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Friday, October 29, 2004

A Charge to Make

Ghostwriter Mickey Herskowitz was hired by the G.W. Bush campaign to write aWol's campaign autobiography, "A Charge to Keep." When he turned in the manuscript to Karen Hughes, she complained that it was full of stuff that wasn't true. Herskowitz said he got it all from Bush himself. So they fired Herskowitz, and Hughes rewrote the book in pure BS. Well, Herskowitz has decided to let the world know what candidate Bush told him in 1999. I've already seen other blogs and e-mails focusing on the part where Bush says he was already planning to invade Iraq in 1999, but that hardly seems to be news to me (nor does it really differentiate him from his current opponent). But I think that the real eye-openers are what aWol had to say about wars and success as a president. From the article:
"My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade--if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush's beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House - ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. "Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade."

Bush's circle of pre-election advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher collected from the Falklands War. Said Herskowitz: "They were just absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back, of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches."

Republicans, Herskowitz said, felt that Jimmy Carter's political downfall could be attributed largely to his failure to wage a war. He noted that President Reagan and President Bush's father himself had (besides the narrowly-focused Gulf War I) successfully waged limited wars against tiny opponents - Grenada and Panama - and gained politically.
Frankly, I think this indicts our political system and the ignorant populace far more than it indicts Bush. He's not a particularly bright man, nor does he learn easily. But it seems that he understood this lesson completely.