When we left the story of the second worst President in history, George W. Bush, he and a group of Reagan-Bush retreads had regained control of the political process in America. Can anyone say they earned the right to govern fairly and squarely? I think not. But, there we are, it’s the process in America. The real people who are controlling the people we see, were holding the reins again. W was happy to jog, bike, play video games, and just generally stay out of the way. Cheney was pushing forward the advances that the oligarchy wanted, and Rove shaped public opinion.
It was hard for Rove to spin the fact that W was more known for going on vacations to his ranch in Texas than actually getting any work done. It was harder still to mask the reality that the most important leader in the world, had never been outside of the United States prior to becoming President. When W did go international, he visited Mexico first, as opposed to the traditional trip to Canada. In his defense, W did speak a pidgin Spanish. I’m guessing he didn’t want to get embarrassed by not being able to speak Canadian. W’s intellectual curiosity has long been suspect, many speculate a severe form of dyslexia. Whatever the cause, W seemed to gravitate to the simple answer to even the most complex problems. It was his comfort zone. And then it got complicated.
While reading “The Pet Goat” to some school children, W was notified of the attacks on the World Trade Center. To satisfy his intellectual curiosity, W kept reading for the next seven minutes. I think he just wanted to know how the book turned out. It does seem like W was less concerned with how the attacks on America were fairing, than the outcome of the book.
In a tape released prior to the 2004 election, Osama Bin Laden said, “But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers, we were given three times the period required to execute the operations – all praise is due to Allah.” With friends like that, it’s a wonder that the Bush administration let Bin Laden survive. W had no trouble extracting vengeance on others who had crossed him. W had no problem wiping out the bloodline of Saddam Hussein. After all, Saddam had tried to kill “poppy” and more importantly, dead men tell no tales. The fact that the Bushes were personal friends of the Bin Ladens might have also played a part. I suspect that Cheney saw that Osama was worth more to Halliburton alive than dead. But we’re jumping ahead a little.
After a series of lies, subterfuges and just downright stupid conclusions, the U.S. invaded Iraq. Now at the time, the whole world was blaming Iran for fostering terrorism. W and company ignored Iran, and, also ignored the fact that the overwhelming majority of suspected 9-11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian. W had unfinished business in Iraq apparently, or his dyslexia led him away from Iran to Iraq. Cheney was happy to go anywhere. Maybe the previous Iraq excursion pointed out how weak Iraq was as an opponent, and Iran was an unknown. Who knows. In any event, Cheney was able to attend cocktail parties with Halliburton investors again, with his head held high. Cheney was in the process of delivering a 39 billion dollar golden egg to Halliburton from the golden goose disguised as the American taxpayer. The golden egg described as the Iraqi war would cost the American taxpayer over 1.7 trillion dollars, and it’s still ongoing.
Measuring wars primarily in financial terms is wrong. But we do it. Sometimes it’s the only way to point out the folly of war to people who are ok with killing other people. That sounds horrific, I know, but the reports of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq were pooh poohed. Only until some of the folks in Congress started screaming that the U.S. was taking on a huge debt to finance W’s retribution, and Cheney’s payback to Halliburton, did the public start to question how long we wanted to be in Iraq.
Now, lest you consider me superficial in my analysis, I don’t want to leave Karl Rove out of the equation. He is certainly a founding member of the unholy trinity. History tells us that no sitting President has ever not been re-elected in time of war. I’m pretty sure Karl Rove knew this historical truism. “Mission Accomplished”, Karl. Despite all that is right and holy, W was re-elected in 2004.