Careful Bush Watchers cannot read the latest Seymour Hersh piece without some real anxiety. Because we know that Bush is definitely capable of starting a nuclear war because he is oblivious to reality. Josh Marshall is a very careful Bush Watcher and now that he has had time to fully read Hersh's article, he is seriously worried.
But I have to say that in the actual reading I found the article a good deal more alarming than the advance billing suggested.
Perhaps Hersh is totally out to lunch on this issue and talked to all the wrong people. But given the subject matter and the sort of sources he cultivates, I doubt that. And if he's anywhere near right about his portrayal of the current thinking inside the Bush White House we're in a lot of trouble.
President Bush's dimwit megalomania seems to have survived the disaster of his Iraq adventure wholly intact.
Consider this passage ...
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was "absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb' if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do," and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy."
Takes your breath away, doesn't it?
Having carefully watched Bush for years now, I must say that having someone like Bush in charge of our nuclear weapons has been a personal nightmare and one of the main reasons I opposed the Iraq war before the first bombs dropped.
What I saw was a person with no limits. Here is what I wrote for Bill Keller on Feb 8, 2003 when he cheerfully jumped on the Liberal Hawk bandwagon having been conned by Colin Powell's performance before the UN.
The most dangerous thing about this administration is how closed it is to outside input, how sure it is that it has all the answers and how unwilling it is to listen to any points of view beyond their own. I don't understand how it is possible for anyone to feel comfortable with how decisions are made by this administration. They subvert science when it doesn't conform to their views. They subvert international treaties because they have no trust in relations and believe we can live in this world by ourselves. They propose budgets that are worse than a joke. And yet you think they can make a decision to go to war?
...The fact that there is no counterweight to secret government is precisely the reason we are more at risk than ever before. Now there is no check except regional courts which all can get checkmated by the Supreme Court. Besides the war, it is the most serious concern we have because as it has often been said:
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Mao started out as a person who was fighting for something bigger than himself. He ended up as one of the more extreme monsters the earth has known. If you look at what happened to him, he became totally convinced that he knew better than anyone else what was real and people stopped trying to correct his mis-impressions. And millions died when he decided he knew how to "improve the agriculture systems" by edicting that it would be 5x a reasonable goal. I don't think that he started out wanting to do such evil, but he did.
The biggest danger with this administration and the right-wing group in power is they do not let reality intrude in their deliberations.
I wrote this more than a year and a half before Ron Suskind confirmed that Bush "made his own reality" because it was obvious that Bush was already displaying his messianic tendencies. (Ah, yes, the "God made me do it" excuse.)
Folks, we have our very own Mao in charge of this country. Someone so divorced from reality that he seriously aspires to being the second person to purposely use nuclear weapons against other human beings. What can be done to stop him?