Saturday, July 22


My oldest son, who is a history major, remarked to me the other morning as I was watching coverage of the Middle East crisis on CNN before leaving for work, "This looks to me like Sarajevo in the making."

More and more, I'm beginning to believe he's right.

Wouldn't that just give Bush, Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld (particularly Cheney) a woody? To be stars in the real-life drama "World War III"? I can just see them waltzing around in Patton's high boots and posing for photos on destroyers.

The sad truth is, I don't think any of those guys relate to FDR or Churchill. I think they identify more with the likes of Mussolini and Kaiser Wilhelm.

I can't help suspecting that Dick Cheney has been harboring for years a regret for his multiple-deferment lack of military service. After all, he's a big strong Wyoming hunt-loving boy who served one legitimate war hero (Bush 41) and was once subordinate to Rummy, who can at least boast that he served. To be successful in a political party that openly worships militarism, Cheney's always seemed to posture as the epitome of the chickenhawk bully, the guy who has to prove he's tougher and meaner than any other SOB on the block.

UPDATE: Digby has insights (when doesn't he?) on the subject:

"In A World Transformed, the memoir that he and Bush senior published in 1998, [Brent] Scowcroft makes it clear that while all Bush senior's top advisers had different perspectives, the fundamental division lay between Defense Secretary Richard Cheney and everyone else. By his account, and by those of others in the administration, Cheney never trusted Gorbachev. In 1989 Cheney maintained that Gorbachev's reforms were largely cosmetic and that, rather than engage with the Soviet leader, the US should stand firm and keep up cold war pressures.

"In September 1991 Cheney argued that the administration should take measures to speed the breakup of the Soviet Union—even at the risk of encouraging violence and incurring long-term Russian hostility. He opposed the idea, which originated with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Colin Powell, that the US should withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and South Korea. As a part of the preparations for the Gulf War he asked Powell for a study on how small nuclear weapons might be used against Iraqi troops in the desert."

This is the person who is playing a longer game than the tacticians, not Little Bushie. And he is playing a long game. His sharklike, relentless, predatory concentration on achieving long held goals no matter what the current circumstances is quite awesome to behold. The problem is that he's nuts.

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