Tuesday, October 03, 2006

most guys just push their kids too hard in little league

Much has been made, and perhaps rightly so, about revelations in Bob Woodward’s latest, State of Denial, that detail an urgent July, 2001, meeting between CIA chief George Tenet, his Coordinator of Counterterrorism, J. Cofer Black, and then National Security Advisor Condi Rice (true, it’s more of the same—the Bush administration is incompetent at best, and likely was actively pushing aside warnings about an imminent al Qaeda attack—but I’m not averse to piling on when it comes to this point), but something else contained in Woodward’s book, something sent out in a teaser last week, has me just as, or maybe more, alarmed:

Woodward also reports that the president and vice president often meet with Henry Kissinger, who was President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, as an adviser. Says Woodward, “Now what’s Kissinger’s advice? In Iraq, he declared very simply, ‘Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.’” Woodward adds. “This is so fascinating. Kissinger’s fighting the Vietnam War again because, in his view, the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will.”

The idea that Bush and Cheney are taking their Iraq strategy cues from the architect of Nixon’s “Secret Plan™ to end the Vietnam War” (in reality, the carpet bombing of North Vietnam and Cambodia) is just about the worst case of making up for the shortcomings of a feckless youth that I’ve ever seen.

The President and Vice President—for all intents draft dodgers during the Vietnam War—are now out to prove they were not just candy-assed kids with good connections by re-enacting their Vietnam years with the lives of a new generation of American soldiers. And who’s their drill sergeant in this fantasy boot camp? Why it’s Mr. “Sideshow” himself, Hank Kissinger, out to prove that if it weren’t for the weak-kneed politicians of the Nixon era, he would not have “lost” to the Vietcong and their commie state sponsors.

Like I say in the headline, most dads are content to just ruin (in relative terms) the lives of their own kids—by pushing them too hard in one direction or another—in order to make up for their own perceived inadequacies, but that Bush, Cheney, and Kissinger are taking their frustrations out on an entire country by sacrificing the lives and limbs of thousands of other people’s the sons and daughters, well, it is not only a perfect illustration of the old axiom, “Those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”—or, better, this old axiom, “The sins of the father afflict unto the several generations”—it is one of the most odious and disturbing revelations in Woodward’s book.

(cross-posted over at Daily Kos)


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