My gut tells me the President of the United States has become a cornered animal – wary of a party that has all but shunned him, distrustful of even his closest advisors, angry at an American public that has rejected him and fearful of his own inability to cope with his growing madness.
White House insiders tell me George W. Bush grows more sullen and moody with each passing day. His paranoia, they say, is increasing to manic levels as he launches into tirades about traitors in his own party, in the press and among his allies.
They describe a man living on the edge and stepping too often over it.
Bush, they say, feels betrayed by former Secretary of State James Baker who he now feels held his administration up for public humiliation in the Iraq Study Group report. Although he told the press after meeting with ISG co-chairs Baker and Lee Hamilton that the White House will take the group’s recommendations "very seriously," Bush says privately that he has no intention of going along with their plan.
"Fuck ’em," Bush reportedly said after his breakfast meeting with Baker and Hamilton last week. "I’m the President. I’m the one who decides what’s best for this country."
Reports from within the White House show an administration in turmoil, torn from within by dissension over a failed Iraq war policy that everyone but Bush says is a no-win situation.
I wish I had proof of this. I don’t. I have snippets of information passed on by people who should be in a position to know along with rumors and a gut instinct honed by 40 years of watching politicians try to squirm their way out of trouble.
One needs only to closely watch the President in his appearances to see that this is clearly a man in emotional trouble, struggling to hold on. His eyes dart from side to side and his eyelid movements when he speaks indicate a textbook example of dishonesty.
This attitude carries over into other White House staffers. Press briefings with Presidential Press Secretary Tony Snow have become increasingly confrontational with Snow quick to label anyone who dares question administration policy as a "troublemaker." He accuses reporters of partisanship, an ironic bit of hypocrisy since Snow came to the White House from Fox News, clearly the most partisan game in town.
Bush’s decision to delay his "major policy speech" on Iraq until next year is, Snow claims, just to give the President time to hear all sides of the argument before proceeding. But others say privately the President has already made up his mind and is in no hurry because he doesn’t plan to make any major changes.
And while Bush delays, America hit a grisly milestone this week when the "official" number of Americans dead or wounded in his dirty little war hit 25,000. I say "official" because the Pentagon has played fast and loose with the statistics on just how many Americans have come home without arms or legs or in body bags and the real figure could be even higher.
Whatever the "real figure" is or is not, one inescapable fact remains: Many more Americans will die in Iraq and/or other actions spawned by Bush’s illegal invasion of a country that posed no threat to this nation. And many, many more will come home physically maimed and/or emotionally scarred for life.
Because the Iraq war is not over nor will it end anytime soon. It will continue to be waged by a cornered animal named George W. Bush.
And, as any real hunter knows, nothing is more dangerous than a cornered animal.