When my friend received her Jan. 28 edition of Newsweek, she read the excerpt of a new book, The Bush Tragedy, with great interest. She phoned me and told me that I had to read it because 'it explains everything about the man.' It surely does.
The Newsweek excerpt is chilling in its starkness and honesty. For those of us who saw the weeping senior Bush at the termination of his other son's governorship of Florida, we now understand his tears more clearly. It is the tragedy of the son who became president.
The reasons that he went to war become more clear and most of us who were paying attention at the time were correct: vengeance in an twisted oedipal father-son tale. The ne'erdowell son tries to show his father that he is the better of the two.
The book title tells the end result.
Dick Cheney is painted differently than I had imagined: he seems not to be that marionette master that we often depict. It is Bush himself who made all of the calls, all of the tragic mistakes. Of course, the band of neocons that hung around in the White House were filling him with ideas and world-order platitudes, but it was Bush himself who crystallized the idea of a preemptive invasion, as vengeance for the supposed attempt by Saddam on the lives of his family- a fantasy that is still in doubt.
I take from this article not a smirk of 'I was right after all,' but a sadness that this man needed to play out his adolescent misgivings about himself and his father in a game of war that cost thousands of people their lives. I also fear the rest of his term in office; apparently he is getting worse, not better as the years roll by. He is an ill man.