Sunday, September 02, 2007

Robert Draper’s Looksee at the Prez

It may be that President Bush and his aides finally allowed Robert Draper to write a book about George W. Bush because Draper is a fellow-Texan and Draper said, according to the New York Times this morning, that he was writing about the Prez as ”a consequential president for history". It may even be that Draper’s intent in writing “Dead Certain”, which will be published this coming Tuesday, was to present a flattering albeit true picture of George W. Bush’s seven years as president. However, Draper agreed to share parts of his transcripts from those interviews, and the book itself, with the NYT under the agreement that they would not be published until shortly before the book is released. And the NYT has offered a few advance quick looks at the book’s content. Apparently the real George W. Bush is going to come through despite initial intentions. For example, Jim Ruttenberg’s article for the NYT (“In Book, Bush Peeks Ahead to His Legacy”) quotes Draper saying, “Sitting in an anteroom of the Oval Office, he eschewed the more formal White House menu for comfort food — a low-fat hotdog and ice cream — and bitingly told an aide who peeked in on the session that his time with Mr. Draper was ‘worthless anyway’.” Ruttenberg goes on to say, “But as Mr. Draper described it, and as the transcripts show, Mr. Bush warmed up considerably over the intervening interviews, chewing on an unlit cigar, jubilantly swatting at flies between making solemn points, propping his feet up on a table or stopping him at points to say emphatically, ‘I want you to get this’ or ‘I want this damn book to be right.’ “Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details of a meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on the future of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was among his closest advisers. Mr. Bush told Mr. Draper he had no recollection of it, but he said he disagreed with the implication that he regularly governed by staff vote. (According to Mr. Draper’s book, the vote was 7 to 4 for Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster, with Mr. Bush being one of the no votes. Mr. Rumsfeld stayed on months longer.)” Another clear snapshot of George W. Bush is the following: “Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”... But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.” President Bush doesn’t know what he knows or what he doesn’t know, he can’t differentiate in his mind what he did from what he didn’t do, what he said from what someone else said or who decided what. George W. Bush is an arrogant pompous little pretender with delusions of grandeur who has been allowed to think he is President of the United States. According to Draper, Bush said, “One interesting question historians are going to have to answer is: Would Saddam have behaved differently if he hadn’t gotten mixed signals between the first resolution and the failure of the second resolution?” Mr. Bush said. “I can’t answer that question. I was hopeful that diplomacy would work.” George W. Bush doesn’t even remember that he never was hopeful about diplomacy. Way, way late in the debacle in Iraq in 2005 Bush made a show of talking about diplomacy when Condi Rice was appointed Secretary of State but he and his minders never believed in diplomacy. They let Rice do the diplomacy bullshit. George Bush was hopeful about looking macho, marching into Iraq, throwing around some bombs and marching out looking macho and victorious. That’s it. Oh, and what does the president plan to do when his term is over? First, he told Robert Draper, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” (Bush’s assets are around $21 million.) “I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.” It’s true, President Bill Clinton has done well making speeches since his presidency ended. But then, people want to hear what Bill Clinton has to say.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

It appears to me more likely that Bush doesn't know ahead of time what lie will satisfy his interviewer, as opposed to not knowing what's going on. It's like a criminal whose story constantly changes, in fact I would say it's exactly that.