Bush as Mad, Bad Commander-in-Chief


I haven’t had time to read General Ricardo Sanchez’s book on the Iraq War and his critique of Bush and his team, but super editor and writer Tom Engelhardt has.
And in a fascinating treatment on bravado and the art of feigned (and real) insanity and irrationality among our nation’s conflict-obsessed presidents, Engelhardt reported this bit of Sanchez’s writing:

“‘Kick ass!’ [Bush] said, echoing Colin Powell’s tough talk. ‘If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal.
“There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!'”

The more we learn about this president, the smaller he becomes.

— Steve Clemons


17 comments on “Bush as Mad, Bad Commander-in-Chief

  1. Kathleen says:

    Color ‘impeach!!!


  2. David says:

    I just read Tom Engelhardt’s piece on another website. I’ve been following TomDispatch for some time now. It is the other essential read, along with TWN and Josh Marshall’s website.
    It matters to keep putting this stuff out, over and over, until we finally reach some kind of critical mass out in general awareness land, especially general awareness sufficient to affect the major media. I will know when the media love affair with John “Bush 3” McCain ends. I personally hope John McCain continues to demonstrate his geopolitical ignorance and resulting geopolitical incompetence. His mindset is wrong, his ignorance is appalling, and the level of incompetence I think would characterize a McCain administration is simply not in America’s or the planet’s best interest.
    Anything he might comprehend regarding global warming will be lost in the morass of his warmongering unilateralism (federation of democracies? – yeah, that’s gonna engage the world community).


  3. Diane says:

    Spoken like someone who has never been in combat. He is to thick to realize what an idiot he is.


  4. Kathleen says:

    Demander-In-Chief is more apt. Read Christopher Ketchum’s recent article, “The Last Roundup” in which former AG James Comey expresses a sense of impending Martial Law and the suspension of the Constitution.


  5. darrix says:

    “darrix, we don’t need to change the constitution to include a no-confidence vote and remove a government. We have the tool we need. Impeachment. Trouble is, our Speaker of the House has refused to use it”
    Certainly impeachment is available. My concern is that it seems to require far too much time and will to use it–while on the other hand the Commander in Chief needs very little time to create major problems.


  6. JohnH says:

    “Kick ass.”
    “Obliterate Iran.”
    Any similarity there?
    And anon worries about Obama! No wonder he posted as anon!
    Yes, the President becomes smaller and smaller with each passing revelation. And so should his myriad cheerleaders in the Senate, in the House, in think tanks and in the corporate media, which continues to fawn on many of the most vile, like William Kristol, among them. They continue to be cast on the corporate infotainment stage as honorable, credible people.
    So who is going to take down the entrenched establishment that brought us such pathetic leadership and eagerly seeks to foist more of the same upon us?


  7. via says:

    darrix, we don’t need to change the constitution to include a no-confidence vote and remove a government. We have the tool we need. Impeachment. Trouble is, our Speaker of the House has refused to use it.


  8. Ron Dumsfeld says:

    It’s not only Bush’s bravado that are of concern, but also his seemingly premeditated outlook on Iraq, fixing the facts around a policy and the ‘benefits’ of warring that problematic. Consider what biographer Mickey Herskowitz writes:
    “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. “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.’
    …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.””


  9. darrix says:

    We really need to have a way to remove a government with a no-confidence vote. We’re leaving too much power in hands we don’t trust.


  10. jon says:

    So, we still must continue this insane, illegal war in order to
    avoid making the mistakes of Vietnam? How much longer, and
    how many more wars must we fight, in order to stop reflexively
    trying to exorcise Vietnam? Not to mention that many of the
    same mistakes are being replicated, lessons clearly not being
    It’s become more than painfully obvious that Bush can’t keep
    more than half a thought in focus for more than five seconds.
    Generally people with such poor skills have difficulty in rising to
    management positions where they can make truly damaging
    decisions. Bush’s skills seem constrained to a gregarious nature
    that lets him play the part of a ‘hale fellow well met’.
    Dominated by his subordinates, poorly chosen, mainly for the
    ability to be ruthless and to avoid contradicting him, he is
    immune to the vision and judgement of strategery. His wars are
    centered on vengeance and a grab bag of bullet points,
    representing a level of fact-free magical thinking previously only
    encountered in tie-dyed unicorn chasers.
    The quote is also notable for its belligerence. Bush, like all but
    Powell, strenuously avoided service in Vietnam. Now they have
    callously fed thousands of soldiers lives into the maw and
    inflicted enormous pain on millions more. And because these
    are not the lives of their family, friends or business associates,
    they do not care. Actually, they gloat. Bush is similarly immune
    to the damage he has brought to the country and the world.
    Sanchez is not a hero in this story, but he has done us a favor by
    bringing more specifics of this turpitude to light.


  11. DonS says:

    Thin to zero resume upon being elected — er, chosen.
    Even with unauspicious beginnings, this hollow shell of a man managed to shrink in the job, not grow. Thank you puppet masters. This is what happens when things go wrong — for the country, the world, and the ordinary folks at least.


  12. liz says:

    I’ve watched video recently of a Commissioner , can’t remember which agency. He says he speaks with the Prez all the time, about a broad range of issues. I have Medicare and SSA’s number one issue these days and folks, these people are ruthless. I wonder if the SSA Commissioner has spoken to the “decider” about me. I’m bettin my name has come up…
    then I sit and wonder how mean Bush’s answers were…
    I know I feel like I have been the victim in an organized crime event. I know I report it and it is covered up time and time again. And I know, I have red hair and never give up….
    When pondering what Bush maybe has said, I figure it goes like this.. she is stupid, she won’t find out, don’t worry, we got your back, your an elected______ and she is just a stupid woman….
    and the list goes something like that.
    Problem is….. remember Bush also ” misunderestimates”, well that may be another one of his bad habits.
    I say this… it is pretty dang simple.
    Investigators do not ” speculate” they present facts when facts are available.


  13. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Bush-backed Collin Powell’s falsified doctrine regarding Iraq’s WMDs has had so badly undermined the US reputation in the world that it hardly convinces the world community about what US has projected and trying to advocate about the posing threat from Iran’s nuclear program.


  14. J. G. K. says:

    It is extremely disturbing how much Bush’s “pep” talk (if it is being accurately reported) sounds like the rabid “death to America” chants of islamic extremists and the Iranian revolutionary guard.
    “Kill them!” “We are going to wipe them out!” “We are not Blinking!”?? That doesn’t sound like the America that I thought we were, slow and reluctant to enter the necessary evil of combat and concerned with a certain level of decorum, honor and professionalism even in war. What ever happened to being a civilized gentlemen, even when fighting the barbaric?


  15. drv711 says:

    Persons who have worked with Bush have delivered very consistant messages about this pathetic man. From Paul O’Neil to Scott McClellan, the indictments of his leadership and decision making skills are breathtaking.
    It is difficult to imagine that these consistent messages are all from the merely “disgruntled”.
    I wish people could see a compilation of the observations of those who formerly worked with him (Hacks and liars, like Karen Hughs, would not be allowed!)


  16. ManagedChaos says:

    Yeah, a real apt comparison by the troll above. Give Obama 8 years to fail miserably in every capacity and then you can come back here and name their similarities. Until then, open wide and eat your crow with a side of incompetence. GWB was and is a real man of substance…cocaine, booze and cognitive dissonance.


  17. anon says:

    The more we learn about this president, the smaller he becomes.
    Yes, and I see many similarities between GWB and Obama. All talk and no substance.


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