George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarpley

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:49 am


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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:49 am


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

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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:52 am


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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:53 am


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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:54 am


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

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:54 am


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

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During the latter half of March, calls were made for the creation of a Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq under the protection of the coalition. On April 2, the State Department restated the Bush administration line of non-intervention and "hands off" Iraqi internal affairs, and Bush himself repeated this line on April 3. But British pressure was about to create an extraordinary reversal, which showed the world that even after the departure of Thatcher, and while he was allegedly at the height of his glory, Bush was still taking orders from London. On April 5, Bush yielded partially to the clamor to intervene in favor of the Kurds, who had now been militarily defeated by the Iraqi army and were seeking refuge in Iran and in the Turkish mountains of southeast Anatolia. On April 7, US planes began air drops of supplies into these Turkish and Iraqi areas. Then, on April 8, Major repeated his demand for "safe zone" enclaves for the Kurds to be created and guaranteed by the coalition in territory carved out of northern Iraq. It was a clear interference in Iraqi internal affairs, and a clear violation of international law, but the British were backed up by the choplogic theorizing of French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, who advanced the theory of the "humanitarian intervention" as a fig-leaf for the sweeping power of wealthy imperialists to trample on the weak and the starving in the future.

Bush was haunted by the specter of getting bogged down in endless guerilla warfare in the mountains of northern Iraq, just as the Soviets had in Afghanistan. On April 13, Bush told an audience of 2,500 at Maxwell Air Force Base War College in Montgomery, Alabama:

Internal conflicts have been raging in Iraq for many years, and we're helping out, and we're going to continue to help these refugees. But I do not want one single soldier or airman shoved into a civil war in Iraq that's been going on for ages. And I'm not going to have that.

"Saddam's continued savagery has placed his regime outside the international order," said Bush. But "we will not interfere in Iraq's civil war. The Iraqi people must decide their own political future." [fn 91]

But the British pressure was unrelenting; this was a chance to rewrite international law and to deal a crushing blow to previous concepts of sovereignty. Bush finally harkened to his master's voice. On April 16, he announced the total reversal of his own policy:

...I have directed the US military to begin immediately to establish several encampments in northern Iraq where relief supplies for these refugees will be made available in large quantities and distributed in an orderly way.

Among those he said he had consulted, Bush mentioned Major. But what about Bush's previous vehement pledges never to take such a step? One timid voice in the press conference ventured to ask:

Q: Do you feel certain enough of their safety that you feel this is not inconsistent with your earlier statements about not putting one US soldier's life on the line?

Bush: Yes, I do. I think this is entirely different, and I think it's a-- I just feel it's what's needed in terms of helping these people. And so some may interpret it that way; I don't. I think it's purely humanitarian, and I think representations have been made as recently as today that they'd be-- you know, that these people would be safe. So I hope it proves that way. [fn 92]

This decision created an Anglo-American enclave in northern Iraq that expanded during a period of several weeks before stabilizing. US forces left Iraqi territory by July 15, but some of them stayed behind as part of a very ominous rapid deployment force jointly created by the US, the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands and based in southeast Turkey. This was called Operation Poised Hammer (in British parlance, Sword of Damocles), and was allegedly stationed to protect the Kurds from future attacks by Saddam. Many observers noted that this force was optimally positioned to go north and east as well as south and west, meaning that the Poised Hammer force had to be regarded as pre-positioned for a possible move into the southern, Islamic belt of the crumbling Soviet empire.

On April 16 and April 29, Iraq, having complied with most of the cease-fire conditions imposed by Bush through the UN Security Council, requested that the economic embargo imposed in early August, 1990 be finally lifted so as to permit the country to buy food, medicine, and other basic goods on the world market, and to sell oil in order to pay for them. But Bush's commitment to genocide was truly implacable. Bush first obstructed the Iraqi requests with a debate on the conditions for the payment of Iraqi reparations and the country's international financial debt, and then stated on May 20: "At this juncture, my view is we don't want to lift the sanctions as long as [Saddam Hussein] is in power." In the Congress, Rep. Tim Penny of Minnesota and Rep. Henry Gonzalez of Texas offered resolutions to relax the sanctions or to end them entirely, but the Bush machine blocked every move in that direction. Here Bush risked isolation in the court of world public opinion. On July 12, the Aga Khan returned from a visit to Iraq to propose that the sanctions be lifted. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children were in danger because of the lack of clean water, food, medicine, and basic health services; during the summer of 1991, infant mortality in Iraq rose almost 400% over the pre-war period. An international effort launched by Mrs. Helga Zepp LaRouche, the international Committee to Save the Children of Iraq, was able to send planeloads of medical supplies and infant formula into the country, and to focus international attention on Bush's ongoing high crime against humanity.

The spring of 1991 brought a political signal that was very ominous for Bush's future. This bad omen for George came in the form of a New York Times op-ed written by William G. Hyland, the well-known Kissinger clone serving as editor for the magazine Foreign Affairs, the quarterly organ of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, and one of the flagship publications of the Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment. The article was entitled "Downgrade Foreign Policy," and appeared on May 20, 1991. Hyland's thesis was that "The United States has never been less threatened by foreign forces than it is today. But the unfortunate corollary is that never since the Great Depression has the threat to domestic well-being been greater." Hyland demanded that Bush pay more attention to domestic policy, and his proposals for US military disengagement abroad were radical enough to raise the eyebrows of the London Financial Times,; which called attention to Hyland's catalogue of Bush's "disastrous domestic agenda: crime, drugs, education, urban crisis, federal budget deficits and a constant squeeze on the middle class, the backbone of our democracy."

What Hyland's backers had in mind as remedies for these problems boiled down to modern versions of the Mussolini fascist corporate state. Hyland's litany that Bush had to pay more attention to domestic crises and especially the battered US economy soon became the stock rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates demanding a transition from Bush's voluntary corporatism (the "thousand points of light") to the compulsory corporatism of Gen. Hugh Johnson's National Recovery Administration, with an economy organized into obligatory, state-controlled cartels to reduce wages and cut production. This was the reality that lurked behind the edifying rhetoric about poverty, joblessness, and the decline of the middle class purveyed by the official Democratic presidential contenders who finally emerged by the end of 1991. But for Bush, the Hyland article was a clear indication that Wall Street was becoming disenchanted with his policies.

On a number of occasions, Bush threatened to renew the air war against Iraq. One threat of air strikes came between July 25 and July 28, using the issue of alleged Iraqi concealment of nuclear programs. Then, in what amounted to an early campaign foray into a number of western states, Bush made new threats between September 18 and September 20, including an enraged monologue at the Grand Canyon in the company of the ghoulish Scowcroft.

Bush was determined to exploit the momentum gained during the violence and extortion of the Gulf crisis to further the cause of Anglo-American economic war and trade war against Germany, Japan, the developing countries, and the Soviet bloc. In mid-February, in the midst of the Gulf war, Bush's resident harpie at the Trade Representative's Office, Carla Hills, had virtually declared war against the western European Airbus consortium, accusing this group of firms of protectionism, subsidies, and violations of existing GATT regulations. On June 27, 1990, Bush had announced his "Enterprise for the Americas" in effect a plan for a free trade zone stretching from the North Pole to Tierra del Fuego, all to be subjected to unbridled looting by the US dollar. At that time Bush had stated that "the US stands ready to enter into free trade agreements with other markets in Latin America and the Caribbean... and the first step in this process is a trade agreement with Mexico." During the Gulf buildup, Bush had met with Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in Salinas's home town of Agualeguas in northern Mexico. The leading item on the agenda was the Wall Street demand for a US-Mexico free trade agreement which, together with the existing US-Canada free trade arrangement, would amount to a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The negotiation of this deal would begin during 1991. The essence of NAFTA was a wholly deregulated free trade zone in which remaining factories and other businesses in the United States would move their operations to Mexico in order to take advantage of an average hourly wage of 98 cents an hour as against $11 an hour in US manufacturing. The legal minimum wage in Mexico was the equivalent of 59 cents an hour. It was a plan for runaway shops on an unprecedented scale; the Mexican sweat shops or "maquiladoras" were so brutal in their exploitative practices as to constitute an "Auschwitz below the border." Salinas visited Washington on April 7, 1991, and Bush once again called for free trade with Mexico: "My administration is committed totally to the free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada," said Bush. "It is priority for the United States, the US government."

Then there was the Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The goal of the Bushmen in in the GATT talks was to press forward towards what Bush called "global free trade;" all nations were to be coerced into giving up their inherent sovereign rights to intervene in favor of their own farmers, industrialists, and other producers. An important aspect of this thrust was the Anglo-American demand that the European Community dismantle its system of payments to farmers. In October, at the UN, Bush would press for the completion of GATT: "The Uruguay Round offers hope to developing nations. I cannot stress enough...History shows that protectionism can destroy wealth within countries and poison relations between them.

Bush demanded from the US Congress the ability to negotiate both GATT and NAFTA on a "fast track" basis. This meant that Bush wanted to be able to negotiate vital international trade agreements, and then submit them to Congress on an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it basis. The Congress could make no amendments nor add statements of clarification; such rubber-stamping would undermine the right of the senate to provide advice and consent in treaties. There was considerable resistance in Congress to the fast track for NAFTA and GATT, and this was backed up by the rank and file of the AFL-CIO trade unions, who did not wish to see their jobs exported. But the chances for stopping the fast track in the summer of 1991 were ruined by the defection of Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, whose ties to organized labor were strong, but who nevertheless came out in favor of the fast track on May 9. Gephardt had clashed with Bush during 1989, when Bush was recorded in the congressional press gallery as complaining "I tell you, I'm displeased with Gephardt, the way he made it so really kind of personal." But during 1990, Gephardt had settled into the Bush Democrat mould, except for some opposition to Bush's war policy in the Gulf. By 1991, Gephardt was in Bush's pocket. The fast track cleared Congress on May 23.

Bush sought to extend the zone of "free trade" looting ever southward. In mid-June, the Brazilian President Collor de Mello came to the White House, where Bush greeted him as "my kind of guy." Collor, like Salinas, was anxious to dissolve national sovereignty into a "free market." The discussion revolved around reducing trade barriers between the future NAFTA and the Southern Common Market of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Collor also pledged to preserve the Amazon rain forest, a demand that was becoming the focus of the UN's "Eco '92" conference set to take place in Brazil. Shortly after this, Bush would hold a Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the triumphant progress of his Enterprise for the Americas free trade steamroller since its inception one year before.

Continuing violence was the staple of the New World Order. Elections in India were scheduled for late May, and the likely victor was Rajiv Gandhi, whose mother had been assassinated by Anglo-American intelligence in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi, during his time in the opposition, had experienced a remarkable process of personal maturation. During the Gulf crisis and the war against Iraq, he had used his position as chief of the opposition to force the weak Chandra Shakar government to reject a US demand for landing rights for US military aircraft transferring war material from the Philippines toward Saudi Arabia. If re-elected prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi would very likely have assumed a position of leadership among world forces determined to resist the Anglo-American New World Order; he also would have offered the best hope of frustrating London's gambit of a new Indo-Pakistani war according to the game plan in which Bush had participated back in 1970. The Anglo-American media did not conceal their venomous hatred of Rajiv. He was assassinated while campaigning on May 21, and his death was widely attributed in India to the CIA.

Bush's approach to sabotaging and containing continental Europe including doing everything possible to create a new war on the Balkan flank of that continent. This was done as openly as possible, through a visit to Belgrade by James Baker. Baker met with the presidents of the two Yugoslav federal republics which had been seeking either a loose confederation or else their own outright independence, Milan Kucan of Slovenia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia. Baker warned both that they would get no US recognition and no US economic aid if they seceded from the Yugoslav federation. "We came to Yugoslavia because of our concern about the crisis and about the dangers of a disintegration of this country. The concerns that we came to Yugoslavia with have not been allayed by the meetings we had today. We think that the situation is very serious," said Baker. The breakup of Yugoslavia would have "very tragic consequences." Baker added a very ominously: "We worry, frankly, about history repeating itself." Baker was talking about Sarajevo and how the conflict of Serbia with Austria-Hungary had detonated a general war and devastated Europe. Baker had a special meeting with the Serbian fascist strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, in which Baker encouraged the Serbian military to suppress any rebellion with military means. The federal army assaults on Slovenia, and then on Croatia, can be dated from these exchanges, which succeeded in creating the first war and the first bombing of civilians in central Europe since 1945. Interviews during this same time frame by Undersecretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, the Kissinger Associates veteran who had been on the board of the US importer of Yugo automobiles, and on the board of a Yugoslav bank involved in drug money laundering, left no doubt of US intent: in Eagleburger's babbling, every other word was "civil war."

US brokerage houses waxed eloquent over how the incipient Yugoslav civil war would prevent investment in most countries of central Europe, and would ruin the economic hinterland of united Germany. Yugoslavia had been ravaged by the conditionalities of the IMF during the 1980's, and it was this regime that Bush was imposing in Poland, and which he wanted to extend to the rest of eastern Europe and the republics emerging from the USSR.

Gorbachov had been invited to the Group of Seven summit in London as a result of pressure from the continental Europeans which Bush and Major had been unable to withstand. But all that Gorbachov could bring home from this meeting was the promise of "technical assistance" from the IMF, meaning the advice of Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard, an incompetent charlatan who had presided over the ruin of Poland. On the last two days of July, Bush went to Moscow for a summit with Gorbachov that centered on the signing of a treaty on reducing strategic armaments. Erstwhile condominium partners Gorbachov and Primakov pressed for economic assistance and investments, but all that Bush was willing to offer was a vague commitment to forward to Congress the trade treaty of 1990, which would provide, if approved, for the extension of the Most Favored Nation treatment to Moscow. Soviet black beret special forces units deliberately massacred six Lithuanian border guards as Bush was arriving, but Bush maintained a pose of studied disinterest in the freedom of the Baltics. And not only of the Baltics: after the sessions with Gorbachov were over, Bush went to Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, where he rejected a private meeting with Ivan Drach, the leader of the Rukh, the main opposition movement. In the Ukrainian capital on August 1, "Chicken Kiev" Bush made his infamous speech in which he warned about the dangers inherent in nationalism.

Bush's Kiev speech stands out in retrospect as compelling evidence of his relentless opposition to anticommunist and antisoviet movements in the moribund Soviet empire, and of his relentless desire to do evil. Typically, Bush quoted his idol, Theodore Roosevelt: "To be patronized is as offensive as to be insulted. No one of us cares permanently to have someone else conscientiously striving to do him good. What- we want to work with that someone else for the good of both of us." Then Bush got to the heart of the matter, his diehard support for Gorbachov and the imperial edifice erected by Lenin and Stalin: " Some people have urged the United States to choose between supporting President Gorbachov and supporting independence-minded leaders throughout the USSR. I consider this a false choice." And then, the crowning insult to the Ukrainians, who had been denied their nationhood for centuries: "...freedom is not the same as independence. Americans will not support those who seek in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred." [fn 93] It was an insult the Ukrainians and other freedom fighters will not soon forget, and it had the benefit of opening the eyes of more than a few as to what kind of bird this Bush really was.

Again Bush's policy was a recipe for destabilization, starvation, and war: he encouraged the Kremlin to crack down, but offered no economic cooperation, insisting instead on IMF super-austerity. During the third week after Bush had left Moscow, the abortive putsch of the Group of 8 took place. In the wake of the failed putsch, Bush was one of the last world leaders to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Baltic states through the sending of an ambassador; Bush had delayed for three additional days in response to an explicit request from Gorbachov. By the time Bush had accepted Baltic freedom, it was September 2. Bush clung to Gorbachov long after the latter had in fact ceased to exist. Gorbachov was gone by the end of 1991, and the alternative rejected by Bush in Kiev turned out to have been the real one.

Soviet policy led the agenda when Major visited Bush at Kennebunkport at the end of August. The two Anglo-Saxon champions proposed to offer the former USSR republics "practical help in converting their economy into one that works," as Major put it. This translated into accelerating the "special association" of the Soviet Union (and/or its successor states) with the IMF, "with a view to full membership in due course for those who qualify" by virtue of their adoption of the disastrous Polish model. Bush urged Americans to wait "until the dust settles" and until "there are more cards on the table." "I got incidentally turned in for being testy," complained Bush about comment on his previous remarks stressing indifference to personnel changes in Moscow. "And I'm wondering what we're going to do for an encore next August, John," added Bush, "because last year, as you know, it was the Gulf." [fn 94]

But for George Bush, the essence of the postwar months of 1991 was a succession of personal triumphs, a succession which he hoped to extend all the way to the 1992 election. In mid-May, Queen Elizabeth II visited Washington in the context of a tour of several American cities. In an event which marked a new step in the moral degeneracy of the United States, Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, lineal descendant of the hated George III of Hannover, became the first monarch of the United Kingdom ever to address a joint session of the Congress. Elizabeth spoke with the cynical hypocrisy which is the hallmark of Anglo-American propaganda. She portrayed Britain and the United States as united by the rejection of Mao's old dictum that political power "grows out of the barrel of a gun." She alleged that the spontaneous reaction of both Britain and the United States to the Kuwait crisis was the same, that it represented "an outrage to be reversed, both for the people of Kuwait and for the sake of the principle that naked aggression should not prevail." "Our views were identical and so were our responses," said Elizabeth, paying tribute to Bush. She also seemed to hint at open-ended commitments in the Gulf with her line that "unfortunately, experience shows that great enterprises seldom end with a tidy and satisfactory flourish." One who preserved his honor by boycotting this session was Congressman Gus Savage, who called Elizabeth "the Queen of colonialism," presiding over an exploited empire in the third world. Bush basked in the praise directed to the leader of the free world, and for his part raised a few eyebrows by calling Britain "the mother country." Bush's enjoyment was marred by the exhaustion brought on by his thyroid problems. And not everyone appreciated Elizabeth: one Washington Post writer stirred up the Anglophiles by describing her as "this fusty cartoon, this upholstered relic in white gloves, this corgi-button defender of an ill-kept faith." [fn 95]

In early June, there was the triumph accorded to General Schwarzkopf for the Gulf war. Bush viewed the parade and aircraft flyover from a reviewing stand set up in front of the White House, and met Schwarzkopf personally when he arrived. In the wake of the war, said Bush, "there is a new and wonderful feeling in America." In the Roman triumphs, the victorious general was crowned with bay leaves, and dressed in a purple toga embossed with golden stars. He also received the services of a slave who persistently reminded him that he was mortal, and that all glory was fleeting. Bush would have benefited from the services of such a slave on that June 8. [fn 96]

The high tide of Bush's megalomania as the emperor of the new world order was perhaps reached at the United Nations in September. It was an elaboration of the previous year's oration on the New World Order. First, Bush made clear what the developing sector could expect in the postwar world: "The world has learned that free markets provide levels of prosperity, growth, and happiness that centrally planned economies can never offer...Here in the chamber we hear about North-South problems. But free and open trade, including unfettered access to markets and credit, offer developing countries the means of self-sufficiency and economic dignity. If the Uruguay round should fail, a new wave of protectionism could destroy our hopes for a better future."

Bush then claimed credit, if not for the end of history, then for a revival of history in the areas which had been dominated by communism. "Communism held history captive for years....This revival of history ushers in a new era teeming with opportunities and perils....History's revival enables people to pursue their natural instincts for enterprise. Communism froze that progress until its failures became too much for even its defenders to bear."

Bush then turned to the war of the coalition against Iraq which he celebrated as a "third historical breakthrough: international cooperation," a "measured, principled, deliberate and courageous response to Saddam Hussein," and, most ominously, "a model for the collective settlement of disputes." "And it is the United States view that we must keep the United Nations sanctions in place as long as [Saddam Hussein] remains in power." "This is not to say-- and let me be clear on this one-- that we should punish the Iraqi people."

Bush demanded that the General Assembly take back its resolution equating Zionism with racism. Bush's approach to Israel was always balanced, always within the bounds of the Knesset; this concession balanced his prodding of Shamir to come to a peace conference which Bush wanted to hold in late October.

Bush's peroration reverted to the theme of the Single Empire, the Anglo-Saxon New World Order:

Finally, you may wonder about America's role in the new world that I have described. Let me assure you, the United States has no intention of striving for a Pax Americana. However, we will remain engaged. We will not retreat and pull back into isolationism. We will offer friendship and leadership. And in short, we seek a Pax Universalis built upon shared responsibilities and aspirations." [fn 97]

The emperor of the new world order had spoken; now, woe to the vanquished!



1. Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Casears (New York: Modern Library, 1931), p. 258.

2. Suetonius, p. 172.

3. "Bush is Optimistic After Talks with Gorbachov," Washington Post,> March 14, 1985.

4. Bob Woodward, The Commanders, p. 54-55.

5. "Bush Dismisses Gorbachov Complaint," Washington Post, April 8, 1989.

6. "Reagan Is Concerned About Bush's Indecision," Washington Post, May 6, 1989.

7. "Bush Rebukes Critics of Arms Policy," Washington Post, September 19, 1989.

8. "Bush Hails 'Dramatic' Decision," Washington Post, November 10, 1989.

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

10. "Berlin and Bush's Emotional Wall," Washington Post, November 14, 1989.

11. "Text of President Bush's Address," Washington Post, November 23, 1989.

12. People, April 9, 1990.

13. See "Tracking Thyroid Problems," Washington Times, May 29, 1991. This article, anxious to prevent the reader from associating the broccoli outburst with the mental and thyroid problems of the spring of 1990, hastens to add: "There is no evidence that lack of broccoli causes Graves disease." Graves disease was the official White House label for Bush's thyroid malady, which medical professionals without political axes to grind have tended to classify as Basedow's disease.

14. "Transcript of Bush-Gorbachov News Conference," Washington Post, June 4, 1990.

15. Jim Hoagland, "The Deal Behind the Summit," Washington Post, June 5, 1990.

16. See "Marshall Says He Never Heard of Bush's Nominee," New York Times, July 27, 1990; "Marshall Slams Gavel on Souter," Washington Times, July 27, 1990. At about the same time that Marshall quit, Rep. William Gray of Philadelphia, the Democratic Majority Whip, announced his resignation from the House to become the president of the United Negro College Fund. Gray had been under heavy police state attack from the FBI, and was hounded from office. Within a few weeks, Bush had disposed of the top-ranking black officials of both the legislative and judicial branches of government.

17. Hobart Rowen, "A Near-Depression," Washington Post, January 10, 1991.

18. "Bush Opens Door to Tax-Hike Talks," Washington Post, May 8, 1990.

19. Alan Friedman, "The Neil Bush Bailout," Vanity Fair, October, 1990.

20. "Bush Defends Fitzwater in S&L Finger-Pointing," Washington Post, June 21, 1990. Bush vetoed H.R. 770, the Family and Medical Leave Bill, which would have required employers with 50 or more employees to provide their workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year to care for a new child or a seriously ill child, parent, or spouse, or to use as "medical leave" if an employee is seriously ill. The measure only required the employer to continue health benefits while the employee was on leave. The House failed to override the veto by a 232 to 195 vote on July 23, 1990.

21. "President Talks About a Family Matter," New York Times, July 12, 1990.

22. "The Silver Fox Speaks Her Mind," People Weekly, August, 1990.

23. At last report, Neil Bush was at large in Houston, Texas, where he had taken a job as a "new business director" with TransMedia Communications. This company is a subsidiary of Prime Network, a Denver-based firm which is owned by Bill Daniels, a friend of the Bush family. According to informed sources, Neil Bush's new job was secured with the help of John McMullen, a minority shareholder in Prime Network and owner of the Houston Astros baseball team. Neil was lodging at the Houstonian Hotel, which is also father George's voting address. According to press accounts, Neil Bush was still hoping to sell his home in Denver for about $500,000. See the Houston Chronicle, July 17, 1991. To help defray Neil's legal expenses, a fund has been established with the help of former Ohio Democratic Congressman and Skull and Bones member Thomas L. "Lud" Ashley, president of the Association of Bank Holding Companies. a lobbying group. In April, 1991 federal regulators ended their 14-month inquiry into Neil Bush by directing him to refrain from future conflicts of interest in his involvement with federally insured financial institutions. This was the mildest sanction in the official arsenal. In May, 1991, the FDIC agreed to settle their negligence suit with Neil Bush and the other Silverado figures for $49.5 million. See the New York Times, June 9, 1991.

24. Webster G. Tarpley, "Is Bush Courting a Middle East war and new oil crisis?", Executive Intelligence Review, March 31, 1989. In early August, 1989, after the pro-Iranian Organization of the Oppressed of the Earth had announced the its execution of US Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, Bush did post a battleship and a carrier to the eastern Mediterranean, and a carrier in the northern Arabian Sea, thus threatening both Iran and Syria, whose forces went on alert in the Bekaa Valley and elsewhere.

25. "Stop Bush's Rush to World War III," New Federalist, February 11, 1991.

26. "Administration Attempts to Blunt Israeli Criticism," Washington Post, March 6, 1990.

27. "For Bush, Life on the Run Catches Up," New York Times, July 6, 1990.

28. Bush's Gulf Crisis: The Beginning of World War III?, EIR Special Report (Washington, September 1990), pp. 27-28.

29. Bon Woodward, The Commanders (New York, 1991), p. p. 205-206.

30. Nora Boustany and Patrick E. Tyler, "Iraq Masses Troops at Kuwait Border," Washington Post, July 24, 1990. See also New York Times, July 24, 1990.

31. "US Pursues Diplomatic Solution in Persian Gulf Crisis, Warns Iraq,' July 25, 1990.

32. Bush's Gulf Crisis: The Beginning of World War III ? (Washington: Executive Intelligence Review, 1990), pp. 28-29.

33. Woodward, Commanders, p. 218.

34. Woodward, Commanders, p. 224-229.

35. Washington Post, August 3, 1990.

36. Washington Post, August 9, 1990.

37. New York Times, August 4, 1990.

38. Woodward, Commanders, p. 253.

39. Woodward, Commanders, p. 254.

40. See Maureen Dowd, "The Guns of August Make a Dervish Bush Whirl Even Faster," New York Times, August 7, 1990, and "The Longest Week: How President Decided to Draw the Line," New York Times, August 9, 1990.

41. "Decision Came Saturday at Camp David," Washington Post, August 9, 1990.

42. "Transcript of News Conference Remarks by Bush on Iraq Crisis," New York Times, August 6, 1990.

43. Washington Post, August 9, 1990.

44. New York Times, August 7, 1990.

45. New York Times, August 9, 1990.

46. Washington Post, August 9, 1990.

47. "Bush's Talk of a 'New World Order:' Foreign Policy Tool or Mere Slogan?", Washington Post, May 26, 1991.

48. Washington Post, August 28, 1990.

49. "Bush: Out of These Troubled Times... a New World Order," Washington Post, September 12, 1990

50. Eleanor Clift, "The 'Carterization' of Bush, Newsweek, October 22, 1990.

51. Facts on File, 1990, pp. 740-741.

52. See Newsweek, October 22, 1990, p. 20 ff.

53. Washington Post, October 25, 1990.

54. "Bush Seeks Firing of Party Official," Washington Post, October 26, 1990.

55. "Candidates Spurn Bush's Embrace," Washington Post, October 24, 1990.

56. "On West Coast, President Rails Against Democrats," and "Bush Says Democrats 'Choked the Economy,'" Washington Post, October 27 and October 30, 1990.

57. Kevin Phillips, "The Bush Blueprint Bombs," Newsweek, November 19, 1990.

58. "Bush is Sharply Questioned By Lawmakers on Gulf Policy," Washington Post, October 31, 1990.

59. Business week, November 19, 1990.

60. New York Times, November 29 and November 11, 1990.

61. Washington Times, November 8, 1990.

62. Washington Post, November 9, 1990.

63. James Reston, "Too Early for Bush to Dial 911," New York Times,> November 12, 1990.

64. New York Times, November 15, 1990.

65. New York Times, November 16, 1990.

66. Washington Post, November 16, 1990.

67. "Support for Gulf Policy Seen 'At Teetering Point,'" Washington Post, November 19, 1990.

68. "Citing Geneva Incidents, US Will Protest to Swiss," Washington Post, November 25, 1990.

69. Lyndon LaRouche, "On Defining the Meaning and Necessity of the Concept of Pyscho-Sexual Impotence," in What Does Candidate LaRouche Think of Bush's Mental Health? (Washington DC: Democrats for Economic Recovery- LaRouche in '92, 1991), pp. 4-6.

70. Washington Post, December 1, 1990.

71. New York Times, December 20, 1990.

72. Washington Post, January 4, 1991.

73. Washington Post, January 10, 1991.

74. "Loans to Sen. Hatfield Forgiven, Records Show," Washington Post, May 10, 1991.

75. Washington Post, January 13, 1991.

76. "Shedding Tears, Bush Tells Baptists of Praying as Gulf War Neared," New York Times June 6, 1991.

77. See photo, Washington Post, August 4, 1980.

78. "Billy Graham: 'I Am Not a Communist,'" Washington Post, May 20, 1982.

79. "Bush and Saddam's Holy War of Words," Washington Post, February 3, 1991.

80. People, December, 1990, p. 53.

81. "First Lady Breaks Her Leg While Sledding," Washington Post, January 14, 1991.

82. New York Times, January 18, 1991.

83. Washington Post, January 19, 1991.

84. "Describing Moral Debate, Bush Spellbinds Audience," Washington Post, January 26, 1991.

85. Washington Post, February 6, 1991.

86. Washington Post, February 16, 1991.

87. Washington Post, February 20, 1991.

88. Washington Post, February 24, 1991.

89. Washington Post, February 28, 1991.

90. New York Times, March 7, 1991.

91. New York Times, April 14, 1991.

92. New York Times, April 17, 1991.

93. New York Times, August 2, 1991.

94. Washington Post, August 30, 1991.

95. Washington Post, May 17 and May 25, 1991.

96. Washington Post, June 9, 1991.

97. Facts on File, September 1991.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:56 am



Caesar non super grammaticos
(The emperor cannot defy the grammarians.)

--Marcus Pomponius Marcellus to Tiberius

When speaking in his capacity as an ideologue, George Bush has always expressed a great admiration for Theodore Roosevelt. When Bush moved into the Oval Office, he removed the portrait of Calvin Coolidge placed there by Reagan and replaced it with a likeness of the Rough Rider. Bush's references to his devotion to Theodore Roosevelt are strewn across his public career, and especially his White House years. They came thick and fast during the period of the Panama invasion, but were also prominent during the Gulf crisis. Here is one from late November, 1990:

Certainly I get inspiration from Teddy Roosevelt. Actually there's a parallel, not an exact parallel obviously, between San Juan Hill and Kuwait City. I've just been reading an interesting treatise on Teddy Roosevelt; his conviction and his determination and his leadership inspire me. All of those things inspire Presidents, I think. [fn 1]

Bush's endorsement for Teddy Roosevelt is an endorsement for a world outlook and for a policy orientation. Inseparably from that, it is also a statement of affinity for a certain form of psychopathology that is associated with Teddy.

As one of the authors has shown [fn 2], Roosevelt's maternal uncle was Captain James D. Bulloch, the head of the Confederate intelligence services in Europe and the outfitter of the infamous Confederate raiders Alabama, Shenandoah, and others. Theodore Roosevelt's elevation to the presidency represented a personal union between the New York-Boston patrician financiers with the secessionist slaveholders. First and foremost, Teddy Roosevelt was a political steward of the Morgan interests which dominated Wall Street. We see that Teddy Roosevelt's networks shared some essential features with those of George Bush. In many ways, these are the same networks.

In outlook and policy, Theodore Roosevelt was the president who elevated the solidarity of the white race, and especially of its alleged "Anglo-Saxon" component, above the ideas of the American Revolution. The argument was that shared "blood," language, culture, and the other bonds among the "English- speaking peoples" were far more important than the American System of Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Lincoln. Roosevelt marked the end of the sharp animosity towards the British crown which had been left in American public life in the wake of British support for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Roosevelt directed a wave of race hatred against Chinese and other yellow- skinned orientals; against Latin Americans and peoples of Mediterranean origin; against Germans; and against black and brown skinned people in general.

Teddy Roosevelt was of course a militant imperialist and empire- builder. The "Roosevelt corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine is no corollary, but rather a total reversal of the original anti- colonialist intent of Monroe and his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams. Teddy Roosevelt's claim to exercise international police powers over debtor nations launched a new imperialism, this time based in the United States.

Teddy Roosevelt was a dedicated Malthusian who did everything he could to abort the economic development of the United States west of the Mississippi. This Malthusian environmentalism lives on in the administration of the "environmental president." In order to enforce his alien policies, Teddy Roosevelt was in the vanguard of the creation of a US domestic police state. He got his start by leading police-state attacks on the New York Tammany Democratic machine as New York City Police Commissioner, and later carried his assault to other constituency groupings, the kind Bush reviles today as special interests. Roosevelt founded the centerpiece of the US domestic police state apparatus, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and made Charles Bonaparte, a relation of the French imperial house, the first FBI director. Roosevelt's program of "trust-busting," (which wiped out industrial forces opposed to the Morgan interests) and his conservationism led to the creation of a whole series of regulatory agencies, which are busily strangling US economic activity today.

On a deeper level: if London had not been able to count on the United States as a future ally, it is doubtful that the British government would have encouraged Russia and France to go to war with Austria-Hungary and Germany in 1914. Without the short-term certainty of US intervention on the British side, the Bolshevik revolution would have been far less likely. Theodore Roosevelt's role as the first overtly and extravagantly Anglophile US president after the Civil War thus helped to pave the way for some of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century.

Above and beyond all policy and strategic issues, Bush is attracted by the psychological Gestalt of Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt suffered from a very limited attention span. He was vain, self-centered, unstable and tended towards exhibitionism. The most concise summary of Teddy's pathology can be found in a letter by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice of the British Foreign Office, certainly one of the most important influences on Roosevelt's life; some would call him Teddy's British controller. When another British diplomat, Valentine Chirol, complained about Teddy's wandering focus and intermittent attention span, Spring-Rice replied:

If you took an impetuous small boy on to a beach strewn with a great many exciting pebbles, you would not expect him to remain interested for long in one pebble. You must always remember that the President is about six. [fn 3]

This restless and distracted inability to concentrate, this incapacity for the prolonged contemplation and examination of issues and problems, is one of the factors that made Teddy Roosevelt the psychological wreck that he was. Teddy could not think; the psychological background noise was far too loud. Instead, he was driven to undertake his legendary hunting exploits of killing vast quantities of birds and animals, his prodigious feats of physical exercise and, later, his hollow martial posturing as a "Rough Rider."

The polar opposite to Theodore Roosevelt on all of these points of world outlook and literary expression is Abraham Lincoln. Bush was often paid lip service to Lincoln as a great president, and even organized a lecture in the White House about the contributions of the Civil War president. But there have also been a few unguarded moments in which Bush has revealed his instinctive hatred for Lincoln. In mid-1990, Bush attended a performance at Ford's Theatre, which is still used for dramatic productions and other events in downtown Washington. At the end of the evening Bush was asked by a correspondent if he had enjoyed his evening. Bush remarked that whereas Lincoln had only been able to enjoy the first act of the play he had seen at Ford's he, Bush, had been able to enjoy the entire evening. This quip was reported in the British press.

Bush's affinity for Teddy Roosevelt is based most profoundly on the shared cognitive impairment of these two political figures. In the case of Bush, the inability to think is expressed most demonstrably in the incoherence of verbal expression. Thanks in part to Dana Carvey, who has some insight into this side of Bush's character, the "Bushspeak" issue has been on the table at least since 1987-88. But Bush has been spewing out garbled verbiage for a very long time. The following sample was recorded by Elizabeth Drew in February, 1980, during a ride from Worcester, Massachusetts to Boston. Ms. Drew commented that Bush seemed to enjoy campaigning. Bush replied in part:

I do. Isn't that awful? I really enjoy it, and I say 'awful' only because I'm just beginning to wonder what the hell's happening to me, you know, but I really do enjoy it. I loved going through that cafeteria, kidding with them and learning stuff and sitting and chatting and trying to be responsive to the person and yet have a concern for what concerns them. I mean it when I say I'm better. I'll be better, more sensitive, stronger, from things like that. And there is the smell of the greasepaint and that other crap; there's some of that. I mean, this is very different today. There was a time nobody'd stand out in even hot weather to see me. I was all alone four months ago, and here people are waiting. And there's a certain forward adrenaline that exists today. Hopefully, there will be more of them. Maybe not: maybe I'll be lousy and they'll go away, but that's part of the fun of it. Part of it is the process itself. It's a good process. [fn 4]

The leading feature of this sample is Bush's total lack of rigor; his personal idiom is incapable of expressing causality or precision. Already the subject-object relations are blurred, antecedents are a realm of anything goes, and verbal action has dwindled to insignificance. Underneath the avid and enthusiastic persona is a mind that is petulant, bored, and blase about everything that does not touch the interests of the ego. The result is an impression of overwhelming, undifferentiated banality. One is reminded of a narrative voice like the following:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything personal about them. They're quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. [fn 5]

The Holden Caulfield of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye inhabited the world that also belonged to George Bush, the world of the northeast prep schools of the 1940's. Apart from the obvious parallels between George and Holden, there is the interesting question of whether Bush might have a closer relation to this literary personage. In the course of the errant Holden Caulfield's time in New York City, he takes a girlfriend to a matinee theatre performance; during the intermission the girlfriend, named Sally, spots "some jerk she knew on the other side of the lobby. Some guy in one of those very dark grey flannel suits and one of those checkered vests. Strictly Ivy League. Big deal." Holden recounts the later conversation between Sally and her friend: "You should've seen him when old Sally asked him how he liked the play. He was the kind of a phony that have to give themselves room when they answer somebody's question. He stepped back, and stepped right on the lady's foot behind him. He probably broke every toe in her body. He said the play itself was no masterpiece, but that the Lunts, of course, were absolute angels. Angels. For Chrissake. Angels. That killed me. Then he and Sally started talking about a lot of people they both knew. It was the phoniest conversation you ever heard in your life." "The worst part was, the jerk had one of those very phony, Ivy League voices, one of those very tired, snobby voices. He sounded just like a girl. He didn't hesitate to horn in on my date, the bastard. I even thought for a minute that he was going to get in the goddamn cab with us when the show was over, because he walked about two blocks with us, but he said he had to meet a bunch of phonies for cocktails, he said. I could see them all sitting around in some bar, with their goddamn checkered vests, criticizing shows and books and women in those tired, snobby voices. They kill me, those guys."

Who was Sally's friend? "His name was George something - I don't even remember- and he went to Andover. Big, big deal." Who was the "phony Andover bastard" who so exasperated Holden Caulfield? Can this be a very early cameo appearance of George Herbert Walker Bush? J.D. Salinger is not known for giving interviews, but George Bush, Big Man on the Andover campus, would have been a figure of some note under the clock in the Biltmore during the early 1940's, which seems to be the epoch in which this episode is set.

Bush's devotion to racist genetic determinism recalls a slightly earlier figure of the Eastern Liberal Establishment in literature; this is the Amory Blaine of F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise. For the egotist Amory Blaine, whose motto was "I know myself, but that is all," and who called out to an arch- traitor and arch-villain "Good-by, Aaron Burr, you and I knew strange corners of life," was also a believer in the superiority of whites and blondes. As Amory tells one of his college friends:

We took the year-books for the last ten years and looked at the pictures of the senior council. I know you don't think much of that august body, but it does represent success here in a general way. Well, I suppose only about thirty-five per cent of every class here are blonds, are really light--yet two-thirds of every senior council are light. We looked at pictures of ten years of them, mind you; that means that out of every fifteen light-haired men in the senior class one is on the senior council, and of the dark-haired men it's only one in fifty. [fn 6]

The other figure from F. Scott Fitzgerald who shares traits with Bush is Nick Carraway, the recent Yale graduate who is the narrator of The Great Gatbsy. Nick Carraway was fascinated by Jay Gatbsy and other denizens of the demi-monde of organized crime, recalling George Bush's long personal friendship with Don Aronow and others of the Meyer Lansky milieu in Florida.

Other aspects of Bush's outlook and mode of expression can be traced back to Dink Stover at Yale, a series of boy's novels by Owen Johnson which began coming out after the First World War, just after the Harriman brothers, Prescott Bush, and Neil Mallon had graduated. Dink Stover was a preppy from Lawrenceville who talked about democracy and equality during his first three years at Yale. He always helped old ladies and did the right thing. When Tap Day rolled around, Dink Stover was tapped by Skull and Bones. Key elements of Bush's public mask, or persona, correspond to the community-service oriented do-gooder Dink Stover, an early addition to the thousand points of light.

Bush's language is the mirror of his personality, and it merits more than cursory examination. The most outstanding quality of Bushspeak is first of all its garbled incoherence and lost syntax. In one of his debates with Dukakis on September 25, 1988, Bush commented on the number of the homeless who are mentally ill:

But-- and I-- look, mental-- that was a little overstated-- I'd say about 30 percent. [fn 7]

Some may claim that the most dissociated utterances by Bush are not his own responsibility, but result rather from Bush's attempt to regurgitate the contents of verbal briefings and briefing books. This assertion has a specious credibility. In hyper-prepared appearances like the debate with Dukakis, Bush does have a tendency to spout lines that mix up phrases and one-liners that he has drilled. In an answer on defense policy during the same debate with Dukakis, Bush stated: "We are going to make some changes and some tough choices before we go to the deployment on the Midgetman missile, or on the Minuteman, whatever it is. We're going to have to- - the MX. We're going to have to do that." And then he added: "It's Christmas." And then, as the audience laughed, "Wouldn't it be nice to be the iceman so you never make a mistake?" The reference to Christmas was intended to be self- ironic; on September 7, 1988, Bush had announced that it was Pearl Harbor Day; now, on September 25, he was announcing that it was Christmas.

But garbled incoherence is so much a staple of Bush's spoken discourse that it cannot be attributed solely to the pressure of his handlers; it is a life-long habit which has become more accentuated during the years of his presidency. In February 1988, Bush told prospective voters in the New Hampshire primary:

I have a tendency to avoid on and on and on, eloquent pleas. I don't talk much, but I believe, maybe not articulate much, but I feel. [fn 8]

Was Bush worried about not being an exciting candidate? "Charisma short? Needing a charisma transplant? Not much," was his rejoinder. A high school student of Knoxville, Tennessee wanted to know if his president would seek ideas from foreign countries to improve education. Bush's riposte:

Well, I'm going to kick that one right into the end zone of the Secretary of Education. But, yes, we have all-- he travels a good deal, goes abroad. We have a lot of people in the department that does that. We're having an international-- this is not as much education as dealing with the environment--a big international conference coming up. And we get it all the time--exchanges of ideas. But I think we've got-- we set out there-- and I want to give credit to your Governor McWherter and to your former Governor Lamar Alexander-- we've gotten great ideas for a national goals program from--in this country -- from the governors who were responding to, maybe, the principal of your high school, for heaven's sake. [fn 9]

In a speech to graduating college seniors, Bush described the visit of the new Czechoslovak President, Vaclav Havel, to the White House in early 1990:

And the look on his face, as the man who was in jail an dying, or living -- whatever-- for freedom, stood out there, hoping against hope for freedom. [fn 10]

Bush once admitted that he had difficulty keeping the most elementary sense of direction in his mental life; he told a group of school children, "I read so much sometimes I start to read backwards, which is not very good." [fn 11]

Bush is a bureaucrat and administrator at heart, with all the sinister overtones these have rightly acquired during the twentieth century. His discourse is highly bureaucratic, and is famous for being so. Bush's obsessions with "things", as in the notorious "vision thing," reflects the essence of Aristotelian bureaucratic cataloguing. We saw the "adversary thing" back in 1976; since then we have seen the "Super Tuesday thing," "the vice presidential thing," and a nostalgic glance at "this drilling thing," in reference to Bush's "experience in offshore drilling." [fn 12] When Bush talked by telephone with the astronauts of the space shuttle Atlantis, he asked, "How was the actual deployment thing?" Sometimes this can even occur in the plural, as in this reference to his dog Millie's puppies: "Kids just love those little fuzzy things." Bush's language is also peppered with the acronyms of the inside-the-beltway Washington functionary. "My allied colleagues and I should agree to take up these ideas at the C.S.C.E. summit this fall, to be held around the signing of the C.F.E. treaty," Bush said on one occasion. Those who do not know what GATT, SPRs, G-7, Start, Cocom, OTS, and Chapter VII mean are going to have a hard time following Bushspeak. [fn 13] And like all bureaucrats, Bush loves the passive voice. His stock reply on Iran- contra was, "Mistakes were made." Who made them? Bush's answer, which he alleges is borrowed from Yogi Berra, was "Don't make the wrong mistakes."

Very often Bush's pronouncements are designed for self-defense against his detractors. In the spring of 1988, Bush was asked his reaction to Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip, and to the political satire of Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live. Bush answered:

I used to get tense about that. My mother still does. She's 87. She doesn't like it when people say untrue and ugly things about her little boy. Having said that, it doesn't bother me any more. You know why, because we took a tremendous pounding, not just from elitists like Doonesbury, coming out of the elite of the elite, but untrue allegations, and you know I don't worry about it anymore, because the American people don't believe all this stuff. So I'm saying, why should I be all uptight? [fn 14]

Although he likes to suggests that it is his opponents who are the real elitist, sometimes Bush has to defend his own patrician social background against criticism. When Bush was campaigning in New Jersey before the 1988 primary, he was asked if the patrician governor of that state, Tom Kean, had a background so similar to Bush's that he could not be considered as Bush's vice presidential running mate. Bush's reply:

Did they ask Tom Kean when he was a great success in business, a great success in government, did they ask where he went to school or what his background was? Did they say, 'Tom, you can't be a very good governor because you weren't born in a log cabin in the middle of Newark'? No, they didn't ask that.... So I don't worry about fitting into some kind of mold. It's what you feel, what you believe, what kind of experience you've had." [fn 15]

Many times the purpose of Bush's remarks is to evade questions. He often refused to talk about his role in Iran-contra: "I forgot to tell you, I don't talk about what I told the president," was a favorite line. Who would be his running mate? "I forgot to tell you, I'm not in the speculation business." Would he purge the Reaganites? "I forgot to tell you, we're going to have wholesale change." [fn 16]

Bush has called himself "a restrained kind of guy." He has often denied having "a rancor in there" against his opposition, but his rage states have become increasingly difficult to control over the years. He was unable to control his temper when defending his kow-tow to Deng Xiao-ping during 1989; after a ranting defense of his China policy he thanked the press for their questions, saying: "So, I'm glad you asked it because then I vented a spleen here." [fn 17] Bush's rage episodes have often been associated with public criticism. Commenting once again on the Doonesbury comic strip, Bush once confessed: "Four years ago I'd go ballistic when I read some of this stuff. But hey, let him do his thing, and I'll do mine." "Ballistic" for Bush refers to a rage fit which might cause him to chew on the White House carpets; this is a not infrequent event. For lesser tantrums Bush has coined another expression, "semi-ballistic," as in an offhand remark during the 1988 campaign about his feelings when given speech drafts which he finds unsuitable: "Everybody on this airplane will have seen me semi-ballistic when people hand me things that I'm simply not going to say."

Another feeling state which, judging from the evidence of his statements, is meaningful for Bush is the state of being "frantic." During the 1988 campaign, Bush was asked about his tendency to assail Dukakis. Bush replied"

I don't feel frantic. I don't feel under any time constraints. There is a little bit of cholesterol rise, the frustration level going up. So I'm getting a little bit more combative. [fn 18]

During 1989, Bush still faced grilling about Iran-contra from a reporter. "You're burning up time. The meter is running through the sand on you, and I am now filibustering," taunted Bush. [fn 19]

Bush's pattern of uncontrollable rage states became worse during 1990, in the interwar period between Panama and Iraq. During February 1990, Bush came under fire for duplicity, lying to the press, and excessive secret diplomacy. After a night's sleep on Air Force One on the way to an anti-drug summit in Colombia, Bush came out of his quarters to confront the traveling press corps in a way that the Washington Post correspondent found "both testy and teasing." Bush, visibly furious, announced "a whole new relationship" with reporters. "From now on it's gonna be a little different. I think we have too many press conferences," ranted Bush. "It's not good. It's overexposure to the thing." Had he not slept well?, asked one reporter. Bush replied, I can't go into the details of that. Because someone will think it's too much sleep, someone will think it's too little. I'll give you a little insight into that. I had a very good night's sleep. And I've never-- if I felt better it'd be a frame-up. There's something you can use.

Bush was incensed because he had denied that there was about to be a four-power conference on the future of Germany, and such a conference was announced the next day. Bush had been misleading about his plans for the Malta summit with Gorbachov, and he had kept secret the mission of Scowcroft and Eagleburger to Beijing on July 4, 1989. Various press accounts had noted these discrepancies, and Bush was now having a fit. Would he be signing a joint communique at the drug summit with Colombia, Peru and Bolivia?

I hate to be secretive, say nothing of deceptive. But I'm not going to tell you that.

Would he discuss possible US military interdiction of drug trafficking?

I'm not going to discuss what I'm gonna bring up.

Would the drug summit bring any surprise proposals?

I'm not gonna discuss whether there are any surprises or not. This is a new thing. A new approach. Even if I don't discuss it. I'm not going to discuss it.

Would the Colombian government now abandon its policy of extraditing drug traffickers?

Bush: I have no comment whatsoever on that.

Q: Did you know about it?

Bush: I have no comments on whether I knew about it.

Q: Is it true?

Bush: I can't comment on whether it's true or not.

Q: Did we turn you into this?

Bush: Yes. When I told you...that I didn't think there would be a deal [on the four-power conference on Germany], and then they shortly made a deal, and I'm hit for deceiving you. So from now on it's going to be a little different.

Would he schedule a summit with Gorbachov for June, 1990? Bush again refused to answer, "Because I'm not gonna be burned for holding out or doing something deceptive." Later the same afternoon, Marlin Fitzwater, the top White House spin doctor, attempted to interpret what had been an infantile fit of rage by assuring the reporters: "He was just kidding. He was having fun." [fn 20] In retrospect, it is also clear that Bush's thyroid was also on the warpath.

Later the same spring, Bush went semi-ballistic when reporters declined to join him for jogging at 7:15 AM in Columbia, South Carolina. The White House reporters all got a wake-up call at 7 AM calling on them to join Bush for jogging in 15 minutes; usually the reporters watch Bush from the sidelines, but this time he was magnanimously inviting them to come running with him. There were no volunteers. Bush then bullied Rita Beamish of Associated Press into running with him, 13 laps around a football field for a total of 25 minutes. But even after that exertion, Bush was still full of fury. He proceeded to launch a diatribe at the press corps:

The rest of you lazy guys, get out there and run. A fit America is a fine America. A fit America is a strong America. A fit America should include photo dogs [Bushspeak for photographers] as well as print reporters who slovenly sit back in the grandstands while some of us are out running.

Bush then attacked the "boom men," who hold microphones on long poles to pick up Bush's remarks. Not long before, a boom man had accidentally dropped a microphone on a table in the Oval Office, and Bush had apoplectically complained of ruined antiques; had it been the Theodore Roosevelt desk? Bush railed that if the boom men exercised more, they would have more "strength in the forearms to keep these microphones up in the air." One reporter responded to the tirade: "I do not get paid to play with the president when he feels like playing." [fn 21]

When on vacation, Bush has always maintained a frenetic, hyperkinetic pace. After winning the 1988 election, Bush repaired to Delray Beach, Florida, to cavort with his plutocrat friend William Stamps Farrish III. Despite the exhausting rigors of the campaign, Bush "spent the bulk of his day exercising and resting: a quarter-mile swim, a 20-minute run, and a nap." He came back from a two-mile run in an "upbeat, almost giddy mood." [fn 22]

Bush's hyperkinetic antics at Kennebunkport during September, 1989 were described as follows by a first-hand observer:

It was just an average day on President Bush's vacation.

Hungering to catch a bluefish, he packed up his speedboat Fidelity and headed out to sea. But when he remembered that he had forgotten First Lady Barbara Bush, he turned the boat around and accidentally ran over a board, which broke a propeller.

Undeterred by his disabled boat, the president took his party to the horseshoe pit, where they tossed several games for about 45 minutes as Mr. Bush exclaimed, "Mr. Smooth does it again" with each ringer. But soon that got old, and it was time to head to the golf course for 18 holes.

This is President Bush, a man of nearly manic movement. All during his vacation, the last thing he did was relax. He's up at the crack of dawn for jogging, out on the tennis courts, teeing off for golf, pitching horseshoes, fishing, swimming, entertaining friends.

Bush, in sum, "can't sit still"; he even accepted a dare from his grandchildren and dove off a stone pier into the Atlantic Ocean, which is kept cold along the Maine coast by the frigid Labrador current. [fn 23]

George Herbert Walker had reformed the rules of golf, eliminating the stymie; George Bush transformed the game into a manic exercise called "speed golf," whose object is to complete 18 holes in the briefest possible interval of time. According to one journalist who attempted to match Bush's record of 1 hour 37 minutes for a threesome, as compared with almost four hours for leisurely golfers. Speed golf may not be for everyone, but it is President Bush's game, however. He calls it cart polo. Bush has taken a leisurely game and turned it into what one reporter called a forced march-- on wheels. "He barely gets out of the cart, whacks it, and he's gone," says Spike Hemingway, Bush's longtime friend and frequent playing partner. Others have dubbed it aerobic golf, or golf in the fast lane. "Do you know who the winner is in speed golf?" a Portland, Maine doctor asked me. "The first one in the hole." [fn 24]

During the summer of 1989, "Bush revealed himself to be a playful yet relentless exhibitionist," wrote another commentator. "He was forever restless and rarely alone." Out on the golf course, he called for silence: "All right, the crowd is hushed. They sense that Mr. Smooth is back." Later, when it came time to play tennis, Bush ordered a press aide to round up the photo dogs and reporters to "come see what Mr. Smooth is like on the courts." [fn 25] For Newsweek, Bush's routine was a "pentathlon."

Bush's desire for frenetic movement, seeking in space what has been lost in time, carries over into his notorious penchant for foreign travel. By July, 1991, he had logged 339,257 miles on Air Force One, and visited 32 countries, having surpassed in less than 30 months the previous record set by Nixon between 1969 and 1974. [fn 26]

Bush has a history of psychosomatic illness. During the 1950's, when he was in his early thirties, he had been, according to his own account, a "chronic worrier." One morning during a "hectic business trip to London" Bush had fainted in his hotel room, and was unable to get to his feet. A hotel doctor thought he had food poisoning. Bush says he later sought treatment from Dr. Lillo Crain at the Texas Medical Center. Dr. Crain told Bush that he had a bleeding ulcer. "George, you're a classic ulcer type," Bush says he was told by Dr. Crain. "A young businessman with only one speed, all-out. You try to do too much and you worry too much." Bush says he expressed doubt there was any chance he could change his ways. The doctor replied, "There'd better be, or you won't be around in ten years, maybe five." Dr. Crain added: "If you want to keep this from happening again, it's up to you." [fn 27] Bush claims he worked at "channeling my energies", and "never suffered a relapse."

After Bush's May 10, 1989 White House physical examination, a cyst was found on the third finger of Bush's right hand; this was surgically removed in October, 1989, and pronounced benign. This was allegedly Bush's only problem. On April 12, 1990, White House physician Dr. Burton Lee announced that Bush "is in truly excellent health." "He continues to keep extremely fit through vigorous physical activity." Bush was diagnosed with "early glaucoma" in his left eye, a condition that was treated with Betagen eye drops. X-rays of Bush's hips and back confirmed the presence of a "mild degenerative osteoarthritis," which allegedly had been discovered by previous examinations. [fn 2] On March 27, 1991, Bush was given another routine physical, and the White House doctors (and spin doctors) announced once again that their charge was in "excellent health."

On May 4, 1991, Bush delivered an address at the commencement exercises of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. This campus had been the site of the first anti-war teach in of the Vietnam epoch, in 1965, and the Ann Arbor campus had been the scene of significant anti-war activity during Bush's Gulf adventure. Today Bar was also present. His new speech writer Tony Snow, the former editorial page editor of the Moonie Washington Times had contributed to a speech attacking the campus inquisition called "political correctness." The scene was the cavernous Michigan Stadium south of the main campus, a larger version of the Circus Maximus in Rome. Bush was looking for a wedge issue for the 1992 campaign, and the campus dictators of the politically correct were a big target. There were hecklers with signs denouncing Bush, so he launched into his text with vigor:

Although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expressions off-limits, even certain gestures off- limits...In their own Orwellian way, crusades that demand correct behavior crush diversity in the name of diversity.

At this point the hecklers came to life with loud chants of "Bush lies." Since the beginning of the Gulf crisis, Bush had been confronted by hostile demonstrators. We know from his 1965 debate with Ronnie Dugger how much he was upset by such "extremists." The chants kept going as the infuriated Bush struggled to be heard.

The power to create also rests on other freedoms, especially the freedom -- and I think about that right now -- to speak one's mind. I had this written into the speech, and I didn't even know if these guys were going to be here.

The demonstrators kept up the chorus of "Bush lies." Bush's temperature was rising from semi-ballistic to ballistic. He told the students to ... fight back against the boring politics of division and derision. Let's trust our friends and colleagues to respond to reason .... And I remind myself a lot of this: We must conquer the temptation to assign bad motives to people who disagree with us. [fn 29]

After this speech, Bush flew to Andrews Air Force base and thence by helicopter to Camp David. During this period, Bush's White House chief of staff, John Sununu, had become the target of public criticism because of his frequent use of military aircraft for weekend vacations and skiing trips. Boy Gray had come forward as the enforcer of White House travel regulations against Sununu, whose motto was reportedly "fly free or die." There were also moves afoot to re-open the 1980 October surprise investigation, always a point of immense vulnerability for Bush. He had been forced to deny once again on May 3 that he had engaged in secret dealings with the Khomeini regime to delay the release of the US hostages in Teheran.

Slightly after 3:30 PM, Bush gathered his retinue of Secret Service agents and announced that it was time to go jogging. After about 30 minutes, he began complaining of fatigue and shortness of breath. He then proceeded to the Camp David infirmary, where Michael Nash, one of his resident team of doctors, determined that Bush was experiencing atrial fibrillation, an irregularity of the heartbeat. Nash recommended that Bush go to Bethesda Medical Center for treatment. Bush arrived at Bethesda at 6 PM.

The news that Bush had entered the hospital at Bethesda was flashed by wire services around the planet. Bush was exhibiting a fast, irregular heart rhythm. The heart was working less efficiently, producing a tendency for shortness of breath, light- headedness, and even fainting. Sometimes atrial fibrillation is associated with a heart attack, or with damage to a heart valve. The first step in Bush's treatment was the attempt to slow the heart rate and to restore the normal rhythm. After an hour of tests, doctors gave Bush digoxin, a drug used to restore the usual heart rhythm. When the digoxin proved unable to do the job alone, Bush's physicians began to administer another heart medication, procainamide. Though doctors claimed that Bush showed "some indications of a positive response" to this therapy, Bush's heart irregularity was resistant to the medicines and persisted through Sunday, May 5. Doctors also began to administer an anticoagultant drug, Coumadin, in addition to aspirin. Bush was thus being kept going with four different medications.

At this point, Bush's medical team was forced to contemplate resorting to electrocardioversion, a procedure in which an electric shock is administered to the heart, momentarily stopping the heart and resetting its rhythm. This prospect was enough to create a crisis of the entire regime, since electrocardioversion would have required Bush to undergo general anesthesia, which in turn would have mandated the transfer of presidential powers to Vice President Dan Quayle. Back in 1985, we have seen that Bush was the beneficiary of such a transfer when Reagan underwent surgery for colon cancer. The transfer would have been accomplished under Section III of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which states that:

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

The specter of Acting President Dan Quayle brought forth a wave of public expressions of consternation and dismay. According to a Washington Post-ABC public opinion poll published May 7, 57% of those responding said that in their opinion Quayle was not qualified to take over as Acting President. In the night between Sunday May 5 and Monday May 6, Bush was still experiencing sporadic episodes of an irregular heartbeat. But on the morning of Monday, May 6 his doctors suddenly pronounced him fit to return to the Oval Office, where he was seated at his desk by 9:30 AM, and resumed what was described as his normal work schedule. The doctors conceded only that they had asked Bush to curtail his usual frenetic schedule of recreational sports.

Bush returned to work wired with a portable heart monitor. This was a device about the size of a telephone pager, with white wires leading to patches on his chest which measured the rate of his heartbeat. Bush stated that he was "Back to normal and the same old me." He declined to show off his heart monitor with the quip "Do you think I'm Lyndon Johnson?" LBJ had pulled up his shirt to show reporters a scar on his stomach after a gall bladder operation. [fn 30]

On May 7, Bush's chief attending physician, Dr. Burton Lee, gave a briefing at Bethesda in which he disclosed that Bush's bout with atrial fibrillation had been caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Lee assured the press that the problem had been an overactive thyroid secreting too much of the hormone thyroxin, which helps to regulate the body's metabolic rate. This hormone goes into the circulatory system, and thus can disturb the proper functioning of the heart. Lower the rate of production of thyroid hormone, and everything would return to normal, was the message. Lee said that Bush would undergo a thyroid scan and other tests to help determine the appropriate treatment. Contradicting earlier statements by Fitzwater that there had been no recent danger signals regarding Bush's health, Lee now revealed that Bush had experienced a small weight loss and episodes of unusual fatigue during jogging over the previous few weeks. The weight loss had been of eight or nine pounds during the month before Bush was hospitalized. Bush had been tired enough to complain, "Gee whiz, I must be getting old," on earlier joggings runs. [fn 31] Some of Bush's symptoms appear to have emerged in February, during the time of the Iraq war. Lee claimed that Bush had never undergone tests of his thyroid functions because he had shown no symptoms of thyroid disturbance-- a patent absurdity. According to Burton Lee, the first indication of a thyroid disturbance came on Monday morning, when a blood test showed that the level of thyroid hormone in Bush's blood was above normal. These results were then confirmed with repeated blood tests.

The official White House line was that this was good news, since thyroid disorders were easily treated. Fitzwater recounted that "The President was overjoyed. It means the problem was not a problem with his heart and that it is virtually 100 percent treatable." Burton Lee chimed in with his opinion that biochemical hyperthyroidism is "easily treatable."

On May 9, Bush's doctors announced that he was suffering from what they chose to call Graves' disease, a condition in which the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and produces excessive levels of hormone in response to "false messages" from other parts of the body about how much of the hormone is needed. Graves' disease is a disorder of the immune system in which the body produces an antibody which "mimics" the hormone that usually tells the thyroid how much thyroxin to produce. One decisive test was said to have involved Bush's swallowing of a small dose of radioactive iodine, followed by observation with a device resembling a geiger counter to obtain an image of the thyroid. This thyroid scan revealed a gland that was enlarged, and absorbing iodine at faster than the normal rate. During this press conference, Bush's medical team also conceded that Bush had experienced a renewed bout of atrial fibrillation in the form of a "rather brief episode" during the night of Tuesday, May 8.

During this press conference, Burton Lee once again repeated the story that Bush's thyroid had never been tested during his previous annual or other checkups. He offered the estimate that Bush's thyroid condition had developed after his last medical checkup, which had been conducted on March 27, 1991. According to Dr. Kenneth Burman,a thyroid specialist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who had been assigned to Bush's case, the issue of whether thyroid tests should be a part of routine physical examination was controversial. Burman added that his personal opinion was that such tests were not cost-effective! Press reports reflected surprise on the part of outside experts about this alleged neglect of thyroid testing. Also joining in this press conference was Dr. Bruce K. Lloyd, the chief of cardiology at Bethesda Medical Center.

Bush's doctors announced that he had ingested a dose of radioactive iodine on the morning of May 9. Bush drank this iodine at Bethesda. One thyroid expert, Dr. Bruce D. Weintraub of the National Institutes of Health, told the Washington Post that as a result of this thyroid cocktail, which was designed to destroy a large part of Bush's thyroid, the public might henceforth see "a slower and less frenetic George Bush." [fn 32] As a result of the radioactive cocktail, Bush was "mildly radioactive" for a few days, and was told to refrain from hugging his grandchildren for their protection.

Some experts called attention to the allegedly bizarre anomaly that Barbara Bush had been diagnosed as suffering from Graves' disease in January, 1990, in the immediate wake of the Panama crisis. One of the antibodies associated with Graves' disease triggers abnormal deposits of fat behind the eyes, leading to the bulging eyes that are associated in the popular mind with hyperthyroid disorders. For some time after she was diagnosed, Mrs. Bush suffered from disturbances in her vision. In addition, during the summer of 1990, the family dog Millie, a springer spaniel, was found to have contracted lupus, another autoimmune disease. Millie was treated with the steroid drug prednisone, and apparently recovered. Finally, it turned out that Bush's son Marvin, a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, was also afflicted by an autoimmune disorder, this time regional enteritis.

As will shortly become clear, there would have been good reason to investigate Bush's frequent episodes of apoplectic rage as a causal factor in the autoimmune disorders of his immediate family circle. The most likely explanation for the afflictions of Millie and Barbara is that they were both driven frantic by George's obsessive and rage-filled outbursts in the White House family quarters. This may have included various forms of mental and even physical abuse. The emotional trauma of living with George would be more than enough to produce autoimmune problems in those around him. Perhaps in an attempt to distract attention from this highly plausible path of investigation, Marilyn Quayle was sent forward to tell CNN of a plan to test the water at the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory, where George and Barbara had lived for eight years before moving to the White House. Mrs. Quayle told the media that Bush's White House physicians had "ordered all sorts of tests" on the water in the vice president's residence, which is over a century old. "Obviously there is a little bit of concern," said Mrs. Quayle. "It seems a little bit much of a coincidence. I don't worry overmuch about it, but I think it's something that does bear looking into." Mrs. Quayle added that she hoped the results of the tests "relieve a lot of people's minds-- definitely, I hope they relieve mine."

What Marilyn Quayle was referring to was part of a program to test the water at the White House, the Naval Observatory, Camp David, and Kennebunkport. Sanitary engineers were said to be looking for concentrations of iodine and lithium, two chemicals which had been linked to thyroid disorders. Bush's doctors later said that they had ordered the tests in the hopes of uncovering clues to the remarkable coincidence of three autoimmune disorders in the Bush household, including the dog Millie. Bush's pose was one of studied skepticism: "You're kidding," he told reporters. "I'm not going to lose confidence in the water at the White House until we know a little more about this," Bush said. In any case, the water at the White House "tasted fine to me." [fn 33]

During the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Bush described himself as "dead tired" on one occasion during the visit. During a May 20 press conference with Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany, Bush spoke with a raspy voice, and his attention seemed to wander. When asked about his poor performance with Kohl, Bush conceded that he had experienced "slowing down on the mental processes." On more than one occasion, he seemed to lose his train of thought during answers to the questions of the journalists. The raspy voice was still noticeable in a press conference on May 21. On that same day, the White House announced the results of what was billed as Bush's first complete checkup since the day he swallowed radioactive iodine. The White House said that Bush had lost a total of 13 pounds since the onset of the crisis, but had managed to gain back a pound and a half. Tests showed that Bush's thyroid functions were now in the low-normal range, it was further alleged. Doctors tried to explain away Bush's fatigue by saying that it reflected the body's adjustment to a thyroid gland which was overactive less than two weeks before, but had now possibly become underactive as a result of the radioactive iodine therapy, which had destroyed many thyroxin-producing cells. By this point, Bush was still taking digoxin, procainamide, Coumadin, aspirin, and non-radioactive iodine drops. These last, it was said, were designed to reduce the amounts of thyroxin entering the bloodstream. [fn 34]
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

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Bush was in Kennebunkport for Memorial Day, and the White House propaganda machine was churning out the line was that he was now well on his way to complete recovery. "I'm sleeping much better and I really do feel good and I wish I had about four more days here," Bush told the press. "Been taking a little sleep after lunch here, which is good. Been sleeping very well." During this weekend, Bush tried fishing at nine of his favorite locations. On Sunday, May 26, Bush played a total of 27 holes of golf. Reporters found that he was back to his old ways as he "circled the golf course like a man on a merry-go-round." When he "passed the 18th hole once again on this vacation, he exuberantly flung a golf club at his cart and looked horrified when it nearly hit one of his Secret Service guards." According to press reports, Bush was still suffering from dryness of mouth. He had reduced his intake of caffeine, and of alcohol. On Monday, May 27, Bush traveled to New Haven to speak at the Yale commencement, and lost three pounds due to the rigors of the trip. On Tuesday, after he had returned to Kennebunkport, he told reporters: "Yesterday I got a little tired at the end of the day, and today I feel fine. You have to pace yourself a little." [fn 35]

Bush's speech at the Yale commencement was devoted to a pugnacious defense of his China policy, the policy of the kow-tow to the butchers of Beijing. In the words of one observer: "George Bush's address to the Yale graduating class was more like a tantrum than a speech. In it, he was defiant about renewing most-favored- nation trading status for the Chinese, and crushingly condescending to the opposition he faces. [...] The resolute commander-in-chief sounded like the querulous candidate of yesterday. He can do what he wants, talk out of both sides of his mouth and stage a preemptive strike on critics who say his position is immoral." [fn 36]

On Wednesday, May 29, Bush proposed a freeze on the purchase and production of surface-to-surface missiles in the Middle East. On this day Bush was again out on the golf course, and questions about his health were raised once again by his ghastly personal appearance, which was best conveyed by a photograph appearing on the front page of the London Financial Times of Thursday, May 30.

After the beginning of June, references to Bush's atrial fibrillation and thyroid crisis become exceedingly rare, a tribute to the power of the Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones networks. On September 5, Burton Lee announced that he had halted Bush's daily doses of procainamide and digoxin shortly after the middle of August. But Bush continued to take daily doses of coumadin to prevent blood clots, medication to replace lost thyroid hormore production, and aspirin every other day, also to prevent blood clots. This announcement came at the end of Bush's 29 day vacation in Kennebunkport. The White House spin was that Bush "appears to have overcome weight loss and fatigue associated with the thyroid condition, called Graves' disease, and treatment for it." [fn 37] Then, in mid-September, Bush underwent a two-hour medical examination designed to provide a "medical stamp of approval" for Bush's health as he prepared to run for re- election in 1992. "I gotta prove I'm well," said Bush as he went in for the checkup. According to Dr. Burman, "the president has been restored to his normal vigorous state of good health." Lee said that all tests had showed Bush's heart functions to be normal; he also claimed that there had been no recurrence of atrial fibrillation after May. Bush had commented in August that the only thing that could keep him from running for a second term would be a health problem. He now described his own condition as "100 percent. Perfect bill of health." [fn 38] And that, as far as the regime was concerned, was that.

Despite the claims of Dr. Lee that political considerations played no role in his treatment, it is clear that all statements by White House physicians about Bush's physical and mental health must be regarded with the greatest skepticism; such pronouncements are likely to be as reliable as the censored war bulletins of Operation Desert Storm. Was there still a problem with Bush's health, including his mental health? The answer is an emphatic yes, a yes buttressed by the observation of continued paroxysms of obsessive rage on the part of Bush, who has not calmed down at all. Bush remains on an emotional roller-coaster, complete with the snap decisions so typical of the hyperthyroid personality. In short, Bush's thyroid and mental disorders have the most devastating implications for his ability to govern.

The first question regards the nature and even the name of Bush's malady. According to a leading Baltimore psychiatrist who could not be described as politically hostile to Bush, it is clear that the man in the White House is suffering from the full-fledged symptoms of Basedow's disease. The difference between Graves' disease and Basedow's is more than a technical quibble: the term Graves' disease as used in the English-speaking world is misleading in that it plays down the symptoms of mental disturbance which are more explicitly associated with Basedow's disease. According to this specialist, it is pointless to test the water in the White House, the Naval Observatory, Kennebunkport, and Camp David, since it is well established that Basedow's disease is emotionally triggered. An emotional upheaval, psychic shock, or other mental trauma stimulates the master endocrine gland of the body, the pituitary gland, into an overproduction of its hormone, which in turn provokes an overactivity of the thyroid, speeding up overall metabolism and further exacerbating the nervous and emotional crisis. This pattern of overstimulation of the mind, the pituitary, the thyroid, the mind, and so forth becomes a vicious, self-feeding cycle, which can be life threatening if it is not effectively treated.

According to this Baltimore expert, the fact that Bush has experienced a pattern of atrial fibrillation is cause for concern not so much because of what it portends for Bush's heart, but rather because it shows that Bush's case of Basedow's disease is already well advanced, with a significant excess of thyroid hormone. The overproduction of thyroid hormone can theoretically be brought under control through the administration of radioactive iodine, but this does not mean that the disease itself is easy to treat or to bring under control with any finality. Precisely because Basedow's disease is emotionally triggered, a sudden increase in emotional stress can result in a renewal of erratic behavior.

The good news, in the view of this expert, is that patients suffering from Basedow's disease do not have to be placed into a mental institution. Their symptoms can be managed, although they will continue to have their ups and downs. But such management requires a stress-free environment. The implications for Bush's further tenure in the White House are obvious enough: the Federal Aeronautics Administration will not grant a pilot's license of any kind to a person who has been diagnosed with Basedow's disease.

The Baltimore specialist also pointed out that although samples of Bush's blood, taken by his White House doctors and frozen over a period of months and years, might be tested for thyroid hormone in order to answer the all-important question of when Bush's case of Basedow's disease actually began, these findings might be fragmentary because of the significant day-to-day variations in the level of thyroid hormone. If a sample had been taken after Bush heard the news that Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz had declined to accept Bush's threatening letter handed to him by Secretary of State Baker, Bush's level of thyroid hormone that day might have been high enough to warrant immediate hospitalization.

In the opinion of this expert, these points all represent standard, well-known medical doctrine which is not subject to any controversy among physicians and specialists. Bush's White House medical team must therefore be keenly aware of all of them.

According to a California professor of radiology, hyperthyroidism is traditionally associated with patients who are irritable, restless, overactive, and emotionally labile. They often lack the ability to concentrate, and have symptoms of anxiety. They also exhibit impulsive behavior. In addition, there are outright psychiatric disorders which are associated with hyperthyroidism. This professor pointed to Bush's decision to initiate hostilities against Iraq, in which he rejected the advice of eight out of nine secretaries of defense, three former chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, and other prominent experts in order to wage war. Could this kind of decision-making process be associated with Bush's hyperthyroidism? In this specialist's opinion it is difficult to say, because of the difficulty of determining with precision when Bush's hyperthyroid condition began. Bush's choice of Dan Quayle as a running mate might also fit into this type of pattern.

This California professor noted that there exists a literature on hyperthyroid patients who have developed schizophrenia. Sixty per cent of patients with hyperthyroidism show intellectual impairment of some degree. What will Bush be like if and when he becomes euthyroid? The California professor regarded this as a fascinating question to follow.

According to a Venezuelan endocrinologist, hyperthyroidism must be regarded as a psycho-somatic illness characterized by obsessive states. When the patient is unable to consummate his or her obsession, then cardiac arrhythmia results. When this happens, the condition of the patient deteriorates. This mechanism strongly suggests that such thyroid patients be disqualified for posts that involve stress and weighty responsibilities. According to this expert, it would be difficult for Bush to remain in office until January, 1993, and it would be madness for him to attempt a second term. This specialist has a background of research in the psychological causes of thyroid disorders; one form of the etiology of hyperthyroidism he has studied involves the tendency of young children whose parents have died to develop thyroid problems as a result of grief and bereavement.

The question of the influence of Bush's hyperthyroid condition on his decision-making, especially his rageful and obsessive decisions to go to war in Panama and the Gulf, could not be avoided even by the pro-regime press. A New York Times article by Dr. Lawrence K. Altman, MD, posed the question, "does an overactive thyroid gland affect mood and judgment?" According to this piece, experts interviewed admitted that they had "wondered about a theoretical link between [Bush's] Graves' disease and his presidential decisions. Most experts believe that people with hyperthyroidism do not make decisions as well as they would normally." "An important question," wrote Altman, "is when Mr. Bush's case of Graves' disease began." One way to shed light on this question would be to test stored blood samples that Bush's doctors would routinely keep. But the Secret Service has a policy of destroying all such specimens for security reasons! According to Dr. Andre Van Herle of UCLA, among patients suffering from hyperthyroidism, "some are not disturbed at all; others are basket cases." Altman elaborates that people with hyperthyroid conditions can exhibit uncharacteristic behavior like showing shortened attention spans, making snap decisions, behaving frenetically, and tiring more easily than usual. People have been known to inexplicably get married or divorced when such important decisions are out of character. Students with overactive thyroids may be so jittery that they cannot sit through class or they do poorly on examinations.

The worst form of hyperthyroidism, known as thyroid storm, can be characterized by fever, marked weakness, muscle-wasting and psychosis. Mr. Bush's doctors have described his case as mild, and never near thyroid storm.

According to Dr. Peter C. Whybrow, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, mild depression can be an initial symptom of hyperthyroid disorder. People with overactive thyroid glands "don't perform quite so well," in his view. "They feel, for reasons they cannot explain, a little agitated, a little preoccupied with themselves, jumpy. Their concentration is a little off." According to Altman, "some experts have raised the possibility that Mr. Bush could have had a mildly overactive thyroid in the 1988 Presidential campaign, or even earlier." Any normal medical checkup administered by a private doctor would have detected Bush's thyroid ailment through a $20 blood test that is done automatically unless it is specifically ruled out by the physician in advance. [fn 39]

These views were supplemented by a piece in the Washington Post by Abigail Trafford, the editor of that newspaper's weekly health supplement, who was herself a victim of Graves' disease. Ms. Trafford warned her readers of "the bad news: It is difficult to live with and adjust to Graves's disease. What's missing in all the upbeat press releases from the White House is the powerful emotional impact the disease has on many patients and the effects of hyperthyroidism on mood, behavior, and judgment. And while Graves' is, indeed, curable, it can take months, sometimes years, for people to get their thyroid function back to normal." Joshua L. Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University, told Ms. Trafford that "Graves' disease strikes on a psychological basis and it strikes a population that is not used to the concept of being sick." According to Washington endocrinologist James N. Ramey, "There's no question that the emotions are severely out of whack." Terry Taylor, acting chief of endocrinology at Georgetown University Medical Center described Graves' patients: "Emotionally, they can be feeling very good and then very bad. There are a lot of ups and downs....They cry at TV ads." "It takes several half-lives to get the thyroid level in the blood down." Therefore some patients take three months to feel like "their old selves," and some take a year. Ms. Trafford recalls that on August 10, 1990, during the first week, of the Gulf crisis, when Bush left for his summer vacation in Maine, he was heard to say:
Life goes on. Gotta keep moving. Can't stay in one place all the time. [fn 40]

According to the Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing by Lillian Sholtis Brunner and Doris Smith Suddarth, hyperthyroidism "may appear after an emotional shock, nervous strain, or an infection -- but the exact significance of these relationships is not understood." According to these authors, "patients with well-developed hyperthyroidism exhibit a characteristic group of symptoms and signs. Their presenting symptom is often nervousness. They are emotionally hyperexcitable; their state of mind is apt to be irritable and apprehensive; they cannot sit quietly; they suffer from palpitation; and their pulse is abnormally rapid at rest as well as on exertion." The disease "may progress relentlessly, the untreated patient becoming emaciated, intensely nervous, delirious -- even disoriented -- and the heart eventually 'racing itself to death.'" These authors also point out that "no treatment for hyperthyroidism has been discovered that combats its basic cause," even though a number of forms of treatment are available. Within the context of treatment, the following "overview of nursing management" is recommended:

The objectives of nursing care are to assist the patient in overcoming his symptoms and to help him return to a euthyroid condition. The nurse maintains a calm manner and understands that much of his nervousness and anxiety is beyond his control. Activities to lessen the irritability of the nervous system may include the following: protecting the patient from stressful experiences, such as upsetting visitors or the presence of annoying or very ill patients; providing a cool and uncluttered environment; and encouraging the patient to enjoy pleasant music, light television entertainment, and interesting and relaxing hobbies. [fn 41]

This is hardly a description of the White House situation room.

During the course of this debate, newspapers printed summaries of substances which are thought to have an influence on thyroid activity. These included germs such as yersinia enterocolitica, certain types of retrovirus, lithium, iodine, and the so-called goitrogens. This last category includes chemicals found in vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.

The New York Times of May 19 carried two letters to the editor on this subject. One, from Professor Franklin M. Loew, Dean of the Tufts University Veterinary School, recalled that vegetables of the brassica family, such as brussel sprouts, kale, and broccoli contain substances that may help to prevent Graves' disease. The other letter reported that the popular guide, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, recommends plenty of broccoli to guard against the dangers of the overactive thyroid. All of this once again posed the question of Bush's outbursts about broccoli, which may have been urged on his by physicians seeking a way to mitigate some of his symptoms.

On May 29, Bush's foremost political prisoner, Lyndon H. LaRouche commented on Bush's mental health:

....In the past several days, particularly, there has been increasing discussion of President George Bush's state of mental health. At the same time, questions have been raised as to which of his decisions, beginning for example with the Panama decisions and the Iraqi decisions, might have been caused, or largely shaped, by the influence of a mental disorder. ...I base myself primarily upon what I have directly observed and have also reported since my observation of a press conference which President Bush delivered during the high point of the US invasion of Panama, at the end of 1989. At that time, I observed, from what I saw on the television screen, that the President was in a dissociated state such that at least at that moment or in that context, the stresses of what he was doing had overwhelmed him, and he was to all intents and purposes virtually psychotic at that time."

LaRouche illustrated Bush's disorder with the following example:

Many of us know, sometime, quasi-successful or successful business executives and others who are most unpleasant personalities to work with, precisely because they are given to obsessions, and can be set off into terrible states of rage if any of these irrational obsessions is disturbed. That is, if these obsessions are frustrated in any way, the obsession may erupt as a glower at work, on the job or elsewhere; it may take the form of the launching of a vendetta against some person on the slightest kinds of flimsy pretext; it may also take the form of kicking the wife, the children, the family dog on the weekend, at home, to compensate for the frustration that is experienced in the week before. We're all familiar with this type of personality; no one can go through life without knowing a number of close contacts whom one has closely observed who have a problem in this direction. We also know of cases, when extremely stressed, overloaded --shall we say, circuits overloaded -- that the behavior we see is that which we would rightly associate with a psychotic or semi-psychotic state, as I observed in George Bush first in that press conference broadcast in the high point of the US invasion of Panama.

There is no question, on the one hand, that if George Bush is such a personality -- and there is no doubt that he is a disturbed personality who has great difficulty in coping rationally with the frustrations associated with his office under present conditions -- there's no question that what he did in Panama, what he did in Iraq at some points must have been colored by psychosis, or this kind of psychosis. [fn 42]

Was Operation Desert Storm really Operation Thyroid Storm? On May 20, one of the most fanatical supporters of war against Iraq had attempted to pre-empt the discussion of the role of hyperthyroid mental instability in Bush's military decisions. This was William Safire, who wrote:

Next, with more sinister intent, we can expect this question: To what extent was the President's uncharacteristically activist mindset after the Iraqi invasion affected by a hyperthyroid condition? Was he hyper last August 2? Did the overactive gland affect his decision to launch the air war or the ground war early this year? [fn 43]

Bush himself had been asked to comment about this possibility. He replied that any idea that his warmongering in the Gulf had been facilitated by his thyroid disorder was "just plain, old- fashioned malarkey." Before leaving on a visit to St. Paul, Minnesota, Bush protested that his health was fine. "I'm not wary, you know, wondering what happens next," he said. It makes me happy everything's okay. They diagnosed it right, treated it right, and there's nothing more serious to it." Just after he had boarded Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base for his trip to the Twin Cities, Bush called reporters together and declared: "I just want to say everything's fine." Asked about any side effects of the five medicines he was then taking, Bush answered that his medication "affects my tummy. But it doesn't affect my willingness and eagerness to get to the office." In an apparent allusion to Lincoln's celebrated comment on the alleged alcoholism of Gen. Grant, Bush even suggested that his thyroid excess may have been an advantage: "There's a great man who suggested, 'If that's your problem, then get more thyroid problems because it went very well, indeed.'" [fn 44]

During June, there were hints from Bush and his retinue that he might not run for president again in 1992. This was largely a cynical public relations ploy, attempting to generate a story when it was clear that Bush was monomaniacally obsessed with holding onto power as long his he could and by any means. On a visit to Los Angeles, Bush alluded to this question, and tried to portray himself as a man whose sense of duty to the voters would only allow him to consider re-election if he were in perfect condition. Would he run again? "I haven't decided. It's too early. Don't push me." There was the testy note again. Any reasons why he might not? "Can't really think of a reason except, certainly, health."

I'd owe it to the American people to say, 'Hey, I'm up for the job for four more years.' I think [my] health's in good enough shape to certify, but I want to take a look at it later on. I can't tell you I feel perfect yet, but I'm getting there....I want to get off all this medicine. [fn 45]

I'm absolutely convinced on that one -- if you had to ask me on that one today -- I think health's in good enough shape to certify, 'Yeah.' But I want to take a look at it later on. I don't know. I've got a strong-willed wife. Oh, she's strong. The Silver Fox, boy.

It wouldn't be decided running from a battle. The fact if there's a battle, and there will be, that would make me inclined to say I'm going to be a candidate. [fn 46]

As part of this same deception number, Barbara Bush also floated a trial balloon that George might renounce the second half of his birthright. Speaking of the period 1993-1997, Mrs. Bush told a reporter, "I wouldn't mind if he gave [those years] to me. I wouldn't mind if he didn't, I would not be terribly disappointed if he didn't run." In the course of this interview, Mrs. Bush also revealed that George, despite his hyperthyroid treatment, was still manic enough to want to play golf at the crack of dawn: "Sometimes he says to me at 5 in the morning, "If you played golf we could go out and play right now.'" Mrs. Bush admitted that she was now taking golf lessons; "I want to be with George," she explained. [fn 47]

But six weeks later, during the course of the Moscow summit, Mrs. Bush rose above her personal concerns to look historical necessity straight in the eye: "I really think he has to run again, honestly." And why was that? "For the country's sake. I think he's got a lot left to do, and I think he has to. Now, I don't want that to be a public announcement." How about lingering doubts on Bush's physical condition? "He is well. And you know myths get started, and we've got to stop it. The president is very well. He jogged on Sunday and played 18 holes of golf. Plus we had a large group for dinner. The president is great." Repeating this line for ABC and NBC television, Mrs. Bush denied that she would try to talk George out of a bid for a second term. She suggested that such ideas were largely the creation of the press, a slightly disingenuous posture. [fn 48]

As for the burning issue of Dan Quayle's precious bodily fluids, the tests ordered in May revealed that there was some lead in the old pipes at the Naval Observatory. Marilyn Quayle shared this vital intelligence with a group of Republican fat cats at a fundraiser in Orlando, Florida. "We've gotten some reports back that weren't real heartening," said Marilyn. "We had higher lead [levels] than what was supposed to be there in some of the different spigots, but it wasn't all over the house. We want to have it redone because it didn't make any sense." But experts maintained that there is no connection between lead and Graves' disease. [fn 49] Of course, lead-lined goblets and other drinking vessels used by the wealthy during the Roman Empire have sometimes been cited as a factor in the notable mental instability of many emperors.

In early August, Bush met with a group of perception pimps and other political advisers at his Camp David retreat. Pollster Bob Teeter was there, along with Robert Mosbacher, who was on the inside track to chair the campaign. Also present were Brady, Quayle, Sununu, William Kristol of Quayle's staff, and media expert Roger Ailes. A few days earlier, Bush had stated that "only a health problem" might make him drop out, but "I don't have one right now. On the same day, Burton Lee had certified Bush as being "in excellent health." [fn 50] By late October, the Bushmen were already holding $1000-a-plate fundraising dinners, complete with Bush, Quayle, Mosbacher, and other heavies of the regime. Bush was running, with a vengeance.

Comparing the evidence adduced here so far about the etiology and symptoms of Basedow's disease with Bush's pattern of activity in 1988-1991, three general conclusions are suggested:

1. Since 1987-88 at the latest, George Bush has exhibited a marked tendency towards obsessive rage states, often expressed by compulsive public displays of extreme anger and lack of self- control. These obsessive rage states and the quasi-psychotic impulses behind them may be regarded as the probable psychological trigger for Basedow's disease, a psychosomatic, autoimmune disorder.

2. There is much evidence that important decisions, including most notably Bush's decisions militarily to attack Panama and Iraq, were substantially facilitated by these obsessive rage states.

3. There are indications that Bush's inability to kill or capture Saddam Hussein, combined with his inability to destroy the Baath party government of Iraq, frustrated of one of Bush's obsessive compulsions and may thus have contributed to a hyperthyroid crisis and the emergence of atrial fibrillation in early May of 1991. Alternatively, the accumulated tensions of the Gulf crisis, possibly in some combination with other events, may have been sufficient to precipitate Bush's hospitalization.

The question that remains to be considered is whether Bush can be considered cured of the mental and physiological disorders involved with his hyperthyroid crisis. The answer is that Bush demonstrably continues to exhibit those symptoms of rage, irritability, uncontrollable outbursts, compulsive and frenetic activity, and impulsive decisions which we must conclude were part of the trigger for Basedow's disease in the first place. During the first six months after Bush drank his cocktail of radioactive iodine, and he did not become any more tranquil. His agenda has remained packed, and his sports calendar frenetic. He still tends to make unpredictable snap decisions. He had often lost control of his emotions in public, most often through rage, but also through weeping and other forms of affective upheaval.

June 5: Bush addressed the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, and recounted his tearful Camp David decision to launch war in the Gulf. "And the tears started to roll down the cheeks, and our minister smiled back, and I no longer worried how it looked to others," Bush told the Baptists. As viewed by Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times, the scene proceeded as follows:

At that moment, Mr. Bush's voice broke, and tears filled his eyes. He brushed at them with a finger. Then he turned to one of the cameras near the lectern, flashed one of the incongruous grins that often appear in his moments of emotional discomfort, and pointed to his cheek. "Here we go," he said.

Mr. Bush confessed to reporters afterward that he felt a little embarrassed by his display of emotion before the delegates. "I do that in church," he said. "Maybe in public it's a kind of a first, or maybe a third." [fn 51]

According to other accounts, Bush's "voice cracked," and he "grew husky and choked."

June 16: Bush visited Los Angeles to attend a party thrown by Malibu producer Jerry Weintraub, who has been responsible for such films as "The Karate Kid" and "My Stepmother is an Alien." Bush also played golf with Ronald Reagan, outdriving and outputting the aging former president. One press account suggests that Bush maintained his hyperthyroid pace:

Apart from playing golf, Mr. Bush continued his usual mad dash of recreation. This morning, he was in such a hurry to get to a tennis game that his motorcade roared off without his personal aide, his personal physician, and, more important, the military officer who carries codes for launching nuclear missiles. Unnerved by this omission, White House aides hurriedly rounded up transportation and sped the officer to the tennis courts.

During this trip, Bush also experienced a rage outburst set off by a reporter's reference to the 1988 Newsweek cover that explored "the wimp factor." This set Bush off as follows:

You're talking to the wimp. You're talking to the guy that had a cover of a national magazine that I'll never forgive, put that label on me. [fn 52]

July 11-12: On July 11, Bush received a visit from Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu at Kennebunkport. He was asked about senate hearings on his nomination of Robert Gates to be head of the CIA. (With anything but a rubberstamp Congress, the Gates nomination would have had to be seen as a gratuitous provocation. Gates had been up to his neck in Iran-contra and the coverup thereof, and had withdrawn during a previous attempt to occupy the same office. Now Bush was stirring up the Iran-contra affair once again. Washington rumor had it that Bush's first choice for the post had been Don Gregg, and that Bush's handlers had exhausted their energies in persuading Bush to renounce this even bigger provocation. When Bush had been forced to drop Gregg, he had insisted on Gates. Obsessions and hyperthyroidism had been at work in all this. Now Bush was asked about Gates: was his story credible that he knew nothing of illegal funds transfer when those above and below him in the chain of command knew all about it? Bush's first comment was moderate in tone:

Doesn't stretch my credibility because I believe firmly in Bob Gates's word. And he's a man of total honor, and he should be confirmed as Director of Central Intelligence. And when you have behind-doors, closed-door allegations that nobody really knows anything about, I'm not sure where the fairness element comes in on that one, Jim.

The next day, July 12, Bush engaged in a question and answer session with reporters. Bush was dressed in sporting togs, but today he was out of control. His first impulse was to escape from the reporters:

Hey, listen. I've got to go now. Heavy recreation coming up before we go abroad, so I've got to keep going.

He fought off some questions about Clarence Thomas allegedly smoking marijuana, commenting that this was not disqualifying. Then, there was a mention of Gates:

Q: Has Gates told you about-

That touched Bush's obsession of the day. Gates had been accused of complicity in Iran-contra gun-running and drug running; but Bush himself had once again come under attack for his role in the October surprise conspiracy to delay the release of US hostages held in Teheran. Several days before, the former director of Central American affairs for the CIA, Alan Fiers, had admitted lying to Congress. Special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was continuing his investigation, and it was now clear that the Senate would not vote on the Gates nomination until the autumn. At this point Bush broke in, and with a contorted face launched into an interminable enraged monologue, angrily brushing aside interruptions. The passages are worth reproducing here in detail because of the insight they afford into the workings of a tormented mind:

Bush: Let me say something on the Gates matter. What are we coming to here? You're talking to somebody who had to prove his innocence --me--on the basis of rumor. It was alleged by people that we weren't sure who they were, that I was in Paris at some deal to keep Americans in captivity. That's what the allegation was against me. And I'm saying to myself, who's making these allegations? What's the evidence? What have we come to where a man has to prove his innocence against some fluid, movable charge?

And now I'm thinking about Bob Gates. And I'm saying: What is this all about? Isn't the people that might be accusing him of something --shouldn't it be their responsibility under the American system of fairplay? I have full confidence in him. But what is this system where we hear some leak in some newspaper that behind closed doors somebody has said something, and thus a lot of people run for cover?

I have confidence in Gates. And if somebody wants to accuse him of something, the Senate is absolutely right in getting that determination made and asking for the evidence, but they ought not to have it obscured by some testimony that's been going on for four years. They ought not to accept a rumor. They ought not to panic and run like a covey of quail because somebody has made an allegation against a man whose work I trust and who, as I understand it, hasn't been fingered by what's coming out of this process.

And so, I'm glad this has come up again because I think what we're entitled to in this country is fairplay, innocence until guilty. And yes, the Senate has an obligation, but let's call these witnesses that are supposed to know something bad. Isn't Bob Gates entitled to that? I mean, why let them run for cover and say let's hang it out all over next summer? Now, if Gates wants to do that, that's fine. But if somebody asked me about it, I'd say, hey, get the men up there that are making these --

Q: We don't understand--

Bush: Excuse me -- get the men up there that are making these allegations. Isn't that the American system of justice? What is it when we hear something leaked to a newspaper and we all run for cover because we're -- not me, because I know Bob Gates and I have total confidence in the man's integrity and honor. And if the Senate wants -- and the Senate, I think, now owes it to him to promptly call his accusers or those who they think -- who we understand from newspaper articles are supposedly making accusations against him. And don't let them stay under cover, "well, we can't do that because we have this other ongoing testimony" or some behind- closed-doors, what do they call these --indictment proceedings going on. That's not the American way.

We sent this nomination up some time ago. And if everybody's going to get flustered and panic because of some allegation by some -- where we don't even know that the person is accusing him of anything -- all I'm saying is fairplay. The American --

Q: Do you think--

Bush: May I finish? The American people understand fairplay. And I just hope the Senate will keep this in mind. I have no argument with Senator Boren, Senator Murkowski wanting to get to the bottom of it. But this idea that it will be served by leaving it out all summer -- you know and I know there will be questions every single day -- what about this allegation? What about that? All I'm saying is, from everything I've seen, yes, let's get to the bottom of it, but lets' bring forward these people that are supposedly fingering him. Let's bring forward and let them stand there under oath before the Senate, as I think the Senate intends to do. But why wait? Why not -- this nomination has been there a long time, and now we're hearing that there's some process going on behind-closed-doors someplace by some witness who hasn't fingered Gates, but that's enough to hold this up.

If Bob Gates wants to hold it up, fine. If he says to me we want to delay it, fine. But other than that, let the American system of fairplay work. Let innocence until proven guilty be the guideline here. And let promptness-- we need a good-- a new Director to follow on an excellent Director, and we need it soon, to run this intelligence community.

So, that's my position. And I'm glad, Jim, that you raised it again because I really feel strongly about this. I just don't think it's the American way to bring a good man down by rumor and insinuation. That's not the system.

After several more questions and answers on Gates, there was a question on a move afoot in the House to launch the first formal investigation of the October surprise affair, including Bush's role. Was it a fishing expedition?

Bush: Well, I wouldn't accuse the Speaker of that. The man --he's another one that's-- too much integrity to be in that mode. I think he's in a difficult position. But let's see the evidence, bring it forth. If they're still charging that I was in Paris on October 20th, if it's that kind of case, fine. But the evidence is --what happened-- you know, here's a good case. All this rumor, can't quite pin it down, but as Vice President, the President -- now President - - was supposed to have been in Paris in the month of October, specifically on October 20th. Who's accusing me? Well, nobody's really accusing you of it, but every paper's got it.

We come forth with evidence which includes almost minute-by- minute certification as to where I was, and then they say, well, maybe that's laid to rest, but somebody else is supposed to have been someplace else. Maybe the way to lay it to rest is through what Foley's talking about. And if he decides that, look, he'll have full cooperation from me. How long can you keep denying your knowledge or involvement on something that didn't happen, as far as I know? But maybe he's got some other evidence. But it just seems a little weird that it keeps going. You shoot down one thing, and somebody else raises another.

Q: Are you certain that Casey had no dealings that could be interpreted --

Bush: I have no knowledge of what Casey can do, or did do. The man's dead. Let's have some more interviews with a dead man. You know what I mean? Get it? (Laughter).

Q: I think so. (Laughter)

Q: Mr. President, to clear --

Bush: Hey, I've got to go fishing, it's much more important than doing this. Yes, Helen? No.

Q: Mr. President, to clear the air and get everything out in the open, could you order the release of the CIA telephone conversations?

Bush: I'm leaving all this in the hands of the legal authorities and I am not going to intervene in a court proceeding. I am not a lawyer. I don't want to have some 22-year old prosecutor jump up and say that the President has -- (Laughter)-- frustrated the process here. I don't know enough about that. You've got good lawyers that do. I don't know enough about scheduling or how evidence before grand juries work, and I'm disinclined to learn. But I do know a little something about fairplay. And all I'm trying to say is, let's revert to that standard. Let's use that as the guide here and not get caught up in some niggling, legal point.

I'm seeing a man's character getting damaged, just as I feel mine was challenged when they said, hey, prove your innocence. You're guilty until innocent. Prove you weren't in Paris on -- whatever the hell it was -- October 20th. And here he went to the front yard at 10:22. He was at the so-and-so embassy at 10:27. He was so and so. And finally, well, that one just fades into the sunset and along comes a bunch of other allegations by unnamed people that you can't find and can't put your -- like reaching out and touching a handful of whipped cream, you can't get ahold of it. I don't want to --I've been through a little bit-- but I don't want to see Bob Gates, a man of honor and integrity, go through it anymore. That's all I'm trying to say.

Thank you. Have a neat day. [fn 53]

July 20: Bush was on a foreign trip that included a meeting with Mitterrand in Rambouillet, near Paris, the G-7 meeting in London, and a trip to Turkey and Greece. According to press accounts, he was examined every day by Burton Lee. As one journalist traveling with Bush's party tells it, "Toward the end of the trip, [Bush] looked tired. Last Saturday [July 20], he could not recall the details of a speech he was to give in two days. 'It's a speech in the Rose Garden to some special group,' he told a news conference. 'Don't ask me any more.'"

On Sunday, taking questions from reporters while posing for photographs with Suleyman Demirel, leader of a Turkish opposition party, Bush testily objected to the tone of an American radio reporter's question. "Now, wait a minute," Bush said. You don't ask in that tone; just ask the question." [fn 54]

July 23: At a White House meeting with GOP leaders, even the New York Times could not ignore Bush's "apparent irritation" on the Gates issue, a leading Bush obsession. Bush was still furious about Gates being left to twist in the wind all summer. "I think the man deserves to be confirmed, and I've seen nothing other than innuendo and reports that he must have known this or something. I don't want to get started. [Understandable, after his previous nonstop rage monologue.] I told the cabinet yesterday how strongly I feel about this and so I will stand by this man." [fn 56]

August 2: One day after returning to Washington from the Moscow summit, Bush gave a news conference in the Rose Garden that was heavily colored by obsessive rage, as can be seen from a front-page photograph in the next day's Washington Post, which shows him snarling and gesticulating. Bush's main theme was an attack on the Congress, "a Congress that is frustratingly negative on everything." "I'm getting fired up thinking about it, Bush said. He then launched into a tirade:

We've got excellent programs, and the only way when the other party controls the Congress is to defeat some of their lousy ideas and then keep saying to the American people, 'Have your congressman try the president's ideas. We need more farsighted people like me in Congress.

So please, American people, -- let me look over this way -- please, do not listen to the charges by frantic Democrats who are trying to say we don't have a domestic policy when we have a good one. Give it a chance. Let the president's programs come up, and let's have some support for what he was elected to do.

According to Bush, the Democrats "seem to have a concerted tear down the president." Asked about possible Democratic presidential candidates meeting with the widow of his family benefactor, Bush responded with muted anger, "These fellows who are very nice, very pleasant -- all go down to Pamela Harriman's farm down here, the bastion of democracy, and come back and tell me that we don't have a domestic program. C'mon. Lighten up out there." After the long diatribes, it was perhaps not surprising that someone asked Bush how he was feeling. "Right now, I feel like a million bucks," he replied. But he was adamant that it was time for his vacation: "I'm history...It's going to be a vacation. I think I've earned it, like a lot of Americans, and I'm looking forward to it. And it will not be denied." [fn 55]

August 14: Bush's rage profile was once more on display as he called for an extension of the federal death penalty in a Pittsburgh speech that was also full of racist overtones. Addressing the National Convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, Bush ranted that "the time has come to show less compassion for the architects of crime and more compassion for its victims. Our citizens want and deserve to feel safe." "We must remember that the first obligation of a penal system is to punish those who break our laws....You can't turn bad people into saints." Bush wanted courts to be able to use evidence that had been seized illegally: "There's no reason -- none at all-- that good police officers should be penalized and criminals freed because a judge or a lawyer bungled a search warrant." Journalists noted that the speech and the setting were typical of the standard campaign event of 1988, which was often a police group endorsing Bush, courtesy of the CIA Office of Security. The photo of Bush in the Washington Post is expressive of Bush's anger when making the speech. [fn 57]
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