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Belive and Blame

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George W. Bush is an untreated alcoholic. There can be no medical or psychiatric doubt about that. But it is not only President Bush who shows typical characteristics of what AA calls the "dry drunk" syndrome; his inner circle, which includes many in the media, behaves like the typical family of a dysfunctional drinker.

Such families live in constant fear - often masked by denial and bravado - that their alcoholic father will start drinking again if he is under too much stress. And one major stress that untreated alcoholics cannot deal with is criticism. They become defensive immediately, before attacking or hiding. And their family moves into high-gear protection mode.

Whenever things get tough for the Bush administration they use the same strategy - blame Bill Clinton. This is the strategy that will emerge in response to the classified National Intelligence Estimate report that found that the Bush-led Iraq war has invigorated Islamic radicalism and worsened the global terrorist threat. I'm waiting for bumper stickers to appear saying "Blame Bill".

This behavior of blaming anyone but dad is so typical and predictable that it shouldn't be surprising to those who are members of such families, or those who have alcoholic friends. What concerns me is that the media is once again shielding Bush.

In response to the intelligence report, Senator Ted Kennedy said,
"How many more independent reports, how many more deaths, how much deeper into civil war will Iraq need to fall for the White House to wake up and change its strategy in Iraq?"

I think the damning report matters not, and the White House will keep its same two-fold strategy: continue to occupy Iraq by force, since Bush's "beliefs" trump his own government's intelligence; and repeatedly blame Bill Clinton for whatever bad news comes its way.