The analysis of George Bush is of critical importance. As Dubya launches his re-election campaign, putting wars he has waged behind him, and planning new attacks on deflation, unemployment, tobacco, drugs, terrorism and any other bad attitudes resident in the American population — we need to get to know this president better.
Like most Americans, I perceive George Bush through the spectrum of video and images. In fact, I have learned a lot from the famous Dr. Evil dialogue with Austin Powers, in Dr. Evil's parody of Hannibal Lector addressing Clarisse in the Silence of the Lambs.
And it's blindingly apparent. Somebody has some daddy issues!
Folks might think Bush has an issue about his real daddy, but I don't think so. Those issues were resolved through a couple of decades of partying, drinking, minor arrests, and piss-poor business acumen, resolved to the satisfaction of both with the younger's occupation of the fifth most powerful political seat in the great state of Texas for eight years, and the concomitant crony capitalism that seat facilitated.
Thusly, over time, George W. Bush, proud Papa looking on, found himself. His presidency is his, not shared with Pops.
But while Dubya is apparently at peace with H. Dubya, it is clear that the fratboy hasn't worked out everything, and quite possibly could use, if not a couple of six-packs with some boys his own age, at least a couple more sessions on the couch.
Dubya suffers from a strange, almost toadying, respect for his elders that, frankly, is abnormal in a man of his age.
This is the lever that neo-conservatives — or as one reader protests, neo-fascists — have been pulling repeatedly, like Bill Bennett at a slot machine, to get their wars for Israeli security and petrodinero and to pursue their natural born imperialism because "Damn it! We're Americans!"
With the young people (Frum, Ari, Mary, Karen, etc.) quitting the Bush administration citing "overwork" and "family issues," the old fogies long past retirement age and with alarming health and/or weight issues (Rummy, Cheney, Sharon, Perle, even Greenspan) insist upon staying. The reason? A dangerous combination of their ambition and Bush's co-dependency.
It's kind of like Bill Clinton's behavior with the defense department — he fawned over military leadership and soldiers, simultaneously intimidated yet seeking their approval. Now, dear Hillary had no such compulsion — her objective contempt for others, regardless of age or position, was not only legendary, but in this case, instructive.
Like Bill Clinton and the military, George W. Bush has a weakness, a grave personality defect. The group wearing the well-licked boots this time, the crowd the president artificially respects and carefully considers in all ways discernable, is the old men of the neo-conservative/fascist movement currently gripping Washington political and media circles.
We went to war in Afghanistan — planned of course several months before 9/11/2001 due to some Taliban non-cooperation regarding a certain trans Afghanistan oil pipeline, and the requisite security for said pipeline. (Relax, that's all back on now, with US troops providing the security!)
We went to war again for more oil, and also this time, Israel. You know the story. Not one nod, but two already to the graybeards in Washington who said "Damn it! We've waited so long and we deserve this!"
The third nod is apparent in Sharon's dismissal of Secretary of State Powell, effectively saying to him, "Look, messenger boy, after I talk to Georgie and 'splain things to him, this roadmap will go nowhere. Don't feel bad, son. You come back now with more loan guarantees, subsidies, and outright cash, because it's really getting expensive to keep up with the settlements, what with all the problems caused by this devilish terrorism…"
Sharon and the neo-cons have conned Dubya — all because of a few missed therapy sessions. But hope is not lost, and I'm here to help!
Dubya, I need you to lie down and make yourself comfortable. Yes, that's right.
Now tell me about the older men in your cabinet, and some of their friends. What's that? George, the first step in recovery is to speak up so your therapist can hear you… Oh, I see, they are so experienced and knowledgeable… yes, and so wise. Yes, these folks are defending us against terrorism, by waging wars in far off places, and yes, those wars are really not expensive at all — because, yes, I understand — there is oil and trade and monetary system and moral and humanitarian benefits there….
Now, George, let's try an exercise here… because some of this can be very confusing. Let's imagine your cabinet actually played the roles you assigned them, as if you were in charge, you know, the senior partner. For example, Cheney would be a vice president, not a president. Rumsfeld would be conducting defense management and oversight, not making foreign policy and contradicting what Colin Powell says every time you turn around. Sharon would be the respectful leader of a small country whose economy is entirely dependent on the United States — instead of your demanding and irate boss.
Why, isn't that pleasant? Doesn't that feel nice?
And George — you can do this all the time, not just here in my office! You've already made great strides — you call people, even older people, by cozy power-laden nicknames. You've already waged a couple of major wars and it's only the halfway point of your first term! You've executed a number of people in Texas, and have shown you are able to fire people… You can do this!
Feel the power, George! Embrace the power! You are President of the most powerful nation on earth, George! Be the power!
Now, George, to truly exercise control, you must remove the decrepit and dangerous — they don't threaten your greatness — but they threaten the weak, and George, remember, you are a man of the people, a protector. Protect us!
My, how time flies! Now, before our next session, for every younger person who has left your cabinet in the past year, you need to ensure the long overdue retirement of one of the older ones. Here's the list! Don't get nervous, take a deep breath — they're just people, just like those guys and gals on death row begging for mercy — be firm! You can do this! Protect us all! Protect America!
Hey, how's that for a campaign slogan! Oh, don't forget, George — next week's session is on the constitution — reconciling yours and ours! Won't that be fun?
May 21, 2003
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a recently retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley.
Copyright © 2003 LewRockwell.com