Karl Rove is “co-president of the United States” and it was he who got Bush to go to war in Iraq, writes James C. Moore in the Los Angeles Times:[Rove] looked around and saw that the economy was anemic and people were complaining about the president’s inability to find Osama bin Laden. In another corner, the neoconservatives in the Cabinet were itching to launch ships and planes to the Mideast and take control of Iraq. Rove converged the dynamics of the times. He convinced the president to connect Hussein to bin Laden, even if the CIA could not. … And now, Rove needs the conflict to continue so his client—the president—can retain wartime stature during next year’s election. Listen to the semantics from Bush’s recent trip to the aircraft carrier Lincoln. When he referred to the ‘battle of Iraq,’ Bush implied that we only won a single fight in a bigger war that was not yet over.According to Moore’s sources (the Emmy-award-winning television reporter has covered Bush and Rove for more than 20 years), “[Rove] was also reported to be present at a war strategy meeting concerning whether to attack Syria after Iraq. Rove said the timing was not right. Yet.”And in a recent New Yorker profile of Rove, Nicholas Lemann puts it this way: “In Washington, Rove gets conversational credit for everything up to and including the war in Iraq, and Democrats, at least, use ‘Rove’ as shorthand for ‘the Bush administration,’ as in, ‘Is Rove going to invade Syria?’ ”
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.