pretty sure Rove figured this would be a slam dunk - we attack a toothless Saddam, get great footage of tanks and precision missiles and shit. Bush kicks ass and coasts through '04.

    As far as the American people, the Saddam/9/11 connection was ridiculously easy to put over. And many Americans feel better when kicking another country's ass (especially brown-skinned ass).

    I dunno. Maybe Bush himself was motivated by personal reasons, Rove by political ones, Cheney by blood/money/oil, and Rummy by the chance to be a wartime SecDef with little risk.

    I guess another generation of right wing bastards needed their war and then left it to we human beings to clean up after they laid waste to everything.

    George Bush prancing on the aircraft carrier: one of America's worst moments

    by grushka on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:33:55 PM PDT

    •  ohh, maybe too much thought (none)
      I tend to think you are overthinking it..

      ..Bush is a simple person, in a good and bad way.  He sees a little something, a little evidence, and forms a huge solid opinion.  All you have to do is give him some validation of a little idea he has somehwere and all the sudden it's policy...

      ..I think it's more like this: he was pre-disposed against Sadaam; 9/11 came along, and started thinking about what a bastard Sadaam and Iraq was.  He asks Rummy to see what we have on Sadaam.

      Rummy, Cheney, and the war beaters present only what points to Sadaam being a bad guy and the shreds of whatever evidence they have that suggests Sadaam was linked in anyway to international terrorism.  

      Bush siezes that, focuses in on it, and the echo chamber is formed.  All contrary evidence is "fixed", ignored, marginalized, or reworded.   All shreds of anything that helps his case is amplified, hyped, exaggerated, and beaten to death.

      For Bush, I am sure in his heart he really believed he was doing good with his little Iraq mis-adventure.  I am sure he prayed on it.  I am sure he really agonized over it.  Of course, that doesn't change the fact that he was clearly manipulated - all along - by his mental superiors.  It doesn't change that he is a vassal used for maleviolence.

  •  W.'s psychology (4.00)
    With a semester of introductory college psychology behind me, I will now attempt to diagnose Pres. Bush's issues.
    1. Most important issue: inferiority complex. To whom? Pres. Bush felt inferior to his father, who was a congressman, head of the CIA, Vice President, and then President. Meanwhile, George W. was an alcoholic, a cocaine user, a failed oilman, and endured a loss in a run for Congress. George W. Bush developed a need to avert his inferiority complex by surpassing, in some way, the acheivements of his father. Paramount among these goals was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, along with election to more than one term as President.

    2. Dry drunk syndrome: Due to his years of alcohol abuse, George W. Bush likely lost a good number of brain cells, leaving him considerably less capable of reason and rational projection (i.e. planning for the future of post-war Iraq). One could also make the conjecture that George W. Bush also lost many brain cells in areas of the brain that control empathy and feeling. His likely cocaine use would only exacerbate these problems.

    3. Silver spoon syndrome: As Pearl Jam pointed out, George W. was born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple. Likewise, George W. believes he was born into power, and therefore has carte blanche to use it in any way he likes- regardless of domestic or world opinion. This explains his lack of concern for public opinion polls, as well as the fact that he is disdained in much of the world.

    As I stated, a full psychological evaluation of our President could only be conducted by a fully-educated psychiatrist. However, I believe I have identied three of the primary driving forces in his behavior.
    •  I'll go with (4), Never Very Bright. (4.00)
      While Bush's musings over Iraq pre-9/11 were probably little more than mental exercises, post 9/11 he was unable to separate the sudden war that needed to be fought -- against al Qaeda, in Afghanistan -- from the imaginary rose-petals war he had previously outlined in his head. Especially given a cabinet filled with ex-Cold-War and ex-Iraq-War-I advisors, he was unable to parse the nuances of the difficult anti-terrorism mission, and so redefined it in such a way as to be more familiar.

      He had practiced using a hammer; therefore he saw a nail.

      And yeah -- we joke about these things, but Presidents are no less human than any other of the billions of people on the planet. They are subject to the same... human fallibilities. There is a danger in selecting a President who, even according to his friends, is intellectually dismissive and prone to act based on instinct, not fact-finding.

      •  we might need to be careful here.... (none)
        I agree that dubya is "intellectually dismissive" and "prone to act based on instinct, not fact-finding", but I am hesitant to call him unintelligent.  It might just be the luck of the draw, or complex psychological factors, but this guy hoodwinked America.  Enough of us to get himself elected (after the Supreme appointment)to another 4 years.  Beware.  He is neither stupid, nor ignorant, and Karl Rove is still in the republican corner.  
        •  agreed (none)
          Anyone who manages to get elected to the highest office in the world twice is no dunce. I always have thought that the left's portrayals of men like Reagan and Bush as idiots was simply naive.
        •  He is not stupid, but (none)
          he is also not wise.

          Bush possesses a sort of political cleverness and is at some level a capable, if dishonest, "people person" who can dupe trusting individuals who find his "down to earth" persona appealing.

          He can sometimes (often) find  ways to sway ignorant folks to his ill considered (in the sense of lacking wisdom) point of view.  But even the ignorant will eventually abandon him as his actions and their consequenes do not match his promises.  Consider his ongoing drop in the polls as the people lose faith in his world view.

          Anger can be power. You know that you can use it.

          by sciguy on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 10:02:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He seems to have certain characteristics... (none)
            I think that he is not stupid.  But I think he is intellectually lazy and has sociopathic tendancies.  I think these things come with "certain" families of privilege.  I watched a program once about F.D.R.  and it talked about how he was enlightened I guess when his future wife took him on a trip to the south and saw for the first time in his life, horrible and crushing poverty.  According to this program it was as a result of this that he developed some of his social conscience.  I have no links for this.  I saw it on the history channel a couple of months ago.  I am by no means comparing G.W. to F.D.R.  But I think it is interesting that F.D.R. and other well known democratic families to a small degree did push for some amount of social justice, and G.W. and his family have no inclination to do this.  Just some observations I pulled out of my ass....Have a great day all!

            "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." - G.W. Bush; 11/2/00

            by pilotweed on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 11:54:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  self serving (none)
            scan artist

            cult of the despotic hoodwink

          •  Smart for what? (none)
            IMO he's an artist... of the one art that works in politics here.

            The difference between your regular garden variety con artist and a political artist is that the first one has the social skills to get your many and vanish immediately. A politician can get your money (i.e. vote) and then has to stay there. That's why he gets to be successful at times (election, 9/11, starting the war) and then his graph gets a serious negative slant. He can gain popularity only temporarily, but is unable to keep it. It's against the art - do the job, forget everything about it and vanish just doesn't hold water in politics.

            If there is freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows - "1984"

            by DrFairday on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 09:09:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Dry Drunk (4.00)
      Dry drunk syndrome: Due to his years of alcohol abuse, George W. Bush likely lost a good number of brain cells, leaving him considerably less capable of reason and rational projection (i.e. planning for the future of post-war Iraq). One could also make the conjecture that George W. Bush also lost many brain cells in areas of the brain that control empathy and feeling. His likely cocaine use would only exacerbate these problems.

      You should learn more about "dry drunk" syndrome.  As an alcoholic, he would have had all those traits before he started boozing.  The booze just exacerbates preexisting character defects.

      •  also agreed (none)
        I should have been more clear in my description of the effects of dry drunk syndrome- I do believe that Bush's character traits were inborn, but also that they were indeed exacerbated by the alcohol.
      •  Which he hasn't yet healed (none)
        I agree that it appears obvious that although a person may stop drinking, that he or she may still be very irrational and unhealthy.

        However, in fairness, I would like to point out that just because a person may have had an addiction problem, it doesn't mean they cannot overcome it and live a healthy life, if it is addressed and treated properly.

    •  A REAL home run! (none)
      you graduate with honors ... excellent summation.
    •  Spot on Accurate (4.00)
      As to Bush's inferiority complex to his father, the perfect example is the staged landing on the aircraft carrier Lincoln.  I don't think this was done to impress the American public as it was to send a message to his father, the genuine WWII hero who was shot down over the Pacific.  George Jr. was proving he was just as much the war hero as his daddy was - "Mission Accomplished" was all about completing the work his father left undone in the first Gulf War.
  •  re (none)
    Is the meat of this article reliable?  Because that's some incredibly eye-popping material.  I ask because if the SCLM would only run with it, I want to know it's gold.
    •  Herskowitz is legit. (none)
      I can't speak for the GNN article itself, but Herskowitz's relationship with the Bush family is unchallenged.

      As for Herskowitz's specific claims of what was said to him, it is unlikely that any documentation exists outside of the memories of Herskowitz and Bush, and whatever notes H. retains from those meetings. So treat with that appropriate amount of caution.

      I would not use this, for example, to claim that Bush intended to invade Iraq as of 1999 -- I don't think this article says that. I would use it as an indicator, from a family friend, of his general musings at the time, and his perceptions of Iraq, of war, and of leadership. Which, unfortunately for us, had an opportunity to be tested.

      And yes -- I had the same reaction. But in truth, it is not much different from the accounts given by other friends, advisors, and administration members in their own tell-all books. Perhaps they are all unhinged?

      •  What puzzles me (none)
        is that he had his war -- Afghanistan, which was deemed very popular and successful (in the short run, anyway).  He also had the amorphous and endless "war on terror," which could be kept on the front burner with the color codes and periodic captures of the "No. 3" Al Qaede guy etc.
        So why Iraq, with all its pitfalls?

        He did use the prospect of war to his advantage for the midterm elections in 2002.

        But he disregarded all of the intelligence that warned about the post-war, and formulated no plan for the postwar when he actually pulled the trigger in 2003.  

        The Herskovitz description in and of itself is simply sickening, and reveals that Bush and those around him truly lack any soul or conscience. To envy Reagan and Thacher for how their wars made them popular, and to eagerly anticipate the same for his administration is to be despicably cavalier about the most horrid activity in which people engage.

        Hunter - why do you think they went to war?
        I'm betting on wealth transfer.   $300 billion of our tax money is making millions and millions of dollars every hour for defense contractors, companies like Halliburton, oil companies etc.

        •  Why do you think they went to war? (4.00)
          I think they thought it would be easy. An easy PNAC war, and an easy win. Bases in the M.E. for further ventures, a more secure hold on increasingly vital energy supplies, an overthrow of a U.S.-backed government that had gone badly murderous and sour, and an instant legacy for W. Lots of treasure there -- and all for the price of perhaps a six-month war with, according to the plans, no significant bloodshed.

          I'm not sure they had any underlying reason more complicated than that. They chose war as a political and international strategy.

          The fact that millions of people lived in the cities to be bombed didn't much enter into it. They honestly didn't expect that to be a problem.

        •  I think (4.00)
          That Iraq was the result of the rest wanting to tests their pet theories.  

          Rummy wanted his small forces theory, and there were just too many collation partners for Afganistan.  The PNAC crowd has been itching for Iraq forever.  Rove wanted a partisan war so he could tar Dems in 2002 (Afganistan had too much bipartisan support).  Cheney wanted to show everyone that the US didn't need the rest of the world's approval to go out and successfully kick some ass.  The corporate interests were salivating over the the oil and rebuilding contracts.  The think tanks wanted to try to build their free market paradise from scratch.  

          Bush, I figure he just didn't like Saddam on some fundamental level and, golly, here were all these smart people telling him how easy the whole thing would be.  If he would have gotten competitent advice (this will be really hard, cost a lot of money, may need a draft) as opposed to listening to the clowns I think he would have been satisfied with chasing around Osama and the Taliban as his war for "political capital".

          Jeebus, he is obsessed with that term.

    •  for what it's worth (none)
      this article I've seen several times before, and it pre-dates the Iraq War.  the author is a longtime Houston newspaper columnist and Bush family friend.  I'd say it's legit, just based on the number of times I've seen it.  kinda surprised it made the front page, because I've seen it so much, I thought it was already common knowledge.

      Imagine your average American. Then realize, 50% of us are below that.

      by kineticdissent on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 10:28:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If it is, it's extrordinary (4.00)

      I did a whole dissertation on the question of "wagging the dog", and after reading through stacks of memoirs and histories, I found essentially zero cases of anyone ever mentioning in any context that domestic political gains could be a motive for launching a war.  Interestingly, it's not hard to find such comments about doing peaceful foreign policy actions.  There are plenty of admissions that crass politics was a consideration in having summits with the Soviets, withdrawing troops from Vietnam, etc.  

      But no one, ever, before, during, or after being office admits that bumping the polls might be a reason for starting a war.  

      Btw, I should have finished my dissertation earlier and sent it to Rove.  I argue that successfully wagging the dog is much harder than conventionally thought, and include a whole section on why Gulf War I was execptional.  


  •  February 1998 (4.00)
    And even before George Bush revealed his longings to Mickey Herskowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and John Bolton had confided their own passions to a page in the New York Times that they bought to carry a message to then President Clinton.

    Among the actions their open letter urged Clinton to take immediately were to:

    • "Launch a systematic air campaign against the pillars of his power -- the Republican Guard divisions which prop him up and the military infrastructure that sustains him.

    • "Position U.S. ground force equipment in the region so that, as a last resort, we have the capacity to protect and assist the anti-Saddam forces in the northern and southern parts of Iraq."

    Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Bolton and dozens of others proudly signed their names on that letter, dated February 19, 1998.

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:41:30 PM PDT

    •  I have this funny idea.. (4.00)
      I've got this funny idea that if we trace this back, follow the leads of our involvement in Afghanistan in the 80s, our support for Saddam during the Iran-Iraq War, and our desperate attempt to trade arms for hostages, that this beast of a story goes back to a clutch of sad, angry men who were pissed that the Shah destroyed a great arms buyer when he had the bad form to fall from power.

      Ultimately, this seems to be the culmination of Nixon-Ford-era anger at Jimmy Carter.

      (as well as, more broadly, the reaction against liberalism and the social structures that Democrats put in place to save our country, of course)

      2006 - America Wakes Up

      by socratic on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Herskowitz appera to be a bush family friend (none)
    and not a political opponent, and yet they remove him from the book for it being a) too interesting and b) not sycophantic enough. gotta say, it's a sign of an extremely weak ego to fire your handpicked campaign biographer for failing to write a book that hagiographic enough. suspect if he as able, bush would be erecting statues of himself....

    "All institutions have in the long run to live by the nature of things, and not by childish pretendings." - George Bernard Shaw

    by gracchus on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:41:35 PM PDT

  •  Impeach the SOB (4.00)
    If any of the repubs in majority in the House of Representatives had any honor left they would join with Reps. like John Conyers and impeach this war criminal. Does the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" have any meaning anymore? Or does only having sex in the Oval Office count as an impeachable offense?

    As Hunter S. Thompson said before he died, I would vote for Richard Nixon in a heartbeat over George Bush.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

    by Ed in Montana on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:43:57 PM PDT

  •  There ya go..... (none)
    The man is describing the genesis of Evil, the classical underachieving slacker son - he once told the English Queen that he was "the black sheep" of the family. No doubt she agreed, privately, of course, he was said to have been drunk at the time. One wonders what the Queen REALLY thought.... ["Oh, dear...."]

    One sees the early influence of Cheney, who has been a nutcase of the first order for YEARS. Cheney, and his old buddy Rummy, have a history of manipulating dumb-ass presidents - going back to poor ol' dumb Gerald Ford. They almost pulled off a palace coup back then - the Halloween Massacre of Nov 3, 1975.

    Looks like I need to find some more of this man's writings...

    Thanks, Hunter, an important find.

    Quo Vadis, Where are we GOING?

  •  awake: coffee smells good (none)
    We as the American public, have allowed this administration's behavior, to shame us and what our mutual forebears bled to create.

    W has had his game plan on the table this whole time, we watched - nothing more.

    All Must Stand, Some Will Fall.

    by jaredschons on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:50:24 PM PDT

  •  Just Sitting Here Waiting (none)
    until enough of us can extrapolate from this information we have about his pathology to get seriously concerned about an impending attack on Iran.

    We have all the info we need to set our collective hair aflame.

    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

    by mattman on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:52:45 PM PDT

    •  Fake a move toward Iran (none)
      then move quickly toward Syria.
      •  Don't Think So (none)
        It's Iran that has the Israelis' panties in a bunch not Syria so much. And, with Syria it would have to be a land invasion and we can't do that unless we start drafting boy scouts and emptying nursing homes of old vets. With Iran you get to have an aerial war to take out supposed nuke sites. You can't justify an aerial invasion of Syria. So, since "we" have just declared the Iranian election "invalid" it still seems to me to indicate an attack on Iran. Of course, that's using logic - always a dangerous thing to do with nutjobs, eh?

        You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

        by mattman on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:49:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, WTF? (none)
        Did anyone else lose the paragraph spaces they put it?

        This is a test.

        You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

        by mattman on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 09:01:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's all about Bush (4.00)
    War, tragedy, history--evidently it's all important, or not, based on how it affects Georgie Boy. It's cool to start wars, and the lives of those hurt by it, directly and indirectly, have minimal worth anyway.

    In everyday life, individuals with this level of self-obsession are properly labeled sociopaths. In politics, they're apparently "leaders."

    How this reprehensible and unprincipled person ever rose to his perch of tremendous importance will be forever beyond me.

    •  killing an alleged 100,000+ (none)
      ..."collateral" by-standers, to take-down another self-aggrandizing, one-time "ally" ... (not to mention DU, etcetc) ... (in this fashion) looks a hella-lot like premeditated murder in my book.

      OH!  ...preznits can dO that?  m'kayyyyyy...

      Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. ---Jane Addams

      by Orj ozeppi on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 09:19:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  George Schultz & the GOP power brokers (4.00)
      looking for a glamorous candidate.  Not entirely unlike the bankers and corporatists who, in 1929, decided to "use" Adolf Hitler, the funny little man from Munich, for their own ends.  Mutatis mutandi. (making allowances for the difference in the examples; they are not altogether alike, by any means; but there is that same sense of casting about for an "electable" figurehead & a blithe tendency to overlook "character issues")
      •  But similar to Hitler (4.00)
        Bush chose the bullies who surround him (and he hasn't fired any of them except for people who disagreed with him and were therefore "disloyal.)" To me, the most dangerous trait in Bush is his absolute unwillingness to listen to viewpoints that do not correspond to his pre-conceived notions.

        Have you read Speer's book on the Third Reich?

        Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

        by barbwires on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 06:11:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've read this many times (none)
    and this time it sounds different. Sadder.

    Thanks for keeping this conversation alive.

  •  Unbelievable (4.00)
    Talk about having a Napoleonic complex, the only problem with GWB having such grandiose thoughts is that he is no Napoleon, actually he is just the opposite, he is a coward that has never been successful in anything he has done or has run and hid when things got tough.

    Napoleon was the real deal, GWB is no deal, this is what happens when a great nation puts a boy in charge, that is a prescription for disaster, as we know all to well.

  •  "Lifetime as an underachiever" (none)
    Looking to invade. Dreaming to invade.
    When told of the triggering events on 9/11,
    He froze.
    This POS nutcase is our president!?!

    In Your Face From Outer Space

    by mike101 on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:13:20 PM PDT

  •  No surprise.... (none)
    Jr. wanted to win the election and therefore needed to be a war-time pres, not a mediocre peacenik.

    The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations. ~David Friedman

    by Ralfast on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

  •  It's not just the pathology of the lead bully (4.00)
    but the sniveling cooperation of his henchmen (and women).

    The "serviceable villains" keep the show going even as the Misunderestimated One sinks further and further into his spiteful, bitter unreality.

  •  The Bush family, (4.00)
    has fed their insatiable depraved egos the blood of American soldiers for decades.  Political cannibals, they are.
  •  Oh, The Irony! (4.00)
    Do you realize that if he'd just stayed with Afghanistan, caught Osama, etc., that he would probably be as popular as he wanted to be.  But he (they) overreached, as always, and failed, failed, failed again.
  •  Feb. 1991 (4.00)
    "I don't believe in mission creep," he continued. "Had we gone into Baghdad -- we could have done it, you guys could have done it, you could have been there in 48 hours -- and then what?

    "Which sergeant, which private, whose life would be at stake in perhaps a fruitless hunt in an urban guerilla war to find the most-secure dictator in the world?

    "Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we're going to show our macho?" he asked. "We're going into Baghdad. We're going to be an occupying power -- America in an Arab land -- with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous."

    Bush said, "We don't gain the size of our victory by how many innocent kids running away -- even though they're bad guys -- that we can slaughter. ... We're American soldiers; we don't do business that way."

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:37:56 PM PDT

  •  Pathetic fratboy bitch.. (4.00)
    He deserved to be in even his paltry father's shadow.
    So, he wanted a shortcut to amassing "capital" - just like he always needed a shortcut to investment capital - he didn't have what it truly takes to get either kind of scratch together.
    Once he got the startup capital, from 9/11, he figured makin' war would get him into the big leagues. But the sad turd had nothing but lousy taste in ideas on which to "spend" his "capital".
    Reminds me of some shallow but wealthy people I've dealt with. They demand satisfaction as the result of expenditure - no mater what silly crap they blow it on - "If I spend this much, I'd damned well better be happy! And it's someone else's fault if I'm not."
    Trillions in debt and thousands dead, the world spitting on us all, just so Georgie could could get enough political capital to kill our gag reflex as he shoves anti-gay bigotry, economic Lord Of The Flies social engineering, and post-industrial feudalism down our throats.
    I'd tattoo Reagan on my forehead if it would rid us of the shallow frat bastard that is George W Bush.

    I'm the plowman in the valley with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:42:09 PM PDT

  •  It isn't just the head (4.00)
    dimWit that we have to pay attention to.  There are also the PNAC nuts wanting to take out Saddam in January 1998 here.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 09:00:30 PM PDT

  •  Awwww.. lil Shrubbie is jealous of his daddy! (4.00)
    Waaaah poor Boy Georgie waaaaaaaah!

    W: My daddy actually won an election, but i "won" two ahahahaha PFFFFT DADDY

    HW : Son, you cheated. I'm so ashamed. I love you, but how could you disgrace our family by cheating and lying.

    Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee are ON NOTICE - John Orman and Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

    by Scoopster on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 09:48:41 PM PDT

  •  Sick (none)
    Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow.

    If this is true, then he's sick.  Absolutely disgusting.

    The revelations on Bush's attitude toward Iraq emerged recently during two taped interviews of Herskowitz...

    If there's tapes of him saying this, why aren't they on TV 24/7 and on the 'net yet?!?

  •  in case anybody missed it, (4.00)
    just wanted to pass this along; this diary dropped off the front real quick...

    This was the equivalent of an NSC meeting, with the President, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks all there. They say the evidence against Saddam Hussein is thin, the Brits think regime change is illegal under international law so we are going to have to go to the U.N. to get an ultimatum, not as a way of averting war but as an excuse to make the war legal, and oh by the way we aren't preparing for what happens after and no-one has the faintest idea what Iraq will be like after a war. Not reportable, are you kidding me?

    It's clear now Bush/Rove/Cheney were going into Iraq whether 9/11 happened or not.

    Back in 1999 - Rove figured that the war would start in the spring of 2002, and while in the midst of a war - they could win the midterms easily...and ride that "easy victory" in Iraq into 2004.

    9/11 moved that invasion date to 2003, and 2002 then became a vote on who supports the WAR, with 9/11 as the subtext. A slight change in plans, but the same masterplan nonetheless.

    Wait until Jarecki's "Why We Fight" comes out - people just don't understand WHY we fight wars, most people have no idea there's a military-industrial complex.  

  •  Perhaps (none)
    I'm not really convinced about this whole "Bush wanted to invade Iraq."

    I mean, he's not that stupid.  Granted, he's not the brightest bulb in the tube, but he does understand marketing.

    Let's get this straight.

    "I'm going to be famous for attacking.... IRAQ"

    With all due respect to the people who want to ascribe some psychological motive to his father, Iraq is not where he wanted to build his legacy and it's pretty clear from his various speeches and addresses.  There is, in fact, a pretty explicit formula which Iraq is indeed a part of.  This formula reads:

    Axis of evil = Iraq + Iran + North Korea

  •  Bush wanted to (none)
    attack Iraq before he became President and made it clear even during the Republican primary debates for the 2000 election.

    I remember clearly during one of the few primary debates where Bush showed up, someone asked him a question about Iraq or Saddam and he said quickly, almost without thinking, "I'd take him out."  The debate moderator was shocked, and asked Bush to explain, at which point Bush backtracked and said if this and if that etc.

    But I remember the shock I felt when he just came out and said it.  And the puzzlement I felt when it was ignored by the MSM.

    I've been trying for ages to find a video or a transcript of this debate.  Can anyone come up with it?

  •  Article in the works on the timeline (none)
    Of course I'm a freelancer, so that doesn't have the same impact as a front-page story in a major paper--but I thought you all would like to know that at least one quasi-professional writer is working on a timeline of all this.

    And oh yeah--gladly send me anything you find, too.

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