From an amusing NY Times article showing Bush's "reflective" side:
“One interesting question historians are going to have to answer is: Would Saddam have behaved differently if he hadn’t gotten mixed signals between the first resolution and the failure of the second resolution?” Mr. Bush said. “I can’t answer that question. I was hopeful that diplomacy would work.”
First off, this is really getting annoying. This "interesting question historians are going to have to answer" is clearly a question he thinks he knows the answer to. As usual, if everyone had just obeyed his commands, everything would have worked out perfectly. And he's confident that historians will agree with him on that. As if they'll all gather together some day and proclaim: President Bush, the one man who should have been dictator. Do you doubt that he's already got his acceptance speech written for that one?
And how pathetic is his "I can't answer that question"? Too pathetic. It's funny when little kids show their inability to understand how much smarter we are than them and use obvious ruses in futile attempts to deceive us. This trait in Bush is just sad.
Blowing Shit Up
And what exactly was Saddam to have done differently; short of starting a WMD program to create WMD's which he could have turned over to Bush? And even then, had we discovered WMD's, would we have been satisfied with not attacking? As if Regime Change wasn't our official policy and goal, or that we'd ever trust that Saddam had handed everything over.
I suppose Saddam could have run off into exile, to await the day he could be executed by one of his many enemies. But then again, there were strong rumors that Saddam did accept exile, but somehow the deal got scuttled. I strongly suspect that exile wouldn't have been to Bush's liking. It's kind of hard to kick butt when you're allowing your enemy to ride off into the sunset. Plus, we'd be stuck with the dreaded nation building with none of the fun part. And what's the point of that?
And let's be serious: When Bush says "I was hopeful that diplomacy would work," what he's really referring to was getting diplomacy to help make the invasion look more legitimate. Because again, Saddam did what he was supposed to do, but couldn't do what Bush was pretending he wanted Saddam to do. And that was the whole point. Because this wasn't about WMD's or Saddam. To quote Newt Gingrich, this was about "doing something that counts." This was about showing military might and grabbing some precious oil and filling the coffers of the people who invest Republican.
And most of all, Bush just wanted to blow some shit up and be treated like a hero. And that's exactly what he got; for a time, anyway. Somehow, I don't think he had planned on having to keep blowing shit up. Or that the hero treatment would fade the more he kept having to blow shit up. How inconvenient. But in any case, real diplomacy would have ruined the whole hero thing, which is why Bush had no use for it.
Toilet Paper Diplomacy
And when the UN didn't obey Bush's commands, they knew this. They were the tissue paper Bush wanted to wipe his rear with. And that goes doubly for Cheney. As little as they attempted the international option, even that was against what they wanted. Cheney believes you have power because you took power, and if you bother to ask permission you're admitting that you didn't have it.
Plus, it sure would have put a dent on Halliburton's profits if they had to divvy everything up with international corporations. It's only after things went wrong that Bush really lamented the lack of international cooperation. But at the time, I'm sure they were upset that they needed to bother with it as much as they did.
And the most pathetic part of that Bush quote is that I have no doubts he seriously believes what he's saying. That's the way unprincipled people work: They'll believe whatever they need to believe to make them the sympathetic good guy and everyone else the villain. It's obvious from that one NY Times article that Bush is a self-pitying turd who blames everyone else for mistakes he refuses to understand.
In Bush's mind, the only mistake he made was doing the right thing. It must be pretty confusing that being right could have gone so wrong. But I suspect that everything's pretty confusing for Bush, and that he's just going to keep blaming everyone else for that too. Sad.