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TIME FOR BUSH FAMILY INTERVENTION

By Bill Gallagher

"I'm the decider and I decide what's best." -- President George Bush.

DETROIT -- God save us! This troubled soul must be stopped. President George W. Bush is more frightening every day. Defusing his madness is imperative to save the world from unthinkable suffering, well beyond the misery he has already wrought. The president is bonkers.

The "decider" joins "commander in chief" and "wartime president" as Bush's preferred titles, reflecting the arrogant paternalism he substitutes for the real leadership qualities he lacks.

The "Great Decider" makes decisions based on his own horribly flawed instincts and surrounded by a chorus of sorry sycophants cheering on his consistently bad calls. He ignored every voice of reason and caution in choosing to go to war in Iraq. The only opinions he gave any weight to were those of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- since they, of course, agreed with him.

Anyone with an I.Q. exceeding an amoeba's now knows the reasons for war with Iraq were concocted and Bush didn't give a hoot what the intelligence indicated. The latest testimony comes from the former head of the CIA's European operations.

In an interview aired on CBS's "60 Minutes," Tyler Drumheller said that in September 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, the CIA had solid information that Iraq had no active program for weapons of mass destruction, but the White House simply ignored the intelligence assessment.

Drumheller said the CIA's paid mole in Saddam Hussein's inner circle, Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri, informed intelligence officers his nation had no secret weapons programs. Then-CIA director George Tenet took that information directly to Bush and Cheney.

Such findings wouldn't upset the Bushevik war bandwagon. Three days after Tenet's visit, the White House told the CIA the green light was on for war.

"And we said, 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said, 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change,'" Drumheller told "60 Minutes."

Bush needs a court of enablers willing to affirm his lies and coddle his intellectual dishonesty. Bush is most comfortable surrounded by his nanny circle -- his mother, his wife, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and Harriet Miers. They tell him just what he wants to hear, how wonderful he is, and nurse his boo-boos. The nannies serve their man while betraying our nation.

It's unlikely, perhaps impossible, but what Bush really needs is a bitch-slap intervention from some manly men. No one is telling him what he doesn't want to hear -- Iraq is a disaster and he needs to radically change his approach to prevent further damage and more chaos and violence in the broader Middle East. His musings about military action against Iran are simply insane.

One man is uniquely qualified to lead the intervention: George H.W. Bush. As a father and a former president, he needs to have a man-to-man talk with his boy. I suspect the Bushes are seriously estranged, but George the Elder has a patriotic duty to try to talk some sense into the increasingly isolated president.

I have no doubt George H.W. warned Dubya, long before the war, that there were high risks and downsides in invading Iraq and urged him to be cautious and prudent. Ignoring his daddy's advice proved costly, but the president is incapable of admitting error.

In spite of that, George H.W. should invite himself down for a weekend at the ranch in Crawford and a long conversation. Babs could use her power and demand the sit-down. She may be the only person on earth who can bully her bullying son into line.

The former president should bring family fixer and former secretary of state James A. Baker with him, along with his former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft. George H.W. knows his son is in a terrible situation, mostly of his own making, but things can get even worse without a change in direction.

Scowcroft has been speaking the truth for a long time. In a September 2002 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal titled "Don't Attack Saddam," Scowcroft brilliantly analyzed the flaws of a unilateral pre-emptive attack on Iraq and the terrible consequences that would result.

"Any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks," Scowcroft wrote, "is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism."

Scowcroft wisely noted how invading Iraq would result in "the most dire consequences ... in the region." He predicted an "explosion of outrage against us," and "a large-scale, long-term military occupation." Scowcroft saw in his crystal ball destabilization in Arab regimes that "would stifle any cooperation on terrorism, and could even swell the ranks of the terrorists."

Scowcroft wrote that "the most serious cost" of the distraction in Iraq would be in combating terrorism, arguing that "we simply cannot win that war without enthusiastic international cooperation, especially on intelligence."

Just one Brent Scowcroft article contained more words of truth about Iraq than Bush has ever heard from Cheney, Rumsfeld and the nanny circle combined. When Scowcroft's views were published, Condi Rice called him up seething. "The New Yorker" quoted a source that said Rice whined, "How could you do this to us?" That is so typical of the mentality of the Busheviks.

Scowcroft, Baker and the president's father could tell this impulsive, intemperate man he needs to decide more carefully and seek much broader advice and participation in decisions about the war in Iraq and America's role in the world. That certainly means turning for help and support to the very nations, interests and alliances Bush thoroughly ignored plunging into this mess. The United Nations, NATO and the European Union are vital.

The Arab League must be involved. Saudi Arabia, with the greatest wealth in the region and a long border with Iraq, must participate. Turkey, our NATO ally, also bordering on Iraq, has the largest population and most powerful military in the region. Turkey worries about a fragmented Iraq and how sectarian and ethnic conflicts there could spill over its borders and add to the Kurdish insurgency in eastern areas of Turkey.

And we must not forget Israel. They have the power to create a Palestinian state. More than a half-century of injustice for the Palestinian people only feeds and fosters extremism and violence throughout the region.

The Hamas government in Palestine must reject violence and stop justifying terrorist attacks. Our government should pressure the Saudis to cut off all funding for Hamas if they won't do that.

The Israelis have the nukes the Iranians want. The Pakistanis and Indians have them, too, and the Saudis can get them any time they want. Bush should call for nuclear disarmament in the region.

The only person I can think of who is enjoying Bush's decisions is Osama bin Laden. Last week, I interviewed the new Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the first person I've met who actually knows bin Laden.

"He is alive and well," the ambassador assured me.

For nearly 25 years, Faisal headed the Istakhbarat, the Saudis' foreign intelligence agency, their CIA. Educated at Georgetown, Cambridge and Princeton, he is the typical, well-educated, soft-spoken and refined Saudi the kingdom plants as its public face.

"So what would you conjecture is on bin Laden's mind these days?" I asked.

"Well, I think what he is thinking is, my goodness, I am getting away with it. I am surviving. And that's a pity, because he is acquiring more aura of invincibility and inviolability as he survives, simply by surviving.

"Even if he doesn't do any terrorism or doesn't give any orders, just by being alive and every once in a while issue a fatwa or television interview or audio tape to remind people he is alive, he is gaining."

Faisal lamented, "I think it's a pity that he's been allowed to do that when all of us should be working together to bring him to justice."

Bush, the decider, decided it would be best to forget about bin Laden and instead wage war in Iraq.

That is the worst strategic foreign policy decision in American history. Five days after the prescient prince spoke those words, Al Jazeera played a new audiotape from bin Laden. He's surviving and gaining, deciding his next move.


Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com April 25 2006