Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: ROBERT DRAPER IN DEAD CERTAIN: THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH. and SOME SERIOUS NEW AND OLD ISSUES TO CONSIDER
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ROBERT DRAPER IN DEAD CERTAIN: THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH. and SOME SERIOUS NEW AND OLD ISSUES TO CONSIDER





























ROBERT DRAPER IN DEAD CERTAIN: THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH.

THE NEW BOOK IS RAISING MORE QUESTIONS THAN IT IS PROVIDING ANSWERS.

IT CAUSES ONE TO REVISIT THE “DRY DRUNK SYNDROME” AND TO REALLY ASK THE QUESTION OF:

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MAN; BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING DEFINITELY WRONG…AND IT’S NOT A MATTER OF IDEOLOGY!”

YOU CAN TAKE THE RUM OUT OF THE FRUIT CAKE, BUT YOU'VE STILL GOT A FRUIT CAKE!

BOOKS OF THE TIMES

Bush Profiled: Big Ideas, Tiny Details

By MICHIKO KAKUTANI
Published: September 5, 2007

Days before the 2006 election, Robert Draper reports in his fascinating new book, as things were looking bleaker and bleaker for House Republicans, and even the party’s chairman was predicting a G.O.P. defeat, George W. Bush brushed aside such forecasts, telling one of his worried aides that they were all being pessimists. When she protested that she was simply being realistic, he said: “Realist — I like that,” but added, “There’s a fine line between realism and pessimism.”

In “Dead Certain” Mr. Draper — a national correspondent for GQ magazine and a former Texas Monthly editor who wrote a lengthy profile of Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, in 1998 — draws a detailed portrait, based on six hourlong interviews with the notoriously press-wary president and interviews with some 200 other sources, including Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and the senior adviser Karl Rove.

It is a portrait of the commander in chief as a willful optimist, proud of his self-confidence and convinced that any expressions of doubt would make him less of a leader: a man addicted to “Big Ideas and small comforts” (like riding his bike), a stubborn, even obstinate politician loath to change course or second-guess himself, and given to valuing loyalty above almost everything else.

This overall picture is hardly new, of course, and Mr. Draper’s depiction of the president as an avatar of certainty owes a lot to Ron Suskind’s 2004 portrait of Mr. Bush (which appeared in The New York Times Magazine) and to the portrait Bob Woodward drew in his 2006 book, “State of Denial.” While there are many aspects of the Bush presidency that Mr. Draper completely neglects — there is almost nothing here about executive power, interrogation policy or the treatment of detainees — what “Dead Certain” does do and does very nimbly is give the reader an intimate sense of the president’s personality and how it informs his decision making.

At the same time, it ratifies what many other reporters and former insiders have said about this administration’s ad hoc, often haphazard policy-making process, while suggesting that the West Wing has grown increasingly dysfunctional over the years, with the aides Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett “constantly at war” with each other, and other staff members not on speaking terms.

Already, “Dead Certain” has caused controversy, showing that the blame game in an increasingly embattled administration is already in full play. In the book President Bush is quoted, saying of the much-criticized decision to disband the Iraqi army (a decision many experts say fatally fueled the insurgency): “Well, the policy was to keep the army intact,” adding that it just “didn’t happen.”

In response, his former top envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, who issued that fateful order in 2003, has released letters showing that the president was told in advance by Mr. Bremer of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures.”

“Dead Certain” also asserts, almost in passing, that it was John Roberts who suggested Harriet Miers to Mr. Bush as a possible Supreme Court nominee, leading to her disastrous nomination. Chief Justice Roberts denied that report through a court spokeswoman, who said “the account is not true.”

Although the President Bush described in this volume will be familiar to most readers, Mr. Draper colors in the outlines with lots of tiny details. Apparently Mr. Bush loves doing imitations of Dr. Evil from the “Austin Powers” movies. He keeps meticulous count of all the books he’s read. (At one point he tells Mr. Draper he’s up to 87 for the year.) And he’s wildly competitive about his bike riding, eager to show his younger Secret Service companions “who’s The Man” and insistent on burning at least 1,000 calories during each workout.

This is a president who says he cries easily and often about dead and wounded soldiers, a president who Mr. Draper says doesn’t defer, as widely believed, to Vice President Cheney and Mr. Rove (who apparently recommended that Mr. Cheney not be put on the 2000 ticket, arguing, in Mr. Draper’s words, that picking “Daddy’s top foreign-policy guy ran counter to message.”)

Mr. Draper tells us that the president repeated his conviction that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction to his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., “all the way up until Card’s departure in April 2006, almost exactly three years after the Coalition had begun its fruitless search for WMD’s.”

And he describes Mr. Bush asking for a show of hands at an April 2006 dinner about whether to keep Mr. Rumsfeld on as defense secretary in the face of a downward-spiraling war: Mr. Bush, Mr. Rove, Mr. Bartlett and Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, voted to keep Mr. Rumsfeld on board; Mr. Card, the outgoing chief of staff; Joshua B. Bolten, the incoming chief of staff; and Ms. Rice, among others, voted for Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster.

The president, who, Mr. Draper repeatedly observes, prizes routine and familiarity, hoped his favorite staff members would be “eight-year men”: “The notion that change was not only good but essential — that once-vital personnel would outlive their usefulness and require culling — ran counter to his impulses.”

It is also clear from Mr. Draper’s book that President Bush dislikes criticism and bad news, and that staffers found it very hard “to stick one’s arm into the fiercely whirring gears of Team Bush’s institutionalized optimism and say, ‘Let’s ... slow... down. And rethink this.’ ” For that matter, this volume is studded with examples — on matters ranging from the Iraq war to Hurricane Katrina — of aides failing to deliver distressing information to the president or failing to persuade him to grapple quickly with unfortunate developments.

In her much-criticized role as national security adviser, Ms. Rice, for instance, is described as deciding to be the president’s information broker and sounding board rather than the person, as Mr. Draper puts it, who would ruffle “his feathers with opinions that he did not share.” She is quoted as telling a close friend: “It’s not my exercising influence over him. I’m internalizing his world.”

As other reporters and former administration insiders have frequently observed, dissenting views, be they on Iraq or domestic policy, are rarely solicited by this White House, and Mr. Draper writes that one of Mr. Bush’s most pronounced traits is “an almost petulant heedlessness to the outside world.” Members of the Iraq Study Group told Mr. Draper that they found the president “far more upbeat than the realities in Iraq seemed to warrant,” and that it occurred to one of them that President Bush did not so much want to hear their views as “convince us that we should be writing a report that would reflect his views.”

What’s more, when dissenting views did reach the president, the results could be an obstinate digging in of heels. For example, calls for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation from several retired generals in the spring of 2006 elicited this response from Mr. Bush: “No military guy is gonna tell a civilian how to react.” As one aide glumly put it: “The moment someone would say ‘Fire Donald Rumsfeld,’ Donald Rumsfeld would get a new lease on life.”

The best approach to selling the ever-competitive president on an idea, aides told Mr. Draper, was to tell him, “This is going to be a really tough decision.” Mr. Rumsfeld (whose own Big Idea was to “transform” the military and go into Iraq with a lighter, faster force) gave similar advice, telling his lieutenants that if they wanted the president’s support for an initiative, it was always best to frame it as a “Big New Thing.”

Mr. Draper writes that Mr. Bush was “at root a man who craved purpose — a sense of movement, of consequence” and that he was irresistibly drawn to Big Ideas like bringing democracy to the Middle East, Big Ideas that stood in sharp contrast to the prudent small ball played by his father, who was often accused of lacking the “vision thing.”

So what does the current President Bush plan to do after leaving office? At the end of this revealing book, Mr. Draper quotes him saying that he plans to build a “Freedom Institute,” a sort of think tank where young leaders from abroad can learn about democracy. Mr. Bush, who has a net worth estimated at $8 million to $21 million, also said he would like to make some money — “replenish the ol’ coffers,” as he put it.

He said he could make “ridiculous” money out on the lecture circuit: “I don’t know what my dad gets. But it’s more than fifty, seventy-five” thousand dollars a speech.

MORE:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/washington/02book.html

W., Uncovered: Dead Certain, the new book by journalist Robert Draper, quotes President Bush as saying he wanted to keep Iraq's military intact, but former Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul Bremer has provided letters to the New York Times that he says contradict Bush's statement. Bloggers pounce at the chance to discuss Draper's disclosures about the commander-in-chief. (Slate is running exclusive excerpts of Dead Certain this week.)

Liberal Steve Benen at Carpetbagger Report expresses shock that Bush says he couldn't remember his response when he learned the Iraqi army had been disbanded: "It's a rather humiliating revelation. Bush comes across like a confused child—he didn't understand the decision, he's not sure how the decision was made, and asked for his reaction to the decision, Bush is left to conclude, 'Yeah, I can't remember.' " Foreign-policy specialist Steve Clemons at the Washington Note is equally boggled: "It is stunning to hear Bush himself admit his surprise that a policy this consequential to the Iraq effort had been reversed by his people—and that he knew little about it.

No curiousity? No fury?" Clemons concludes, "Stunning, frustrating, depressing honesty from George W. Bush." Liberal activist Barbara O'Brien at Mahablog offers her interpretation of the Bremer-Bush mixup: "[I]t's entirely possible George Bush cannot—or will not—remember being briefed on the dismantling of the Iraqi Army. By now his conscious recollections of what happened have been reworked into his ego defenses. In his mind, he is not to blame. But neither can he bring himself to go back to that moment and look at it closely."

The Politico's Jonathan Martin dons his reviewer's cap as he writes that Draper's book delivers "neither a wet kiss nor a hatchet job" and that it's "a comprehensive account of the Bush presidency that aims to illuminate not advocate."

Conservative Paul Mirengoff complains about the Washington Post's coverage: "The Post is obsessed, of course, with stories that cast Bush in a bad light and/or make members of his administration uncomfortable. But this story barely satisfies this criteria." And fellow righty Ed Morrissey writes at Captain's Quarters that: "Those inclined to see Karl Rove as some sort of puppetmaster will likely be disappointed by this new look at the administration. It turns out that Bush is his own man, responsible for his decisions and unafraid to dismiss advice when he thinks he's correct, for better and worse.

Read more blogger reaction to Draper's Dead Certain.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Certain-Presidency-George-Bush/dp/0743277287

In Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush has candidly revealed that he often cries inside the White House.

"I've got God's shoulder to cry on. And I cry a lot," Bush is quoted saying by author Robert Draper in Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, a new book that has Washington D.C. talking this week.

"I do a lot of crying in this job," Bush says. "I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count as president. I'll shed some tomorrow."

Bush isn't the first U.S. president to cry in public or admit doing so in private. Both his father and Bill Clinton cried inside the White House and at public events, although Clinton's public tears were often judged to be carefully conjured for the moment.

According to one historical account, even George Washington shed tears upon arriving in New York for his swearing-in as the first president in 1789.

In Canada, our leaders may inhabit one of the coldest nations on Earth, but that doesn't mean their hearts are frozen.

The most famous political crier in our history is Jean Chretien, who broke down in tears behind closed doors in October 1995, five days before the Quebec sovereignty referendum, as he told his Liberal caucus about the real risk of Canada breaking apart. Chretien's emotions were said to have moved several of his cabinet colleagues to tears, including Brian Tobin, David Collenette and David Dingwall.

But, as TV host Phil Donahue once remarked: "I think that people who never cry are like people who never laugh: There's something wrong with them."

Still, Chretien's tears are about all we know of the private weeping of our prime ministers. Public episodes are a little easier to find.

Paul Martin, for instance, cried in 2005 while touring a Sri Lankan town devastated by that year's Indian Ocean tsunami.

"You have to be stone not to be emotionally affected by this," he told reporters after walking through an acre of wreckage and mass graves.

Joe Clark wept while viewing television footage of famine victims during a visit to Ethiopia in 1984, although he was Canada's foreign minister at the time, not the prime minister.

Pierre Trudeau, in opposition in 1979, wiped away tears while announcing his first resignation in the House of Commons.

In 1965 John Diefenbaker, who was then leader of the Opposition, cried tears of sorrow at prime minister Lester Pearson's public ceremony to welcome Canada's new national flag.

And, in 1947, William Lyon Mackenzie King shed tears in Paris while placing roses on the tomb of Louis Pasteur, the revered French chemist who pioneered the process of pasteurization.

Photographers at the scene were asked not to take pictures, says one account, while King knelt at the tomb, "his face in his hands for three silent minutes. When he emerged his cheeks were wet with tears."

While King's tears were likely genuine, Norman Hillmer, a historian at Ottawa's Carleton University who has written extensively about Canada's prime ministers, says that, in the television era, public crying is more political schtick than heartfelt emotion.
Slate

Dead CertainSlate - Sep 5, 2007This week, Slate is publishing three exclusive excerpts from Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. ...

This week, Slate is publishing three exclusive excerpts from Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. In preparing this chronological narrative of the Bush presidency, Draper has had unprecedented journalistic access to the Bush White House, including six interviews with the president in late 2006 and 2007.

"You can't possibly figure out the history of the Bush presidency—until I'm dead."

George W. Bush slipped a piece of cheese into his mouth. "Let's order first." He took a quick glance at the day's menu prepared for him and his guest, saw nothing on it he cared for, and announced to the steward, "I'll have a hot dog. Low fat hot dog."

Then he slapped down the menu and asked, "What is the purpose of this book?"

He was edgy that day. Earlier that morning, Bush had decided that a major address slotted for next week was going to have to wait another month.

The subject was Iraq, and he was, frankly, unsure of what to say on the subject. A bipartisan commission called the Iraq Study Group—cochaired by longtime Bush family consigliere James A. Baker III—had recently returned its report, which had labeled that country's condition "grave and deteriorating." Progress in that ongoing conflict had been inch wise even before sectarian violence began to develop its awful momentum in the spring of 2006 and threaten to tear the country apart.

Bush had repeatedly said that the war was winnable. He had said that the American-led Coalition was, in fact, winning. No one, including Bush, was claiming imminent victory anymore.

So, what to say? Bush was a quarterback now playing defense. Five weeks before, the Democrats had seized back the House and the Senate in an election that even Bush had to concede was to some degree a referendum on the tragic misadventures in Iraq. The Democrats, with public backing, were clamoring for a change in course. So was the Iraq Study Group. And so—with their tongues freshly loosened by the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld—were the generals in whose trust Bush had placed the mission. Stung by this reality, Bush nonetheless was digging in his heels. The day after the midterms, he had announced his intention to replace Rumsfeld with Robert Gates. Beyond that, Bush would not veer in haste. He would take the holidays to think about it.

"If you're weak internally? This job will run you all over town," the president observed. He was sitting in the small conference room beside the Oval Office where his predecessor, Bill Clinton, infamously found leisure time with Monica Lewinsky. His back was to the White House lawn. He had flung himself into his chair like a dirty sweatshirt and continued to pop pieces of cheese into his mouth. Stress was hammered into his face. The subject was himself—how his leadership skills had evolved over time, and how he had dealt with disappointment and defeat, going back to his loss to Senator John McCain in the New Hampshire primary of 2000 and now, once again, in 2006.

Bush, as always, bridled at the request to navel-gaze. "You're the observer," he said as he worked the cheese in his mouth. "I'm not. I really do not feel comfortable in the role of analyzing myself. I'll try. But I don't spend a lot of time. I will tell you, the primaries strip you down to your bare essence, and you get to determine whether or not you're willing to fight through—to prevail. It's a real test of will, I agree to that. I think the whole process was responsible for testing my will. No question getting defeated was a powerful moment."

He added, "I've never run a race where I thought I wouldn't win. I thought we were gonna hold the House and the Senate in '06. I thought we'd lose nine or ten seats, and I thought we'd be one or two up in the Senate."

Bush had held that view, almost manic in its optimism, all the way up to election day, in defiance of all available polling data. At the very mention of such data, his face began to curdle. "I understand you can't let polls tell you what to think," he declared—one of his most frequently expressed sentiments, but now he went further: "And part of being a leader is: people watch you. I walk in that hall, I say to those commanders—well, guess what would happen if I walk in and say, 'Well, maybe it's not worth it.' When I'm out in the public"—and now he was fully animated, yanked out of his slouch and his eyes clenched like little blue fists—"I fully understand that the enemy watches me, the Iraqis are watching me, the troops watch me, and the people watch me.

"The other thing is that you can't fake it. You have to believe it. And I believe it. I believe we'll succeed."

His hot dog arrived. Bush ate rapidly, with a sort of voracious disinterest. He was a man who required comfort and routine. Food, for him, was fuel and familiarity. It was not a thing to reflect on.

"The job of the president," he continued, through an ample wad of bread and sausage, "is to think strategically so that you can accomplish big objectives. As opposed to playing mini-ball. You can't play mini-ball with the influence we have and expect there to be peace. You've gotta think, think BIG. The Iranian issue," he said as bread crumbs tumbled out of his mouth and onto his chin, "is the strategic threat right now facing a generation of Americans, because Iran is promoting an extreme form of religion that is competing with another extreme form of religion. Iran's a destabilizing force.

And instability in that part of the world has deeply adverse consequences, like energy falling in the hands of extremist people that would use it to blackmail the West. And to couple all of that with a nuclear weapon, then you've got a dangerous situation. ... That's what I mean by strategic thought. I don't know how you learn that. I don't think there's a moment where that happened to me.

I really don't. I know you're searching for it. I know it's difficult. I do know—y'know, how do you decide, how do you learn to decide things? When you make up your mind, and you stick by it—I don't know that there's a moment, Robert. I really—You either know how to do it or you don't. I think part of this is it: I ran for reasons. Principled reasons. There were principles by which I will stand on. And when I leave this office I'll stand on them. And therefore you can't get driven by polls. Polls aren't driven by principles. They're driven by the moment. By the nanosecond."

A moment later, press secretary Tony Snow stepped into the doorway to ask about the daily press briefing he was about to conduct. Bush offered some suggestions for how to defer questions about his Iraq strategy.

"Good. Perfect. Sorry to interrupt," Snow said as he vacated the room.

"It's okay," remarked Bush. "This is worthless, anyway." Then, in a sudden bellow: "I'd like an ice cream! Please! You want some ice cream, Robert?"

Bush dived into his vanilla ice cream. "The presidency is—you get tired," he confessed. Then, leaning back from the bowl: "This is a tiring period we're in now. I've got Iraq on my mind. A lot. You know, every day I see the casualties, I get the reports—I am immersed in this war."

He was taking pains to sound factual instead of anything that could be construed as overwrought. "Look—it's war," he went on. "Listening to a lot of people right now. Plus the trips I've been on," referring to the late-November meetings in Eastern Europe and then Asia. "Plus the sixteen holiday events we're doing. Eight thousand, nine thousand hands I'll be shaking ... I'm actually feeling pretty good," he insisted. "Exercise helps. And I think prayer helps. I really do."

Bush added, "I'm also sustained by the discipline of the faithful experience. I don't think I'd be sitting here if not for the discipline. I was undisciplined at times. Never over the edge, but undisciplined. I wouldn't be president if I kept drinking. You get sloppy, can't make decisions, it clouds your reason, absolutely."

Laughing, he said, "I remember eating chocolate in the evenings after I quit drinking, because my body was saying, 'Where's that sugar, man?' And so—I can still, interestingly enough, I still remember the feeling of a hangover, even though I haven't had a drink in twenty years."

Now that the speech had been postponed, the next days would be light for Bush before he spent Christmas at Camp David. One of the few events on his schedule was a trip to Walter Reed Medical Center to visit soldiers wounded in Iraq. Bush had met with more than a thousand such soldiers and grieving family members over the course of his presidency. It was one of those duties that the former Texas governor had not foreseen when he decided to run for office in 1999. The world was relatively peaceful back then. These days, Bush began each morning with a Presidential Daily Briefing.

The first item was always Iraq, and the report listed the day's damage: this many killed and wounded, that many targets bombed. It had become Bush's habit to take out his pen and circle the number of casualties. Then to close his eyes for a moment. And then to turn the page.

He viewed it as the commander in chief's obligation to visit with those who had suffered loss as a result of his decisions. "Sometimes it's not pleasant, and I understand that," Bush said as he leaned back from his vanquished bowl of ice cream. "And they have every right to be unpleasant. Sometimes there are disagreements. ... Yeah, it's hard. And to see the wounded, the head injuries. But that's part of the presidency, to immerse yourself in their emotions. Because they look at the president and they—most of them—say, 'My son or daughter did what they wanted to do.' The interesting thing is, the healer gets healed. I appreciate it."

The healer gets healed. Bush seldom if ever implied that he carried the burden of regret or self-doubt—that he required healing of any sort. Did the grieving sense that need in him? For, as he acknowledged, "I'm told by some politicians here that the people they meet with say, 'Get out now.' That just doesn't happen with me. A couple of wives I think in Fort Hood might've said, 'It's not worth it. Bring 'em home now.' Some say, 'Get 'em home as soon as you can—but my child volunteered, they're proud of what they're doing.'

The interesting thing about this war is that our military understands better than most what's happening—and that we are making some progress there. No question, it's tough. But what they see is a different picture from what America sees. And they are in the mission!

"I tell people—I read an interesting book by [Richard] Carwardine—I'm on my eighty-seventh book this year." With rueful admiration, he added, "Rove's on, like, a hundred two. Anyway, this book [Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power] talks about the constituency that Lincoln had. And one was religious people who were going through this Second Awakening, that loved Lincoln's position that all men are created equal: there is a God, and all men are created equal by that God, and so it's a moral position. And the military loved Lincoln to the point where," and Bush offered up a sly politician's grin, "Lincoln made sure that they were able to get to the polls in 1864.

"There's a parallel here. And that's that our military understands this. And a key constituency in the global war is for our military to be appreciated and respected, starting with the commander in chief. And they look at me—they want to know whether I've got the resolution necessary to see this through. And I do. I believe—I know we'll succeed. And I know it's necessary to succeed. And anyway. There wasn't a moment when I knew you were supposed to do that," he said, returning of his own volition to that irritating first question about the evolution of his leadership abilities. "I can't tell you the moment. I can tell you—that, uh ... that, uh ..."

For the first and only time in that seventy-minute monologue-dominated conversation, Bush fell silent for several seconds. "Yeah, well," he finally said. "When you're responsible for putting a kid in harm's way, you better understand that if that kid thinks you're making a decision based on polls—or something other than what you think is right, or wrong, based upon principles—then you're letting that kid down. And you're creating conditions for doubt. And you can't give a kid a gun and have him doubt whether or not the president thinks it's right, and have him doubt whether or not he's gonna be suppportive in all ways. And you can't learn that until you're the guy sitting behind the desk."
"There's no preparation for that," ventured the guest.

"There's none," said Bush.

He then pushed away from the table and abruptly strode back to the aforementioned desk in the Oval Office. His next visitor, Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, would not be terribly receptive to talk of "some progress" in that country. Hashemi's brother and sister had been assassinated in Baghdad earlier in 2006. A few weeks ago, another one of his brothers had been gunned down as well.

And Bush could not show doubt to this man, either. I know we'll succeed—he had to show that confidence, which would not be difficult, because he did know: America would succeed in Iraq because it had to succeed.

Our second extract is about Bush's relationship with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It was something Bush talked about every week during his video teleconferences with Tony Blair: These guys Maliki and Abbas [the president of the Palestinian National Authority], we've gotta nurture them.

... He had tried with Allawi and Ja'fari, the two previous prime ministers. But the former had little interest in policy, while the latter—definitely not Bush's kind of guy—was more inclined to recite poetry than build a democracy.

By the time he first laid eyes on Maliki in Baghdad on June 13, 2006, Bush could not afford to be choosy.

Iraq was out of control, here was its new leader ... and through his willful optimism, Bush would see to it that theirs was a match made in heaven. In 2007, he found himself mentoring the head of the world's most frail democracy on how to lead a nation.

"I'm convinced you will succeed," he told Maliki that day in front of the media. Shortly afterward, Bush acknowledged to the Iraq Study Group (as some of its members would recall in interviews) that "my job is to give confidence to the Maliki government." Though some in the group evinced less enthusiasm for the new prime minister, Bush had a different outlook. Maliki, he said, was "a lot better than what we've had." And in any event, the president's job was to "inspire" the novice politician.

In the months that followed, the prime minister's Shiite patron, Moktada al-Sadr, ran roughshod over Baghdad while the government arrested only al-Sadr's Sunni foes. Bush didn't lecture or threaten Maliki. When National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley's memo criticizing Maliki was leaked to the New York Times in late November, Bush immediately contradicted it, saying that Maliki was "the right guy for the job"—and then dispatched Hadley to the Sunday talk shows, where the latter assured viewers that Maliki "has the will and desire to take responsibility."

Bush and Hadley happened to be on their way to Amman, Jordan, to meet with Maliki when the Times published its story about the memo. The president thought to defuse the matter right away. Pulling Hadley toward him, Bush grinned at Maliki and said, "Do you know our national security adviser, Steve Hadley?" When Maliki smiled and hugged Hadley, Bush thought, This speaks well of the guy.

The prime minister had been hearing rumors of a coup against him and feared that Bush and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad supported it. Maliki therefore came armed with a security plan of his own. Though it struck Bush as ambitious in the extreme, he was delighted by Maliki's assertiveness and returned from the Middle East just as upbeat as he had been six months earlier.

Five weeks later, Bush was conducting a secure teleconference to brief Iraqi officials on his upcoming address to the nation on the new Iraq strategy when he suddenly said, "Let's clear the room." Maliki's aides departed, as did Bush's. Now it was just the two leaders.

"You know," Bush would—in a later interview—recall telling his counterpart with a fatalistic laugh, "we're hanging out here together. A lot of people here don't think we can succeed. I do."

Then, challenging Maliki, the president said, "It's looking like al-Sadr's gonna run your country."

Maliki grew solemn. "I swear to God," he vowed, "al-Sadr will not run this country." Bush took that in. "Well," he said, "I'll put my neck out if you put your neck out."

Bush's decision to appoint General David Petraeus as the new commander in Iraq didn't please some in Maliki's government who remembered Petraeus's empowerment of former Baathists in Mosul. "I know you have concerns about this," Bush said. "But let me just tell you, leader to leader: I have a lot of respect for this man. Trust me on this."

A week later, Maliki appointed First General Aboud Jenber to be his new Baghdad security commander. General George Casey contacted Bush to register his concern. Jenber, he said, was an unknown quantity. Bush got Maliki on the phone.

Maliki said to Bush, I have a lot of respect for this man. Trust me on this.
Turning the tables on him—Bush loved it!

"He's learning to be a leader," Bush said a few weeks later. "And one of my jobs as the president and his ally is to help him be that leader without being patronizing. At some point in time, if I come to the conclusion that he can't be the leader—he's unwilling to lead or he's deceptive—then we'll change course. But I haven't come to that conclusion. As a matter of fact, his recent actions have inspired me."

So far, Maliki's armed forces had begun to enforce laws across sectarian lines. His government had passed a $41 billion budget. The prime minister had yet to fulfill all his promises—most prominently, ratifying an oil-revenue-sharing deal that would grant the Sunnis a stake in the Iraqi economy. But Bush would cut Maliki some slack. "Everybody tells him the same thing—you better get moving, or else," Bush would say. "That's what I told [Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman] Carl Levin. I said, 'You went to Iraq and you told him point blank, You better get moving.' I said, 'Thank you for doing that.'

"He said, 'Why don't you do the same thing?' I said, 'I've got other audiences. My message isn't just to the Iraqi government. It's to U.S. troops, the enemy, the Iraqi people. And therefore I've got to be careful about how I deliver the message. I want to be viewed more as a mentor than a scolder."

Maliki was learning leadership on the fly—and getting into a groove, Bush believed, where the more hard decisions the Iraqi made, the stronger he became. It was Bush's theory of political capital transplanted to Baghdad: The more of it you spent, the more you accrued.

"I do believe, however," said Bush in February, "that he knows he's running against the clock."

The Decider had decided: There would be a surge, or reinforcement, or whatever, and once again it was a time for hope. And Bush was hopeful, seemingly more than ever, to the surprise of many. "I have people walk up to me all the time," Bush said one morning in early February 2007 as he sat with his boots sprawled across his desktop in the Oval Office. Snickering, he added, "They look at you like, 'Wow.' Like they expect to see something different."

And three months later, on May 8, 2007, with every reason in the world to be wearing a Nixonian pallor—spotty progress at best in Iraq, an approval rating of 28, his press secretary Tony Snow diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer, Paul Wolfowitz forced out of office at the World Bank for showing professional favoritism to his girlfriend, former campaign strategist Matthew Dowd publicly airing his disillusionment with Bush to the Times, and attorney general Al Gonzales embroiled in a growing scandal over the highly suspicious dismissal of nine federal prosecutors—Bush seemed, somehow, even more serene.

He was consuming history books with the same voraciousness with which he had pounded back the hot dog during lunch the previous December. Henry Kissinger had recommended a book on the Algerian revolution; Rove, a copy of Lynne Olson's Troublesome Young Men, about the rise of Churchill. His presidency now all but consigned to history, Bush was immersed in the past, and gleaning from its portents what the future would say about America's forty-third president.

And feeling eerily ducky about it all. Would Congress somehow recultivate an appetite for a continued military presence in the Middle East? "My bet is that when all is said and done, they will," Bush said that afternoon. "The job of the president is to think over the horizon. I find that there are more and more people in Congress who are also thinking over the horizon. ... Now we've got a presence in the region—but Iraq creates a different kind of opportunity for a presence."

He imagined aloud that the surge would stabilize Iraq, which would hopefully encourage Bush's successor "to stay longer at the request of the Iraqi government. Which would have the following effect. One, it would serve as a reminder to the region that we're a force of stability. Two, it would remind certain actors that the United States is something to be reckoned with—Iran, for example, if they continue on the course they're doing. ... That's where my head is at."

But who else's head was there, contemplating dead-certain success in Iraq, instead of the very real possibility of failure?

"The danger is that the United States won't stay engaged," Bush acknowledged. "The danger is, people come to office and say, 'Let us promote stability—that's more important.' The problem is that in an ideological war, stability isn't the answer to the root cause of why people kill and terrorize."

Studying the past, thinking over the horizon, contemplating a hopeful future—these now brought Bush comfort. He had to lean on something. Had to keep things "relatively lighthearted" around the White House: "I can't let my worries—I try not to wear my worries on my sleeve. I don't want to burden them with that." His parents and his siblings would call Bush, expressing worry for him.

He assured them, too, that he was doing just great. Sleeping well. Showing them nothing in the way of fretfulness.

The burden was there, all the same. "I think he carries a lot of it around, for sure," Laura Bush would say. "There's no doubt about it."

But to display it would be more than unseemly. "Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency," Bush said—adding, "This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity."

Though not on the subject of Iraq, Laura would remind him. " 'Well,' she says, 'you chose to do this.' " Bush went on. "She reminds me that I decided to do this. Nobody decided it but me ... I've got God's shoulder to cry on.

And I cry a lot. I do a lot of crying in this job. I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count, as president. I'll shed some tomorrow."

Catching himself, Bush let his boots fall from his desktop, leaned forward and said, "But I don't view this as a burden, being the president. I view it as a great opportunity. I truly believe we're in the process of shaping history for the good. I know, I firmly believe, that decisions I have made were necessary to secure the country. Things could've been done differently—I'm confident of that. That's what military historians do—they'll review this, diplomatic historians will review that, political historians. ...

"I made the decision to lead. And therefore there'll be times when you make those decisions—one, it makes you unpopular; two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance. And that may be true. But the fundamental question is: Is the world better off as a result of your leadership?"
That was, inarguably, the fundamental question. At the moment, Congress and the public were unambiguous on the subject: Bush's way was the wrong way. His power was waning. By the end of the year, his relevance would all but cease. And meanwhile, Iraq was a ticking time bomb.

Bush had his own calculations. In September, General Petraeus would testify before Congress about Baghdad's progress. Bush had to hope that the additional troops would quell the violence. Had to speak with utter confidence that his hopes would be realized.

"So now I'm an October–November man," Bush had said that February, a picture of rustic calm as his boots rested atop the fine historic desk. "I'm playing for October–November."

And until then? He would travel overseas, take another crack at immigration and energy legislation, study his daily Terrorist Threat Matrix, hug war widows. But the present tense was, in a sense, no longer his domain—not with the public and the legislative branch so beyond the reach of his persuasions. Americans had soured on the president and his war. The First Optimist had made pessimists out of them.

His playing field was now the future. That, of course, assumed that October–November would at last bring stability to Iraq and thereby surge his depleted mandate. Bush did in fact operate with that belief—always. New Hampshire could not change that in him. The midterms could not change that in him. What had to be believed, he believed.

"I'm not afraid to make decisions," Bush said. "Matter of fact, I like this aspect of the presidency."

He yearned to make more decisions. And he just knew it: After October–November, the strategy would work, Bush would be proven right, and that big ball would be back in his hands again, and he would heave it long.

Book reveals Bush's bouts of crying, ghostly visions

By Sheldon Alberts, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2007

WASHINGTON • George W. Bush, the U.S. President, is prone to bouts of crying caused by the stress of his job and claims to have seen ghosts emerge from the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House, according to a new book on his presidency.

In a series of remarkably candid admissions by a sitting president, Mr. Bush confides to author John Draper he has been "sustained by the discipline of the faithful experience" during the most difficult days of his presidency.

"I've got God's shoulder to cry on. And I cry a lot," Mr. Bush says in Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, which was released to U.S. bookstores yesterday. "I do a lot of crying in this job. I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count, as president. I'll shed some tomorrow."

Mr. Draper interviewed Mr. Bush six times for the book - most recently in May, 2007 - and coaxed a bevy of previously unknown details about some of the most turbulent moments of his presidency.

Dead Certain details his reluctance to seek UN approval for an Iraq war resolution because of his contempt for the international body.

Mr. Bush describes his continuing dislike for the United Nations by recounting running across former president Bill Clinton at a UN meeting in June, 2006.

"Six years from now, you're not gonna see me hanging out in the lobby of the UN," he insisted.

The book casts Mr. Bush as disengaged - almost uninterested - as Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast on Aug. 28, 2005.

On the day before the hurricane struck New Orleans, he spent a day riding his mountain bike and swimming on his ranch in Crawford, Tex.

By the time he joined an emergency video conference about Katrina, he was so "gassed" by his physical exertion he did not ask any questions about the federal government's preparedness, the book says.

The President also candidly reveals the emotional toll Iraq has taken on him, saying overseeing the current troop surge has been a "tiring period."

Discussing his past battles with alcohol, he says he would never be able to make decision on war if he was still drinking.

"Exercise helps. And I think prayer helps," he says. "I wouldn't be President if I kept drinking. You can get sloppy, can't make decisions. It clouds your reason, absolutely."

The book also adds new information about his administration's over-optimistic assessment of how quickly the United States would stabilize Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

When a senior congressional Republican warned Dick Cheney in August, 2002, the United States would get mired in Iraq, the Vice-President reportedly scoffed.
"It'll be like the American army going through the streets of Paris [in the Second World War]," he said. "The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we'll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two."

Despite the current problems plaguing Iraq, Mr. Bush seems "more serene" about the prospects for victory and is already planning his career after the White House.

He said he plans to "replenish the ol' coffers" by speaking on the lecture circuit, where he can make "ridiculous" money recounting his experiences.

"I don't know what my dad gets. But it's more than 50, 75 [thousand dollars]," he said. "Clinton's making a lot of money."

Perhaps the oddest revelation is an episode from 1992, when his father was president.

The younger Mr. Bush found the White House a "creepy place," Mr. Draper writes.

After exercising in a White House gym one evening, he told a friend he froze in his steps while approaching the Lincoln Bedroom.

Mr. Bush insists "he saw ghosts - coming out of the wall," according to the friend.
Washington Post

DEAD CERTAINWashington Post, United States - 4 hours agoBy Robert Draper There are two questions any definitive account of George W. Bush's presidency must answer. One has dogged him from the very start of his ...

‘Dead Certain’New York Times, United States - Sep 4, 2007George W. Bush stepped out into the tidal wave of hands and screams. For perhaps a second, it might have appeared that he didn't warrant such a gathering. ...

Picking the President’s ArchitectNewsweek - 21 hours ago6, 2007 - In Robert Draper’s new book about the Bush presidency, “Dead Certain,” George W. Bush muses about the “fantastic Freedom Institute” he wants to ...

Secrets behind the scriptThe Australian, Australia - 5 hours ago... got through the door for six one-hour interviews last December and January that form the basis of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, ...

Tears may be too much for Canadian leadersCanada.com, Canada - Sep 6, 2007And I cry a lot," Bush is quoted saying by author Robert Draper in Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, a new book that has Washington DC talking ...

Would you like a tissue, Mr. President?Chicago Sun-Times, United States - Sep 6, 2007BY RICHARD ROEPER Sun-Times Columnist In the new book titled Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, author Robert Draper quotes President Bush as ...

W., UncoveredSlate - Sep 4, 2007W., uncovered: Dead Certain, the new book by journalist Robert Draper, quotes President Bush as saying he wanted to keep Iraq's military intact, ...How Bush defines ’strategic thought’ The Carpetbagger Reportall 3 news articles »

Dissent In Bush's Inner CircleWashington Post, United States - Sep 2, 2007A new book, "Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush," describes how Bush came to nominate Miers for the Supreme Court. ...
The Spoof (satire)

Bush Sees Ghosts, Cries RegularlyThe Spoof (satire), UK - Sep 5, 2007District of Columbia (Reuterus) - According to the new book 'Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush', President Bush confessed to author Robert ...
BBC News

Bush mulls life after presidencyBBC News, UK - Sep 3, 2007"I'll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol' coffers," Mr Bush told Robert Draper, author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush. ..


Daschle plays role in new Bush bookSioux Falls Argus Leader, SD - 13 hours agoMost widely discussed in recent days is Bush's comment about making "ridiculous money" like former President Clinton and his father, former President George ...
Book review: Dead Certain International Herald Tribune
Author Had Rare Access to Bush for 'Dead Certain' NPR
The Associated Press

National Post
all 132 news articles »

Newsweek

Bush's Iraq swagger a distant memory AFP
Ayoon Wa Azan (Every Politician Lies) Dar Al-Hayat
George Bush 'not engaged' in crucial decisions Telegraph.co.uk
Newsweek

San Antonio Express
all 43 news articles »

Turkish Press

Turning pointThe Age, Australia - 6 hours agoTHERE could be no more potent way to underscore President George Bush's message to Congress that America's safety is at stake in the decision on future ...
Strategy in Iraq Waiting for the general (and a miracle) Economist
Bush "Plays (!) for October" and Dems Will Be Snookered (Again) in ...

Huffington Postall 911 news articles »

Is neo-conservatism dead?Taipei Times, Taiwan - Sep 4, 2007By Stephen Eric Bronner Neo-conservatism has served as a badge of unity for those in the administration of US President George W. Bush who advocate an ...

Pentagon lost track of warheadsNorman Transcript, OK - 15 hours agoEven the Nixon Library is starting to sell George W. Bush coffee mugs. President Bush predicted in "Dead Certain" he will make a fortune on the lecture ...

Top general to back gradual cutBoston Globe, United States - 13 hours agoRand Beers, the president of the Washington-based National Security Network and a counterterrorism official under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush ...

Howard loss: Blow to BushAdelaidenow, Australia - Sep 5, 2007PRESIDENT George W. Bush's extraordinary intervention into the Australian electoral landscape yesterday showed the true weight of the issues now in play.

U.S. DEPORTS PARENTS OF DEAD SOLDIERS

By Domenico Maceri, New America Media. Posted September 5, 2007.
One tenth of the U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq have been immigrants. But not all of their parents have qualified for green cards.

Three years after U.S. Army Private Armando Soriano, 20, died fighting in Haditha, Iraq, his father is facing deportation. Soriano is now buried in Houston, Tex., his hometown, where his parents, undocumented workers from Mexico, are currently living.

Before his death Soriano had promised his parents he'd help them get green cards. He only succeeded partially before losing his life. Although his mother was able to obtain a green card, his father did not qualify and is on the verge of being deported.

Enrique Soriano, Armando's father, is not the only person to have lost a son or daughter in the Iraq war and face deportation. There are more than three million people born in the U.S. with parents who came into the country illegally. Those born in the U.S. are automatically citizens and have all the rights and duties enjoyed by Americans. That includes military service with the possibility of losing one's life.

Losing a son or a daughter is always tragic. To try to compensate the families the U.S. government makes efforts to help. In the case of individuals with family members needing immigration help, officials assist them to obtain green cards. That's what happened with Soriano's mother. But in spite of governmental flexibility, certain rules prevent some people from qualifying.

Enrique Soriano had been formally deported in 1999 when he returned to Mexico for a brief visit. That makes him ineligible for any immigration benefits. Enrique Soriano is not alone.

Although exact figures are difficult to come by, many parents with sons and daughters who died in Iraq have been deported.

Official statistics show that more than 68,000 foreign-born military individuals are serving the U.S. How many of these individuals have relatives who do not have a legal right to be in the United States is not known. Figures from the National Center for Immigration Law show that one in 10 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq have been immigrants.

One estimate claims that five percent of those serving in the American military are illegal immigrants who joined with false papers. The military does not recruit illegal immigrants. Yet, given the shortages of volunteers, meeting quotas may put pressure to close some eyes. Illegal immigrants may feel that joining the military will help them and their families obtain legal papers in addition to other benefits.

Inevitably, some die in the process. The first soldier to die for the United States in the Iraq war was in fact Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

Enrique Soriano's case is also complicated by the fact that the rest of his family has a legal right to be in the U.S. His wife has a green card, three of their four kids are U.S. citizens, and another born in Mexico has applied for a green card. If Enrique is deported, the family will have to make the hard choice of going back or separating.

"I think it would be a travesty for these parents to be deported after their son died in Iraq fighting for his country," stated Congressman Gene Green, D-Houston. The congressman introduced a bill in the House, which would help Enrique Soriano obtain a green card. Nothing has happened yet.

Earlier this year President George Bush commuted the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff. In so doing, the President spared Libby two and a half years in prison for his conviction for lying to federal investigators. The President cited Libby's "exceptional public service" and prior lack of a criminal record as explanation for his action. He concluded that Libby's sentence was "excessive" and the punishment "harsh."

In light of the sacrifice made by Armando Soriano, one wonders whether deporting his father is a far more "excessive" and "harsh" punishment?

See more stories tagged with: iraq, deportation

Domenico Maceri, Ph.D, teaches foreign languages at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California.

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http://www.kenpeterscenter.com/dry.htm

WHAT'S A "DRY DRUNK"?

"Dry drunk" is a term describing the state of the alcoholic who is uncomfortable when he is not drinking. "Dry" simply refers to the fact that there is abstinence, while "drunk" signifies a deeply pathological condition resulting from the use of alcohol in the past.
The "dry drunk syndrome" is a group of symptoms that occur together and constitute an abnormality. Since the abnormality of the alcoholic's attitudes and behavior during his drinking career is generally recognized, the persistence of these traits after the alcoholic stops drinking might seem equally abnormal. Therefore, the term "dry-drunk" alludes to the absence of favorable change in the attitudes and behavior of the alcoholic who is not drinking.

"Dry Drunk" Traits:

Grandiose behavior

Pomposity

Exaggerated self-importance

A rigidly judgmental outlook

Impatience

Childish behavior

Irresponsible behavior

Irrational rationalization

Projection

Overreaction

Not Drinking, But Not 'Of Sober Mind' Either

Unfortunately when many former drinkers go through the grieving process over the loss of their old friend, the bottle, some never get past the anger stage.

It is a very real loss. The drink has been their friend for many years and one they could count on. When the whole world turned against them, the bottle never let them down. It was always there ready for the good times, the celebrations, the parties, as well as the sad, mad, and lonely times, too.

Finally their old friend let them down... they got in trouble with the law, lost a job or career, almost lost their family, or the doctors told them they had to stop drinking... whatever the reason, the circumstances of their life brought them to the point where they made a decision to say "so long" to the bottle.

Whether they realized it or not, they began the stages of grieving -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- the same stages most people go through when they have a great loss in their lives or have been told they have a terminal illness.

First comes the denial -- it's really not that big a deal, I've always said I could quit anytime -- and then the anger and depression when they realize just how much that had come to depend on their old friend alcohol.

Many make it through the process to the final stage -- accepting the loss, learning and growing through the experience, and moving on.

Some never make it.

It's sad to see them, sometimes many years later, still stuck in their anger, bitterness, and resentment at having to make the change in their lives. They haven't had a drink in years, but they have also never had a "sober" day.

You even see them in the 12-step rooms... been in the program for years and years and their lives seem to be a constant unmanageable struggle. All those years and they have no more of a spiritual awakening than they did the first time they walked into the room.

"Dry Drunk" has been described as "A condition of returning to one's old alcoholic thinking and behavior without actually having taken a drink." Or as one wise old drunk put it, if a horse thief goes into A.A. what you can end up with is a sober horse thief.

Or a personal favorite: you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!

Those who quit drinking but are still angry about it, wind up living miserable lives and usually make everyone else around them miserable too. If it has been said once in an Al-Anon meeting, it has been whispered thousands of times, "I almost wish he would go back to drinking."

Okay, I Don't Like It, Now What?

The simple answer to that question is to find something that you do like, but that is not always as easy as it sounds.

There is a theory that in order to fully recover from the effects of alcoholism, the alcoholic must replace the obsessive behaviors in his life with their spiritual opposites. Frankly, there are those who believe that without such spiritual help from a power greater than themselves, true recovery is impossible.

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has championed this theory for many years to millions of "hopeless drunks" who are now living happy and sober lives. It's hard to argue with that record of success.

But beyond the spiritual side of recovery, there are other steps that can be taken to help make life fun again, without alcohol:

Develop a hobby. Take up gardening, start or expand a collection, build something, go fishing, or learn how to develop your own web pages! Try to find some activity to fill those leisure hours that you used to spend drinking.

Get healthy. All those years of drinking probably took some toll on your physical health. Join the YMCA, take up an exercise program or jogging, or play a sport. Get on some kind of regular (daily) improvement routine.

Improve your mind. It's never too late to learn new things. Get a library card, take a continuing education class, improve your job skills, or surf the 'Net.

Spend time with your family. Maybe you can't replace all those times that you neglected your wife and children while you were in the barrooms, but you can make a new start. Take your wife out to her favorite place, take the kids or grandchildren to the park, or start a project in which the entire family can participate.

Life doesn't have to be a miserable experience just because you quit drinking. There's a whole world out there for you to explore and learn about.

By Michael O’McCarthy

Don't miss Michael O'McCarthy on the Alan Colmes Radio Program, Friday August 25th at 10:30 PM EST. Listen on the Internet. Alan Colmes Website. Sirius Channel 145.

The question is always on the mind of those observing George W. Bush with a critical eye: Why does he behave the way he does? Why does it seem that he can’t keep track of his own message in speeches and press conferences? Why does he seem to be able not to answer a simple, logical question? Why does he at times seem fuzzy and out of sorts?

Why do 51% of a cross section of Americans polled refer to him as "arrogant, stubborn," and "trigger happy?"

Why has he chosen an attitude of “my way or the highway” towards all who disagree with or oppose his policies? What was the nature of his obsession with Saddam Hussein? Why did he skewer the truth to fit the need of this obsession and lead the United States to a war that could have been avoided?

Is he a pawn of a right wing imperial cartel? Or is he just simply not very smart; just in over his head; the beneficiary of his patriarch father’s brokering? Or has he truly been inspired by a word from God to lead the United States and the world to a new World Order?

We, the authors, have come to a more simple, yet complex reason as noted in the articles attached below. We forward these works so that you may draw your own conclusions and we ask that you use or forward it to all those you think may wish to do the same.

The Authors.

After extensive research, drawing on biographical records, speeches, public appearances, and other reliable sources and means of inquiry, it is my conclusion as well as Michael Bisbort and Dr. Katherine van Wormer that George W. Bush, the President and Commander in Chief of the United States of America, has all the characteristics of what is known in popular alcoholic recovery parlance as the “Dry Drunk Syndrome.”

This is our conclusion, not our political or partisan "opinion." It is based upon medical, behavioral, physical, psychological empirical evidence which we will document in this book, The Dry Drunk, Alcoholism and George W. Bush. We will also explain why we have reached this conclusion, as well as present our findings. Finally, we will explain why our findings present a clear and present danger for the nation and the rest of the world.

We the authors, unknown to each other two years ago, arrived at this same conclusion separately. Our writings on this subject, which appeared in the Irish Times, In These Times, CounterPunch, and the American Politics Journal, collectively reached millions of people around the world and generated unprecedented feedback, as well as television and radio appearances.

One Web site, for example, registered two million “hits” on Dr. Van Wormer’s original article, “Addiction, Brain Damage and the President. It was obvious to us that our message resonated with people beyond all expectations. It was, therefore, obvious to us that we should combine our three disparate perspectives—and unanimous conclusions—in the form of a book that would offer readers a readable synthesis of our findings.

Throughout his adolescence, college and post-graduate years, George W. Bush was known for his less than serious approach to life and his lack of ambition to live up to his august family name. Despite gaining entrance to some of the finest private schools in the country, he made lousy grades and has been described by those who knew him as “fun-loving,” a “party boy” and “the life of the party.” It is now known, from all available accounts that George W. Bush screwed up publicly, royally and regularly, as a rebuke to the family name.

All of this stopped, however, when it became obvious he had a political career ahead of him. At that point, one of the most sophisticated act of revisionist history since the Soviet Union took place in America—as the public record of George W. Bush's many misdeeds were expunged, went missing, were hidden in presidential lock boxes and secure facilities, kept out of reach of public scrutiny.

Despite this intense campaign, orchestrated by a former head of the CIA and U.S. President (his father) and the family's many rich and powerful minions, we do know about at least two DUI's, some cocaine use, an abortion, AWOL (perhaps even desertion), bankruptcy, crooked deals with Middle Eastern oil barons and shady real estate transactions that accompanied his part ownership of a Major League Baseball franchise.

What we don't know about George W. Bush's past, and probably never will fully know, would probably fill a separate rap sheet.

Though the people who see George W. Bush as a great, even a God-chosen, leader will disagree, our book is not written as a means to itemize a fallible human's mistakes for ridicule or to score political points. It is to point to something much deeper about George W. Bush—something residing at the very core of his being—and to warn our nation about it. Thus, the application of the "dry drunk" term, one that is not issued lightly or flippantly.

The term "dry drunk" is a commonly used, slang-like expression for a phenomenon well known to the recovering alcoholic community and treatment professionals. The dry drunk no longer drinks, yet his or her thinking is clouded in certain respects from years of drinking (and use of other drugs). Although the phenomenon has been observed and reported at least over the last century, the physiological basis has only been known in recent years. Thanks to advanced technologies such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI's), scientists can now see the brain at work and also measure brain damage.

The addicted brain, as the former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has said, is a changed brain. There is also evidence that through hard cognitive work, the brain can heal itself. Thus many recovering alcoholics have a new lease on life, they become "weller than well." Many others are dry but they are not truly sober, because there are flaws in their thinking; their behavior goes to extremes.

This work, through an assessment of his publicly uttered and widely reported words and deeds, argues that George W. Bush displays the classic pattern of the dry drunk--the black and white thinking, the rigidity, self-will run riot, defiance for those who oppose him and denial of facts presented to him.

Our case is bolstered not only by this analysis of the facts of Bush's biography but also by insights provided in the wealth of letters, responses to the original four articles, that came from all over the country, indeed, the world, and from persons in numerous occupations including substance abuse counseling and psychology, persons with or without personal experience with addiction.

The authors know from firsthand experience that the havoc that can be wreaked on family, friends and communities by an active, or dry, drunk can no longer remain quiet. We have never lost sight of the fact that George W. Bush has the fate of all of us—Americans and a good argument could be made for the rest of the world—in his shaky hands.

Millions of Americans have been touched, in some way, by the national scourge of alcoholism and the behaviors and symptoms are nearly identical to those brought to the floor of almost every Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or group therapy session, on a daily basis.

After more than 20 years of heavy drinking and other substance abuse, George W. Bush has claimed to be "cured" of the compulsion to drink by prayer. While we would like to take him at his word, we are familiar enough with the pathological symptoms of the disease of alcoholism and that of alcoholics, (the primary victim-actors of this disease, whether wet or dry), to recognize nearly every one of those symptoms in his own behavior and actions since taking the Oath of Office at the 43rd President of the United States.

We will document precisely those symptoms and related actions and show how they have put his nation in harm's way.

If our readers can think of it no other way, we recommend that they think of it like this (and we suggest that this text be included on the dust cover of the book): You are sitting in the backseat of a car being driven twice the speed limit-in the wrong direction-by someone whose mental faculties and reflexes are impaired. Think of what you would do, as a responsible adult, in that situation. You would, of course, ask the driver to pull over and get someone else to drive the car.

And when you reached your destination, you would get that person the help they need.
Or think of yourself as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chairperson of the Board begins to institute a policy of “my way or the highway” or “you are either with me or against me.” The results of which attitudes and behaviors are driving the company into bankruptcy and causing an unacceptable number of job related injuries and death and the outspoken disdain of the international marketplace.

The obvious action is that you would minimally refer the Chairperson to Human Relations for a mental health examination, or terminate his or her employment with the company. That is the situation America is in right now.

We request that you read and share with those that you believe will respond to the issue raised.

Dry Drunk: Is Bush making a cry for help?

Addiction, Brain Damage and the President

George W. Bush and alcoholism

Why does George Bush think and act the way he does?

George W. Bush, alcoholism, and the dry drunk syndrome

March 10, 2003

CONTRIBUTOR ARCHIVES

Is Bush a "Dry Drunk"? This is a Serious, Not Just a Provocative Question

BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARYby Michael O'McCarthy

In a March 7th Bush Commentary, you note:

"Jack Beatty in the Atlantic Monthly: Beatty suggests ... Bush's apparent belief that God has appointed him to lead a global crusade against evil.

"He writes, 'If this is what Bush believes, if his talk of Armageddon is not just catnip for the religious right, then he is in a fair way to becoming the American Ayatollah.

"'Bush's belief in God is based on his personal narrative of divine salvation as a recovering alcoholic. He once told members of the clergy, 'There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God.'"

First, I highly suggest that the two previous articles noted in my piece GEORGE W. and ALCOHOLISM as published In Counterpunch be read. Michael O'McCarthy: Bush and Alcoholism (Counterpunch - October 19, 2002)

There is nothing, absolutely nothing to indicate in the lifestyle of George Bush that he is a "recovered" alcoholic. (As indicated above, Bush explicitly implies that he is alcoholic.)

Secondly, recovery means more than that Bush is no longer plagued by the gross symptoms of the disease of alcoholism, i.e., being unable to stop drinking. Nor does it mean simply being relieved of the mental obsession to drink.

Those two effects in the alcoholic can and often are present in what is called "the dry drunk." As indicated in the mentioned articles the "dry drunk" functions upon "self will," or by "willpower" to resist the inherent urge to use alcohol (and other mind altering chemicals), in order to cope with day to day life. What often occurs is that the "dry drunk" finds another obsession.

In some of the more "willful" cases, the dry drunk internalizes a concept of "God's Will" to justify willful behavior. This mental obsession that the alcoholic now is possessed with the knowledge of God's Will allows the unrecovered alcoholic to justify ego driven, highly aggressive attitudes and behaviors in the face of opposition of life on life's terms. Using this God Given mandate, the unrecovered alcoholic is driven by a form of "self will run riot" that becomes not only dangerous to the alcoholic, but to all those the alcoholic affects in the daily course of life.

The obsessive nature of mental component of the disease of alcoholism is well noted. The alcoholic will go to any length to get the drugs they need. Conversely, the alcoholic who does not enter a collective program of recovery, (for example as found in 12 Step Programs), where their attitudes and behaviors are contrasted with, confronted by, or helped by those of other recovering, become more and more convinced of the righteousness of their behavior and only surround their lives with those who support, or enable them. Much like the practicing alcoholic who only associates with those that drink the same or who enable them to drink alcoholically. It is one way of saying: "You are either with me or against me."

President George W. Bush shows every sign of a mental obsession that is rendering him dysfunctional. This obsession that he alone is right in his view of the world is driven by the complex ingredients of egomania and inferiority symptomatic to that found in the medical diagnostic description of the illness of alcoholism.

A simple real world analogy would be to see Bush as the Chairman of the Board of an international corporation whose majority members were opposed to his policies. In like circumstances, should he persist, as he is doing now, he would either be forced to resign or be fired, and/or, the Human Resources department would be called in to require mental health counseling.

Michael O'McCarthy

BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY

Also see Michael 0'McCarthy's article entitled "George W. and Alcoholism" at http://www.counterpunch.com/mccarthy1019.html

Katherine van Wormer: Bush and Dry Drunk Syndrome

"Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush. by KATHERINE van WORMER. Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article "Dry Drunk" ...
www.counterpunch.org/wormer1011.html - 30k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Radio Left :: George W. Bush, alcoholism, and the dry drunk syndrome
Radio Left. Now in our 6th year driving the right-wing nuts. Internet talk radio for liberals and Democrats with a liberal blogging community to express ...blog.radioleft.com/blog/_archives/2006/8/25/2264423.html - 5k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Radio Left :: George W. Bush, alcoholism, and the dry drunk syndrome - 10:52pm
Why should we be concerned about George W Bush and the dry drunk syndrome and not Ted Kennedy? Well, the answer is so simple it is almost not worth pointing ...blog.radioleft.com/blog/MichaelOMcCarthy/_archives/2006/8/25/2264423.html - 61k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush - Everywhere - tribe.net
Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush: Reviews and ratings for Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush in Everywhere.www.tribe.net/recommendation/Dry-Drunkquot-Syndrome-and-George-W-Bush/cf89f9fb-4557-4316-9a41-1720c696f41c - 43k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Is George W. a "Dry Drunk"?
What is the dry drunk syndrome? "Dry drunk" traits consist of: ... Clearly, George W. Bush has all these traits except exaggerated self-importance. ...hnn.us/articles/1434.html - 23k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

American Politics Journal -- Dry Drunk
Dry Drunk Is Bush making a cry for help? by Alan Bisbort ... Whether George W. Bush is or was an alcoholic is not the point here. ...www.americanpolitics.com/20020924Bisbort.html - 20k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

iFlipFlop: George Bush's dry drunk syndrome
This has made the rounds for a few years, but the application of dry drunk syndrome to George Bush's behavior is more pertinent than ever. ...www.iflipflop.com/2004/10/george-bushs-dry-drunk-syndrome.html - 20k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

lies.com » Bush the “Dry Drunk”
First, Alan Bisbort writes: Dry Drunk: Is Bush Making a Cry for Help?. Next comes “Dry Drunk” Syndrome and George W. Bush, by Katherine van Wormer. ...www.lies.com/wp/2003/03/10/bush-the-dry-drunk/ - 31k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Is Bush a "Dry Drunk"? This is a Serious, Not Just a Provocative ... - 10:53pm
What often occurs is that the "dry drunk" finds another obsession. ... President George W. Bush shows every sign of a mental obsession that is rendering him ...www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/03/10_drunk.html - 22k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Dry drunk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dry drunk is a term used, often disparagingly, by members of Alcoholics Anonymous ... Dry Drunk Syndrome Minnesota Recovery Pages; Dry Drunk definition at ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_drunk - 20k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Interactivist Info Exchange Katherine Van Wormer, "George W ...
'Dry Drunk' Syndrome and George W. Bush" by Katherine van Wormer October 11, 2002. [Katherine van Wormer is a Friend (Quaker), Professor of Social Work at ...info.interactivist.net/article.pl?mode=nested&sid=02/11/09/236208&tid=19 - 37k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Michael O'McCarthy: Bush and Alcoholism
Katherine van Wormer states in her Counterpunch article that "dry drunk" traits consist of: ... Dry Drunk Syndrome and George W. Bush. Jerre Skog ...www.counterpunch.org/mccarthy1019.html - 26k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

A Formal Intervention with a Dry Drunk President
George W. Bush, over his lifetime, has gone from one extreme-extensive and ... (See "the dry drunk syndrome" on google.) We now know that once the heavy ...www.commondreams.org/views06/1230-21.htm - 17k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

George W. Bush: The Madness in His Method
Elsewhere, Alan Bisbort and I, in articles on Bush as a dry drunk, ... are the leading characteristics of what AA folks call the dry drunk syndrome. ...www.commondreams.org/views04/0702-13.htm - 15k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this


The DSM and the Mental Illness of George W. Bush. - 10:54pm
"Dry Drunk" Syndrome - Alan Bisbort and Katherine van Wormer on Addiction, Brain Damage and President George W. Bush. What is a "Dry Drunk" and why do some ...members.cruzio.com/~zdino/writings/mentalHealthOfGWBush.htm - 76k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

03.11.drydrunk
As I wrote in "'Dry drunk' syndrome and G.W. Bush" [11/15/02 TPP] "dry ... In a speech at Tufts University, George Bush Senior emphasized the need for the ...www.populist.com/03.11.drydrunk.html - 7k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Untitled Document
Addiction, Brain Damage and the President: "Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush. Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article ...www.rcssp.org/sp31kvwdrydrunk.htm - 16k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

BRAIN CHEMISTRY / The Serotonin Factor / Bush's 'dry drunk' thinking
Consider the most commonly delineated traits of irrational thinking known as "dry-drunk syndrome" and how closely they match Bush's personality ...sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/05/25/IN226761.DTL - 48k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

George W. Bush substance abuse controversy - Wikipedia, the free ...
In Addiction, Brain Damage and the President: "Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush (Katherine van Wormer, CounterPunch, October 11, 2002), ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_substance_abuse_controversy - 43k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

dry drunks
George Bush displays a lot of characteristics of the dry drunk syndrome. Actually, he has all the attributes of a using alcoholic: projecting, denying, ...www.beforetheflood.co.uk/jan05/mind.html - 11k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

bad food but plenty of it: George W Bush is a DRY DRUNK! - 10:56pm
George W Bush is a DRY DRUNK! The phrase "dry drunk" has two significant ... and wishful thinking are very much in evidence in the dry drunk syndrome as the ...rhio9.blogspot.com/2007/02/george-w-bush-is-dry-drunk.html - 75k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

- NONE SO BLIND-
someone finally has got it right about george w bush. when are we going to .... Bush has long exhibited the symptoms of the dry-drunk syndrome: slurring of ...www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=412 - 35k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

e.thePeople : Article : Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the ...
0 members and 1 guest are on "Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American ... "Dry Drunk Syndrome" posted 06/09, by louzke (viewed : 540) ...www.e-thepeople.org/article/19902/view?viewtype=best - 40k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Does Bush have Pre-Senile Demensia? - Unexplained Mysteries ...
This is consistent with George Bush's younger days. There are related conditions like "dry drunk syndrome" and this whole area includes some other ...www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=92417 - 119k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

The Free Press -- Independent News Media - National Issues
... and brave pieces on George W. Bush's relationship to alcohol, Dry Drunk by ... Brain Damage and the President, "Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush ...freepress.org/departments/display/20/2003/447 - 22k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Daily Kos :: Diaries
In the vernacular, George Bush's problem is "wet brain" or "dry drunk syndrome" and it's not all that rare. People in the media will not touch this topic ...chicagobruce.dailykos.com/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Bush Pre-senile Dementia Video
Bush Pre-senile Dementia Video. The big story - "a striking decline in his ... for earlier-than-normal cognitive declines (probably "dry-drunk syndrome"). ...www.informationclearinghouse.info/video1019.htm - 8k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Greater Democracy » Blog Archive » Is the President a Dry Drunk?
Is the President a Dry Drunk? By: Dana Blankenhorn. It’s a tough question that grew more urgent to me yesterday, when I watched George W. Bush comparing ...www.greaterdemocracy.org/archives/400 - 26k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Armageddon Buffet: The "Dry Drunk" President
Here at the conclusion of George W. Bush's four years as president, ... however, it is obvious that W. remains a "dry drunk" -- one who has stopped using ...www.angelfire.com/wizard2/armbuff/drydrunk.html - 23k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Letters: Bush plan: Sleep well, send more troops? - Salon
From George W Bush? Impossible. He cannot even speak coherently with his ... In layman's terms, it's called "Dry Drunk Syndrome." Bush is a dry drunk. ...letters.salon.com/politics/war_room/2006/12/15/iraq2/view/index.html - 35k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

OUR PRESIDENT HAS A SERIOUS PERSONAL PROBLEM. HE IS EXHIBITING ALL THE SIGNS OF A DRY ALCOHOLIC IN TROUBLE.DEEP TROUBLE!

Reposted in part from:
http://precinctmaster.blogspot.com/2007/01/our-president-has-serious-problem.html 01/06
DRY DRUNK SYNDROME
From Buddy T,Your Guide to Alcoholism & Substance Abuse.FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
NOT DRINKING, BUT NOT 'OF SOBER MIND' EITHERUnfortunately when many former drinkers go through the grieving process over the loss of their old friend, the bottle, some never get past the anger stage.

It is a very real loss. The drink has been their friend for many years and one they could count on. When the whole world turned against them, the bottle never let them down. It was always there ready for the good times, the celebrations, the parties, as well as the sad, mad, and lonely times, too.

Finally their old friend let them down... they got in trouble with the law, lost a job or career, almost lost their family, or the doctors told them they had to stop drinking... whatever the reason, the circumstances of their life brought them to the point where they made a decision to say "so long" to the bottle.

Whether they realized it or not, they began the stages of grieving -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- the same stages most people go through when they have a great loss in their lives or have been told they have a terminal illness.

First comes the denial -- it's really not that big a deal, I've always said I could quit anytime -- and then the anger and depression when they realize just how much that had come to depend on their old friend alcohol.

Many make it through the process to the final stage -- accepting the loss, learning and growing through the experience, and moving on.

Some never make it. It's sad to see them, sometimes many years later, still stuck in their anger, bitterness, and resentment at having to make the change in their lives. They haven't had a drink in years, but they have also never had a "sober" day.

You even see them in the 12-step rooms... been in the program for years and years and their lives seem to be a constant unmanageable struggle. All those years and they have no more of a spiritual awakening than they did the first time they walked into the room.

"Dry Drunk" has been described as "A condition of returning to one's old alcoholic thinking and behavior without actually having taken a drink." Or as one wise old drunk put it, if a horse thief goes into A.A. what you can end up with is a sober horse thief. Or a personal favorite: you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!

Those who quit drinking but are still angry about it, wind up living miserable lives and usually make everyone else around them miserable too. If it has been said once in an Al-Anon meeting, it has been whispered thousands of times, "I almost wish he would go back to drinking."
Okay, I Don't Like It, Now What?

The simple answer to that question is to find something that you do like, but that is not always as easy as it sounds.

There is a theory that in order to fully recover from the effects of alcoholism, the alcoholic must replace the obsessive behaviors in his life with their spiritual opposites. Frankly, there are those who believe that without such spiritual help from a power greater than themselves, true recovery is impossible.

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has championed this theory for many years to millions of "hopeless drunks" who are now living happy and sober lives. It's hard to argue with that record of success.

But beyond the spiritual side of recovery, there are other steps that can be taken to help make life fun again, without alcohol:

Develop a hobby. Take up gardening, start or expand a collection, build something, go fishing, or learn how to develop your own web pages! Try to find some activity to fill those leisure hours that you used to spend drinking. The Presidency is not a good hobby!

Get healthy. All those years of drinking probably took some toll on your physical health. Join the YMCA, take up an exercise program or jogging, or play a sport. Get on some kind of regular (daily) improvement routine.

Improve your mind. It's never too late to learn new things. Get a library card, take a continuing education class, improve your job skills, or surf the 'Net.

Spend time with your family. Maybe you can't replace all those times that you neglected your wife and children while you were in the barrooms, but you can make a new start. Take your wife out to her favorite place, take the kids or grandchildren to the park, or start a project in which the entire family can participate.

Life doesn't have to be a miserable experience just because you quit drinking. There's a whole world out there for you to explore and learn about.

Updated: August 11, 2006

WHAT'S A "DRY DRUNK"?

"Dry drunk" is a term describing the state of the alcoholic who is uncomfortable when he is not drinking. "Dry" simply refers to the fact that there is abstinence, while "drunk" signifies a deeply pathological condition resulting from the use of alcohol in the past.

The "dry drunk syndrome" is a group of symptoms that occur together and constitute an abnormality. Since the abnormality of the alcoholic's attitudes and behavior during his drinking career is generally recognized, the persistence of these traits after the alcoholic stops drinking might seem equally abnormal.

Therefore, the term "dry-drunk" alludes to the absence of favorable change in the attitudes and behavior of the alcoholic who is not drinking.

"DRY DRUNK" TRAITS:

GRANDIOSE BEHAVIOR AND POMPOSITY
EXAGGERATED SELF-IMPORTANCE
A RIGIDLY JUDGMENTAL OUTLOOK
IMPATIENCE
CHILDISH BEHAVIOR
IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR
IRRATIONAL RATIONALIZATION
PROJECTION
OVER REACTION

ADDICTION, BRAIN DAMAGE AND THE PRESIDENT

"Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush

by KATHERINE van WORMER

Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article "Dry Drunk" - - Is Bush Making a Cry for Help? in American Politics Journal by Alan Bisbort, I was ready to concede, in the case of George W. Bush, the phrase may be quite apt.

Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes.

It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush's speeches that I began to wonder.

First there were the terms-- "crusade" and "infinite justice" that were later withdrawn.

Next came "evil doers," "axis of evil," and "regime change", terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media.

Something about the polarized thinking and the obsessive repetition reminded me of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated. (A point worth noting is that because of the connection between addiction and "stinking thinking," relapse prevention usually consists of work in the cognitive area).

Having worked with recovering alcoholics for years, I flinched at the single-mindedness and ego- and ethnocentricity in the President's speeches. (My husband likened his phraseology to the gardener character played by Peter Sellers in the movie, Being There).

Since words are the tools, the representations, of thought, I wondered what Bush's choice of words said about where he was coming from. Or where we would be going.
First, in this essay, we will look at the characteristics of the so-called "dry drunk;" then we will see if they apply to this individual, our president; and then we will review his drinking history for the record. What is the dry drunk syndrome? "Dry drunk" traits consist of:

· EXAGGERATED SELF-IMPORTANCE AND POMPOSITY
· GRANDIOSE BEHAVIOR
· A RIGID, JUDGMENTAL OUTLOOK
· IMPATIENCE
· CHILDISH BEHAVIOR
· IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR
· IRRATIONAL RATIONALIZATION
· PROJECTION
· OVER REACTION

Clearly, George W. Bush has all these traits except exaggerated self importance. He may be pompous, especially with regard to international dealings, but his actual importance hardly can be exaggerated. His power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of the world will collapse with him.

Unfortunately, there are some indications of paranoia in statements such as the following: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends." The trait of projection is evidenced here as well, projection of the fact that we are ready to attack onto another nation which may not be so inclined.

Bush's rigid, judgmental outlook comes across in virtually all his speeches. To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in almost a Biblical sense. Consider his statement with reference to Israel: "Look my job isn't to try to nuance. I think moral clarity is important... this is evil versus good."

Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality is not on the Internet list above, but it should be, as this tendency to polarize is symptomatic of the classic addictive thinking pattern.

I describe this thinking distortion

Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective as either/or reasoning-- "either you are with us or against us." Oddly, Bush used those very words in his dealings with other nations. All-or-nothing thinking is a related mode of thinking commonly found in newly recovering alcoholics/addicts. Such a worldview traps people in a pattern of destructive behavior.

Obsessive thought patterns are also pronounced in persons prone to addiction. There are organic reasons for this due to brain chemistry irregularities; messages in one part of the brain become stuck there. This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts. President Bush seems unduly focused on getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ("he tried to kill my Dad") leading the country and the world into war, accordingly.

Grandiosity enters the picture as well. What Bush is proposing to Congress is not the right to attack on one country but a total shift in military policy: America would now have the right to take military action before the adversary even has the capacity to attack. This is in violation, of course, of international law as well as national precedent. How to explain this grandiose request? Jane Bryant Quinn provides the most commonly offered explanation in a recent Newsweek editorial, "Iraq: It's the Oil, Stupid."

Many other opponents of the Bush doctrine similarly seek a rational motive behind the obsession over first, the war on terror and now, Iraq. I believe the explanation goes deeper than oil, that Bush's logic is being given too much credit; I believe his obsession is far more visceral.
On this very day, a peace protestor in Portland held up the sign, "Drunk on Power."

This, I believe, is closer to the truth. The drive for power can be an unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself. Senator William Fulbright, in his popular bestseller of the 1960s, The Arrogance of Power, masterfully described the essence of power-hungry politics as the pursuit of power; this he conceived as an end in itself. "

The causes and consequences of war may have more to do with pathology than with politics," he wrote, "more to do with irrational pressures of pride and pain than with rational calculation of advantage and profit."

Another "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush is far from a patient man: "If we wait for threats to fully materialize," he said in a speech he gave at West Point, "we will have waited too long." Significantly, Bush only waited for the United Nations and for Congress to take up the matter of Iraq's disarmament with extreme reluctance.

Alan Bisbort argues that Bush possesses the characteristics of the "dry drunk" in terms of: his incoherence while speaking away from the script; his irritability with anyone (for example, Germany's Schröder) who dares disagree with him; and his dangerous obsessing about only one thing (Iraq) to the exclusion of all other things.

In short, George W. Bush seems to possess the traits characteristic of addictive persons who still have the thought patterns that accompany substance abuse.

If we consult the latest scientific findings, we will discover that scientists can now observe changes that occur in the brain as a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these changes may be permanent. Except in extreme cases, however, these cognitive impairments would not be obvious to most observers.

To reach any conclusions we need of course to know Bush's personal history relevant to drinking/drug use. To this end I consulted several biographies. Yes, there was much drunkenness, years of binge drinking starting in college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and one arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas wreath. According to J.D. Hatfield's book, Fortunate Son,

Bush later explained:

"[A]lcohol began to compete with my energies....I'd lose focus." Although he once said he couldn't remember a day he hadn't had a drink, he added that he didn't believe he was "clinically alcoholic."

Even his father, who had known for years that his son had a serious drinking problem, publicly proclaimed: "He was never an alcoholic. It's just he knows he can't hold his liquor."
Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made the decision to abstain at age 40.

About this time he became a "born again Christian," going as usual from one extreme to the other.

During an Oprah interview, Bush acknowledged that his wife had told him he needed to think about what he was doing. When asked in another interview about his reported drug use, he answered honestly, "I'm not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years ago."
That there might be a tendency toward addiction in Bush's family is indicated in the recent arrests or criticism of his daughters for underage drinking and his niece for cocaine possession.

Bush, of course, deserves credit for his realization that he can't drink moderately, and his decision today to abstain. The fact that he doesn't drink moderately, may be suggestive of an inability to handle alcohol. In any case, Bush has clearly gotten his life in order and is in good physical condition, careful to exercise and rest when he needs to do so.

The fact that some residual effects from his earlier substance abuse, however slight, might cloud the U.S. President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the context of the current global crisis.One final consideration that might come into play in the foreign policy realm relates to Bush's history relevant to his father. The Bush biography reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to the exclusive private school in the East where his father's reputation as star athlete and later war hero were still remembered.

The younger George's achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically he could not achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as well.

He was popular and well liked, however. His military record was mediocre as compared to his father's as well. Bush entered the Texas National Guard. What he did there remains largely a mystery.

There are reports of a lot of barhopping during this period. It would be only natural that Bush would want to prove himself today, that he would feel somewhat uncomfortable following, as before, in his father's footsteps.

I mention these things because when you follow his speeches, Bush seems bent on a personal crusade. One motive is to avenge his father. Another seems to be to prove himself to his father.
In fact, Bush seems to be trying somehow to achieve what his father failed to do - - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the "evildoer" Saddam.

To summarize, George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call "the dry drunk."

His behavior is consistent with barely noticeable but meaningful brain damage brought on by years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use. All the classic patterns of addictive thinking that are spelled out in my book are here:

the tendency to go to extremes (leading America into a massive 100 billion dollar strike-first war);

A "KILL OR BE KILLED MENTALITY;

THE TUNNEL VISION;

I, AS OPPOSED TO "WE" THINKING;

THE BLACK AND WHITE POLARIZED THOUGHT PROCESSES (GOOD VERSUS EVIL, ALL OR NOTHING THINKING)."

HIS DRIVE TO FINISH HIS FATHER'S BATTLES IS OF NO SMALL SIGNIFICANCE, PSYCHOLOGICALLY.

If the public (and politicians) could only see what Fulbright noted as the pathology in the politics. One day, sadly, they will.Katherine van Wormer is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa Co-author of Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (2002). She can be reached at: Katherine.VanWormer@uni.edu

http://precinctmastereddickaublogindex.blogspot.com/

http://courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes.blogspot.com/2007/09/stepping-up-call-for-third-continental.html

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