INVADE IRAQ, BE WORSHIPPED LIKE A GOD
This needs to get more attention: One of the writers of the Bush memoir that was published five years ago now says that Bush wanted to invade Iraq as far back as 1999, according to journalist Ross Baker:
Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.
“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz.
So why did he want to do this? For geostrategic reasons? Out of deep love for freedom and democracy? Nope. He wanted power and he wanted love:
“It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘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.”
Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow....
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.”
Yup: Iraq -- a "small war."
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.” ...
Conclusion: Apparently eleven hundred U.S. troops died so W. could get strewn with rose petals.
Baker also notes that Bush threatened Saddam in a December 1999 presidential debate: "I’d take 'em out, take out the weapons of mass destruction.... I’m surprised he’s still there.” (The run-up to the war started in 2002. Why is this the first time I've run across this quote?)
(Link via BuzzFlash.)