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Is the President Nuts?

Psychopathology of the President

COUNTERPUNCH 2oct02

COUNTERPUNCH: Pattern Recognition: "Is The 'President' Nuts?" asks Carol Wolman, M.D. "Many people, inside and especially outside this country, believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a suicidal path." [Counterpunch October 2, 2002]

Is the President Nuts? Psychopathology of the President  COUNTERPUNCH 2oct02

A board-certified psychiatrist in practice for 30 years, Dr. Wolman feels compelled to understand the "psychopathology" of man "under tremendous pressure from both his family/junta, and from the world at large." Dr. Wolman wonders if GW is suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition:

"There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others: 1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; 2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; 5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others; 7) lack of remorse by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others."

Dry Drunk

GW Bush is highly regarded for "kicking" the twin demons of cocaine and alcohol addiction. If he is still off both wagons --- and there is no proof that isn't --- such a triumph, encouraged and aided by his wife, is commendable.

When probing the mysteries of GW's brain chemistry, a key point to ponder is that damage done to brain cells from drug abuse is permanent and irreversible.

Quaker and university professor Katherine van Wormer co-authored the definitive, 2002, Addiction Treatment. This expert writes that "George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call 'the dry drunk'. His behavior is consistent with being brought on by years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use. "[Counterpunch October 11, 2002]

"Dry drunk," explains the professor, "is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking --- one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded."

Such an individual is 'dry' but not truly sober. Such individuals tend to go to overboard. A good example of Bush' "polarized thinking" is his call for "crusades" based on "infinite justice" for "evil-doers" comprising an "axis of evil".

Bush's "obsessive repetition" also remind this professor, "oy many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated." Van Wormer worriers, "His power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of the world will collapse with him."

Paranoia? Impatience? Rigid judgmental outlook? Grandiose behavior? Childish behavior? Irresponsible behavior? Irrational rationalization? Projection? Overreaction? -- these are all "dry drunk" traits.

Van Wormer observers that Bush's pompous pledge: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction" is a projection from the world's leading rogue state preparing to attack with nuclear weapons.

"Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality" should be emphasized. Prof. van Wormer describes this is as either/or reasoning -- "either you are with us or against us". A White House spokesperson puts it this way:

"The President considers this nation to be at war, and, as such, considers any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason.'' [Capitol Hill Blue, January 22, 2003]

Bush's Binges: History Impacts the Present

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 reassonably, "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 Wormmer, "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, February 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."

A Presidential Pathology

Is Bush's belligerence bent on securing another oil fix? Katherine van Wormer believes that a Portland peace protestor's sign, "Drunk on Power" nailed it. Says this quiet Quaker, "The drive for power can be an unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself."

Senator William Fulbright agrees. His bestseller, The Arrogance of Power defined power politics as the pursuit of power. "The causes and consequences of war may have more to do with pathology than with politics," Fulbright wrote.

A key "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush, who often describes himself as "a patient man", is not. Just four weeks after inspectors went into Iraq, he called for obliterating Baghdad. "If we wait for threats to fully materialize", Bush pointed out to West Pointers, "we will have waited too long". Translations: It's okay to attack projections of our own fearful imaginings --- in case those phantom threats someday become real.

Alan Bisbort's "Dry Drunk -- Is Bush Making a Cry for Help?" appeared in American Politics Journal. Bisbort believes that Bush's"incoherence" when speaking away from prepared scripts is a classicsign of addicted brain damage.

For Bisbort, another "dry drunk" tip-off is Dubya's irritability with anyone who dares disagree with him --- including Germany's new leader, who insists he is opposing Bush's folly in Iraq as a concerned longtime friend of America. (Schroeder's wife is American.)

Another "Dry drunk" sign says van Wormer, is Dubya's "dangerous obsessing about only one thing (Iraq) to the exclusion of all other things."

Van Wormer's bottom line prognosis: "George W. Bush seems to possess the traits characteristic of addictive persons who still have the thought patterns that accompany substance abuse. The fact that some residual effects from his earlier substance abuse -- however slight --- might cloud the U.S. President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the context of the currrent global crisis."

Don't Laugh

The Toronto Star recounts how NYU author and media critic Mark Crispin Miller attempted to catalogue GW's verbal gaffes. Some favorites: "The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country." "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." "The future will be better tomorrow."

"He meant it for a laugh," wrote the Star. "Not now."

The author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV believes "Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."

Miller's judgment --- that an unelected president might suffer from a clinical personality disorder --- is much heavier than being called the globbal village idiot. "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge. When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller mentions. "It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."

Bush even has trouble repeating comforting clichés. "Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you," Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me --- can't get fooled again!"

While the world was laughing, Miller saw something darker. "What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude," wrote Miller.

Miller says that Bush saying, "I know how hard it is to put food on your family" is not 'cause he's stupid, but "because he doesn'tcare about people who can't put food on the table."

When Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," Miller contends it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him. "When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy, he can't do it," Miller observes.

According to Miller, this is why GW is so closely watched by his handlers. "Not because he'll say something stupid," the Star paraphrased, "but because he'll overindulge in the language of violence and punishment at which he excels."

"He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy," Miller says. "He's much like Nixon. So they're very, very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere near protesters, because he would lose his temper." Adds this media expert, "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."

Depression Can Be Dangerously Depressing

Confronted by a man who will not listen to anyone but a few "chickenhawks" urging worldwide war, why shouldn't we feel depressed? Not surprisingly, we do.

Seventy percent of U.S. pastors constantly fight depression.

Right now, almost three million Canadians are seriously depressed. (Multiply by four or five for approximate U.S. figures.) We can't blame GW for this. Or the fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds. But as the man responsible for perpetrating a worldwide bummer, George isn't helping! [National Institute of Mental Health]

If it's politically incorrect to ask these questions, how"correct" is it to launch 800 cruise missiles and thousands of one-ton bombs on a captive urban population already suffering the ravages of deliberately imposed hunger and disease?

Choka Cola ???

Another big clue to Dubya's displays of dementia comes in "photo-ops" showing him slugging back diet Coke with other Aspartame addicts, like Chicago's mayor Richard Daley. Their beet red faces spell either embarrassment over Bush's hijacking of America, or aspartame poisoning. [Chicago Sun Times, Sept. 27, 2002] > According to Carol Guilford, an Aspartame expert and support worker, the President-Select's "pretzel" pratfall was most likely an Aspartame seizure. Bush, like Carter, Al Gore and millions of Americans, is addicted to this constant caffeine hit. Among the FDA's listed 92 symptoms for Aspartame poisoning are: "Difficulty Swallowing", "Fainting" and "Unconsciousness".

Bush's facial lesions, removed as a result of "Too much sun" is another sign of Aspartame poisoning. So was his recent knee surgery: Aspartame depletes synovial fluid lubricating the joints.

Would you drink six to 12 cans of formaldehyde a day? It turns out that methanol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the tissues. As Guildford wrote to USN Captain Eleanor Marino, Physician to the President (February 21, 2002): ten percent of a 200mg can of diet soda is straight methanol wood alcohol! Methanol is such a gross cumulative poison, the EPA's limit for drinking water is 7.8 mg daily. For serious addicts like Bush, the methanol intake can exceed 32 times the EPA's recommended limit...

Now the punch line: Clinical case studies shows that, among other symptoms, Aspartame ingestion results in "mind fog", feeling "unreal", poor memory, confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, and slurred speech. [Neurology 1994]

Alcohol-related brain damage is not helped by chugging formaldehyde. James Turner, consumer protection lawyer and author of The Chemical Feast learned that an October 1980 FDA inquiry found that the formaldehyde formed by Aspartame actually eats microscopic holes and triggers tumors in the brain.

That finding banned Aspartame from the food supply. But three months later, Searle CEO Donald Rumsfeld told that pharma giant's sales staff he would get Aspartame approved pronto. The next month, the FDA commissioner was replaced by Dr. Arthur Hayes. In Nov. 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft drinks. Under fire for accepting corporate bribes, Hayes went to work for Searle's public-relations firm. Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro coined the name NutraSweet. Monsanto bought Searle. Rumsfeld received $12 million for his help. Shapiro now heads Monsanto.

The same "revolving door" swings wide for arms makers and the oil mafia. The Big Question is: Why hasn't Dick warned George that the diet drinks he's swilling are eating his brain and making him crazy?

Crazy? Am I calling the President-Select of the Excited States crazy? Not me. As a journalist, I can only point out that published medical evidence goes frighteningly far in explaining GW's behavior. For certain, this good ol' boy should go in for a brain scan before being allowed to command more firepower than the next 11 nations combined. If George W. Bush is not crazy --- he's sure acting like it.

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