DETROIT -- The predictions of President George W. Bush and his minions are predictably wrong. The Busheviks' latest Iraq war predictions are, as always, wildly off the mark and make astrological predictions seem like hard science.
"We will settle for nothing less than complete victory," Bush told the Veterans of Foreign Wars last week. He made glowing predictions about continued political progress in Iraq, declaring in pure delusion that "when victory comes and democracy takes hold in Iraq, it will serve as a model for freedom in the broader Middle East."
I can see it now. It's written in the stars. The Saudis, Egyptians and Syrian strongmen will be rushing to reform their despotic regimes as the winds of democracy swirl through the desert. And soon after that, just watch those religious radicals in Iran follow the Iraq model. War, invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation for fabricated reasons -- that's the winning formula for freedom and democratic reform in the region.
Fueled by wild applause, standing ovations and pomp, the opium for our brave leader, Bush pretended he welcomed a healthy debate about his failures, but only on his terms. He offered the Bushevik distinction between responsible and irresponsible debate, slurring those who question his honesty and motives as providing "comfort to our adversaries."
He lashed out at "partisan critics who claim we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people." He could have added his obsession with Saddam Hussein and wanting to show up his daddy -- that would have wrapped up the real backdrop for this needless war.
Bush again bellowed to his VFW cheerleaders the great lie of our times -- that the war in Iraq is a response to the Sept. 11 attacks. That repeated falsehood was still ringing in the air when another eyewitness came out to say Bush planned war with Iraq even before he took office.
Jerry Caufield, a Bush campaign aide who later worked at the White House, says George W. was obsessed with "getting Saddam," Doug Thompson reports in "Capitol Hill Blue."
"We'd be on the campaign plane talking about domestic issues and he'd change the subject and start rattling on about what a great evil Saddam Hussein was and how if he won the election he'd finish what his father failed to do -- topple Hussein," Caufield said.
Sept. 11 was never the reason for invading Iraq, but was what Bush and his henchmen considered the perfect excuse. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and all those other war-adoring wackos involved in the Project for the New American Century long had their sights on Saddam, and now had their perfect puppet in the Oval Office.
"The stars above us, govern our conditions," Kent says in Shakespeare's "King Lear." The Busheviks, at first, thanked their lucky stars for the excuse Osama bin Laden gave them to try out their mad experiment in the Middle East. Alas, the conjunction of planets so clear in the skies above wartorn Iraq no longer twinkle.
L. Paul Bremer, former U.S. viceroy in Iraq and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, is offering partial repentance for his predictions and performance in Iraq. Unlike nearly all the Busheviks, Bremer had the physical courage to stay in Iraq for longer than a three-hour visit. He laments his mistakes in a new book. The Iraqi army should not have been dismantled, Bremer now tells us, blaming unnamed others in Washington for the bum decision. He says more U.S. troops were needed to pacify Iraq.
Bremer says he found the level of insurgent resistance and the shattered Iraqi infrastructure surprising and unpredictable. How could someone in Bremer's position be so out of touch with reality?
The bombings during the Gulf War left Iraq's infrastructure in shambles. Years of United Nations sanctions made matters worse. I have countless Iraqi friends who visited there and told me that, with no money, especially to repair and rebuild power generation facilities, the nation was a basket case. It is stunning that Bremer was unaware how damaged Iraq was.
His surprise at the level of resistance and violence the war unleashed is equally baffling. Just as sure as with the consequences of Tito's death and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the fall of Saddam assured sectarian bloodshed, especially between Sunnis and Shiites. The U.S. occupation made Iraq a breeding ground for radicals and deadly resentment.
It was bloody obvious what would happen. In my March 18, 2003, column, on the eve of the invasion, I wrote, "War with Iraq is the best recruitment tool Islamist terrorists like bin Laden could imagine. The violence will radicalize an entire generation in the Muslim world and make Americans at home and abroad increasingly vulnerable." Bremer had some sorry soothsayers.
Predicting the cost of the war has proven the Busheviks to be morons as well as liars. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, a Harvard University budget expert, predict Bush's war will cost American taxpayers between $1 trillion and $2 trillion.
When White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey predicted the war would cost $200 billion, he got fired. Telling the truth to the Busheviks, even when way off the mark, will get you sacked. Just ask former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shineski, who dared to challenge Rumsfeld and said we needed more troops to occupy the Iraq colony. He quickly got the boot. Lindsey walked the plank so Bush could trumpet his own absurdly low-balled $70 billion price tag for the war.
Paul Craig Roberts, an economist who served as assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration, says only those willing to sell big lies can work for the Bush administration. In a column in "Counterpunch," Roberts wrote, "Americans need to ask themselves if the White House is in competent hands when a $70 billion war becomes a $2 trillion war. Bush sold his war by understating its cost by a factor of 28.57. Any financial officer anywhere in the world whose project was 2,857 percent over budget would instantly be fired for utter incompetence."
When it comes to predicting, Ronald Reagan's administration can offer us some hope. He relied on his wife, Nancy, for guidance. She relied on her astrologer. For all her faults, Nancy Reagan made one great call and astrology was her guide. She urged her husband to make an arms deal with the Soviet Union, over the objections of some of the same crazy neocons now advising Bush.
Richard Perle, then with the Defense Department, was livid when Reagan reached an agreement with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, beginning the process of ending the Cold War. Nancy and her astrologer called the shots and the warmongers were left out in the cold, where they should have remained, until Dubya, with his bad stars, came to power.
"The Sun and Saturn in President Bush's horoscope are in the 12th house, the last house of the zodiac, symbolic of that which is hidden," according to the assessment of Ursula Fugger, president of Astrology Toronto Inc. She wrote me several months ago expressing her concerns about our president. Fugger believes the fate of the country is connected to the destiny of its leader.
In my view, astrology is pseudo-science at best, but its historical and cultural influence is undeniable. It is certainly more reliable than Bush's predictions or the daily babble of Scott McClellan, the lie-spewing automaton who spits out the White House's mendacious widgets for the corporate media factory. Certainly, the adorers of Ronald Reagan must accept the value of astrology.
Fugger says Bush's stars place him in the house of "self-undoing." The evidence of that is overwhelming.
Bush's messianic view of himself and belief he is our great protector, the fearless commander saving us from evil, is reflected in his stars, according to Fugger: "These are people who can have difficulties keeping themselves from the collective, and in fact, can become the physical embodiment of the collective's need for expression at any given time. It requires a great deal of self-reflection not to succumb to the emotion that one is the savior for that group."
Born July 6, 1946, at 7:26 a.m., in New Haven, Conn., Bush is unconsciously motivated to prove his worth to his father.
Fugger is convinced Bush is depressed and on the eve of destruction, citing Paul Levy's article, "The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis."
Levy describes our chilling national plight: "With Bush as president, it's as if we're in a car going over the speed limit driven by a drunk adolescent who has fallen asleep at the wheel. It's our responsibility to recognize the extreme danger of our situation and come together to do something about it, whatever that might be."
Impeachment is our only hope -- impeachment of both Bush and Cheney.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." That is the quote from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" CBS's Edward R. Murrow famously used to describe the responsibility for the fear and madness that Joseph McCarthy exploited in another tragic era for our nation.
Bush's stars are only a bad omen. The fault that he is where he is remains in ourselves.
Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Niagara Falls Reporter||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||Jan. 17 2006|