The revival is full blown. George W. Bush is the reincarnationof Tommy, the deaf, dumb and blind kid of The Who’s”Pinball Wizard.”
I came to this realization the other day after reading about thedemise of Ahmad Chalabi, the intellectual impetus behind the Bushadministration’s regime-change approach to the War inIraq.
This Iraqi exile is most to blame for single-handedly plying thePentagon with fabricated information regarding Iraqi nuclearcapabilities and the infamous WMD, information for which he waspaid $335,000 per month by the Pentagon.
A data-starved administration, led by Tommy, blindly graspedonto this demagogue’s information and in the process made himrich and elevated him into a position to become Iraq’s newappointed leader.
At a cost of a reported $6 million, paid by you and me, Tommywas deaf to suggestions made by senior intelligence officials thatMr. Chalabi’s information was “useless at best, andmisleading at worst.” It served his purpose when there wasnothing else available.
“We was hoodwinked” is going to be the outcry fromTommy’s handlers in the coming days, but this will carry nopunch. Too many times have American presidents fallen totransparent (to the rest of the world) manipulation of megalomaniacforeign exiles interested solely in power and self-promotion.
The examples of Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, Haiti,Panama, Cuba (1933), Honduras, Somalia and many others render thisexcuse acceptable no more.
So now, at a time when his administration faces its biggestturmoil, Tommy is hoping to distance himself from his oldcounselor. Chalabi is no longer an asset but rather an encumbranceto Tommy’s re-election campaign and to the crumbling respectof the American military around the world.
This is a gargantuan departure for Chalabi, a man who occupiedthe seat of honor behind Laura Bush four months ago duringTommy’s State of the Union speech.
Chalabi himself is undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis.
After having his house ransacked last Thursday by a combinedAmerican/Iraqi police force, he has become Moses.
“My message is let my people go, let my people befree,” he said, and is now the staunchest opponent toAmerican presence in Iraq and to the Pentagon’s choices forleadership — now that he is a persona non-grata to Tommy and isnot in the running for the position of appointed overlord of thefiefdom of Iraq.
This is a far cry from an interview he gave to the BBC justthree days before when he said that “the Americans need tofinish the job and must remain in Iraq as long as isnecessary.”
Tommy’s shortcomings lie in his disregard for consequences-something for which he owes a debt of gratitude to Karl Rove, inhis dogged devotion to old patterns of intervention and in hisreliance on an aged and recycled ruling elite that makes up hiscabinet.
This approach comes with a high price tag for Tommy. During alunch gathering, Bill Stimson, advisor to The Easterner, predicteda landslide defeat of Tommy in the next presidential election. Ihereby announce that I subscribe to his point of view.
Such is the consequence to a president who rules by proxy.Tommy’s methodology is the epitome of delegating power tounderlings.
The problem is that, if underlings are incompetent,decision-making is compromised by below-standard performance.
Problems also arise when leadership is insulated from therealities by groupthink because the benefit of differentperspectives is extinct. And finally, problems arise wheninnovation is non-existent.
Without the benefit of creativity and forethought a decisive manis nothing more than impulsive, and these types make for dreadfulleaders.
How can we explain the absurdities?
The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the war on terror,the WMD excuse evaporated into nothingness and the situation ishopelessly spiraling down towards civil war. The only plan comingfrom Tommy is “stay the course.”
So we have people dying, a president who can’t stay on hisbicycle and a “clear strategy” for Iraq that is ablueprint of the Jewish/Palestine schema.
Not the deal we bargained for.