I just love to read Parade magazine, a supplement that is inserted, at least locally, into the LA Daily News Sunday edition. The very first page inside is filled with Personality Parade by one Walter Scott. It seems that this fellow, who seems unduly focused on that most superficial of America's creations, the "celebrity", feels knowledgeable enough to branch out into a bit of wee pop psychiatry. I'm not saying that he is very proficient at it, just that he thinks he is.
Witness the answer to a question from C. Barnes in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Barnes asks, "Before our war on terrorists began, how well did Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, the world's top terrorists, get along?"
Mr. Scott, digging deeply into his "intelligence sources", explains, "Not well at all, but they worked together on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Intelligence sources tells us Saddam encouraged attacks on U.S. targets because he harbors a deep resentment against George H.W. Bush, who created the coalition that defeated Iraq in the Gulf War. Our sources say Saddam figured the most effective way to punish the former President was to hurt his son, who now occupies the White House. It was a massive miscalculation. The recent outpouring of patriotic fervor pushed George W. Bush's popularity rating to more than 90%." ( 1 )
Let's look at this silly little propaganda piece a bit more closely, shall we?
First, exactly when did Hussein become one of the two leading terrorists? Which precise acts of terrorism is he accused of? In fact, other than his wars against the Kurds and Iran and Kuwait, what has done that he hasn't already been "punished" for?
Second, if Saddam detests Daddy Bush for anything, it would be the fact that, when Saddam went through the American ambassador in Iraq to ask about America's reaction should Iraq reclaim the Iraqi territory known after WW I as Kuwait, the reply was basically a diplomatic shrug. In fact, when questioned by reporters, US State Department spokes woman Margaret Tutweiller tells US reporters: "We do not have any defense treaties with Kuwait, and there are no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait."
April Glaspie, the American ambassador to Iraq, was instructed by Secretary of State Baker to pass the message to Hussein that, "We have no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. James Baker [US Secretary of State] has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction."
When Saddam actually invaded Kuwait, Bush's owners in Saudi Arabia and Israel and other Mid East nations came unglued. They were afraid that, contrary to Iraq's promise and the physical evidence that the only goal was the return of the oil fields in Kuwait to Iraqi control, that Hussein might continue invading the other neighboring oil rich nations. Suddenly, Bush forgot that his administration had given Iraq the green light for the invasion and fired April Glaspie in order to shift the blame to her from his own misguided and comatose administration.( 2 )
When Daddy Bush then organized his "coalition" and began the propaganda war that made such patently false claims as Iraqi soldiers having looted hospitals and dumped babies on the floor when the soldiers took their incubators (a charge leveled by a 15 year old girl later discovered to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States - a fact little noted nor reported by America's conservative media), Hussein had even more reason to hate Bush. The rest of the slaughter of Iraqi conscripts and hundreds of thousands of civilians during the war and nearly half a million children in the ten years following the war might have caused that hatred to continue to grow and fester.
I would also have to question just how reliable the "intelligence sources" might be for someone whose life is centered around the worship of simple celebrity fame. Does he regularly get briefed on the intricacies of foreign policy and political intrigue in the Mid East? In fact, considering his rather snappish attacks on what he seems to see as the "Liberals" among Hollywood types, is he even someone that the Rabid Right needs as a spokesman?
Finally, I do believe that history will prove a number of conceits wrong about the little moron. First and foremost will be the reality that, like that senile old fool Reagan before him, Bush is incapable of an intelligent thought and is completely ignorant of history and how it relates to current issues. It will be disclosed that his "handlers" were completely in charge of the nation and that even the Vice-President was incapable of executing his duties during the vast majority of his final year in office. Sadly, though, the American public is just as ignorant as Bush about history and its effects on today's crisis and has already have completely forgotten about the over throw of the American government in 2000. Undoubtedly, like Reagan and Nixon, the facts of their crimes will be long forgotten when the conservative media begins its "re-evaluation" of their administrations.
We return to our friend Mr. Scott and his Personality Parade the very next week. This time, his inability to recognize when he has pushed the limits of intelligent discussion beyond the borders of veracity is stunning.
The question, this time, comes from one S. Miller of New York, NY. He or she asks, "Was the marriage between Richard and Pat Nixon as cold and loveless as we've read?"
Our Mr. Scott replies, "Not according to Richard Reeves, author of the new book, President Nixon, Alone in the White House. 'It's true he communicated to Pat by memos, as he did with almost everybody,' Reeves tells us. 'But aides saw Nixon embrace his wife on Air Force One. Even more telling, he promised Pat he'd try to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court. When he didn't, and she wouldn't talk to him, he cared deeply."
My God! Where to begin?
Scott and Reeves apparently have the ability to see one thing and use that vision to prove that the exact opposite is thus true. Nixon communicated with his wife through memos. He embraced his wife, although the way that is stated it must have been such a rare or unique occurrence that his aides would comment on it. Finally, the fact that when he lied and broke a rather important promise to his wife and she stopped speaking to him, his marriage was neither cold nor loveless as reported because "he cared deeply."
Folks, how this conclusion can be reached using these facts exposes a stunning capacity for self-delusion on a scale seldom found in real life. To base an opinion that concludes a warm and loving relationship existed by relating three very cold and distant events is amazing in its silliness.
Nixon was a cold, calculating liar and criminal. His orders to bomb Hanoi on Christmas Eve was certainly not the act of a decent and caring human being. His expansion of the war in Vietnam after promising to end the war during both of his Presidential campaigns was the act of a born liar and the lowest kind of manipulation of the public's heart and soul that this nation had seen and wasn't equaled until Reagan began his infected stay in the Oval Office. ( 3 )
I realize that I'm using a sledge hammer to squash a cockroach here (I will always love that quote about impeaching Clinton). Mr. Scott is simply playing down to his conservative readers since down is the only direction that he is liable to find any. What roils my bubbles is the fact that his editors allow such silliness to ever see the printed page. They should limit him to his little tales of what gowns were worn by whom and who in Hollywood is backstabbing whom throughout the industry. In other words, his editors should limit him to the very fringes of real human society where he belongs rather than allow him to soil the national debate with his frivolous and worthless drivel.
Of course, one wouldn't have to look too far to find those who might say the same about me. The difference is, of course, that I have no editors to blame my bad taste and wretched prose on. Everything you read here is my fault or my glory. Whichever, I do have fun.
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