It is tragic that Bush's personal problems, his observable lack of self-esteem would manifest themselves in aggressive war and torture.
The history of psychology is replete with clever sociopaths who managed to hide their afflictions. Bush, who boasted that he does "not do nuance", is not so talented. His belligerance is often worn on his sleeve.
You don't need a PhD in psychology to understand how this bully attitude translates into the crime of aggressive war, a violation of international law that the US, itself, had insisted upon.
The public record is replete with direct, verifiable evidence of this as well as coincidences of the truly GOP kind. To wit:
Bob Woodward -- in "Plan of Attack" -- described a Saudi government offer of some $1 billion to the Bush administration for what were called "joint intelligence operations" designed to overthrow Saddam Hussein by April of 2002. [See Bob Woodward, "Plan of Attack," Page 229]
Clearly, all the pieces had been put into place: the Saudi payoff, a "sweetener" to seal the deal, the pretext, the timing!What may be most disturbing about this eye-opening timeline of atrocity, aggressive war, and phony terrorism is that it may stem from a deep-seated neurosis that has its origins in Bush's festering resentment of his father. " He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz.
"My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it." He [Geo. W. Bush] 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."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."
- Russ Baker, Common Dreams
Other revelations from Herskowitz included a laundry list of Bush neuroses, relating to his feelings of resentment towards or inadequacy compared to his father, celebrated as a WWII hero and a successful businessman:
In 2003, Bush's father indicated to him that he disagreed with his son's invasion of Iraq.
Bush admitted that he failed to fulfill his Vietnam-era domestic National Guard service obligation, but claimed that he had been "excused."
Bush revealed that after he left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972 under murky circumstances, he never piloted a plane again. That casts doubt on the carefully-choreographed moment of Bush emerging in pilot's garb from a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to celebrate "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. The image, instantly telegraphed around the globe, and subsequent hazy White House statements about his capacity in the cockpit, created the impression that a heroic Bush had played a role in landing the craft.
Not surprisingly, Bush Jr. would exorcise his demons with an old strategy that had its origin in the Ronald Reagan administration. It was, according to Herskowitz, Dick Cheney who summed it all up long before 911:
Hermann Goering said something similar and equally outrageous.
Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.
- Dick Cheney [as quoted by author Mickey Herskowitz]
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing theThe quote has been unsuccessfully debunked. But, in fact, it is real. Goering made those remarks to Dr. Gustav Gilbert, the American psychologist charged with "interviewing" the Nazi war criminals during the long trial at Nuremberg following World War II. You can find Goering's comments in Gilbert's essential: Nuremberg Diary. Bush and Cheney are just as willainous as Goering but lack Goering's wit.
country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-Hermann Goering, awaiting trial for war crimes at Nuremberg
Goering's character is rich and multifaceted. The facets can hardly be reconciled as belonging to the same person. So much about him is appealing - his intelligence, his sense of humor, his expansive good-natured bonhomie, his childlike responses to praise or reprimand. But a man can smile and smile and still be a villain. Goering uses the weaker defendants to pressure the more independent ones to toe his "party line" of maintaining loyalty to Hitler. He offers to trade or withhold testimony, inveigles his lawyer into intimidating a witness, and even threatens retaliation by the Feme kangaroo courts. In part because the author's duties required him to prevent that sort of behavior, he spent more time with Goering than with any of the other defendants. In part, though, I think he just found him fascinating.Having read this book, I vouch for this review. That Hitler and Goering rose to power is almost as understandable as it is lamentable. The rise of a blithering idiot and "Darth" Cheney and is completely incomprehensible. Much is said about the stolen election. I agree that Gore won Florida but it should never have been that close.
- Review of Nuremberg Diary, Amazon.com
It's bad enough that Bush has tried to work out his personal problems by sending U.S. troops to their deaths; he has, moreover, murdered tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. And he has tried repeatedly to justify the American aggression against Iraq with numerous ex post facto rationales -- all of them lies.
Thus Bush's presidency becomes the story of a pathetic, insecure little man who, because he had a personal problem with his "daddy," would defraud the citizens of the United States and the world, would send U.S. troops in harm's way, and would order an illegal war that would kill thousands of innocent Iraqis -- citizens of a sovereign nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with 911.
Bush would do all this and, in the process, place himself above the law, the judiciary, and the legislative. He did it all to keep his fraud intact, to hide his lie, to shore up his own flagging self-esteem.
The Existentialist Cowboy