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There's always been the frightening question of what would happen if a President of United States went completely bonkers. But there is an equally disturbing issue of what happens if a President loses touch with reality, especially if he is surrounded by enough sycophants and enablers so no one can or will stop him.
...Bush gave the country a peek into his imaginary world, a bizarre place impenetrable by facts and logic, where falsehoods, once stated, become landmarks and where Bush's "gut" instinct, no matter how misguided, is the compass for finding one's way.
"We tried the diplomacy," Bush said. "Remember it? We tried resolution after resolution after resolution." Though the resolutions had worked - and left Hussein stripped of his WMD arsenal - that isn't how it looks in Bush's world, where the resolutions failed and there was no choice but to invade.
At other news conferences, Bush has filled in details of his fictional history. For instance, on July 14, 2003, just a few months after the Iraq invasion, Bush began rewriting the record to meet his specifications.
"We gave him [Saddam Hussein] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power," Bush told reporters.
In the real world, of course, Hussein admitted U.N. inspectors in fall 2002 and gave them unfettered access to search suspected Iraqi weapons sites. It was Bush who forced the U.N. inspectors to leave in March 2003 so the invasion could proceed.
Over the past three years, Bush has repeated this false claim about the barred inspectors in slightly varied forms as part of his litany for defending the invasion on the grounds that it was Hussein who "chose war," not Bush.
Meeting no protest from the Washington press corps, Bush continued repeating his lie about Hussein showing "defiance" on the inspections. For instance, at a news conference on March 21, 2006, Bush reprised his claims about his diplomatic efforts.
"I was hoping to solve this [Iraq] problem diplomatically," Bush said. "The world said, 'Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.' … We worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it."
"The U.S. was thinking of flying U-2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo said about Bush's scheme. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." (See Consortiumnews.com's "Time to Talk War Crimes.")
Regardless of whether any casus belli could be provoked, Bush already had "penciled in" March 10, 2003, as the start of the U.S. bombing of Iraq, according to the memo. "Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning," Manning wrote. [NYT, March 27, 2006]
In other words, neither the U.N. inspectors' negative WMD findings nor the Security Council's refusal to authorize force would stop Bush's invasion on March 19, 2003. For more on Bush's pretexts for war in Iraq, see Consortiumnews.com's "President Bush, With the Candlestick…"
But Bush remains so comfortable with his fabricated history - and so confident that the White House press corps won't contradict him - that he now sketches the false landscape in a few quick strokes, as in "Remember it? We tried resolution after resolution after resolution."