"It's f***in' suicide," I yelled at my computer this morning, reading PM Carpenter's February 10 Post "More Bloodthirsty Propaganda On The Way." And then it hit me. It could be just that.
I know it sounds far-fetched, but bear with me. Passive suicide, when all is said and done, is the real, if undiagnosed, cause of death for virtually all practicing addicts (more on that below). That President Bush is a recovering alcoholic (and likely drug user) is not much debated anymore. Less known is the fact the Vice President Cheney has two DUI's on his record. Any drug and alcohol addiction specialist will tell you that multiple DUI's is a very strong sign of addiction. Neither, as far as we know, has undergone therapy or other treatment. Though I am certainly to trying to diagnose them, they appear to be "dry drunks."
Now, I am not a professional therapist, but I have more experience with addicts and addictions than I would like, and have talked and worked extensively with recovery specialists and in interventions and intense support groups. I come from a family of addicts (alcohol and work and exercise); lost my sister to LSD and cocaine; nearly lost a dear friend to booze and coke before an intensive intervention got him into treatment; am watching another highly successful dear friend married to jaw-dropping Goddess slowly drink himself away; my first wife and both her parents were serious alcoholics; other family members are of serious concern; and I have several times alternately eaten my way to a Body Mass Index resembling that of Planet Earth and then obsessively exercised it all off.
Back to Bush and Cheney and Iran. Addiction comes from pain. Very serious and unbearable psychic pain. Much has been written, albeit speculatively, about the various sources of President Bush's psychic pain and his possible mental illnesses and disorders. His obsessive exercising, extreme religion, and general refusal to face reality or admit even the possibility of error, reveal a man still trying to salve the pain. Cheney's pain is splashed all over his scowling, snarling face, and evidenced by his repeatedly breaking heart. (By the way, we should all feel deep compassion for them as human beings; addiction-inducing pain is horrible stuff.)
Passive suicide is the ultimate analgesic and it takes many forms. The overdose and the slow wasting away are the most common. Intoxicant-induced active suicide is passive as far as I am concerned because it's the substance doing the killing. The drunken car wreck is another. So-called "suicide by cop" is a violent and extreme example, having the advantage of appearing not to be suicide at all. The raw and grinding reality of passive suicide is that the addict feels it is better to die than live with the pain, but won't commit sober, active suicide for a variety of potential reasons. So they use the drug until they either recover or die. It's that simple and awful.
As Tom Engelhardt points out in "Over the Cliff with Dick and George," Bush and Cheney appear to have found a very dangerous new drug of choice, and a wickedly addictive one at that: "the religion of force" as Engelhardt calls it, detailed further in "Bush's Faith and the Middle Ease Aflame," (Tomdispatch.com, July 16, 2006). Engelhardt describes this faith in force beautifully, in terms evoking the enchantment of an addict for the drug.
"Our self-styled "wartime" Commander-in-Chief, and the Vice President head an administration that has long been in love not just with the American armed forces, but with the dazzling military possibilities that seemed open to them as leaders of the last standing superpower. Its high-tech destructive capabilities, they believed, gave them the power to go it alone in the world, shocking and awing a post-Cold War assemblage of lesser states into eternal submission." This is typical of an addict's unrealistic sense of self-grandiosity and, the fact that they are, truly, "in love" with the drug.
"At the height of their self-dazzled sense of power back in 2001-2003, they saw force as their own special Tao, their Way in the world; at their depths - now -- reaching back into their problem-solving quiver, they naturally find only the same arrow that's always been there; a belief system, a religion for all occasions." Only one arrow; the drug of force. Only one way to cope with a disaster of their own making, now rapidly decaying beyond their control. "Captain Jack will get you by tonight," (Billy Joel), or Captain Whoever in his bomber.
Bush's Presidency has to be unbearably painful for him. His popularity is darn-near Nixonian. Even hard-core Republicans are deserting him. His Iraq War is an unmitigated disaster. He is regularly called a lame-duck, even in the mainstream media. The only historical grouping of Presidents in which he is mentioned is "worst ever." The university where he most wants to put his library (his wife's Alma Mater) is actively debating whether to turn it down, something I don't remember hearing before. Most Americans, according to recent polling, just want his Presidency to be over. A man often described as trying to prove he is worthy of his Father's, Grandfather's, even his little brother Jeb's respect and success, is seen by almost everyone as an abject failure and he knows it.
But the President has his drug. The most enticing drug of all. The drug of absolute power, borne of unparalleled and irresistible destructive force. A magic drug that instantly casts all unruly men and wildly spinning reality at his whim and for that one moment raises him high above all the pain and sorrow that accompanied him there. It would put him, for the single rushing instant that matters most to an addict, on top of the world. Plus it would end the pain of constituent rejection (either through actual death or the death of democracy), while appearing to be the result of manly assertiveness. That using this drug will almost certainly bring destruction to all he is, and all he has claimed to love and serve and stand for, well, that has not stopped millions of addicts from using before.
We have to stop him. Rock bottom for this President may mean the end of the United States as we have known it. In this case intervention is spelled I-M-P-E-A-C-H-M-E-N-T. (And that is the first time I have ever recommended it.)