Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ponies for everyone!

From the U.K. Times Online via TPM:
Frederick Kagan, 36, is the author of Choosing Victory, a blueprint for the surge adopted by President George W Bush. Just as everybody had begun writing off the influence of the neocons at the White House, genial, chubby-faced Frederick gave the muscular intellectuals a lease of life.

It was at Camp David last June that Kagan, a military historian and fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, outlined his plans for pouring more troops into Iraq to Bush and his war cabinet.

Donald Rumsfeld, the then defence secretary, was unimpressed, but Kagan’s views got another hearing when Bush was searching for ways to ditch the seemingly defeatist recommendations of James Baker’s Iraq Study Group. “Wow, you mean we can still win this war?” a grateful Bush reportedly said.

Yes, sir. And we have a secret plan to mobilize the 100,000 Waffen troops we've been holding in reserve. They will reach the eastern front tomorrow. The Russians will be forced to retreat, and in a few days we can leave this bunker and march toward victory!

Bush's reaction to the ISG report, and the tragic absurdity of the new "strategy," have been questioned and ridiculed, but the psychological component has gotten short shrift. I think that is a real mistake, because I think Bush's psychopathology drives U.S. policy in a way perhaps never seen before.

I think you can explain about 90% of the Administration's Iraq policy at this point with two simple ideas: Dubya's Oedipal fixation and his rigidity.

I can't find a link right now, but it was widely reported that one of the most attractive features to Bush about Kagan's manifestly absurd surge is that it was not part of H.W. Bush consigliere Jim Baker's ISG report. In other words, it was yet another way of sticking his finger in Daddy's eye. For a more scholarly presentation of Dubya's philosophy, see Professor Q.A. Wagstaff, (1932) "Whatever it is, I'm against it"

I don't know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it.

Your proposition may be good
But let's have one thing understood --
Whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it.

I'm opposed to it --
On general principles I'm opposed to it!

In a sane world, that kind of petty impulse would be offset by an acknowledgment of its tragic and pointless consequences. But that gets us to the other half of of this tragedy: As Justin Frank has explained at length, Bush has gone through his entire life leaving such messes for others to clean up, and his fragile equilibrium cannot accept any inputs that contradict his fantasy-based storyline.

Thus the outcome was utterly predictable: Daddy (in the form of Jim Baker) scolds and rains on Junior's parade. Junior holds his breath until we all turn blue, and signs up for the magic beans offered by anyone, anyone who can promise to bring the pony he is sure is in there somewhere.

The pony parade gets shorter by the day. But one of the most honest things Bush has ever told us is that he will continue to cling to his fantasy even if Laura and Barney are the only ones marching with him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must be you haven't seen "Land of the blind". Wonder how many people won't undestand why they keep killing elephants throughout the movie.


1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. I forgot to tell you my favorite quote from the movie. "If elections ever stood a chance of actually changing anything, they would be illegal."


2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the rate we are going Bush won't have to worry about finishing up his term. Momentum is starting to build but is way behind where it ought to be. By the time the Republicans are ready to oust Bush/Cheney the 2008 elections will be here and they won't have to do anything. I don't believe the Democrats can do it alone and too many (if not damn near all) of Republicans would rather let tens of thousands Iraqis and Iranians die...along with American military personal than actually commit to getting rid of these monsters.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new Amendment to the Constitution must be introduced that prohibits any family member of a president from becoming president. By family member I mean immediate family: mom and dad, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse. This may have been acceptable with the Adams', as in John and John Quincy -- but abhorrent today.

Bush is a psychiatric study on why this Amendment must be installed. Never again must America suffer the spoils of a dynasty.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess you guys didn't see the movie either. It's primary point was that the collection of that kind of power in one place, in one person's hands, ALWAYS leads to horrific consequences. It is an inseparable part of the collection.

It's not the guy. He's just a stand-in for the power behind him. It's the system itself, and any time someone points that out effectively, they are really asking for a knock on the door in the middle of the night. That is one of the facts that no one wants to see. That is why congress, left and right, will not attempt to get rid of Bush or pull out of Iraq for the next two years. They KNOW the true danger of seeing and speaking clearly!


8:55 AM  

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