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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:45 am
by admin
Chapter XXI -- Omaha

On the morning of June 29, 1989, pandemonium erupted in the corridors of power in the nation's capital. ``Homosexual Prostitution Probe Ensnares Official of Bush, Reagan,'' screamed the front-page headline of the Washington Times with the kicker ``Call Boys Took Midnight Tour of White House.''

The Times reported, ``A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close ties to Washington's political elite.''

The exposé centered on the role of one Craig Spence, a Republican powerbroker known for his lavish ``power cocktail'' parties. Spence was well connected. He celebrated Independence Day 1988 by conducting a midnight tour of the White House in the company of two teenage male prostitutes among others in his party.

Rumors circulated that a list existed of some 200 Washington prominents who had used the call boy service. The Number Two in charge of personnel affairs at the White House, who was responsible for filling all the top civil service posts in the federal bureaucracy, and Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole's chief of staff, were two individuals publicly identified as patrons of the call boy ring.

Two of the ring's call boys were allegedly KGB operatives, according to a retired general from the Defense Intelligence Agency interviewed by the press. But the evidence seemed to point to a CIA sexual blackmail operation, instead. Spence's entire mansion was covered with hidden microphones, two-way mirrors and video cameras, ever ready to capture the indiscretions of Washington's high, mighty and perverse. The political criteria for proper sexual comportment had long been established in Washington: Any kinkiness goes, so long as you don't get caught. The popular proverb was that the only way a politician could hurt his career was if he were ``caught with a dead woman or a live boy'' in his bed.

Months after the scandal had died down, and a few weeks before he allegedly committed suicide, Spence was asked who had given him the ``key'' to the White House. The Washington Times reported that ``Mr. Spence hinted the tours were arranged by `top level' persons, including Donald Gregg, national security advisor to Vice President Bush'' [fn1] and later U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

We have already had occasion to examine Don Gregg's role in Iran-Contra, and have observed his curious performance when testifying under oath before congressional committees. Gregg indignantly denied any connection to Spence, yet it is public record that Spence had sponsored a dinner in Gregg's honor in the spring of 1989 at Washington's posh Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.

George Bush was less than pleased with the media coverage of the prostitution charges and kept abreast of the scandal as it mushroomed. The Washington Times reported in an article titled ``White House Mute on Call Boy Scandal,'' that ``White House sources confirmed that President Bush has followed the story of the late night visit and Mr. Spence's links to a homosexual prostitution ring under investigation by federal authorities since they were disclosed June 29 in the Washington Times. But top officials will not discuss the story's substance, reportedly even among themselves.

``Press officers have rebuffed repeated requests to obtain Mr. Bush's reaction and decline to discuss investigations or fall out from the disclosures.'' [fn2] By midsummer, the scandal had been buried. The President had managed to avoid giving a single press conference where he would surely have been asked to comment.

As the call boy ring affair dominated the cocktail gossip circuit in Washington, another scandal, halfway across the country in the state of Nebraska, peaked. Again this scandal knocked on the President's door.

A black Republican who had been a leader in organizing minority support for the President's 1988 campaign and who proudly displayed a photo of himself and the President, arm in arm, in his Omaha home, was at the center of a sex and money scandal that continues to rock the Cornhusker state.

The scandal originated with the collapse of the minority-oriented Franklin Community Credit Union in Omaha, directed by Lawrence E. King, Jr., a nationally influential black Republican who sang the national anthem at both the 1984 and 1988 Republican conventions. King became the subject of the Nebraska Senate's investigation conducted by the specially created ``Franklin Committee'' to probe charges of embezzlement. In November 1988, King's offices were raided by the FBI and $40 million was discovered missing. Within weeks, the Nebraska Senate, which initially opened the inquiry to find out where the money had gone, instead found itself questioning young adults and teenagers who said that they had been child prostitutes. Social workers and state child-care administrators accused King of running a child prostitution ring. The charges grew with the former police chief of Omaha, the publisher of the state's largest daily newspaper, and several other political associates of King, finding themselves accused of patronizing the child prostitution ring.

King is now serving a 15-year federal prison sentence for defrauding the Omaha-based credit union. But the magazines Avvenimenti of Italy and Pronto of Spain, among others, have charged that King's crimes were more serious: that he ran a national child prostitution ring that serviced the political and business elite of both Republican and Democratic parties. Child victims of King's operations charged him with participation in at least one satanic ritual murder of a child several years ago. The Washington Post, New York Times, Village Voice and National Law Journal covered the full range of accusations after the story broke in November of 1988. King's money machinations were also linked to the Iran-Contra affair, and some say that King provided the CIA with information garnered from his alleged activities as a ``pimp'' for the high and mighty.

Pronto, the Barcelona-based, largest circulation weekly in Spain with 4.5 million readers, reported that the Lawrence E. King child prostitution scandal ``appears to directly implicate politicos of the state of Nebraska and Washington, D.C. who are very close to the White House and George Bush himself.''

The weekly stated that Roy Stephens, a private investigator who has worked on the case and heads the Missing Youth Foundation, ``says there is reason to believe that the CIA is directly implicated,'' and that the ``FBI refuses to help in the investigation and has sabotaged any efforts'' to get to the bottom of the story. Stephens says that ``Paul Bonnacci directly accused President Bush of being implicated'' in the affair when he testified before the Franklin Committee. [fn3] Bonnacci, who had been one of the child prostitutes, is identified by leading child-abuse experts as a well-informed, credible witness.

Lawrence King was no stranger to President Bush. And Lawrence King was no stranger to Craig Spence. Several of the Omaha child prostitutes testified that they had traveled to Washington, D.C. with King in private planes to attend political events which were followed by sex parties. King and Spence had much in common. Not only were they both Republican Party activists but they had gone into business together procuring prostitutes for Washington's elite.

Bush's name had repeatedly surfaced in the Nebraska scandal. But his name was first put into print in July 1989, a little less than a month after the Washington call boy affair had first made headlines. Omaha's leading daily newspaper reported, ``One child, who has been under psychiatric care, is said to believe she saw George Bush at one of King's parties.'' [fn4]

A full three years after the scandal had first made headlines, Bush's name again appeared in print. Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ) carried a lengthy article, viewed by many political observers in Nebraska as an attempt to refute the charges which would not die, despite the termination of all official inquiries. The GQ piece disputed the allegations as a conspiracy theory that went out of control and resonated because of some mystical sociological phenomena allegedly unique to Nebraskan rural folk who will believe anything and burn ``with the mistrust of city life that once inflamed the prairie with populist passion.'' Numerous polls over the last few years have recorded over 90% saying they believe there has been a ``cover up'' of the truth.

GQ reported that yes, there was theft, corruption and homosexuality in this story, ``but no children were ever involved in this case.'' In fact, ``the only child even mentioned was a 9-year-old boy, whom the least reliable of Caradori's witnesses claimed to have seen in the company of George Bush at one of Larry King's Washington parties.''

Gary Caradori was a retired state police investigator who had been hired by the Nebraska Senate to investigate the case, and who had died mysteriously during the course of his investigations. [fn5]

Sound crazy? Not to Steve Bowman, an Omaha businessman who is compiling a book about the Franklin money and sex scandal. ``We do have some credible witnesses who say that `Yes, George Bush does have a problem.'... Child abuse has become one of the epidemics of the 1990s,'' Bowman told GQ. Allegedly, one of Bowman's sources is a retired psychiatrist who worked for the CIA. He added that cocaine trafficking and political corruption were the other principal themes of his book. [fn6]

It didn't sound crazy to Peter Sawyer either. An Australian conservative activist who publishes a controversial newsletter, Inside News, with a circulation of 200,000, dedicated his November 1991 issue entirely to the Nebraska scandal, focusing on President Bush's links to the affair. In a section captioned, ``The Original Allegations: Bush First Named in 1985,'' Sawyer writes,

"Stories about child sex and pornography first became public knowledge in 1989, following the collapse of the Franklin Credit Union. That is not when the allegations started, however. Indeed, given the political flavor of the subsequent investigations, it would be easy to dismiss claims that George Bush had been involved. He was by then a very public figure...."
If the first allegations about a massive child exploitation ring, centered around Larry King and leading all the way to the White House, had been made in 1989, and had all come from the same source, some shenanigans and mischievous collusion could be suspected. However, the allegations arising out of the Franklin Credit Union collapse were not the first.

Way back in 1985, a young girl, Eulice (Lisa) Washington, was the center of an investigation by Andrea L. Carener, of the Nebraska Department of Social Services. The investigation was instigated because Lisa and her sister Tracey continually ran away from their foster parents, Jarrett and Barbara Webb. Initially reluctant to disclose information for fear of being further punished, the two girls eventually recounted a remarkable story, later backed up by other children who had been fostered out to the Webb's [sic].

These debriefings were conducted by Mrs. Julie Walters, another welfare officer, who worked for Boys Town at the time, and who had been called in because of the constant reference by the Webb children and others, to that institution.

Lisa, supported by her sister, detailed a massive child sex, homosexual, and pornography industry, run in Nebraska by Larry King. She described how she was regularly taken to Washington by plane, with other youths, to attend parties hosted by King and involving many prominent people, including businessmen and politicians. Lisa specifically named George Bush as being in attendance on at least two separate occasions. ``Remember, this was in 1985,'' emphasized the Australian newsletter.

The newsletter reproduces several documents on Lisa's case, including a Nebraska State Police report, a State of Nebraska Foster Care Review Board letter to the Attorney General, an investigative report prepared for the Franklin Committee of the Nebraska Senate, and a portion of the handwritten debriefing by Mrs. Julie Walters. Peter Sawyer says that he obtained the documents from sympathetic Australian law enforcement officers who had helped Australian Channel Ten produce an exposé of a national child prostitution ring Down Under. The Australian cops seem to have been in communication with American law enforcement officers who apparently agreed that there had been a coverup on the Nebraska scandal. Subsequent investigations by the authors established that all four documents were authentic.

Mrs. Julie Walters, now a housewife in the Midwest, confirmed that in 1986 she had interviewed the alleged child prostitute, Lisa, who told her about Mr. Bush. Lisa and her sister Tracey were temporarily living at the time in the home of Kathleen Sorenson, another foster parent. Mrs. Walters explained that at first she was very surprised. But Lisa, who came from a very underprivileged background with no knowledge of political affairs, gave minute details of her attendance at political meetings around the country.

From Julie Walters' 50-page handwritten report:

3/25/86. Met with Kathleen [Sorenson] and Lisa for about 2 hours in Blair [Neb.] questioning Lisa for more details about sexual abuse.... Lisa admitted to being used as a prostitute by Larry King when she was on trips with his family. She started going on trips when she was in 10th grade. Besides herself and Larry there was also Mrs. King, their son, Prince, and 2-3 other couples. They traveled in Larry's private plane, Lisa said that at these trip parties, which Larry hosted, she sat naked ``looking pretty and innocent'' and guests could engage in any sexual activity they wanted (but penetration was not allowed) with her.... Lisa said she first met V.P. George Bush at the Republican Convention (that Larry King sang the national anthem at) and saw him again at a Washington, D.C. party that Larry hosted. At that party, Lisa saw no women (``make-up was perfect--you had to check their legs to make sure they weren't a woman'').
The polygraph test which Lisa took only centered around sexual abuse committed by Jarrett Webb. At that time, she had said only general things about Larry's trips (i.e. where they went, etc.). She only began talking about her involvement in prostitution during those trips on 3/25/86....

Lisa also accompanied Mr. and Mrs. King and Prince on trips to Chicago, N.Y. and Washington, D.C. beginning when she was 15 years old. She missed twenty-two days of school almost totally due to these trips. Lisa was taken along on the pretense of being Prince's babysitter. Last year she met V.P. George Bush and saw him again at one of the parties Larry gave while on a Washington, D.C. trip. At some of the parties there are just men (as was the case at the party George Bush attended)--older men and younger men in their early twenties. Lisa said she has seen sodomy committed at those parties....

At these parties, Lisa said every guest had a bodyguard and she saw some of the men wearing guns. All guests had to produce a card which was run through a machine to verify who the guest was, in fact, who they said they were. And then each guest was frisked down before entering the party. [fn7]

The details of the accusations against Mr. Bush are known to be in the hands of the FBI. A Franklin Committee report stated:

Apparently she [Lisa] was contacted on December 19 [1988] and voluntarily came to the FBI offices on December 30, 1988. She was interviewed by Brady, Tucker and Phillips.

She indicates that in September or October 1984, when [Lisa] Washington was fourteen or fifteen years of age, she went on a trip to Chicago with Larry King and fifteen to twenty boys from Omaha. She flew to Chicago on a private plane.

The plane was large and had rows of two seats apiece on either side of the interior middle aisle.

She indicates that King got the boys from Boys Town and the boys worked for him. She stated that Rod Evans and two other boys with the last name of Evans were on the plane. Could not recall the names of the other boys.

The boys who flew to Chicago with Washington and King were between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. Most of the boys were black but some were white. She was shown a color photograph of a boy and identified that boy as being one of the boys on the plane. She could not recall his name.

She indicates that she was coerced to going on the trip by Barbara Webb.

She indicates that she attended a party in Chicago with King and the male youths. She indicated George Bush was present.

She indicates that she set [sic] at a table at the party while wearing nothing but a negligee. She stated that George Bush saw her on the table. She stated she saw George Bush pay King money, and that Bush left the party with a nineteen year old black boy named Brent. Lisa said the party George Bush attended was in Chicago in September or October 1984. According to the Chicago Tribune of October 31, 1984, Bush was in Illinois campaigning for congressional candidates at the end of October.

Lisa added more details on the Chicago trip, and told why she was sure it was George Bush she had seen. According to a May 8, 1989 report by investigator Jerry Lowe, ``Eulice [Lisa] indicated that she recognized George Bush as coming to the party and that Bush had two large white males with him. Eulice indicated Bush came to the party approximately 45 minutes after it started and that he was greeted by Larry King. Eulice indicated that she knew George Bush due to the fact that he had been in political campaigns and also she had observed a picture of Bush with Larry King at Larry King's house in Omaha.''

There is no question that Lisa and Tracey Webb were abused in the way they claimed. But, in keeping with the alleged pattern of coverup, a Washington County, Nebraska judge in December 1990 dismissed all charges against their abusers, Jarrett and Barbara Webb. The judge ignored presented testimony of the 1986 report by Boys Town official Julie Walters. The report stated: ``Lisa was given four polygraph tests administered by a state trooper at the State Patrol office on Center Street in Omaha. The state trooper, after Lisa's testing was completed, told [another foster parent] he tried to `break Lisa down,' but he was convinced she was telling the truth.'' [fn8]

Furthermore, numbers of foster care officials and youth workers debriefed the sisters. All of them fully believed not only their general story of abuse, but specifically their account of Bush's involvement. The March 1986 report on Bush was incorporated into the Foster Care Review Board's official report presented to the Senate Franklin Committee and to law enforcement. As Kathleen Sorenson wrote in a report dated May 1, 1989, ``This was long before he [Bush] was president. It seems like there were more exciting people to `lie' about if that's what they were doing.'' [fn9]

The rumors about Mr. Bush were given new life when Dr. Ronald Roskens, the head of the Agency for International Development (AID), found himself the object of controversy. Executive Intelligence Review reported in the fall of 1991 that Dr. Roskens is the subject of a scandal in which he is being charged with violating federal laws and ethics codes, according to the Oct. 6 Washington Post. A report prepared by AID Inspector General Herbert Beckington, dated April 5 and leaked to the Post, charges Roskens with accepting thousands of dollars in payments from ``different organizations in compensation of his and his wife's travel expenses'' while Roskens was on official government travel. He also took money for a private trip from a company ``from which Roskens had agreed to divest himself as a condition of his presidential appointment.''

The inspector general concluded that the money accepted by Roskens was a clear conflict of interest and violated federal law against earning non-government income. But on Sept. 4, after reviewing the charges, the Department of Justice ... informed Beckington that it had decided not to prosecute--giving no explanation for its decision. The White House is reviewing the case.

Congressional investigators are already looking into the allegations. Should they scratch below the surface, they will find that this is not the first time Roskens has been touched by scandal. Although President Bush promised that he would not tolerate even the appearance of impropriety in his administration, Congress should not be surprised if the White House threatens to start ``breaking legs'' in Roskens's defense.

It is not just that Roskens is a personal friend of the President--although he is.... [A]n unimpeded investigation into Roskens could expose the link between Bush's little publicized birth control mania--much of which is carried out through the State Department's AID in the Third World--and the sexual depravity rampant in U.S. political and intelligence elites. Any such scandal could shatter the illusions of Bush's conservative base, many of whom still accept the President's claims to being ``pro-life,'' ``anti-drug,'' and an American patriot. It should also make anyone who thinks of the propaganda about Bush being the ``education President,'' deeply queasy.

Roskens left his home state of Nebraska for the nation's capital in early 1990 enmired in controversy. He had been fired suddenly as president of the University of Nebraska, in a secret meeting of the state Board of Regents in July 1989. No public explanation was given for his removal. Yet, within weeks, the White House offered Roskens the high-profile job in Washington. The administration knew about the controversy in Nebraska, but Roskens passed an FBI background check, and was confirmed to head AID.

The FBI appears to have overlooked a Feb. 19, 1990 investigative report by the late Gary Caradori [see footnote 5 below], an investigator for the ``Franklin Committee'' of the Nebraska Senate. He wrote, ``I was informed that Roskins [sic] was terminated by the state because of sexual activities reported to the Regents and verified by them. Mr. Roskins [sic] was reported to have had young men at his residence for sexual encounters. As part of the separation from the state, he had to move out of the state-owned house because of the liability to the state if some of his sexual behavior was `illegal.''' [fn10]

There has been no independent confirmation of the accusation. As of late December 1991, a congressional committee was looking into the charges.



1. Washington Times, Aug. 9, 1989.

2. Washington Times, July 7, 1989.

3. Pronto (Barcelona, Spain), Aug. 3, 1991 and Aug. 10, 1991.

4. Omaha World-Herald, July 23, 1989.

5. On July 11, 1990, during the course of his investigations, Gary Caradori, 41, died in the crash of his small plane, together with his 8-year-old son, after a mid-air explosion whose cause has not yet been discovered. A skilled and cautious pilot, Caradori told friends repeatedly in the weeks before his death that he feared his plane would be sabotaged.

6. Gentleman's Quarterly, December 1991.

7. Report, written on March 25, 1986 by Julie Walters and authenticated by her in an interview in 1990.

8. Report, early 1989, compiled by Jerry Lowe, the first investigator for the Franklin Committee of the Nebraska State Senate.

9. A book recently published on the Nebraska affair by a former Republican state senator and decorated Vietnam veteran, John W. De Camp, The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism and Murder in Nebraska (Lincoln, Nebraska: AWT, Inc., 1992) tells the whole story.

10. Executive Intelligence Review, Oct. 18, 1991.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:47 am
by admin

Chapter XXII -- Bush Takes The Presidency

Oderint dum metuant
(Let them hate me, provided that they fear me.)

-- Accius, "Atreus" (c. 125 BC), attributed by Suetonius to Caligula.

George Bush's quest for the summit of American political power was so sustained and so unrelenting that it is impossible to assign the beginning of his campaign for president to any specific date. It is more accurate to report that his entire tenure as vice president was consumed by the renovation and expansion of his personal and family network for the purpose of seizing the presidency at some point in the future. During this phase, Bush was far more concerned with organizational and machine-building matters than with ideology or public relations. For most of the 1980's, it was convenient for Bush to cultivate the public profile of a faithful and even obsequious deputy to Reagan, while using the office of the vice president to build a national-electoral and international-overt/covert power cartel.

This arrangement worked very well for Bush, since it gave the Bush camarilla considerable power in the inner councils of the second Reagan administration. But as the 1987-1988 period approached. it also became clear that Bush's public toadying to the Reagan mystique had been so exaggerated as to give rise to his notorious "wimp" problem. Bush could easily have refuted these charges by citing the long series of brutal and bloody covert and semi-covert interventions he had directed in his role as boss of the Special Situation Group, but he judged this impolitic.

Bush started with the knowledge that he was a weak candidate. Reagan had embodied the popular ideology in such a flawless way as to remind everyone of their favorite uncle; whatever the crimes of his administration, whatever the decline of their living standards, the masses could not hate him; this was why Reagan was such an ideal facade for regime that kept getting nastier. Reagan also had an ideological following of people who would support him almost without regard to what he did: Reagan was the beneficiary of the fully justified ideological backlash against the Democrats and Carter, against the Rockefeller-Ford liberal Republicans.

But Bush had none of this. He had no regional constituency in any of the half-dozen places he tried to call home; his favorite son appeal was diluted all over the map. He had no base among labor, blacks, or in the cities, like the Kennedy apparatus. Blueblood financiers gravitated instinctively to Bush, and his lifeline to the post-Meyer Lansky mob was robust indeed, and these were important factors, although not enough by themselves to win an election. Bush's networks could always tilt the media in his favor, but the Reagan experience had provided a painful lesson of how inadequate this could be against a clever populist rival. Otherwise, Bush's base was in the government, where eight years of patient work had packed the executive branch, the Congress and its staffs, and the judiciary with Bushmen. This would give Bush's effort undoubted power, but also an aroma of a modern Bonapartism of a special kind, of a regime in which the government asserts the imagined interests of government itself against the population, a vindictive and tyrannical government set above the people and in direct conflict with them. That would work well as long as the population were atomized and passive, but might backfire if they could find a point of coalescence against their tormentors.

Nor was it only that Bush lacked a loyal base of support. He also had very high negatives, meaning that there were a lot of people who disliked him intensely. Such animosity was especially strong among the ideological Reaganite conservatives, whom Bush had been purging from the Reagan Administration from early on. There would prove to be very little that Bush could do to lower his negative response rate, so the only answer would be to raise the negatives of all rival candidates on both sides of the partisan divide. This brutal imperative for the Bush machine has contributed significantly to the last half decade's increase in derogation and vilification in American life. Bush's discrediting campaigns would be subsumed within the "anything goes" approach advocated by the late Lee Atwater, the organizer of Reagan's 1984 campaign who had signed on with Bush well in advance of 1988.

Elements of Reagan's success posed a very real threat to Bush. There were for example the Reagan Democrats, many of them ethnic, Catholic, and blue collar workers in the mid-west and Great Lakes states who had turned their backs on the Democrats in disgust over the succession of McGovern, Carter, and Mondale and were now supporting Reagan. These voters were not likely to show up in the Republican primaries, but any that did so would hardly vote for Bush. In the general election, there was a real danger that they would be repelled by Bush and return to their traditional Democratic home, as squalid as that had become. Bush would need heavy camouflage to pass muster with these voters. The Bushmen recalled that before they had been Reagan Democrats, many of these intensely frustrated voters had flirted with Wallace in 1968 and 1972. The flag, the death penalty, and an appeal to racism might provide an ideological smokescreen for the patrician Bush.

Bush could not model his effort on Reagan's campaigns from 1968 on. For him, the closest model was that of Gerald Ford in 1976, a weak liberal Republican with powerful network and masonic support, but no issues, no charisma, and no popular appeal. Ford's defeat highlighted many of the pitfalls that Bush faced as he prepared for 1988. Ford and Carter had been locked in a virtual dead heat as the voters went to the polls. An honest count would have given Ford the election, but ballot-box stuffing by the Democratic machines in Ohio and New York City had given Carter the palm. Bush therefore had to pay attention to any marginal factors that might tilt a close race in his favor. Was it a coincidence that, during 1985 and 1986, the Democratic machines in Ohio and New York were decimated by scandals and indictments, much to the dismay of Ohio mob banker Marvin Warner, and Stanley Friedman and the late Donald Mannes, the corrupt borough presidents of the Bronx and of Queens? For Bush, these reckonings were simply the most elementary precautions, and a harbinger of what would befall rival candidates as the primaries drew nearer.

Bush also had to look back at his performance in the 1984 campaign, hardly an epic effort. Bush had gotten in some trouble because he had refused categorically to rule out a tax increase in terms as adamantine as Reagan's. Bush tried to wiggle out of press conferences where this came up: "No more nit-picking. Zippity doo-dah. Now it's off to the races," was his parting shot as he sought to exit one press conference where he was being grilled. Otherwise Bush was the ultra-orthodox Reagan cheerleader, judged "fawning" by Witcover and Germond: "he had the reputation of being a bootlicker, and his conduct in office did nothing to diminish it." [fn 1] Columnist Joseph Kraft wrote of Bush: "the patrician has tried to be a populist. He comes across, in consequence, as puerile." [fn 2]

Bush's big moment was his vice presidential debate with Geraldine Ferraro. During the debate, Bush remarked that the marines who had been killed in the bombing of their Beirut, Lebanon barracks in October, 1983 had "died in shame." On the morning after the debate, Bush went to Elisabeth, New Jersey for a rally with longshoremen. He said to a man in the crowd that "we tried to kick a little ass" in the debate with Ferraro. Then he saw that a microphone suspended from a boom was within earshot. "Whoops! Oh, God, he heard me! Turn that thing off," said the tough guy of the royal "we." Barbara Bush got in on the act with her quip that Ferraro was a "four million dollar --- I can't say it but it rhymes with rich." Britisher Teeley added that Ferraro was "too bitchy." [fn 3] In the most stupefied election of modern times, these slogans were the stuff of which great issues were made.

The Washington Post went after Bush as "the Cliff Barnes of American politics," a reference to a character in the soap opera Dallas whom the Post found "blustering, opportunistic, craven, and hopelessly ineffective all at once." Others, foreshadowing the thyroid revelations of 1991, talked about Bush's "hyperkinesis." Even the unsavory George Will commented that "the optimistic statement 'George Bush is not as silly as he frequently seems' now seems comparable to Mark Twain's statement that Wagner's music is better than it sounds." [fn 4]

There was thus very little hope that Bush could help himself by campaigning effectively. But did George have any new achievements in his resume that he could point to?

There were few that he would or could talk about. In the context of his "you die, we fly" role as Reagan's official surrogate at state funerals, he had met the new Soviet leader Yuri Andropov at Brezhnev's funeral for a "spook to spook" conversation, as Bush said. He had then met Michael Gorbachov at Andropov's funeral in the spring of 1985. But Bush would not want to play up his role in turning the "evil empire" Reagan of the first term into the summit-going "useful idiot of Soviet propaganda" of the second term, since this would stir up problems along Bush's right flank.

All Bush could talk about were his foreign trips. When Brezhnev died in November, 1982, Bush had been in Africa, whence he diverted to Moscow. This was a trip to seven black African states, including Nigeria and Kenya. When he got back to Washington he tried to capitalize on the African junket, which was undertaken in the spirit of the Reagan Administration's "constructive engagement", meaning in practice offering various rewards and inducements to the Pretoria regime while gently prodding them to withdraw from Namibia. In both Lagos and Nairobi, Bush was denounced for establishing a US-sponsored linkage between the departure of Cuban forces from Angola and the termination of the South African protectorate over Namibia. [fn 5]

In the summer of 1983, Bush went to Scandinavia, accompanied by scores of Secret Service agents and aides, bulletproof limousines, and White House communications equipment. Bush's staff were trying to plan photo opportunities and television perspectives in the tradition of Michael Deaver and Dr. Goebbels. During a visit to a memorial to the monument to Denmark's World War II resistance fighters, a US Navy officer on Bush's staff instructed the Danish protocol chief that Danish Prime Minister Schluter and other Danish officials had to be "herded" to one side as Bush strode toward the monument: a boorish insult, to say the least. (Bush's traveling entourage has gotten progressively uglier over the years, as we are reminded by the Bush party's clash with Swiss security officers at Geneva Airport during Bush's meeting with Hafez Assad in the fall of 1990. Hyperthyroid at the top infects the people further down the line.)

In Iceland, Bush gave a speech so generic that it was not clear if he had lost track of what country he was in. In Stockholm, he clashed heatedly with Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme over the US "contra" covert action programs in Central America. A few years later Palme was to be assassinated, and many attribute his death to his very detailed knowledge of the European dimension of Iran-contra. But for Bush the trip was a big success: he got to play tennis doubles with Bjorn Borg, and went fishing off Iceland. [fn ]

In May of 1984, Bush was off to India and Pakistan. Indira Gandhi was rightly suspicious of Bush, and had recently commented about bad US-Indian relations: "What can be done? The problem is the orientation of the [US] administration." [fn 7] The policy which Bush presented to Mrs. Gandhi included sharp cutbacks in residual US aid and US sabotage of loans to India by the international agencies. In November, 1984, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated.

In March, 1985, Bush's handlers staged a globetrotting photo opportunity to begin building up their man for 1988. Bush flew to the Sudan, to Niger, and to Mali, where he was overtaken by word of the death of Konstantin Chernenko, the Soviet leader. Bush's "you die, we fly" operation took him at once to Moscow, where he met with Gorbachov, Nakasone of Japan, Helmut Kohl of Germany, Margaret Thatcher, Rajiv Gandhi, and Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan. Then it was on to post-invasion Grenada, followed by Bush's appearance at the inauguration of the new civilian government of Brazil. Here Bush dodged Danny Ortega, the leader of the Nicaraguan Sandinista regime, who wanted to confront Bush on US policy in the region. The ninth and last stop on Bush's junket was Honduras, where Bush visited with President Roberto Suazo Cordova, a key player in the world of contra policy. [fn 8]

Naturally, there was more to each one of these stops than met the eye. The insipid platitudes of Bush's public speeches were matched more often than not with vicious covert activity. Often the verbiage was at variance with the real policy, or soon would be. In 1981, Bush had been Reagan's envoy to an inauguration of President Marcos of the Philippines. Bush's toast to Marcos, "We love your adherence to democratic principle and to the democratic process" had been castigated by the liberal press (the New York Times called it "a real clanger"), but when the line changed and it was time for the US government to overthrow Marcos, it was the Bush apparatus that did it with the "people power" of the US-guided enrages of Manila.

One small window on the real dimensions of Bush's vice presidential travel agenda is provided by the visit to the Sudan just mentioned. During this trip, Bush was accompanied by televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell, two Elmer Gantries of the video ether, each with strong intelligence connections. Robertson made the trip with Bush, while Falwell was already in the country on a mission of his own in the framework of the ongoing famine in the Sahel region. Robertson brought a camera crew from his CBN network, which got a demagogic shot of Bush and Robertson slowly descending from Air Force Two in Khartoum while the band played "Hail to the Chief." Robertson was bringing relief supplies. On March 6, 1985, he told CBN that he was working with the genocidal US Agency for International Development on relief projects. Reliable Sudanese sources report that US AID policies are designed to exacerbate mortality in areas where they are applied.

Bush's urgent purpose was to arrange the overthrow of the President of the Sudan, Jaafar Nimiery, whom Wall Street wanted deposed. Bush seems to have some difficulty in planning and executing a swift and effective coup d'etat. His response to the Moscow putsch of August, 1991, "Coups can fail," reflected his own bitter experience, in Panama in October 1990 and in the case in point in the Sudan. The CIA was backing a group of junior officers who wanted to take power, but they dawdled too long. They waited until Nimiery left the country on a one-week visit to the United States. Then, instead of seizing the obvious nodal points, they spent a full week in orchestrating a typical CIA "people power" upsurge, with demonstrations in the streets of the capital and a strike by 10,000 doctors, teachers, bankers, and judges. Nimiery was by now flying back from the US. This inordinate delay allowed a group of senior officers who were not US puppets plenty of time to develop their own plan for a pre-emptive seizure of power. The senior group, led by General Abdul Rahman Swareddahab, acted decisively on April 6, 1985, catching Bush's junior officer clique flat-footed. [fn 9] The lustre was gone from Bush's reputation as a golpista, and it has never really returned.

Bush's trip to Khartoum was also designed to serve the Israeli Mossad. During his visit, Bush secured the consent of Nimiery to an Israeli airlift known as "Operation Moses," which transferred thousands of Ethiopian Jews from the Sudan to Israel. The Israeli presence was linked to the plan to topple Nimiery.

In July, 1985, Bush was President for a Day, when Reagan transferred his powers to the vice president before undergoing anesthesia in the course of an operation to remove an intestinal polyp. Bush had flown to Kennbunkport on July 12, the same day that Reagan was admitted to Bethesda naval hospital for an examination. When it was found that Reagan would require an operation the next day, Bush flew back from Kennbunkport to get his hands on the long-awaited levers of power. At 10:32 AM, Reagan signed letters to House Speaker Tip O'Neill and Senate President Pro Tempore StromThurmond passing the helm to Bush. Reagan's operation began slightly before noon, and Bush was acting president when he arrived at Andrews Air Force Base about half an hour later. Bush got to his home at the Naval Observatory and spent the rest of the day there. His staff said that nothing presidential happened before Reagan awoke from his anesthesia at 7:22 PM and signed a paper resuming his powers.

Had nothing presidential really happened? As Jack Anderson wrote some years later, it was really "nothing...unless you're talking to former president Gerald R. Ford, the king of pratfalls." It appears that Bush, doubtless overcome by the euphoria of power, had slipped while playing tennis and hit his head rather seriously. According to some high-level White House officials polled by the Jack Anderson column, the manic Bush had actually been "unconscious" for a time, but never "incapacitated." "It wasn't serious enough to be checked," according to a Bush aide, and Bush "slept it off." [fn 10] Not much here for a campaign speech celebrating Bush's experience, which now included a brief encounter with the dizzy apex of power itself.

For Reagan's State of the Union message in January, 1986, Bush's handlers worked hard to prevent him from "squirming, yawning, slumping, gazing into space and mostly looking...bored by his president." Bush was drilled into rapt attention for the Great Communicator's words by viewing embarrassing film clips of himself presiding over earlier joint sessions of the Congress. [fn 11] Otherwise, Bush had won some notoriety for changing his watchbands to match his suit. [fn 12]

More than anything, Bush wanted an early endorsement from Reagan in order to suppress or at least undercut challenges to his presumptive front-runner status from GOP rivals in the primaries; it was already clear that Senator Bob Dole might be the most formidable of these. Bush feared Dole's challenge, and desperately wanted to be anointed as Reagan's heir-apparent as soon as possible before 1988. But Reagan had apparently not gotten over the antipathy to Bush he had conceived during the Nashua Telegraph debate of 1980. According to a high-level Reagan Administration source speaking in the summer of 1986, "more than once the president [told Bush], 'Obviously, I'm going to stay neutral until after the convention, and then I'm going to work for whichever candidate comes out on top." [fn 13] Despite Bush's "slavish devotion," Reagan wanted to keep the door open to his good friend, Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada, whom Reagan apparently thought was getting ready to run for president. One can imagine Bush's rage and chagrin.

As the months went by, it became clear that there was no love lost on Bush by Reagan. Bush was running much of the administration, but he was not running Reagan in certain matters, and this seemed to be one of them. In the late summer of 1987, Reagan granted a magazine interview in which he seemed to praise Bush: "I don't know that there has ever been a vice president who has been more completely involved in all that goes on than this vice president." In the middle of Iran-contra, that might not have been exactly what Bush wanted. The Reagan was asked to cite examples. "I can't answer in that context," replied Reagan. Bush had grown up in the liberal GOP paradise of the Eisenhower years, and he could not help remembering old Ike's disparaging answer to a similar question that had invited him to name some decisions Vice President Nixon had participated in. "If you give me a week, I might think of one," quipped Ike. [fn 14]

Reagan stubbornly refused to come out for Bush until the endorsement could no longer help him in the Republican primaries. Reagan chose to wait until Super Tuesday was over and the rest of the Republican field had been mathematically eliminated. Reagan actually waited until Bob Dole, the last of Bush's rivals, had dropped out. Then Reagan ignored the demands of Bush's media handlers and perception-mongers and gave his endorsement in the evening, too late for the main network news programs. The scene was a partisan event, a very large GOP Congressional fundraising dinner. Reagan waited to the end of the speech, explained that he was now breaking his silence on the presidential contest, and in a perfunctory way said he would support Bush. "I'm going to work as hard as I can to make Vice President George Bush the next president of the United States," said old Ron. There were no accolades for Bush's real or imagined achievements, no stirring kudos. Seasoned observers found Reagan's statement "halfhearted...almost grudging." [fn 15]

Some day we may know how much of the public denigration of Reagan in accounts both true and invented, including studies showing mental impairment that surfaced in late 1987 and early 1988, was due to the efforts of a Bush machine determined to create the impression that a president who refused enthusiastically to endorse Bush was a mental incompetent. Had the Discrediting Committee been unleashed against the President of the United States? It would not be the first time.

Reagan's endless reticence meant that Bush had to work especially hard to pander to the right wing, to those people which he despised but nevertheless needed to use. Here Bush stooped to boundless public degradation. In December, 1985 Bush went to Canossa by accepting an invitation to a dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire held in honor of the late William Loeb, the former publisher of the Manchester Union Leader. We have already documented that old man Loeb hated Bush and worked doggedly for his defeat in 1980. Still, Bush was the "soul of humility," and he was willing to do anything to be able to take power in his own name. Bush gave a speech full of what the Washington Post chose to call "self-deprecating humor," but what others might have seen as groveling. Bush regaled 500 Republicans and rightists with a fairy tale about having tried in 1980 to woo Loeb by offering rewards of colored watchbands, LaCoste shirts and Topsider shoes to anyone who could win over Bill Loeb. The items named were preppy paraphernalia which Loeb and many others found repugnant.

Bush quoted what Loeb had said about him: "hypocrite...double-standard morality, involved up to his neck in Watergate...unfit to be the Republican nominee...incompetent; liberal masquerading as a conservative; a hypocrite...a spoon-fed little rich kid who has been wet-nursed to success," and so on from the series of 1979-1980 editorials. Bush then praised the author of these words as a man of "passionate conviction and strong belief...In never mincing his words or pulling his punches, Bill Loeb was part of a great tradition of outspoken publishers." Some of the assembled right-wingers repeated the line from the Doonesbury comic strip according to which Bush "had placed his manhood in a blind trust." Loeb's widow Nackey Scripps Loeb was noncommittal. "We have decided on a candidate for 1988--whoever best fights for the Reagan agenda," she announced. "Whether that person is here tonight remains to be seen," she added. [fn 16]

Lawfully, Bush had earned only the contempt of these New Hampshire conservatives. In October, 1987, when the New Hampshire primary season was again at hand, Mrs. Loeb rewarded Bush for his groveling with a blistering attack that featured reprints of Bill Loeb's 1980 barbs: "a preppy wimp, part of the self-appointed elite," and so forth. Mrs. Loeb wrote, "George Bush has been Bush for 63 years. He has been Ronald Reagan's errand boy for just the last seven. Without Ronald Reagan he will surely revert to the original George Bush." Mrs. Loeb repeated her late husband's 1980 advice: "Republicans should flee the presidential candidacy of George Bush as if it were the black plague itself." [fn 17]

Displays of this type began to inspire a more general public contempt for Bush during 1987. Bush was coming across as "deferential almost to the point of obsequiousness," "too weak, too namby-pamby." George Will, anxious to pick a winner, began to ridicule Bush as a "lapdog." The "wimp factor" was beginning to torment Bush. Old Bill Loeb was still making Bush squirm. Two veteran observers pointed out: "Reagan's own physical presence and self-confidence made Bush in contrast seem even weaker, and Bush's penchant for the prissy remark at times cast him as the Little Lord Fauntleroy of the campaign trail.." Bush said he was running a negative campaign so as not to leave the Democrats a monopoly on "the naughty stuff." [fn 18]

All of this culminated in the devastating Newsweek cover story of October 19, 1987, "Fighting the 'Wimp Factor.'" The article was more analytical than hostile, but did describe the "crippling handicap" of begin seen as a "wimp." Bush had been a "vassal to Kissinger" at the United Nations and in Beijing, the article found, and now even Bush's second term chief of staff said of Bush, "He's emasculated by the office of vice president." To avoid appearing as a television wimp, Bush had "tried for the past 10 years to master the medium, studying it as if it were a foreign language. He has consulted voice and television coaches. He tried changing his glasses and even wearing contact lenses. [...] Bush's tight, twangy voice is a common problem. Under stress, experts explain, the vocal cords tighten and the voice is higher than normal and lacks power." According to Newsweek, 51% of Americans found that "wimp" was a "seriously problem" for Bush. The magazine offered various sophomoric psychological explanations of how Bush got that way, mainly concentrating on his family upbringing. Here Bush was allegedly taught to conceal his sociopathic drives beneath a veneer of propitiation and sharing, as in his childhood nickname of "Have Half" George.

The Newsweek "wimp" cover soon had Bush chewing the carpet at the Naval Observatory. Bush's knuckle-dragging son George W. Bush called the story "a cheap shot" and added menacingly: "...I'd like to take the guy who wrote that headline out on that boat," i.e., the Aronow-built Fidelity in which Bush was depicted on the Newsweek cover. Which sounded very much like a threat. George W. Bush also called Newsweek Washington bureau chief Evan Thomas to inform him that the Bush campaign had officially cut off all contact with Newsweek and its reporters. The decision to put Newsweek out of business was made by candidate Bush personally, and aborted a plan by Newsweek to publish a book on the 1988 campaign. The press got the message: portray Bush in a favorable light or face vindictive and discriminatory countermeasures.

Bush campaigns have always advanced on a cushion of money, and the 1988 effort was to push this characteristic to unheard-of extremes. In keeping with a tradition that had stretched over almost three decades, the Bush campaign finance chairman was Robert Mosbacher, whose Mosbacher Energy Corporation is one of the largest privately held independent oil companies in Texas. Mosbacher's net personal worth is estimated at $200 million. During the 1988 campaign, Mosbacher raised $60 million for the Bush campaign and $25 million for the Republican National Committee. It was Mosbacher who formed the Team 100 corps d'elite of 250 fat cats, among whom we have seen Henry Kravis. The trick was that many of these $100,000 contributors were promised ambassadorial posts and other prestigious appointments, a phenomenon that would reach scandalous proportions during 1989. In 1984, Mosbacher's son Rob Jr. ran a strong but losing race for the senate seat vacated by John Tower.

Mosbacher by the mid-1980's had become a director of the biggest bank in Houston, and a member of the most exclusive clubs in the city. He was a central figure of that cabal of financiers and oil men which in the postwar years was called "the Suite 8F crowd," and which has since evolved into new forms. Mosbacher, Baker, and Bush are now at the center of the business oligarchy that runs the state of Texas.

Mosbacher was also a celebrity. When he was between his second and third marriages during the early 1980's, he was billed as Houston's most eligible bachelor. His third wife Georgette, a cosmetics entrepreneur, was the star of the Bush inaugural as far as the photographers were concerned. The Mosbachers habitually flew around the country in their own private jet, and maintained homes in New York, Washington DC, and the expensive River Oaks section of Houston.

During the mid-1980's, Mosbacher reportedly lined his pockets to the tune of $40 to $50 million through a scam called the Houston Grand Parkway. Mosbacher's gains derived from the Texas Transportation Corporation Act, which provided for the de facto privatization of highway building in conformity with the ideological tenets and fast-buck mentality of the Reagan-Bush economic climate. Local landowners were empowered to set up "transportation corporations" which would solicit donations of the rights-of-way of new roads, and which would fund the engineering studies for the roads. If right-of-way and design plans were approved, the state would proceed to actually build the roads.

In practice this became a gigantic speculation at the center of which lay Mosbacher's Cinco Ranch, a property he had acquired for $5 million in 1970. One provision of the bill was that many small landowners in the general area of the proposed rods would be hit by special road assessment tax levies of up to eight times the value of their property. Mosbacher cashed in by selling off his Cinco Ranch for $84 million, the highest price in Houston's history. The leap in the value of the land was made possible by the Grand Parkway passing right through the center of Mosbacher's ranch, a route that had been designed by a Mosbacher old boy network that reached into the Texas highway department. [fn 19]

Mosbacher's network for the Houston Grand Parkway caper included Harris County Commissioner Robert Y. "Big Bob" Eckels, whose personal friendship and close political ties with George Bush were well known. [fn 20] Eckels was a landowner who stood to benefit from the new road-building projects permitted under the new law. Eckels was also a dedicated GOP activist who made the Harris County government into a de facto arm of the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984. In 1985, Houston press reports showed that Big Bob Eckels had deployed county government employees, county government telephones, and county computer equipment to organize and service a group calling itself National Conference of Republican County Officials which, according to Roanoake County, Virginia Treasurer Fred Anderson, functioned as "a working arm for the White House and the national [Republican] party." [fn 21] Eckels later admitted that he had also spent at least $20,000 of his own funds for "a world" of mailings for the Reagan-Bush ticket and had not reported these expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Eckels was convicted on misdemeanor charges of accepting a gift from a county contractor in the form of a road on his Austin County tree farm. Eckels had been indicted six times while still in office, on various charges.

By June, 1989, Eckels was in semi-retirement on his tree farm, but was telling the press that he was working on his autobiography which he assured a reporter would not be just a "muck-raking deal." [fn 22] This book project was widely viewed in Houston as an attempt by Eckels to develop a retaliatory capability to ward off possible further attacks by his own former partners.

Big Bob Eckels may have been serving George Bush in other ways as well. In the spring of 1985, Houston attorney Douglas Caddy says he was told by Richard Brown of the International Intelligence Network Corporation that "a secret Reagan-Bush campaign fund" with "$1.5 million in it" had been uncovered following the 1984 presidential campaign. Caddy alleged that Brown told him the fund was "controlled by Harris County Commissioner Bob Eckels." According to Caddy, Brown further alleged that "IRS Criminal Intelligence knows about it." According to Caddy, Brown was a person with links to both the FBI and the IRS. Caddy also asserts that a report of the existence of the secret fund was also repeated to him by private investigator Clyde Wilson. [fn 23] During May 1988 and June 1989, Caddy wrote to the FBI and the FEC on the matter. The FEC declared the allegations Matter Under Review (MUR) 2925, but later decided in February 1991, despite "reason to believe" Caddy's charges, to take no action. [fn 24] During 1989, Caddy was hit by an Internal Revenue Service audit which led to an IRS assessment of hundreds of thousands of dollars of penalties against him, a lien on his property, and other measures. In Caddy's view, this audit was a retaliation against his having raised the issue of the $1.5 million Reagan-Bush campaign fund.

Further investigation of this potentially embarrassing complex of allegations was greatly hindered by the death of Robert Y. Eckels on December 24, 1989.

Bush's big money campaigning was especially dependent upon Texas oilmen, whose largesse he required to stoke his political machine. Bush was running a political action committee called the Fund for America's Future which raised $3.9 million in off-year 1985, a hefty sum. Of that take, about a fifth was raised from 505 Texas donors, with Texans giving more than the residents of any other state. $135,095 of Bush's money harvest came from persons who could be clearly identified as oil industry figures, and the rakeoff here was probably much greater. When the price of a barrel of oil fell during this period from $39 to $12, Bush had a big problem. His donors began to squawk.

Overall, the collapse of the oil price, itself a result of the world-wide industrial depression, was a boon to the bankrupt US dollar. The insolvent greenback was shored up by this new subsidy, which restored a little of the currency's ability to command some real commodities in the real world. But for Bush's immediate cronies and money-minded political base, it was a disaster. "You've got to figure George was getting banged around by all his oil friends, particularly the drillers, who have been hurt the most," a Congressional Bushman told the Washington Post. [fn 25] Sure enough, Bush's old pal Bill Liedtke, now the president of POGO Producing in Houston, a drilling company, confirmed that his man was highly attuned to the issue: "George understands very well that you're going to lose a certain percentage of production permanently if the price goes too low. Ever since I have known him, back to the Eisenhower era, he has been very sensitive to the connection between a strong [oil] industry and national security." [fn 26] Robert Mosbacher, Bush's moneybags, confirmed this view in spades: "I always find that when I talk to George about the oil and gas business, he's up to speed. He has two sons in the business, and he stays in touch through them."

The collapse of the oil price posed a real problem that should have been answered by introducing an oil tariff with a trigger price of $25 per barrel, so that the domestic price of oil would never fall below that figure, as was proposed at the time by Lyndon LaRouche and a few spokesmen for the oil patch. That would have been the equivalent of setting up a parity price for oil, and would have given domestic producers solid certainties for long-term development and planning. But the Reagan Administration in general was still wedded to the president's irrational fetishism of "the magic of the marketplace," and would violently oppose anything smacking of dirigism or re-regulation.

Bush was not interested in a parity price for oil. He rather took advantage of a scheduled trip to the Middle East, during which he was supposed to be discussing regional security matters, to talk up the price of oil with his long-time crony King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. Bush expressed his concern about "the free fall" of oil prices and talked with Fahd about "how [the Saudis] feel there can be some stability to a market that certainly can't be very happy to them." He denied that he had come to Saudi Arabia on a "price-fixing mission," but invoked national security. Bush lectured Saudi Oil Minister Zaki Yamani about the saturation of the world oil market. The implication was clear: the Saudis were supposed to cut back their production. [fn 27] It was a few weeks later that the US bombed Libya.

Bush sanctimoniously claimed that his remarks had nothing to do with the quest for political advantage. His performance may have played well in the oil patch, but reviews elsewhere were not laudatory. A White House official said that "poor George" had committed "a gaffe" that was sure to hurt him in New Hampshire. Reagan was still very committed to free market forces setting the price of oil, was the word in this quarter. Up in the rust bowl, the Detroit News headlined: "Bush to Michigan: Drop Dead." A Dole spokesman gloated that "given Bush's background, the last thing he needs to be doing is carrying water for the oil industry and the international banks....It was as if his whole resume was talking."

Once again, as so frequently in his career, politics was proving unkind to the hopes of George Bush. By the spring of 1987, Bush was "catching the dickens" out on the hustings for his Iran-contra activities. On the Democratic side, Gary Hart, the former senator from Colorado who had run second to Mondale through the 1984 primaries, was emerging as a clear front-runner. With his own efforts foundering, Bush had every reason to fear succumbing in a long season of photo opportunities in competition with Hart. But if politics was fickle, there was always the bedrock of covert action.

Gary Hart talked about being the candidate with new ideas, but he had an immense vulnerability. He was a habitue of Turnberry Isle, a 234 acre earthly paradise located north of Miami. Part of the complex was a 29 story condominium. Turnberry was frequented by celebrities of the sports and entertainment world, by politicians and by Mafiosi like Joey Ippolito, a convicted marijuana kingpin. The developer and manager of Turnberry was Don Soffer, who was also the owner of a yacht named the Monkey Business. (After the February, 1987 murder of Don Aronow, Soffer received a telephone call, from a person who told him, "You're next." Soffer hired extra bodyguards and went for a one-week Atlantic cruise on the Monkey Business.) Soffer was a friend of Don Aronow. Ben Kramer was also a frequent visitor to Turnberry Isle. The establishment employed a staff of hostesses who were termed "Donnie's girls" or "the party girls". According to some, these hostesses doubled as luxury prostitutes for the Turnberry clientele of wealthy male patrons.

Among the employees of Turnberry was the sometime model Donna Rice. Another woman, Lynn Armandt, was in charge of the staff of party girls, and also had retail space for a bikini boutique in an upscale and remunerative Turnberry shopping complex. Lynn Armandt was the widow of a reputed Ben Kramer associate, a Miami drug dealer and underworld figure who had disappeared and never been found. The car of Armandt's husband was eventually found, riddled with machine-gun slugs and stained with blood. In the glove compartment, investigators found the telephone number of Ben Kramer.

When federal agents raided Ben Kramer's Fort Apache Marina on August 28, 1987, they examined the contents of Kramer's safe and found the original manuscripts of early primary stump speeches by Gary Hart. [fn 28]

At 8:30 PM on the evening of Monday, April 27, 1987, journalist Tom Fiedler, who had just written a story on the rumors of sexual promiscuity that had begun to surface around the Gary Hart campaign, received a telephone call at his office. It was just after Gary Hart had told E.J. Dionne of the New York Times, "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me. go ahead. They'd be very bored." An extensive and well-organized network in the media was hyping the story that Hart was promiscuous. The telephone call received that day by Fiedler was from a woman who told him, "Gary Hart is having an affair with a friend of mine. We don't need another president who lies like that." The next morning at 10:30 AM the same woman called back with the report that her female friend was likely to accept an invitation to spend the weekend with Gary Hart at his Washington townhouse, and that the friend was likely to make the trip by air Friday evening. Published sources and unnamed aides in the Gary Hart campaign have identified Lynn Armandt as the woman who made this call to Tom Fiedler of the Miami Herald, although Fiedler denies this is true. [fn 29]

These telephone calls led to the stakeout of Hart's townhouse by Fiedler and other reporters of the Miami Herald who came upon Hart together with Donna Rice, detonating the scandal which destroyed Hart's candidacy.

The woman caller described herself as a liberal Democrat but a foe of mendacity. She told Fiedler that she and her girlfriend had spent time on a yacht with Hart and an older man named Bill who was supposedly Hart's lawyer. This turned out to be a cruise by Hart, Donna Rice, Lynn Armandt and Hart's lawyer William Broadhurst plus a crew of five on board the Soffer-owned "chartered yacht" Monkey Business to Bimini and back in the springtime. Donna Rice later confirmed she had met Hart at Turnberry.

William Broadhurst or "Billy B." was a Washington lawyer and Hart backer who served the candidate as an operative on the campaign trail. Broadhurst had a Capitol Hill townhouse near Hart's. Broadhurst later explained that Lynn Armandt had come to Washington to consider his offer to be a social director for his lobbying and entertaining activities in Washington. Broadhurst said that Donna Rice had come along with her friend Lynn Armandt, and that both women had stayed overnight at his house, not at Hart's. Lynn Armandt soon left Washington after the story had broken, and the Hart campaign people said they never heard from her again.

There is no need to recount the ostracism and revelations that followed, leading to the destruction of Gary Hart as a political figure. Nor is it our intention here to defend the lost cause of the decidedly unsavory former Senator Hart. But given the situation of the Bush campaign in April-May, 1987, we are reminded by Seneca's "Cui prodest" proposition that the Bushmen as prime beneficiaries would necessarily qualify as prime suspects if any "naughty stuff" were to overtake Hart, as it did. Our suspicions can only be heightened by the obvious degree to which Bush, Aronow, Kramer, Soffer, Armandt, and Rice must be seen virtually as one interrelated social amalgam in the setting of Miami, Thunderboat Alley, Turnberry Isle, and the Monkey Business. Perhaps an old score was being settled here as well, dating back to December, 1975, hearings in which Gary Hart had taunted Bush about the Liedkte money laundering apparatus referenced in Richard M. Nixon's "smoking gun" tape.

James Baker was the titular head of the Bush campaign, but the person responsible for the overall concepts and specific tactics of the Bush campaign was Lee Atwater, a political protege of Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Thurmond had been a Democrat, then a Dixiecrat in 1948, then a Democrat again, and finally a Republican. The exigencies of getting elected in South Carolina on the GOP ticket had taught Thurmond to reach deeply into that demagogue's bag of tricks called the wedge issues. Under Thurmond's tutelage, Atwater had become well versed in the essentials of the Southern Strategy, the key to that emergent Republican majority in presidential elections which Kevin Phillips had written about in 1968. Atwater had also imbibed political doctrine from the first practitioner of the Southern Strategy, the dark-jowled Richard M. Nixon himself. In January 1983, for example, Lee Atwater, at that time deputy director of the White House office of political affairs (and a creature of the Bush-Baker connection), met with Nixon for three and a half hours in Columbia, South Carolina. Nixon held forth on three points: the decisive political importance of the Sun Belt, the numerical relations within the Electoral College, and the vast benefits of having no primary competition when seeking re-election. Atwater found that Nixon knew the Electoral College like the back of his hand, and knew that the electoral votes of the southern states were the key to the ball game as presently constituted. Nixon had railed against two Congressmen, Pete McCloskey of California and John Ashbrook of Ohio, who had challenged him from the left and right when he sought re-election in 1972. "Those guys were two gnats on my ass," complained Nixon. [fn 30] Bush has obviously attributed great importance to Nixon's advice that all primary competition be banned during the quest for a second term. Nixon's advice underlines the real problems posed for Bush by a candidacy like that of television commentator Pat Buchanan.

In 1988 as well, Nixon was brought in to be the spiritus rector of the Bush campaign. During March of 1988, when it was clear that Bush was going to win the nomination, Nixon "slipped into town" to join George Bush, Bar, and Lee Atwater for dinner at the Naval Observatory. This time it was Bush who received a one hour lecture from Tricky Dick on the need to cater to the Republican right wing, the imperative of a tough line on crime in the streets and the Soviets (again to propitiate the rightists), to construct an independent identity only after the convention, and to urge Reagan to campaign actively. And of course, where Nixon shows up, Kissinger cannot be far away. [fn 31]

1988 saw another large-scale mobilization of the intelligence community in support of Bush's presidential ambitions. The late Miles Copeland, a high-level former CIA official who operated out of London during the 1980's, contributed a piece frankly titled "Old Spooks for Bush" to the March 18, 1988 issue of National Review. (Since the magazine's editor, William Buckley, was a notorious Skull and Bones cultist, the allusion to "spooks" assumed the character of an insider pun.) Copeland based his endorsement of Bush on the candidate's anti-Soviet firmness, a viewpoint that seems odd in retrospect. Copeland suggested that Bush would go back to the procedures of staff work that had been standard under Eisenhower: "Ronald Reagan is apparently oblivious of this simple 'Standard Operation procedure,' but we know from experience that Bush isn't. This is why my old friends and I are in George Bush's corner in the presidential race: we see him not only as one who has the wisdom, discretion, and ability to grasp the facts of our situation on the international gameboard, but as one who will appoint as his key advisors real experts in the relevant fields -- unlike the inexperienced men with whom President Reagan has surrounded himself. [...] It happens that we are in a state of national crisis, but, due to the Soviets' success at dezinformatzia and to our peculiar susceptibilities, it isn't recognizable. We see Bush as the candidate who, speaking with a voice of authority, can make it recognizable." This statement is doubly interesting because it is a clear precursor of the mood of bureaucratic triumphalism that marked the early weeks of the Bush Administration, when the new team launched what was billed as a "policy review" on Soviet relations to get back to hard bargaining after the departure of the slobbering sentimentalist Reagan.

Bush and Atwater feared all their competition. They feared former Gov. Pierre DuPont of Delaware because of his appeal to liberal and blueblood Republicans who might otherwise automatically gravitate to Bush. They feared New York Congressman Jack Kemp because of his appeal to the GOP right wing, to the blue-collar Reagan Democrats, and his disturbing habit of talking about the Strategic Defense Initiative and many other issues. They feared that Senator Bob Dole of Kansas with his "root canal economics," right-wing populism, and his solid backing from the international grain cartel might appear more credible to the Wall Street bankers than Bush as an enforcer of austerity and sacrifices. But at the same time, they knew that Bush had more money to spend and incomparably more state by state organization than any of his GOP rivals, to say nothing of the fabled Brown Brothers, Harriman media edge. Bush also ruled the Republican National Committee with Stalin-like ferocity, denying these assets to all of his rivals. This allowed Bush to wheel towards the right in 1986-87 to placate some of his critics there, and then move back towards the center by the time of the primaries. Indeed, Bush's many layers of money and political apparatchiki made it possible for him to absorb even stunning defeats like the outcome of the Iowa caucuses without folding. Victory, thought Bush, would belong to the big battalions.

But all the money and the organization could not mask the fact that Bush was fundamentally a weak candidate. This began to become obvious to Atwater and his team of perception mongers as the Iowa caucuses began to shape up. These were the caucuses that Bush had so niftily won in 1980, imparting to him the fickle charisma of the Big Mo. By 1988, Bush's Iowa effort had become complicated by reality, in the form of a farm crisis that was driving thousands of farmers into bankruptcy every week. Farm voters were now enraged against the avuncular thespian Ronald Reagan and were looking for a way to send a message to the pointy-headed set in Washington DC. Governor Branstad of Iowa complained as early as February, 1986: "I don't think his advisors are even keeping [Bush] informed on the extent of the farm crisis. We've got a crisis in agriculture and no one is in charge." Bush's Iowa campaign was dripping with lucre, but this now brought forth resentment among the grim and grey-faced rural voters.

In mid-October, 1987, five of the six declared Republican candidates attended a traditional Iowa GOP rally in Ames, just north of Des Moines, on the campus of Iowa State University. Televangelist Pat Robertson surprised all the others by mobilizing 1,300 enthusiastic supporters for the Saturday event. The culmination of this rally was a presidential straw poll, which Robertson won with 1,293 votes to 958 for Dole. Bush trailed badly with 864. This was the occasion for Bush's incredible explanation of what had happened: "A lot of people that support me, they were off at the air show, they were at their daughters' coming out parties, or teeing up at the golf course for that all-important last round." [fn 32] Many Iowans, including Republicans, had to ask what a debutante cotillion was, and began to meditate on the fact that they were not socially acceptable. But most concluded that George Bush was the imperial candidate from another planet, bereft of the foggiest notion of their lives and their everyday problems.

During the buildup to the Iowa caucus, Bush continued to dodge questions on Iran-contra. The famous "tension city" encounter with Dan Rather took place during this time. Lee Atwater considered that performance Bush's defining event for the campaign, a display which made him look like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Gary Cooper, especially in the south, where people like a pol who "can kick somebody's ass" and where that would make a big difference on Super Tuesday.

But Bush's handlers were nevertheless shocked when Dole won the Iowa caucuses with 37% of the vote, followed by Robertson with 25%. Bush managed only a poor show, with 19%, a massive collapse in comparison with 1980, when he had been far less known to the public.

Bush had known that defeat was looming in Iowa, and he had scuttled out of the state and gone to New Hampshire before the results were known. Bush was nevertheless stunned by his ignominious third-place finish, and he consulted with Nick Brady, Lee Atwater, chief of staff Craig Fuller and pollster Bob Teeter. Atwater had boasted that he had built a "fire wall" in the southern Super Tuesday states that would prevent any rival from seizing the nomination out of Bush's grasp, but the Bush image-mongers were well aware that a loss in New Hampshire might well prove a fatal blow to their entire effort, the advantages of money, networks, and organization notwithstanding. Atwater accordingly ordered a huge media buy of 1,800 gross rating points, enough to ensure that the theoretical New Hampshire television viewer would be exposed to a Bush attack ad 18 times over the final three days before the election. The ad singled out Bob Dole, judged by the Bushmen as their most daunting New Hampshire challenger, and savaged him for "straddling" the question of whether or not new taxes out to be imposed. The ad proclaimed that Bush "won't raise taxes," period. Bush was glorified as opposing an oil import tax, and for having supported Reagan's INF treaty on nuclear forces in Europe from the very beginning. It was during this desperate week in New Hampshire that Bush became indissolubly wedded to his lying and demagogic "no new taxes" pledge, which he repudiated with considerable fanfare during the spring of 1990.

The Bush campaign brought in former Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams, test pilot Chuck Yeager, and finally even old Barry Goldwater to help humanize George's appearance on the hustings. George worked a long day, putting in five or six radio interviews before 7:30 AM, proceeding to a staged telegenic campaign event for the local evening news and then campaigning intensively at locations suggested to him by New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, his principal supporter in the state.

When Bush had arrived in Manchester the night of the disastrous Iowa result, Sununu had promised a nine point victory for Bush in his state. Oddly enough, that turned out to be exactly right. The final result was 38% for Bush, 29% for Dole, 13% for Kemp, 10% for DuPont, and 9% for Robertson. Was Sununu a clairvoyant? Perhaps he was, but those familiar with the inner workings of the New Hampshire quadrennials are aware of a very formidable ballot-box stuffing potential assembled there by the blueblood political establishment. Lyndon LaRouche pointed to pervasive vote fraud in the 1988 New Hampshire primaries, and Pat Robertson, as we shall see, also raised this possibility. The Sununu machine delivered exactly as promised, securing the governor the post of White House chief of staff. Sununu soon became so self-importantly inebriated with the trappings of the imperial presidency as reflected in his travel habits that it was suggested that the state motto appearing on New Hampshire license plates be changed from "Live Free or Die" to "Fly Free or Die." In any case, for Bush the heartfelt "Thank You, New Hampshire" he intoned after his surprising victory signaled that his machine had weathered its worst crisis.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:47 am
by admin

Bush's real thank you to New Hampshire would come gradually, in the form of an accelerated economic depression. Soon after the 1988 vote, the bottom fell out of the state's real estate boom, banks began failing, and the unemployment rate spiked upward. During 1991, food stamp usage there went up 51%.--an object lesson of what happens to those who fail to resist George Bush.

In the South Carolina primary, the Bushmen were concerned about a possible threat from television evangelist Pat Robertson, who had mounted his major effort in the Palmetto state. Robertson was widely known through his appearances on his Christian Broadcasting Network. Shortly before the South Carolina vote, a scandal became public which involved another television evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, a close friend of Robertson and an active supporter of Robertson's presidential campaign. Swaggart admitted to consorting with a prostitute, and this caused a severe crisis in his ministry. Jim Baker of the PTL television ministry had already been tainted by a sex scandal. Robertson accused the Bush campaign of orchestrating the Swaggart revelations at a time that would be especially advantageous to their man. Talking to reporters, Robertson pointed to "the evidence that two weeks before the suddenly comes to light." Robertson added that the Bush campaign was prone to "sleazy" tricks, and suggested that his own last-place finish in New Hampshire was "quite possibly" the result of "dirty tricks" by the Bush campaign. Bush responded by dismissing Robertson's charges as "crazy" and "absurd." Robertson had been linking Bush to the "international banking community" in his South Carolina campaigning. [fn 33]

True to his Southern Strategy, Atwater had "front-loaded" Bush's effort in the southern states with money, political operatives, and television, straining the legal limit of what could be spent during the primary season as whole. A few days before Super Tuesday came the South Carolina primary. Here Bush appeared before a group of two dozen evangelical fundamentalist ministers and declared with a straight face: "Jesus Christ is my personal savior." The state's governor, Carol Campbell, was a former customer of Lee Atwater's. Strom Thurmond was for Dole, but his endorsement proved to be valueless. Here Bush got all the state's 37 delegates by scoring 48% of the vote to 21% for Dole, 19% for Robertson, and 11% for Kemp.

On the way to Super Tuesday, Bush stopped off in Miami to address a constituency with which he had been closely associated for three decades: the Miami Cubans. Bush was joined by Barry Goldwater and Florida Governor Bob Martinez, later chosen as field marshal of Bush's phony war on drugs. There was a good turnout of Republican Cuban Americans, who lionized George and also his son Jeb Bush, the former Dade County GOP chair who was now the Florida Secretary of Commerce. Obviously with some help from the family network, Jeb had been lobbying the Immigration and Naturalization Service to procure work permits for the wave of Nicaraguan emigres flooding into south Florida, not a few of whom were part of the contra drug-running operations. The rally was held at Florida International University, and before his main speech Bush talked to a class in international relations, where he wore his old obsessions on his sleeve. Had there been any sign of a change in Fidel Castro, a student wanted to know. "No," said Bush, "and our policy will not change toward Fidel Castro."

Bush was shocked when Professor Mark Rosenberg of the FIU Latin American Caribbean Center introduced him to the rally in terms that were somewhat short of panegyric. Rosenberg noted that Bush had been part of "questionable political decision making" in the Iran-contra scandal and also referred to the "high sleaze factor" of the Reagan-Bush regime. "Does [Bush] have the will to clean up the Reagan economic mess?," asked Rosenberg. "Time will tell." Rosenberg was grabbed by the shoulders and hustled off the platform by FIU President and presumed Bushman Modesto Madique. Bush built his speech around a promise that no Cuban-Americans would be deported to Cuba under a Bush administration. "They are fleeing oppressive Marxism under Fidel Castro and they will not be treated as though they were coming in here for some other [economic] purpose," intoned Bush. There were shouts of "Ariba!" from a crowd that contained knots of marielitos, those who came during Castro's boat lift. It was a promise that Bush was to violate in any case, as some prison riots later on would remind the public. [fn 34]

Then, in the March 8 Super Tuesday polling, Bush scored an across-the board triumph, winning in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Missouri, and Maryland, plus Massachusetts and Rhode Island outside of the region. It was better than one of Napoleon Bonaparte's plebiscites. With this, Bush took 600 of 803 delegates at stake that day. 4.5 million Republicans had voted, the best turnout ever in southern GOP primaries. Most of the votes were votes for Reagan in the part of the country that felt least disillusioned by the Great Communicator, but they were all scored as votes for Bush. When Bush beat Dole by a three to two margin in Illinois, supposedly a part of Dole's base, it was all over. Bush prepared for the convention and the choice of a vice president.

The Bush campaign of 1988 had no issues, but only demagogic themes. These were basically all on the table by June, well before the Republican convention. The first was the pledge of no new taxes, later embroidered with the Clint Eastwood tough-guy overtones of "Read My Lips- No New Taxes." The other themes reflected Atwater's studies of how to drive up the negatives of Bush's Democratic opponent, who would be Massachusetts Governor Dukakis. Very early on, Bush began to harp on Dukakis's veto of a bill requiring teachers to lead their class each day in the pledge of allegiance. Speaking in Orange County, California on June 7, Bush said: "I'll never understand, when it came to his desk, why he vetoed a bill that called for the pledge of allegiance to be said in the schools of Massachusetts. I'll never understand it. We are one nation under God. Our kids should say the pledge of allegiance." [fn 35]

This theme lent itself very well to highly cathexized visual portrayal, with flags and bunting. Atwater was assisted in these matters by Roger Ailes, a television professional who had been the executive producer of the Mike Douglas Show by the time he was 27 years old. That was in 1967, when he was hired by Richard Nixon and Leonard Garment. Ailes had been one of the most cynical designers of the selling of the president in 1968, and he had remained in the political media game ever since. Between them, Atwater and Ailes would produce the modern American television equivalent of a 1930's Nuremburg party rally.

At about this time, the Bush network we have seen in operation at the Reader's Digest since the 1964 campaign conveniently printed an article about a certain Willie Horton, a black convicted murderer who was released from a Massachusetts jail on a furlough, and then absconded to Maryland, where he raped a white woman and stabbed her fiancee. The Massachusetts furlough program had been started by Republican Governor Frank Sargent, but this meant nothing. Bush was to use Willie Horton in the same way that Hitler and the Nazis exploited the grisly crimes of one Harmann, a serial killer in Germany of the early 1930's, in their calls for law and order. In Illinois in mid-June, Bush began to talk about how Dukakis let "murderers out on vacation to terrorize innocent people." "Democrats can't find it in their hearts to get tough on criminals," Bush ranted. "What did the governor of Massachusetts think he was doing when he let convicted first-degree murderers out on weekend passes, even after one of them criminally, brutally raped a woman and stabbed her fiancee? Why didn't he admit his mistake? Eight months later, he was still defending his program, and only when the Massachusetts legislature voted by an overwhelming majority to abolish this program did he finally give in. I think Governor Dukakis owes the American people an explanation of why he supports this outrageous program."

As packaged by Bush's handlers, it was thoroughly racist without being nominally so, like Nixon's "crime in the streets" shorthand for racist backlash during the 1968 campaign. Later, Bush would embroider this theme with his demand for the death penalty, his own Final Solution to the problem of criminals like Willie Horton. These themes fit very well into the standard Bush campaign event, which was very often Bush appearing before a local police department to receive their endorsement. Bush's ability to organize these events in places like Boston, to the great embarrassment of Dukakis, doubtless reflected strong support from the CIA Office of Security, which was the bureau that kept in contact with police departments all over the country and, inevitably, infiltrated them.

All of Bush's themes corresponded to wedge issues, the divisive Pavlovian ploys the southern Republicans had become expert in during their decades of battering and dismantling the classic Franklin D. Roosevelt coalition of labor, the cities, blacks, farmers, and intellectuals. They were designed to propitiate the vilest prejudices of a majority, while offending a minority, and studiously avoiding any real politics or economics that might be detrimental to the imperatives of Wall Street or the Washington bureaucracy.

To crown this demagogy, George H.W. Bush of Skull and Bones portrayed Dukakis as an elitist insider: "Governor Dukakis, his foreign-policy views born in Harvard Yard's boutique, would cut the muscle of our defense." Bush's frequent litany of "liberal Massachusetts governor" was shameless in its main purpose of suggesting that Bush himself was NOT a liberal. Later, in 1990, Barbara Bush would confess that both she and George "cared about people" and were thus both liberals.

When Bush arrived in New Orleans for the Republican National Convention, he displayed signs of being unusually race-conscious. The image-mongers had set up a Reagan-Bush meeting on the airbase taxiway; Reagan was departing the convention after a long nostalgic-platitudinous farewell the day before. Now he would pass the mantle to George, with the appropriate camera angles. After a few seconds of small talk with Reagan, Bush and Bar called over three of their grandchildren, all from the family of their son Jeb, the Miami GOP party boss, and his Ibero-American wife Columba. "That's Jebbie's kids from Florida," Bush said, in a voice that was picked up by the airport public address system. "The little brown ones. Jebbie's the big one in the yellow shirt saying the pledge of allegiance tonight." "Oh, really," observed Nancy Reagan. Skin color has always meant a lot to Bush, but he really had been born with a silver foot in his mouth. [fn 36]

Bush now repaired to the admiral's house at the Belle Chase Naval Air Station where this scene had played. Bush was accompanied by Baker, Teeter, Fuller, Atwater, Ailes, and Baker's girl Friday, Margaret Tutwiler. Up to this point Bush's staff had expected him to generate a little suspense around the convention by withholding the name of his vice presidential choice until the morning of the last day of the convention, when Bush could share his momentous secret with the Texas caucus and then tell it to the world.

Bush's vetting of vice presidents was carried out between Bush and Robert Kimmitt, the Washington lawyer and Baker crony who later joined Baker's ruling clique at the State Department before being put up for Ambassador to Germany when Vernon Walters quit in the spring of 1991. United Germany can now boast a US Ambassador whose greatest achievement was to guide Bush towards the choice of J. Danforth Quayle. Bush and Kimmitt reviewed the obvious choices: Kemp was out because he lectured Bush on the SDI and was too concerned about issues. Dole was out because he kept sniping at Bush with his patented sardonic zingers. Elizabeth Dole was a choice to be deemed imprudent. John Danforth, Pete Domenici, Al Simpson and some others were eliminated. Many were the possible choices who had to be ruled out not because of lack of stature, but because they might seem to have more stature than Bush himself. Quayle had shown up on lists prepared by Fuller and Ailes. Ed Rollins, attuned to the Reagan Democrats, could not believe that Quayle was being seriously considered. But now, at Belle Chase Naval Air Station north of New Orleans, Bush told his staffs that he had chosen Dan Quayle. Not only was it Quayle, but Bush's thyroid was now in overdrive: he wanted to announce his selection within hours. Quayle was contacted by telephone and instructed to meet Bush at the dock in New Orleans when the paddle-wheel steamer Natchez brought Bush down the Mississippi to that city's Spanish Plaza.

Quayle turned up at the dock in a state of inebriated euphoria, grabbing Bush's arm, prancing and capering around Bush. Bush was momentarily taken aback: had he engaged a dervish? As soon as the dossiers on Quayle came out, a few questions were posed. Had his senate office been a staging point for contra resupply efforts? One of the Iran-contra figures, Rob Owen, had indeed worked for Quayle, but Quayle denied everything. Had Quayle, now a hawk, been in Vietnam? Tom Brokaw asked Quayle if he had gotten help in joining the National Guard as a way of ducking the draft? Quayle stammered that it had been twenty years earlier, but maybe "phone calls were made." Then Dan Rather asked Quayle what his worst fear was. "Paula Parkinson," was the reply. This was the woman lobbyist and Playboy nude model who had been present with Quayle at a wild weekend at a Florida country club back in 1980. The Bush image-mongers hurriedly convened damage control sessions, and Quayle was given two professional handlers, Stuart Spencer and Joe Canzeri. Spencer was an experienced GOP operative who had done public relations and consulting work worth $350,000 for Gen. Noriega of Panama during the mid-1980's. [fn 37] After a couple of Bush-Quayle joint appearances before groups of war veterans to attempt to dissipate Quayle's National Guard issue, Quayle was then shunted into the secondary media markets under the iron control of his new handlers.

Although Bush's impulsive proclamation of his choice of Quayle does indeed raise the question of the hyperthyroid snap decision, the choice of Quayle was not impulsive, but rather perfectly coherent with Bush's profile and pedigree. Bush told Baker that Quayle had been "my first and only choice." [fn 38] Bush's selection of political appointees is very often the product of Bush-Walker family alliances over more than a generation, as in the case of Baker, Brady, Boy Gray, and Henry Kravis, or at least of a long and often lucrative business collaboration, as in the case of Mosbacher. The choice of Quayle lies somewhere in between, and was strengthened by a deep ideological affinity in the question of racism.

J. Danforth Quayle's grandfather was Eugene C. Pulliam, who built an important press empire starting with his purchase of the Atchison (Kansas) Champion in 1912. The bulk of these papers were in Indiana, the home state of the Pulliam clan, and in Arizona. "Gene" Pulliam had died in 1975, but his newspaper chain was worth an estimated $1.4 by the time Dan Quayle became a household word. Pulliam was a self-proclaimed ideologue: "If I wanted to make money, I'd go into the bond business. I've never been interested in the money I make but the influence we have." [fn 39] Gene Pulliam was one of the first power brokers to encourage the political career of young Barry Goldwater in 1949 through the support of the Pulliam Arizona Republic and Gazette of Phoenix. When Gene Pulliam died, his last word was not "Rosebud" but "Goldwater," scratched onto a pad just before he expired.

Old Gene was a firm opponent of racial integration. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Gene Pulliam sent a note to the editors of his papers in Indianapolis, Indiana ordering them not to give the King tragedy "much exposure" because he considered the civil rights leader a "rabble rouser." He instructed that the news of King's death be summarized in as few words as possible and relegated to the bottom of the front page.

The Bush-Quayle alliance thus reposed first of all on a shared premise of racism.

Old man Pulliam also had a vendetta against the Kennedy family. During the 1968 primaries, he sent a memo to his editors instructing them: "Give Sen. [Eugene] McCarthy full coverage, but this does not apply to a man named Kennedy." Pulliam was supporting Tricky Dick. Bobby Kennedy also held the Pulliam chain in contempt. Once when he came to Indianapolis he found that he was being refused a permit to hold a rally downtown. When when of his supporters urged him to go ahead and have the rally without the permit, Kennedy retorted that he couldn't think of a worse fate than having to spend the night in the Marion County Jail and having nothing to read but the Indianapolis Star, the Pulliam paper.

Dan Quayle had been a mediocre student at DePauw University, where he managed to graduate with a 2.4 grade point average. He was a party boy, and received numerous Ds in his political science major. Quayle lived at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (the same fraternity of which Bush had been a member at Yale.) During the fall of 1968, the DKE house, according to one account, "unleashed a party without a house mother for the first time and sponsored a frat party known as 'The Trip.'" According to some, this actually was a party at which the hallucinogen LSD was dispensed. According to one published account, a photograph of J. Danforth Quayle that appears in the DePauw University yearbook has a caption which reads: "'The Trip' is a colorful psychedelic journey into the wild sights and sounds produced by LSD." [fn 40]

Quayle is known to the vast majority of the American public as a virtual cretin. Quayle is the first representative of the post-war Baby Boom to advance to national elective office. Unfortunately, he seems to exhibit some of the mental impairment that is known to overtake long-term, habitual marijuana users.

Quayle was admitted by the University of Indiana Law School in violation of that school's usual policy of rejecting all applicants with an academic average of less than 2.6. He wanted to be a lawyer because he had heard that "lawyers make lots of money and do little," as he told his fraternity brothers at De Pauw. As it turned out, the dean of admissions at the University of Indiana Law School was one G. Kent Frandsen, who was a Republican city judge in Lebanon, Indiana, a town where the Pulliam family controls the local newspaper. He had always been endorsed by the Pulliam interests. Two years later, Frandsen would officiate at the marriage of J. Danforth Quayle to Marilyn Tucker. Still later Frandsen would serve as Quayle's campaign manager in Boone County during the 1986 senate race. It was thus no surprise that Frandsen was willing to admit Dan Quayle to law school as part of a program for disadvantaged students, primarily those from the black community.

After all this, it may appear as a miracle that Dan Quayle was ever able to obtain a law degree. J. Danforth's receipt of that degree appears to have been mightily facilitated by the plutocratic Quayle family, who made large donations to the law school each year during Dan's time as a law student.

What were Quayle's pastimes during his law school years? According to one account, they included recreational drugs. During the summer of 1988, a Mr. Brett Kimberlin told Dennis Bernstein and a radio audience of WBAI in New York that he had first met J. Danforth during this period at a fraternity party at which marijuana was indeed being consumed. "He found out that I had marijuana available at the time," said Kimberlin. "It was good quality, and he asked if I had any for sale....I thought it was kind of strange. He looked kind of straight. I thought he might be a narc [DEA agent] at first. But we talked and I felt a little more comfortable, and finally I gave him my phone number and said, 'Hey, well, give me a call.' He called me a couple weeks later, and said, 'Hey, this is DQ. Can we get together?' and I said 'Yes, meet me at the Burger Chef restaurant.' We struck up a relationship that lasted for 18 months. I sold him small quantities of marijuana for his personal use about once a month during that period. He was a good customer. He was a friend of mine. We had a pretty good relationship. He always paid cash. [...] When him and Marilyn got married in 1972, I gave him a wedding present of some Afghanistan hashish and some Acapulco gold." [fn 41]

Kimberlin repeated these charges in a pre-election interview on NBC News on November 4, 1988. Kimberlin was a federal prisoner serving time in Tennessee after conviction on charges of drug smuggling and explosives. Later that same day Kimberlin was scheduled to address a news conference by telephone conference call. But before Kimberlin could speak to the press, he was placed in solitary confinement, and was moved in and out of solitary confinement until well after the November 8 presidential election. A second attempted press conference by telephone hookup on the eve of the election did not take place because Kimberlin was still being held incommunicado. On August 6, 1991, US District Judge Harold H. Greene ruled that the allegations made by Kimberlin against US Bureau of Prisons Director J. Michael Quinlan were "tangible and detailed" enough to justify a trail. Kimberlin had accused Quinlan of ordering solitary confinement for him when it became clear that his ability to further inform the media about Quayle's drug use would damage the Bush-Quayle effort.

In March, 1977, Congressman Dan Quayle contributed an article to the Fort Wayne Indiana News-Sentinel in which he recommended that Congress take a "serious" look at marijuana decriminalization. In April, 1978, Quayle repeated this proposal, specifying he supported decriminalization for first-time users. [fn 42]

As for Quayle's military service, he had enlisted in the Indiana National Guard on May 19, 1969, in the midst of a freeze on further recruiting which had been ordered because the Indiana National Guard had exceeded its legally mandated full complement of manpower. Guard service was popular among those threatened by the draft, since it virtually guaranteed that service in Vietnam could be avoided. Dan Quayle had been declared 1-A on May 25, 1969, when he was about to graduate from DePauw University. Quayle-Pulliam family influence was instrumental in inducing National Guard Major General Wendell Phillippi to admit Quayle and assign him to a desk job. At this time Wendell Phillippi was also the managing editor of the Indianapolis News, a Pulliam family property. [fn 43] Dan Quayle spent about one year in the National Guard working as a reporter for the quarterly publication, Indiana National Guard, a sinecure.

In contrast with all this, Quayle campaigned as a "Vietnam-era veteran" and a warmonger of apocalyptic proportions. He once told a gathering of fundamentalist preachers that a nuclear war "would hurry Jesus's second coming" [fn 44] During the Gulf crisis and the Iraq war of 1990-91, Quayle was the principal voice in the Bush Administration threatening the use of nuclear weapons by the United States against Baghdad. This points to Quayle's important role in cementing Bush's own Armageddon connection to the apocalyptic-millenarian strata among the Protestant evangelical fundamentalists.

The power behind Dan Quayle is widely acknowledged to be his consort, Marilyn Tucker Quayle. Mrs. Quayle has been described as a "prototype of the new-age political spouse: an asset to her husband as a polished professional, not just a decorative surrogate." [fn 45] Mrs. Quayle comes from an evangelical family; her father, of Nineveh, Indiana, believes that Satan is trying to destroy the world and agrees with Ronald Reagan that the best president of his lifetime was "Silent Cal" Coolidge. Mrs. Quayle advocates the death penalty and says she grew up in a home environment in which daily Bible study was a duty for all. The Quayle family was Presbyterian at first, but later broke with this denomination to gravitate towards the teachings of Houston, Texas spiritual leader Colonel R.B. Thieme, whose taped messages were an institution in the Tucker household.

Marilyn's sister Nancy Tucker Northcott told a journalist that Thieme's taped sermons were a constant background refrain in the Tucker home. Mrs. Tucker "played them all day, every day." This sister also pointed out that Marilyn "uses some of [Thieme's] Sunday school things.. in her home as a supplement for their own church," which latter is a branch of the Prebyterian Church of America. Marilyn Quayle herself endorsed R.B. Thieme's devotional materials as "very good." But Quayle and his handlers have attempted to distance the family from Thieme.

Colonel R.B. Thieme is the pastor of the Berachah Church, an interdenominational-fundamentalist institution located in the Galleria neighborhood of Houston, Texas. Thieme is a preacher of decidedly military cast who sometimes wears his World War II US Army Air Force uniform during his appearances in the pulpit. The Bulletin and Prayer List for the Berachah Church stresses the military motif, with a quarter of its space being devoted to parishioners who are on active duty with the US military. Thieme sees the world approaching the end-time, and exhorts his congregation to "prepare for battle," while "preparing for the rapture." His ideal is one of "Christian knights, soldiers going to war for Jesus." The official hymnal of the Berachah Church contains "Christian Soldier," with ranting doggerel lyrics by Thieme set to the tune of "Men of Harlech," the traditional Welsh air: **INDENT Christian solider with Christ soaring Do not fear the devil's roaring, Wave on wave of Satan's demons Clash with groaning sound.

'Tis the thrust of Satan's dagger Sin and death to make men stagger With their unbelief in darkness, They shall die in hell.

Gospel of a new salvation, In Christ a new creation The Word of God now going forth Shall launch its bolts of thunder.

Christian soldiers you're victorious, Trusting Christ the strong and glorious, Faith with faith a mighty victory Conquers sin and death. **END

In politics, Thieme rails about the modern United States as a "mobocracy" threatened by "satanic propaganda" and "creeping socialism."

The liturgy for Thieme's lily-white congregation is built around a lecture in which Thieme dispenses a strange and eclectic mixture of Hebrew and Greek philology, Biblical nominalism, modern psychological jargon, and plain gibberish while his audience sit in what looks like a high school auditorium and busily take notes and underline passages in their Bibles. Sin nature control, we learn, can lead to dissociation and multiple personality disorder. There are eight stages of reversionism through which a psycho-believer may descend to implosion and self-fragmentation. It is a blasphemy to make promises to God. We should not be sorry for sins, but we should turn our minds away from sin. It is blasphemy to say that we invite Christ to come into our hearts; rather, Christ invites us. Spiritually brain dead believers do not understand that they can be saved by faith alone and by the spirit (pneumatikos). There are those among the born again who become murderers, and so forth in eclectic and vindictive brew.

R.B. Thieme has been described as "a cult figure" by James Dunn, the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs in Washington. Controversial through he may be even among fundamentalists, Thieme is one of the Quayle family's contact points with the legions of Armageddon, who provided a decisive base of support for the Bush-Quayle administration during the Gulf war.

Bush himself has a very strong apocalyptic streak, which he has more often expressed in the doomsday language of the RAND Corporation than in the theological terminology of an R.B. Thimeme. But there is ample convergence, as shown in this interview with Robert Scheer on the campaign trail in early 1980. Scheer started by asking Bush, "How do you win in a nuclear exchange?" Bush's response:

Bush: You have a survivability of command in control, survivability of industrial potential, protection of a percentage of your citizens, and you have a capability that inflicts more damage on the opposition than it can inflict upon you. That's the way you can have a winner, and the Soviets' planning is based on the ugly concept of a winner in a nuclear exchange.
Scheer: Do you mean like five percent would survive? Two percent?

Bush: More than that-- if everybody fired everything he had, you'd have more than that survive. [fn 46]

Bush's presidential campaign offered nothing of value. In his acceptance speech to the Republican national Convention on August 18, 1988, Bush professed the Calvinistic creed of a man who sees life in terms of "missions"; the mission now, he thought, was to make sure that the crumbling "American Century" of Col. Stimson and his World War II cabal which "lit the world with our culture" were followed by "another American century." Bush promised to avoid war: "We have peace, and I am not going to let anyone take it away from us." Bush harped on his theme of voluntarism-boosterism-corporatism with his celebration of "the idea of community" and his notorious "thousand points of light" as a recipe to deal with the human wreckage being piled up by the unbridled free enterprise he had stood for all his life. The irreverent soon transformed that into "a thousand points of blight."

Remarkably, Bush still had a few promises on the economic front. He went on record once again with his "Read my lips: no new taxes." He boasted that the Reagan-Bush forces had created 17 million jobs over the previous five years of recovery. He pledged to create "30 in eight, 30 million jobs in the next eight years." (Non-farm payrolls were slightly over 107 million when Bush took office, and rose to slightly more than 110 million by the middle of 1990. Then, with layoffs averaging 2,000 a day, total unemployment sagged through the early autumn of 1991, with a net loss of about 1 1/2 million jobs. Bush is not on track to fulfill this promise, which nobody has heard him repeating since the election. There has been no "kinder, gentler nation."

The final stages of the campaign were played out amid great public indifference. Some interest was generated in the final weeks by a matter of prurient, rather than policy interest: rumors were flying of a Bush sex scandal. This talk, fed by the old Jennifer Fitzgerald story, had surfaced during 1987 in the wake of the successful covert operation against Gary Hart. The gossip became intense enough that George W. Bush asked his father if he had been guilty of philandering. The young Bush reported back to the press that "the answer to the Big A [adultery] question is N-O." Lee Atwater accused David Keene of the Dole campaign of helping to circulate the rumor, and Keene, speaking on a television talk show, responded that Atwater was "a liar." Shortly thereafter, a "sex summit" was convened between the Bush and Dole camps for the purpose of maintaining correct GOP decorum even amidst the acrimony of the campaign. [fn 47]

Evans and Novak opined that "Atwater and the rest of the Bush high command, convinced that the rumors would soon be published, reacted in a way that spelled panic to friend and foe alike." On June 17, 1987, Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times had written that "several major newspapers are sifting ...reported dalliances of Mr. Boring." [fn 48] But during that summer of 1988, the Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones networks were powerful enough to suppress the story and spare Bush any embarrassment.

During the weeks before the election, the LA Weekly, an alternative paper in Los Angeles, devoted an entire issue to "the dark side of George Bush." British newspapers like the tabloid London Evening Standard repeated some details, but US news organizations were monolithic in refusing to report anything; the Bush networks were in total command. Then rumors began to fly that the Washington Post was preparing to publish an account of Bush's sex pecadillos. On Wednesday, October 19, the New York Stock Exchange was swept by reports that stories damaging to Bush were about to appear, and this was cited as a contributing factor in a 43 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today gingerly picked up the story, albeit in very vague terms. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the Washington Post was preparing a story that "Bush had carried on an extramarital affair," with a "report that he [Bush] has had a mistress for several years." One of the allegations was that Bush had had an extramarital affair during the mid-1970's with a woman who was no longer in his entourage.

Donna Brazile of the Dukakis campaign staff told reporters in New Haven, Connecticut: "I wasn't on the stock market yesterday but I understood they got a little concerned that George was going to the White House with somebody other than Barbara. I think George Bush owes it to the American people to 'fess up...." "The American people have every right to know if Barbara Bush will share that bed with him in the White House. I'm talking about Barbara Bush and someone with the initials J.F. or whatever the names are," said Ms. Brazile. Was this a reference to Jennifer Fitzgerald? A few hours later, Donna Brazile, a young black woman who had also accused the Bushmen of using "every code word and racial symbol to package their little racist campaign," was fired from the Dukakis campaign. Paul Brountas, one of Dukakis's close advisers, said that he would not accuse the Bush campaign of being racist. With the Willie Horton ads running full clip everywhere, many could not believe their ears. After an Associated Press wire sent out on Thursday, October 20 had offered another summary of the rumor, Bush's press aide Sheila Tate dismissed the entire story as "warmed over garbage." [fn 49] But in the end, the Washington Post published no story, and the entire issue was stifled by the brutal power of the Bush media networks.

In the end, the greatest trump card of Bush's 1988 campaign was Bush's opponent Michael Dukakis. There is every reason to believe that Dukakis was chosen by Bush Democrat power brokers and the Eastern Establishment bankers primarily because he was so manifestly unwilling and unable seriously to oppose Bush. Many are the indications that the Massachusetts governor had been selected to take a dive. The gravest suspicions are in order as to whether there ever was a Dukakis campaign at all. Well before Dukakis received the nomination, one of the authors of the present study authored a leaflet which called the attention of convention delegates to the indications of personal and mental instability in Dukakis's personal history, but the Democratic Convention in Atlanta chose to ignore these highly relevant issues.

As the leaflet pointed out, "there is strong evidence that Michael Dukakis suffers from a deep-seated mental instability that could paralyze him, and decapitate our government, in the event of a severe economic or strategic crisis. This is a tendency for psychological breakdown in a situation of adversity and perceived personal rejection." [fn 50] The best proof of the validity of this assessment is the pitiful election campaign that Dukakis then conducted. The NDPC leaflet had warned that the GOP would exploit this obvious issue, and Reagan soon made his celebrated quip, "I'm not going to pick on an invalid," focusing intense public attention on Dukakis's refusal to release his medical records.

The colored maps used by the television networks on the night of November 8 presented a Bush victory which, although less convincing than Reagan's two landslides, nevertheless seemed impressive. A closer examination of the actual vote totals reveals a much different lesson: even in competition with the bumbling and craven Dukakis campaign, Bush remained a pitifully weak candidate who, despite overwhelming advantages of incumbency, money, organization, years of enemies' list operations, a free ride from the controlled media, and a pathetic opponent, just managed to eke out a hairsbreadth margin.

Bush had won 53% of the popular vote, but if just 535,000 voters in eleven states (or 600,000 voters in 9 states) had switched to Dukakis, the latter would have been the winner. The GOP had ruled the terrain west of the Mississippi for many moons, but Bush had managed to lose three Pacific states, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Bush won megastates like Illinois and Pennsylvania by paper-thin margins of 51%, and the all-important California vote, which went to Bush by just 52%, had been too close for George's comfort. Missouri had also been a 52% close call for George. In the farm states, the devastation of GOP free enterprise caused both Iowa and Wisconsin to join Minnesota in the Democratic column. Chronically depressed West Virginia was having none of George. In the oil patch, the Democrats posted percentage gains even though Bush carried these states: in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana the Democratic presidential vote was up between 7 and 11 percent compared to the Mondale disaster of 1984. In the Midwest, Dukakis managed to carry four dozen counties that had not gone for a Democratic presidential contender since 1964. All in all half of Bush's electoral votes came from states in which he got less than 55.5% of the two-party vote, showing that there was no runaway Bush landslide.

Exit polls showed that less than half of Bush's voters were strongly committed to him, underlining the fact that Bush has never succeeded in winning the loyalty of any identifiable groups in the population, except the spooks and the bluebloods. At the time of the election, the official statistics of the Reagan regime were alleging a yearly consumer inflation rate of 5.2% and an unemployment figure of 4.1%. Exit polls that 53% of all voters through that the economy was getting better. As the economic depression worsens into 1992, all of those figures will belong to the good old days. A comparison of Bush's victory in the Iowa caucuses of 1980 with his wretched third-place finish there in 1988 is a good indicator of how utterly support for Bush can collapse as a result of a dramatic deterioration in economic conditions, given once again that Bush has no loyal base of political support.

The voter turnout hit a new postwar low, with just 49.1% of eligible voters showing up at the polls, significantly worse than the Truman-Dewey matchup of 1948, when just 51% had deemed it worthwhile to vote. This means that Bush expected to govern the country with the votes of just 26.8% of the eligible voters in his pocket. Bush had won a number of southern states by lop-sided margins of about 20%, but this was correlated in many cases with very low overall voter turnout, which dipped below 40% in Georgia and South Carolina. A big plus factor for George was the very low black voter turnout in the south, where a significant black vote had helped the Democrats retake control of the Senate in 1986. With Dukakis capturing 90% of the black vote, a bigger black turnout would have created some serious problems for George. Bush knows that victory in 1992 will depend on keeping the black turnout low, and this is part of the rationale behind his "wedge issue" nomination of the black rightist Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, which successfully split national black organizations in such a way that Bush hopes he will be able to ignore them in 1992.

More generally, it would appear that Bush would be very happy to keep across the board voter turnout at such depressed levels, since a larger vote could only threaten his results. Dukakis was able to attract only about half of the Reagan Democrats back to their traditional party, despite the preppy-blueblood aura of the Bush campaign, which these voters would normally have found highly offensive. The Bush cause is therefore well served by public scandals and media campaigns that tend to elicit widespread disgust with politics and government, since these increase the probability that citizens will stay home on election day, leaving George to dominate the field. It is no surprise that precisely such scandals, from Congressional pay raises and the Keating five to the Thomas nomination hearings have proliferated during the years of the Bush regime.

Among those Republicans who had succeeded in winning the White House in two-way races (excluding years like 1948 or 1968, when the totals were impacted by Henry Wallace and Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrats, or by George Wallace), Bush's result was the weakest since fellow Skull and Bones alumnus William Howard Taft in 1908. [fn 51] These patterns might also indicate that the dominant role of the electoral votes of the former Confederate States of America within the Electoral College under the post-1968 Southern Strategy of the national Republican Party may be subjected to erosion in 1992, especially under the impact of the Bush economic depression.

It is also to be hoped that 1988 will prove in retrospect to have represented the high-water mark of hired gun media and campaign consultants in presidential elections. Atwater at one time boasted that his staff contained at least 28 media experts and political operatives who had worked in at least three previous presidential elections, many of which were also winning efforts for the GOP. These men were drawn from New York's Madison Avenue and from Washington's Connecticut Avenue "Power Alley," where many of the best-connected political consulting firms have their offices. It is clear that men like Atwater, Ailes, Spencer, Deaver and others have performed a function in the consolidation of a modern American leviathan state that is exactly analogous to the vital services rendered to the Third Reich by Propaganda Minister Dr. Josef Goebbels between 1933 and 1945. There is a crime of menticide which consists in the deliberate destruction of the cognitive powers of another human being, and the campaigns organized by these consultants have represented menticide on a mass scale. Further: if the international economic policies inflicted on the world by the Reagan-Bush and Bush regimes have exacted a yearly global death toll of upwards of 50 million needless deaths, primarily in the developing sector, it has been the image mongers and public relations men who have organized the US domestic electoral consensus that has permitted those genocidal policies to go forward. For all of these reasons, the media and campaign consultants are fascists. They are virulent fascists typical of the American totalitarian state of the late twentieth century, and this is true even if these consultants lack the bombastic trappings of the central European fascists of more than a half century ago.

Lee Atwater celebrated the Bush inauguration by playing his electric guitar at a rhythm and blues concert in which his gyrations bordered on the outright obscene. Although Lee Atwater had masterminded the most racist presidential campaign in modern history, he still had the gall during the spring of 1989 to be a candidate for a post on the Board of Trustees of Howard University, the historically black institution of higher learning in Washington, DC. Atwater was forced to abandon this outrageous candidacy by a mass mobilization of the Howard students.

Some months later, Atwater was found to be suffering from a malignant brain cancer. It is rumored around Washington that Atwater in his final days became a convert to Roman Catholicism and expressed repentance for many of the deeds he performed during his political career. It appears certain that he personally apologized to some of the candidates whom he had vilified during the course of various political campaigns. When Atwater died in April, 1991 at the age of 40, it was widely rumored in Washington that he had expressed the deepest remorse for having contributed to the creation of the Bush administration.



1. Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover, Wake Us When It's Over: The Presidential Politics of 1984 (New York, 1985), p. 489.

2. Joseph Kraft, "The Real George Bush," Washington Post, October 18, 1984.

3. Wake Us When It's Over, p. 522.

4. George Will column, January 30, 1986, in Will, The Morning After, p. 254.

5. Philip Geylin, "Makings of a Success in Africa," Washington Post, December 10, 1982.

6. "Bush Makes Few Waves at Home, Creates Big Splash in Sandinavia," Washington Post, July 12, 1983.

7. "Bush Ends Trip to Subcontinent With US Ties Largely Unaltered," Washington Post, May 19, 1984.

8. "Globe-Spanning Mission Strengthens Bush for '88," Washington Post, March 24, 1985.

9. See Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare, pp. 72 and 254.

10. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "Bush's Day at the Helm," Washington Post, January 27, 1988.

11. "Bush is Counseled to Look Sharp Tuesday," Washington Post, January 26, 1986.

12. Maxine Cheshire,"VIP," Washington Post, April 25, 1981.

13. Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "Bush Waits and Hopes for Reagan Nod," Washington Post, August 18, 1986.

14. "Reagan Won't Cite Issues Bush Affected," Washington Post, September 12, 1987.

15. Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover, Whose Borad Stripes and Bright Stars: The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency, 1988 (New York, 1989), p. 156.

16. "Bush Proves Successful in Ticklish Appearance." Washington Post, December 12, 1985.

17. "New Hampshire Chill," Washington Post, October 11, 1987.

18. Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, pp. 71-72 and 366.

19. Joe Conason, "Robert Mosbacher's Grand Scheme," Texas Observer, April 28, 1989.

20. Ibid., p. 12.

21. "County resources utilized by Eckels to boost the GOP," Houston Post, February 8, 1985.

22. Houston Chronicle, June 2, 1989.

23. Douglas Caddy, letter to FBI Director William Sessions, May 2, 1988.

24. Federal Election Commission Bulletin, Volume 17, Number 2, February, 1991, p. 11.

25. Washington Post, April 9, 1986.

26. Washington Post, April 14, 1986.

27. Washington Post, April 7, 1986.

28. See Thomas Burdick and Charlene Mitchell, Blue Thunder (New York, 1990), pp. 73, 167, and 290-293.

29. Blue Thunder, p. 167; Germond and Witcover, Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, p. 185, quote unnamed Hart campaign aides who "said later they were convinced" that Lynn Armandt had called journalist Tom Fiedler of the Miami Herald with a tip-off that Donna Rice was going to Washington to be an overnight guest of Gary Hart. But Fiedler denies that Armandt was the caller.

30. Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover, Wake Us When It's Over (New York, 1985), pp. 326-327.

31. For Bush in the 1988 campaign, see Germond and Witcover, Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars.

32. Washington Post, October 16, 1987.

33. "Robertson Links Bush to Swaggart Scandal," Washington Post, February 24, 1988.

34. "The Contra Country Campaign," Washington Post, March 6, 1988.

35. Germond and Witcover, Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, p. 161.

36. Washington Post, August 17, 1988.

37. Frank McNeil, War and Peace in Central America, p. 277.

38. Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, p. 385.

39. Eleanor Randolph, "Ghost of Dan Quayle's grandfather laid to rest," Dallas Times-Herald, August 23, 1988.

40. Alexander Cockburn, "Beat the Devil: Dan Quayle, Acid Freak?" The Nation, September 26, 1988, p. 226.

41. Joel Bleifuss, "In Short," In These Times, 16-22 November, 1988, p. 5, cited by Arthur Frederick Ide, Bush-Quayle: The Reagan Legacy (Irving, Texas: Scholars Books, 1989), pp. 55-56.


43. Ide, Bush-Quayle, p. 14.

44. Ide, Bush-Quayle, p. 5.

45. Elinor J. Brecher, "Marilyn Quayle called 'prototype of the new-age political spouse," Louisville Courier-Journal, September 25, 1988.

46. "Burning Bush," The Nation, March 8, 1980, p. 261.

47. Washington Post, July 1, 1987.

48. Washington Post, June 26, 1987.

49. Eleanor Randolph, "Bush Rumor Created Dilemma for Media," Washington Post, October 22, 1988.

50. See Webster G. Tarpley, "Is Dukakis the New Senator Eagleton?", in Dukakis's Mental Health: An Objective Assessment," Executive Intelligence Review Reprint, August 15, 1988, p. 8.

51. See Kevin Phillips, The Politics of Rich and Poor, (New York, 1990), p. 215; Facts on File,, November 11, 1988; and Paul R. Abramson, John H. Aldrich, and David W. Rohde, Change and Continuity in the 1988 Elections (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1991).

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:49 am
by admin

Chapter XXIII -- The End of History

Der Staat ist als die Wirklichkeit des substantiellen Willens, die er in dem zu seiner Allgemeinheit erhobenen besonderen Selbstbewusstseyn hat, das an und fuer sich Vernuenftige. Diese substantielle Einheit ist absoluter unbewegter Selbstzweck, in welchem die Freiheit zu ihrem hoechsten Recht kommt, so wie dieser Endzweck das hoechste Recht gegen die Einzelnen hat, deren hoechste Pflicht es ist, Mitglieder des Staats zu seyn.

-- G.W.F. Hegel, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts.

George Bush's inaugural address of January 21, 1989, was on the whole an eminently colorless and forgettable oration. The speech was for the most part a rehash of the tired demagogy of Bush's election campaign, with the ritual references to "a thousand points of light" and the hollow pledge that when it came to the drug inundation which Bush had supposedly been fighting for most of the decade, "This scourge will stop." Bush talked of "stewardship" being passed on from one generation to another. There was almost nothing about the state of the US economy. Bush was preoccupied with the "divisiveness" left over from the Vietnam era, and this he pledged to end in favor of a return to bipartisan consensus between the president and the Congress, since "the statute of limitations has been reached. This is a fact: The final lesson of Vietnam is that no great nation can long afford to be sundered by a memory." There is good reason to believe that Bush was already contemplating the new round of foreign military adventures which were not long in coming.

One thing is certain: Bush's inaugural address contained no promise to keep the peace of the sort that had figured in his New Orleans acceptance speech back in August.

The characteristic note of Bush's remarks came at the outset, in the passages in which he celebrated the triumph of the American variant of the bureaucratic-authoritarian police state, based on usury, which chooses to characterize itself as "freedom:"

We know what works: Freedom works. We know what's right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth- through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.

For the first time in this century, for the first time perhaps in all history, man does not have to invent a system by which to live. We don't have to talk late into the night about which form of government is better. We don't have to wrest justice from the kings. We only have to summon it from within ourselves. We must act on what we know. [fn 1]

After the inauguration ceremonies at the Capitol were completed, George and Barbara Bush descended Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House in a triumphant progress, getting out of their limousine every block or two to walk among the crowds and savor the ovations. George Bush, imperial administrator and bureaucrat, had now reached the apex of his career, the last station of the cursus honorum: the chief magistracy. Bush now assumed leadership of a Washington bureaucracy that was increasingly focused on itself and its own aspirations, convinced of its own omnipotence and infallibility, of its own manifest destiny to dominate the world. It was a heady moment, full of the stuff of megalomaniac delusion.

Imperial Washington was now aware of the increasing symptoms of collapse in the Soviet Empire. The feared adversary of four decades of the cold war was collapsing. Germany and Japan were formidable economic powers, but they were led by a generation of politicians who had been well schooled in the necessity of following Anglo-Saxon orders. France had abandoned her traditional Gaullist policy of independence and sovereignty, and had returned to the suivisme of the old Fourth Republic under Bush's freemasonic confrere Francois Mitterrand. Opposition to Washington's imperial designs might still come from leading states of the developing sector, from India, Brazil, Iraq and Malasia, but the imperial administrators, puffed up with their xenophobic contempt for the former colonials, were confident that these states could be easily defeated, and that the third world would meekly succumb to the installation of Anglo-American puppet regimes in the way that the Philippines and so many Latin American countries had during the 1980's.

Bush could also survey the home front with self-congratulatory complacency. He had won a Congressional election in his designer district in Houston, but in 1964 and 1970 majorities at the polls had proven mockingly elusive. Now, for just the second time in his life, he had solved the problem of winning a contested election, and this time it had been the big one. Bush had at one stroke fulfilled his greatest ambition and solved his most persistent problem, that of getting himself elected to public office. He had dealt successfully with the thorny issue of governance in the domestic sphere, foiling the jinx that had dogged all sitting vice presidents seeking to move up after Martin Van Buren's success in 1836.

Bush assembled a team of his fellow Malthusian bureaucrats and administrators from among those officials who had staffed Republican administrations going back to 1969, the year that Nixon chose Kissinger for the National Security Council. Persons like Scowcroft, Baker, Carla Hills, and Bush himself had, with few exceptions, been in or around the federal government and especially the executive branch for most of two decades, with only the brief hiatus of Jimmy Carter to let them fill their pockets in private sector influence peddling. Bush's cabinet and staff was convinced it boasted the most powerful battery of resumes, the the most consummate experience, the most impeccable credentials, of any management team in the history of the world. All the great issues of policy had been solved under Nixon, Ford, and Reagan; the geopolitical situation was being brought under control; all that remained was to consolidate and perfect the total administration of the world according to the policies and procedures already established, while delivering mass consensus through the same methods that had just proven unbeatable in the presidential campaign. The Bush team was convinced of its own inherent superiority to the Mandarin Chinese, the Roman and Byzantine, the Ottoman, the Austrian, the Prussian, the Soviet, and to all other bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes that had ever existed on the planet. Only the British East India Company was even in the same league, thought the theorists of usury on the Bush team. (Pride goeth ever before a fall. By late 1991, this same team had acquired the deserved reputation of a gaggle of maladroit buffoons.)

These triumphant bureaucrats and above all George Bush himself were not kindly disposed to old Ronald Reagan, in whose shadow they had labored for so long. How many of them had been consumed with rage when plum posts had been given to Reagan's fast-buck California parvenu cronies! How they had cursed Reagan for a sentimental pushover when he made concessions to Gorbachov! The bureaucrats would not join Reagan in slobbering over Gorbachov, at least not right away; they were there to drive a hard bargain, to make sure the Soviet empire collapsed. They had accepted Reagan as a useful facade, a harmless vaudeville act to keep the great unwashed masses amused while the bureaucrats carried out their machinations. But the bureaucrats had a savage temper, and they never appreciated the bumbling antics of any favorite uncles. If scripted Reagan had seemed a necessary evil as long as he appeared indispensable to procure election victories and mass consensus, how intolerable he seemed now that he had been proven unnecessary, now that imperial functionary George Bush had won election in his own right, without Reagan's bobbing histrionics!

Reagan-bashing became one of the ruling passions of the new patrician regime. This was a matter of Realpolitik that went beyond mere words: it was the demolition of any remaining Reaganite political machinery, lest it provide a springboard for a political challenge to the plutocracy of little Lord Fauntleroy. The campaign was so intense that it elicited a letter from Richard Nixon to John Sununu complaining of a newspaper account of White House aides speaking on background to depict Reagan as a dunce, much inferior to his successor. Nixon urged that "whoever was the source of this story should be fired as an example to others who might be tempted to play the same kind of game." Nixon denounced "anonymous staffers who believe that the way to build him [Bush] up is to tear Reagan down." Sununu hurriedly telephoned Tricky Dick to reassure him that he was also found the denigration of Reagan "absolutely intolerable," but the trashing of the old Reagan machine only accelerated. One assistant to Bush boasted that the new president was "in the business of governing," while poor old Reagan had been a prop for photo opportunities. [fn 2]

Of course, the imperial functionaries of the Bush team had chosen to ignore certain gross facts, most importantly the demonstrable bankruptcy and insolvency of their own leading institutions of finance, credit, and government. Their ability to command production and otherwise to act upon the material world was in sharp decline. How long would the American population remain in its state of stupefied passivity in the face of deteriorating standards of living that were now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last twenty years? And now, the speculative orgy of the 1980's would have to be paid for. Even their advantage over the crumbling Soviet Empire was ultimately only a marginal, relative, and temporary one, due primarily to a faster rate of collapse on the Soviet side; but the day of reckoning for the Anglo-Americans was coming, too.

This was the triumphalism that pervaded the opening weeks of the Bush administration. Bush gave more press conferences during the transition period than Reagan had given during most of his second term; he reveled in the accoutrements of his new office, and gave the White House press corps all the photo opportunities and interviews they wanted to butter them up and get them in his pocket.

These fatuous delusions of grandeur were duly projected upon the plane of the philosophy of history by an official of the Bush Administration, Francis Fukuyama, the Deputy Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, the old haunt of Harrimanites like Paul Nitze and George Kennan. In the winter of 1989, during Bush's first hundred days in office, Fukuyama delivered a lecture to the Olin Foundation which was later published in The National Interest quarterly under the title of "The End of History?" Imperial administrator Fukuyama had studied under the reactionary elitist Allan Bloom, and was conversant with the French neo-enlightenment semiotic (or semi-idiotic) school of Derrida, Foucault, and Roland Barthes, whose zero degree of writing Fukuyama may have been striving to attain. Above all, Fukayama was a follower of Hegel in the interpretation of the French postwar neo-Hegelian Alexandre Kojeve.

Fukuyama qualifies as the official ideologue of the Bush regime. His starting point is the "unabashed victory of economic and social liberalism," meaning by that the economic and political system reaching its maturity under Bush-- what the State Department usually calls "democracy." "The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism," Fukuyama wrote. "The triumph of the Western political idea is complete. Its rivals have been routed....Political theory, at least the part concerned with defining the good polity, is finished," Fukuyama opined. "The Western idea of governance has prevailed." "What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." According to Fukayama, communism as an alternative system had bee thoroughly discredited in the USSR, China, and the other communist countries. Since there are no other visible models contending for the right to shape the future, he concludes that the modern American state is the "final, rational form of society and state." There are of course large areas of the world where governments and forms of society prevail which diverge radically from Fukuyama's western model, but he answers this objection by explaining that backward, still historic parts of the world exist and will continue to exist for some time. It is just that they will never be able to present their forms of society as a credible model or alternative to "liberalism." Since Fukuyama presumably knew something of what was in the Bush administration pipeline, he carefully kept the door open for new wars and military conflicts, especially among historic states, or between historic and post-historic powers. Both Panama and Iraq would, according to Fukayama's typology, fall into the "historic" category.

Thus, in the view of the early Bush administration, the planet would come to be dominated more and more by the "universal homogenous state," a mixture of "liberal democracy in the political sphere combined with easy access to VCRs and stereos in the economic." The arid banality of that definition is matched by Fukuyama's dazzled tribute to "the spectacular abundance of advanced liberal economies and the infinitely diverse consumer culture." Fukuyama, it turns out, is a resident of the privileged enclave for imperial functionaries that is northeast Virginia, and so has little understanding of the scope of US domestic poverty and immiseration: "This is not to say that there are not rich people and poor people in the United States, or that the gap between them has not grown in recent years. But the root causes of economic inequality have less to do with the underlying legal and social structures of our society, which remain fundamentally egalitarian and moderately redistributionist, as with the cultural and social characteristics of the groups that make it up, which are in turn the historical legacy of pre-modern conditions. Thus black poverty in the United States, for example, is not the inherent product of liberalism, but is rather the 'legacy of slavery and racism' which persisted long after the formal abolition of slavery." For Fukuyama, writing at a moment when American class divisions were more pronounced that at any time in human memory, "the egalitarianism of modern America represents the essential achievement of the classless society envisioned by Marx." As a purveyor of official doctrine for the Bush regime, Fukuyama is bound to ignore twenty years of increasing poverty and declining standards of living for all Americans which has caused an even greater retrogression for the black population; there is no way that this can be chalked up to the heritage of slavery.

It is not far from the End of History to Bush's later slogans of the New World Order and the imperial Pax Universalis. It is ironic but lawful that Bush should have chosen a neo-Hegelian as apologist for his regime. Hegel was the arch-obscurantist, philosophical dictator, and saboteur of the natural sciences; he was the ideologue of Metternich's Holy Alliance system of police states in the post-1815 oligarchic restoration in Europe imposed by the Congress of Vienna. When we mention Metternich we have at once brought Bush's old patron Kissinger into play, since Metternich is well known as his ego ideal. Hegel deified the bureaucratic-authoritarian state machinery of which he was a part as the final embodiment of rationality in human affairs, beyond which it was impossible to go. Hegel told intellectuals to be reconciled with the world they found around them, and pronounced philosophy incapable of producing ideas for the reform of the world. As Hegel put it in the famous preface to the Philosophy of Right: "Wenn die Philosophie ihr Grau in Grau mahlt, dann ist eine Gestalt des Lebens alt geworden, und mit Grau in Grau laesst sie sich nicht verjuengen, sondern nur erkennen; die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Daemmerung ihren Flug." References to Hegel's owl of Minerva have been a staple of Washington cocktail-party chatter during the Bush years. As Fukuyama put it: "The end of history will be a very sad time....There will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history....Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started over again." [fn 3]

The Bush regime thus took shape as a bureaucratic-authoritarian stewardship of the financial interests of Wall Street and the City of London. Many saw in the Bush team the patrician financiers of the Rockefeller Administration that never was. The groups in society were to be served were so narrowly restricted that the Bush administration often looked like a government that had totally separated itself from the underlying society and had constituted itself to govern in the interests of the bureaucracy itself. Since Bush was irrevocably committed to carrying forward the policies that had been consolidated and institutionalized during the previous eight years, the regime became more and more rigid and inflexible. Active opposition, or even the dislocations occasioned by administration policies were therefore dealt with by the repressive means of the police state. The Bush regime could not govern, but it could indict, and the Discrediting Committee was always ready to vilify. Some observers spoke of a new form of bonapartism sui generis, but the most accurate description for the Bush combination was the "administrative fascism" coined by political prisoner Lyndon LaRouche, who was thrown in jail just seven days after the Bush inauguration.

Bush's cabinet reflected several sets of optimizing criteria.

The best way to attain a top cabinet post was to belong to a family that had been allied with the Bush-Walker clan over a period of at least half a century, and to have served as a functionary or fund-raiser for the Bush campaign. This applied to Secretary of State James Baker III, Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady, Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, and Bush's White House counsel and top political adviser, C. Boyden Gray.

A second royal road to high office was to have been an officer of Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm set up by Bush's lifelong patron, Henry Kissinger. In this category we find Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the former chief of the Kiss Ass Washington office, and Lawrence Eagleburger, the dissipated wreck who was named to the number two post in the State Department, Undersecretary of State. Eagleburger had been the president of Kissinger Associates. The ambassadorial (or proconsul) list was also rife with Kissingerian pedigrees: a prominent one was John Negroponte, Bush's ambassador to Mexico.

Overlapping with this last group were the veterans of the 1974-77 Ford Administration, one of the most freemasonic in recent US history. National Security Council Director Brent Scowcroft, for example, was simply returning to the job that he had held under Ford as Kissinger's alter ego inside the White House. Dick Cheney, who eventually became Secretary of Defense, had been Ford's White House chief of staff. Cheney had been Executive Assistant to the Director of Nixon's Office of Economic Opportunity way back in 1969. In 1971 he had joined Nixon's White House staff as Don Rumsfeld's deputy. From 1971 to 1973, Cheney was at the Cost of Living Council, working as an enforcer for the infamous Phase II wage freeze in Nixon's "Economic Stabilization Program." The charming Carla Hills, who became Bush's Trade Representative, had been Ford's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. William Seidman and James Baker (and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, a Reagan holdover who was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers) had also been in the picture under Jerry Ford.

Bush also extended largesse to those who had assisted him in the election campaign just concluded. At the top of this list was Governor John Sununu of New Hampshire, who would have qualified as the modern Nostradamus for his exact prediction of Bush's 9% margin of victory over Dole in the New Hampshire primary --unless he had helped to arrange it with vote fraud.

Another way to carry off a top plum in the Bush regime was to have participated in the coverup of the Iran-contra scandal. The leading role in that coverup had been assumed by Reagan's own blue ribbon commission of notables, the Tower Board, which carried out the White House's own in-house review of what had allegedly gone wrong, and had scapegoated Don Regan for a series of misdeeds that actually belonged at the doorstep of George Bush. The members of that board were former GOP Senator John Tower of Texas, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and former Sen. Edmund Muskie, who had been Secretary of State for Carter after the resignation of Cyrus Vance. Scowcroft, who shows up under many headings, was ensconced at the NSC. Bush's original candidate for Secretary of Defense was John Tower, who had been the point man of the 1986-87 coverup of Iran-contra during the months before the Congressional investigating committees formally got into the act. Tower's nomination was rejected by the Senate after he was accused of being drunken and promiscuous by Paul Weyrich, a Buckleyite activist, and others. Some observers thought that the Tower nomination had been deliberately torpedoed by Bush's own discrediting committee so as to avoid the presence of a top cabinet officer with the ability to blackmail Bush by threatening to bring him down at any time. Perhaps Tower had overplayed his hand. In any case, Dick Cheney, a Wyoming Congressman with strong intelligence community connections, was speedily nominated and confirmed after Tower had been shot down, prompting speculation that Cheney was the one Bush had really wanted all the time.

Another Iran-contra veteran in line to get a reward was Bush's former national security adviser, Don Gregg, who had served Bush since at least the time of the 1976 Koreagate scandal. Gregg, as we have seen, was more than willing to commit the most maladroit and blatant perjury in order to save his boss from the wolves. The pathetic drama of Gregg's senate confirmation hearings, which marked a true degradation for that body, has already been recounted. Later, when William Webster retired as Director of the CIA, there were persistent rumors that the hyperthyroid Bush had originally demanded that Don Gregg be nominated to take his place. According to these reports, it required all the energy of Bush's handlers to convince the president that Gregg was too dirty to pass confirmation; Bush relented, but then announced to his dismayed and exhausted staff that his second and non-negotiable choice for Langley was Robert Gates, the former CIA deputy director who had been working as Scowcroft's number two at the National Security Council. The problem was that Gates, who had already dropped out of an earlier confirmation battle for the CIA director's post, was about as thoroughly compromised as Don Gregg. But at that point, Bush's could not be budged a second time, so the name of Gates was sent to the senate, bringing the entire Iran-contra complex into full public view once again. As it turned out, the Bush Democrats in the Senate proved more than willing to approve Gates.

Still on the Iran-contra list was Gen. Colin Powell, whom Bush appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After Vice Admiral John Poindexter and Oliver North had departed from the Old Executive Office Building in November, 1986, Reagan had appointed Frank Carlucci to lead the NSC. Carlucci had brought along Gen. Powell. With Colin Powell as his deputy, Carlucci cleaned up the stables of Augeias of the OEOB-NSC complex in such a way as to minimize damage to Bush. Powell was otherwise a protege of the very Anglophile Caspar Weinberger, and of Carlucci, a man with strong links to Operation Democracy and to the Sears, Roebuck interests.

The State Department, too, had its Iran-contra coverup brigade. First came Thomas R. Pickering, chosen by Bush to take over his old post as US Ambassador to the United Nations, a job with cabinet rank. When Pickering was US Ambassador to El Salvador during the 1984-85 period, he helped arrange shipment of more than $1 million of military equipment to the contras, all during a time when this was forbidden by US law, according to his own testimony before the Congressional Iran-contra investigating committees. Pickering did not report any of his doings to the State Department, but instead kept in close touch with Don Gregg, Felix Rodriguez, and Oliver North of Bush's retinue. Pickering, when he was ambassador to Israel in 1985-86, was also in on Israeli third-country arms shipments to Iran that were supposed to secure the release of certain hostages held in nearby Lebanon. [fn 4] This vulgar, gun-running filibusterer is now the arrogant spokesman for Bush's New World Order among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, where he dispenses imperial threats and platitudes.

Still on the Iran-contra coverup honors list we find Reginald Bartholomew, Bush's choice as Undersecretary of State for security affairs, science, and technology. Bartholomew was US Ambassador in Beirut in September-November 1985, when an Israeli shipment of 508 US-made TOW antitank missiles was followed by the release of Rev. Benjamin Weir, an American hostage held by the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad. According to the testimony of then Secretary of State George Shultz to the Tower Board, Bartholomew was working closely with Oliver North on a scheme to use Delta Force commandoes to free any hostages not spontaneously released by Islamic Jihad. According to Shultz, Bartholomew told him on September 4, 1985 that "North was handling an operation that would lead to the release of all seven hostages." [fn 5]

Other choice appointments went to long-time members of the Bush network. These included Manuel Lujan, who was tapped for the Department of the Interior, and former Rep. Ed Derwinski, who was given the Veterans' Administration, shortly to be upgraded to a cabinet post. A prominent figure of Bush's first year in office was William Reilly, tapped to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the green police of the regime. Reilly had been closely associated with the oligarchical financier Russell Train at the US branch of Prince Phillip's World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation.

So many top cabinet posts were thus assigned on the basis of direct personal services rendered to George Bush that the collegial principle of any oligarchic system would appear to have been neglected. There were relatively few key posts left over for distribution to political-financial factions who might reasonably expect to be brought on board by being given a seat at the cabinet table. Richard Thornburgh, a creature of the Mellon interests who had been given his job under Reagan, was allowed to stay on, but this led to a constant guerilla war between Thornburgh and Baker with the obvious issue being the 1996 succession to Bush. Clayton Yeutter went to the Department of Agriculture because that was what the international grain cartel wanted. The choice of Jack Kemp, a 1988 presidential candidate with a loyal conservative-populist base, for Housing and Urban Development appeared inspired more by Bush's desire to prevent a challenge from emerging on his right in the GOP primaries of 1992 than by the need to cater to an identifiable financier faction. The tapping of Reagan's Secretary of Education, William Bennett, a leading right wing ideologue and possible presidential prospect, to be Drug Czar, is a further example of the same thinking. The selection of Elizabeth Hanford Dole to be Secretary of Labor was dictated by similar intra-GOP considerations, namely the need to placate the angry Republican Minority Leader, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, a darling of Dwayne Andreas of Archer-Daniels-Midland and the rest of the grain cartel.

Later reshuffling of the Bush cabinet has conformed to the needs of getting an intrinsically weak candidate re-elected, especially by accentuating the southern strategy: when Lauro Cavazo left the Department of Education, he was replaced by former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander. When Bennett had to be replaced as drug czar, the nod went to another Republican former southern governor, Bob Martinez of Florida. All of this was to build the southern base for 1992. When Thornburgh quit as Attorney General to run for the senate in Pennsylvania in the vain hope of positioning himself for 1996, Bush tapped Thornburgh's former number two at Justice, William P. Barr, who had been a CIA officer when Bush was CIA director in 1976, for this key police-state post.

But all in all, this cabinet was very much an immediate reflection of the personal network and interests of George Bush, and not representative of the principal financier factions who control the United States. We see here once more the very strong sense of national government as personal property for private exploitation which was evident in Bush's oil price ploy of 1986, and which will soon characterize his choreography of the Gulf crisis of 1990-91. This approach to cabinet appointments could give rise to a surprising weakness on the part of the Bush regime, should the principal financier factions become disaffected in the wake of the banking and currency panic towards which Bush's policies are steering the country.

Bush's shameless exploitation of political appointments and plum jobs for blatant personal advantage became a national scandal when he began to assign certain ambassadorial posts. It became clear that these jobs of representing the United States abroad had been virtually sold at auction, with the most flagrant disregard for qualifications and ability, in return for cash contributions to the Bush campaign and the coffers of the Republican Party. These appointments were carried out with Bush's approval by a transition team of GOP pollster Bob Teeter, Bush's campaign aide Craig Fuller, who had lost out on his bid to be White House chief of staff, campaign press secretary Sheila Tate, and long-time Bush staffer Chase Untermeyer. Calvin Howard Wilkins Jr., who had given over $178,000 to the GOP over a number of years, including $92,000 to the Kansas Republican National State Election Committee on September 6, 1988, became the new ambassador to the Netherlands. Penne Percy Korth was Bush's selection for ambassador to Mauritius; Ms. Korth was a crack GOP fundraiser. Della M. Newman, tapped for New Zealand, had been Bush's campaign chairman in Washington state. Joy Silverman, Bush's choice for Barbados, had contributed $180,000. Joseph B. Gilderhorn, destined for Switzerland, had coughed up $200,000. Fred Bush, allegedly not a relative but certainly a former aide and leading fundraiser, was the new president's original pick for Luxemburg. Joseph Zappala, who gave $100,000, was put up for the Madrid embassy. Melvin Sembler, another member of Team 100, was tapped for Australia. Fred Zeder, a Bush crony who had already been the ambassador to Micronesia, was nominated for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, despite a congressional probe of alleged corruption [fn 6]

As with any group of rapacious oligarchs, the Bush cabinet was prone to outbreaks of intestine factional warfare among various contending cliques. During the first days of the new administration, Bush's White House counsel Boy Gray was hit by reports that, despite his high government positions over the recent years, he had retained a lucrative post as chairman of the board of his family's communications company, raising the clear problems of conflicts of interest. Gray thereupon quit his chairman's post and, following Bush's own example, put his stock into a blind trust. Gray then lashed out against Baker by leaking the fact that Baker, during all his years as White House chief of staff and Secretary of the Treasury, had kept extensive holdings of Chemical Banking Corp., a lending institution that had a direct interest in Baker's handling of debt negotiations with third world debtor countries within the framework of the infamous and failed "Baker Plan" for international debt-service maintenance. Boy Gray also retaliated against Baker by questioning the constitutionality of a deal negotiated by Baker with the Congress for aid to the Nicaraguan contras, a deal which Newsweek classified as "Bush's only foreign-policy success" during his first two months in office. [fn 7] Bush had attempted to burnish his image by promising that his new regime would break with the sleazy Reagan years by promoting new high standards of ethical behavior in which even the perception of corruption and conflict of interest would be avoided. These hollow pledges were promptly deflated by the reality of more graft and more hypocrisy than under Reagan.

Bush's first hundred days in office fulfilled Fukuyama's prophecy that the End of History would be "a very sad time." If '"post-history" meant that very little was accomplished, Bush filled the bill. Three weeks after his inauguration, Bush addressed a joint session of the Congress on certain changes that he had proposed in Reagan's last budget. The litany was hollow and predictable: Bush wanted to be the Education President, but was willing to spend less than a billion dollars of new money in order to do it. He froze the US military budget, and announced a review of the previous policy towards the Soviet Union. This last point meant that Bush wanted to wait to see how fast the Soviets would in fact collapse before he would even discuss trade normalization, which had been the perspective held out to Moscow by Reagan and others. Bush said he wanted to join with Drug Czar Bennett in "leading the charge" in the war on drugs.

Bush also wanted to be the Environmental President. This was a far more serious aspiration. Shortly after the election, Bush had attended the gala centennial awards dinner of the very oligarchical National Geographic Society, for many years a personal fiefdom of the feudal-minded Grosvenor family. Bush promised the audience that night that there was "one issue my administration is going to address, and I'm talking about the environment." Bush confided that he had been coordinating his plans with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and that he had agreed with her on the necessity for "international cooperation" on green issues. "We will support you," intoned Gilbert Grosvenor, a fellow Yale alumnus "...Planet Earth is at risk." Among those present during that gala evening was Sir Edmund Hillary, who had planted the Union Jack at the summit of Mount Everest. [fn 8]

In order to be the Environmental President, Bush was willing to propose a disastrous Clean Air Act that would drain the economy of hundreds of billions of dollars over time in the name of fighting acid rain. Bush's first hundred days coincided with the notable phenomenon of the "greening" of Margaret Thatcher, who had previously denounced environmentalists as "the enemy within," and fellow travelers of the British Labor Party and the loonie left. Thatcher's resident ideologue, Nicholas Ridley, had referred to the green movement in Britian as "pseudo-Marxists." But in the early months of 1989, allegedly under the guidance of Sir Crispin Tickell, the British Ambassador to the United Nations, Thatcher embraced the orthodoxy that the erosion of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, and acid rain --every one of them a pseudo-scientific hoax--were indeed at the top of the list of the urgent problems of the human species. Thatcher's acceptance of the green orthodoxy permitted the swift establishment of a total environmentalist-Malthusian consensus in the European Community, the Group of 7, and other key international forums.

Characteristically, Bush followed Thatcher's lead, as he would on so many other issues. During the hundred days, Bush called for the elimination of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century, thus accepting the position assumed by the European Community as a result of Mrs. Thatcher's turning green. Bush told the National Academy of Sciences that new "scientific advancements" had permitted the identification of a serious threat to the ozone layer; Bush stressed the need to "reduce CFCs that deplete our precious upper atmospheric resources." A treaty had been signed in Montreal in 1987 that called for cutting the production of CFCs by one half within a ten-year period. "But recent studies indicate that this 50 percent reduction may not be enough," Bush now opined. Senator Al Gore of Tennessee was calling for complete elimination of CFCs within five years. Here a pattern emerged that was to be repeated frequently during the Bush years: Bush would make sweeping concessions to the environmentalist Luddites, but would then be denounced by them for measures that were insufficiently radical. This would be the case when Bush's Clean Air Bill was going through the Congress during the summer of 1990.

After Bush's appearance before the Congress with his revised budget, the new regime exploited the honeymoon to seal a sweetheart contract with the rubber-stamp Congressional Democrats, who under no circumstances could be confused with an opposition. The de facto one party state was alive and well, personified by milquetoast Senator George Mitchell of Maine, the Democrats' Majority Leader. The collusion between Bush and the Democratic leadership involved new sleight of hand in order to meet the deficit targets stipulated by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law. This involved mobilizing more than $100 billion from surpluses in the Social Security, highway, and other special trust funds which had not previously been counted. The Democrats also went along with a $28 billion package of asset sales, financing tricks, and unspecified new revenues. They also bought Bush's rosy economic forecast of higher economic growth and lower interest rates. Senate Majority Leader Mitchell, accepting his pathetic rubber-stamp role, commented only that "much sterner measures will be required in the future." Since the Democrats were incapable of proposing an economic recovery program in order to deal with the depression, they were condemned to give Bush what he wanted. This particular swindle would come back to haunt all concerned, but not before the spectacular budget debacle of October, 1990.

In the spring of 1990, according to an estimate by Sid Taylor of the National Taxpayers' Union, the total potential liabilities of the US Federal government exceeded $14 thousand billion. At that point the national debt totaled $2.8 billion, but this estimate included the commitments of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and other agencies.

Bush's inability to pull his regime together for a serious round of domestic austerity was not appreciated by the crowd at the Bank for International Settlements in Geneva. Evelyn Rothschild's London Economist summed up the international banking view of George's temporizing on this score with its headline, "Bush Bumbles."

A few weeks into the new administration, it was the collapse of the FSLIC, studiously ignored by the waning Reagan Administration, that reached critical mass. On February 6, 1989, Bush announced measures that his image-mongers billed as the most sweeping and significant piece of financial legislation since the creation of the Federal Reserve Board on the eve of World War I. This was the savings and loan bailout, a new orgy in the monetization of debt and a giant step towards the consolidation of a neo-fascist corporate state.

At the heart of Bush's policy was his refusal to acknowledge the existence of an economic crisis of colossal proportions which had among its symptoms the gathering collapse of the real estate market after the stock market crash of October, 1987. The sequence of a stock market panic followed by a real estate and banking crisis closely followed the sequence of the Great Depression of the 1930's. But Bush violently rejected the existence of such a crisis, and was grimly determined to push on with more of the same. This meant that federal government would simply take control of the savings banks, the overwhelming majority of which were bankrupt or imminently bankrupt. The savings banks would then be sold off. The depositors might get their money, but the result would be the total debasement of the currency and a deepening depression all around. In the process, the US federal government would become one of the main owners of real estate, buildings, and the worthless junk bonds that had been spewed out by Bush's friend Henry Kravis and his partner Michael Millken during the heady days of the boom.

The federal government would create a new world of bonded debt to pay for the savings banks that would be seized. When Bush announced his bailout that February, he stated that $40 billion had already been poured into the S&L sinkhole, and that he proposed to issue an additional $50 billion in new bonds through a financing corporation, a subsidiary of the new Resolution Trust Corporation. By August, 1989, when Bush's legislation had been passed, the estimated cost of the S&L bailout had increased to $164 billion over a period of ten years, with $20 billion of that scheduled to be spent by the end of September, 1989.

Within a few months, Bush was forced to increase his estimates once again. "It's a whale of a mess, and we'll see where we go," Bush told a group of newspaper editorial writers at the White House in mid-December. "We've had this one refinancing. I am told that that might not be enough." By this time, academic experts were suggesting that the bailout might exceed the administration's $164 billion by as much as $100 billion more. Every new estimate was swiftly overtaken by the ghastly spectacle of a real estate market in free fall, with no bottom in sight. The growing public awareness of this situation, compounded by the ongoing bankruptcy of the commercial banking system as well, would lead in July, 1990 to a very ugly public relations crisis for the Bush regime around the role of the president's son (and Scott Hinckley's old friend) Neil Bush in the insolvency of the Silverado Savings and Loan of Denver, Colorado. As we will see, one of the obvious reasons for Bush's enthusiastic choice of war in the Persian Gulf was the need to get Neil Bush off the front page. But even the Gulf war bought no respite in the collapse of the real estate markets and the chain-reaction bankruptcies of the savings banks: by the summer of 1991, federal regulators were seizing S&Ls at the rate of just under one every business day, and the estimates of the total price tag of the bailout had skyrocketed to over $500 billion, with every certainty that this figure would also be surpassed. [fn 9]

The carnage among the S&Ls did not prevent Bush from seeking an increase in the US contribution to the International Monetary Fund, the main agency of a world austerity that claims upwards of 50 million human lives each year as the needless victims of its Malthusian conditionalities. The members of the IMF had been debating an increase in the funds each member must pay into the IMF (which has been bankrupt for years as a matter of reality), with Managing Director Michel Camdessus proposing a 100% increase, and Britain and Saudi Arabia arguing for a much smaller 25% hike. Bush attempted to mediate and resolve the dispute with a proposal for a 35% increase, equal to an $8 billion additional payment by the US. This sum was equal to more than three times the yearly expenditure for the highly successful, but tragically underfunded Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program of the US Department of Agriculture, which attempted to provide a high-protein and balanced food supplement to mothers and their offspring. WIC underwent savage cuts during the first year of the Bush regime, causing many needy women who sought its benefits to be turned away and denied even such modest quantities of surplus cheese, powdered milk, and orange juice as the program provides. [fn 10]

As the depression deepened, Bush had only one idea: to reduce the capital gains tax rate from 28% to 15%. This was a proposal for a direct public subsidy to the vulture legions of Kravis, Liedtke, Pickens, Milken, Brady, Mosbacher, and the rest of Bush's apostles of greed. The Bushmen estimated that a capital gains tax reduction in this magnitude would cost the Treasury some $25 billion in lost receipts over 6 years, a crass underestimate. These funds, argued the Bushmen, would then be invested high-tech plant and equipment, creating new jobs and new production. In reality, the funds would have flowed into bigger and better leveraged buyouts, which were still being attempted after the crash of the junk bond market with the failure of the United Airlines buyout in October, 1989. But Bush had no serious interest in, or even awareness of, commodity production. His policies had now brought the country to a brink of a financial panic in which 75% of the current prices of all stocks, bonds, debentures, mortgages, and other financial paper would be wiped out.

Not quite halfway through his dismal first hundred days, Bush was moved to defend himself against charges that he was presiding over a debacle. On day 45 of the new regime, Bush told reporters that he had talked on the phone to a certain Robert W. Blake, an oilman of Lubbock, Texas, the city which Neil Bush and John Hinckley had called home for a while in the late 1970's. Blake had allegedly told Bush that "all the people in Lubbock think things are going great." Armed with this testimonial, Bush defended his handling of the presidency: "It's not adrift and there isn't malaise," he said, answering columnists who had suggested that the country had fallen through a time warp back to the days of Jimmy Carter. "So I would simply resist the clamor that nothing seems to be bubbling around, that nothing is happening. A lot is happening. Not all of it good, but a lot is happening." Bush described his oilman friend Blake as "a very objective spokesman," and stated this his personal rule was "never get all too uptight about stuff that hasn't reached Lubbock yet." [fn 11]

If there was a constant note in Bush's first year in office, it was a callously flaunted contempt for the misery of the American people. During the spring of 1989, the Congress passed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage in interstate commerce from $3.55 per hour to $4.55 per hour by a series of increments over three years. This legislation would even have permitted a sub-minimum wage that could be paid to certain newly hired workers over a 60-day training period. Bush vetoed this measure because the $4.55 minimum wage was 30 cents an hour higher than he wanted, and because he demanded a sub-minimum wage for all new employees for the first six months on the job, regardless of their previous experience or training. On June 14, 1989, the House of Representatives failed to override this veto, by a margin of 37 votes. (Later, Bush signed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $4.25 per hour over two years, with a sub-minimum training wage applicable only to teenagers and only during the first 90 days of the teenagers' employment, with the possibility of a second 90-day training wage stint if they moved on to a different employer.) [fn 12]

This was the same George Bush who had proposed $164 billion for bankrupt S&Ls, and $8 billion for the International Monetary Fund, all without batting an eye.

Before Christmas, 1988, and during other holiday periods, Bush customarily joined his billionaire crony William Stamps Farrish III at his Lazy F Ranch near Beeville, Texas, for the two men's traditional holiday quail hunt. This was the same William Stamps Farrish III whose grandfather, the president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, had financed Heinrich Himmler. William Stamps Farrish III's investment bank in Houston, W.S. Farrish & Co. had at one time managed the personal blind trust into which Bush had placed his personal investment portfolio. Farrish was rich enough to vaunt five addresses: Beeville, Texas; Lane's End Farm in the Versailles, Kentucky bluegrass; Florida, and two others. Farrish's hobby for the past several decades had been the creation of his own top-flight farm for the raising of thoroughbred horses. This was the 3,000 acre Lazy F Ranch, with its ten horse barns, four sumptuous residences, 100 employees, and other improvements. Over the years, Farrish has saddled winners in the 1972 Preakness and the 1987 Belmont Stakes, and bred 80 stakes winners over the past decade. Farrish, who is married to Sarah Sharp, the daughter of a Du Pont heiress, had worked with Bush as an aide during the 1964 senate campaign.

Farrish was rich enough to extend his largesse even to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, probably the richest individual in the world. The Queen has visited Farrish's horse farm at least four times over the past few years, traveling by Royal Air Force jetliner to the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, accompanied by mares which Her Majesty wishes to breed with Farrish's million-dollar prize stallions. Farrish magnanimously waives the usual stud fees for the Queen, resulting in an estimated savings to Her Majesty of some $800,000. Farrish's social circle is rounded out by such plutocrats as Clarence Scharbauer, a fellow member of the horsey set who also happens to own the bank, the hotel, the radio station, oil wells, and an estimated one half of the city of Midland, Texas, the old Bush bastion in the Permian Basin.

Farrish has been described as the Bush regime's counterpart to Bebe Rebozo, Richard Nixon's sleazy crony. According to Bush, when he is watching movies, hunting, and playing tennis with his old friend Farrish, "we talk about issues. He's very up on things, but it's a comfortable thing, not probing beyond what I want to say." Michael York of the Washington Post wrote that "Farish says he'll always be one of Bush's biggest boosters, and he's ready at a moment's notice to make the resume argument in favor of Bush's being the best-prepared man ever to become president. It's also clear that Bush regularly asks Farish's advice on the budget, domestic policy, and politics." With a cabal of friends and advisers like William Stamps Farish III and Henry Kravis, we begin to comprehend the wellsprings of Bush's policies of parasitical looting of infrastructure and the work force. [fn 13]

For George Bush, the exercise of power has always been inseparable from the use of smear, scandal, and the final sanctions of police-state methods against political rivals and other branches of government. A classic example was the Koreagate scandal of 1976, unleashed with the help of Bush's long-time retainer, Don Gregg. It will be recalled that Koreagate included the toppling of Democratic Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma, who quietly retired from the House at the end of 1976. That was in the year when Bush had returned from Beijing to Langley. Was it merely coincidence that in the first year of Bush's tenure in the White House not just the Democratic Speaker of the House, but also the House Majority Whip, were driven from office?

The campaign against Speaker of the House Jim Wright was spearheaded by Georgia Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich, a typical "wedge issue" ideologue of the GOP's Southern Strategy. During 1987-88, Gingrich had been bad-mouthing Wright as the "Mussolini of the House." Gingrich's campaign against Wright could never have succeeded without systematic support from the news media, who regularly trumpeted his charges and lent him a wholly undeserved importance. Gingrich's pretext was a story about the financing of a small book in which Wright had collected some of his old speeches, which Gingrich claimed had been sold to lobbyists in such a way as to constitute an unreported gift in violation of the House rules. One of Gingrich's first steps when he launched the assault on Wright during 1988 was to send letters to Bush and to Assistant Attorney General William Weld, whose family investment bank, White Weld, had purchased Uncle Herbie Walker's G.H. Walker & Co. brokerage when Bush's favorite uncle was ready to retire. Gingrich wrote: "May I suggest, the next time the news media asks about corruption in the White House, you ask them about corruption in the Speaker's office." A similar letter went out from the "Conservative Campaign Fund" to all GOP House candidates with the message: "We write to encourage you to make...House Speaker Jim Wright a major issue in your campaign." Bush placed himself in the vanguard of this campaign.

When Bush, in the midst of his presidential campaign, was asked by reporters about the investigation of Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese (no friend of Bush) concerning his dealings with the Wedtech Corporation, he replied: "You talk about Ed Meese. How about talking about what Common Cause raised against the Speaker the other day? Are they going to go for an independent counsel so the nation will have this full investigation? Why don't people call out for that? I will right now. I think they ought to." [fn 14] Reagan followed Bush's lead in calling for Wright to be investigated.

According to published accounts, Wright was deeply offended by Bush's role in the assault that was being organized against him, since the two shared the background of being Texas Congressmen and had often had dealings together. At a dinner held by Italian Ambassador Rinaldo Petrignani, Wright went out of his way to avoid meeting Bush, and had his wife feign illness as an excuse to leave very early. Bush in those days frequented the House gymnasium to play racketball with his old crony, Mississippi Democrat Sonny Montgomery. Bush attended the annual dinner of the House gymnasium and here crossed paths with Wright.

Wright told Bush: "George, I'm not feeling kindly toward you. You took a cheap shot at me. And I had just been defending you." Bush flew into a rage: "When did you defend me? You damn well didn't defend me at your convention." "Well, George, you don't have any complaint about what I said," was Wright's rejoinder. "You don't find me attacking your integrity or your honor." "You and I just see it differently," said Bush as he stalked off in a rage. [fn 15]

Later, Wright turned to Sonny Montgomery to use his good offices to resolve the dispute with Bush. Wright called Bush and offered the olive branch. "George, if you're President and I'm Speaker, we've got to work together." "Jim, I'm very glad you called. I did not mean to be personally offensive." By this point the reader knows the real Bush well enough to give that assurance its proper weight. Bush attenuated his public attacks on Wright in the campaign, but the witch-hunt against Wright went on. After Bush had won the election, Bush is reported to have promised Wright a truce. "I want you to know I respect you and the House as an institution. I won't have any part in anything at all that impinges on your honor or integrity," Bush is said to have reassured the Speaker. Before Bush took office, Wright was busy working on his favorite populist themes: the concentration of financial power, housing, education, health care, and taxes.

In January-February, 1989, the House took under consideration a pay increase for members. Both Reagan and Bush had endorsed such a pay increase, but Lee Atwater, now installed at the Republican National Committee, launched a series of mailings and public statements to make the pay increase into a new wedge issue. It was a brilliant success, with the help of a few old Prescott Bush strings pulled on key talk show hosts across the country. Bush accomplished the coup of thoroughly destabilizing the Congress at the outset of his tenure. Wright was hounded out of office and into retirement a few months later, followed by Tony Coelho, the Democratic whip. What remained was the meek Tom Foley, a pliable rubber stamp, and Richard Gebhardt, who briefly got in trouble with Bush during 1989, but who found his way to a deal with Bush that allowed him to rubber-stamp Bush's "fast track" formula for the free trade zone with Mexico, which effectively killed any hope of resistance to that measure. The fall of Wright was a decisive step in the domestication of the Congress by the Bush regime.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:49 am
by admin

Bush was also able to rely on an extensive swamp of "Bush Democrats" who would support his proposals under virtually all circumstances. The basis of this phenomenon was the obvious fact that the national leadership of the Democratic Party had long been a gang of Harrimanites. The Brown, Brothers, Harriman grip on the Democratic Party had been represented by W. Averell Harriman until his death, and after that was carried on by his widow, Pamela Churchill Harriman, the former wife of Sir Winston Churchill's alcoholic son, Randolph. The very extensive Meyer Lansky/Anti-Defamation League networks among the Democrats were oriented towards cooperation with Bush, sometimes directly, and sometimes through the orchestration of gang vs. countergang charades for the manipulation of public opinion. A special source of Bush strength among southern Democrats is the cooperation between Skull and Bones and southern jurisdiction freemasons in the tradition of the infamous Albert Pike. These southern jurisdiction freemasonic networks have been most obviously decisive in the senate, where a group of southern Democratic senators have routinely joined with Bush to block overrides of Bush's many vetoes, or to provide a pro-Bush majority on key votes like the Gulf war resolution.

Bush's style in the Oval Office was described during this period as "extremely secretive." Many members of Bush's staff felt that the president had his own long-term plans, but refused to discuss them with his own top White House personnel. During Bush's first year, the White House was described as "a tomb," without the usual dense barrage of leaks, counter-leaks, trial balloons, and signals which government insiders customarily employ to influence public debate on policy matters. Bush is said to employ a "need to know" approach even with his closest White House collaborators, keeping each one of them in the dark about what the others are doing. Aides have complained of their inability to keep up with Bush's phone calls when he goes into his famous "speed-dialing mode," in which he can contact dozens of politicians, bankers or world leaders within a couple of hours. Unauthorized passages of information from one office to another inside the White House constitute leaks in Bush's opinion, and he has been at pains to suppress them. When information was given to the press about a planned meeting with Gorbachov, Bush threatened his top-level advisers: "If we cannot maintain proper secrecy with this group, we will cut the circle down."

Bush routinely humiliates and mortifies his subordinates. This recalls his style in dealing with the numerous hapless servants and domestics who populated his patrician youth; it may also have been re-enforced by the characteristic style of Henry Kissinger. If advisers or staff dare to manifest disagreement, the typical Bush retort is a whining "If you're so damned smart, why are you doing what you're doing and I'm the president of the United States?" [fn 16]

In one sense, Bush's style reflects his desire to seem "absolute and autocratic" in the tradition of the Romanov tsars and other Byzantine rulers. He refuses to be advised or dissuaded on many issues, relying on his enraged, hyperthyroid intuitions. More profoundly, Bush's "absolute and autocratic" act was a cover for the fact that many of his initiatives, ideas, and policies came from outside of the United States government, since they originated in the rarified ether of those international finance circles where names like Harriman, Kravis and Gammell were the coin of the realm. Indeed, many of Bush's policies came from outside of the United States altogether, and derived from the oligarchical financial circles of the City of London. The classic case will the the Gulf crisis of 1990-91. When the documents on the Bush Administration are finally thrown open to the public, it is s safe bet that some top British financiers and Foreign Office types will be found to have combined remarkable access and power with a non-existent public profile.

One of the defining moments in the first year of the Bush's presidency was his reaction to the Tien An Men massacre of June 4, 1989. No one can forget the magnificent movement of the anti-totalitarian Chinese students who used the occasion of the funeral of Hu Yaobang in the spring of 1989 to launch a movement of protest and reform against the monstrous dictatorship of Deng Xiao-ping, Yang Shankun, and Prime Minister Li Peng. As the portrait of the old butcher Mao Tse-tung looked down from the former imperial palace, the students erected a statue of liberty and filled the square with the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. By the end of May it was clear that the Deng regime was attempting to pull itself together to attempt a convulsive massacre of its political opposition. At this point, it is likely that a pointed and unequivocal public warning from the United States government might have avoided the looming bloody crackdown against the students. Even a warning through secret diplomatic channels might have sufficed. Bush undertook neither, and he must bear responsibility for this blatant omission.

The non-violent protest of the students was then crushed by the martial law troops of the hated and discredited communist regime. Untold thousands of students were killed outright, and thousands more died in the merciless death hunt against political dissidents which followed. Mankind was horrified. For Bush, however, the main considerations were that Deng Xiao-ping was part of his own personal network, with whom Bush had maintained close contact since at least 1975. Bush's devotion to the immoral British doctrine of "geopolitics" further dictated that unless and until the USSS had totally collapsed as a military power, the US alliance with China as the second strongest land power must be maintained at all costs. Additionally, Bush was acutely sensible to the views on China policy held by his mentor, Henry Kissinger, whose paw-prints were still to be found all over US relations with Deng. In the wake of Tien An Men, Kissinger (who had lucrative consulting contracts with the Beijing regime) was exceptionally vocal in condemning any proposed US countermeasures against Deng. These were the decisive factors in Bush's reactions to Tien An Men.

In the pre-1911 imperial court of China, the etiquette of the Forbidden City required that a person approaching the throne of the son of heaven must prostrate himself before that living deity, touching both hands and the forehead to the floor three times. This is the celebrated "kow-tow." And it was "kow-tow" which sprang to the lips and pens of commentators all over the world as they observed Bush's elaborate propitiation of the Deng regime. Even cynics were astounded that Bush could be so deferential to a regime that was obviously so hated by its own population that it had to be considered as being on its last legs; the best estimate was that when octogenarian Deng finally died, the communist regime would pass from the scene with him.

In a press conference held on June 9, in the immediate wake of the massacre, Bush astounded even the meretricious White House press corps by his mild and obsequious tone towards Deng and his cohorts. Bush limited his retaliation to a momentary cutoff of some military sales. That would be all: "I'm one who lived in China; I understand the importance of the relationship with the Chinese people and with the government. It is in the interest of the United States to have good relations..." [fn 17] Would Bush consider further measures, such as the minor step of temporarily recalling the US Ambassador, Bush's CIA crony and fellow patrician James Lilly?

Well, some have suggested, for example, to show our forcefulness, that I bring the American ambassador back. I disagree with that 180 degrees, and we've seen in the last few days a very good reason to have him there. [...]

What I do want to do is take whatever steps are most likely to demonstrate the concern that America feels. And I think I've done that. I'll be looking for other ways to do it if we possibly can.

This was the wimp with a vengeance, groveling and scraping like Chamberlain before the dictators, but there was more to come. As part of his meek and pathetic response, Bush had pledged to terminate all "high-level exchanges" with the Deng crowd. With this public promise, Bush had cynically lied to the American people. Shortly before Bush's invasion of Panama in December, it became known that Bush had dispatched the two most prominent Kissinger clones in his retinue, NSC chairman Brent Scowcroft and Undersecretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, on a secret mission to Beijing over the July 4 weekend, less than a month after the massacre in Tien An Men. Bush regarded this mission as so sensitive that he reportedly kept it a secret even from White House chief of staff Sununu, who only learned of the trip when two of his aides stumbled across the paper trail of the planning. The story about Scowcroft and Eagleburger, both veterans of Kissinger Associates, spending the glorious Fourth toasting the butchers of Beijing was itself leaked in the wake of a high-profile public mission to China involving the same Kissingerian duo that started December 7, 1989. Bush's cover story for the second trip was that he wanted to get a briefing to Deng on the results of the Bush-Gorbachov Malta summit, which had just concluded. The second trip was supposed to lead to the quick release of Chinese physicist and dissident Fang Lizhi, who had taken refuge in the US Embassy in Beijing during the massacre; this did not occur until some time later.

During a press conference primarily devoted to the ongoing Panama invasion, Bush provided an unambiguous signal that the inspiration for his China policy, and indeed for his entire foreign policy, was Kissinger:

There's a lot of going on that, in the conduct of the foreign policy or a debate within the US government, has to be sorted out without the spotlight of the news. There has to be that way. The whole opening to China would never have happened...if Kissinger hadn't undertaken that mission. It would have fallen apart. So you have to use your own judgment. [fn 18]

The news of Bush's secret diplomacy in favor of Deng caused a widespread wave of sincere and healthy public disgust with Bush, but this was shortly overwhelmed by the jingoist hysteria that accompanied Bush's invasion of Panama.

Bush's handling of the issue of the immigration status of the Chinese students who had enrolled at US universities also illuminated Bush's character in the wake of Tien An Men. In Bush's pronouncements in the immediate wake of the massacre, he absurdly asserted that there were no Chinese students who wanted political asylum here, but also promised that the visas of these students would be extended so that they would not be forced to return to political persecution and possible death in mainland China. It later turned out that Bush had neglected to promulgate the executive orders that would have been necessary. In response to Bush's prevarication with the lives and well-being of the Chinese students, the Congress subsequently passed legislation that would have waived the requirement that holders of J-visas, the type commonly obtained by Chinese students, be required to return to their home country for two years before being able to apply for permanent residence in the US. Bush, in an act of loathsome cynicism, vetoed this bill. The House voted to override by a majority of 390 to 25, but Bush Democrats in the senate allowed Bush's veto to be sustained by a vote of 62 to 37. Bush, squirming under the broad public obloquy brought on by his despicable behavior, finally issued regulations that would temporarily waive the requirement of returning home for most of the students.

Bush came back from his summer in Kennbunkport with a series of "policy initiatives" that turned out to be no more than demagogic photo opportunities. In early September, Bush made his first scheduled evening television address to the nation on the subject of his alleged war on drugs. The highlight of this speech was the moment when Bush produced a bag of crack which had been sold in a transaction in Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House. The transaction had been staged with the help of the Drug Enforcement Administration. This was George Bush, the friend of Felix Rodriguez, Hafez Assad, Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Don Aronow. The funds and the targets set for Bush's program were minimal. A real war on drugs remained a vital necessity, but it was clear that there would be none under the Bush administration.

Later the same month, on September 27-28, Bush met with the governors from all 50 states in Charlottesville, Virginia for what was billed as an "education summit." This was truly a glorified photo opportunity, since all discussions were kept rigorously off the record, and everything was carefully choreographed by White House image-mongers. The conference issued a communique that called for "clear national performance goals," and the substantive direction of Bush's "education presidency" appeared to resolve itself into a nationwide testing program that could be used to justify the scaling down of college education and the exclusion from it of those whom Bush might define as "mental defectives." Would the testing program be used to finger and list the "feeble minded," perhaps over a generation or two? Was there a veiled intent of "culling" the hereditary defectives? With Bush's track record on the subject, nothing could be excluded.

One of the themes of the "education summit" was that material resources had absolutely nothing to do with the performance of an educational system. This was coming from preppie George Bush, who had enjoyed a physical plant, library, sports facilities, low average class size and other benefits at his posh Greenwich Country Day School and exclusive Phillips Academy in Andover which most schoolteachers could only dream of. When, during the summer of 1991, it was found that national average scores for the Scholastic Aptitude Test had continued to fall, Bush was still adamant that increased resources and the overall economic condition of society had nothing to do with the answer. At that time it also turned out that Bush's reshuffled Secretary of Education, former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, was sending his children to an elite day school associated with Georgetown University, where the tuition exceeded the yearly income of many poor families.

Many governors joined James Blanchard of Michigan in complaining that under Reaganomics, the federal government had unloaded whole sectors of infrastructural expenditure, including education, on the states. "We do not come to [Charlottesville] to rattle a tin cup," said Blanchard. "But we cannot afford to have our education revenues 'bled' by the federal government. Over the past decade, the federal commitment to education has declined from 2.5% of the federal budget to less than 1.8%. If education is to become a national priority, you and the Congress should reverse that decline." [fn 19]

Ironically, the best perspective on Bush's "education summit" eyewash came from within his own regime. Obviously piqued at the bad reviews his previous performance as Reagan's Secretary of Education was getting, Bush Drug Czar William Bennett told reporters that the proceedings in Charlottesville were "standard Democratic and Republican pap --and something that rhymes with pap. Much of the discussion proceeded in a total absence of knowledge about what takes place in schools."

By the autumn of 1989, Bush was facing a crisis of confidence in his regime. His domination of Congress on all substantive matters was complete; at the same time he had nothing to propose except vast public subsidies to bankrupt financial and speculative interests. Except for exertions to shovel hundreds of billion of dollars into Wall Street, the entire government appeared as paralyzed and adrift. This was soon accentuated by colossal upheavals in China, eastern Europe, and the USSR. On Friday, October 13, timed approximately with the second anniversary of the great stock market crash of 1987, there was a fall in the Dow Jones Industrial average of 190.58 points during the last hour of trading. This was triggered by the failure of a labor-management group to procure sufficient financing to carry out the leveraged buyout of United Airlines. The stage for this failure had been set during the preceding weeks by the crisis of the highly-leveraged Campeau retail empire, which made many junk bonds wholly illiquid for a time. The autumn was full of symptoms of a deflationary contraction of overall production and employment. For a time Bush appeared to be approaching that delicate moment in which a president is faced with the loss of his mandate to rule.

October has been one of the cruelest months for the Bush presidency: each time the leaves fall, each time the critical third-quarter economic statistics are published, a crisis in public confidence in the patrician regime has ensued. In two out of three years so far, the reaction of the Bushmen has been to lash out with international violence and mass murder.

October, 1989 was full of anxiety and apprehension about the economic future, and worry about where Bush was leading the country. Included in the many mood pieces was an evident desire of the Eastern Liberal Establishment circles to spur Bush on to more decisive and aggressive action in imposing austerity at home, and in increasing the rate of primitive accumulation in favor of the dollar abroad. A typical sample of these October elucubrations was a widely-read essay by Kevin Phillips (the traditional Republican theoretician of ethnic splitting and the Southern Strategy) entitled "George Bush and Congress--Brain-Dead Politics of '89." Phillips faulted Bush for his apparent decision "to imitate the low-key, centrist operating mode of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. But imitating Ike in the 1990s makes as little sense as trying to imitate Queen Victoria in the 1930's." [fn 20] Phillips pointed to the way in which Bush was restrained by his evident commitment to continue all of the essential policies of the Reagan years, while denying the existence of any crisis: Bush did "not seek to identify national problems because in doing so, [he] would largely be identifying [his] party's own failings." "The Republicans at least know they have a problem on the 'vision thing,'" Phillips noted, while the Democratic opposition "can't even spell the word." All of this added up to the "cerebral atrophy of government." Phillips catalogued the absurd complacency of the Bushmen, with Brady saying of the US economy that "it couldn't get much better than it is" and Baker responding to Democratic criticisms of Bush foreign policy with the retort: "When the President is rocking along with a 70 per cent approval rating on his handling of foreign policy, if I were the leader of the opposition, I might have something similar to say." Phillips's basic thesis was that Bush and his ostensible opposition had joined hands simply to ignore the existence of the leading problems threatening US national life, while hiding behind an "irrelevant consensus" forged ten to twenty years in the past, and reminiscent overall of the pre-1860 tacit understanding of Democrats and Whigs to sweep sectionalism and slavery under the rug. One result of this conspiracy of the incumbents to ignore the real world was the "unhappy duality that the United States and Russia are both weakening empires in haphazard retreat from their post-1945 bipolar dominance." Phillips's conclusion was that while reality might begin to force a change in the "political agenda" by 1990, it was more likely that a shift would occur in 1992 when an aroused electorate, smarting from decades of decline in standards of living and economic aspirations, might "hand out surprising political rewards." "Honesty's day is coming," summed up Phillips, with the clear implication that George Bush would not be a beneficiary of the new day.

Similar themes were developed in the Bonesmen's own Time Magazine towards the end of the month in coverage entitled "Is Government Dead?," which featured a cover picture of George Washington shedding a big tear and a blurb warning that "Unwilling to lead, politicians are letting America slip into paralysis." [fn 21] Inside, the Washington regime was stigmatized as "the can't do government," with an analysis concluding that "abroad and at home, more and more problems and opportunities are going unmet. Under the shadow of a massive federal deficit that neither political party is willing to confront, a kind of neurosis of accepted limits has taken hold from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other." Time discovered that Bush and the Congress were "conspiring to hide" $96 billion of a $206 billion deficit through various strategems, while the bill for the S&L bailout had levitated upwards to $300 billion. Time held up to ridicule the "paltry $115 million" Bush had offered as economic aide to Poland during his visit there during the summer. Grave responsibility for the growing malaise was assigned by Time to Bush: "Leadership is generally left to the President. Yet George Bush seems to have as much trouble as ever with the 'vision thing.' Handcuffed by his simplistic 'read my lips' campaign rhetoric against a tax increase as well as by his cautious personality, Bush too often appears self-satisfied and reactive." Time went on to indict Bush for malfeasance or nonfeasance in several areas: "His long-term goals, beyond hoping for a 'kinder, gentler' nation, have been lost in a miasma of public relations stunts. The President's recent 'education summit' with the nation's Governors produced some interesting ideas about national standards but little about how to pay the costs of helping public schools meet them. His much trumpeted war on drugs was more an underfinanced skirmish. Bush told voters last year that he is an environmentalist, but the most significant clean-air proposals put forth this year--stringent new standards on automobile emissions-- were adapted from California's strict limits for the 1990's."

"Abroad, Bush tends to turn Teddy Roosevelt's famous dictum on its head by speaking loudly and carrying a small stick, " was Time's unkindest cut of all for a president who had placed the racist Rough Rider's portrait in the Oval Office, replacing the likeness of "Silent Cal" Coolidge that had adorned the premises during the Reagan years. It was a barb to make George wince when he read it.

Bush, Baker, and Brady were thus confronted with some clear signals of an ugly mood of discontent on the part of key establishment financier circles inside their own traditional base. These groups were demanding more austerity, more primitive accumulation against the US population than George had been able to deliver. A further ingredient in the dangerous dissatisfaction in Wall Street and environs was that Bush had botched and bungled a US-sponsored coup d'etat against the Panamanian government loyal to Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega. Noriega's survival and continued defiance of Washington seemed to certify, in the eyes of the ruling financiers, that Bush was indeed a wimp incapable of conducting their international or domestic business. By November, 1989, the ten-month old Bush regime was drifting towards the Niagara of serious trouble. It was under these circumstances that the Bush networks responded with their invasion of Panama.

On October 3, 1989, several officers of the Panamanian Defense Forces under the leadership of Major Moises Giroldi attempted to oust General Noriega and seize power. The pro-golpe forces appear to have had Noriega in their physical control for a certain period of time, and they were in contact with the US Southern Command in Panama City through various channels. But they neither executed Noriega nor turned him over to the US forces, and Noriega used the delay to rally the support of loyal troops in other parts of Panama. The US forces mobilized, and blocked two roads leading towards the PDF headquarters, just as they golpe leaders had requested. But the golpistas also wanted US combat air support and would have required US ground forces to provide active assistance. Bush stalled on these requests, and the golpe collapsed before Bush could make up his mind what to do.

Bush's crisis management style was portrayed as an autocratic one-man show, with Bush refusing to convoke the usual "excomm"-style crisis committee with representatives from State, Defense, NSA, CIA, and other interested bureaucratic parties. Instead, Bush reportedly insisted on being furnished with three parallel streams of reports from State, Defense, and CIA. While he was puzzling over the conflicting evaluations, his coup team was being rounded up and liquidated. It was worse than his blundering management of the Sudan coup in 1985.
There are signs that the wide criticism of his botched handling of the coup, including from such close allies as Skull and Bones Senator David Boren of Oklahoma, was an excruciating personal humiliation for Bush. As the feared former boss of Langley, he was supposedly a past master in subversion, putsches, and the toppling of governments disobedient to Washington. His foreign policy credentials, touted as the strong suit in his resume, were now fatally tarnished. According to some alleged insider accounts, US forces had not rushed to the aid of the rebels because of reluctance and mistrust on the part of US officers, starting with Gen. Thurman, the US commander in Panama.

Congressman Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma criticized Bush: "Yesterday makes Jimmy Carter look like a man of resolve. There's a resurgence of the wimp factor." George Will wrote a column entitled "An Unserious Presidency."

Bush hid from the press for 11 days after the golpe was crushed, but then had to face a barrage of hostile questions anyway. Since he had urged the overthrow of Noriega, he was asked, was it consistent not to back the rebels with US armed forces? Bush replied:

Yes, absolutely consistent. I want to see him [Noriega] out of there and I want to see him brought to justice. And that should not imply that that automatically means, no matter what the plan is, or no matter what the coup attempt is, diplomatically and anything else, that we give carte blanche support to that.

I think this rather sophisticated argument that if you say you'd like to see Noriega out, that implies a blanket, open carte blanche on the use of American military me that's a stupid argument that some very erudite people make.

Bush was very sarcastic about "instant hawks appearing from where there used to be feathers of a dove." There had been reports of severe temper tantrums by Bush as critical accounts of his crisis leadership had been leaked from inside his own administration. But Bush denied that he had been chewing the carpet: "I never felt, you know, anger or blowing up. It's absurd," Bush stated disingenuously. "I didn't get angry. I didn't get angry. What I did say is, I don't want to see any blame coming out of the Oval Office or attributed to the Oval Office in the face of criticism. I'm not in the blame business. Blame, if there's some to be assigned, it comes in there. And that's where it belongs." Bush stressed that he was ready to use force to oust Noriega: "I wouldn't mind using force now if it could be done in a prudent manner. We want to see Mr. Noriega out." The mortified former CIA director also defended the quality of his intelligence: "There has not been an intelligence gap that would make me act in a different way." "I don't see any serious disconnects at all." [fn 22] Bush's chief of staff, Sununu, had stated that one of the difficulties faced by the White House in reacting to the coup had been the difficulty of determining the identity of the coup leaders. While that was probably disinformation, Bush's disarray was most poignant. It was while squirming and whining under of the opprobrium of his first failure in Panama that Bush matured the idea of a large-scale military invasion to capture Noriega and occupy Panama around Christmas, 1989.

George Bush's involvement with Panama goes back to operations conducted in Central American and the Caribbean conducted by Senator Prescott Bush's Jupiter Island Harrimanite cabal. We recall Bush's pugnacious assertions of US sovereignty over the Panama Canal during his 1964 electoral contest with Senator Yarborough. For the Bush clan, the cathexis of Panama is very deep, since it is bound up with the exploits of Theodore Roosevelt, the founder of the twentieth-century US imperialism which the Bush family is determined to defend to the farthest corners of the planet. For it was Theodore Roosevelt who had used the USS Nashville and other US naval forces to prevent the Colombian military from repressing the US-fomented revolt of Panamanian soldiers in November, 1903, thus setting the stage for the creation of an independent Panama and for the signing of the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty which created a Panama Canal Zone under US control. Roosevelt's "cowboy diplomacy" had been excoriated in the US press of those days as "piracy;" the Springfield Republican had found the episode "the most discreditable in our history," but the Bush view was always pro-imperialist. It was the comparison with Theodore Roosevelt's bucaneering audacity that made poor George look bad.

Theodore Roosevelt had in December, 1904 expounded his so-called "Roosevelt Corrollary" to the Monroe Doctrine, in reality a complete repudiation and perversion of the anti-colonial essence of John Quincy Adams's original warning to the British and other imperialists. The self-righteous Teddy Roosevelt had stated that:

Chronic wrongdoing...may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power. [fn 23]
The old imperialist idea of Theodore Roosevelt was quickly revived by the Bush Administration during 1989. Through a series of actions by Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, the US Supreme Court, and CIA Director William Webster, the Bush regime arrogated to itself a sweeping carte blanche for extraterritorial interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, all in open defiance of the norms of international law. These illegal innovations can be summarized under the heading of the "Thornburgh Doctrine." The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrogated to itself the "right" to search premises outside of US territory and to arrest and kidnap foreign citizens outside of US jurisdiction, all without the concurrence of the judicial process of the other countries whose territory was thus subject to violation. US armed forces were endowed with the "right" to take police measures against civilians. The CIA demanded that an Executive Order prohibiting the participation of US government officials and military personnel in the assassination of foreign political leaders, which had been issued by President Ford in October, 1976, be rescinded. There is every indication that this presidential ban on assassinations of foreign officials and politicians, which had been promulgated in response to the Church and Pike Committee investigations of CIA abuses, has indeed been abrogated. To round out this lawless package, an opinion of the US Supreme Court issued on February 28, 1990 permitted US officials abroad to arrest (or kidnap) and search foreign citizens without regard to the laws or policy of the foreign nation subject to this interference. Through these actions, the Bush regime effectively staked its claim to universal extraterritorial jurisdiction, the classic posture of an empire seeking to assert universal police power. The Bush regime aspired to the status of a world power legibus solutus, a superpower exempted from all legal restrictions. [fn 24]

Back in January, 1972, at the extraordinary session of the United Nations Security Council in Addis Ababa, the Panamanian delegate, Aquilino Boyd, had delivered a scathing condemnation of the American "occupation" of the Canal Zone, which most Panamanians found increasingly intolerable. At that time Ambassador Bush had wormed his way out of a tough situation by pleading that Boyd was out of order, since Panama had not been placed on the agenda for the meeting. Boyd was relentless in pressing for a special session of the Security Council in Panama City at which he could bring up the issue of sovereignty over the Canal Zone and the canal. Later, in March, 1973, Bush's successor at the UN post, John Scali, was forced to resort to a veto in order to kill a resolution calling for the "full respect for Panama's effective sovereignty over all its territory." This veto had been a big political embarrassment, since it was cast in the face of vociferous condemnation from the visitors' gallery, which was full of Panamanian patriots. To make matters worse, the US had been totally isolated, with 13 countries supporting the resolution and one abstention. [fn 25]

As we have seen, direct personal dealings between Bush and Noriega went back at least as far as Bush's 1976 CIA tenure. At that time Noriega, who had been trained by the US at Fort Gulick, Fort Bragg, and other locations, was the chief of intelligence for the Panamanian nationalist leader, Gen. Omar Torrijos, with whom Carter signed the Panama Canal Treaty, the ratification of which by the US Senate meant that the canal would revert to Panama by the year 2000. During the treaty negotiations between Torrijos and the Carter Administration, the US National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency are alleged to have conducted electronic eavesdropping against Panamanian officials involved in the negotiations. This bugging had reportedly been discovered by Noriega, who had allegedly proceeded to bribe members of the US Army's 470th Military Intelligence Group, who furnished him with tapes of all the bugged conversations, which Noriega then submitted to Torrijos. According to published accounts, the US Army had investigated this situation under a probe code-named Operation Canton Song, and identified a group of "singing sergeants" on Noriega's payroll. Lew Allen, Jr., the head of the NSA, supposedly wanted a public indictment of the sergeants for treason and espionage, but Bush is alleged to have demurred, saying that the matter had to be left to the Army, which had decided to cover up the matter. A plausible political cover story for Bush's refusal to prosecute was his desire to avoid scandals in the intelligence community that could hurt Gerald Ford in the 1976 election. [fn 26] Whatever the truth of all these allegations, there seems to be no doubt that Bush met personally with Noriega during his 1976 CIA tenure. According to one account, that Bush-Noriega meeting was a luncheon held in December, 1976 at the residence of the Panamanian Ambassador to Washington. As Ferderick Kempe notes, "Years later in 1988, after Noriega was indicted on drug charges in Florida, Bush would at first deny having ever met Noriega. He thereafter recalled the meeting, but none of its details. His three lunch guests have better memories and one of them insisted this was the third meeting between the two men." [fn 27]

During the preparation of his 1991 trial in Miami, Florida, Noriega's defense attorneys submitted a document to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in which they specified matters they intended to use in Noriega's defense which might involve information considered classified by the US government. Before being released to the public, this document was heavily censored. No part of this filing is more heavily censored, however, than the section entitled "General Noriega's Relationship with George Bush," which has been whited out on approximately 6 of 15 pages, allegedly to protect US national security, but in reality to hide material that is explosively compromising to the political reputation of Bush. Noriega's proffer confirms a Bush-Noriega meeting on December 8, 1976 at the Panamanian Embassy in Washington. "During this meeting there were discussions concerning the unrest in the canal zone. But at no time did Mr. Bush suggest that the Panamanian government was in any way responsible for the bombing" that had occurred in the Canal Zone when Ford, worried about attacks from Reagan demanding that the canal remain in US hands, had cut off the talks on the future of the canal. Noriega's proffer adds that "when Bush left office he sent a letter to Noriega thanking Noriega for his assistance. Bush said that he was going to inform his successor of Noriega's cooperation." [fn 28]

During this period, the CIA was allegedly paying Noriega a retainer of $110,000 per year, supposedly in exchange for Noriega's intelligence on Cuban and other activities of interest to the US. Admiral Stansfield Turner claims that when he took over the CIA, he terminated the payments to Noriega, and refused to meet with him. Turner confirms several details of the Bush-Noriega relationship of those years: "We all know that Bush met with Noriega, even though he was there only 11 months. And I will affirm that Bush had him on the payroll," said Turner in October, 1988. "I was there four years, and I never saw fit to see him [Noriega] or have him on the payroll," said Turner. [fn 29] Turner went on to say that after the fall of Carter Bush re-instated Noriega as a US asset, asserting that Bush "met with Noriega and put him back on the payroll" as a purveyor of intelligence. Turner would not specify his proof, but was nevertheless categorical: "I can tell you I am very confident of that."

During 1991, reports surfaced of a joint project of the CIA and the Mossad in central America which included large-scale smuggling of illegal drugs from Colombia through Panama to the United States. This was code-named "Operation Watchtower." According to an affidavit signed by the late Colonel Edward P. Cutolo, a US Army Special Forces Commander who was in charge of operations in Colombia subsumed under this project, "the purpose of Operation Watch Tower was to establish a series of three electronic beacon towers beginning outside of Bogota, Colombia and running northeast to the border of Panama. Once the Watch Tower teams were in place, the beacon was activated to emit a signal that aircraft could fix on and fly undetected from Bogota to Panama, then land at Albrook Air Station." [fn 30] According to Cutolo, the flights were often met at Albrook Air Station by Noriega, other PDF officers, CIA agents, and an Israeli national believed to be David Kimche of the Mossad. Another Israeli involved in the flights was Mossad agent Michael Harari, who maintained a close relation to Noriega until the time of the US invasion of December 20, 1989. According to Cutolo's affidavit, "I was told from Pentagon contacts, off the record, that CIA Director Stansfield Turner and former CIA Director George Bush are among the VIPs that shield Harari from public scrutiny." According to Cutolo, "the cargo flown from Colombia to Panama was cocaine," which ultimately ended up in the United States. The profits were allegedly laundered through a series of banks, including banks in Panama. According to published reports, Cutolo and a long list of other US military personnel who knew about Operation Watchtower died under suspicious circumstances during the 1980's, one of them after having vainly attempted to interest the CBS News "60 Minutes " staff in this matter. Mike Harari of the Mossad is reportedly a prime suspect in the death of one of these US officers, Army Col. James Rowe, who was killed in the Philippines on April 21, 1989. Was Operation Watchtower on the agenda of the Bush-Noriega meeting of 1976?

According to Noriega's CIPA proffer, "another contact between Noriega and George Bush was after George Bush became Vice-President. At this time Noriega sent Bush a letter of congratulations and Bush sent back a response. In this letter, dated December 23, 1980, Bush says 'thanks for the great congratulatory message.' He also says, 'I do recall your visit in 1976 and I hope our paths will cross again.'" [fn 31]

There can be no doubt that Noriega's dealings with the Reagan-Bush administration were very intense. According to Panamanian turncoat Jose Blandon, Noriega frequently traveled to Washington for secret private meetings with CIA Director William Casey during 1982-83 and the year following. Noriega also met somewhat later with Bush's Iran-contra point man, Oliver North. [fn 32] According to Noriega's CIPA submission, Noriega was introduced to North on a cruise down the Potomac by US General Schweitzer, the director of the Inter-American joint military group. According to Noriega's CIPA submission, North had been drinking heavily and talked in an animated fashion about the problems encountered by the contras. "North was particularly concerned with allegations that had surfaced connecting the contras with narcotics trafficking." One US public figure who had called attention to the contras as drug pushers was Lyndon LaRouche. "North urged Noriega to do whatever he could for the contras. During this meeting North claimed that he was in charge of all operations in central America having to do with the contras and that he was working directly for Reagan and Bush. Although North asked for help he did not say exactly what he wanted. North did tell Noriega that if at any time he needed to talk to North that Noriega could just call him at the White House." [fn 33]

According to Noriega's CIPA proffer submitted in preparation for his trial in Miami, "from around August of 1985 through September of 86 Noriega repeatedly received emissaries from Oliver North. One was Humberto Quinones. Quinones attempted to ingratiate himself with Noriega and repeatedly used Reagan's and Bush's names. Quinones said that the contras are not fighting very well and requested that Panama come to the aid of the contras."

Later, at the end of the summer of 1985, Noriega met with North and Secord in London. North demanded that Noriega use Panamanian commandos to conduct operations against the Sandinista regime. "Noriega just listened" and did not agree to cooperate. [fn 34]

This was all denied by the Bush campaign through spokesman Steve Hart, but a photo exists of Bush meeting with Noriega in Panama City in December, 1983. Don Gregg was also on the scene. This meeting was also attended by Everett Briggs, then the US Ambassador to Panama. During the previous months, Noriega had repudiated the policy of supporting the Nicaraguan contra rebels which the Bushmen had successfully sold to Reagan as his leading obsession. Noriega had done this by declaring his support of the Contadora group, which thus emerged as an alignment of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama, and which advocated a plan for pacification and the restoration of national sovereignty in Central America as a whole through the interdiction of gun-running, plus the removal of foreign advisers and bases. According to Briggs, Bush may have sought Noriega's diplomatic support for the US position in the region. But Briggs denies that Bush was also looking for Panamanian military support against the Sandinistas. According to the Bushmen, Bush's pourparler in Panama was devoted to a "privileged" talk with the President of Panama, Ricardo de la Espriella, who was also present at the meeting. [fn 35] But Noriega was clearly the dominant figure on the Panamanian political scene.

Later, Bush henchman Don Gregg was obliged to testify under oath about Bush's relations with Noriega in the context of the civil lawsuit brought by the Christic Institute of Washington, DC against members of the Bush-Shackley-Clines Enterprise. Gregg specified that Ambassador Briggs was himself a friend of Bush. Gregg said that at the December, 1983 meeting, Panamanian President Ricardo de la Espriella had denied US press reports alleging Panamanian government complicity in drug trafficking.

But while Noriega kept close relations with the United States, he also dealt with Cuba and other countries in the region. Noriega was increasingly motivated by Panamanian nationalism, and a desire to preserve a margin of independence for his country. The hostility of the US government against Noriega was occasioned first of all by Noriega's refusal to be subservient to the US policy of waging war against the Sandinista regime. This was explained by Noriega in an interview with CBS journalist Mike Wallace on February 4, 1988, in which Noriega described the US campaign against him as a "political conspiracy of the Department of Justice." Noriega described a visit to Panama on December 17, 1985 by Admiral John Poindexter, then the chief of the US National Security Council, who demanded that Noriega join in acts of war against Nicaragua, and then threatened Panama with economic warfare and political destabilization when Noriega refused to go along with Poindexter's plans:

Noriega: Poindexter said he came in the name of President Reagan. He said that Panama and Mexico were acting against US policy in Central America because we were saying that the Nicaragua conflict must be settled peacefully. And that wasn't good enough for the plans of the Reagan administration. The single thing that will protect us from being economically and politically attacked by the United States is that we allow the contras to be trained in Panama for the fight against Nicaragua.
Wallace: He told you that you would be economically attacked if you didn't do that?

Noriega: It was stated, Panama must expect economic consequences. Your interest was that we should aid the contras, and we said 'no' to that.

Poindexter outlined plans for a US invasion of Nicaragua that would require the fig-leaf of participation of troops from other countries in the region:

Noriega: Yes, they wanted to attack Nicaragua and the only reason it hadn't already happened was that Panama was in the way, and all they wanted was that Panama would open the way and make it possible for them to continue their plans.

According to Noriega's advisor, Panamanian Defense Forces Captain Cortiso, "[the US] wanted that Panamanian forces attack first. Then we would receive support from US troops." [fn 36]

It was in this same December, 1985 period that Bush and Don Gregg met with Ambassador Briggs to discuss the Noriega's refusal to follow dictation from Washington. According to Gregg in his deposition in the Christic Institute lawsuit, "I think we [i.e., Bush and Gregg] came away from the meeting with Ambassador Brggs with the sense that Noriega was a growing problem, politically, militarily, and possibly in the drug area." When pressed to comment about Noriega's alleged relations to drug trafficking, Gregg could only add: "It would have been part of the general picture of Noriega as a political problem, corruption, and a general policy problem. Yes." [fn 37] "I don't recall any specific discussion of Noriega's involvement in drugs," Gregg testified. In this case it is quite possible that Don Gregg is for once providing accurate testimony: the US government decision to begin interference in Panama's internal affairs for the overthrow of Noriega had nothing to do with questions of drug trafficking. It was predicated on Noriega's rejection of Poindexter's ultimatum demanding support for the Nicargauan contras, themselves a notorious gang of drug pushers enjoying the full support of Bush and the US government. Colonel Samuel J. Watson III, deputy national security adviser to Bush during those years, invoked executive privilege during the course of his Christic Institute deposition on the advice of his lawyer in order to avoid answering questions about Bush's 1985 meeting with Briggs. [fn 38]

In addition to the question of contra aid, another rationale for official US rage against Noriega had emerged during 1985. President Nicky Barletta, a darling of the State Department and a former vice president of the genocidal World Bank, attempted to impose a package of conditionalities and economic adjustment measures dictated by the International Monetary Fund. This was a package of brutal austerity, and riots soon erupted in protest against Barletta. Noriega refused to comply with Barletta's request to use the Panamanian military forces to put down these anti-austerity riots, and the IMF austerity package was thus compromised. Barletta was shortly forced out as president.

During 1986-1987, Noriega cooperated with US law enforcement officials in a number of highly effective anti-drug operations. This successful joint effort was documented by letters of commendation sent to Noriega by John C. Lawn, at that time head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. On February 13, 1987, Lawn wrote to Noriega: "Your longstanding support of the Drug Enforcement Administration is greatly appreciated. International police cooperation and vigorous pursuit of drug traffickers are our common goal." Later in the same year, Lawn wrote to Noriega to commend the latter's contributions to Operation Pisces, a joint US-Panamanian effort against drug smuggling and drug money laundering. Panamanian participation was facilitated by a tough new law, called Law 23, which contained tough new provisions against drug money laundering. Lawn 's letter to Noriega of May 27, 1987 includes the following: *As you know, the recently concluded Operation Pisces was enormously successful: many millions of dollars and many thousands of pounds of drugs have been taken from the drug traffickers and international money launderers....

Again, the DEA and officials of Panama have together dealt an effective blow against drug dealers and international money launderers. Your personal commitment to Operation Pisces and the competent, professional, and tireless efforts of other officials in the Republic of Panama were essential to the final positive outcome of this investigation. Drugs dealers throughout the world now know that the profits of their illegal operations are not welcome in Panama. The operation of May 6 led to the freezing of millions of dollars in the bank accounts of drug dealers. Simultaneously, bank papers were confiscated that gave officials important insights into the drug trade and the laundering operations of the drug trade. The DEA has always valued close cooperation, and we are prepared to proceed together against international drug dealers whenever the opportunity presents itself. [fn 39]

By a striking coincidence, it was in June, 1987, just one month after this glowing tribute had been written, that the US government declared war against Panama, initiating a campaign to destabilize Noriega on the pretexts of lack of democracy and corruption. On June 30, 1987, the US State Department demanded the ouster of General Noriega. Elliott Abrams, the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, later indicted for perjury in 1991 for his role in the Iran-contra scandal and coverup, made the announcement. Abrams took note of a resolution passed on June 23 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanding the creation of a "democratic government" in Panama, and officially concurred, thus making the toppling of Noriega the official US policy. Abrams also demanded that the Panamanian military be freed of "political corruption."

These were precisely the destabilization measures which Poindexter had threatened 18 months earlier. The actual timing of the US demand for the ouster of Noriega appears to have been dictated by resentment in the US financial community over Noriega's apparent violation of certain taboos in his measures against drug money laundering. As the New York Times commented in on August 10, 1987: "The political crisis follows closely what bankers here saw as a serious breach of bank secrecy regulations. Earlier this year, as part of an American campaign against the laundering of drug money, the Panamanian government froze a few suspect accounts here in a manner that bankers and lawyers regarded as arbitrary." These were precisely the actions lauded by Lawn. Had Noriega shut down operations sanctioned by the US intelligence community, or confiscated assets of the New York banks?

In November, 1987, Noriega was visited by Bush's former vice presidential chief of staff, Admiral Daniel J. Murphy. Murphy had left Bush's office in 1985 to go into the international consulting business. Murphy was accompanied on his trip by Tongsun Park, a protagonist of the 1976 Koreagate scandal which had served Bush so well. Murphy claimed that Park was part of a group of international businessmen who had sent him to Panama to determine if Murphy could help in "restoring stability in Panama" as a representative of the businessmen or of the Panamanian government, a singular cover story. "I was really there trying to find out whether there was negotiating room between him and the opposition," Murphy said in early 1988. There were reports that Murphy, who had conferred with NSC chief Colin Powell, Don Gregg and Elliott Abrams of the State Department before he went to Panama, had told Noriega that he could stay in office through early 1989 if he allowed political reforms, free elections, and a free press, but Murphy denied having done this. It is still not known with precision what mission Murphy was sent to Panama to perform for Bush. [fn 40]

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:50 am
by admin

On August 12, 1987, Noriega responded to the opposition campaigns fomented by the US inside Panama by declaring that the aim of Washington and its Panamanian minions was "to smash Panama as a free and independent nation. It is a repetition of what Teddy Roosevelt did when he militarily attacked following the separation of Panama from Colombia." On August 13, 1987, the Los Angeles Times reported that US Assistant Attorney General Stephen Trott, who had headed up the Department of Justice "Get Noriega" Task Force for more than a year, had sent out orders to "pull together everything that we have on him [Noriega] in order to see if he is prosecutable." This classic "enemies' list" operation was clearly aimed at fabricating drug charges against Noriega, since that was the political spin which the US regime wished to impart to its attack on Panama. In February, 1988, Noriega was indicted on US drugs charges, despite a lack of evidence and an even more compelling lack of jurisdiction. This indictment was quickly followed by economic sanctions, an embargo on trade, and other economic warfare measures that were invoked by Washington on March 2, 1988. All of these measures were timed to coincide with the "Super Tuesday" presidential preference primaries in the southern states, where Bush was able to benefit from the racist appeal of the assault on Noriega, who is of mestizo background and has a swarthy complexion.

During the spring of 1988, the Reagan Administration conducted a negotiation with Noriega with the declared aim of convincing him to relinquish power in exchange for having the drug charges against him dropped. In May, Michael G. Kozak, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American affairs had been sent to Panama to meet with Noriega. Bush had come under attack from other presidential candidates, especially Dukakis, for being soft on Noriega and seeking a plea bargain with the Panamanian leader. Bush first took the floor during the course of an administration policymaking meeting to advocate an end of the bargaining with Noriega. According to press reports, this proposal was "hotly contested." Then, in a speech in Los Angeles, Bush made one of his exceedingly rare departures from the Reagan line by announcing with a straight face that a Bush Administration would not "bargain with drug dealers" at home or abroad. [fn 41]

Bush's interest in Noriega continued after he had assumed the presidency. On April 6, 1989, Bush formally declared that the government of Panama represented an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security and foreign policy. He invoked the National Emergencies Act and the International Emergency Act to declare a state of "national emergency" in this country to meet the menace allegedly posed by the nationalists of little Panama. The May 1, 1989 issue of US News and World Report revealed that Bush had authorized the expenditure of $10 million in CIA funds for operations against the Panamanian government. These funds were obviously to be employed to influence the Panamanian elections, which were scheduled for early May. The money was delivered to Panama by CIA bagman Carlos Eleta Almaran, who had just been arrested in Georgia in April, 1989 on charges of drug trafficking. On May 2, with one eye on those elections, Bush attempted to refurbish his wimp image with a blustering tirade delivered to the Rockefeller-controlled Council of the Americas in which he stated: "Let me say one thing clearly. The USA will not accept the results of fraudulent elections that serve to keep the supreme commander of the Panamanian armed forces in power." This made clear that Bush intended to declare the elections undemocratic if the pro-Noriega candidates were not defeated.

In the elections of May 7, the CIA's $10 million and other monies were used to finance an extensive covert operation which aimed at stealing the elections. The US-supported Civic Democratic Alliance, whose candidate was Guillermo Endara, purchased votes, bribed the election officials, and finally physically absconded with the official vote tallies. Because of the massive pattern of fraud and irregularities, the Panamanian government annulled the election. Somewhere along the line the usual US-staged "people power" upsurge had failed to materialize. The inability of Bush to force through a victory by the anti-Noriega opposition was a first moment of humiliation for the would-be Rough Rider.

This was the occasion for a new outburst of hypocritical breast-beating from Bush, whose vote fraud operation had not worked so well in Panama as it had in New Hampshire. Speaking at the commencement ceremonies of Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, Bush issued a formal call to the citizens and soldiers of Panama to overthrow Noriega, asserting that "they ought to do everything they can to get Mr. Noriega out of there." Asked whether this was a call for a military coup against Noriega, Bush replied: "I would love to see them get him out of there. Not just the PDF-- the will of the people of Panama." Bush elaborated that his was a call for "a revolution--the people rose up and spoke for-- in a democratic election with a substantial - a tremendous- turnout, said what they wanted. The will of the people should not be thwarted by this man and a handful of these Doberman thugs." "I think the election made so clear that the people want democracy and made so clear that democracy is being thwarted by one man that that in itself would be the catalyst for removing Noriega," Bush added, making his characteristic equation of "democracy" with a regime subservient to US whim. Bush prevaricated on his own commitment to disbanding the Panamanian Defense Forces, saying that he wanted to "make clear... that there's no vendetta against the Panamanian Defense Forces as an institution;" the US was concerned only with Noriega's "thuggery" and "pariah" status. Bush seemed also to invite the assassination of Noriega by blurting out, "No, I would add no words of caution" on how to do any of this. He slyly kept an escape hatch open in case a coup leader called on the US for support, as in fact later happened: "If the PDF asks for support to get rid of Noriega, they wouldn't need support from the United States in order to get rid of Noriega. He's one man, and they have a well-trained force." Bush also seemed to encourage Noriega to flee to a country from which he could not be extradited back to the US, which sounded like a recipe for avoiding legal proceedings that could prove highly embarrassing to Bush personally and to the whole US government.

During this period, Admiral William Crowe, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, attempted to convince the US commander in Panama, Gen. Frederick F. Woerner, to accept a brigade-sized reinforcement of 3,000 troops in addition to the 12,000 men already stationed in Panama. Woerner declined the additional men, which the Pentagon had intended to dispatch with great fanfare in an attempt to intimidate Noriega and his triumphant supporters. At this point the Pentagon activated preparations for Operation Blue Spoon, which included a contingency plan to kidnap Noriega with the help of a Delta force unit. There were discussions about whether an attempt could be made to abduct Noriega with any likelihood of success; it was concluded that Noriega was very wily and exceedingly difficult to track. It was in the course of these deliberations that Defense Secretary Cheney is reported to have told Crowe, "'You know, the President has got a long history of vindictive political actions.'' Cross Bush and you pay,' he said, supplying the names of a few victims and adding: Bush remembers and you have to be careful." [fn 42] Thus intimidated by Bush, the military commanders concurred in Bush's announcement of a brigade-sized reinforcement for Woerner, plus the secret dispatch of Delta forces and Navy Seals. On July 17, Bush approved a plan to "assert US treaty rights" by undertaking demonstrative military provocations in violation of the treaty. Woerner was soon replaced by General Maxwell Reid "Mad Max" Thurman, who would bring no qualms to his assignment of aggression. Thurman took over at the Southern Command on September 30.

In the wake of this tirade, the US forces in Panama began a systematic campaign of military provocations which continued all the way to the December 20 invasion. In July the US forces began practicing how to seize control of important Panamanian military installations and civilian objectives, all in flagrant violation of the Panama Canal Treaty. On July 1, for example, the town of Gamboa was seized and held for 24 hours by US troops, tanks, and helicopters. The mayor of the town and 30 other persons were illegally detained during this "maneuver." In Chilibre, the US forces occupied the key water purification plant serving Panama City and Colon. On August 15, Bush escalated the rhetoric still further by proclaiming that he had the obligation "to kidnap Noriega". Then, during the first days of October, there came the abortive US-sponsored coup attempt, followed by the public humiliation of George Bush, who had failed to measure up to the standards of efficacy set by Theodore Roosevelt.

All during October and November and into December, the Bush Administration worked to prepare the plans for a large-scale invasion of Panama, Operation Blue Spoon. By mid-December, there were a total of 24,000 US troops in Panama, arrayed against the 16,000 of the PDF, of whom only about 3,500 were organized and equipped for military combat.

The US was now committed to a military attack. Beginning on January 1, 1990, according to the US-Panama treaty, the head of the canal administration would have to be a Panamanian citizen, proposed by Panama and approved by the US government. This was a transaction which Bush wished to conduct with a puppet state, and not with an independent government. In the light of transparent US preparations for a short-term invasion or other armed incursion, the National Assembly of Panama passed a resolution of December 15 to take note of the state of affairs that had now been forced upon Panama by Bush. The statement was designed to permit the assumption of emergency powers by the Panamanian government to meet the crisis, and was in no way equivalent to a declaration of war under international law, no more than Bush's April 6, 1989 declaration of a US state of emergency over the Panamanian situation had been. "The Republic of Panama," the statement read, "has for the last two years suffered a cruel and constant harassment by the US government, whose president has made use of the powers of try to subject the will of Panamanians....The Republic of Panama is living under a genuine state of war, under the permanent hounding of the US government, whose soldiers not only daily violate the integrity of the Torrijos-Carter treaties... but trample our sovereign rights in open, arrogant, and shameless violation of the pacts and norms of international law....Therefore be it resolved that the Republic of Panama be declared in a state of war, for as long as the aggression unleashed against the Panamanian people by the US government continues." [fn 43] The first comment from White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater was to minimize this declaration: "I don't think anybody here considers it important enough in terms of impact," Fitzwater told the White House press corps. It was only after Bush had given the final order to attack that it was discovered that this statement had been another casus belli.

At this point, the US provocation activity was stepped up, with special attention given to the approaches to Noriega's headquarters, the Commandancia. Here, at the Avenue A PDF checkpoint, on the evening of Saturday, December 16, Navy Lieutenant Adam J. Curtis and his wife Bonnie had been detained as they chose to take an evening stroll in this very tense and highly sensitive neighborhood. Their presence could in no way have been interpreted as purely casual. Then, while Lieutenant and Mrs. Curtis were having their identity checked by the PDF, a car occupied by four other "off-duty" American officers in civilian clothes drove up. These officers would later say that they had taken a wrong turn towards Noriega's Commandancia, where the cat and mouse game of would-be kidnappers and their prey was known to go on at all hours. These US officers alleged that the PDF guards had ordered them to get out of their car at gunpoint. But the US officers also admitted that they attempted to depart from the area of the PDF checkpoint at high speed, and it is not clear in which direction they were headed. The US officers' car did succeed in departing the scene. At this point, according to the US account, the PDF guards opened fire and wounded Marine Lieutenant Robert Paz, who is later reported to have died of his wounds at the US Gorgas Military Hospital. Another US officer in the car was reportedly slightly wounded in the leg.

When Lieutenant and Mrs. Curtis were released by the PDF some four hours later, they alleged that Lieutenant Curtis had been beaten, and Mrs. Curtis fondled and sexually threatened by the PDF. These details, which may have been purely invented, were obsessively seized upon by Bush in his public justifications of the US invasion. Published accounts indicate that the public affairs officer of the US Southern Command suggested that Lieut. Curtis be interviewed on television to recount his story, but that this idea had been quickly vetoed by Defense Secretary Cheney, suggesting that the US command authority had its doubts about Curtis's ability to tell a tale useful for the Bush regime's propaganda mill. [fn 44]

With the incidents at Avenue A, the imposing "mind war" and "mind control" apparatus of the US regime went into action. Here Bush was taking a leaf from the book of his father's protege, Adolf Hitler. When Hitler had wished to invade Poland, he first completed his military preparations and then staged the infamous provocation code-named Operation Canned Meat at the Gleiwitz radio station on the German side of the border with Poland. The Nazis took some German convicts from a jail, murdered them, and then dressed them in Polish uniforms. These bodies were then presented to the press as the result of a murderous Polish raid across the border. Within hours, Hitler had issued an early-morning declaration of war. Bush showed that his pedigree had been acquired in the same school.

Bush gave the final order for the attack on Sunday, December 17. He made a series of raving statements about the alleged sexual molestation of Mrs. Curtis, and it was evident that racist hysteria was being actively elicited. In his speech delivered at 7:20 AM on December 21, 1989 announcing the US invasion, Bush said: *

Many attempts have been made to resolve this crisis through diplomacy and negotiations. All were rejected by the dictator of Panama, General Manuel Noriega, an indicted drug trafficker.

Last Friday, Noriega declared his military dictatorship to be in a state of war with the United States and publicly threatened the lives of Americans in Panama. The very next day forces under his command shot and killed an unarmed American serviceman, wounded another, arrested and brutally beat a third American serviceman and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse. That was enough. [fn 45]

On December 22, Bush was asked what had made him decide to launch the attack now. He replied:

I think what changed my mind was the events that I cited in briefing the American people on this yesterday: the death of the Marine, the brutalizing, really obscene torture of the Navy lieutenant, and the threat of sexual abuse and the terror inflicted on that Navy lieutenant's wife.... [fn 46]

Later in the same press conference Bush obsessively returned to the same topic, this time answering a question about the Soviet reaction to the US move:

And I also need to let him [Gorbachov] know-- look, if an American marine is killed, if they kill an American Marine-- that's real bad. And if they threaten and brutalize the wife of an American citizen, sexually threatening the lieutenant's wife while kicking him in the groin over and over again, then, Mr. Gorbachov, please understand, this president is going to do something about it."

Blacks and mestizos make up the vast majority of the population of Panama. The principal enemy image was constructed around the figure of Noriega, who was ridiculed as "the pineapple" in the US media loyal to Bush. Noriega was not however the only target: Francisco Rodriguez, the pro-Noriega President of Panama, was, like Noriega, a mestizo, while the minister of government and justice, the minister of the treasury, and the minister of labor were all black. The foreign minister was of Chinese background, as was the head of the small air force. A number of Noriega's leading PDF colleagues were black. By contrast, Guillermo Endara, the new US puppet president who was now administered his oath of office by US military officers on a US military base, was white, and lily-white was his retinue, including first vice president Ricardo Arias Calderon and second vice president Guillermo "Billy" Ford. There would be only one non-white in the new Endara cabinet, a black woman who was minister of education. The rest of the US assets belonged to the lily-white oligarchy of Panama, the rabiblancos or "cottontails," who had ruled the country with supreme incompetence and maximum corruption until the advent of the nationalist revolution of Gen. Omar Torrijos, Noriega's patron, in 1968. Endara's base was among the "BMW revolutionaries" who had attended anti-Noriega rallies only in the comfort of their air-conditioned limousines. These were Bush's kind of people. One of Bush's soldatesca in Panama, General Marc Cisneros, boasted that the Panamanians "need to have a little infusion of Anglo values."

The US military operations, which got under way just after midnight on Tuesday, were conducted with unusual ferocity. The officers were obsessed with avoiding a repetition of the fiasco of Desert One on 1980, or the fratricidal casualties of Grenada. Mad Max Thurman sent in the new Stealth and A-7 fighter-bombers, and AC-13 gunships. The neighborhood around Noriega's Commandancia, called El Chorillo, was bombarded with a vengeance and virtually razed, as was the working-class district of San Miguelito, and large parts of the city of Colon. US commanders had been instructed that Bush wished to avoid US casualties at all costs, and that any hostile fire was to be answered by overwhelming US firepower, without regard to the number of civilian casualties that this might produce among the Panamanians. Many of the Panamanian civilian dead were secretly buried in unmarked mass graves during the dead of night by the US forces; many other bodies were consumed in the holocaust of fires that leveled El Chorillo. The Institute of Seismology counted 417 bomb bursts in Panama City alone during the first 14 hours of the US invasion. For many days there were no US estimates of the civilian dead (or "collateral damage"), and eventually the Bush regime set the death toll for Panamanian non-combatants at slightly over 200. In reality, as Executive Intelligence Review and former US Attorney General Ramsay Clark pointed out, there had been approximately 5,000 innocent civilian victims, including large numbers of women and children.

US forces rounded up 10,000 suspected political opponents of "democracy" and incarcerated them in concentration camps, calling many of them prisoners of war. Many political prisoners were held for months after the invasion without being charged with any specific offense, a clear violation of the norms of habeas corpus. The combined economic devastation caused by 30 months of US sanctions and economic warfare, plus the results of bombardments, firefights, and torchings, had taken an estimated $7 billion out of the Panamanian economy, in which severe poverty was the lot of most of the population apart from the rabiblanco bankers that were the main support for Bush's intervention. The bombing left 15,000 homeless. The Endara government purged several thousand government officials and civil servants under the pretext that they had been tainted by their association with Noriega. Ironically, the new US puppet regime could only be described as a congeries of drug pushers and drug money launderers. The most succinct summary was provided by the International Herald Tribune on February 7, 1990, which reported: "The nation's new President Guillermo Endara has for years been a director of one of the Panamanian banks used by Colombia's drug traffickers. Guillermo Ford, the second vice president and chairman of the banking commission, is a part owner of the Dadeland Bank of Florida, which was named in a court case two years ago as a central financial institution for one of the biggest Medellin money-launderers, Gonzalo Mora. Rogelio Cruz, the new Attorney General, has been a director of the First Interamericas Bank, owned by Rodrguez Orejuela, one of the bosses of the Cali Cartel gang in Colombia." The portly Endara was also the business partner and corporate attorney of Carlos Eleta Almaran, the CIA bagman already mentioned. Eleta Almaran, the owner of the Panamanian branch of Philip Morris tobacco was arraigned in Bibb County, Georgia by DEA officials who accused him of conspiracy to import 600 kilos of cocaine per month into the US, and to set up dummy corporations to launder the estimated $300 million in profits this project was expected to produce. Eleta was first freed on $8 million bail; after the "successful" US invasion of Panama, all charges against him were ordered dropped by Bush and Thornburgh. Bush's heart had gone out in his December 21 war speech especially to drug pusher Billy Ford: "You remember those horrible pictures of newly elected Vice President Ford covered head to toe with blood, beaten mercilessly by so-called 'dignity battalions.'" Bush, it would appear, has never wanted to beat up a drug pusher.

As for Endara's first vice president, Ricardo Arias Calderon, his brother, Jaime Arias Calderon, was president of the First Interamericas bank when that bank was controlled by the Cali cartel. Jaime Arias Calderon was also the co-owner of the Banco Continental, which laundered $40 million in drug money, part of which was used to finance the activities of the anti-Noriega opposition. Thus, all of Bush's most important newly-installed puppets were implicated in drug dealing.

The invasion presented some very difficult moments for Bush. From the beginning of the operation late on December 20, until Christmas eve, the imposing US martial apparatus had proven incapable of locating and capturing Noriega. The US Southern Command was terrorized when a few Noriega loyalists launched a surprise attack on US headquarters with mortars, scattering the media personnel who had been grinding out their propaganda.

There was great fear through the US command that Noriega had successfully implemented a plan for the PDF to melt away to arms cashes and secret bases in the Panamanian jungle for a prolonged guerilla warfare effort. As it turned out, Noriega had failed to give the order to disperse. The reason for this is most instructive: Noriega had expected a US move, but refused to credit the overwhelming evidence that the US was launching a full-scale invasion for the purpose of completely dismantling the PDF and occupying the totality of Panamanian territory. Noriega remained convinced until very late in the day that US aggression would be limited to a commando raid devoted primarily to the kidnapping or assassination of Noriega and a few top lieutenants. In this, Noriega joins the company of the Shah of Iran, President Marcos of the Philippines, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, all of whom were unable to fathom the true extent of the US commitment to topple their regimes (or, in the case of Iraq, lay waste to much of the country). This is the principal reason why the PDF failed to execute its plan to disperse and regroup in the jungle.

As Christmas eve approached, and Noriega still had not been eliminated, a whining hysteria increasingly colored Bush's public pronouncements. In his press conference of December 22, Bush was tremendously agitated, and opened the proceedings by complaining: "I have a brief press statement, to be followed by a brief press conference because I have a pain in the neck. Seriously." Bush refused to discuss the details of this pain. Was it a symptom of the thyroid condition that was diagnosed in early May of 1991? That is difficult to determine, but there was no mistaking Bush's hyperthyroid mood. His response to the inevitable first question about tracking down the demonized Noriega:

I've been frustrated that he's been in power this long-- extraordinarily frustrated. The good news: he's out of power. The bad news: he has not yet been brought to justice. So I'd have to say, there is a certain level of frustration on this account. The good news, though. is that the government's beginning to function, and the man controls no forces, and he's out. But, yes, I won't be satisfied until we see him come to justice.
Noriega was irrelevant, Bush tried to suggest, since his government and army had both ceased to exist, but Bush lacked conviction. He feared a long Christmas day spent by at home by 80 million families, with no news except the football scores and the mortified consternation of the US regime Noriega had managed to elude. Then, on the evening of December 24, it was reported that Noriega, armed with an Uzi machine gun, had made his way unchallenged and undetected to the Papal Nunciatura in Panama City where he had asked for and obtained political asylum. There are no reports of how far George Bush gnawed into the White House Bigelows upon hearing that news, but it is clear that there was important damage to the deep pile in the Oval Office.

The standoff that then developed encapsulated the hereditary war of the Bush family with the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church. For eight days, US troops surrounded the Nunciatura, which they proceeded to bombard with deafening decibels of explicitly satanic heavy metal and other hard rock music, which according to some reports had been personally chosen by mad Max Thurman in order to "unnerve Noriega and the Nuncio," Monsignor LaBoa. Noriega was reputed to be an opera lover.

At the same time, Bush ordered the State Department to carry out real acts of thuggery in making threatening representations to the Holy See. It became clear that Roman Catholic priests, nuns, monks and prelates would soon be in danger in many countries of Ibero-America. Nevertheless, the Vatican declined to expel Noriega from the Nunciatura in accordance with US demands. Bush's forces in Panama had shown they were ready to play fast and loose with diplomatic immunity. A number of foreign embassies were broken into by US troops while they were frantically searching for Noriega, and the Cuban and Nicaraguan Embassies were ringed with tanks and troops in a ham-handed gesture of intimidation. It is clear that in this context, Bush contemplated the storming of the Nunciatura by US forces. Perhaps he was deterred by the worldwide political consequences he would have faced. When the German Wehrmacht occupied Rome during the war years of 1943-44, Hitler had never dared to order an incursion into the sovereign territory of the Vatican. Could Bush face the opprobrium of having ordered what Hitler himself had ruled out? At this point, Bush's criminal energy failed him, and he had to look for other options.

These were difficult days for Bush. On December 27, he gave another press conference during which he was asked:

Q: Do you fear that Mr. Noriega might disclose any CIA information that could embarrass you or the government?

Bush: No.

Q: Nothing whatsoever?

Bush: I don't think so. I think that's history and I think that the main thing is that he should be tried and brought to justice and we are pursuing that course with no fear of that. You know, we may get into some release of certain confidential documents, that he may try to blind side the whole justice process, but the system works, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Q: Would you open up any documents that he might request so that there'd be no question as there has been in other cases?

Bush: There would be enough to see that he's given a totally fair trial.

New Year's Day was excruciating for Bush, since this was another holiday spent at home with football scores yielding only to speculation on how long Noriega would elude Bush's legions. The manifest refusal of the Vatican to expel Noriega seemed to deprive Bush's aggression of its entire moral justification: if Noriega was what Bush claimed, why did the Pope John Paul II decline to honor the imperative US demand for custody? While Bush squirmed in agony waiting for the Rose Bowl to end, he began to think once again of People Power.

In Panama City, the Endara-Ford-Arias Calderon forces mobilized their BMW base and hired hundreds of those who had nothing to eat for militant demonstrations outside of the Nunciatura. These were liberally seeded with US special forces and other commandos in civilian clothes. As the demonstrations grew more menacing, and the US troops and tanks made no move to restrain them, it was clear that the US forces were preparing to stage a violent but "spontaneous" assault by the masses on the Nunciatura that would include the assassination of Noriega and the small group of his co-workers who had accompanied him into that building. At about this time Msgr. Laboa warned Noriega, "you could be lynched like Mussolini." Noriega appears to have concluded that remaining in the Nunciatura meant certain death for himself and his subordinates at the hands of the US commandos operating under the cover of the mob. LaBoa and the other religious on the staff of the Nunciatura would also be in grave danger. On January 3, 1990, after thanking LaBoa and giving him a letter to the Pope, Noriega, dressed in his general's uniform, left the Nunciatura and surrendered to Gen. Cisneros.

In Bush's speech of December 20 he had offered the following justification for his act of war, Operation Just Cause:

The goals of the United States have been to safeguard the lives of Americans, to defend democracy in Panama, to combat drug trafficking, and to protect the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaty.

If these were the goals, then Bush's invasion of Panama must be counted not only a crime, but also a failure.

On April 5, 1991, newspapers all over Latin American carried details of a new report by the US Drug Enforcement Administration confirming that the US-installed puppet president of Panama, Guillermo Endara, had been an officer of at least six companies which had been demonstrably implicated in laundering drug money. These were the Banco General, the Banco de Colombia, the Union Bank of Switzerland, the Banco Aleman, the Primer Banco de Ahorros, Sudameris, Banaico, and the Banco del Istmo. The money laundered came from a drug smuggling ring headed up by Augusto Falcon and Sahvador Magluta of Colombia, who are reported to have smuggled an average of one ton of cocaine per month into Florida during the decade 1977-87, including many of the years during which Bush's much-touted South Florida Task Force and related operations were in operation.

With the puppet president so heavily implicated in the activity of the international drug mafia, it can be no surprise that the plague of illegal drugs has markedly worsened in the wake of Bush's invasion. According to the London Independent of March 5, 1991, "statistics now indicate that since General Noriega's departure, cocaine trafficking has, in fact, prospered" in the country. On March 1, the State Department had conceded that the turnover of drug money laundered in Panama had at least regained the levels attained before the 1989 invasion. According to the Los Angeles Times of April 28, 1991, current levels of drug trafficking in Panama "in some cases exceed" what existed before the December 20 invasion, and US officials "say the trend is sharply upward and includes serious movements by the Colombian cartels into areas largely ignored under Noriega." This was all real drug activity, and not the cornmeal tamales wrapped in banana leaves that Bush's mind war experts found in one of Noriega's residences and labeled as "cocaine" during the invasion.

Bush's invasion of Panama has done nothing to fight the scourge of illegal narcotics. Rather, the fact that so many of Bush's hand-picked puppets can be shown to be top figures in the drug mafia suggests that drug trafficking through Panama towards the United States has increased after the ouster of Noriega. If drug shipments to the United States have increased, this exposes Bush's pledge to "protect the lives of Americans" as a lie.

As far as the promise of democracy is concerned, it must be stressed that Panama has remained under direct US military dictatorship and virtual martial law until this writing in the late autumn of 1991, two years after Bush's adventure was launched. The congressional and local elections that were conducted during early 1991 were thoroughly orchestrated by the US occupation forces. Army intelligence units interrogated potential voters, and medical battalions handed out vaccines and medicines to urban and rural populations to encourage them to vote. Every important official in the Panamanian government from Endara on down has US military "liaison officers" assigned on a permanent basis. These officers are from the Defense Department's Civic Action-Country Area Team (or CA-CAT), a counterinsurgency and "nation building" apparatus that parallels the "civic action" teams unleashed during the Vietnam war. CA-CAT officers supervise all government ministries and even supervise police precincts in Panama City. The Panamanian Defense Forces have been dissolved, and the CA-CAT officers are busily creating a new constabulary, the Fuerza Publica. During December 1990 and January 1991, as the US-led coalition was about to launch its attacks into Iraq, large-scale military demonstrations were staged by the US forces in the provinces of Chiriqui, Bocas del Toro, Panama, and Colon for the purpose of intimidating the large Arab populations of these areas, which the US suspected of sympathizing with Iraq. Radio stations and newspapers which spoke out against the US invasion or criticized the puppet regime were jailed or intimidated, as in the case of the publisher Escolastico Calvo, who was held in concentration camps and jails for some months after the invasion without an arrest warrant and without specific charges. Trade union rights are non-existent: after a demonstration by 100,000 persons in December, 1990 had protested growing unemployment and Endara's plans to "privatize" the state sector by selling it off for a song to the rabiblanco bankers, all of the labor leaders who had organized the march were fired from their jobs, and arrest warrants were issued against 100 union officials by the government. But even the pervasive military presence has not been sufficient to re-establish stability in Panama: on December 5, 1990, heavily armed US forces were sent into the streets of Panama City to deter a coup d'etat that was allegedly being prepared by Eduardo Herrera, the former chief of police. As the popularity of "Porky" Endara wanes, there are signs that the Bush State Department is grooming a possible successor in Gabriel Lewis Galindo, the owner of the Banco del Istmo, one of the banks involved in drug money laundering.

In the wake of Bush's invasion, the economy of Panama has not been rebuilt, but has rather collapsed further into immiseration. The Bush administration has set as the first imperative for the puppet regime the maintenance of debt service on Panama's $6 billion in international debt. Debt service payments take precedence over spending on public works, public health, and all other categories. Bush had promised Panama $2 billion for post-invasion reconstruction, but he later reduced this to $1 billion. What was finally forthcoming was just $460 million, most of which was simply transferred to the Wall Street banks in order to defray the debt service owed by Panama. The figure of $460 scarcely exceeds the $400 in Panamanian holdings that were supposedly frozen by the US during the period of economic warfare against Noriega, but which were then given to the New York banks, also for debt service payments.

As far as the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaty signed by Torrijos and Carter, and ratified by the US Senate is concerned, a resolution co-sponsored by Republican Senator Bob Dole of Kansas and GOP Congressman Phil Crane of Illinois is currently before the Congress which calls on Bush to renegotiate the treaty so as to allow US military forces to remain in Panama beyond the current deadline of December 31, 1999. Since no Panamanian government could re-open negotiations on the treaty and survive, this strategy, which appears to enjoy the support of the Bush White House, implies a US military occupation of not just the old Canal Zone, but of all of Panama, for the entire foreseeable future.

Thus, on every point enumerated by Bush as basic to his policy-- the lives of Americans, Panamanian democracy, anti-drug operations, and the integrity of the treaty-- Bush has obtained a fiasco. Bush's invasion of Panama will stand as a chapter of shame and infamy in the recent history of the United States.

As this book goes to press, the prosecution is presenting its case in the trial of Gen. Noriega in Miami, Florida. These proceedings have been a shocking demonstration of the politically-motivated, police-state frameups that are now the rule in US courts. Noriega was brought into the United States through a violent exercise in international kidnapping. In any case, Noriega's undeniable status as a prisoner of war means that under the Geneva Convention he cannot be held criminally responsible in a United States court for actions that antedate the opening of hostilities between the United States and Panama. These overarching considerations set the stage for a series of scandalous abuses within the framework of the trial itself. As a result of the Bush regime's "mind war" conducted in cooperation with the controlled news media, it is clear that Noriega cannot receive a fair trial anywhere in the United States, because of the impossibility of finding an impartial jury. During the time that Noriega was preparing his defense, the US Department of Justice and the FBI violated the rights of the defendant under the Sixth Amendment by tapping and taping his conversations with his defense lawyers. Attorney Raymond Takiff had been retained by Noriega as a lawyer at the same time that he was working for the US Department of Justice as a secret informant in undercover sting operations. In his outrageously political pre-trial opinions, US District Judge William Hoeveler barred all references to Noriega's dealings with CIA Director and Vice President George Bush, ruling that the Noriega-Bush relation was irrelevant to the US government's charge that Noriega was part of drug smuggling into the United States. Hoeveler's pre-trial ruling amounts to a ban on discussion of wrongdoing by the US government. This guts Noriega's defense, which is that US agencies, and not Noriega, were responsible for the importation of illegal narcotics into the United States as an integral part of the US government's policy of supporting the Nicaraguan contras, and that the US government fabricated the February, 1988 indictments against Noriega as part of a political strategy to overthrow him because he refused to join the US in supporting the contras.

The parade of government witnesses against Noriega includes the usual rogue's gallery of professional perjurers from the Federal Witness Protection Program. Those testifying against Noriega are, almost without exception, felons at the mercy of the US government, many of whom have concluded plea bargains with federal prosecutors in which they have been treated more leniently in exchange for their willingness to testify against Noriega. These professional witnesses constitute a phalanx of CIA stringers and other mercenaries of the perjury wars who have received total payments of US taxpayers' money estimated anywhere between $1.5 million and $6 million. The upkeep of this stable of witnesses and other exorbitant court costs are not being defrayed by the Bush presidential campaign nor by Bush personally, despite the fact that the main purpose of the proceedings is to retroactively validate Bush's atrocity of December, 1989, and to contribute to his efforts at self-glorification for re-election in 1992. Judge Hoeveler has abrogated the usual rules of evidence, admitting hearsay reports on Noriega's activities from celebrity felons like Carlos Lehder who have never met nor spoken with Noriega. Despite this unprecedented mobilization of the police state apparatus, news media like US News and World Report of September 23, 1991 have conceded that the Justice Department case against Noriega is "shockingly weak," and legal experts not friendly to Noriega have asserted that the first month of the prosecution case had utterly failed to provide convincing evidence of any violations of US law by Noriega.

Bush's performance during the Panama crisis was especially ominous because of the president's clearly emerging mental imbalance. Several outbursts during the Noriega press conferences had resembled genuine public fits. Racist and sexual obsessions were reaching critical mass in Bush's subconscious. These gross phenomena did not receive the attention they would have merited from journalists, television commentators, and pundits, who rather preferred studiously to ignore them. One public figure who called attention to Bush's psychopathology was political prisoner Lyndon LaRouche, who made the following courageous observations from a jail cell in a federal prison in Minnesota after viewing several of Bush's press briefings during the last days of December:

George is a very shallow-minded person, very impulsive. He's a person of rage-driven obsession, and impulses flowing from rage-driven obsessions. Very shallow-minded. He's sort of a jock of one kind or another, in his mentality. He talks like it, he acts like it, his body language is that of it. He can't present a concept. The man is incapable of carrying a concept in his head. He's a poor little fellow who's so rage-driven that very little intellectual activity can occur in his head; that's his conceptual style. He's a man characterized by sudden fits of jock-style rage, of obsessions which flow from seizure by that rage, and of impulses which flow from those obsessions.

If you were a psychiatrist and you had such a fellow on your couch, what's your prognosis of the way he's going to react to this situation? He'll react only when he becomes sly. And he becomes sly in the face of great pressure. He'll duck, he'll be sneaky, when he faces something he knows he can't cope with. And he'll duck and hope to come back to hit another day.

But now he's in a manic fit. He's the President. He said so at his press conference. "I'm the President. I'm Queen of the May." So you've got a rage-driven man, with rage-driven obsession with impulses flowing from that, in a man who thinks he's the Queen of the May. In other words, in Aeschylean language, A LAW UNTO HIMSELF. What's your prognosis? [fn 47]

It was during these waning days of 1989 that Bush's mental disintegration became unmistakable, foreshadowing the greater furors yet to come.



1. Washington Post, January 21, 1991.

2. Evans and Novak, "A Note From Saddle River," Washington Post, April 10, 1989.

3. For Fukuyama's "End of History," see The National Interest, Summer, 1989, and Henry Allen, "The End. Or Is It?", Washington Post, September 27, 1989.

4. Washington Post, December 8, 1988

5. Washington Post, April 17, 1989

6. See Jack Anderson and Dale Van Atta, "Another Test of Loyalty and Standards," Washington Post, April 26, 1989 and "Overseas Spoils for GOP Loyalists," Washington Post, September 22, 1989; and Ann Devroy, "Bush Ambassadorial Nomination in Limbo," Washington Post, September 12, 1989.

7. "Off on the Wrong Foot: Gray takes on Baker," Newsweek, April 10, 1989.

8. "Bush's Earthly Pursuits," Washington Post, November 18, 1988.

9. See the transcript of Bush's statement and news conference, Washington Post, February 7, 1989; "With Signs and Ceremony, S&L Bailout Begins," Washington Post, August 10, 1989; and "Bush: S&Ls May Need More Help," Washington Post, December 12, 1989.

10. "Bush Backs Increase in IMF Funds," Washington Post, November 23, 1989.

11. "President Defends Pace of Administration," Washington Post, March 8, 1989.

12. See House Democratic Study Group, Special Report No. 101-45, "Legislation Vetoed by the President," p. 83.

13. Washington Post, April 29, 1990, p. F1.

14. John M. Barry, The Ambition and the Power, (New York: Viking Press, 1989), pp. 621-622.

15. Barry, The Ambition and the Power, p. 642.

16. "Bush: The Secret Presidency," Newsweek, January 1, 1990.

17. "Transcript of President Bush's Press Conference," Washington Post, June 9, 1989.

18. Bush press conference, Washington Post, December 22, 1989.

19. "Manuevering Marks Eve of 'Education Summit'", Washington Post, September 27, 1989.

20. Kevin Phillips, "George Bush and Congress-- Brain-Dead Politics of '89," Washington Post, October 1, 1989.

21. Time, October 23, 1989.

22. "Bush Attacks Critics of Response to Coup," Washington Post, October 14, 1989.

23. Congressional Record, 58th Congress, 3d session, p. 19.

24. See "Police State and Global Gendarme: The United States under the Thornburgh Doctrine," American Leviathan, pp. 61-102.

25. Kenneth J. Jones, The Enemy Within, (Cali, Colombia: Carvajal, 1990), p. 22.

26. Frederick Kempe, "The Noriega Files," Newsweek, January 15, 1990.

27. Kempe, "The Noriega Files," p. 19.

28. Frank A. Rubino Esq. and Jon A. May, Esq., Classified Information Procedures Act Submission in United States of America vs. General manuel A. Noriega, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Case No. 89-79-CR-HOEVELER, March 18, 1991, hereafter cited as Noriega CIPA proffer.

29. "Bush Returned Noriega to Payroll, Turner Says," Washington Post, October 1, 1988.

30. Mike Blair, "Mossad Silent Partner," The Spotlight, May 13, 1991.

31. Noriega CIPA proffer, p. 82.

32. Kempe, "The Noriega Files," p. 23.

33. Noriega CIPA proffer, p. 52.

34. Noriega CIPA proffer, p. 54-55.

35. "The Bush-Noriega Relationship," Newsweek, January 15, 1990, pp. 16-17, including the photo of the Bush-Noriega meeting.

36. "Panama: Atrocities of the 'Big Stick,'" in American Leviathan: Administrative Fascism under the Bush Regime, (Wiesbaden: EIR News Service, 1990), pp. 39-40.

37. For Gregg's testimony on Bush-Noriega relations, see "Testimony on Bush Meeting With Panama Ambassador," New York Times, May 21, 1988.

38. ""Bush Aide Invokes Executive Privilege," Washington Post, May 20, 1988.

39. American Leviathan, pp. 41-42.

40. "Ex-Bush Aide Is Said to Have Advised Noriega," Washington Post, January 22, 1989.

41. "Bush Presses to Cut Off Talks with Noriega," Washington Post, May 20, 1988.

42. Bob Woodward, The Commanders, (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1991), p. 89.

43. See "Fact Sheet on the US Invasion of Panama," American Leviathan, p. 46.

44. The Commanders, p. 161.

45. Text of President Bush's Address, Washington Post, December 21, 1989.

46. Text of Bush press conference, Washington Post, December 22, 1989.

47. What Does Candidate LaRouche Think of Bush's Mental Health? (Washington: Democrats for Economic Recovery-LaRouche in '92), p. 7.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:52 am
by admin

Chapter XXIV -- The New World Order

Roma caput mundi regit orbis frena rotundi
(Rome, the chief of the world, hold the reins of this round orb.)

-- Inscription on the imperial crown of Diocletian.

During late 1989 and 1990, George Bush traversed a decisive watershed in his political career and in his own personal mental life. Up until this transition, Bush had attempted to secure advancement through an attitude of deference and propitiation, currying favor with a series of politicians and power brokers whom he despised as his social inferiors, and whom he never hesitated to stab in the back once he got the chance to do so. This was the old duplicitous "have half" persona of his early childhood. During the long years of Bush's quest for the vice presidency, and during the eight long years of his tenure in that office, the public face of Bush was that of dog-like fidelity and Reaganite orthodoxy. During these years Bush exhibited the same relative cognitive impairment which he had exhibited since his Andover days. On the surface, he was a top-level bureaucratic functionary of the US police state, sharing the moral insanity of the policy commitments of the government apparatus which he represented.

Severe and debilitating mental strains had been evident in Bush's personality from his earliest years. Such tensions were an inevitable result of the inhuman self-discipline demanded by his mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, whose regimen combined the most ruthless pursuit of personal affirmation for its own sake, with the imperative that all this single-minded striving be dissembled behind the elaborate pose of fairness and concern for the rights of others. During 1989 and 1990, the tensions converging on Bush's personal psychological structures were greatly magnified not just by the Panama adventure and the Gulf war, but also by the crisis of the Anglo-American financial interests, by the threat posed to Anglo-American plans by German reunification, by the thorny problems of preparing his own re-election, and by the foundering of his condominium partners in the Kremlin. As a result of this surfeit of tensions, Bush's personality entered into a process of disintegration. The whining accents of the wimp, so familiar to Bush-watchers of years past, were now increasingly supplanted by the hiss of frenetic spleen.

The successor personality which emerged from this upheaval differed in several important respects from the George Bush who had sought and occupied the vice-presidency. The George Bush who emerged in late 1990 after the dust had settled was far less restrained than the man who had languished in Reagan's shadow. The hyperthyroid "presidential" persona of Bush was equipped with little self-control, and rather featured a series of compulsive, quasi-psychotic episodes exhibited in the public glare of the television lights. These were typically rage-induced outbursts of verbal abuse and threats made in the context of international crises, first against Noriega and later against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Some might argue that the public rage fits that became increasingly frequent during 1989-90 were calculated and scripted performances, calibrated and staged according to the methods of mind war for the express purpose of intimidating foreign adversaries and, not least of all, the American population itself. Bush's apprenticeship with Kissinger would have taught him the techniques we have seen Kissinger employ in his secret communications with Moscow during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1970: Kissinger makes clear that an integral part of his crisis management style is the studied attempt to convince his adversary that the latter is dealing with a madman who will not shun any expedient, no matter how irrational, in order to prevail. But with the Bush of 1990 we are far beyond such calculating histrionics. There were still traces of method in George Bush's madness, but the central factor was now the madness itself.

The thesis of this chapter is that while it is clear that the Gulf war was a deliberate and calculated provocation by the Anglo-American oligarchical and financier elite, the mental instability and psychological disintegration of George Bush was an indispensable ingredient in implementing the actions which the oligarchs and bankers desired. Without a George Bush who was increasingly non compos mentis, the imperialist grand design for the destruction of the leading Arab state and the intimidation of the third world might have remained on the shelf. Especially since the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam debacle, American presidents have seen excellent reasons to mistrust their advisers when the latter came bearing plans for military adventures overseas. The destruction of the once powerful Lyndon B. Johnson, in particular, has stood as an eloquent warning to his successors that a president who wants to have a political future must be very reticent before he attempts to write a new page in the martial exploits of imperialism. Eisenhower's repudiation of the Anglo-French Suez invasion of 1956 can serve to remind us that even a relatively weak US president may find reasons not to leap into the vanguard of the latest hare-brained scheme to come out of the London clubs. The difficulty of orchestrating a "splendid little war" is all the more evident when the various bureaucratic, military, and financier factions of the US establishment are not at all convinced that the project is a winner or even worthwhile, as the pro-sanctions, wait and see stance of many Democratic members of the House and Senate indicates. The subjectivity of George Bush is therefore a vital link in the chain of any explanation of why the war happened, and that subjectivity centers an increasingly desperate, aggravated, infantile id, tormented by the fires of a raging thyroid storm.

Bush's new desire to strut and posture as a madman on the world stage, as contrasted with his earlier devotion to secret, behind-the-scenes iniquity has certain parallels in Suetonius's portrait of the Emperor Nero. Before Nero had fully consolidated his hold on power, he cultivated outward and public displays of filial piety, and strove to manifest "good intentions." These were the veneer for monstrous crimes that were at first carried out covertly: " first his acts of wantonness, lust, extravagance, avarice, and cruelty were gradual and secret...." But once Nero had firmly established his own regime, the monster became more and more overt: "little by little, however, as his vices grew stronger, he dropped jesting and secrecy and with no attempt at disguise openly broke out into worse crime." [fn 1] Something similar can be observed in the case of Caligula, who had a wimp problem of sorts during the time that he lived on the island of Capri in the shadow of the aging emperor Tiberius, in somewhat the same way that Bush had lived in the shadow of Reagan, as least as far as the public was concerned. In the case of Caligula, "although at Capri every kind of wile was resorted to by those who tried to lure him or force him to utter complaints, he never gave them any satisfaction...." Caligula was " obsequious towards his grandfather [Tiberius] and his household, that it was well said of him that no one had ever been a better slave or a worse master." [fn 2] Later, when Caligula came into his own, he exacted a terrible price from the world for his earlier humiliations.

The process of mental and moral degeneration, the loss of previous self-control observable in Bush during this period is not merely an individual matter. The geek act in the White House was typical of the collective mental and political behavior of the faction to which Bush belongs by birth and pedigree, the Anglo-American financiers. During 1989 and 1990, outbursts of megalomania, racism, and manic flight forward were common enough, not just in Washington, but in Wall Street, Whitehall, and the City of London as well. These moods provided the psychic raw material for the strategic construct which Bush would proclaim during the late summer of 1990 as "The New World Order."

By the autumn of 1989, it was evident that the Soviet Empire, the cold-war antagonist and then the uneasy partner of the Anglo-Americans over more than four decades, was falling apart. During the middle 1980's, the Anglo-Americans and their counterparts in the Kremlin had arrived at the conclusion that, since they could no longer dominate the planet through their rivalry (the cold war), they must now attempt to dominate it through their collusion. The new detente of Reagan's second term, in which Bush had played a decisive role, was a worldwide condominium of the Soviets and Anglo-Saxons, the two increasingly feeble and gutted empires who now leaned on each other like two drunks, each one propping the other up. That had been the condominium, incarnated in the figure of Gorbachov.

Both empires were collapsing at an exceedingly rapid pace, but during the second half of the 1980's the rate of Soviet decay outstripped that of the Anglo-Americans. That took some doing, since between 1985 and 1990, the global edifice of Anglo-American speculation and usury had been shaken by the panic of 1987, and by the deflationary contraction of 1989, both symptoms of a lethal disorder. But the Anglo-Americans, unlike the Soviets, were insulated within their North Atlantic metropolis by the possession of a global, as distinct from a merely continental, base of economic rapine, so the economic and political manifestations of the Soviet collapse were more spectacular.

The day of reckoning for the Anglo-Americans was not far off, but in the meantime the breathtaking collapse of the Soviets opened up megalomaniac vistas to the custodians of the Imperial idea in London drawing rooms and English country houses. The practitioners of the Great Game of geopolitics were now enticed by the perspective of the Single Empire, a worldwide Imperium that would be a purely Anglo-Saxon show, with the Russians and Chinese forced to knuckle under. Like the contemporaries of the Duke of Wellington in 1815, the imbecilic Anglo-American think-tankers and financiers contemplated the chimera of a new century of world domination, not unlike the British world supremacy that had extended from the Congress of Vienna until the First World War. The old Skull and Bones slogan of Henry Luce's "American Century" of 1945, which had been robbed of its splendid luster by the Russians and the Cold War, could now ride again.

True, there were still some obstacles. The Great Russian rout meant that German reunification could not be avoided, which brought with it the danger of a Wirtschaftswunder reaching from the Atlantic to the Urals. That, and the continued economic dynamism of the Japanese-oriented sphere in the Far East, would be combated, by economic conflicts and trade wars that would take advantage of the Anglo-American control of raw materials and above all oil, with the Anglo-American lease on the Persian Gulf to be vigorously reaffirmed. Even so, the end of the partition of Germany was a real trauma for the Anglo-Saxons, and would elicit a wave of true hysteria on the part of Mrs. Thatcher, Nicholas Ridley, and the rest of their circle, and a parallel public episode of consternation and chagrin on the part of Bush. The Anglo-Americans were moved to sweeping countermeasures. A little further down the line, a war in the Balkans could bring chaos to the German economic Hinterland. From the standpoint of British and Kissingerian geopolitics, the countermeasures were necessary to restore the balance of power, which now risked shifting in favor of the new Germany. German ascendancy would mean that London would occupy the place to which Thatcher's economics had entitled that wretched nation- a niche of impotence, impoverishment, isolation, and irrelevance. But the British were determined to be important, and war was a way to attain that goal.

There were also governments in the developing sector whose obedience to the Anglo-Saxon supermen was in doubt. The 250,000,000 Arabs, who were in turn the vanguard of a billion Moslems, would always be intractable. The out-of-area deployments doctrine of the Atlantic Alliance would now be the framework for the ritual immolation of the leading Arab state, which happened to be Iraq. Later, there would be time to crush and dismember India, Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and some others.

Then there was the inherent demographic weakness of the Anglo-Saxons, especially the falling birth rate, now exacerbated by Hollywood, television, and heavy metal. How could such a small master race prevail against the black, brown, yellow, Mediterranean and Slavic masses? The answer to that could only be genocide on a collossal scale, with economic breakdown, famine, epidemics and pestilence completing the job that war had begun. If the birth rate of Nigeria seemed destined to catapult that country into second place among the world demographic powers, the AIDS epidemic in central Africa was the remedy. General Death was the main ally of the Anglo-Saxons.

Despite these problems, Bush and his co-thinkers were confident that they could subjugate the planet for a full century. But they had to hurry. Unless the Soviets, Chinese, Germans, Japanese, and third world powers could be rapidly dealt with, the Anglo-Americans might be overtaken by their own accelerating economic collapse, and they might soon find themselves too weak to extend their yoke over the world. The military machine that attacked Iraq was in the process of shrinking by more than 25% because of growing American economic weakness, so it was important to act fast.

The Anglo-American system depended on squeezing enough wealth out of the world economy to feed the insatiable demands of the debt and capital structures in London and New York. During the 1980's, those capital structures had swelled like malignant tumors, while the depleted world economy was bled white. Now, crazed after their October 1987 and October 1989 brushes with bottomless financial and currency panic, the masters of usury in London and New York demanded that the rate of primitive accumulation be stepped up all over the world. The old Soviet sphere would pass from the frying pan of the Comecon to the fires of the IMF. By the spring of 1991 Bush would issue his calls for a free trade zone from the north pole to Tierra del Fuego, and then for world wide free trade. Bush's handling of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the North American Free Trade Zone soon convinced the Europe '92 crowd in Brussels that the Anglo-Americans were hell-bent on global trade war.

These were the impulses and perspectives which impinged on Bush from what he later called "the Mother Country," and which were vigorously imparted to him in his frequent consultations with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who now loomed very large in the configuration of Bush's personal network.

Bush had met Gorbachov in March, 1985, when his "you die, we fly" services were required for the funeral of old Konstantin Chernenko, the octogenarian symbol of the impasse of the post-Andropov Kremlin who had ruled the USSR for just 390 days. Gorbachov had come highly recommended by Margaret Thatcher, with whom he had become acquainted the previous year. Thatcher had judged the new-look Gorbachov a man with whom she could do business. Bush came to Moscow bearing an invitation from Reagan for a parley at the summit; this would later become the choreographed pirouette of Geneva that November. Bush gave Gorbachov a garbled and oblique endorsement: "If ever there was a time that we can move forward with progress in the last few years, then I would say this is a good time for that," stammered Bush. [fn 3] After Geneva there would follow summits in Iceland in 1986, Washington in 1987 to sign the INF treaty, and then Reagan's swan song in Moscow in the summer of 1988, a valuable auxiliary to George's own electioneering. But, as we have seen, the Bush team was contemptuous of slobbering sentimental old Reagan, a soft touch who let the Russians take him to the cleaners, especially in arms control negotiations. Bush wanted to drive a hard bargain, and that meant stalling until the Soviets became truly desperate for any deal. In addition, when Reagan and Bush had met Gorbachov on Governor's Island in New York harbor in the midst of the transition, Gorbachov had been guilty of lese majeste towards the heir apparent and had piqued Bush's ire.

According to one account of the Governor's Island meeting of December 7, 1988, after some small talk by Uncle Ron, Bush wanted to know from Gorbachov, "What assurance can you give me that I can pass to American businessmen who want to invest in the Soviet Union that perestroika and glasnost will succeed?" Was this the official business of the United States, or investment counselling for Kravis, Liedkte, Mossbacher, and Pickens? Gorbachov's reply is recalled by participants as brusque to the point of rudeness: "Not even Jesus Christ knows the answer to that question," said he, amidst the gasps of Bush's staff. A minute later, Gorbachov turned to Bush with a lecture: "Let me take this opportunity to tell you something. Your staff may have told you that what I'm doing is all a trick. It's not. I'm playing real politics. I have a revolution going that I announced in 1986. Now, in 1988, the Soviet people don't like it. Don't misread me, Mr. Vice President, I have to play real politics." [fn 4] After that, the telegenic Gorbachov could look for his photo opportunities somewhere else during most of 1989. There would ne no early Most Favored Nation trade status for Moscow. In addition, the signals from London were to go slow. The result was Bush's "prudent review" of US-Soviet relations.

Gorbachov was always hungry for summitry, and during an April visit to Thatcher, the Soviet leader chided Bush for the US "hesitation" on new arms control deals. Bush dismissed this remark with a huff: "We're making a prudent review, and I will be ready to discuss that with the Soviets when we are ready. We'll be ready to react when we feel like reacting." [fn 5] Ministerial meeting between Baker and Shevardnadze were proceeding. In May, the voice of Reagan was heard from his California retirement, telling his friends that he was "increasingly concerned at what he considers an excessively cautious approach to nuclear arms reductions with the Soviets." Reagan thought that Bush was indeed too hesitant, and that Gorbachov was seizing the initiative with western Europe as a result. In the view attributed to Reagan by these unnamed friends, "Bush opted for the delaying tactic of a policy review, behaving the way new presidents do when replacing someone from the opposing party with different views." According to journalist Lou Cannon, "both in Bonn and in Beverly Hills they are wondering if Bush's only strategy is to react to events as they unfold." [fn 6] There was the wimp again.

In September, Bush was in Helena, Montana, sounding the same prudent note while defending himself from Senate Majority Leader Mitchell, who had been making some debater's points about Bush's "timidity" and "status-quo" thinking. Bush repeated that he was in "no rush" for a summit with Gorbachov. "I don't think there's any chance of a disconnect" in Moscow's comprehension that "we want to see their perestroika succeed," said Bush. [fn 7]

What changed Bush's mind was the collapse of the East German communist regime, which had been gathering speed during the summer of 1989 with the thousands of East Germans demanding admittance to West German embassies, first in Hungary, and then in Czechoslovakia. Then, in one of the most dramatic developments in recent decades of European history, the Berlin Wall and the East German "shoot to kill" order along the line of demarcation in the middle of Germany were tossed into the dustbin of history. This was one of the most positive events that the generations born after 1945 had ever witnessed. But for Bush and the Anglo-Americans, it was the occasion for public tantrums.

For Bush individually, the breaching of the Berlin Wall of 1961 was the detonator of one of his most severe episodes thus far of public emotional disturbance. Bush had repeated Reagan's sure-fire formula of "Mr. Gorbachov, tear this wall down," during a visit to Helmut Kohl in Mainz in late May. "Let Berlin be next," Bush had said then. The wall "must come down." But in the midst of Bush's throw away lines like "Let Europe be whole and free," there was no mention whatsoever of German reunification, which was nevertheless in the air.

Thus, when the wall came down, Bush could not avoid a group of reporters in the Oval Office, where he sat in a swivel chair in the company of James Baker. Bush told the reporters that he was "elated" by the news, but his mood was at once funereal and testy. If he was so elated, why was he so unhappy? Why the long face? "I'm just not an emotional kind of guy." The main chord was one of caution. "It's way too early" to speculate about German reunification, although Bush was forced to concede, through clenched teeth, that the Berlin Wall "will have very little relevance" from now on. Everything Bush said tended to mute the drama of what had happened: "I don't think any single event is the end of what you might call the Iron Curtain. But clearly, this is a long way from the harsh days of the --the harshest Iron Curtain days-- a long way from that." "We are not trying to give anybody a hard time," Bush went on. "We're saluting those who can move forward to democracy. We are encouraging the concept of a Europe whole and free. And so we just welcome it." The East German "aspirations for freedom seem to be a little further down the road now." But Bush was not going to "dance on the wall," that much was clear. [fn 8]

After this enraged and tongue-tied monologue with the reporters, Bush privately asked his staff: "How about if I give them one of these?" Then he jumped in the air, waved his hands, and yelled "Whoooopppeee!" at the top of his lungs. [fn 9] Bush's spin doctors went into action, explaining that the president had been "restrained" because of his desire to avoid gloating or otherwise offending Gorbachov and the Kremlin.

Bush's gagged emotional clutch attracted a great deal of attention in the press and media. "Why did the leader of the western world look as though he had lost his last friend the day they brought him the news of the fall of the Berlin Wall?", asked Mary McGrory. "George Bush's stricken expression and lame words about an event that had the rest of mankind quickly singing hosannas were an awful letdown at a high moment in history." [fn 10]

In reality, Bush's suppressed rage was another real epiphany of his character, the sort of footage which a serious rival presidential campaign would put on television over and over to show voters that George has no use for human freedom. Bush's family tradition was to support totalitarian rule in Germany, starting with daddy Prescott's role in the Hitler project, and continuing with Averell Harriman's machinations of 1945, which helped to solidify a communist dictatorship for forty years in the eastern zone after the Nazis had fallen. But Bush's reaction was also illustrative of the Anglo-American perception that the resurgence of German industrialism in central Europe was a deadly threat.

Over in London, Thatcher's brain truster Nicholas Ridley was forced to quit the cabinet after he foamed at the mouth in observations about German unity, which he equated with a Nazi resurgence seeking to enslave Britain within the coils of the EEC. Conor Cruise O'Brien, Peregrine Worthshorne and various Tory propagandists coined the phrase of an emergent "Fourth Reich" which would now threaten Europe and the world. The Anglo-Saxon oligarchs were truly dismayed, and it is in this hysteria that we must seek the roots of the Gulf crisis and the war against Iraq.

But in the meantime, the collapse of the old Pankow regime in East Berlin meant that Bush had urgent issues to discuss with Gorbachov. The two agreed to meet on ships in Malta during the first week of December.

Bush talked about his summit plans in a special televised address before Thanksgiving, 1989. He tried to claim credit for the terminal crisis of communism, citing his own inaugural address: "The day of the dictator is over." But mainly he sought to reassure Gorbachov: "...we will give him our assurance that America welcomes this reform not as an adversary seeking advantage but as a people offering support." "...I will assure him that there is no greater advocate of perestroika than the president of the United States." Bush also had to protect his flank from criticism from Europeans and domestic critics like Lyndon LaRouche who had warned that the Malta meeting contained the threat of an attempted new Yalta of the superpowers at the expense of Europe. "We are not meeting to determine the future of Europe," Bush promised. [fn 11]

It is reported that, here again, Bush was so secretive about this summit until it was announced that he did not consult with his staffs. If he had, the nature of Mediterranean winter storms might have influenced a decision to meet elsewhere. The result was the famous sea-sick summit, during which Bush, whose self-image as a bold sea dog in the tradition of Sir Francis Drake required that he spend the night on a heaving US warship, required treatment for acute mal de mer. Bush's vomiting syndrome, which was to become so dramatic in Japan, was beginning. He had perhaps not been so tempest-tossed since his nautical outing with Don Aronow back in 1983.

At the Malta-Yalta table, Bush and Gorbachov haggled over the "architecture" of the new Europe. Gorbachov wanted NATO to be dissolved as the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist, but this was something Bush and the British refused to grant. Bush explained that Germany was best bound within NATO in order to avoid the potential for independent initiatives that neither Moscow nor Washington wanted. A free hand for each empire within its respective sphere was reaffirmed, as suggested by the symmetry of Bush's assault on Panama during the Romanian crisis that liquidated Ceausescu, but left a neo-communist government of old Comintern types like Iliescu and Roman in power. Bush would also support the Kremlin against both Armenia and Azerbaijan when hostilities and massacres broke out between these regions during the following month. Bush's reciprocal services to Gorbachov included a monstrous diplomatic first: just as the communist regime in East Germany was in its death agony, Bush dispatched James Baker to Potsdam to meet with the East German "reform communist" leader, Modrow. No US Secretary of State had ever set foot in the DDR during its entire history after 1949, but now, in the last days of the Pankow communist regime, Baker would go there. His visit was an insult to those East Germans who had marched for freedom, always having to reckon with the danger that Honecker's tanks would open fire. Baker's visit was designed to delay, sabotage and stall German reunification in whatever ways were still possible, while shoring up the communist regime. Baker gave it his best shot, but his sleazy dealmaking skills were of no use in the face of an aroused populace. Nevertheless, after Tien An Men and Potsdam, Bush was rapidly emerging as one of the few world leaders who could be counted on to support world communism.

During the early months of 1990, certain forces in Moscow, Bonn, and other capitals gravitated towards a new Rapallo arrangement in a positive key: there was the potential that the inmates of the prison-house of nations might attain freedom and self-determination, while German capital investments in infrastructure and economic modernization could guarantee that the emerging states would be economically viable, a process from which the entire world could benefit.

A rational policy for the United States under these circumstances would have entailed a large-scale commitment to taking part in rebuilding the infrastructure of the former Soviet sphere in transportation, communications, energy, education, and health services, combined with capital investments in industrial modernization. Such investment might also have served as a means to re-start the depressed US economy. The pre-condition for economic cooperation would have been a recognition by the Soviet authorities that the aspirations of their subject nationalities for self-determination had to be honored, including through the independence of the former Soviet republics in the Baltic, the Trans-caucasus, central Asia, the Ukraine, and elsewhere. As long as long as the Soviet military potential remained formidable, adequate military preparedness in the west was indispensable, and should have featured a significant commitment to the "new physical principles" anti-missile defenses that had inspired the original Strategic Defense Initiative of the 1983. Obviously, none of these measures would have been possible without a decisive break with the economic policy of the Reagan-Bush years, in favor of an economic recovery program focused on fostering high-technology growth in capital-intensive industrial employment producing tangible, physical commodities. The single US political figure who had proposed such a program for war-avoidance and stability was Lyndon LaRouche, who had put forward such a package during a press conference in West Berlin in October, 1988, in the context of a prophetic forecast that German re-unification was very much on the agenda for the immediate future.

Bush was responsible for the jailing of LaRouche, and his policy in these matters was diametrically opposite to this approach. Bush never made a serious proposal for the economic reconstruction of the areas included within the old USSR, and was niggardly even in loans to let the Russians buy agricultural commodities. In November, 1990, Gorbachov addressed a desperate plea to world governments to alleviate the USSR food shortage, and sent Foreign Minister Shevardnadze to Washington in the following month in hopes of obtaining a significant infusion of outright cash grants for food purchases from US stocks. After photo opportunities with Baker in Texas and with Bush at the White House, all Shevardnadze had to take back to Moscow was a paltry $1 billion and change. Within a week of Shevardnadze's return, he resigned his post under fire from critics, referring to sinister plans for a coup against Gorbachov. The coup, of course, came the following August. It should have been obvious that Bush's policy was maximizing the probability of ugly surprises further down the road.

Bush did not demand self-determination for the subject nationalities, but sided with the Kremlin against the republics again and again, ignoring the January, 1991 bloodbath in Lithuania, or winning himself the title of "chicken Kiev" during a July, 1991 trip to the Ukraine in which he told that republic's Supreme Soviet to avoid the pitfalls of "suicidal" nationalism. Even though the Soviet missile park was largely intact, Bush was compelled by his budget penury to take down significant areas of US military capacities. And finally, his stubborn refusal to throw the bankrupt policies of the Reagan-Bush years overboard guaranteed further US economic collapse.

But Bush was mindful neither of war avoidance nor economic recovery. In the months after Panama, he basked in the afterglow of a dramatic increase in his popularity, as reflected by the public opinion polls. A full-scale state visit by Gorbachov was scheduled for late May. Rumblings were being heard in the Middle East. But, in early April, Bush's mind was focused on other matters. It was now that he made his famous remarks on the subject of broccoli. The issue surfaced when the White House decreed that henceforth, by order of the president himself, broccoli would no longer be served to Bush. Reporters determined to use the next available photo opportunity to ask what this was all about.

Bush's infantile anti-broccoli outburst came in the context of a White House State Dinner held in honor of the visiting Polish Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki. Although Bush was obsessed with broccoli, he did make some attempt to relate his new obsession to the social context in which he found himself:

Just as Poland had a rebellion against totalitarianism, I am rebelling against broccoli, and I refuse to give ground. I do not like broccoli, and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.

Out in California, where broccoli is big business as a cash crop, producers were aroused sufficiently to dispatch 10 tons of broccoli, equivalent to about 80,000 servings, to the White House. Bush was still adamant:

Barbara loves broccoli. She's tried to make me eat it. She eats it all the time herself. So she can go out and meet the caravan. [fn 12]

These statements were an illumination in themselves, since the internal evidence pointed conclusively to a choleric infantile tantrum being experienced by the president. But what could have occasioned an outburst on broccoli, of all things? Slightly more than a year later, when it became known that Bush was suffering from Basedow's disease, some observers recalled the broccoli outburst. For it turns out that broccoli, along with cabbage and some other vegetables, belongs to a category of foods called goitrogens. Some schools of medicine recommend frequent servings of broccoli in order to help cool off an overactive thyroid. [fn 13] There was much speculation that Bush's hyperthyroid syndrome had been diagnosed by March-April, or perhaps earlier, and that broccoli had been appearing more often on the White House menu as part of a therapy to return Bush's thyroid and metabolism to more normal functioning. Was the celebrated thyroid outburst a case of an irascible president, in the grip of psychopathological symptoms his physicians were attempting to treat, rebelling against his doctors' orders?

At their spring summit, Bush and Gorbachov continued to disagree about whether united Germany would be a member of NATO. Much time was spent on strategic arms, the Vienna conventional arms reduction talks, and the other aspects of the emerging European architecture, where their mutual counter-revolutionary commitments went very deep. Both stressed that they had taken their Malta consultations as their point of departure. Bush's hostility to the cause of Lithuania and the other Baltic republics, now subject to crippling economic blockade by Moscow, was writ large. The central exchanges of this summit were doubtless those which occurred in the bucolic isolation of Camp David among a small shirtsleeve group that comprehended Bush, Gorbachov, Shevardnadze, Baker, and Scowcroft. Bush was unusually closed-mouthed, but the very loquacious Gorbachov volunteered that they had come to talk about the "planet and its flash-points" and the "regional issues." There was the distinct impression that these talks were sweeping and futurological in their scope. In his press conference the next day, Gorbachov had glowing praise for these restricted secret talks: "I would like, in particular, to emphasize the importance of our dialogue at Camp David, where we talked during the day yesterday. And this is a new phase in strengthening mutual understanding and trust between us. We really discussed all world problems. We compared our political perspectives, and we did that in an atmosphere of frankness, constructive atmosphere, an atmosphere of growing trust. We discussed specifically such urgent international issues as the situation in the Middle East, Afghanistan, southern Africa, Cambodia, central America. That is just some of what we discussed. I would not want to go into detail right now. I think you will probably seek to get clarification on this, but anyway I think the Camp David dialogue was very important." [fn 14]

Gorbachov also had lengthy answers about the discontent in the Arab world over the Soviet policy of mass emigrations of Russian Jews who were obliged to settle in Israel. For the Middle East was indeed approaching crisis. In the words of one observer, "Bush and Gorbachov stirred the boiling pot of Middle East tensions with their press conference remarks, forgetting the damage that seemingly remote forces can do to the grandest of East-West designs." [fn 15] Did Bush and Gorbachov use their Camp David afternoon to coordinate their respective roles in the Gulf crisis, which the Anglo-Americans were now about to provoke? It is very likely that they did.

Bush's political stock was declining during the summer of 1990. One indication was provided by the astoundingly frank remarks of Justice Thurgood Marshall of the US Supreme Court in an interview with Sam Donaldson on the ABC News television program "Prime Time Live." Justice Marshall, the sole black justice on the Supreme Court, was asked for his reaction to Bush's nomination of the "stealth candidate" David Souter to fill the place of the retiring Justice William Brennan, a friend of Marshall's. Souter was a man without qualities who appeared to have no documentable opinions on any subject, although he had a sinister look. "I just don't understand what he's doing. I just don't understand it. I mean this last appointment is... the epitome of what he's been doing." said Marshall of Bush. Marshall didn't have "the slightest idea" of Bush's motives in the Souter nomination. Would Marshall comment on Bush's civil rights record, asked correspondent Sam Donaldson. "Let me put it this way. It's said that if you can't say something good about a dead person, don't say it. Well, I consider him dead." Who was dead, asked Donaldson. "Bush!" was Marshall's reply. "He's dead from the neck up."

Marshall added that he regarded Bush's chief of staff, John Sununu of New Hampshire, the state Souter was from, as the one "calling the shots." "If he came up for election," said Marshall of Bush, "I'd vote against him. No question about it. I don't think he's ever stopped" running for re-election since he took office. Marshall and Donaldson had the following exchange about Souter:

Donaldson: Do you know Judge David Souter?

Marshall: No, never heard of him.

Donaldson: He may be the man to replace Brennan.

Marshall: I still never heard of him. When his name came down I listened to television. And the first thing, I called my wife. Have I ever heard of this man? She said, "No, I haven't either. So I promptly called Brennan, because it's his circuit [the First Circuit in Boston]. And his wife answered the phone, and I told her. She said: "He's never heard of him either."

Marshall and Brennan had often been at odds with the Bush's administration's promotion of the death penalty. In this connection, Marshall commented: "My argument is that if you make a mistake in a trial and it's corrected later on --you find out it was an error-- you correct it. But if you kill a man, what do you say? "Oops?" "I'm sorry?" "Wait a minute?" That's the trouble with death. Death is so lasting."

On this occasion, Marshall renewed his pledge that he would never resign, but would die in office: "I said before, and I repeat that, I'm serving out my life term. I have a deal with my wife that when I begin to show signs of senility, she'll tell me. And she will." [fn 16] Yet, less than one year later, Marshall announced his retirement from the bench, giving Bush the chance to split the organizations of black America with the Clarence Thomas appointment. Those who saw Marshall's farewell press conference would have to agree that he still possessed one of the most lucid and trenchant minds anywhere in the government. Had Bush's vindictiveness expressed itself once again through its inevitable instruments of secret blackmail and threats?

During June and July, domestic economic issues edged their way back to center stage of US politics. As always, that was bad news for Bush.

Bush's biggest problem during 1990 was the collision between his favorite bit of campaign demagogy, his "read my lips, no new taxes" mantra of 1990, and the looming national bankruptcy of the United States. Bush had sent his budget to the Hill on January 29 where the Democrats, despite the afterglow of Panama, had promptly pronounced it Dead on Arrival. During March and April, there were rounds of haggling between the Congress and Bush's budget pointman, Richard Darman of OMB. Then, on the sunny spring Sunday afternoon of May 6, Bush used the occasion of a White House lecture on his ego ideal, Theodore Roosevelt, to hold a discreet meeting with Democratic Congressional leaders for the purpose of quietly deep-sixing the no new taxes litany. Bush was extremely surreptitious in the jettisoning of his favorite throw-away line, but the word leaked out in Monday's newspapers that the White House, in the person of hatchet-man Sununu, was willing to go to a budget summit with "no preconditions." Responding to questions on Monday, Bush's publicity man Fitzwater explained that Bush wanted budget negotiations "unfettered with conclusions about positions taken in the past." That sounded like new taxes.

Bush had been compelled to act by a rising chorus of panicked screaming from the City of London and Wall Street, who had been demanding a serious austerity campaign ever since Bush had arrived at the White House. After the failure of the $13 billion Bank of New England in January, Wall Street corporatist financier Felix Rohaytn had commented: "I have never been so uneasy about the outlook in 40 years. Everywhere you look, you see red lights blinking. I see something beyond recession, but short of depression." [fn 17] At the point that Bush became a tax apostate, estimates were that the budget deficit for fiscal 1990 would top $200 billion and after that disappear into the wild blue yonder. The IMF-BIS bankers wanted Bush to extract more of that wealth from the blood and bones of the American people, and George would now go through the motions of compliance.

The political blowback was severe. Ed Rollins, the co-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, was a Reagan Democrat who had decided to stick with the GOP, and he had developed a plan, which turned out to be a chimera, about how the Republicans could gain some ground in the Congress. As a professional political operative, Rollins was acutely sensitive to the fact that Bush's betrayal of his "no new taxes pledge" would remove the one thing that George and his party supposedly stood for. "The biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats in the public perception is that Republicans don't want to raise taxes," complained Rollins. "Obviously, this makes that go right out the door. Politically, I think it's a disaster." [fn 18] With that, Rollins was locked in a feud with Bush that would play out all the way to the end of the year.

But Democrats were also unhappy, since "no preconditions" was an evasive euphemism, and they wanted Bush to take the full opprobrium of calling for "new taxes." The White House remained duplicitous and evasive. In mid-May, pourparlers were held in the White House on a comprehensive deficit-reduction agreement. The Democrats demanded that Bush go on national television to motivate drastic, merciless austerity all along the line, with tax increases to be combined with the gouging of domestic and social programs. Bush demurred. All during June, the haggling about who would take the public rap went forward. On June 26, during a White House breakfast meeting with Bush, Sununu, Darman, and Congressional leaders, Congressman Foley threatened to walk out of the talks unless Bush went public with a call for tax hikes. For a moment, the dollar, the Treasury bill market, and the entire insane house of cards of Anglo-American finance hung suspended by a thread. If the talks blew up, a worldwide financial panic might ensue, and the voters would hold George responsible for the consequences. Bush's Byzantine response was to issue a low-profile White House press statement.

It is clear to me that both the size of the deficit problem and the need for a package that can be enacted require all of the following: entitlement and mandatory program reform; tax revenue increases; growth incentives; discretionary spending reductions; orderly reductions in defense expenditures; and budget process reform.

"Tax revenue increases" was the big one. June 26 is remembered by the GOP right wing as a Day of Infamy; Bush cannot forget it either, since it was on that day that his poll ratings began to fall, and kept falling until late November, when war hysteria bailed him out. Many Congressional Republicans who for years had had no other talking point than taxes were on a collision course with the nominal head of their party; a back-benchers' revolt was in full swing. Fitzwater and a few others still argued that "tax revenue increases" did not mean "new taxes", but this sophistry was received with scorn. Fitzwater argued in doublethink:

We feel [Bush] said the right thing then and he's saying the right thing now.....Everything we said was true then and it's true now. No regrets, no backing off.

Nixon's spokesman Ron Nessen had been more candid when he once announced, "All previous statements are inoperative." When Fitzwater was asked if he would agree that Bush had now formally broken his no tax pledge, Fitzwater replied: "No. Are you crazy?" On July 11, Congressional Democrats blocked Bush's favorite economic panacea, the reduction of the capital gains tax rate, by demanding that any such cut be combined with an overall increase of income tax rates on the wealthy. This yielded a deadlock which lasted until the last days of September.

Bush hid out in the White House for a few days, but then he had to face the press. There would be only one topic: his tax pledge. Bush affected a breezy and cavalier manner that could not disguise his seething internal rage at the thought of being nailed as a liar. The internal turmoil was expressed in the frequent incoherence of verbal expression. Bush started off with an evasive and rambling introduction in which he portrayed himself as fighting to prevent the suffering that an automatic sequester under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law would entail. The first question: "I'd like to ask you about your reversal on 'no new taxes.'" occasioned more evasive verbiage. Other questions were all on the same point. Bush attempted to pull himself together:

I'll say I take a look at a new situation. I see an enormous deficit. I see a savings and loan problem out there that has to be resolved. And like Abraham Lincoln said, "I'll think anew." I'm not -- but I'm not violating or getting away from my fundamental conviction on taxes or anything of that nature. Not in the least. But what I have said is on the table, and let's see where we go. But we've got a different-- we've got a very important national problem, and I think the president owes the people his --his judgment at the moment he has to address the problem. And that's exactly what I'm trying to do.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:53 am
by admin

And look, I knew I'd catch some flak on this decision....But I've got to do what I think is right, and then I'll ask the people for support. But more important than posturing now, or even negotiating, is the result....

It was a landmark of impudence and dissembling. One of Bush's main objectives as he zig-zagged through the press conference was to avoid any television sound bites that would show him endorsing new taxes. So all his formulations were as diffuse as possible. Were tax revenue increases the same as taxes?

Bush: And I say budget reforms are required, and I say spending cuts are required, and so let's see where we come out on that.

Q: But is it taxes?

Bush: Is what taxes?

Q: What you're saying. Are you saying taxes are --higher taxes are--

Bush: I've told you what I've said, and I can't help you any more. Nice try.

Q: You said we needed--

Bush: You got it. You got it, and you've got a--you've seen the arrows coming my way. And that's fine, but-- let people interpret it any way--

Q: Well, I have--

Bush: Well, I want to leave it the way I said I would, so the negotiators are free to discuss a wide array of options, including tax increases. Does that help?

A questioner cited a tabloid headline: "Read My Lips: I Lied." Bush had been prepped by an historical review of how other presidents had allegedly changed their minds or lied, which had convinced Bush that he, although a liar, was actually in the same class with Lincoln. "I've been more relaxed about it than I thought I'd be," quipped Bush. "I feel comfortable about that because I've gone back and done a little research and seen these firestorms come and go, people who feel just as strongly on one side or another of an issue as I do and haven't gotten their way exactly." Why had he said no new taxes during the campaign? "Well, I don't think anybody did such a penetrating job of questioning...." Bush's basic idea was that he could get away with it, in the way that Reagan had gotten away with the 1982 recession. But for many voters, and even for many Republican loyalists, this had been yet another epiphany of a scoundrel. Many were convinced that Bush believed in absolutely nothing except hanging on to power.

It was also in the early summer of 1990 that it gradually dawned on many taxpayers that, according to the terms of the Savings & Loan bailout championed by Bush during the first weeks of his regime, they would be left holding the bag to the tune of at least $500 billion. Their future was now weighted with the crushing burden of a defacto second mortgage, in addition to the astronomical national debt that Reagan and Bush had rolled up. This unhappy consciousness was compounded by the personal carnage of the continuing economic contraction, which had been accelerated by the shocks of September-October, 1989. An ugly mood was abroad, with angry people seeking a point of cathexis.

They found it in Neil Bush, the president's marplot cadet son, the one we saw explaining his March 31, 1981 dinner engagement with Scott Hinckley. As even little children now know, Neil Bush was a member of the board of directors of Silverado Savings and Loan of Denver, Colorado, which went bankrupt and had to be seized by federal regulators during 1988. Preliminary estimates of the costs to the taxpayers were on the order of $1.6 billion, but this was sure to go higher. The picture was complicated by the fact that Neil Bush had received a $100,000 personal loan (never repaid, and formally forgiven) and a $1.25 million line of credit from two local land speculators, Kenneth Good and William Walters, both also prominent money-bags for the Republican Party. In return for the favors he had received, Neil Bush certainly did nothing to prevent Silverado from lending $35 million to Good for a real estate speculation that soon went into default. Walters received $200 million in loans from Silverado, which were never called in. This was a prima facie case of violation of the conflict of interest regulations. But instead of keeping quiet, Neil Bush showed that the family tradition of self-righteous posturing even when caught with both hands in the cookie jar was well represented by him: he launched an aggressive campaign of proclaiming his own innocence; it was all political, thought Neil, and all because people wanted to get at his august father through him.

Sleazy Neil Bush's pontificating did not play well; Neil sounded "arrogant and flip" and the result, as People magazine commented at the end of the year, was "a public relations fiasco." Posters went up in Washington emblazoned with the call to "Jail Neil Bush," while out in Denver, the Colorado Taxpayers for Justice marched outside Neil's downtown office (where Neil had answered questions about his ties to the Hinckley family in on March 31, 1981) carrying placards and chanting "Yes, Neil, it's wrong to steal!" and "Give it back, Neil!" [fn 19] Neil was looking forward to public hearings organized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to probe his malfeasance; there was talk of a criminal indictment, but this eventually dwindled into a $200 million civil suit brought against Neil and 10 other former Silverado officials for "gross negligence" in their running of the affairs of the bank.

Bush's immediate reaction to the dense clouds gathering over Neil's head was to step up a scandal he saw as a counterweight: this was the "Keating Five" or "Lincoln Brigade" affair, which hit Senate Democrats Cranston, Riegle, Glenn, and DeConcini, plus Republican McCain. Some S&L loans showed "excesses," Bush was now ready to concede, and some were "foolish and ill-advised." But, he quickly stipulated: "I don't want to argue in favor of re-regulating the industry." And Bush was also on the defensive because, while he mandated $500 billion for the S&Ls, he wanted to veto a measure providing for unpaid parental leave for working mothers, despite a campaign promise that "we need to assure that women don't have to worry about getting their jobs back after having a child or caring for a child during serious illness." Bush now specified that he was not endorsing "mandated benefits" from government, but was just supporting collective bargaining to allow such leave. What to do if employers refused to grant leave? "You've got to keep working for them until they do," answered Bush with the ancient regime "let 'em eat cake" logic of a Marie Antoinette. [fn 20]

At a press conference in mid-July, Bush was asked if he agreed with son Neil's self-defense campaign, which was premised on the idea that the attack was a purely political smear, all because the poor boy's name happened to be Bush. The issue was focusing public attention on all the inherent rapacity of the predatory Bush family. George launched into an enraged, self-righteous monologue:

I agree that the president ought to stay out of it, and that the system ought to work. And I have great confidence in the integrity and honor of my son. And beyond that, I'm -- say no more. And if he's done something wrong, the system will --will-- will digest that. I have -- this is not easy for me, as a father; it's easy for me as the president because the system is going to work, and I will not intervene. I've not discussed this with any officials and suggested any outcome.

Note that once again the word "integrity" comes to the fore as soon as a probe seems to be turning up a felony. As for "system," this refers in the parlance of the Kissinger faction to the rule of the interlocking power cartels of the Eastern Anglophile liberal establishment. What Bush is really saying is that the matter will be hushed up by the damage control of the "system." Bush went on:

But what father wouldn't express a certain confidence in the honor of his son? And that's exactly the way I feel about it, and I feel very strongly about it. And for those who want to challenge it, whether they're in Congress or elsewhere, let the system work and then we can all make a conclusion as to his honor and integrity.

And it's tough on people in public life to some degree. And I've got three other sons and they all want to go to the barricades, every one of them, when they see some cartoon they don't like, particularly those that are factually incorrect in total -- total demeaning of the honor of their brother. They want to -- they want to do what any other-- any other kids would do. And I say: you calm down now, we're in a different role now; you can't react like you would if your brother was picked on in a street fight-- that's not the way the system works. But we have great emotions that I share with Barbara, I share with my sons and daughter that I won't share with you, except to say: One, as a president I am determined to stay out of this and let it work and let it work fairly. And secondly, I have confidence in the honor and integrity of my son, and if the system finds he's done something wrong he will be the first to step up and do what's right. [fn 21]

Bush's parting shot seemed to contain the optimistic premise that any sanctions against young Neil would be civil, and not criminal, and that is very likely the signal that George was sending out with these remarks. But the avoidance of criminal charges was not a foregone conclusion. A group of House Democrats had written to Attorney General Thornburgh to demand a special prosecutor for the hapless Neil. The signers included Pat Schroeder, Kastenmeier of Wisconsin, Don Edwards of California, Conyers of Michigan, Morrison of Connecticut, Larry Smith of Florida, Boucher of Virginia, Staggers of West Virginia, and Bryant of Texas. The measure was fully justified, but it soon turned out that the Foley leadership in the House, more of a marshmallow-stamp than a rubber stamp, had been leaning on Democratic members to shun this initiative. This became public when Congressman Feighan of Ohio, who had signed the letter, retracted his signature under the pressure of Foley's Democratic leadership.

But there was no doubt that Neil Bush had been acting as an influence peddler. Documents released by the Office of Thrift Supervision which detailed the conflict of interest charges against Neil conveyed a very low view of the dyslexic young man's business acumen: the regulators described him as "unqualified and untrained" to be a director of a financial institution. An untutored squirt, his father might have said. In the words of the OTS, "certainly he had no experience in managing a large corporation, especially a financial institution with almost $2 billion in assets."

The swirling controversy also engulfed Bush's consort. When questioned by a journalist several days before the Kuwait crisis erupted, Bar "flushes indignantly over the allegations against son Neil...." "I'm not going to talk about it," snapped Mrs. Bush, but she then did remark that it was "outrageous" that such a "wonderful, decent, honest man" was being denigrated just because his parents "chose to get into political life." As the interviewer noted, Mrs. Bush "smiles with maternal pride, though, when she acknowledges a rumor that son Marvin, 33, nearly resorted to fisticuffs defending Neil's honor and that brother Jeb, 37, was so ready to join the fray that 'we had to hold him back.'" "We just love our children, and they know it," gushed Mrs. Bush. "Someone once said to me that they didn't know another family where all five siblings love each other so much. And that's true. If push comes to shove, they're all there for each other." [fn 22]

As the end of July approached, Neil Bush was becoming a severe public relations problem for his father George. To make matters worse, economist Dan Brumbaugh, who enjoyed a certain notoriety as the Cassandra of the S&L debacle, appeared on television to confirm what the insiders already knew, that not just the S&Ls, but the entire commercial banking system of the United States, from the Wall Street giants down through the other money center banks, was all bankrupt. Economic reality, Bush's old nemesis, was once against threatening his ambition to rule. Then, in the last days of July, the White House received information that a national newsmagazine, probably Newsweek, was planning a cover story on Neil Bush. [fn 23]

Such were the events in the political and personal life of George Bush that provided the backdrop for Bush's precipitous and choleric decision to go to war with Iraq. This is not to say that the decision to go to war was caused by these unpleasant developments; the causes of the Gulf war are much more complicated than that. But it is equally clear that Bush's bellicose enthusiasm for the first war that came along was notably facilitated by the complex of problems which he would thus sweep off the front page.

There is much evidence that the Bush regime was committed to a new, large-scale war in the Middle East from the very day of its inauguration. The following analysis was filed on Palm Sunday, March 19, 1989 by one of the authors of the present study, and was published in Executive Intelligence Review under the title "Is Bush courting a Middle East war and a new oil crisis?":

Is the Bush administration preparing a military attack on Iran, Libya, Syria, or other Middle East nations in a flight forward intended to cut off or destroy a significant part of the world's oil supply and drastically raise the dollar price of crude on the world markets? A worldwide pattern of events monitored on Palm Sunday by Executive Intelligence Review suggests that such a move may be in the works. If the script does indeed call for a Middle East conflict and a new oil shock, it can be safely assumed that Henry Kissinger, the schemer behind the 1973 Yom Kippur war, is in the thick of things, through National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and the State Department's number-two man Lawrence Eagleburger. [...]

Why should the Bush administration now be a candidate to launch an attack on Libya and Iran, with large-scale hostilities likely in the Gulf? The basic answer is, as part of a manic flight-forward fit of "American Century" megalomania designed to distract attention from the fiasco of the new President's first 60 days in office. [fn 24]

Despite the numerous shortcomings in this account, including the failure to identify Iraq as the target, it did capture the essential truth that Bush was planning a Gulf war. By August, 1988 at the latest, when Iraq had emerged as the decisive victor in the 8-year long Iran-Iraq war, British geopolitical thinkers had identified Iraq as the leading Arab state, and the leading threat to the Israeli-dominated balance of power in the Middle East. This estimate was seconded by those Zionist observers for whom the definition of minimal security is the capability of Israel to defeat the combined coalition of all Arab states. By August of 1988, leading circles in both Britain and Israel were contemplating ways of preventing Iraq from rebuilding its postwar economy, and were exploring options for a new war to liquidate the undeniable economic achievements of the Baath Party. Bush would have been a part of these deliberations starting at a very early phase.

A more precise outline of the coming war was issued in early March, 1990, by Bush's political prisoner, Lyndon LaRouche. From his prison cell, LaRouche warned on March 10, 1990:

It is apparent that during the next 60 days, more or less, the world is being plunged into the greatest pre-war crisis of the twentieth century. [...]

Israel is preparing for war. The state of Israel is now marshaled in preparation for war, which, from one standpoint, might be described as Israel's attempted "final solution" to the Arab problem. This means a war, presumably against Iraq and other states, and the destruction of Jordan. [fn 25]

During June and July, this warning was seconded by King Hussein of Jordan, Yassir Arafat of the PLO, Prince Hassan of Jordan, and Saddam Hussein himself.

The Bush regime's contributions to the orchestration of the Gulf crisis of 1990-91 were many and indispensable. First there was a campaign of tough talking by Bush and Baker, designed to goad the new Likud-centered coalition of Shamir (in many respects the most belligerent and confrontational regime Israel had ever known) into postures of increased bellicosity. Bush personally referred to Israel as one of the countries in the Middle East that held hostages. In early March, 1990, Bush said that the US government position was to oppose Israeli settlements not only on the West Bank of the Jordan and the Gaza Strip, but also in East Jerusalem. A few days before that, Baker had suggested that US support for a $400 million loan guarantee program for settling Soviet Jews in Israel would be forthcoming only if Israel stopped setting up new settlements in the occupied territories. Bush's mention of East Jerusalem had toughened that line. [fn 26] Baker had added some tough talk of his own when he had told a Congressional committee that if and when the Israeli government wanted peace, they had only to call the White House switchboard, whose number he proceeded to give. But on June 20, Bush suspended the US dialogue with the PLO which he had caused to be started during December, 1988. The pretext was a staged terror incident at an Israeli beach.

July, 1990 was full of the hyperkinetic travel and diplomacy which has become George's trademark. Over the July Fourth weekend, Bush went to Kennebunkport to prepare for the London NATO summit and the successive Houston summit of the seven leading industrial nations. There is evidence that he was already in the full flush of the manic phase, and that the "read my lips" press conference and the Neil Bush affair had produced massive psychic carnage. According to a press account, Bush passed the time in Kennebunkport.

with his usual breakneck round of throwing horseshoes, casting fishing lures, bashing golf balls, and careening across the waves in his speedboat. Instead of arriving in London a day before the meeting began, Mr. Bush squeezed in one more golf game on Wednesday morning, and left that night. But here, it seemed that the bottomless well of energy had a bottom after all. Mr. Bush got off Air Force One looking tired, eyes puffy and his stride less spry than the "spring colt" to which he always compares himself.

During the London summit, Bush appears to have been unusually irritable. One small crisis came when he found himself waiting for his limousine in front of Lancaster House while his aides scrambled to bring his car around. Bush "craned his neck around, pursed his lips, stuck his hands in his pockets, and glared at the nearest aide until his car finally appeared." [fn 27]

The secret agenda at this summit was dominated by the NATO out of area deployments, transforming the alliance into the white man's vengeful knout against the third world. According to a senior NATO consultant, the Lancaster House summit focused on "increasing tension and re-armament in a number of countries, in North Africa, the Middle East including Palestine, and Asia through, increasingly, to Southeast Asia. There are new dangers from new directions. We are shifting from an exclusive focus on the east-west conflict, to a situation of risk coming eventually or potentially from all directions." The talk in London in that July was about a possible new Middle East war, which "would tend to escalate horizontally and vertically. A real conflict in the Levant would extend from the Turkish border to the Suez canal. It would involve the neighbors of the main combatants. The whole thing would be in a state of flux, because the great powers couldn't afford just to sit there." In order to avoid public relations problems for the continental European governments, who still had qualms about their domestic public opinion, these debates were not featured in the final communique, which complacently proclaimed the end of the Cold War and invited Gorbachov to come and visit NATO headquarters to make a speech. [fn 28]

After hob-nobbing with Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, and other members of the royal family, Bush flew to Houston to assume the role of host of the Group of 7 yearly economic summit. At this summit, the Anglo-Saxon master race as represented by Bush and Thatcher found itself in a highly embarrassing position. Everyone knew that the worst economic plague outside of the communist bloc was the English-speaking economic depression, which held not just the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada but also Australia, New Zealand, and other former imperial outposts in its grip. The continental Europeans were interested in organizing emergency aid and investment packages for the emerging countries of eastern Europe, and the Soviet republics, but this the Anglo-Saxons adamantly opposed. Rather, Bush and Thatcher were on a full trade-war line against the European Community and Japan when it came to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other matters of international economics. Bush's Tex-Mex menus and country and western entertainment programs were unable to hide an atmosphere of growing animosity.

In the following week, the Anglo-Saxon supermen were once again plunged into gloom when Gorbachov and Kohl, meeting on July 16 in the south Russian town of Mineralny Vody near Stavropol, announced the Soviet acquiescence to the membership of united Germany in NATO. This was an issue that Bush and Thatcher had hoped would cause a much longer delay and much greater acrimony, but now there were no more barriers to the successful completion of the "two plus four" talks on the future of Germany, which meant that German reunification before the end of the year was unavoidable.

On the same day that Kohl and Gorbachov were meeting, satellite photographs monitored in the Pentagon showed that Iraq's crack Hammurabi division, the corps d'elite of the Republican Guard, was moving south towards the border of Kuwait. By July 17, Pentagon analysts would be contemplating new satellite photos showing the entire division, with 300 tanks and over 10,000 men, in place along the Iraq-Kuwait border. A second division, the Medina Luminous, was beginning to arrive along the border, and a third division was marching south. [fn 29]

The disputes between Iraq and Kuwait were well-known, and the Anglo-Americans had done everything possible to exacerbate them. Iraq had defended Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries against the fanatic legions of Khomeini during the Iran-Iraq war. Iraq had emerged from the conflict victorious, but burdened by $65 billion in foreign debt. Iraq demanded debt relief from the rich Gulf Arabs, who had not lifted a finger for their own defense. As for Kuwait, it had been a British puppet state since 1899. Both Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were each acknowledged to be exceeding their OPEC production quotas by some 500,000 barrels per day. This was part of a strategy to keep the price of oil artificially low; the low price was a boon to the dollar and the US banking system, and it also prevented Iraq from acquiring the necessary funds for its postwar demobilization and reconstruction. Kuwait was also known to be stealing oil by overpumping the Rumailia oil field, which lay along the Iraq-Kuwait border. The border through the Rumaila oil field was thus a bone of contention between Iraq and Kuwait, as was the ownership of Bubiyan and Warba islands, which controlled the access to Umm Qasr, Iraq's chief port and naval base as long as the Shatt-el-Arab was disputed with Iran. It later became known that the Emir of Kuwait was preparing further measures of economic warfare against Iraq, including the printing of masses of counterfeit Iraqi currency notes which he was preparing to dump on the market in order to produce a crisis of hyperinflation in Iraq. Many of these themes were developed by Saddam Hussein in a July 17 address in which he accused the Emir of Kuwait of participation in a US-Zionist conspiracy to keep the price of oil depressed.

The Emir of Kuwait, Jaber el Saba, was a widely hated figure among Arabs and Moslems. He was sybaritic degenerate, fabulously wealthy, a complete parasite and nepotist, the keeper of a harem, and the owner of slaves, especially black slaves, for domestic use in his palace. The Saba family ran Kuwait as the private plantation of their clan, and Saba officials were notoriously cruel and stupid. Iraq, by contrast, was a modern secular state with high rates of economic growth, and possessed one of the highest standards of living and literacy rates in the Arab world. The status of women was one of the most advanced in the region, and religious freedom was extended to all churches.

Anglo-American strategy was thus to use economic warfare measures, including embargos on key technologies, to back Saddam Hussein into a corner. When the position of Iraq was judged sufficiently desperate, secret feelers from the Anglo-Americans offered Saddam Hussein encouragement to attack Kuwait, with secret guarantees that there would be no Anglo-American reaction. Reliable reports from the Middle East indicate that Saddam Hussein was told before he took Kuwait that London and Washington would not go to war against him. Saddam Hussein was given further assurances through December and January, 1991 that the military potential being assembled in his front would not be used against him, but would only permanently occupy Saudi Arabia. It is obvious that, in order to be believable on the part of the Iraqi leadership, these assurances had to come from persons known to exercise great power and influence in London and Washington-- persons, let us say, in the same league with Henry Kissinger. One prime suspect who would fill the bill is Tiny Rowland, a property custodian of the British royal family and administrator of British post-colonial and neo-colonial interests in Africa and elsewhere. Tiny Rowland had been in Iraq in July, shortly before the Iraqi military made their move.

It is important to note that every aspect of the public conduct of the Bush regime until after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait had become a fait accompli was perfectly coherent with the assurances Saddam Hussein was receiving, namely that there would be no US military retaliation against Iraq for taking Kuwait.

The British geopoliticians so much admired by Bush are past masters of the intrigue of the invitatio ad offerendum, the suckering of another power into war. Invitatio ad offerendum means in effect "let's you and him fight." It is well known that US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, a close associate of Averell Harriman, had in January, 1950 officially and formally cast South Korea outside the pale of American protection, providing encouragement to Kim Il Sung to start the Korean war. There is every indication that the North Korean attack on South Korea in 1950 was also secretly encouraged by the British. Later, the British secretly encouraged Chinese intervention into that same war. The Argentinian seizure of the Malvinas Islands during 1982 was evidently preceded by demonstrations of lethargic disinterest in the fate of these islands by the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington. Saddam Hussein's attack on Iran in 1980 had been encouraged by US and British assurances that the Teheran government was collapsing and incapable of resistance.

As we have seen, the Pentagon knew of Iraqi troops massing on the border with Kuwait as for July 16-17. These troop concentrations were announced in the US press only on July 24, when the Washington Post reported that "Iraq has moved nearly 30,000 elite army troops to its border with Kuwait and the Bush administration put US warships in the Persian Gulf on alert as a dispute between the two gulf nations over oil production quotas intensified, US officials and Arab diplomats said yesterday." The Iraqis had invited a group of western military attaches to travel by road from Kuwait City to Baghdad, during which time the western officers counted some 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles moving south with a further reinforcement of two divisions of the Republican Guards. [fn 30]

If Kuwait had been so vital to the security of the United States and the west, then it is clear that at any time between July 17 and August 1 --and that is to say during a period of almost two weeks-- Bush could have issued a warning to Iraq to stay out of Kuwait, backing it up with some blood-curdling threats and serious, high-profile military demonstrations. Instead, Bush maintained a studied public silence on the situation and allowed his ambassador to convey a message to Saddam Hussein that was wholly misleading, but wholly coherent with the hypothesis of a British plan to sucker Saddam into war.

On July 24, press releases from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon were balanced between support for the "moderate" Kuwaitis and Saudis on the one hand, and encouragement for an Arab-mediated peaceful settlement. Margaret Tutwiler at the State Department stressed that the United States had no commitment to defend Kuwait:

We do not have any defense treaties with Kuwait and there are no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait. We also remain strongly committed to supporting the individual and collective self-defense of our friends in the gulf, with whom we have deep and long-standing ties.

An anonymous US military official quoted by the Washington Post added that if Iraq seized a small amount of Kuwaiti territory as a means of gaining negotiating leverage in OPEC, "the United States probably would not directly challenge the move, but would join with all Arab governments in denouncing it and putting pressure on Iraq to back down." Two US KC-135 air tankers were about to carry out refueling exercises with the United Arab Emirates Air Force, it was announced, and the six ships of the US Joint Task Force Middle East based in the Persian Gulf were deployed Monday July 23 for "communications support" for this air exercise, according to the Pentagon. Two of these US ships were in the northern Gulf, near the coasts of Iraq and Kuwait. [fn 31] But there was nothing blood-curdling about any of this, and Bush's personal silence was the most eloquent of all. In addition, the Bush administration was lobbying in Congress during this week in opposition to a new round of Congressional trade sanctions against Iraq. Iraqi capabilities to take Kuwait were now in place, and the Bush regime had not reacted.

On July 25, US Ambassador April Glaspie met with Saddam Hussein, and conveyed a highly misleading message about the US view of the crisis. Glaspie assured Saddam Hussein that she was acting on direct instructions from Bush, and then delivered her celebrated line: "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflict, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." There is every indication that these were indeed the instructions that had been given directly by the chief agent provocateur in the White House, Bush. "I have direct instructions from the president to seek better relations with Iraq," Glaspie told Saddam. According to the Iraqi transcript of this meeting, Glaspie stressed that this had always been the US position: "I was in the American embassy in Kuwait during the late 1960's. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and the issue is not associated with America." [fn 32] Saddam Hussein illustrated Iraq's economic grievances and need of economic assistance for postwar reconstruction, points for which Ms. Glaspie expressed full US official comprehension. Shortly after this, April Glaspie left Kuwait to take her summer vacation, another signal of elaborate US government disinterest in the Kuwait-Iraq crisis.

According to the Washington Post of July 26, Saddam Hussein used the meeting with Glaspie to send Bush a message that "'nothing will happen' on the military front while this weekend's mediation efforts are taking place." The mediation referred to an effort by Egyptian President Mubarak and the Saudi government to organize direct talks between Iraq and Kuwait, which were tentatively set for the weekend of July 28-29 in Jeddah. Over that weekend, Bush still had absolutely nothing to say about the Gulf crisis. He refused to comment on what Thurgood Marshall had said about him and his man Souter: "I have a high regard for the separation of powers and for the Supreme Court," was Bush's reply to reporters. (Attorney General Thornburgh said he was "saddened" by Marshall's comment.)

According to the Washington Post of July 30, the Saudi government announced on July 29 that the Iraqi-Kuwaiti talks, which had been postponed, would take place in Jeddah starting Tuesday, July 31. The Kuwaiti delegation abruptly walked out of these talks, a grandstanding gesture obviously calculated to incense the Iraqi leadership. On the morning of July 31, the Washington Post reported that the Iraqi troop buildup had now reached 100,000 men between Basra and the Kuwaiti border. At the Pentagon, when spokesman Pete Williams was pressed to comment on this story, he replied:

I've seen reports about the troops there, but we've never discussed here numbers or made any further comments on that. I think the State Department has some language they've been using about obviously being concerned about any buildup of forces in the area, and can go through, as we've gone through here, what our interests in the Gulf are, but we've never really gotten into numbers like that or given that kind of information out. [fn 33]

Even the escalation of the Iraqi troop buildup had not disturbed the official US posture of blase indifference in the face of the crisis. It was a deliberate and studied deception operation, what the Russians call maskirovka.
Bush would have known all about the additional Iraqi troops at least 36 hours earlier, through satellite photos and embassy reports. But still Bush remained silent as a tomb. Bush had plenty of opportunity that day to say something about the Gulf; he met with the GOP Congressional leadership for more than an hour on the morning of July 31 and, according to participants, told them he was "annoyed" at the pace of the budget talks, which remained stalemated. At this time the White House was receiving intelligence reports that made an Iraqi invasion seem more likely, and some officials were quoted in the New York Times of the next day as having "expressed growing concern that hostilities could break out...." But Bush said nothing, did nothing.

Then, in the afternoon, Bush reluctantly received a Latvian delegation led by Ivars Godmanis. The Latvian request for an audience had at first been rudely rejected by the White House, but then acceded to under pressure from some influential senators. Godmanis wanted recognition and aid, but Bush made no commitments, and limited himself to asking several "very exact questions."

On Wednesday, August 1, Bush was undoubtedly not amused by a New York Times account showing that one of his former top White House aides, Robert L. Thompson, had abused his access to government information in order to help his clients to make advantageous deals for themselves in buying S&Ls. In the evening, about 9 PM, reports began to reach Washington that Iraqi forces had crossed the border into Kuwait in large numbers. From the moment the crisis had emerged on July 16-17 until the moment of the invasion, Bush had preserved a posture of nonchalant silence. But now things began to happen very rapidly. Scowcroft and Bush drafted a statement which was released by 11:20 PM. This strongly condemned the Iraqi invasion and demanded "the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Iraqi forces." The New York Times of August 2, in reporting the Iraqi invasion, recorded the surface posture of the Bush regime:

Despite its efforts to deter an attack on Kuwait, the Bush Administration never said precisely what the United States would do if Iraq launched a small scale or large scale attack on Kuwait. The vagueness of the American pronouncements, which eschewed any explicit promise to come to Kuwait's assistance, disturbed some Kuwaiti officials, who hoped for a firmer statement of American intentions that would be backed up by a greater demonstration of military force.

On Thursday, Bush was scheduled to fly to Aspen Colorado for a meeting with Margaret Thatcher, a personage of whom Bush was in awe. Thatcher, whose rise to power had included a little help from Bush in sweeping the Labor Party out of government in accordance with the designs of Lord Victor Rothschild, had now been in power for over 11 years, and had assured her place in the pantheon of Anglo-Saxon worthies. This dessicated mummy of British imperialism had been invited to Aspen, Colorado, to hold forth on the future of the west, and Bush was scheduled to confer with her there. At 5 AM, Bush was awakened by Scowcroft, who had brought him the executive orders freezing all Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets in the US. At 8 AM the National Security Council gathered in the Cabinet Room. At the opening of this session there was a photo opportunity to let Bush put out the preliminary line on Iraq and Kuwait. Bush told the reporters:

We're not discussing intervention.

Q: You're not contemplating any intervention or sending troops?

Bush: I'm not contemplating such action, and I, again, would not discuss it if I were.

According to published accounts, during the meeting that followed the one prospect that got a rise out of Bush was the alleged Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia. This, as we will see, was one of the main arguments used by Thatcher later in the day to goad Bush to irreversible commitment to massive troop deployment and to war. A profile of Bush's reactions on this score could easily have been communicated to Thatcher by Scowcroft or by other participants in the 8 AM meeting. Scowcroft was otherwise the leading hawk, raving that "We don't have the option to appear not be acting." [fn 34] This meeting nevertheless ended without any firm decisions for further measures beyond the freezing of assets already decided, and can thus be classified as inconclusive. During Bush's flight to Aspen, Colorado, Bush got on the telephone with several Middle East leaders, who he said had urged him to forestall US intervention and allow ample time for an "Arab solution."

Bush's meetings with Thatcher in Aspen on Thursday, August 2, and on Monday, August 6 at the White House are of the most decisive importance in understanding the way in which the Anglo-Americans connived to unleash the Gulf war. Before meeting with Thatcher, Bush was clearly in an agitated and disturbed mental state, but had no bedrock commitment to act in the Gulf crisis. After the sessions with Thatcher, Bush was rapidly transformed into a raving, monomaniacal warmonger and hawk. The transition was accompanied by a marked accentuation of Bush's overall psychological impairment, with a much increased tendency towards rage episodes.

The impact of Bush's Aspen meeting with Thatcher was thus to brainwash Bush towards a greater psychological disintegration, and towards a greater pliability and suggestibility in regard's to London's imperial plans. One can speculate that the "Iron Lady" was armed with a Tavistock Institute psychological profile of Bush, possibly centering on young George's feelings of inadequacy when he was denied the love of his cold, demanding Anglo-Saxon sportswoman mother. Perhaps Thatcher's underlying psychological gameplan in this (and previous) encounters with Bush was to place herself along the line of emotional cathexis associated in Bush's psyche with the internalized image of his mother Dorothy, especially in her demanding and domineering capacity as the grey eminence of the Ranking Committee. George had to do something to save the embattled English-speaking peoples, Thatcher might have hinted. Otherwise, he would be letting down the side in precisely the way which he had always feared would lose him his mother's love. But to do something for the Anglo-Saxons in their hour of need, George would have to be selfless and staunch and not think of himself, just as mother Dorothy had always demanded: he would have to risk his entire political career by deploying US forces in overwhelming strength to the Gulf. This might have been the underlying emotional content of Thatcher's argument.

On a more explicit level, Thatcher also possessed an array of potent arguments. Back in 1982, she might have recalled, she had fallen in the polls and was being written off for a second term as a result of her dismal economic performance. But then the Argentinians seized the Malvinas, and she, Thatcher, acting in defiance of her entire cabinet and of much of British public opinion, had sent the fleet into the desperate gamble of the Malvinas war. The British had reconquered the islands, and the resultant wave of jingoism and racist chauvinism had permitted Thatcher to consolidate her regime until the present day. Thatcher knew about the "no new taxes" controversy and the Neil Bush affair, but all of that would be quickly suppressed and forgotten once the regiments began to march off to the Saudi front. For Bush, this would have been a compelling package.

As far as Saddam Hussein was concerned, Thatcher's argument is known to have been built around the ominous warning, "He won't stop!" Her message was that MI-6 and the rest of the fabled British intelligence apparatus had concluded that Saddam Hussein's goal would be an immediate military invasion and occupation of the immense Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its sensitive Moslem holy places, its trackless deserts and its warlike Bedouins. Since Thatcher was familiar with Bush's racist contempt for Arabs and other dark-skinned peoples, which she emphatically shared, she would also have laid great stress on the figure of Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed to Anglo-Saxon interests. The Tavistock profile would have included how threatened Bush felt in his psycho-sexual impotence by tough customers like Saddam, whom nobody had ever referred to as little Lord Fauntleroy.

At this moment in the Gulf crisis, the only competent political-military estimate of Iraqi intentions was that Saddam Hussein had no intent of going beyond Kuwait, a territory to which Baghdad had a long-standing claim, arguing that the British Empire had illegally established its secret protectorate over the southern part of the Ottoman Empire's province of Basra in 1899. This estimate that Iraq had no desire to become embroiled with Saudi Arabia was repeated during the first week of the crisis by such qualified experts as former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Aikens, and by the prominent French military leader Gen. Lacaze. Even General Schwarzkopf though it highly unlikely that Saddam would move against Saudi Arabia.

In her public remarks in Aspen, Thatcher began the new phase in the racist demonization of Saddam Hussein by calling his actions "intolerable" in a way that Syrian and Israeli occupations of other countries' lands seemingly were not. She asserted that "a collective and effective will of the nations belonging to the UN" would be necessary to deal with the crisis. Thatcher's traveling entourage from the Foreign Office had come equipped with a strategy to press for mandatory economic sanctions and possible mandatory military action against Iraq under the provisions of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Soon Bush's entourage had also picked up this new fad.

Bush had now changed his tune markedly. He had suddenly and publicly re-acquired his military options. When asked about his response, he stated:

We're not ruling any options in but we're not ruling any options out.

Bush also revealed that he had told the Arab leaders with whom he had been in contact during the morning that the Gulf crisis "had gone beyond simply a regional dispute because of the naked aggression that violates the United Nations charter." These formulations were I.D. format Thatcher-speak. Bush condemned Saddam for "his intolerable behavior," again parroting Thatcher's line. Bush was now "very much concerned" about the safety of other small Gulf states. Bush also referred to the hostage question, saying that threats to American citizens would "affect the United States in a very dramatic way because I view a fundamental responsibility of my presidency [as being] to protect American citizens." Bush added that he had talked with Thatcher about British proposals to press for "collective efforts" by members of the United Nations against Iraq. The Iraqi invasion was a "totally unjustified act," Bush went on. It was now imperative that the "international community act together to ensure that Iraqi forces leave Kuwait immediately. Bush revealed that he and his advisors were now examining the "next steps" to end the crisis. Bush said he was "somewhat heartened" by his telephone conversations with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, and Gen. Ali Abdallah Salib of Yemen.

There is every reason to believe that Bush's decision to launch US military intervention and war was taken in Aspen, under the hypnotic influence of Thatcher. Any residual hesitancy displayed in secret councils was merely dissembling to prevent his staffs from opposing that decision. Making a strategic decision of such collossal implications on the basis of a psycho-manipulative pep talk from Thatcher suggests that Bush's hyperthyroid condition was already operating; the hyperthyroid patient notoriously tends to resolve complicated and far-reaching alternatives with quick, snap decisions. Several published accounts have sought to argue that the decision for large-scale intervention did not come until Saturday at Camp David, but these accounts belong to the "red Studebaker" school of coverup. The truth is that Bush went to war as the racist tail on the British imperial kite, cheered on by the Kissinger cabal that permeated and dominated his administration. As the London Daily Telegraph gloated, Mrs. Thatcher had "stiffened [Bush's] resolve."

Bush had been scheduled to stay overnight in Aspen, but he now departed immediately for Washington. Later, the White House said that Bush had been on the phone with Saudi King Fahd, who had agreed that the Iraqi invasion was "absolutely unacceptable." [fn 35] On the return trip and through the evening, the Kissingerian operative Scowcroft continued to to press for military intervention, playing down the difficulties which other advisers had been citing. Given Kissinger's long-standing relationship with London and the Foreign Office, it was no surprise that Scowcroft was fully on the London line.

Before the day was out, "the orders started flooding out of the Oval Office. The president had all of these diplomatic pieces in his head. The UN piece. The NATO piece. The Middle east piece. He was meticulous, methodical, and personal," according to one official. [fn 36]

The next morning was Friday, August 3, and Bush called another NSC meeting at the White House. The establishment media like the New York Times were full of accounts of how Iraq was allegedly massing troops along the southern border of Kuwait, about to pounce on Saudi Arabia. Scowcroft, with Bush's approval, bludgeoned the doubters into a discussion of war options. Bush ordered the CIA to prepare a plan to overthrow or assassinate Saddam Hussein, and told Cheney, Powell, and Gen. Schwarzkopf to prepare military options for the next day. Bush was opening the door to war slowly, so as to keep all of his civilian and military advisers on board. Later on Friday, Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington, met with Bush. According to one version, Bush pledged his word of honor to Bandar that he would "see this through with you." Bandar was widely reputed to be working for the CIA and other western intelligence agencies. There were also reports that he had Ethiopian servants in the Saudi embassy in Washington, near the Kennedy Center, who were chattel slaves according to United Nations definitions.

When the time came in the afternoon to walk to his helicopter on the White House south lawn for the short flight to the Camp David retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, Bush stopped at the microphones that were set up there, a procedure that became a habit during the Gulf crisis. There was something about these moments of entering and leaving the White House that heightened Bush's psychological instability; the leaving and arriving rituals would often be the moments of some of his worst public tantrums. At this point Bush was psyching himself up towards the fit that he would act out on his Sunday afternoon return. But there was already no doubt that Bush's bellicosity was rising by the hour. With Kuwait under occupation, he said, "the status quo is unacceptable and further expansion" by Iraq "would be even more unacceptable." This formulation already pointed to an advance into Kuwait. He also stressed Saud Arabia: "If they ask for specific help-- it depends obviously on what it is-- I would be inclined to help in any way we possibly can." [fn 37]

On Saturday morning, August 4, Bush met with his entourage in Camp David, present Quayle, Cheney, Sununu, William Webster, Wolfowitz, Baker, Scowcroft, Powell, Schwarzkopf, Fitzwater, and Richard Haas of the NSC staff. Military advisers, especially Colin Powell, appear to have directed Bush's attention to the many problems associated with military intervention. According to one version, Gen. Schwarzkopf estimated that it would take 17 weeks to move a defensive, deterrent force of 250,000 troops into the region, and between 8 and 12 months to assemble a ground force capable of driving the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. For the duration of the crisis, the Army would remain the most reluctant, while the Air Force, including Scowcroft, would be the most eager to open hostilities. Bush sensed that he had to stress the defense of Saudi Arabia to keep all of his bureaucratic players on board, and to garner enough public support to carry out the first phase of the buildup. Then, perhaps three months down the line, preferably after the November elections, he could unveil the full offensive buildup that would carry him into war with Iraq. "That's why our defense of Saudi Arabia has to be our focus," Bush is reported to have said at this meeting. This remark was calculated to cater to the views of Gen. Powell, who was thinking primarily in these defensive terms. [fn 38] When the larger NSC meeting dispersed, Bush met with a more restricted group including Quayle, Sununu, Baker, Scowcroft, Cheney, Powell, and Webster. This session was dominated by the fear that the Saudi Arabian monarchy, which would have to be coerced into agreement with plans for a US military buildup on its territory, would prefer a compromise solution negotiated among the Arabs to the Anglo-Saxon war hysteria. The Saudis were not all as staunch as the American agent Prince Bandar; the presence of large contingents of infidel ground troops, including Jews and women, would create such friction with Saudi society as to pose an insoluble political problem. There was great racist vituperation of the Arabs in general: they could not be trusted, they were easy to blackmail. This meeting produced a decision that Bush would call Saudi King Fahd and demand that he accept a large US ground force contingent in addition to aircraft.

As Bush feared, Fahd was inclined to reject the US ground forces. There was a report that Iraq had announced that its forces would leave Kuwait on Sunday, and Fahd wanted to see if that happened. Fahd had not yet been won over to the doctrine of war at any cost. Through an intrigue of Prince Bandar, who knew that this difficulty might arise, King Fahd was prevailed upon to receive a US "briefing team" to illustrate the threat to him and demand that he approve the US buildup on his territory. Fahd thought that all he was getting were a few briefing officers. But Bush saw this as a wedge for greater things. "I want to do this. I want to do it big time," Bush told Scowcroft. [fn 39] By now Bush had launched into his "speed-dialing" mode, calling heads of state and government one after the other, organizing for an economic embargo and a military confrontation with Iraq. One important call was to Sheikh Jabir al Ahmed al Sabah, the degenerate Emir of Kuwait, representative of a family who had been British assets since 1899 and Bush's business partners since the days of Zapata Offshore in the late 1950's. Other calls went to Turgut Oezal of Turkey, whom Bush pressed to cut off Iraq's use of oil pipelines across his territory. Another call went to Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney, who was also in deep domestic political trouble, and who was inclined to join the Anglo-Saxon mobilization. During the course of Saturday, White House officials began to spread a deception story that Bush had been "surprised by the invasion this week and largely unprepared to respond quickly," as the next day's New York Times alleged.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:54 am
by admin

At 8 AM on Sunday morning, there was another meeting of the NSC at Camp David with Bush, Baker, Cheney, Scowcroft, Powell and various aides. This time the talk was almost exclusively devoted to military options. Bush designated Cheney for the Saudi mission, and Cheney left Washington for Saudi Arabia in the middle of Sunday afternoon.

Bush now boarded a helicopter for the flight from Camp David back to the White House south lawn. Up to this point, Bush was firmly committed to war in his own mind, and had been acting on that decision in his secret councils of regime, but he had carefully avoided making that decision clear in public. We are now approaching the moment when he would do so. Let us contemplate George Bush's state of mind as he rode in his helicopter from Camp David towards Washington on that early August Sunday afternoon. According to one published account, Bush was "in a mood that White House officials describe variously as mad, testy, peevish, and, to use a favorite bit of Bush-speak, spleen-venting." This observer, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, compared Reagan's relaxed or somniferous crisis style with Bush's hyperkinesis: Reagan, she recalled, "slept peacefully" during clashes of US and Libyan planes over the Mediterranean, but "Mr. Bush, by contrast, becomes even more of a dervish" in such moments. According to Ms. Dowd, "by the time the president came home from Camp David on Sunday afternoon, he was feeling frustrated and testy. He was worried that the situation in Kuwait was deteriorating, and intelligence reports showed him that the Iraqis were beginning to mass at the Kuwait-Saudi border. He was also disappointed in the international response." [fn 40] As Bush was approaching Washington, Bush called his press secretary, Marlin Fitzwater, to ask him his opinion about whether to pause at the microphones on the south lawn before going into the White House. Fitzwater appears to have supported the idea.

According to Ms. Dowd, an eyewitness, Bush was "visibly furious" when he climbed out of his helicopter. As Bush walked towards the microphones, he was accosted by Richard Haas of the NSC staff who thrust a cable into Bush's hands. Bush read the cable, scowling. However ugly his mood had been before he had seen the memo, reading it sent him into an apoplectic rage. According to White House officials, this cable contained information about the dimensions of the Iraqi troop buildup and indicated that the Iraqi troops were moving south towards the Saudi border, and not leaving Kuwait. [fn 41] According to Ms. Dowd, this was the secret memo that "seemed to spark the President's irritation at his news conference. In any case, Bush now launched into a violent diatribe that left no doubt that as far as he was considered, the desired outcome was now war.

In Bush's opening statement, he summarized the result of his frenetic "speed dialing" exercise: Oezal, Kaifu, Mulroney, Mitterrand, Kohl, Thatcher, the Emir of Kuwait had all been reached. The alleged result:

What's emerging is nobody is -- seems to be showing up as willing to accept anything less than total withdrawal from Iraq, from Kuwait of the Iraqi forces, and no puppet regime. We've been down that road, and there will be no puppet regime that will be accepted by any countries that I'm familiar with. And there seems to be a united front out there that says Iraq, having committed brutal, naked aggression, ought to get out and that the-- this concept of their installing some puppet leaving behind will not be acceptable. So, we're pushing forward on diplomacy. We've gotten-- tomorrow I will meet here in Washington with the Secretary General of the United Nations-- I mean, the Secretary General of NATO-- and Margaret Thatcher will be coming in here tomorrow, and I will be continuing this diplomatic effort.

What about the situation on the ground? Had Iraq pulled out?

Iraq lied once again. They said they were going to start moving out today and we have no evidence that they're moving out.

A question about the embassies in Kuwait City launched Bush into his enraged crescendo, punctuated by menacing histrionics:

I'm not trying to characterize threats. The threat is the vicious aggression against Kuwait. And that speaks for itself. And anything collaterally is just simply more indication that these are outlaws -- international outlaws and renegades. And I want to see the United Nations move soon with Chapter 7 sanctions. And I want to see the rest of the world join us, as they are in overwhelming numbers, to isolate Saddam Hussein.

When asked how a puppet regime could be prevented, Bush snapped, "Just wait. Watch and learn." Since he had made so many calls, had he tried to get through to Saddam Hussein? "No. No, I have not." The policy of refusing to negotiate with Iraq would be maintained all the way to the end of the war. What about King Hussein of Jordan, who was known to be attempting a mediation? "I talked to him once and that's all," hissed Bush. "But he's embraced Saddam Hussein. He went to Baghdad and embraced--" said one questioner. "What's your question? I can read," raged Bush. Was Bush disappointed with King Hussein?

I want to see the Arab states join the rest of the world in condemning this outrage and doing what they can to get Saddam Hussein out. Now. He was talking-- King Hussein-- about an Arab solution, but I am disappointed to find any comment by anyone that apologizes or appears to condone what's taken place.

Bush elaborated a few seconds later that there was no possibility of an Arab solution:

Well. I was told by one leader that I respect enormously-- I believe this was back on Friday-- that they needed 48 hours to find what was called an Arab solution. That obviously has failed. And of course I'm disappointed that the matter hasn't been resolved before now. This is a very serious matter. I'll take one more and then I've got to go to work over here.

The last question was about possible steps to protect American citizens, a question that the administration wanted to play down at the beginning, and play up later on. Bush concluded:

I am not going to discuss what we're doing in terms of moving of forces, anything of that nature. But I view it very seriously, not just that, but any threat to any other countries as well, as I view very seriously our determination to reverse this aggression. And please believe me, there are an awful lot of countries that are in total accord with what I've just said. And I salute them. They are staunch friends and allies. And we will be working with them all for collective action. This will not stand. This will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait. I've got to go. I have to go to work. I've got to go to work. [fn 42]

This was the beginning of the war psychosis, and there is no doubt that the leading war psychotic was Bush himself.

A number of aspects of this performance merit underlining. The confusion of Manfred Woerner with Perez de Cuellar will be the first of a number of such gaffes committed by Bush over the next few days. "Naked aggression" is once again Thatcher's term. Thatcher is mentioned twice in a way that suggests that Bush had been on the phone with her again after leaving Aspen. Indeed, the code word "staunch" towards the end, which for Bush can only be associated with the British, implies that Bush's entire episode had been coordinated with Thatcher in advance. In regard to Saddam Hussein, in addition to the direct contact that was never attempted we have here the beginning of a cascade of verbal abuse that would continue through the course of the buildup and the war. According to many observers, the purpose of these gratuitous insults was to make a compromise settlement through negotiations impossible by casting aspersions on Saddam Hussein's honor. This might have reflected advice from Arabists of the type known to inhabit the British Foreign Office. Bush's responses concerning King Hussein of Jordan were very ominous for the Hashemite monarch, and left no doubt that Bush regarded any Arab-sponsored peaceful solution as an unfriendly act. Indeed, Bush here declared the Arab solution dead. No greater sabotage of peace efforts in the region could be imagined. Bush's stress on Kuwait indicates that his subsequent presentation of his troop deployments as serving the defense of Saudi Arabia was disinformation, and that the US occupation of Kuwait was his goal all along. Finally, the combination of the manic tone, the confusion of the two Secretaries General, and the obsessive "I've got to go to work" repeated three times at the end combine to suggest a state of psychological upheaval, with the thyroid undoubtedly making its contribution to Bush's flight forward. But, for the positive side of Bush's ledger, notice that there were no questions about new taxes or Neil Bush.

"Was Bush's Sunday diatribe staged?", asked the Washington Post some days later. White House officials denied it. "He did it because he felt that way," said one. "There was no intention beforehand to assume a posture just for the impact." [fn 43] Dr. Josef Goebbels was famous for his ability to deliver a speech as if it were a spontaneous emotional outburst, and the afterward cynically review it point by point and stratagem by stratagem. There is much evidence that Bush did not possess this degree of lucidity and internal critical distance.

Bush went into the White House for yet another meeting of the NSC. At this meeting, it was already a foregone conclusion that there would be a large US military deployment, although that had never been formally deliberated by the NSC. It had been a solo decision by Bush. There was now only the formality of Saudi assent.

Monday at the White House was dominated by the presence of Margaret Thatcher at her staunchest. Thatcher's theme was now that the enforcement of the economic sanctions voted by the UN would require a naval blockade in which the Anglo-Saxon combined fleets would play the leading role. Thatcher's first priority was that the sanctions had to be made to work. But if Washington and London were to conclude that a naval blockade were necessary for that end, she went on, "you would have to consider such a move." Thatcher carted out her best Churchillian rhetoric to advertise that Britain already had one warship stationed in the Persian Gulf, and that two more frigates, one from Mombassa and one from Malaysia, were on their way. "Those sanctions must be enforceable," raved Thatcher, who had never accepted economic sanctions against South Africa. "I cannot remember a time when we had the world so strongly together against an action as now."

Bush immediately took Thatcher's cue: "We need to discuss full and total implementation of these sanctions, ruling out nothing at all. These sanctions must be enforced. I think the will of the nations around the world-- not just the NATO countries-- not just the EC, not just one area of the world-- the will of the nations around the world will be to enforce these sanctions. We'll leave the details of how we implement it to the future, but we'll begin working on that immediately. That's how we go about encouraging others to do that and what we ourselves should be doing." [fn 44] In the midst of these proceedings, NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner showed up, and tried his hand at being staunch, but he could not come close to Thatcher. All of a sudden, the British were at the center of things again, the most important country, all on the basis of the token forces they were deploying. With Thatcher there, Bush had the fig-leaf of an instant international coalition to use as a bludgeon against domestic critics.

The breast-beating about the enforcement of the sanctions signaled that the Anglo-Americans were going on a diplomatic offensive against countries like Germany, Japan, and many in the third world who might have assumed a neutral or pacifist position in the crisis. Baker had been traveling in Siberia with Shevardnadze when Iraq had entered Kuwait, and Soviet condemnation of Iraq had been immediate. Many countries, especially in the third world, now found that with the Soviets closing ranks with the Anglo-Americans, the margin of maneuver they had enjoyed during the cold war was now totally gone. Countries like Jordan, the Sudan, Yemen, the PLO, and others who expressed understanding for Iraqi motives went to the top of the Anglo-American hit list. Bush assumed the role of top cop himself, with gusto: according to Fitzwater, the "speed dialing mode" had produced 20 calls to 12 different world leaders over slightly more than three days.

When Cheney arrived in Saudi Arabia, the essence of his mission was to convey to King Fahd and his retinue that the first elements of the 82nd Airborne Division would be landing within an hour or two, and that the Saudi monarchy would be well advised to welcome them. In effect, Cheney was there to tell the Saudis that they were an occupied country, and that the United States would assume physical possession of most of the Arabian peninsula, with all of its fabulous oil wealth. Did King Fahd think of protesting the arrogance of Cheney's ultimatum? If he did, he had only to think of the fate of his predecessor, King Feisal, who had been murdered by the CIA in 1975. By the time King Fahd acquiesced, the first US units were already on the ground. Cheney went through the charade of calling Bush to tell him that the dispatch of a US contingent for the defense of Saudi Arabia had been approved by His Majesty, and then formally to ask Bush's approval for the transfer of the troops. "You got it. Go," Bush is supposed to have replied. Bahrein, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, all the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council would soon be subject to the same process of military occupation.

The US expeditionary force in Saudi Arabia became widely known in Washington on Tuesday, August 7, as White House officials hastened to share the news with journalists. Bush personally wanted to stay out of the spotlight. At a Cabinet meeting, Bush told his advisers that his regime had warned the Saudi government that the threat posed by the Iraqi military to Saudi Arabia was also a threat to the national security of the United States. According to Fitzwater, Saddam Hussein met with the US charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Joseph Wilson, to tell him that "he had no intention of leaving Kuwait and every intention of staying and claiming it as his own."

On Wednesday morning, Bush delivered a televised address to the American people from the Oval Office. This was still a format that he disliked very much, since it made him seem maladroit. Bush grinned incongruously as he read his prepared text. He told the public that his troop deployments were "to take up defensive positions in Saudi Arabia." These US forces would "work together with those of Saudi Arabia and other nations to preserve the integrity of Saudi Arabia and to deter further Iraqi aggression." He inaugurated the Anglo-American Big Lie that the Iraqi actions had been "without provocation," which readers of daily newspapers knew not to be true. He also minted the story that Iraq possessed ":the fourth largest military in the world," a wild exaggeration that was repeated many times. The "new Hitler" theme was already prominent: "Appeasement does not work," Bush asserted. "As was the case in the 1930's, we see in Saddam Hussein an aggressive dictator threatening his neighbors....His promises mean nothing." Bush summed up the goals of his policy as follows:

First, we seek the immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Second, Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored to replace the puppet regime. And third, my administration, as has been the case with every president from President Roosevelt to President Reagan, is committed to the security and stability of the Persian Gulf. And fourth, I am determined to protect the lives of American citizens abroad. [fn 45]

None of this appeared to include offensive military action. Bush attempted to re-enforce that false impression in his news conference later the same afternoon. It was during this appearance that the extent of Bush's mental disintegration and psychic dissociation became most evident. But first, Bush wanted to stress his "defensive" cover story:

Well, as you know, from what I said, they're there in a defensive mode right now, and therefore that is not the mission, to drive the Iraqis out of Kuwait. We have economic sanctions that I hope will be effective to that end.

The purpose, he stressed, was the "defense of the Saudis." "We're not in a war," Bush added. After several exchanges, he was asked what had tipped his hand in deciding to send troops and aircraft into Saudi Arabia? If this had been a polygraph test, the needles would have jumped, since this went to Bush's collusion with Thatcher long before any announcement had been made. Bush replied:

There was no one single thing that I can think of. But when King Fahd requested such support we were prompt to respond. But I can't think of an individual specific thing. If there was one it would perhaps be the Saudis moving south when they said they were withdrawing....

The press corps stirred uneasily and one or two voices could be heard prompting Bush "The Iraqis...the Iraqis" There was acute embarrassment on the faces of Sununu and Fitzwater; this was the classic gaffe of cold war presidents who confused North Korea and South Korea, or East Germany and West Germany. Bush's forte was supposedly international affairs; he had traveled to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as a government official and before that as a businessman. So this gaffe pointed to a disorder of the synapses. Bush realized what he had done and tried to recover:

I mean the Iraqis, thank you very much. It's been a long night. The Iraqis moving down to the Kuwait-Saudi border, when indeed they have given their word that they were withdrawing. That heightened our concern.

Why had it been a long night for Bush? He had made all of his important decisions on the troop movements during the day on Tuesday. What had robbed him of his sleep between Tuesday and Wednesday? Those who have read this far will know that it was not conscience. A little later there was another sensitive question, touching on the mission of the troops and the possible future occupation of Saudi Arabia, postwar bases, and the like: "Could you share with us the precise military objective of this mission? Will the American troops remain there only until Saddam Hussein removes his troops from the Saudi border?" Bush, obviously in deep water, answered:

I can't answer that because we have to-- we have a major objective with those troops, which is the defense of the Soviet Union, so I think it beyond a defense of Saudi Arabia. So I think it's beyond the-- I think it's beyond just the question of tanks along the border...

The defense of the Soviet Union! But Bush pressed on: "I'm not preparing for a long ground war in the Persian Gulf." "My military objective is to see Saudi Arabia defended." Did he feel that he had been let down by his intelligence?

No, I don't feel let down by the intelligence at all. When you plan a blitzkrieg-like attack that's launched at two o'clock in the morning, that's pretty hard to stop, particularly when you have just been given the word of the people involved that there won't be any such attack. And I think the intelligence community deserves certain credit for picking up what was a substantial boycott-- a substantial buildup-- and then reporting it to us. So when this information was relayed, properly, to interested parties, that the move was so swift that it was pretty hard for them to stop it. I really can't blame our intelligence in any way, fault them, on this particular go-round.

Once again, the gaffe on boycott/buildup occurs at a moment of maximum prevarication. Bush's gibberish is dictated by his desire say on the one hand that he knew about the Iraqi troop buildup almost two weeks before the invasion, but on the other that the invasion came as a bolt from the blue. There was no follow-up on this theme.

The final portion of the press conference was devoted to the very important theme of the UN sanctions railroaded through the Security Council by the Anglo-Americans with the help of their willing French, Soviet and Chinese partners. The sanctions were in themselves an act of genocide against Iraq and the other populations impacted in the region. The sanctions, maintained after the war had ceased with the pretext that Saddam Hussein was still in power, have proven more lasting than the war itself, and they may yet prove more lethal. The Congressional debate in January was fought almost exclusively between the stranglers of the Democratic Party, who wanted to "give the sanctions more time to work," and the bombers of the Bush Administration and the Republican Party who wanted to initiate an air war. Both positions constituted high crimes against humanity. Bush wanted to argue for the inviolability of these sanctions, but he did so in such a way as to underline the monstrous and hypocritical double standard that was being applied to Iraq:

...And that's what has been so very important about this concerted United Nations effort, unprecedented, you might say, or certainly not enacted since-- what was it, 23 years ago? 23 years ago. So I don't think we can see clearly down that road.

What Bush has in mind here, but does not mention by name, were the United Nations sanctions against the racist Ian Smith regime in Rhodesia. Perhaps Bush was reluctant to mention the Rhodesian sanctions because the United States officially violated those sanctions by an act of Congress, and UN Ambassador George Bush as we have seen, was one of the principal international apologists for the US policy of importing strategic raw materials from Rhodesia because of an allegedly pre-eminent US national interest. Bush's final response shows that he was fully aware that the economic sanctions designed by the State Department and the Foreign Office would mean genocide against Iraqi children, since they contained an unprecedented prohibition of food imports:

Well, I don't know what they owe us for food, but I know that this embargo, to be successful, has got to encompass everything. And if there are-- you know, if there's a humanitarian concern, pockets of starving children, or something of this nature, why, I would take a look. But other than that this embargo is going to be all-encompassing, and it will include food, and I don't know what Iraq owes us now for food. Generally speaking, in normal times, we have felt that food might be separated out from-- you know, grain, wheat, might be separated out from other economic sanctions. But this one is all-encompassing and the language is pretty clear in the United Nations resolutions. [fn 46]

As a final gesture, Bush acknowledged to the journalists that he had "slipped up a couple times here," and thanked them for having corrected him, so that his slips and gaffes would not stand as a part of the permanent record. Bush had now done his work; he had set into motion the military machine that would first strangle, and then bomb Iraq. Within two days, Bush was on his way to Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, where his handlers hoped that the dervish would pull himself together.

During August, Bush pursued a hyperactive round of sports activities in Kennebunkport, while cartoonists compared the Middle East to the sandtraps that Bush so often landed in during his frenetic daily round of golf. On August 16, King Hussein of Jordan, who was fighting to save his nation from being dismembered by the Israelis under the cover of the crisis, came to visit Bush, who welcomed him with thinly veiled hatred. At this time Bush was already talking about mobilizing the reserves. Saddam Hussein's situation during these weeks can be compared with Noriega's on the eve of the US invasion of Panama. The US was as yet very weak on the ground, and a preventive offensive thrust by the Iraqis into Saudi Arabia towards Dahran would have caused an indescribable chaos in the US logistics. But Saddam, like Noriega, still believed that he would not be invaded; the Iraqi government gave more credit to its secret assurances than to the military force that was slowly being assembled on its southern border. Saddam therefore took no pre-emptive military actions to interfere with the methodical marshalling of the force that was later to devastate his country. The key to the US buildup was the logistical infrastructure of NATO in Europe; without this the buildup would have lasted until the summer of 1991 and beyond.

It was during these August days that Scowcroft coined the slogan of Bush's Gulf war. On August 23, Scowcroft told reporters, "We believe we are creating the beginning of a new world order out of the collapse of US-Soviet antagonisms." [fn 47]

Bush was now conducting a systematic "mind war" campaign to coerce the American people into accepting the war he had already chosen. On August 20, Bush introduced a new rhetorical note, now calling the American citizens detained in Iraq "hostages." Under international law, the imminent threat of acts of war against a country entitles that country to intern enemy aliens as a matter of self-defense; this had been the rule in earlier wars. Henceforth, Bush would attempt to turn the hostage issue on and off according to his propaganda needs, until Iraq freed all the Americans in early December.

On August 27, Bush opined that "Saddam Hussein has been so resistant to complying with international law that I don't yet see fruitful negotiations." [fn 48] Statements like these were made to cloak the fact that Bush was adamantly refusing to negotiate with Iraq, and preventing other nations from doing so. Bush's diplomatic posture was in effect an ultimatum to Iraq to get out of Kuwait, with the Iraqi departure to come before any discussions. Bush called this a refusal to reward aggression; it was in fact a refusal to negotiate in good faith, and made clear that Bush wanted war. His problem was that the US military buildup was taking longer than expected, with ship convoys forced to turn back in the Atlantic because freighters broke down and were left dead in the water. Bush strove to fill the time with new demagogic propaganda gambits.

Bush returned to Washington at the end of August to address members of Congress. In the public part of this meeting, Bush reiterated that his goal was to "persuade Iraq to withdraw." There followed an executive session behind closed doors. The next day Bush recorded a broadcast to the US forces in the Gulf, which was beamed to Saudi Arabia by the Armed Forces Radio. "Soldiers of peace will always be more than a match for a tyrant bent on aggression," Bush told the troops. During early September, it became evident that that the US and Soviet approaches to the Gulf crisis were beginning to show some signs of divergence. Up to this point, Foreign Minister Shevardnadze had backed every step made by Bush and Baker, but the US Gulf intervention was not popular among Red Army commanders and among Soviet Moslems who were disturbed by the infidel occupation of the holy places. On September 9, Bush met with Gorbachov in Helsinki, Finland in order to discuss this and other matters of interest to a condominium in which the Anglo-Saxons were now more than ever the senior partners. Gorbachov spoke up for "a political solution" to the conflict, but his government willingly took part in every vote of the UN Security Council which opened the way to the Gulf war. A few days later, on September 15, Bush received precious support from his masonic brother Francois Mitterrand, who exploited a trifling incident involving French diplomatic premises in Kuwait -- the sort of thing that Bush had done repeatedly in Panama -- massively to escalate the French troop presence and rhetoric in the Gulf. "C'est une aggression, et nous allons y repondre," said the master of the Grand Orient; the spirit of Suez 1956, the spirit of the Algerian war and of Dienbienphu were alive and well in France.

To while away the weeks of the buildup, Bush busied himself with extortion. This was directed especially against Germany and Japan, two countries that were targets of the Gulf war, and whom Bush now called upon to pay for it. The constitutions of these countries prevented them from sending military contingents, and intervention would have been unpopular with domestic public opinion in any case. Japan was assessed $4 billion in tribute, and Germany a similar sum. By the end of the crisis, Bush and Baker had organized a $55 billion shakedown at the expense of a series of countries. These combined to produce the first balance of payments surplus for the United States in recent memory during the first quarter of 1991, obtaining a surcease for the dollar.

But even prediscounting this extorted tribute, the fiscal crisis of the US Treasury was becoming overwhelming. On September 11, Bush was to address the Congress on the need for austerity measures to reduce the deficit for the coming fiscal year. But Bush did not wish to appear before the Congress as a simple bankrupt; he wanted to strut before them as a warrior. The resulting speech was a curious hybrid, first addressing the Gulf crisis, and only then turning to the dolorous balance sheets of the regime. It was in this speech that Bush repeated the Scowcroft slogan that will accompany his regime into the dust bin of history: The New World Order. After gloatingly quoting Gorbachov's condemnation of "Iraq's aggression," Bush came to the relevant passage:

Clearly, no longer can a dictator count on East-West confrontation to stymie concerted United Nations action against aggression. A new partnership of nations has begun, and we stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective --a new world order-- can emerge: A new era-- freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony. [fn 49]

During August and September, Bush's Gulf offensive had allowed him to dominate the headlines and news broadcasts with bellicose posturing and saber-rattling in the crisis which he had assiduously helped to create. Now, during October, the awesome economic depression produced by the bipartisan economic policies of the Eastern Liberal Establishment over a quarter-century re-asserted its presence with all the explosive force of reality long denied.

All during August and September, the haggling had continued between Bush and the Congressional leadership about how optimally to inflict more drastic austerity on the American people. The haggling had recessed in August, but had resumed in great secrecy on September 7, with the elite group of participants sequestered from the world at a military air base near Washington. The haggling proceeded slowly, and key budget deadlines built into the Gramm-Rudman calendar began to slip by: September 10, September 15, and September 25 were missed. It was now apparent that the final deadline posed for the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1 could not be met; there was a danger of a Gramm-Rudman "train wreck" or automatic, across the board sequester of budget spending authority. On September 30, Bush and the elite Congressional summiteers appeared in a Rose Garden ceremony to announce a five-year, $500 billion deficit reduction package, allegedly featuring $40 billion in deficit reduction during the first year, to be submitted to Congress for rubber-stamping. This plan contained higher taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, liquor, luxury items, plus savage cuts on defense, Medicare for the elderly, and farm payments. It was unsweetened by Bush's favorite nostrum for fatcats, a cut in the capital gains tax. Tax deductions were limited for the most wealthy. George, squirming under warnings from all sides, but especially the GOP right wing, that this deal codified his infamous betrayal of June 26, tried to be a little contrite:

Sometimes you don't get it the way you want, and this is such a time for me. And I suspect it's such a time for everybody standing here. But it's time we put the interests of the United States of America here and get this deficit under control.

Bush called the package "balanced" and "fair." "Now comes the hard part," said Mitchell, referring to the irritating formality of Congressional passage. Believing the assurances of Mitchell and Foley, Dole and Michel that the resulting deal could be passed, Bush signed a continuing resolution to keep the government going from October 1 until October 5, while also avoiding the Gramm-Rudman guillotine.

On October 2, at the urging of the Congressional leaders, Bush made one of his rare televised addresses to the nation from the Oval Office. According to one observer, "Bush's TV address on the budget was the most listless presidential appeal since Carter's 'malaise' speech." [fn 50] Bush's tones had a pinch of the apocalypse" "If we fail to enact this agreement, our economy will falter, markets may tumble, and recession will follow. Tell your congressmen and senators you support this deficit-reduction agreement. If they are Republicans, urge them to stand with the president. If they are Democrats, urge them to stand with their Congressional leaders." Bush had now discovered that the deficit, which he had ignored in 1989, was a "cancer gnawing away at our nation's health." The plan he recommended, he pointed out with bathos, was a product of "blood, sweat, and fears-- fears of the economic chaos that would follow if we fail to reduce the deficit." [fn 51] Bush's plan was supported by Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve, the voice of the international central bankers.

Shepherding such a weighty affair of state through the Congress was considered a job for a team headed by none other than Dan Quayle. Quayle quipped that he was like a friendly dentist applying a lot of novocaine and hoping for a few votes. Despite such boyish good spirits, it was not to be. Republicans were incensed that Bush had given away the "crown jewels" of their party just in order to get a deal. Right-wing Republicans lamented that the package was a "road-map to recession" and a "cave-in to the liberal Democrats." "I wouldn't vote for it if it cured cancer," said Congressman Trafficant. Democrats were angered by the new excise tax, which was regressive, and by higher income tax rate increases for lower income groups. When the plan came up for a vote in the House on the fateful day of October 5, with the stopgap legislation about to run out, many Democrats deferred voting until they could see that a clear majority of the Republicans were voting against their own president's plan. Then the Democrats also cast negative votes. The deficit package was soundly defeated, 254-179. Bush was humiliated: only 71 Republican stuck with their president, joined by 108 Democrats. 105 GOPers had revolted, and joined with 149 Democrats to sink the accord Bush had pleaded for on television. Even Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who as House GOP Minority Whip should have superintended efforts to dragoon votes for Bush, had jumped ship on October 1, encouraging other GOP defections.

The Congress then quickly passed and sent to Bush a further continuing resolution to keep the government going; it was now the Friday before the Columbus Day weekend. Bush had threatened to veto any such legislation, and he now made good on his threat, intoning that "the hour of reckoning is at hand." The federal government thereupon began to shut down, except for Desert Shield and some other operations the bureaucracy considered essential. Tourists in Washington noticed that the toilets maintained by the National Park Service were shutting down. Bush, wanting to set a good example, decided that Sunday that he would drive back from Camp David by car: he got a rude taste of how the other half lives, ending up stalled in a typical traffic jam on the interstate.

The following week was a time of great political hemorraging for George Bush. His problems grew out of a clumsy series of trial balloons he floated about what kind of tax package he would accept. By one count, he changed his mind five times in three days. First came the government itself. Any president, and especially an apparatchik like Bush, has a healthy respect for what the Washington bureaucracy might do to him if it, like the mercenaries Machiavelli warned about, were not paid. Bush accordingly relented and signed a short-term continuing resolution to keep the paychecks flowing and the bureaucracy open. Now Congressmen of both parties began to offer amendments on the $22 billion tax bill that was at the heart of the new austerity package. First Bush indicated that he would accept an increase in income tax rates for the most wealthy in exchange for a cut in the capital gains tax. Then he indicated that he would not. In a press conference, he said such a deal would be "fine." Then a group of Republican Congressmen visited him to urge him to drop the idea of any such deal; they came out declaring that Bush was now in agreement with them. But then Bush drifted back towards the tradeoff. Richard Darman, one of Bush's budget enforcers, was asked what Bush thought about the tax rates trade off. "I have no idea what White House statement was issued," said the top number cruncher, "but I stand behind it 100%." By the weekend of October 13-14, there were at least three draft tax bills in circulation. Even hard-core Bushmen were unable to tell the legislators what the president wanted, and what he would veto. The most degraded and revealing moment came when Bush was out jogging, and reporters asked him about his position on taxes. "Read my hips!," shouted Bush, pointing towards his posterior with both hands. It was not clear who had scripted that one, but the message was clear: the American people were invited to kiss Bush's ass.

It was one of the most astounding gestures by a president in modern times, and posed the inevitable question: had Bush gone totally psychotic?

"The public is not laughing," commented a White House official. Newsday, the New York tabloid, went with the headline READ MY FLIPS. The New York Times revived the label that Bush resented most: for the newspaper of record, Bush was "a political wimp." A senior GOP political consultant noted that "the difference is that Reagan had principles and beliefs. This guy has no rudder." In the opinion of Newsweek, "Bush took no stand on principle and didn't seem to know what he wanted....He made incomprehensible jokes. He was strangely eager to please even those who were fighting him, and powerless to punish defectors. As in the bad old days, he looked goofy." [fn 52]

The haggling went on into the third week of October, and then into the fourth. Would it last to Halloween, to permit a macabre night of the living dead on the Capitol? Newt Gingrich told David Brinkley on "This Week" of October 21 that most House Republicans were prepared to vote against any plan to increase taxes, totally disregarding the wishes of Bush. Senator Danforth of Missouri complained, "I am concerned and a lot of Republicans are concerned that this is becoming a political rout." At this point the Democrats wanted to place a 1% surtax on all income over 41 million, while the GOP favored reducing the deductions for the rich. In yet another flip-flop, Bush had conceded on October 20 that he would accept an increase in the top income tax rate from 28% to 31%. By October 24, a deal was finally reached which could be passed, and the next day Bush attempted to put the best possible face on things by assembling the bruised and bleeding Republican Congressional leadership, including the renegade Gingrich, for another Rose Garden ceremony.

The final budget plan set the top income tax rate at 31%, and increased taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, airline tickets, increased Medicare payroll taxes and premiums, while cutting Medicare benefit payouts and government payments to farmers. Another part of the package replaced the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings once a year sequester threat with a "triple, rolling sequester" with rigid spending caps for each of the three categories of defense, foreign aid, and discretionary domestic spending, and no transfers permitted among these. The entire apparatus will require super-majorities of 60 votes to change in the future. Naturally, this package was of no use whatever in deficit reduction, given the existence of an accelerating economic depression. In Bush's famous New World Order speech on September 11, he had frightened the Congress with the prospect of a deficit of $232 billion. In October of 1991, it was announced that the deficit for the fiscal year ending September 31, 1991, the one that was supposed to show improvement, had come in at $268.7 billion, the worst in all history. Predictions for the deficit in the year beginning on October 1, 1991 were in excess of $350 billion, guaranteeing that the 1991 record would not stand long. Bush's travail of October, 1990 had done nothing to improve the picture.

Bush's predicament was that the Reaganomics of the 1980's (which had been in force since the period after the Kennedy assassination) had produced more than a depression: they had engendered the national bankruptcy of the United States. That bankruptcy was now lawfully dismembering the Reagan coalition, the coalition which Bush had still been able to ride to power in 1988. Since Bush refused to replace the suicidal, post-industrial economic policies of the last quarter century, he was obliged to attempt to smother irrepressible political conflicts with police state methods, and with war hysteria.

But in the interval before he could start the war, Bush would pay a heavy political price. According to the Newsweek poll, Bush's job approval rating had dropped from 67% during the Gulf scare of August to 48% at the end of the October budget battles. The 20-point free fall was a reminder that Bush possessed no solid base of support among any numerically significant group in the US electorate. Now, the Carteresque Bush found that his own party was turning against him. A split had opened up in the GOP which threatened that party with the fate of the degenerate Federalists.

In the midst of the budget upheaval Bush, ever true to his family's racist creed, had impudently vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990. To make the symbolism perfect, he signed the veto after an appearance at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award ceremonies in Washington. Bush was playing the card of racism for 1990 and 1992. "I deeply regret having to take this action with a bill bearing such a title," said Bush, "especially since it contains provisions that I strongly endorse." But he was adamant that this bill "employs a maze of highly legalistic language to introduce the destructive force of quotas into our national unemployment system." Bush claimed that this was a quota bill, and since equal opportunity was thwarted by quotas, "the very commitment to justice and equality that is offered as the reason why this bill should be signed requires me to veto it." An attempted override fell short by one vote in the Senate, 66-34, even though Minnesota Republican Rudy Boschwitz, who had been against the bill, switched sides to oppose Bush's veto. Boschwitz was doomed to defeat in the November election in any case.

A most dramatic sign of the repudiation of Bush even by the Republican party apparatus was the celebrated memorandum issued on October 15 by veteran political operative Ed Rollins of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Rollins had been given a four-year, million dollar contract to help the GOP win a majority on the Hill. He was dedicated to helping his Congressional clients, incumbents and challengers alike, to get elected. Watching the polls, Rollins saw that Bush's June 26 broken promise was sure to be poison at the polls in early November. He sent out a memo that made the following points:

The mood of the country has shifted dramatically in the past ten days; voters have become as pessimistic about the direction of the country as at any time in recent history.

The President's approval/disapproval and job performance ratings have dropped precipitously. This is no doubt due to the lack of a budget resolution and the lack of a clear Republican position on taxes and spending.

Understanding that several members have never taken a no tax pledge, my best advice today is to urge you to oppose taxes, specifically gas and income taxes. Do not hesitate to oppose either the President or proposals being advanced in Congress. [fn 53]

Bush appears to have learned of the Rollins memo in an NBC news broadcast on October 24. According to one source, Bush then told a group of GOP Congressional leaders that while he could not control all Republican political consultants, he "did control Rollins," and wanted him fired immediately. Rollins's immediate boss, Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, a Republican wheelhorse from Michigan, complained that he had come out of this meeting with Bush "black and blue" from the president's punishment. [fn 54] The answer from Rollins was, "I don't plan to resign." Incredibly, Bush was unable to secure the ouster of Rollins, who, one must conclude, enjoyed more support from rank and file Republican Congressmen at this point than Bush himself. Some consultants suggested that Bush should simply back off: "If the November 6 results are as bad as they appear, the consensus will be that George Bush blew it," said one. Bush "is the George Steinbrenner of politics," said another perception-monger. "He just booted away the best franchise in the sport." Dreams of taking House seats were vanishing with each new poll; the GOP now hoped for damage control measures to keep the loss to ten seats if they could.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:54 am
by admin

On the campaign trail, Bush was finally receiving treatment commensurate with his merits. October 23 was a day he will never forget. George had gotten up before dawn to make a day of it on the hustings, only to find that he was being shunned as the new Typhoid Mary of American politics.

The first stop was an early-morning fund raiser in Burlington, Vermont, designed to benefit Rep. Peter Smith, a freshman Congressman. Smith was supposed to give Bush a rousing introduction and then bask in the warmth of Bush's support. But instead, Smith astounded Bush and his handlers by launching into a tortured monologue on all the points of disagreement that divided him from Bush. Smith told of how he had been loyal to Bush on October 5, and of how his constituents had then rebelled, with the result that he caught political hell for his pro-Bush vote. Smith demanded that Bush now raise taxes on the wealthy. Smith also mentioned the civil rights bill: "My specific disagreements with this administration are a matter of record," Smith stressed. Poor Smith: his pro-Bush vote on October 5 had doomed him to defeat in his close race with Bernie Sanders, the former socialist mayor of Burlington.

Bush stewed, raged, and squirmed. He looked around to see if anyone would come to his aid. Sitting next to Bush was GOP Senator James M. Jeffords, who had voted in favor of the civil rights bill Bush had vetoed. He had made an emotional speech in the Senate lambasting Bush for trying to punch giant "loopholes" in the civil rights of citizens. Jeffords sat staring straight ahead, doing a fair imitation of Bush at the Nashua Telegraph debate. When Bush got up, he was dissociated and tongue-tied. He stumbled through his speech, improvising a few lines in which he praised the independent-mindedness of Vermonters like Smith, but whined that he wished it would not come at his expense. Bush then asserted that we have a sluggish economy out there nationally. That's one of the reasons why I favor this deficit so much. [fn 55]

The crowd was puzzled; some of them were perhaps driven to try the socialism of Bernie Sanders over this. The mental disintegration of George Bush went on apace.

Bush's second stop of the day was in Manchester, New Hampshire. Here he was greeted by his old friend, the Manchester Union Leader, with a front page cartoon of the granite-faced man in the mountain saying "Read His Lips, Mr. President. Go Home and Take Your Taxes with You." Here there was no attack on Bush's economics; the candidate he was supposed to be helping, Rep. Robert C. Smith, had obviously concluded that any film footage showing him in the same picture with Bush would pose the threat of disaster, so he had simply stayed in Washington. The congressman's wife was there to tell the audience that her husband had stayed in Washington for House votes he could not miss; an apoplectic Bush ferociously chewed on an apple before he rose for perfunctory remarks.

Bush's third stop was in Waterbury, Connecticut, where the beneficiary of his presence was Gary Franks, a black Republican whom Bush needed as a fig leaf for his veto of the civil rights bill. Franks solved the Typhoid Mary problem by barring the news media from the campaign event, so no sound bites associating him with Bush could be used against him by his opponent. Later there was a brief photo opportunity with Bush and Franks together.

Surely Bush had cut a ridiculous figure. But how many Iraqis would die in January, February and beyond to assuage Bush's humiliations of this day?

Bush's last pre-election campaign trip would eliminate stops in Oregon, Nebraska, Illinois, and North Carolina, where Republicans teetered on the edge of defeat. Bush was trying to cut his losses, and he was not alone. During the months before the election, Bush had spent hours sweating under television lights to tape endorsement commercials for over 80 GOP candidates. One Congressman, Rep. Alfred A. McCandless of California, used pieces of Bush's tape in a commercial designed to highlight his differences with Bush. Many of the other tapes were never used; many of those endorsed pleaded as an excuse that their fundraising had been ruined by Bush's tax policy, so they never had the money to put them on the air.

Bush attempted to regroup by seeking new demagogic themes. For those struggling with economic depression he offered...term limits for members of Congress, in the hands of the GOP a transparent attempt to flush out Democratic incumbents. Term limitation, said Bush, was "an idea whose time has come." "America doesn't need a liberal House of Lords," said Bush in Oklahoma City. "America needs a Republican Congress." The Democrats "truly believe they deserve to be elected from now until kingdom come," said Bush in Los Angeles. The response was less than overwhelming. Then Bush tried to blame the depression on the Democrats. The venue chosen was a $1000 a plate fundraiser for Sen. Pete Wilson, who wanted to be governor of California. The "strong medicine" of the deficit package, Bush claimed, "is required because the Democratically controlled Congress has been on an uncontrolled spending binge for years." In Oklahoma City, he averred that the Democrats had "choked the economy" and brought the country to the verge of recession. He accused Congressional liberals of spewing out the "class warfare garbage" they always resurrect at election time. But none of this had any bite. [fn 56] On November 3, Bush reached into his talk bag and pulled out Jimmy Carter, threatening voters with a return to the "malaise days." According to Newsweek, Bush had reacquired that "electrocuted" look.

Bush went back to his staple offering: hysterical, rage-driven warmongering, with an extra dividend for some audiences coming through the clear racist overtones. Once Congress had adjourned, one observer noted, "Bush was able to switch to his favorite script, 'Desperately Seeking Saddam.'" [fn 57] Bush grimaced and pouted against the "butcher of Baghdad" trying to look like a more genteel, Anglo-Saxon Mussolini. Saddam was now "Hitler revisited." Later, there were estimates that Bush's exclusive concentration on the war theme had saved one to two senate seats, and perhaps half a dozen in the House.

But Bush came dangerously close to overdoing it. In the last days of October, he had begun a demagogic effort to whip up hysteria about the US citizens interned by Iraq. "I have had it" with the Iraqi handling of the internees, was now Bush's favorite line. When Bush wrapped himself in the flag, he expected the Democrats to kow-tow, but now there was some opposition. Bush met with some 15 Congressional leaders active in foreign policy, and began raving about the "horrible, barbarous" conditions of the hostages. Sharp questions were immediately posed by Democrats, many of them facing re-election in a few days. According to one Congressman, "They were asking, in not so many words, Is this trumped up? If it isn't, how come we just have started hearing about it in the middle of this political mess the president is in? It seems to be coming out of nowhere. Dante Fascell said the Democrats had told Bush, "If there is additional provocation [by Iraq], it better be real and able to stand up to press scrutiny." Too bad the Democrats had not applied that standard to the whole trumped-up Gulf crisis. [fn 58]

The result of the November 6 election was a deep disappointment to Republicans; Bush's party lost one senate seat, 9 House seats, and one governorship. Not all of these gains went to Democrats, since disgruntled voters gave two governorships and one House seat to independents outside of the two party system. Most dramatic was the anti-incumbent mood against governors, where economic crisis and tax revolt had been on the agenda all year: the governing party, whether Republican or Democrat, was ousted in 14 of the 36 state houses that were contested. For Bush there were very special disappointments: he had campaigned very hard for Clayton Williams in Texas and for Governor Bob Martinez in Florida, but Bush's coattails proved non-existent to negative; Democrats won both governorships. The loss of Texas and Florida was a very ominous threat for Bush's 1992 re-election campaign, since these were the two indispensable keystones of the Southern Strategy. Now, that GOP lock on the Electoral College might be drawing to a close. But unfortunately, that was for the future: Bush's repudiation at the polls this time around was not enough to reduce him to an impotent lame duck with no mandate to wage war. Bush was now a wounded beast who could, and would, lash out.

Bush emerged gravely damaged: Business Week devoted a cover to a photo of Bush and the legend: "Losing Ground: GOP Losses in Congress, statehouse setbacks, and internal party strife are eroding George Bush's authority-- and his ability to lead the nation." "A few more good days like that and Republicans will go the way of Whigs," wrote the magazine. The vote was a "humbling rebuke to a barnstorming Bush." [49] In the words of an October 31 headline in the pro-regime Washington Times, "Bush in 92? 'Dead Meat,' say skeptics." Kevin Phillips noted that economics could prove fatal for Bush: "Since World War II the GOP's pattern has been for economic downturns during midterm election years: full-fledged recessions in 1954, 1958, 1970, 1974, and 1982, and a severe farm-belt and oil-patch slump in 1986. Today's economic thunderclouds, however, are the first in memory (at least since the post-1929 period) to portend their storms for the third year of a GOP presidency." And for Bush, the economic bad news was to be found even in the New York Times: "What Recession? It's a Depression," proclaimed one article. Leonard Silk made the optimistic case in the same paper: "Why It's Too Soon to Predict Another Great Depression," was his title. [fn 59]

But well before the dust had settled from the election debacle, Bush had resumed his march towards a holocaust in the Middle East. On the day after the election, Baker, speaking in Moscow, launched Bush's all-out press for a UN Security Council resolution legitimizing the use of armed force against Iraq over the Kuwait question. Bush had to push his war through both the US Congress and the UN permanent five; his estimate was that the world powers would be easier to dragoon, and that the assent of the Security Council could then be used to bludgeon the Congress into acquiescence. [fn 60]

It is important to note that in shifting his policy towards aggressive war, Bush was once again dancing to the tune being piped in from London. On Wednesday, November 7, the racist crone Thatcher, now on her way out as Prime Minister, issued her most warmongering statement so far on the Gulf crisis:

Either [Saddam Hussein] gets out of Kuwait soon or we and our allies will remove him by force and he will go down to defeat with all the consequences. He has been warned. [fn 61]

Yet again, the United States was to be drawn into a useless and genocidal war as the tail on the British imperial kite.

And so, flaunting his vicious contempt for the democratic process, on Thursday November 8, just two days after the election, Bush made what any serious, intelligent person must have recognized as a declaration of preemptive war in the Gulf:

After consultation with King Fahd and our other allies I have today directed the secretary of defense to increase the size of US forces committed to Desert Shield to ensure that the coalition has an adequate offensive military option should that be necessary to achieve our common goals. Towards this end we will continue to discuss the possibility of both additional allied force contributions and appropriate United Nations actions. Iraq's brutality, aggression, and violations of international law cannot be allowed to succeed. [fn 62]

For those who had ever believed Bush's verbal declarations, here was an entirely new policy, advanced without the slightest motivation. Bush argued that the current US troop strength of 230,000 was enough to defend Saudi Arabia, but that was no longer good enough. Bush's only argument was that gradual strangulation by sanctions might take too long. Reporters pointed out that Thatcher had threatened to use military force the day before. Did Bush want war? "I would love to see a peaceful resolution to this question, and that's what I want." Some of the more lucid minds had now figured out that Bush was indeed a pathological liar.

For the rest of the month of November, a modest wave of anti-war sentiment was observed in the United States, some of it coming from Democrats of the strangler faction who had never wavered in their devotion to evil. On Sunday, November 11 Sen. Sam Nunn questioned Bush's rush to war. But Nunn did not call for a denial of funds to wage war on the model of the Hatfield-McGovern amendment which had finally tied Nixon's hands in Vietnam. Nunn was a leader of the strangler group, urging reliance on the sanctions. James Reston wrote in the New York Times, that "Bush's comparison of Hussein to Hitler, a madman with superior military forces in the center of industrial Europe, is ridiculous." "Saying 'My President, right or wrong,' in such circumstances, is a little like saying, 'my driver, drunk or sober,' and not many passengers like to go that far." [fn 63] The following day, under a headline reading "Tide against war grows at home, abroad," the Washington Times carried a warning from New York Senator Moynihan: "If George Bush wants his presidency to die in the Arabian desert, he's going at it very steadily and as if it were a plan. He will wreck our military, he will wreck his administration, and he'll spoil the chance to get a collective security system working. It breaks the heart." Sen. Kerrey of Oklahoma declared himself "not convinced this administration will do everything in its power to avoid war. And if ever there was an avoidable war, it is this one."

On November 15, Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey warned Bush that "to continue to hold the support of Congress, [Bush] must suspend the newly announced buildup of offensive forces against Iraq until he justifies why he has downgraded the promising strategy of patient pressure. Without hearing a convincing explanation of that change, and with the cost of Operation Desert Shield now heading toward $30 billion, Congress should authorize no expenditures for an enlarged offensive option to invade Kuwait or Iraq." [fn 64] Bradley had to pay attention to public opinion; he had almost lost his seat earlier in the month. On the following day, Gorbachov's special envoy to the Middle East, Yevgeny Primakov, called for a delay in the resolution on the use of force against Iraq to allow Saddam Hussein a "face-saving" way out. One week later, in the context of the Paris Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Gorbachov directed his desperate appeal to the world for food shipments to the USSR. Even if the Kremlin had wished to resist Bush's war drive, their weakness was evident. The Soviet Union, like China, would soon vote for the resolution that would justify Bush's January attack.

But the hyperthyroid Bush was unwilling to brook criticism. In best bullying style, he came to a meeting with Congressional leaders on November 14 with a sheaf of articles from Iraqi newspapers reporting, among other things, Moynihan's speech of a few days before. Even Republican Richard Lugar was targeted by Bush's ire. Bush whined that such statements were giving Saddam reasons to doubt US resolve. On November 16, the National Council of Churches condemned Bush's Gulf policy, citing "reckless rhetoric," "imprudent behavior," and the precipitous military buildup.

James Baker, groping for reasons for the coming war, thought he had found one: "If you want to sum it up in one word, it's jobs. Because an economic recession, worldwide, caused by the control of one nation, one dictator, of the West's economic lifeline will result in the loss of jobs on the part of American citizens." [fn 65] Many citizens were offended by Baker's patronizing condescension, which was coordinated with Bush's remarks of the same day in which he admitted that the country was in a "downturn," and hinted that the depth of any recession would depend on whether or not the Gulf crisis turned into a prolonged standoff. If recession were to come, said Bush, "it will not be deep and we will come out of it relatively soon- six months at most." [fn 66] Commenting on what really concerned him, Bush commented, "holding public opinion forever is very difficult to do." Bush was not even succeeding in the short term: Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Larry Yatch told reporters that support for Bush's Gulf policy was "at the teetering point-- the people are really becoming skeptical." His Louisiana counterpart, James J. Brady, noted that Bush " has not given them answers to their questions." "Jobs are not the reason we are there," he added. [fn 67]

In the House of Representatives, a group of 45 House Democrats went to federal court in a vain attempt to stop Bush from initiating hostilities, and Rep. Gonzalez of Texas, the honorable maverick, offered a bill of impeachment against Bush.

On November 16, Bush left on a multi-country blitz of Europe and the Middle East which was intended to shore up the anti-Iraq coalition until the buildup could be completed and the war unleashed. In Prague, Bush was lionized by large crowds; President Havel gave Bush a testimonial of support about the lessons of Munich 1938 and appeasement that Bush would wave around all through the war. It was unfortunate that freedom from communist tyranny for some politicians seemed to mean the freedom to lick Bush's boots. In Speyer, Germany, Bush had another apoplectic moment when Catholic Bishop Anton Schlembach wished Bush success "but without war and bloodshed." Bush sat red-faced like a roasted cherub. Germans were not happy about Bush's extortion of their country when they needed money to rebuild the newly freed federal states in the east; Germany was now reunified. Bush had a strained meeting with Kohl, and, at the CSCE finale in Paris, a cordial one with Mitterrand, with whom his rapport was excellent. Here our hero pressed Gorbachov for a Soviet imprimatur on his war resolution, but Gorbachov was still stalling.

On Thanksgiving Day, Bush and Bar were with the troops in Saudi Arabia. Many soldiers told reporters that they were not happy to be there, and were not in favor of war. One trooper asked Bush, "Why not make a deal with Saddam Hussein, Mr. President?" while Bush gagged on his chicken a la king Meal Ready to Eat (MRE). Flying westward the next day, Bush stopped in Geneva for a meeting with Hafez Assad of Syria, a true villain and butcher who had, during the month of October, taken advantage of his deal with Bush to finish off Gen. Aoun's independent Lebanese state. Bush's meeting with Assad lasted for three hours. Assad had provided 7,500 Syrian troops for the coalition attack force in Saudi Arabia, which he promised to increase to 20,000. "Mr. Assad is lined up with us with a commitment to force," said Bush. "They are on the front line, or will be, standing up to this aggression."

Manic hysteria at the top of a bureaucratic apparatus will swiftly infect the lower echelons as well, and this was illustrated by the mishaps of Bush's traveling entourage, which clashed with Swiss security officers while entering and leaving Geneva Airport. A new factor exacerbating Bush's mental instability during this trip was the imminent fall of his Anglo-Saxon Svengali, Margaret Thatcher, who was about to be dumped as prime minister, primarily because she had become persona non grata among the leaders of western Europe in an era in which Britain's future survival depended on parasitizing the wealth of the continent. The Swiss have some of the most level-headed and expert airport protocol personnel in the world, but Bush's retinue was determined to run amok. Bush and Fitzwater wanted the press corp free to run around the airport to get the most dramatic shots and sound bites of Bush's epic entry into one of the centers of world diplomacy. When Bush landed, the "photo dogs" wanted to gather under the wing of Bush's plane, but the Swiss moved them out of the area. At the departure, the press corps went bonkers, and many of them had to be physically restrained by the Swiss officers when they attempted to break through a crowd-control line. Fitzwater complained that State Department protocol chief Joseph V. Reed (the scion of the Jupiter Island magnate) had had a machine gun shoved into his stomach, and that Sununu had been "verbally abused" during the altercation. But Fitzwater was an accomplished prevaricator: "I must say I have never seen that kind of brutal and vicious treatment by a security force in the last 10 years. It's strange. It's supposedly a peace-loving nation but they gave us the most vicious treatment I've ever seen." Thierry Magnin described the actions of some US reporters as "deplorable" and "inadmissible." Magnin said there had been "a row and heated words, but this was to enforce security measures...taken in accord with the American security services." He denied that any submachine gun was ever pointed at Reed. [fn 68] Magnin said the Geneva police would not apologize, and later it was indeed the US which backed down.

It was during this period that Lyndon LaRouche, from his jail cell in Minnesota, called attention to Bush's increasingly psychotic behavior. On November 24, LaRouche commented:

I have been obliged today to use nothing other than the term "psycho-sexual impotence" to describe the characteristic features exhibited by a visibly paranoid President George Herbert "Hoover" Walker Bush in the context of his reactions simultaneously to knowledge of the certainty of the ongoing economic depression, and the mess in the Persian Gulf, in which he, guided largely by certain Israeli influences and Margaret Thatcher, has enmired himself, the nation, and a good deal of the world.

There is no question that President George Bush is suffering a more acute form of implicitly schizophrenic paranoia than he showed during the height of the moments of uncertainty during the Panama atrocity by forces under his direction.

The President, in short, is CRACKING: HE IS GOING NUTS.

The proper term to be used, to understand this particular problem of the President as President, is "psycho-sexual impotence" as I have used the term, in connection with, for example, the "Beyond Psychoanalysis" series...
Bush ... is a killer; he is a heartless, amoral, immoral bureaucrat, who's capable of any dirty thing in the book, for the sake of expediency; he probably has a sense of ethics, which means ethics in the sense of Nichomachean Ethics, which means a complete lack of morality.....

... And George simply reacts like a Nietzschean fascist, to say that he will impose by brute force and by exercise of the will, his arbitrary values, his belief structure, upon an uncooperative Creator and Creation.

That is the case in which the psycho-sexual impotent goes over to the practice of RAPE- because the woman, or women, refuse to be responsive to his advances, and therefore he says, "I'll make you responsive; I'll rape you." That's George Bush. Therefore, one must use the concept of psycho-sexual impotence in the case of Bush in order to understand him, and to understand the crisis which besets the presidency at this time. You have a man who is intellectually distinguished by the banality of his mediocrity, who is faced with a situation in which there is no room for mediocrity, in any part of the world, with respect to any important domestic or international policy matter. But, you have a mediocrity who, at the same time, is a megalomaniac mediocrity who refuses to accept anything which might suggest the slightest tinge of mediocrity in his mediocrity. And he's gone over to a Nietzschean kind of triumph of the arbitrary will, which he conceives of, as did Hitler, as a new world order, at the behest of the impulse of this poor mediocrity himself. [fn 69]

On November 30, UN Security Council, now reduced to a discredited tool of the Anglo-Americans, voted for a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. This piece of infamy was labeled resolution 648 and passed with twelve assenting votes against the no votes of Cuba and Yemen, with the People's Republic of China abstaining. (International jurists later pointed out that according to the text of the UN Charter, which requires the positive votes of all five permanent members to approve substantive resolutions, the resolution had not passed, and that in acting on it the UN had entered a phase of anarchy and lawlessness.) Iraq was given 47 days to leave Kuwait, and this ultimatum was to expire on January 15. Bush clearly hoped that this resolution could be used to silence his Congressional critics.

But in the meantime, Bush's path to war was beset with troubles on the domestic front. The ghoulish Scowcroft and other Bush spokesmen had been attempting to whip up war sentiment with wildly exaggerated reports about Iraq's nuclear preparations; these accounts, like the later alleged findings of "UN inspector" David Kay, failed to distinguish between peaceful and military uses of nuclear energy; the name of this game was technological apartheid. This campaign had evoked much skepticism: "Bush's Atomic Red Herring" was the title of one op-ed in the New York Times.

Anti-war sentiment now crystallized around the hearings being held by Sam Nunn's Senate Armed Services Committee. Two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William J. Crowe and General David C. Jones, urged a policy of continued reliance on the sanctions. They were soon joined by former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, Gen. William Odom, and other figures of past regimes. Bush's principal support came from the croaking voice of Henry Kissinger, who was for war as soon as practicable. These were the days when King Fahd flirted briefly with the idea of a negotiated settlement, before he was reminded by the State Department that he ruled an occupied country. "Once Again: What's the Rush?" asked the New York Times of November 29. Bush wanted the Congress to pass a resolution giving him a blank check to wage war, but he hesitated to set off a debate that might go on all the way to January 15 and beyond, and in which he risked being beaten. After all, Bush was still refusing to negotiate.

Now, on Friday, November 30, Bush executed the cynical tactic that would ultimately paralyze his craven domestic opposition and clear the way to war: he made a fake offer of negotiations with Iraq:

However, to go the extra mile for peace, I will issue an invitation to Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz to come to Washington at a mutually convenient time during the latter part of the week of December 10th to meet with me. And I'll invite ambassadors of several of our coalition partners in the gulf to join me in that meeting.

In addition, I am asking Secretary Jim Baker to go to Baghdad to see Saddam Hussein, and I will suggest to Iraq's president that he receive the secretary of state at a mutually convenient time between December 15 and January 15 of next year. [fn 70]

It was all a fiendish lie, even down to the offer of times and venues for the talks. When Iraq responded with proposals for the schedule of meetings, Bush welched and reneged. Iraq released the US internees, but Bush still wanted war. "We've got to continue to keep the pressure on," was his reaction. Then came a full month of useless haggling, which was exactly what Bush wanted. As his text had pointed out, he was not interested in real negotiation anyway; the UN resolutions had already resolved everything. The real purpose of this gambit was to suppress the domestic opposition, since negotiations were allegedly now ongoing.

The most important opposition to a January 15 war according to the deadline railroaded through the UN by Bush came from the US Army, the service least enthralled by the idea of a needless war. During a visit by Powell and Cheney to Saudi Arabia, Lieut. Gen. Calvin A. H. Waller, the second in command of US forces in the Gulf, remarked that there was a "distinct possibility that every unit will not be fully combat-ready until some time after February 1," or perhaps as late as mid-February." "If the owner asks me if I'm ready to go, I'd tell him "No, I'm not ready to do the job,'" Waller told the press. It was understood that Waller was acting as spokesman for a broad stratum of senior officers. The Bush White House was once again infuriated. "This is not the message we were trying to send now," said one top Bushman. [fn 71] Waller and the other active duty officers would henceforth remain silent.

Bush's buildup went on inexorably through the Christmas holidays. In the first week of the New Year, Bush offered a meeting of Baker and Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi foreign minister, in Geneva. His ground rules made the meeting pointless even before it happened: "No negotiations, no compromises, no attempts at face-saving and no rewards for aggression." [fn 72] Bush was showing more of his hand now; the buildup was approaching what he, if not the generals, thought enough to start bombing Iraq.

The Tariq Aziz-Baker talks in Geneva went on for six hours on January 10, with no result. Baker was an Al Capone in striped pants; Tariq Aziz expressed himself with great dignity. Tariq Aziz had made clear that since Israel was in reality an integral part of Bush's Gulf coalition, it could not be exempt from retaliation if Iraq were to come under attack. For Bush, when millions of lives were at stake, the issue of greatest moment was a letter full of threats which Tariq Aziz had read, but refused to accept, and had left lying on the table in Geneva. (In this letter, which was later released, Bush was revealed as a megalomaniac who warned Saddam "we stand today at the brink of war between Iraq and the world," as if Bush were the chief executive of the entire planet.) Here was a new focus for Bush's apoplectic rage: he had been insulted by this Arab! What about that letter, the reporters asked. A surfeit of thyroxin coursed through Bush's veins:

Secretary Baker also reported to me that the Iraqi foreign minister rejected my letter to Saddam Hussein, refused to carry this letter and give it to the president of Iraq. The Iraqi Ambassador here in Washington did the same thing. This is but one more example that the Iraqi government is not interested in direct communications designed to settle the Persian Gulf situation.

But this was a -this was a - a total stiff-arm. This is a total rebuff.

The letter was not rude; the letter was direct. And the letter did exactly what I think is necessary at this stage. But to refuse to even pass a letter along seems to me to be just one more manifestation of the stonewalling that has taken place. [fn 73]

The gods were laughing.

The United Nations Security Council resolution, with its approaching artificial deadline which Bush had demanded, plus the failure of the Baker-Tariq Aziz meeting, on January 9 became the tools of the White House in obtaining a Congressional resolution for war. Bush was careful to stress his view that he could wage war without the Congress, but that he was magnanimously letting them express their support for him by approving such a motion. On this same day, the Kremlin dispatched troop contingents to seven Soviet republics where nationalist movements were gaining ground.

The Congressional debate provided many eloquent pleas, generally from Democrats, for delaying military action in order to save Americans from useless slaughter. But these pleas were almost always vitiated by a failure to recognize the equal claim to humanity of the Iraqi population; the Democrats who urged continued reliance on sanctions were in effect calling for an equal or greater genocide prolonged over time. One exception was Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, who voted against the Bush war resolution and the Democrats' sanctions resolution on the grounds that he opposed the entire military deployment in the Middle East; Hatfield argued for a peaceful settlement using diplomacy alone. This Republican defection in the name of high principle may have attracted the darts of Bush's vindictiveness; in May a report on Hatfield's personal finances appearing in the Capitol Hill weekly Roll Call alleged that a former Congressman and a California businessman had forgiven $133,000 in loans to Hatfield over an 8-year period. This information was somehow leaked from Senate records. [fn 74] The obvious intent of this story was to make it look as if the loan forgiveness had been used to buy influence. Hatfield's actions were not in violation of senate rules at the time these loans were forgiven.

Bush's war resolution passed the Senate by the narrow margin of 52-47; Sen. Cranston, who was absent because of illness, would have come to the senate and voted against the war if this would have changed the outcome. This vote reflects a deep ambivalence in the ruling elite about Bush's bellicose line, which was not as popular in US ruling circles as it was in London. Bush's margin of victory was provided by a group of southern Bush Democrats (Gore, Graham, Breaux, Robb, Shelby). In the House, a similar Bush war resolution passed by 250 to 183. Many Congressmen from blue-collar districts being pounded by the economic depression reflected the disillusionment of their constituents by voting against Bush and the war. But the resistance was not enough.

Despite the extremely narrow mandate he had extorted from the Congress, Bush now appeared in a gloating press conference: he had his blank check for war and genocide. Now Bush was careful to create pretexts for attacking Iraq, even if Saddam were to order his forces out of Kuwait. Bush noted that "it would be, at this date, I would say impossible to comply fully with the United Nations resolutions," and he "would still worry about it, because it might not be in full compliance." [fn 75] UN resolution 242, calling for Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, had been flouted for almost a quarter century, and the nation of Lebanon had just been snuffed out by Bush's friend Assad, but all of this paled into total irrelevance in comparison to the need to destroy Iraq.

The mad dog of war was now unleashed on the world. Later, in early June, Bush would edify the Southern Baptist Convention with a tearful and convulsive account of his long night in Camp David as he prepared to give the order to attack. Bush's story, quite fantastic for a chief executive who had pursued his "splendid little war" with monomaniac fury since August 3, is a reflection of the Goebbels-like cynicism of the White House wordsmiths and propaganda technicians to whom it may be safely attributed. "For me, prayer has always been important but quite personal," Bush told the Baptists. "You know us Episcopalians."

And, like a lot of people, I have worried a little but about shedding tears in public, or the mention of it. But as Barbara and I prayed at Camp David before the air war began, we were thinking about those young men and women overseas. And the tears started down the cheeks, and our minister smiled back, and I no longer worried how it looked to others. [fn 76]

In delivering this fanciful account, Bush broke into tears once again, a behavior which showed more about his unresolved, and by that time public, thyroid difficulties, than it did about his qualms in waging war. An interesting question involves the identity of the minister mentioned by Bush. In order to drape his genocidal war policy with the mantle of Christian morality, Bush was at pains to keep pastors and clerics at his side during the development of the Gulf crisis. But a serious problem emerged in this regard when, in late October, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Reverend Edmond L. Browning, raised public questions about the morality of going to war with Iraq. Since Bush regarded the Protestant fundamentalists of the Bible Belt as the indispensable constituency for his vindictive line, he and his handlers were convinced that it would be folly to go on the warpath without religious cover. This was provided by calling in Billy Graham, the Methodist evangelist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

During the Nixon Administration, Billy Graham had become the virtual chaplain of the regime. Nixon liked to organize prayer services inside the White House, and Billy Graham was often called in to officiate at these. Graham was also an old friend of the Bush family; just after Bush had received the GOP vice presidential nomination in 1980, Graham had visited with George and Barbara at Kennebunkport for a campaign photo opportunity. [fn 77]

During the 1980's, Graham had run crusades in the Soviet bloc, something that is hard to do without intelligence connections. In May, 1982, he had created a furor with remarks that he had seen no evidence of religious repression in the USSR. "I am not a communist and have not joined the Communist party and was never asked to join the Communist Party," Graham had told reporters upon his arrival in New York. [fn 78]

Now, during the week that Bush unleashed war and genocide, Graham became a fixture in the White House, where he was Bush's overnight houseguest. "George Bush has the highest moral standards of almost anyone I know," Graham told reporters. "Bush is the best friend I have in the world outside my immediate staff." Some noted that Graham had often abounded with fulsome praise for presidents, including Carter; power and godliness, for Graham, went together. The line he recited several days later at the National Prayer Breakfast was standard Bush boiler plate: "There come times in history when nations have to stand against some monstrous evil, like Nazism." On January 28, Bush would proclaim a virtual crusade against Arab Iraq: according to Bush, his war had "everything to do with what religion embodies, good versus evil, right versus wrong, human dignity and freedom versus tyranny and oppression. We will prevail because of the support of the American people, armed with a trust in God." [fn 79]

But surely all was not spiritual that weekend in Camp David. One sign is that First Lady Barbara Bush came back with a broken leg. What had happened? A few weeks earlier, George and Bar had granted a joint interview to two fawning and sycophantic reporters from People weekly. During this interview, Bush was asked, "Mr. President, this is an understandably tough period. How do you deal with the stress?" Bush answered: "Well, I have this dog named Ranger and this wife named Barbara and a couple of grandchildren." At this point, Barbara Bush broke in to say "Thought you were gonna say, 'I kick the dog, kick the wife.'" [fn 80] Had Barbara Bush suffered the fate of a battered woman during that pre-war weekend in Camp David? The official story was that she had slid down an icy slope on a saucer sled and hit a tree, producing a "non-displaced fracture of the fibula bone in the left leg." According to Mrs. Bush's press secretary, Anna Perez, George had yelled "Bail out! Bail out!" as Mrs. Bush accelerated toward the tree, but she had not heeded his advice. The incident had allegedly occurred during a sledding party after church on Sunday, January 13, in the presence four of the Bush's grandchildren (ages 6,4,4, and 1), and Bush loyalist Arnold Schwarzenegger, the chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. Bush's daughter Dorothy LeBlond and his daughter in law Margaret, may have been present or nearby, as may Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver of NBC, and her infant daughter. But only the First Lady's press secretary spoke in public of the incident, which has therefore remained somewhat obscure. When the presidential party returned by helicopter to the White House that evening, Mrs. Bush was carried indoors in a wheelchair. [fn 81]

On that same day, Soviet troops acting in the name of a self-styled "National Salvation Committee" massacred more than a dozen Lithuanian patriots. Bush's response was in the mildest and most craven of terms, saying that there was "no justification for the use of force," but taking absolutely no steps to bring that message home to Moscow; the New World Order was exposed once again as the law of the strong over the weak.

According to the official account, Bush signed the National Security Directive ordering the attack against Iraq at in the White House Oval Office at 10:30 AM on Tuesday morning, January 15, 1991. On Wednesday morning in Washington, when it was early evening in Baghdad, Bush ordered Scowcroft to call Cheney with a further instruction to implement the attack plan. The US air attack on Iraq accordingly took place between 6 and 7 PM on Wednesday, January 16. The bombs began to fall during the first night in Baghdad after the expiration of Bush's deadline. [fn 82] Within 24 hours, Iraq retaliated with Scud missiles against Israel and against US bases in Saudi Arabia. One day after that, Bush described the Scud attacks as "purely an act of terror." Bush's mental health had not gotten any better during the first days of the war; he showed signs of clinical hysteria, the refusal to recognize obvious facts. During this press conference, he was asked:

Q: Why is it that any move, or...move for peace is considered an end run at the White House these days?

Bush: Well, you obviously...what was the question? End run?

Q: Yes. That is considered an end run, that people that still want to find a peaceful solution seem to be running into a brick wall.

Bush: Oh, excuse me. The world is united, I think, in seeing that these United Nations resolutions are fulfilled [...]

Bush was sensitive, as he always was, to any hint that the conflict was what it seemed to be, a war of the west against the Arabs. In a long monologue, he claimed that "we want to be the healers, we want to do what we can to facilitate what I might optimistically call a new world order. But the new world order should, should have a conciliatory component to it." Even Jordan, which was threatened with dismemberment over the short run might "continue to be a tremendously important country in this new world order," Bush claimed. [fn 83] Bush was buoyed by the poll reports alleging that his war was now supported by 76% of the US population.

Day after day, Iraq military and above all civilian targets were subjected to a hail of bombs. The centerpiece of Bush's personal self-justification remained the equation Saddam=Hitler. "was it moral for us in 1939 to not stop Hitler from going into Poland?" Bush asked a group of Republican officials. One party worker described Bush as "a man obsessed and possessed by his mission" in the Gulf war. During those days, Bush was preparing his State of the Union address. At a press conference to introduce his new secretary of agriculture, GOP Illinois Congressman Edward Madigan, Bush made pugnacious statements that he was proceeding with business as usual despite the war. "We are not going to screech everything to a halt in terms of our domestic agenda. We're not going to screech everything to a halt in terms of the recreational activities...and I am not going to screech my life to a halt out of some fear about Saddam Hussein," said Bush. After making these remarks, he introduced Madigan as his new secretary of education. The reporters looked so perplexed that Bush realized his gaffe and corrected himself; Madigan would be his new "secretary of agriculture," he said. [fn 84] In White House briefing sessions to prepare the domestic policy sections of the State of the Union address, Bush was described as "frankly, bored;" "you could almost see his mind wandering to the Gulf."

There are indications that after a week to ten days of bombing, Bush was surprised and disappointed that all Iraqi resistance had not already collapsed. This is what some of his advisors were rumored in Washington to have promised him.

The 1991 State of the Union was supposed to be the apotheosis of Bush as a warrior emperor. One of his themes was the "next American century," borrowed from Stimson and Luce. The apotheosis was somewhat dimmed by the economic difficulties the Gulf was had done nothing to assuage. Bush portrayed these problems as a mere ripple in "the largest peacetime economic expansion in history." "We will soon get this recession behind us," Bush promised. He conjured up "the long-held promise of a new world order-- where brutality will go unrewarded, and aggression will meet collective resistance." He urged this country to take up "the burden of leadership." For many, the reference was clear:

Take up the White Man's burden-- Ye dare not stoop to less Nor call too loud on Freedom To cloke your weariness, had written Rudyard Kipling in 1899 as part of a British campaign to convince the United States to set up a colonial administration in the Philippines. (As the Omaha World Herald had noted in that far-off time, "In other words, Mr. Kipling would have Uncle Sam take up John Bull's business." The racist jingo doggerel of imperialism caught Bush's mood precisely.

After the war, it would be shown that the US bombers had concentrated their fire on the civilian infrastructure of Iraq, choosing targets of no immediate military relevance. The bombing was concentrated on systems providing potable water to cities, electrical generating facilities, bridges, highways, and other transportation infrastructure. This was cynically called the "bomb now, die later" strategy, since the goal of the bombing was to destroy civilian infrastructure in order to lower the relative potential population density of the country below the level of the Iraqi population, thus producing an astronomical rise in infant mortality, plagues, and pestilence. It was, in short, a population war. It was a cowardly, despicable way to fight.

Bush had ordered all this, but he lied compulsively about it. After 3 weeks of bombing, he told a press conference that his bombers were going to "unprecedented lengths to avoid damage to civilians and holy places. We do not seek Iraq's destruction, nor do we seek to punish the Iraqi people for the decisions and policies of their leaders. In addition, we are doing everything possible and with great success to minimize collateral damage...." [fn 85] The air war was designed to gut the economic infrastructure of Iraq; an additional objective was to kill at least 100,000 members of the Iraqi armed forces. This could only be accomplished by storming the Iraqi positions of the ground, and this is what Bush was determined to do. Published accounts suggested that the original executive order that started the war also contained instructions for a land battle to follow extensive bombing. This meant that all peace feelers must be vigorously rebuffed, on the model of what Acheson and Stimson had done to Japan during July of 1945.

In those days, anti-war protesters had camped out in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. They had been there since December 13. Bush had referred once to "those damned drums" and how they were keeping him awake at night. At his press conference of February 6, Bush told reporters that the drummers had been removed, not because he had ordered it, but because they were disturbing the guests at the posh Hay-Adams Hotel on the other side of the park. There was a law on decibels, he explained:

And lo, people went forth with decibel count auditors. And they found the man got up to - this drummer, incessant drummers, got over 60, and they were moved out of there, and I hope they stay out of there because I don't want the people in the hotel to not have a good night's sleep. The drums have ceased, oddly enough.

But just as Bush was speaking, reporters could hear the thumping resume in the park outside. The drummers, much to Bush's chagrin, were at it again. Soon Lafayette Park was fenced in by the Bushmen.

On February 15, Radio Baghdad offered negotiations leading to the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Bush, in tandem with the new British prime Minister, John Major, rejected this overture with parallel rhetoric. For Bush, Saddam's peace bid was "a cruel hoax;" for Major, it was "a bogus sham." The Kremlin, seeking to save face, found the proposal "encouraging." Iraq was now pulling key military units out of Kuwait, and Bush judged that the moment was ripe to call for an insurrection and military coup against Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party government. "There's another way for the bloodshed to stop, and that is for the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands, to force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside." [fn 86] With this call, Bush triggered the simultaneous uprisings of the pro-Iranian Shiites in Iraq's southern provinces, and of the Kurds in the north, many of whom now foolishly concluded that US military assistance would be forthcoming. It was a cynical ploy, since Bush can be seen in retrospect to have had no intention whatever of backing up these rebellions. During the month of March, tens of thousand of additional casualties and untold human misery would be the sole results of these insurrections, which led to the mass exodus of the hapless and wretched Kurds into Iran and Turkey.

The Soviets were still seeking to save half a face from a massacre which they had aided and abetted; diplomacy would also help take the mind of the world off the Baltic bloodshed of the Soviet special forces. During the week after Saddam Hussein's trial balloon for a pullout from Kuwait, Yevgeny Primakov attempted to assemble a cease-fire. Primakov's efforts were brushed aside with single-empire arrogance by Bush, who spoke off the cuff at a photo opportunity: "Very candidly...while expressing appreciation for his sending it to us, it falls well short of what would be required. As far as I am concerned, there are no negotiations. The goals have been set out. There will be no concessions." Primakov had issued a call that "the slaughter must be stopped. I am not saying that the war was justified before, but its continuation cannot now be justified from any point of view. A people is perishing." Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh complained that "the plan was addressed to the Iraqi leadership, so [Bush] rejected the plan which did not belong to him." [fn 87] Diplomatically, the once mighty Soviet Union had ceased to exist; the collapse of the Soviet state had been accelerated by its seconding of the Anglo-American designs in the Gulf, and the opinions of the Kremlin now counted for nothing.

Primakov and Tariq Aziz then proceeded to transform the original Soviet 8-point plan into a more demanding 6-point plan, including some of the demands of the Anglo-Americans on the timetable of withdrawal and other issues. Bush's answer to that, on the morning of Friday, February 22, was a 24-hour ultimatum to Iraq to begin an "immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait" or face an immediate attack by coalition land forces. Many Iraqi units were now already in retreat; the essence of the US demands was to make Iraq accept a pullout so rapid that all equipment and supplies must be left behind. It is clear that, even if Iraq had accepted Bush's terms, he would have found reasons to continue the air bombardment. During the following days, the principal activity of US planes was to bomb columns of Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait and retreating towards the north, towards Iraq, in exact compliance with the UN resolutions. But Bush now wanted to fulfill his quota of 100,000 dead Iraqi soldiers. During the evening of Saturday, February 23, Bush spoke from the White House announcing an order to Gen. Schwarzkopf to "use all forces, including ground forces, to eject the Iraqi army from Kuwait." [fn 88] It emerged in retrospect that many Iraqi military units had left Kuwait weeks before the final land battle. Well-informed observers thought that the Iraqi Republican Guard had been reduced to less than three functioning combat divisions by Bush's air and ground assaults, but it shortly became clear that there were at least five Republican Guard divisions in the field at something approaching full strength. Finally, on February 27, after 41 days of war, Bush ordered a cease-fire. "Our military objectives are met," proclaimed Bush. [fn 89]

Because all reports on Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm were covered by the strictest military censorship, and because most news organizations of the US and the other coalition states were more than willing to operate under these conditions, most of the details of these operations are still in the realm of Anglo-American mind war.

The coalition air fleets had carried out some 120,000 sorties against Iraq. If each sortie had claimed but a single Iraqi life, then 120,000 Iraqis had perished. In reality, total Iraqi casualties of killed, wounded, and missing, plus the civilian losses from famine, disease, and pestilence must have been in the neighborhood of 500,000 by the end of 1991.

In early March, Bush addressed a special session of the Congress on what he chose to call the end of the war. This time it was Bush's personal apotheosis; he was frequently interrupted by manic applause. Bush's mind war had succeeded. Resistance to the war had been driven virtually underground; bloodthirsty racism ruled most public discourse for a time. It was one of the most wretched moments of the American spirit. Bush, who was consciously preparing new wars, was careful not to promise peace: "Even the new world order cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace." Bush now turned his attention to "the domestic front," where he was quick to make clear that the new world order begins at home: his main proposal was the administration's omnibus crime bill. One of the main features of this monstrous legislation was an unprecedented expansion in the use of the death penalty for a long list of federal crimes. Bush had enjoyed giving international ultimata so much that he decided to try one on the Congress: "If our forces could win the ground war in 100 hours, then surely the Congress can pass this legislation in 100 days. Let that be a promise we make tonight to the American people." [fn 90] Bring the killing back home, said Bush in effect.

Many commentators, especially Bush's own allies in the neoconservative pro-Zionist camp, were greatly disappointed that Bush was terminating the hostilities without liquidating Saddam Hussein, and without guaranteeing the partition of Iraq. Bush was restrained by a series of considerations. Further penetration into Iraq would have necessitated the long-term occupation of large cities, exposing the occupiers to the dangers that the US Marines had faced in Beirut in 1982. If Bush were determined to wipe out the government of Iraq, then he would have to provide an occupation government, or else let the country collapse into civil war and partition. One of the big winners in any partition would surely be Iran; the mullah regime would use its Shiite organizations in southern Iraq to carve off a large piece of Iraqi territory, placing Iran in an excellent position to threaten both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait early in the postwar period. This would have caused much dismay in the Saudi royal family. Arab public opinion was inflamed to such a degree that most Arab governments would not have been able to participate in the destruction of the Iraqi Baath Party, since this was an objective that was clearly not covered by the UN resolutions. Based on these and other considerations, Bush appears to have made a characteristic snap decision to end the war. Bush ended the war with a claim that the US casualty list for the entire operation stood at 223 killed; but, in keeping with the mind war censorship that had cloaked all the proceedings, no casualty list was ever published. The true number of those killed is therefore not known, and is likely to be much higher than that claimed by Bush.

A part of southern Iraq was occupied by the US and other coalition forces. On March 14, Bush met with Mitterrand on the French island of Martinique and there was some falling out on questions of the future new world order "architecture" in the Middle East. On March 16, Bush met with British Prime Minister Major on Bermuda. Bush's public line was that there could be no normalization of relations with Iraq as long as Saddam Hussein remained in power. Since the days of the Treaty of Sevres at the end of World War I, London had been toying with the idea of an independent Kurdish state in eastern Anatolia. The British were also anxious to use the aftermath of the war in order to establish precedents in international law to undermine the sovereignty of independent nations, and to create ethnic enclaves short of a complete partition of Iraq. British, Israeli, and US assets had combined to provoke a large-scale Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq, and this produced a civil war in the country. But the Republican Guard, which had allegedly been destroyed by the coalition, and the Iraqi army, were still capable of defending the Baath Party government against these challenges, a factor which doubtless also cooled Bush's enthusiasm for further intervention.