I wonder if he really believes this? If so, he dementia is
worse than I
'Never really thought about' war
President Bush, interviewed “in the room where I make
decisions,’’ said that he “never really
thought about the decision to put men and women in harm’s
way’’ when he was running for president.
But the war in Iraq is necessary, Bush said, noting that he has
“made a pledge to the American people’’
to settle his dispute with Iran diplomatically. He dismissed as
“empty propaganda’’ and
“baseless gossip’’ rumors in the Arab
press that he is planning a strike against Iran this winter.
He gave this Oval Office interview – shifting his setting
also to the Colonnade and White House map room -- to Al Arabiya, an
Arabic-language television station based in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates. The satellite TV channel was launched in 2003 by Saudi
investors, competing with the Qatar-based news channel, al Jazeera. A
transcript of the interview conducted yesterday was released today.
There is at least a fair amount of evidence that Mr. Bush planned on
the war even before he was elected. Of course, in the debates
of 2000, against Al Gore, he stated that we should be "humble" in our
foreign policy, and noninterventionist.
What he says in the video seems to contradict these
future cabinet drafted plans to invade Iraq even before
Election Day 2000, according to a policy blueprint titled "Rebuilding
America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New
Century," drafted in September 2000 by the think tank Project for the
New American Century. The blueprint called for U.S. control
over the Persian Gulf region to protect U.S. interests (i.e., oil), and
also favored government takeover of the Internet, possible U.S. use of
bio-warfare, and 'regime changes' in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria,
and Iran. Among those involved in its draft were Cheney, Rumsfeld, and
advisor Paul Wolfowitz. The call for U.S. global military supremacy by
threat of pre-emptive strike was reaffirmed in Bush's 33-page national
security policy paper submitted to Congress on Friday, September 20.
The national security policy paper they referred to is this one: href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html">The National
Security Strategy of the United States of America.
It is reported to mirror a paper authored in 2000 by
participants of the Project for a New American Century, entitled
Rebuilding America's Defenses. Furthermore, a 1998 letter
from PNAC to President Clinton openly advocated for was with Iraq.
Participants with PNAC included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz,
I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Elliot Abrams.
All ended up with high-level placements in the Bush
administration in 2001.
So which was it? Was Bush planning a war in Iraq before the
election of 2000? If so, then the appointment of many open
advocates of such a was would have made sense. Likewise, the
fact that href="http://trots.blogspot.com/2005/05/question-what-is-this-and-why-is-it.html">plans
for a "Post-Saddam" Iraq were discussed at Bush's first
NSC meeting (February 2001) would make sense.
On the other hand, was he a noninterventionist, not interested in
nation-building? Certainly that view would be consistent with
the statements he made in the debates in 2000.
One could make a case either way: there is evidence to support he
notion that, prior to taking office, Bush was opposed to a war with
Iraq, and there is evidence that he supported it. But this is
the point: it is not plausible to say that he did
not think about it.
He let the others think for him. Then he went out and read the speeches that others wrote for him. Not paying attention, he never noticed that he was giving contradictory speeches at different times of his career. He is not the kind of guy to pay attention to such detail.
What would be more alarming and surprising is if he claimed to be intensely thinking about anything.