Karl Rove, the former Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief Political Adviser to President George W. Bush, has a new book coming out. “Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,” is a memoir by the former White House aide and current Fox News contributor. The New York Times has an advance copy of the book and has published some interesting excerpts.
Chief amongst the revelations is that Rove acknowledges that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction severely damaged Bush’s presidency. He blames himself for not sufficiently countering the bad publicity generated by having started an illegitimate and illegal war. Specifically addressing the decision to invade Iraq Rove writes…
“Would the Iraq War have occurred without W.M.D.? I doubt it. Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the W.M.D. threat. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq’s horrendous human rights violations.”
Oh great! So tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of innocent Iraqis – not combatants or terrorists, but civilian men, women and children – are dead because of this brutal and unjustified assault, and the only thing for which Rove takes responsibility is a weak response to shore up Bush’s image in the press.
Rove admits that the Congressional authorization for war would not have been approved without W.M.D.’s. That certainly raises the likelihood that an administration determined to embark on this strategy would provide the Congress with what they wanted, whether or not it was true. And the administration’s determination has been well documented, even to the point of trying to pin 9/11 on Saddam Hussein two years before the Iraq war began.
Rove also admits that the administration could have developed “other ways to constrain” the Iraqi regime. So the oft-repeated insistence that war was the last resort is and was a lie. By conceding that alternatives were available, Rove makes it clear that the military solution was the only one to which they gave serious consideration.
And for all of the human costs, including more than 4,000 Americans, Rove is only sorry for not having conducted a better PR campaign. He does not apologize for the loss of life. He does not apologize for depleting our nation’s treasury. He does not apologize for soiling our reputation internationally. The only reputation he is concerned with his his own. And the thousands of grieving American families don’t enter into his consciousness – not to mention the many thousands more in Iraq.
If that isn’t enough, in another excerpt from the book Rove expresses his regret for the ill-advised fly-over of New Orleans after Katrina. Once again, his concern is for the unflattering appearance of his actions, not for the suffering of the people on the ground. His appalling egocentrism is displayed in utmost clarity when he reveals that, not withstanding the horrors of 9/11, Iraq, and Katrina, the thing that drove him to tears was when he learned that he would not be indicted by the special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame leak case.
What a despicable waste of flesh. And this is the man presently employed by Rupert Murdoch to provide insight into the public affairs of our government and social institutions. The question I have is how would Rove know anything about the human interest stories he is being asked to comment on? Wouldn’t being human be a requirement for such a job?