With all of the shakeups happening in the administration and, more importantly, within the CIA, I’ve been wondering how pere Bush, a former CIA director, is feeling about all this. He’s been famously mum about his feelings towards his son’s administration, at least beyond the expected fatherly pride.
I couldn’t remember Bush Sr.’s actual role in the CIA, so I looked it up at Wikipedia. In addition to confirming his role in the agency, I found this blurb under the heading about the first Gulf War (emphasis mine):
In a foreign policy move that would later be questioned, President Bush achieved his stated objectives of “liberating” Kuwait and forcing Iraqi withdrawal, then ordered a cessation of combat operations allowing Saddam Hussein to stay in power. His Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney noted that invading the country would get the United States “bogged down in the quagmire inside Iraq.” Bush later explained that he did not give the order to overthrow the Iraqi government because it would have “incurred incalculable human and political costs… We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq”.
In explaining to Gulf War veterans why he chose not to pursue the war further, President Bush said, “Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we’re going to show our macho? We’re going into Baghdad. We’re going to be an occupying power. America in an Arab land with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous.”
What changed in 10 years? Absolutely nothing. And everything so eerily predicted during the first Bush’s tenure in office has come to pass during the second Bush’s reign. Unbelievable.
Sometimes, father really does know best.