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Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

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Hullabaloo


Friday, September 19, 2003

 
Crazies

As I have said many times, the neocons have always been wrong about everything. Until now, they were kept in a little corner where they couldn't do any catastrophic harm:

AMY GOODMAN: And you worked directly under George Bush

RAY MCGOVERN: I did when he was director for CIA and later I saw him every other morning for a couple of years in the 80’s when he was Vice President.

AMY GOODMAN: Doing what?

RAY MCGOVERN: I was one of the briefers who prepared the President’s daily brief and delivered it and briefed people one on one with the senior officials downtown.

AMY GOODMAN:Now one of the things we are talking about a lot and seeing a lot is that the same people that were there during the Reagan-Bush years and even before, the Wolfowitzes the Rumsfelds, Cheneys were there then. What was George Bush’s view of these people then?

RAY MCGOVERN: Well, you know it’s really interesting. When we saw these people coming back in town, all of us said who were around in those days said, oh my god, ‘the crazies’ are back – ‘the crazies’ – that’s how we referred to these people.

AMY GOODMAN: Did George Bush refer to them that way?

RAY MCGOVERN: That’s the way everyone referred to them.

AMY GOODMAN: Including George Bush?

RAY MCGOVERN: Well, when Wolfowitz prepared that defense posture statement in 1991, where he elucidated the strategic vision that has now been implemented, Jim Baker, Secretary of State, Brent Scowcroft, security advisor to George Bush, and George Bush said hey, that thing goes right into the circular file. Suppress that thing, get rid of it. Somebody had the presence of mind to leak it and so that was suppressed. But now to see that arise out of the ashes and be implemented. while we start a war against Iraq, I wonder what Bush the first is really thinking. Because these were the same guys that all of us referred to as ‘the crazies’.


This is what happens when you allow a spoiled, stupid prince with a daddy complex to take control of the most powerful country in the world. It's worth remembering how Lil' Cap'n T-Ball came to bring this entire group of nutballs into the highest reaches of decision making:

From Salon, How the neoconservatives conquored Washington by Michael Lind

They [the neocons] supported the maverick senator John McCain until it became clear that Bush would get the nomination.

Then they had a stroke of luck -- Cheney was put in charge of the presidential transition (the period between the election in November and the accession to office in January). Cheney used this opportunity to stack the administration with his hard-line allies. Instead of becoming the de facto president in foreign policy, as many had expected, Secretary of State Powell found himself boxed in by Cheney's right-wing network, including Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Bolton and Libby.

The neocons took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience. Unlike his father, a Second World War veteran who had been ambassador to China, director of the CIA, and vice president, George W was a thinly educated playboy who had failed repeatedly in business before becoming the governor of Texas, a largely ceremonial position (the state's lieutenant governor has more power). His father is essentially a northeastern moderate Republican; George W, raised in west Texas, absorbed the Texan cultural combination of machismo, anti-intellectualism and overt religiosity. The son of upper-class Episcopalian parents, he converted to Southern fundamentalism in a midlife crisis. Fervent Christian Zionism, along with an admiration for macho Israeli soldiers that sometimes coexists with hostility to liberal Jewish-American intellectuals, is a feature of the Southern culture.

The younger Bush was tilting away from Powell and toward Wolfowitz ("Wolfie," as he calls him) even before 9/11 gave him something he had lacked: a mission in life other than following in his dad's footsteps. There are signs of estrangement between the cautious father and the crusading son: Last year, veterans of the first Bush administration, including Baker, Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger, warned publicly against an invasion of Iraq without authorization from Congress and the U.N.


It's Shakespearean. The question is whether it's tragedy or farce.





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