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Sunday, Meet the Pres.
MSNBC - Find "Meet the Press" in your area:
"Tulsa, OK - KJRH, 8:00 AM"
"Oklahoma City, OK ? KFOR, 10:00 AM"
I see five possible scenarios playing out:
1) Russert lobs a couple of "hardball" questions which Bush evades and Russert fails to follow up
2) Russert makes alot of menacing noises but sticks to softballs
3) Russert eats Bush for lunch and spits out a gooey glob of worthless president.
4) Russert throws the fastballs while Bush bunts for an hour and claims victory.
5) Russert goes for the jugular and Bush uses his impressive debating skills to defend his positions.
... and here are the odds as I see them:
I don't even know how to make odds! That's the best I could come up with! Can you think of any other possible scenarios or do you think something completely upredicatable will happen? Or do you think it will be a snorefest with Bush repeating "We're safer with Saddam in prison" over and over again like some sadistic tape loop?
I say it was an overwhelming win for scenario #1. Bush has started his campiagn. He riffed on his theme, Saddam was a madman, madmen must be stopped, I stopped him and we are at war.
Meet the Press: President George W. Bush
And the President of the United States? most solemn responsibility is to keep this country secure. And the man was a threat, and we dealt with him, and we dealt with him because we cannot hope for the best. We can't say, Let's don't deal with Saddam Hussein. Let's hope he changes his stripes, or let's trust in the goodwill of Saddam Hussein. Let's let us, kind of, try to contain him. Containment doesn't work with a man who is a madman.
This is a self contained arguement. You start with the premise that Saddam is a madman capable of anything. Once you assume that he is evil, and an irrational actor, then you can justify actions to destroy him. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Saddam was irrational. If you look at his behavior, it is murderous and criminal, but it fit the mold of a dictator intent on keeping a grip on power by murder and intimidation. If you actually take the trouble to read through the history of our involvement with Saddam, our support throught the Iran/Iraq war, the buildup to the first gulf war and the decade of sanctions you will see that Saddam, while a tyrannt, was acting in his own self-interest.
"Experts familiar with Mr. Hussein's upbringing and years in power said that there was no evidence that he suffered from psychosis or any severe mental illness. The very fact that he was able to stay in charge for so long and exert such complete control argues against insanity, the experts said."
They suggest that Saddam was more likely to be a malignant narcissist.
Malignant narcissism, as defined by psychiatrists, is a severe form of narcissistic personality disorder. Like classic narcissists, malignant narcissists are grandiose, self-centered, oversensitive to criticism and unable to feel empathy for others. They cover over deep insecurities with an inflated self-image.
Which reminds us of someone else.
"No President has ever done more for human rights than I have."
A good read about the general history of Saddam and the lead up to the first Gulf War can be found in this excellent report from Frontline. Fascinating is the analysis of Saddam and why he invaded Kuwait. Hint: It wasn't because he was insane..
SAMI RAHMAN, Former Iraqi Minister: Some people who have called him mad don't know anything about him, don't know anything about the situation. He is a very cold calculator, but he believes very much in using force to impose his will.
So we're splitting hairs? Saddam was tyrannical but not crazy. Why is that important? Because a madman would actually threaten or attack the United States, and a madman would give islamic terrorists nuclear weapons when they would just as likely use them against him, but a self important petty dictator will do whatever it takes to keep power.
So the rational view, one shared by many others in the Middle East was that Saddam was a brutal ruler who deserved to be overthrown, but NOT because he was a threat to the United States or any of his neighbors. For the best and most compelling arguement FOR THE WAR in Iraq listen to this interview with Hisham Kassem, publisher of the Cairo Times on Fresh Air. Starts about seven minutes in...
To me the issues of weapons of mass destruction was something I never really bought or went along with, I didn't think saddam had weapons or mass destruction or delivery systems.
But, you as well as I know the problems with this arguement. Would the american people support a war of intervention? Is it legal to invade and depose a dictator simply because he is a tyrannt? Without a threat, can there be war? Its incredibly dubious that you could sell this humanitarian rationale as part of a greater "war on terror".
... and lastly... here's my favorite WTF moment during the president's Meet the Press interview.
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it's important for us to deal with them.
I think it sums up the black and white world of the conservative mindset. You may be a conservative if you agree with this kind of thinking, I personally find it laughable. That amount of moral certainty is what makes people fear Bush. People who are that sure of themselves are often very, very ... very wrong.
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