Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FACT OR FICTION : Did CIA operative Mitch Rapp mislead Bush on Iraq ?

Some want to blame CURVEBALL or Ahmed Chalabi for misleading the Bush Administration on Iraq's W.M.D. programs, yet George Bush was the one who made the final decision to go to war. This was not a decision that one makes lightly, yet I wonder if he wasn't mislead by Mitch Rapp.

Never heard of Mitch Rapp ?

Mitch Rapp, is the relentless, marble-hearted CIA assassin and counterterrorism operative, who was assigned a seemingly impossible task when the rumor was that Saddam Hussein had acquired nuclear weapon components from North Korea. Further, the Iraqis are assembling them in a factory buried beneath a Baghdad hospital. This calls for a gutsy mission, one that entails stopping Saddam while avoiding the PR nightmare that bombing a hospital would cause.
Or so Vince Flynn wrote in his 2002 book, Separation of Power. Well, if you read the book, you know that Rapp succeeded in getting the nuclear warhead out of Baghdad to prove to the world that Saddam was definitely pursuing a nuclear program. And as a result, Rapp was lauded by the president as "the single most important person in America's fight against terrorism."

Flynn's fictional President and George Bush have something in common ... they're both fans of Mitch Rapp. Flynn revealed on KFAN radio that Bush has read all his books and even requested an advance copy of his Flynn’s new book Protect And Defend in which Mitch Rapp looks into the destruction of Iran's secret nuclear weapons facility. Now, we know why Bush is talking about Iran and World War III ... Mitch Rapp told him. Oh, goody … Flynn revealed that Bush liked the book, so we all better read it to find out how WWIII turns out in Bush’s mind.

So is that the problem … Bush thought that a team of CIA operatives would save the world from Saddam’s WMD and we wouldn’t even need to be liberators nor would the Iraqis need to “welcome the US forces with flowers and sweets." Ah, in a fictional world, everything is good and easy … but not so in real life. Yes, Bush had a shoot-out with the "bad guys" in Iraq last week, playing a computer game with war veterans that simulates a firefight in Baghdad.

But computer games and books are not real life.

Now, I enjoy a good book … mostly non-fiction, but when need a fiction-fix, I enjoy a political thriller. So when Vinny the bartender wrote his first book, Term Limits, I supported the Minnesota kid and read it. It was good but his later works have stretched from political fiction to science fiction … and that’s scary if Bush cannot see it.

I shudder at the thought that Bush may have read Robert J. Serling's, The President's Plane is Missing. The book was published about the time that Bush was in the Texas National Guard. In the novel, the country is faced with the possibility of a nuclear confrontation with Communist China. President Jeremy Haines is concerned that any wrong diplomatic move by the US could result in disaster. Badly in need of a vacation, Haines and his staff leave for a Palm Springs retreat. On route, Air Force One encounters atmospheric turbulence and disappears off the radar screen. Is the President dead? No, there is a good deal of trickery and mystery, but in the end the President takes charge. Well, I suspect that Bush would probably see himself as Harrison Ford (as in President James Marshall) in Air Force One ... and save the day.
No need for phony Mission Accomplished banners if you have a good writer.

If Bush is looking for some reading, maybe he should stay away from fiction.
If he wants to read a first hand account from people on the ground in Iraq, I suggest Hope Is Not A Plan written by participant-observers brought to Iraq to diagnose the insurgency and develop a get-well plan. The book is written to anyone interested in first-hand information about the workings of a coalition staff during wartime.
Hint : it’s kinda critical as even General David Petraeus was criticized for his pre-surge management.

And if Bush is ready to look beyond the Iraq situation, Osama bin Laden might suggest Perilous power : the Middle East & U.S. foreign policy : dialogues on terror, democracy, war, and justice by Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar. Bin Laden called Chomsky “among one of the most capable of those from your own side.”
Hint : you can learn a lot from your enemy.

And if he wants to learn how the Republican Party has lost its way, read Victor Gold’s Invasion of the party-snatchers : how the holy-rollers and neo-cons destroyed the GOP.
Hint : Gold co-wrote a book with Lynn Cheney, so she may have passed a copy to her that you can borrow.


Joe@2parse said...

Interesting take. I tend to accept the idea that Bush's ideas about foreign policy stem more from thrillers and westerns than from things like, well facts. I just wrote about this book as well over at my blog in a post I called . That's actually how I found your site - seeing what other people had written. But it seems most people just take it as a thriller.

Anonymous said...

Wow....Fiction is Fiction boys. and Left is Left.....You're a little left for me.

Anonymous said...

Centrist? Maybe center in the left-hand column. Holy cow - get over it. Peace cannot be realized with out war. It's a fact of life and will be forever until we're brainwashed by the left.

Anonymous said...

I have ready every Vince Flynn novel and the fact that you think the first novel, Term Limits, is the one closest to reality tells me you probably have never read the others. The Mitch Rapp series draws on mostly factual circumstances and potential threats. Sure, the names have changed, but this is only to protect the guilty. For you to call them science fiction and to actually think George Bush based "his" decision to invade Iraq on a novel tels me how ignorant you really are. Clinton had plans to invade Iraq long before Bush took office. 9/11 gave Bush the ammo he needed to finally put that fanatic, Hussein, out of our misery. You call yourself centrist. I call you misinformed.

Minnesota Central said...

Hi Matt,

Thanks for reading this post and offering your comments.

I am glad that you enjoy the Flynn series ... I have stopped reading them ... as I stated, the stories may be "ripped from the headlines" and Vince does have his inside sources, but they are fiction. He has found his niche and with a movie in the works and book contracts, he is a commercial success ... but let us remember it is fiction ... as you say, a novel.
Yes, sometimes fiction can resemble the headlines ... the weapon may have been different but Lionel Shriver's novel We Need to Talk About Kevin is a chilling tale considering today's school safety concerns.

It is interesting that you state 9/11 gave Bush the ammo he needed to finally put that fanatic, Hussein, out of our misery which illustrates the problem, 9/11 was a bin Laden event not Iraq. Yet, I recall Sam Donaldson interviewing candidate Bush prior to the Iowa caucuses (01/23/2000)and being asked about Iraq and his response was : Saddam just needs to understand that if I'm the president, he's going to have a problem. That's what he needs to understand.

I will leave it to you to evaluate a few of my other favorite books and tell us if they are Fiction or Non-Fiction :

Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy [by Bruce Bartlett}

Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction [by David Kuo]