Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 58 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/23/15

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   2 comments
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (15 fans)

Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

Paul Wolfowitz Doctrine - Global Domination!
Copyrighted Image? DMCA

Last week the nation was treated to the sad and embarrassing spectacle of Jeb Bush, mollycoddled scion to an empire of failure, proclaiming that "I'm my own man." Here's a simple rule of thumb: Anyone who has to say he's his own man, or woman, isn't. The 62-year-old Mr. Bush has been coasting on his family's power and privilege since he was a weed-smoking, Steppenwolf-listening prep school student in the sixties.

From prep school slacker to presidential frontrunner: Now that's a "Magic Carpet Ride."

Sadder still was the list of Jeb's advisers published this week, a list which included -- and was tarnished by -- the genuinely execrable Paul Wolfowitz.

For those who might have forgotten Wolfowitz, here's a quick reminder: The dust had barely settled over lower Manhattan when Wolfowitz began cooking the books for the last President Bush, seeking an Iraq connection to 9/11 where none existed. National security expert Richard Clarke was there when Wolfowitz pressured the White House intelligence team to focus, not on the terrorists who did the deed, but on Iraq -- a nation which wasn't involved in the attack but had been targeted years before by the "Project for a New American Century."

As Clarke recalled, Wolfowitz's words were: "No, no, no. We don't have to deal with al Qaeda. Why are we talking about that little guy?"

Wolfowitz orchestrated the lies about the need for war against Iraq, and he was utterly, disastrously, stunningly wrong in his predictions about the course of that war. Wolfowitz claimed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. He said the war in Iraq would pay for itself in oil revenues. (That was some $2 trillion ago.) And, most famously, Wolfowitz predicted that the Iraqi people would "greet us as liberators."

When it comes to the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz was -- in the words of another Steppenwolf song -- "The Pusher." His promotion of that conflict was the defining act of his career, and it leaves him a failure in every conceivable intellectual or moral application of that word.

There are ways in which Wolfowitz is not a failure, of course: He has succeeded in retaining the esteem, respect, attention and support of right-wing power elites. He succeeded in retaining the implicit approval of the mainstream media, which has conveniently forgotten his moral and policy failures.

But then, hasn't everyone who "matters"? Even a subsequent personal scandal at the World Bank failed to shake the high regard in which Wolfowitz is held by the powerful cohorts who shape our world. That's how it goes, once you're in the club.

It's like having a rich and powerful dad, when you think about it. Ineptitude, arrogance, and mendacity are shrugged off as lightly as the drug escapades of shaggy-haired prep school brats, even when they cost trillions of wasted dollars and hundreds of thousands of wasted lives.

Now Jeb has Wolfowitz, and Wolfowitz has another potential president's ear. That's how these things work. Behind every "great" man or woman -- in this case, behind every "I'm my own man" man -- is a network of servile sycophants whose primary occupation is to make sure that the presumed paragon of self-sufficiency is propped up, brushed off, and shipshape to be wheeled out onto the political stage.

Neither these advisers nor their leader need to be right about anything. They just need to represent the right people -- without offending anyone that matters.

Wolfowitz isn't the only Iraq-war liar on the Jeb Bush team, of course. As Igor Volsky notes in ThinkProgress, there are a couple of other mendacious Iraq war "architects" on the team. It's a poor moral lesson for the children, but there it is: Lies, incompetence, and poor personal ethics are no bar to success in Washington DC. In fact, they can help you climb the ladder. But if you're right in the wrong way you'll be blackballed.

It's true that the leader, not the advisers, is expected to call the shots. But when it comes to Jeb, don't expect much there. In his first major address, he actually trotted out the old (and Orwellian) Reagan phrase "Peace Through Strength," accompanied by the tired refrain that a strong military is our only hope for a peaceful world.

"Peace through strength" was a problematic concept even when there was another superpower on the planet. It's today's world of a unipolar superpower and asymmetrical warfare, it's a platitude whose falsehood is demonstrable. America's military might didn't bring peace to Iraq or prevent the rise of ISIS. On the contrary: Had our "strength" not been used in that country, ISIS wouldn't even exist.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 5   Well Said 5   Supported 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend