Painting All Bloggers With One Black Brush
The Crime of Being Old

The Lunatic-in-Chief?

category_bug_politics.gif This post is being published with a large dollop of trepidation. It is a serious accusation that no one should make lightly, but the most recent events of the Bush administration have gone so far off the deep end, it must be considered:

Is the president of the United States in his right mind?

Over last weekend and most notably in this week’s issue of The New Yorker, people are saying the president is willing to use “tactical nuclear weapons” to effect regime change in Iran, and the planning to do so, in place for many months if not longer, are ongoing.

In his column in The New York Times on Monday, Paul Krugman asks the question, “Does this sound far-fetched?”

“It shouldn't,” he answers himself. “Given the combination of recklessness and dishonesty Mr. Bush displayed in launching the Iraq war, why should we assume that he wouldn't do it again?
- The New York Times [via Common Dreams], 10 April 2006

On Tuesday, in its lead editorial, The New York Times noted:

“The planners are also looking at ways America could use tactical nuclear weapons to penetrate Iran's heavily reinforced underground uranium enrichment complex at Natanz. The British government is said to take Washington's planning exercises seriously enough to have worked out security arrangements for its own diplomats and citizens in the event of American air attacks.”

If you’re not scared stupid by this talk, you’re not paying attention. It is lunatic even if, as President Bush disingenuously said (without ruling out the use of nuclear weapons):

"The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon," he said. "It doesn't mean force necessarily. In this case it means diplomacy."
- news.telegraph, 11 April 2006

Is there no memory of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl? One can only echo British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, who said that the idea of a nuclear strike against Iran is “completely nuts.”

No kidding. But there is, of course, precedent for this statement-and-denial, statement-and-denial, statement-and-denial propaganda from the Bush administration. It worked for getting us into the morass in Iraq. There is no reason to believe Mr. Bush is not trying to use the same, successful tactic again to soften up the citizens of the U.S. and the world for another war - but with the lunatic component of nuclear weapons this time.

The suggestion that Mr. Bush's nuclear sabre-rattling is just a ploy to get Iran to a negotiating table is deceitful on its face.

The government threatens to use nuclear weapons to annihilate a region of the world to prevent them from using nuclear weapons, and the media flails around avoiding what is to me is the single, obvious question:

Has the president of the United States lost his mind?

Read the links scattered about in this post and ask yourself what sane person - in this case, the leader of the most powerful nation on earth with all the responsibilities inherent in that position - would float such a hideous proposition.


Comments

The use of a nuclear weapon by the United States does boggle the mind yet it is a possibility ; however, if Iran gets the atomic bomb, I guarantee you that there will be a mushroom cloud - perhaps over Israel or Europe !

I agree with you. He must have completely lost his mind. When you think this thing through to all the probablilties, it takes a prudent person's breath away. He is really proving he is the worst president - ever. I cannot believe he is willing to completely destroy an area of the world. But then I couldn't believe he invaded Iraq.

The people pulling Bush's strings have a long history of error in mid-East policy. To the people who supported the Shah and the Taliban against the Russians, and Hussein against the Ayatollah, considering a nuke to prevent the use of nukes might make perfect sense. It's not like Iran is a Christian nation. Go figure why the world doesn't trust us.
As for Bush himself, I'm not sure he could find Iran on a map.

Even my politically very conservative friends have been questioning the President's mental condition for the last year or so--unfortunately, not soon enough to prevent their having voted for his re-election! That said, it is the business of the military to have plans ready for any conceivable challenge; so, I don't doubt that, regardless of who the president is, the military would be prepared with a nuclear response scenario to several eventualities. If we felt threatened enough by the spector of Iranian nuclear capability, it is "for sure" that we don't have military strength to mount an attack similar to the one mounted on Iraq--we're still mired in Iraq (and other places, where we are supposed to be "keeping the peace"). The question becomes: How could we effect the destruction of nuclear facilities without commitment of so much manpower. It's a really gloomy prospect, I know! (Unfortunately, in real life, we don't get "overs" on Iraq!)

My question is, how can anyone possibly believe a nuclear attack can be prevented with a nuclear attack? It makes no sense. Aside from the moral objections, the horrific consequences are the same and are not confined to the targeted country.

I, too, have shuddered when hearing or reading these comments about using nuclear weapons in Iran. First the U.S. attacks another nation, unprovoked, and engages in a debilitating war that still continues. Now, the U.S. is considering how to attack yet another nation, again unprovoked, with our own weapons of mass destruction. The really scary thought is that the majority of voters may continue to vote in favor of such actions in the next elections.

I have been terribly afraid the United States under the inept Bush will attack Iran with nukes ever since I discovered this account of a USA Today poll in February:
"There is little doubt among Americans about Iran's intentions. Eight of 10 predict Iran would provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists who would use it against the USA or Israel, and almost as many say the Iranian government itself would use nuclear weapons against Israel. Six of 10 say the Iranian government would deploy nuclear weapons against the USA."

If we feel that threatened, and Bush feels that threatened, the US will use nukes on Iran. For myself, I am not more threatened by an Iranian nuke than by a Pakistani nuke -- and we treat that unstable regime as a ally.

The result, besides being a crime against humanity, is too awful to comtemplate. I urge people to go read Mutually Assured Dementia at Billmon's place. It is heavy and apocalyptic, but so is the situation.

I have wondered too about his mental stability or who those people are behind him. One day he's talking about founding democracies in the Middle East and that is followed by threats like this-- leaked and we know who the leaker-in-chief is.

Something like dropping a nuke over there would further isolate us from the rest of the world and guarantee more terrorists. It would be saying their lives are worth nothing and if theirs aren't, why would they think ours are?

Very scary times is all I can say-- and whether you like the democrats or not (I told a fundraiser for them yesterday what I think of them) we have to vote democrat in '06 to have any hope-- slim though it might be-- of stopping this kind of insanity.

The scary part is that someone so unstable has so much power. Dee

My question would be:

"Does HE HAVE a right mind?"

I think he and the entire administration are on crack just to survive to the end. We can only hope he can't do too much more major damage in the time left. Read the 23rd Qualm at S.O. today. Should make you smile.

The answer to your question, Ronni, is NO. But then fast on that answer is one similar to kenju's, what mind?
Very scary indeed.

I have given up trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with GWB. Sometning about the man is simply not normal. When he gets that dumb,vacant look in his eyes when he is making a funny that falls flat he looks exactly like Tommy Smothers. remember the Smothers Brothers on TV?

My first thought in answer to your question, Ronni, is, how can he lose something he never had? But that answer merely reflects the anger and frustration I feel over how he has betrayed the values of this nation entrusted to him.

He does have a mind. He just seems not to have ever learned how to use it constructively. Perhaps he's missing a few vital brain connections such as those that enable a person to recognize truth, then to speak the truth; to think logically, then to act accordingly to name just a few. This list, unfortunately, just gets longer and longer.

Not only our nation, but the whole world suffers because of his ineptness, and that of many of those with whom he has surrounded himself; his lack of ability, will, skills to resolve issues with other than schoolyard bully tactics.

To be governed by such as him would merely be sad, if it weren't for the fact that his destructive actions continue to escalate and threaten us, our country, the world.

Lunatic may not be strong enough; it has vaguely poetic connotations. Madman, like the ruler of Turkmenistan, like anyone trying to rule the world and damn it. He's far too dangerous, has already done far too much damage in terms of human lives lost and environment lost to be merely lunatic.

The real madmen are the people who destroyed the WTC and hit the Pentagon. Yet it is easier to blame GWB for every wrong. Sad, very sad.

I really don't believe Bush ever had a mind to lose.
I received an e-mail from CodePink this morning. It gave me the opportunity to send a message to Kofi Annan regarding our leaders' frightening comments on Iran. It was an easy way of getting stuff off my mind (altho it won't be the only way). Try this address: codepink@mail.democracyinaction.org.

If he hasn't lost his mind, then consider the alternative. He's stark raving bonkers to begin with. Unfortunately, we have no foundation to stand on in evaluating him or his intentions, since he claims the right to lie and to conceal. How can we know what he intends?

I think "Paul" needs to broaden his perspective. It's not about "The real madmen are the people who destroyed the WTC...." That implies that if they are mad then GWB is not. The sad answer is, there's not a whisper of difference between them in their evil effects and their values.

I read the New Yorker article and the thought of the president on the verge of starting WWIII with the whole of the Islamic world left me almost mute with outrage. Almost.

fc if you mean I need to demean George Bush then that is not going to happen. I am no apologist for him, but he is not mad. Kofi Annan well he's another subject. I have a suggestion - let's surrender to the Islamofascists. I doubt that that would go over well in Israel. They know madmen when they see them. :)

Islamofascists. I guess we have to call them something. They are, after all, the enemy.

Amen!! Of course, I can't think of anything good to say about him anyway. Nothing at all.

I can't resist commenting about the falacy in thinking of so many pro-Bush supporters, or appeasers, that there is no in between ground in approaches to addressing world issues.

Seems to be the old saw, of my way or the highway, you're either for me or against me, completely ignoring the middle ground of solutions, instead stubbornly clinging to divisive polarizing extremes which most people can see have been clearly ineffective.

To assume that anybody who is opposed to the mindless policies of this current administration must, therefore, be in favor of capitulation to the terrorist forces demonstrates the inability for logical thinking which seems to permeate that camp and their followers.

I can only hope they are capable of having an open enough mind to give serious consideration to logic and some of the more enlightened views and facts pointed out in this blog and others.

Thank you, joared. The black-and-white thinking to which you refer is the historical root of all fascist movements and, as such, is the greatest existing threat to the sanctity of humanity.

One of the most chilling revelations in the Hersh story (linked above by Ronni) is the paragraph on the current, on-going ground tactics of American special forces in "studying the terrain, and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes..." for the purpose of encouraging "ethnic tensions" that will eventually undermine the regime.

While it is difficult for me to confront the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, it is painfully easy to reconstruct the recent examples of global genocides resulting from "ethnic tensions." Somewhere in Iran, at this moment, there is a family, planting a garden, herding goats, unaware that in a week or a month, their neighbors will slit their throats. Thanks to us.

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