Monday, October 02, 2006

State of Denial

There was something disturbing about the "60 Minutes" interview with Bob Woodward last night, Bush. Something that left me less than satisfied about Woodward himself, I think. Something, perhaps, about his own state of denial. Because the big unanswered question that I would have asked was this: what happened between the last book, "Bush at War," and this one? I frankly did not read the previous opus--the one where you, Bush, were presented as the resolute leader, clear about your objectives, in charge of your White House and your team of warriors. That, at least, was the impression I got from reading and hearing about the book.

So why the turnaround? Is it that you, Bush, have changed in the intervening months? Or rather that Woodward's perception of you has changed? More likely the latter, in my judgment. What was it about this intrepid investigative reporter that failed to see through the facade to the denial the last time around? When did the scales begin to drop from his eyes? How come it wasn't as obvious to Woodward as it was to the rest of the world? How did it happen that he was so easily duped and frankly used by your administration as a tool in the propaganda efforts to promote your war? (Along with others, to be sure. I think of Judith Miller of the New York Times.) I did hear that Woodward spent hours of "face time" with you for the last book, and none this time. Is your august presence so seductive that otherwise critical minds turn to adulating mush?

Or are there other, perhaps more obscure, even secret things at work here? Payoffs? Palace intrigues? Personal vendettas? Bizarre psychological quirks? I dare not even contemplate. As I say, Bush, I was left disturbed, and to be truthful less than fully convinced by his performance. Nonetheless, I have to add that I'm grateful that he wrote this latest book. "Denial" does seem an apt word for my own perception of the state of things in your White House.

One further word: it seems that a subplot of the Woodward narrative concerns the Saudi prince Bandar--your tutor on foreign policy matters before your intitial run for the presidency. Most disturbing to me, in reading the review by Tim Rutten in today's Los Angeles Times, was the revelation, in Rutten's recapitulation, that you had "personally thanked Bandar because the Saudis had flooded the world oil market and kept oil prices down in the run-up to the 2004 general election."

It has been my sneaky feeling that the recent drop in gasoline prices at the pump has been craftily arranged by your good self and your friends in the corporate world in order to quell public anger on this subject before this November's election. I had begun to doubt my own judgment on hearing "experts" stoutly proclaim that there is no way that world oil markets can be manipulated for political ends. Now I will need to rethink my position, Bush. I smell a rat.


GringoWithoutBorders said...

I believe OPEC is trying to increase oil prices right now but Saudi Arabia is not in agreement. Always nice to have a few dictators in our back pocket.

Maybe Bob Woodward has simply given up in getting too personally involved and is simply trying to make money by appealing to the largest audience. I think he is just cashing in. Made one book for those favorable with Bush and now this book. It is not a rat you smell but the smell of money.

PK said...

Well, whatever you smell, something sure is rotten in Denmark as the old saying goes:). Wonder what price we paid for the oil to go down? There are plenty of people who were Republicans who finally saw the light of day. Could be old Bob was one of them. These people aren't really Republican either [Bush & Co.]. I haven't figured out what they belong to. Republicans don't act that way, at least a few I've talked to have gone Independent, they're the ones who have told me this is a different party all together and want no part of it. They see where it has taken our country. Not that we were the cats meow before, but at least there was some moral direction, and we weren't indescriminantly bombing people because we 'thought' they might do someone some harm. Then staying there letting our troops die while they build stuff in order to set up camp forever in their country. Oh well, it's dinner time, nothing I can do but complain, so think I'll go take the wrinkles out of my belly. Hope you had a good day cooled way down here, in the 70's!