We now have six years of evidence that George Bush is not all there. The occupant of the White House has consistently demonstrated an extraordinary ability to evade reality and a reckless proclivity to steer the nation by a distorted compass made up of cocaine-induced delusions and two decades of insobriety. Add to this mix a little religious fanaticism and a gigantic ego that serves to accentuate an acute case of intellectual dwarfism.
In Bush, we have a man who accepts only the counsel of those that agree with his rudimentary understanding of history. The man is a gambling fool â€“ the kind of loser who doubles up as his political fortunes evaporate.
It seems forgotten that the 9/11 atrocities happened on the presidentâ€™s watch. Turn back the clock and witness a distraught nation rallying around the president and giving him a carte blanche to react as he saw fit. Recall that virtually every government around the world instinctively embraced America, wished her well, demonstrated solidarity and offered full cooperation in hunting down the terrorists responsible for the carnage.
In the months that followed, the presidentâ€™s popularity went through the roof â€“ some polls had him standing taller than any of his predecessors with a 90% approval rating. Instead of holding him accountable for his failure to protect the nation from threats that were all too apparent, he was granted a mandate to reshape the world and dilute our sacred civil liberties.
Who else could have squandered that kind of political capital? If we had picked a president by a random process from a pool of white middle aged blue bloods â€“ we would have fared better.
There ought to be a law against washed up a forty-year-old draft-dodging bankrupt drunks that venture into politics as a path to personal salvation. In six years, Bush has added a dossier of pages to a resume of failures stretching back to his losing streak as a wild catter in Texas.
With two years left to mismanage the country and magnify the debacle in Iraq â€“ George Bush has precious little time to waste in pursuing the mirage of â€˜victory over the horizonâ€™.
Bushâ€™s exit plan is to dump the Mess on Potamia in the lap of the next president â€“ so somebody else can lose the war. Oblivious to the mounting cost in blood and treasure, this presidentâ€™s only concern is to preserve his dubious legacy.
This is where Bush gets dangerous. Witness his utter disdain for the report issued by the Iraq Study Group. Brushing aside its recommendations, he is reportedly discarding its findings for an alternative â€˜military solutionâ€™ proposed by Jack Keane and Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute â€“ the home of the Likudnik neo-cons who spared no effort in promoting the war. Their recommendations can be summed up in one word â€“ escalation. According to these neo-con wizards, an additional thirty to fifty thousand troops will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The ISG report gives a bleak and fairly accurate assessment of the current situation on the ground â€“ although it pulls a few punches to shield the president from the public ridicule he so richly deserves.
It doesnâ€™t seem to matter that the authors of the report gave the neo-cons ample opportunity to air their views. Among the â€˜expertsâ€™ they consulted one finds Douglas Feith. Martin Indyk, Michael Oâ€™Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack and Strobe Talbott were invited to represent the Saban Center for Middle East Policy â€“ a Brookings Institute outfit named for the Israeli-American who funds it. William Kristol was dispatched by Rupert Murdoch to represent the official neo-con publication â€“ The Weekly Standard. Not to be outdone, Sulzberger sent Thomas Friedman to speak for the Likudnik Israel Firsters at the New York Times.
An Ambassador from the most militant neo-con lobby, The American Enterprise Institute â€“ was also consulted. He was none other than Frederick Kagan â€“ the author of the â€˜surgeâ€™ strategy to intensify the military campaign in Iraq.
With the exception of the Council of Foreign Relations, it appears that the only think tanks invited to testify before the ISG were of the neo-con persuasion. These pseudo-academic fronts for the Israeli Lobby ended up fielding half of the external consultants designated as â€˜expertsâ€™ in the annex to the report.
So, the architects of the debacle had their day in court. Except they didnâ€™t like the verdict.
Did they disagree with the assessment of the current conditions in our Iraqi colony? If they did, thatâ€™s not their complaint. Their beef is with the 79 recommendations suggested by James Baker and Lee Hamilton.
To be more specific they donâ€™t like â€˜Recommendation 13.â€™ Itâ€™s not out of superstition. They just donâ€™t like the words. â€œThere must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon and Syria, and President Bushâ€™s June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.â€
Isnâ€™t it a little odd that these are the very same Likudniks who insisted that the war in Iraq would pave the path to a resolution of Israelâ€™s problems with the Palestinians? Now, their argument is that linkage is absurd. Whatever happened to the road to Jerusalem that went through Baghdad? If linkage was good enough to justify this illegal war of choice â€“ why isnâ€™t it a legitimate component of an exit strategy?
These are the folks that now have the ears attached to the brains of our delirious president. Those who still doubt that the â€˜neo-conâ€™ neon sign is just a cover for pro-Israeli operatives havenâ€™t bothered to look over the resumes of folks like Feith and Indyk.
The past performance of these ideological lunatics would shame a grade student. Time after time, their analysis has proven to be wildly off the mark. So, why does Bush even bother to consult with these Likudnik operatives? Because they still paint him a vision of victory parades. They whisper sweet fantasies about a miraculous turn of events that will bear him out as the great decider-in-chief who overcame a defeatist nation to lead his country to glorious Churchillian triumphs. Their mission has nothing to do with the national interest â€“ at least not Americaâ€™s national interest.
No exit plan is possible before we impeach the criminal midget in the White House. But first, Cheney needs to be retired. Americaâ€™s answer to Rasputin is the man who keeps the light on for the neo-con saboteurs. Until we start recognizing neo-cons for the radical subversives that they are â€“ we will never be able to formulate a rational foreign policy in the Middle East.
Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com