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Comments by

Curtis White

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General Comments on the ISG Report, entire page
December 31, 2006, 12:12 pm

It might be interesting and amusing to apply mass psychology via Freud to this report. The original psychology of the Bush administration’s rush to war was “infantile.” It was first a rejection of the world view and the language of Baker and Kissinger before him and their theories of diplomacy and detente. The neo-cons killed the father, Kissinger, killed diplomacy, and indulged in the logic of children. They came to believe in the “omnipotence of thought,” the over-estimation of the influence of the mental faculties on the outer world. Well, the neo-con pack has obviously run up against reality. Now with the Iraq Study Group Report we have the return of the repressed, the return of the murdered father, scolding, urging “diplomacy.” The grandeur of the primieval father–Kissinger,Baker, and G.H.W. Bush (the literal father)–is restored. This is what will pass as “sanity” at least for a while. Meanwhile, G. W. Bush must continue to try to play the role of father while feeling a creepy sensation of absence in his crotch. He is the neurotic. Thus one of the most common mythic assumptions about this war, “he was avenging his father against Hussein,” turns out to be a mere reaction formation. Hussein was never the point. G. W.’s administration was always a rejection of everything his father had stood for, from military caution to environmental protection. At this point, Bush has no choice but to continue to kill the father even though he is already dead. The Iraq Study Group with the daddy surrogate Baker at the helm becomes the Totem Father that must be both worshipped and murdered, into infinity if need be. Of course, all of the participants in this drama are detestable. Anyone with a nodding acquaintance with the super-ego must merely squirm on the sidelines. This is why Bush, by his own account, sleeps so well and the rest of us sleep so badly.

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I. Assessment, paragraph 3
December 31, 2006, 11:20 am

In a more just world, using the phrase “critical to U.S. interests” would be prima facie evidence of “evil intent” and just cause for a session of water boarding at Guantanamo. Just sort of to wash that phrase out once and for all. All it really means is “Western capitalism would like if at all possible to have continued access to cheap oil and if it means a little shock and awe to maintain access to this oil, well, Okay.”