bush's binges – history impacts the present

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    Bush's binges were legendary. Van Wormer describes "years of binge drinking starting in college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and one arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas wreath." She adds:

    "The Bush biography reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to the exclusive private school in the East where his father's reputation as star athlete and later war hero were still remembered. The younger George's achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically he could not achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as well. His military record was mediocre as compared to his father's as well. [He went AWOL] "

    In Fortunate Son, Bush himself explained: "Alcohol began to compete with my energies ... I'd lose focus". Though he once said he couldn't remember a day he hadn't had a drink, he quickly added the giveaway phrase that he didn't believe he was "clinically alcoholic".

    Van Wormer notes that "Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made the decision to abstain at age 40. About this time he became a 'born again Christian' – going as usual from one extreme to the other." When asked in an interview about his reported cocaine use, he answered reasonably, "I'm not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years ago".

    One motive driving Dubya could be his need "to prove himself to his father - to achieve what his father failed to do - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the 'evildoer' Saddam." Adds van Wormer, "His drive to finish his father's battles is of no small significance, psychologically."


    Brain Damage
    According to Van Wormer, "scientists can now observe changes that occur in the brain as a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these changes may be permanent."

    Van Wormer characterizes this damage as "barely noticeable but meaningful." Researchers have found that brain chemistry irregularities caused by long bouts of drinking or drug abuse cause "messages in one part of the brain to become stuck there. This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts."

    One of these powerful "stuck" thoughts, says van Wormer, is that "President Bush seems unduly focused upon getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ('He tried to kill my Dad'), leading the country and the world into war, accordingly."

    Grandiosity is another major trait of former addicts brain-damaged by their addiction. Bush has reversed the successful, five-decade old U.S. policy of containment and no first strikes. Now he says, Americans can attack anyone, anywhere at any time with any weapons of their choosing – including banned cluster bomb munitions, radioactive explosives and nuclear bombs.


    AN AGENT OF ARMAGEDDON?
    According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, "Has a grandiose sense of self-importance-exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements."

    Sound familiar?

    This personality is preoccupied with fantasies of power and being loved. Such a person requires "automatic compliance". He or she is "exploitative" of others, "lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others." And also "shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes."

    "This set of characteristics," says Dr. Wolman, not too reassuringly, "may describe Rumsfeld and Cheney better than Dubya."

    For those who, like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stieglitz, warn that Bush "has been captured by a small group of ideologues,” Dependent Personality Disorder describes someone who "has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others." [CBC Feb. 10, 2003]

    From a Jungian perspective, writes Dr. Wolman, "Dubya may be identifying with an archetype – something out of Revelations, perhaps, whereby he sees himself as an instrument of God's will to bring about Armageddon." Concurs Katherine van Wormer, "To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in almost a Biblical sense."

 
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