George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography - Part 4 of 8
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GEORGE BUSH: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY - PART 4 of 8
As obtained via FTP in ZIP format from www.kmf.org/williams/bushbook.html.
RUBBERS GOES TO CONGRESS
During the heat of the Senate campaign, Bush's redistricting lawsuit had
progressed in a way that must have provided him much solace amidst the
bitterness of his defeat. First, Bush won his suit in the Houston federal
district court, and there was a loud squawk from Governor John Connally,
who called that august tribunal a "Republican court." Bush whined that
Connally was being "vitriolic." Then, during Bush's primary campaign, a
three-judge panel of the federal circuit court of appeals also ruled that
the state of Texas must be redistricted. Bush called that result "a real
victory for all the people of Texas." By March, Bush's redistricting suit
had received favorable action by the U.S. Supreme Court. This meant that
the way was clear to create a no-incumbent, designer district for George in
a masterpiece of gerrymandering that would make him an elected official,
the first Republican congressman in the recent history of the Houston area.
The new Seventh District was drawn to create a liberal Republican seat,
carefully taking into account which areas Bush had succeeded in carrying in
the Senate race. What emerged was for the most part a lily-white,
silk-stocking district of the affluent upper-middle class and upper crust.
There were also small black and Hispanic enclaves. In the precinct boxes of
the new district, Bush had rolled up an eight-to-five margin over
Yarborough. / Note #1
But before gearing up a congressional campaign in the Seventh District in
1966, Bush first had to jettison some of the useless ideological ballast he
had taken on for his 1964 Goldwater profile. During the 1964 campaign, Bush
had spoken out more frankly and more bluntly on a series of political
issues than ever before or since. Apart from the Goldwater coloration, one
comes away with the impression that much of the time the speeches were not
just inventions, but often reflected his own oligarchical instincts and
deeply rooted obsessions. In late 1964 and early 1965, Bush was afflicted
by a hangover induced by what for him had been an unprecedented orgy of
The 1965-66 model George Bush would become a moderate, abandoning the
shrillest notes of the 1964 conservative crusade.
First came an Episcopalian "mea culpa." As Bush's admirer Fitzhugh Green
reports, "one of his first steps was to shuck off a bothersome trace from
his 1964 campaign. He had espoused some conservative ideas that didn't jibe
with his own moderate attitude." Previous statements were becoming
inoperative, one gathers, when Bush discussed the matter with his Anglican
pastor, John Stevens. "You know, John," said Bush, "I took some of the far
right positions to get elected. I hope I never do it again. I regret it."
His radical stance on the civil rights bill was allegedly a big part of his
"regret." Stevens later commented: "I suspect that his goal on civil rights
was the same as mine: It's just that he wanted to go through the existing
authorities to attain it. In that way nothing would get done. Still, he
represents about the best of noblesse oblige." / Note #2
Purge of County GOP
It was characteristically through an attempted purge in the Harris County
GOP organization that Bush signaled that he was reversing his field. His
gambit here was to call on party activists to take an "anti-extremist and
anti-intolerance pledge," as the "Houston Chronicle" reported on May 26,
1965. / Note #3 Bush attacked unnamed apostles of "guilt by association"
and "far-out fear psychology," and his pronouncements touched off a bitter
and protracted row in the Houston GOP. Bush made clear that he was
targeting the John Birch Society, whose activists he had been eager to lure
into his own 1964 effort. Now Bush beat up on the Birchers as a way to
correct his right-wing profile from the year before. Bush said, with his
usual tortured syntax, that Birch members claim to "abhor smear and slander
and guilt by association, but how many of them speak out against it
This was soon followed by a Bush-inspired move to oust Bob Gilbert, who had
been Bush's successor as the GOP county chairman during the Goldwater
period. Bush's retainers put out the line that the "extremists" had been
gaining too much power under Gilbert, and that he therefore must go. By
June 12, 1965, the Bush faction had enough clout to oust Gilbert. The
eminence grise of the right-wing faction, State Senator Walter Mengdon,
told the press that the ouster of Gilbert had been dictated by Bush. Bush
whined in response that he was very disappointed with Mengdon. "I have
stayed out of county politics. I believed all Republicans had backed my
campaign," Bush told the "Houston Chronicle" on the day Gilbert fell.
On July 1, the Houston papers reported the election of a new,
"anti-extremist" Republican county leader. This was James M. Mayor, who
defeated James Bowers by a margin of 95 votes against 80 in the county
executive committee. Mayor was endorsed by Bush, as well as by Senator
Tower. Bowers was an auctioneer, who called for a return to the Goldwater
"magic." GOP state chair O'Donnell hoped that the new chairman would be
able to put an end to "the great deal of dissension within the party in
Harris County for several years." Despite this pious wish, acrimonious
faction fighting tore the county organization to pieces over the next
But at the same time, Bush took care to police his left flank, distancing
himself from the beginnings of the movement against the war in Vietnam,
which had been visible by the middle of 1965. A remarkable document of this
maneuver is the text of the debate between Bush and Ronnie Dugger, the
writer and editor of the "Texas Observer." / Note #4 The debate was held
July 1, 1965 before the Junior Bar of Texas convention in Fort Worth.
Dugger had endorsed Bush -- in a way Dugger said was "not without whimsical
intent" in the GOP Senate primary the year before. Dugger was no radical;
at this point he was not really against the Vietnam War; and he actually
endorsed the policy of LBJ, saying that the President had "no easy way out
of Vietnam, but he is seeking and seeking hard for an honorable way out."
Nevertheless, Dugger found that LBJ had made a series of mistakes in the
implementation of his policy. Dugger also embraced the provisos advanced by
Senator Fulbright to the effect that "seeking a complete military victory
would cost more than the requirements of our interest and honor." So Dugger
argued against any further escalation, and argued that anti-war
demonstrations and civil disobedience could be beneficial.
Bush's first real cause for alarm was seeing "the civil rights movement
being made over into a massive vehicle with which to attack the President's
foreign policy in Vietnam." He started by attacking Conrad Lynn, a "Negro
lawyer" who had told students at "my old university -- Yale University,"
that "the United States white supremacists' army has been sent to suppress
the non-white people of the world." According to Bush, "The "Yale Daily
News" reported that the audience applauded when [Lynn] announced that
several Negroes had gone to Asia to enlist in the North Viet Nam army to
fight against the United States." Then Bush turned to his real target, Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. King, he said, who is "identified with the freedom
of the Negro cause, says in Boston the other day that he doesn't want to
sit at a segregated lunch counter where you have strontium 90 in the milk,
overlooking the fact that it's the communists who are testing in the
atmosphere today, the Red Chinese. It's not the United States." Then there
was Bayard Rustin, "a leading individual in the Negro struggle for freedom,
[who] calls for withdrawal from Viet Nam." This is all hypocritical in
Bush's view, since "they talk about civil rights in this country, but they
are willing to sacrifice the individual rights in the communist countries."
Bush was equally riled up over anti-war demonstrations, since they were
peopled by what he called "extremists": "I am sure you know what an
extremist is. That's a guy who takes a good idea and carries it to simply
preposterous ends. And that's what's happened. Of course, the re-emergence
of the political beatnik is causing me personally a good deal of pleasure.
Many conservatives winced during 1964 as we were labeled extremists of the
right. And certainly we were embarrassed by the booing of Nelson
Rockefeller at the convention, and some of the comments that referred to
the smell of fascism in the air at the Republican convention, and things
like this, and we winced."
Warming to the subject, Bush continued: "Let me give you some examples of
this kind of left-wing extremism. Averell Harriman -- surely not known for
his reactionary views -- speaking at Cornell University, talking about Viet
Nam before a crowd that calls 'Liar!' [They] booed him to the state he
could hardly finish, and finally he got so frustrated he asked, 'How many
in the audience are communists?' And a bunch of people there -- small I
will admit -- held up their hands."
So extremists, for Bush, were those who assailed Rockefeller and Harriman.
Bush defended the House Committee on Un-American Activities against the
demonstrations organized by James Foreman and SNCC, commiserated with a
State Department official who had been branded a fascist at Iowa State, and
went on to assail the Berkeley "filthy speech" movement. As an example of
the "pure naivete" of civil rights leaders, he cited Coretta Scott King,
who "managed to link global peace and civil rights, somehow managed to tie
these two things together philosophically" -- which Bush professed not to
fathom. "If we can be non-violent in Selma, why can't we be non-violent in
Viet Nam," Ossie Davis had said, and Bush proposed he be awarded the "green
Wiener" for his "absurd theory," for "what's got to be the fuzziest
thinking of the year."
Beyond this inevitable obsession with race, Bush was frankly a hawk,
frankly for escalation, opening the door to nuclear weapons in Vietnam only
a little more subtly than he had the year before: "And so I stand here as
one who says I will back up the President and military leaders no matter
what weapons they use in Southeast Asia."
Congress in his Sights
As the 1966 congressional election approached, Bush was optimistic about
his chances of finally getting elected. This time, instead of swimming
against the tide of the Goldwater cataclysm, Bush would be favored by the
classic mid-term election reflex which almost always helps the
congressional candidates of the party out of power. And LBJ in the White
House was vulnerable on a number of points, from the escalation of the
Vietnam War to "stagflation" (stagnation + inflation). The designer
gerrymandering of the new Houston congressional district had functioned
perfectly, and so had his demagogic shift toward the "vital center" of
moderate conservatism. Because the district was newly drawn, there would be
no well-known incumbent to contend with. And now, by one of the convenient
coincidences that seem to be strewn through Bush's life, the only obstacle
between him and election was a troglodyte Democratic conservative of an
ugly and vindictive type, the sort of figure who would make even Bush look
The Democrat in question was Frank Briscoe, a former district attorney.
According to the "Texas Observer," "Frank Briscoe was one of the most
vicious prosecutors in Houston's history. He actually maintained a 'ten
most wanted convictions list' by which he kept the public advised of how
much luck he had getting convictions against his chosen defendants then
being held in custody. Now, as a candidate for Congress, Briscoe is running
red-eyed for the right-wing in Houston. He is anti-Democratic; anti-civil
rights; anti-foreign aid; anti-war on poverty. The fact that he calls
himself a Democrat is utterly irrelevant." By contrast, from the point of
view of the "Texas Observer": "His opponent, George Bush, is a conservative
man. He favors the war in Vietnam; he was for Goldwater, although probably
reluctantly; he is nobody's firebrand. Yet Bush is simply civilized in race
relations, and he is now openly rejecting the support of the John Birch
Society. This is one case where electing a Republican to Congress would
help preserve the two-party balance of the country and at the same time
spare Texas the embarrassment" of having somebody like Briscoe go to
Washington. / Note #5 Bush's ideological face-lifting was working. "I want
conservatism to be sensitive and dynamic, not scared and reactionary," Bush
told the "Wall Street Journal."
Briscoe appears in retrospect as a candidate made to order for Bush's new
moderate profile, and there are indications that is just what he was.
Sources in Houston recall that in 1966 there was another Democratic
candidate for the new congressional seat, a moderate and attractive
Democrat named Wildenthal. These sources say that Bush's backers provided
large-scale financial support for Briscoe in the Democratic primary
campaign, with the result that Wildenthal lost out to Briscoe, setting up
the race that Bush found to his advantage. A designer district was not
enough for George; he also required a designer opponent if he was to
prevail -- a fact which may be relevant to the final evaluation of what
happened in 1988.
One of the key points of differentiation between Bush and Briscoe was on
race. The district had about 15 percent black population, but making some
inroads here among registered Democrats would be of decisive importance for
the GOP side. Bush made sure that he was seen sponsoring a black baseball
team, and talked a lot about his work for the United Negro College Fund
when he had been at Yale. He told the press that "black power" agitators
were not a problem among the more responsible blacks in Houston. "I think
the day is past," Bush noted, "when we can afford to have a lily-white
district. I will not attempt to appeal to the white backlash. I am in step
with the 1960s." Bush even took up a position in the Office of Economic
Opportunity anti-poverty apparatus in the city. He supported Project Head
Start. By contrast, Briscoe "accused" Bush of courting black support, and
reminded Bush that other Texas congressmen had been voting against civil
rights legislation when it came up in Congress. Briscoe had antagonized
parts of the black community by his relentless pursuit of the death penalty
in cases involving black capital defendants. According to the "New York
Times," "Negro leaders have mounted a quiet campaign to get Negroes to vote
Briscoe's campaign ads stressed that he was a right-winger and a Texan, and
accused Bush of being "the darling of the Lindsey [sic] -Javits crowd,"
endorsed by labor unions, liberal professors, liberal Republicans and
liberal syndicated columnists. Briscoe was proud of his endorsements from
Gov. John Connally and the Conservative Action Committee, a local
right-wing group. One endorsement for Bush that caused Briscoe some
difficulty was that of Bush mentor Richard M. Nixon. By 1966, Nixon was on
the comeback trail, having withstood the virtual nervous breakdown he had
undergone after losing his bid for the governorship of California in 1962.
Nixon was now in the course of assembling the delegates that would give him
the GOP presidential nomination in Miami in 1968. Nixon came to Houston and
made campaign appearances for Bush, as he had in 1964.
Bush had brought in a new group of handlers and image-mongers for this 1966
race. His campaign manager was Jim Allison from Midland. Harry Treleaven
was brought in to design Bush's propaganda.
Treleaven had been working at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency in
New York City, but he took a leave of absence from J. Walter to come to
work for Bush in Texas. At J. Walter Thompson, Treleaven had sold the
products of Pan American, RCA, Ford, and Lark cigarettes. He was attracted
to Bush because Bush had plenty of money and was willing to spend it
liberally. After the campaign was over, Treleaven wrote a long memo about
what he had done. He called it "Upset: The Story of a Modern Political
Campaign." One of the basic points in Treleaven's selling of Bush was that
issues would play no role. "Most national issues today are so complicated,
so difficult to understand, and have opinions on[,] that they either
intimidate or, more often, bore the average voter.... Few politicians
recognize this fact." In his memo, Treleaven describes how he walked around
Houston in the hot August of 1966 and asked people what they thought of
George Bush. He found that many considered Bush to be "an extremely
likeable person," but that "there was a haziness about exactly where he
For Treleaven, this was an ideal situation. "There'll be few opportunities
for logical persuasion, which is all right -- because probably more people
vote for irrational, emotional reasons than professional politicians
suspect." Treleaven's approach was that "politicians are celebrities."
Treleaven put 85 percent of Bush's hefty campaign budget into advertising,
and 59 percent of that was for television. Newspaper ads got 3 percent.
Treleaven knew that Bush was behind in the polls. "We can turn this into an
advantage," he wrote, "by creating a 'fighting underdog' image. Bush must
convince voters that he really wants to be elected and is working hard to
earn their vote. People sympathize with a man who tries hard: they are also
flattered that anyone would really exert himself to get their vote. Bush,
therefore, must be shown as a man who's working his heart out to win."
As Joe McGinnis summed up the television ads that resulted: "Over and over,
on every television set in Houston, George Bush was seen with his coat
slung over a shoulder; his sleeves rolled up; walking the streets of his
district; grinning, gripping, sweating, letting the voter know he cared.
About what, was never made clear." / Note #6
Coached by these professional spin doctors, Bush was acting as mainstream,
fair and conciliatory as could be. In an exchange with Briscoe in the
"Houston Chronicle" a few days before the election, he came out for "a
man's right to join a union and his right to strike, but I additionally
would favor fair legislation to see that no strike can cripple this nation
and endanger the general welfare." But he was still for the Texas right to
work law. Bush supported LBJ's "present Vietnam position.... I would like
to see an All-Asian Conference convened to attempt to settle this horrible
war. The Republican leadership, President Johnson, and Secretary Rusk and
almost all but the real 'doves' endorse this." Bush was against "sweeping
gun control." Briscoe wanted to cut "extravagant domestic spending," and
thought that money might be found by forcing France and the U.S.S.R. to
finally pay up their war debts from the two world wars!
When it came to urban renewal, Bush spoke up for the Charles Percy National
Home Ownership Foundation, which carried the name of a leading liberal
Republican senator. Bush wanted to place the federal emphasis on such
things as "rehabilitating old homes." "I favor the concept of local option
on urban renewal. Let the people decide," he said, with a slight nod in the
direction of the emerging New Left.
In Bush's campaign ads he invited the voters to "take a couple of minutes
and see if you don't agree with me on six important points," including
Vietnam, inflation, civil disobedience, jobs, voting rights and "extremism"
(Bush was against the far right and the far left). And there was George,
billed as "successful businessman ... civic leader ... world traveler ...
war hero," bareheaded in a white shirt and tie, with his jacket slung over
his shoulder in the post-Kennedy fashion.
In the context of a pro-GOP trend that brought 59 freshmen Republican
congressmen into the House, the biggest influx in two decades, Bush's
calculated approach worked. Bush got about 35 percent of the black vote, 44
percent of the usually yellow-dog Democrat rural vote, and 70 percent in
the exclusive River Oaks suburb. Still, his margin was not large: Bush got
58 percent of the votes in the district. Bob Gray, the candidate of the
Constitution Party, got less than 1 percent.
Despite the role of black voters in his narrow victory, Bush could not
refrain from whining. "If there was a disappointing aspect in the vote, it
was my being swamped in the black precincts, despite our making an all-out
effort to attract black voters. It was both puzzling and frustrating," Bush
observed in his 1987 campaign autobiography. / Note #7 After all, Bush
complained, he had put the GOP's funds in a black-owned bank when he was
party chairman; he had opened a party office with full-time staff near
Texas Southern, a black college; he had worked closely with Bill Trent of
the United Negro College Fund, all with scant payoff as Bush saw it. Many
black voters had not been prepared to reward Bush's noblesse oblige, and
that threw him into a rage state, whether or not his thyroid was already
working overtime in 1966.
Bush in Washington
When Bush got to Washington in January 1967, the Brown Brothers Harriman
networks delivered: Bush became the first freshman member of the House of
either party since 1904 to be given a seat on the Ways and Means Committee.
And he did this, it must be recalled, as a member of the minority party,
and in an era when the freshman congressman was supposed to be seen and not
heard. The Ways and Means Committee in those years was still a real center
of power, one of the most strategic points in the House along with the
Rules Committee and a few others. By constitutional provision, all tax
legislation had to originate in the House of Representatives, and given the
traditions of committee organization, all tax bills had to originate in the
Ways and Means Committee. In addition to the national importance of such a
committee assignment, Ways and Means oversaw the legislation touching such
vital Texas and district concerns as oil and gas depletion allowances and
Later writers have marveled at Bush's achievement in getting a seat on Ways
and Means. For John R. Knaggs, this reflected "the great potential national
Republicans held for George Bush." The "Houston Chronicle," which had
supported Briscoe in the election, found that with this appointment "the
GOP was able to point up to the state one benefit of a two-party system." /
In this case, unlike so many others, we are able to establish how the
invisible hand of Skull and Bones actually worked to procure Bush this
important political plum. This is due to the indiscretion of the man who
was chairman of Ways and Means for many years, Democratic Congressman
Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas. Mills was hounded out of office because of an
alcoholism problem, and later found work as an attorney for a tax law firm.
Asked about the Bush appointment to the committee he controlled back in
1967, Mills said: "I put him on. I got a phone call from his father telling
me how much it mattered to him. I told him I was a Democrat and the
Republicans had to decide; and he said the Republicans would do it if I
just asked Gerry Ford." Mills said that he had asked Ford and John W.
Byrnes of Wisconsin, who was the ranking Republican on Ways and Means, and
Bush was in, thanks once again to Daddy Warbucks, Prescott Bush. / Note #9
Wilbur Mills may have let himself in for a lot of trouble in later years by
not always treating George with due respect. Because of Bush's o bsession
with birth control for the lower orders, Mills gave Bush the nickname
"Rubbers," which stuck with him during his years in Congress. / Note #1 /
Note #0 Poppy Bush was not amused. One day Mills might ponder in
retrospect, as so many others have, on Bush's vindictiveness.
Uprooting Western Values
In January 1968, LBJ delivered his State of the Union message to Congress,
even as the Viet Cong's Tet offensive was making a shambles of his Vietnam
War policy. The Republican reply came in a series of short statements by
former President Eisenhower, House Minority leader Gerry Ford, Rep. Melvin
Laird, Senator Howard Baker and other members of Congress. Another tribute
to the efforts of the Prescott Bush-Skull and Bones networks was the fact
that amid this parade of Republican worthies there appeared, with tense jaw
and fist clenched to pound on the table, Rep. George Bush.
The Johnson administration had claimed that austerity measures were not
necessary during the time that the war in Vietnam was being prosecuted. LBJ
had promised the people "guns and butter," but now the economy was
beginning to go into decline. Bush's overall public rhetorical stance
during these years was to demand that the Democratic administration impose
specific austerity measures and replace big-spending programs with
appropriate deficit-cutting rigor. Here is what Bush told a nationwide
network television audience on January 23, 1968:
"The nation faces this year just as it did last a tremendous deficit in the
federal budget, but in the President's message there was no sense of
sacrifice on the part of the government, no assignment of priorities, no
hint of the need to put first things first. And this reckless policy has
imposed the cruel tax of rising prices on the people, pushed interest rates
to their highest levels in 100 years, sharply reduced the rate of real
economic growth and saddled every man and woman and child in American with
the largest tax burden in our history.
"And what does the President say? He says we must pay still more taxes and
he proposes drastic restrictions on the rights of Americans to invest and
travel abroad. If the President wants to control inflation, he's got to cut
back on federal spending and the best way, the best way to stop the gold
drain is to live within our means in this country." / Note #1 / Note #1
Those who wanted to read Bush's lips at a distance back in those days found
that he was indeed committed to a kind of austerity. In May of 1968, with
Johnson already a lame duck, the Ways and Means Committee approved what was
dubbed on Capitol Hill the "10-8-4" deficit control package. This mandated
a tax increase of $10 billion per year, coupled with a $4 billion cut in
expenditures. Bush joined with four Ways and Means Republicans (the others
were Conable, Schneebeli and Battin) to approve the measure. / Note #1 /
But the principal focus of Bush's activity during his tenure in the House
of Representatives centered on a project that was much more sinister and
far-reaching than the mere imposition of budget austerity, destructive as
that demand was at the time. With a will informed by the ideas about
population, race and economic development that we have seen current in
Prescott Bush's circles at Brown Brothers Harriman, George Bush would now
become a protagonist of a series of institutional changes which would
contribute to that overall degradation of the cultural paradigm of Western
civilization which was emergent at the end of the 1960s.
In 1969, Bush told the House of Representatives that, unless the menace of
human population growth were "recognized and made manageable, starvation,
pestilence and war will solve it for us." Bush repeatedly compared
population growth to a disease. / Note #1 / Note #3 In remarks to the House
July 30, 1969, he likened the fight against the polio virus to the crusade
to reduce the world's population. Urging the federal government to step up
population control efforts, he said: "We have a clear precedent: When the
Salk vaccine was discovered, large-scale programs were undertaken to
distribute it. I see no reason why similar programs of education and family
planning assistance should not be instituted in the United States on a
As Jessica Mathews, vice president of one of Washington's most influential
zero-growth outfits, the World Resources Institute, later wrote of Bush in
those years: "In the 1960s and '70s, Bush had not only embraced the cause
of domestic and international family planning, he had aggressively sought
to be its champion.... As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep.
Bush shepherded the first major breakthrough in domestic family planning
legislation in 1967," and "later co-authored the legislation commonly known
as Title X, which created the first federal family planning program...."
"On the international front," Mathews wrote, Bush "recommended that the
U.S. support the United Nations Population Fund.... He urged, in the
strongest words, that the U.S. and European countries make modern
contraceptives available 'on a massive scale,' to all those around the
world who wanted them."
Bush belonged to a small group of congressmen who successfully conspired to
force a profound shift in the official U.S. attitude and policy toward
population expansion. Embracing the "limits to growth" ideology with a
vengeance, Bush and his coterie, which included such ultraliberal Democrats
as then-Senator Walter Mondale (Minn.) and Rep. James Scheuer (N.Y.),
labored to enact legislation which institutionalized population control as
U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
Bush began his Malthusian activism in the House in 1968, the year that Pope
Paul VI issued his enyclical "Humanae Vitae," with its prophetic warning of
the danger of coercion by governments for the purpose of population
control. The Pope wrote: "Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon
would be placed in the hands of those public authorities who place no heed
of moral exigencies.... Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even
imposing upon their people, the method of contraception which they judge to
be most efficacious?" For poorer countries with a high population rate, the
encyclical identified the only rational and humane policy: "No solution to
these difficulties is acceptable which does violence to man's essential
dignity.... The only possible solution ... is one which envisages the
social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human
This was a direct challenge to the cultural paradigm transformation which
Bush and other exponents of the oligarchical world outlook were promoting.
Not for the first time nor for the last, Bush issued a direct attack on the
Holy See. Just days after "Humanae Vitae" was issued, Bush declared: "I
have decided to give my vigorous support for population control in both the
United States and the world." He continued, "For those of us who who feel
so strongly on this issue, the recent enyclical was most discouraging."
Population Control Leader
During his four years in Congress, Bush not only introduced key pieces of
legislation to enforce population control both at home and abroad. He also
continuously introduced into the congressional debate reams of propaganda
about the threat of population growth and the inferiority of blacks, and he
set up a special Republican task force which functioned as a forum for the
most rabid Malthusian ideologues.
"Bush was really out front on the population issue," a population-control
activist recently said of this period of 1967-71. "He was saying things
that even we were reluctant to talk about publicly."
Bush's open public advocacy of government measures tending towards zero
population growth was a radical departure from the policies built into the
federal bureaucracy up until that time. The climate of opinion just a few
years earlier, in December 1959, is illustrated by the comments of
President Eisenhower, who had said, "birth control is not our business. I
cannot imagine anything more emphatically a subject that is not a proper
political or governmental activity . .. or responsibility."
As a congressman, Bush played an absolutely pivotal role in this shift.
Shortly after arriving in Washington, he teamed up with fellow Republican
Herman Schneebeli to offer a series of amendments to the Social Security
Act to place priority emphasis on what was euphemistically called "family
planning services." The avowed goal was to reduce the number of children
born to women on welfare.
Bush's and Schneebeli's amendments reflected the Malthusian-genocidalist
views of Dr. Alan Guttmacher, then president of Planned Parenthood, and a
protege of its founder, Margaret Sanger. In the years before the grisly
outcome of the Nazi cult of race science and eugenics had inhibited public
calls for defense of the "gene pool," Sanger had demanded the weeding out
of the "unfit" and the "inferior races," and had campaigned vigorously for
sterilization, infanticide and abortion, in the name of "race betterment."
Although Planned Parenthood was forced, during the fascist era and
immediately thereafter, to tone down Sanger's racist rhetoric from "race
betterment" to "family planning" for the benefit of the poor and blacks,
the organization's basic goal of curbing the population growth rate among
"undesirables" never really changed. Bush publicly asserted that he agreed
"1,000 percent" with Planned Parenthood.
During hearings on the Social Security amendments, Bush and witness Alan
Guttmacher had the following colloquy:
"Bush": Is there any [opposition to Planned Parenthood] from any other
organizations or groups, civil rights groups?
"Guttmacher": We do have problems. We are in a sensitive area in regard
particularly to the Negro. There are some elements in the Negro group that
feel we are trying to keep down the numbers. We are very sensitive to this.
We have a community relations department headed by a most capable Negro
social worker to try to handle that part of the problem. This does, of
course, cause us a good bit of concern.
"Bush": I appreciate that. For the record, I would like to say I am 1,000
percent in accord with the goals of your organization. I think perhaps more
than any other type of organization you can do more in the field of poverty
and mental health and everything else than any other group that I can think
of. I commend you.
Like his father before him, Bush supported Planned Parenthood at every
opportunity. Time after time, he rose on the floor of the House to praise
Planned Parenthood's work. In 1967, Bush called for "having the government
agencies work even more closely with going private agencies such as Planned
Parenthood." A year later, he urged those interested in "advancing the
cause of family planning," to "call your local Planned Parenthood Center"
to offer "help and support."
The Bush-Schneebeli amendments were aimed at reducing the number of
children born to blacks and poor whites. The legislation required all
welfare recipients, including mothers of young children, to seek work, and
barred increases in federal aid to states where the proportion of dependent
children on welfare increased.
Reducing the welfare rolls was a prime Bush concern. He frequently
motivated his population-control crusade with thinly veiled appeals to
racism, as in his infamous Willie Horton ads during the 1988 presidential
campaign. Talking about the rise in the welfare rolls in a July 1968
statement, Bush lamented that "our national welfare costs are rising
phenomenally." Worse, he warned, there were far too many children being
born to welfare mothers: "The fastest-growing part of the relief rolls
everywhere is Aid For Dependent Children [sic] -- AFDC. At the end of the
1968 fiscal year, a little over $2 billion will be spent for AFDC, but by
fiscal 1972 this will increase by over 75 percent."
Bush emphasized that more children are born into non-white poor families
than to white ones. Blacks must recognize, he said, "that they cannot hope
to acquire a larger share of American prosperity without cutting down on
Forcing mothers on welfare to work was believed to be an effective means of
reducing the number of black children born, and Bush sponsored a number of
measures to do just that. In 1970, he helped lead the fight on the Hill for
President Nixon's notorious welfare bill, the Family Assistance Program,
known as FAP. Billed as a boon to the poor because it provided an income
floor, the measure called on every able-bodied welfare recipient, except
mothers with children under six, to take a job. This soon became known as
Nixon's "workfare" slave-labor bill. Monetarist theoreticians of economic
austerity were quick to see that forced labor by welfare recipients could
be used to break the unions where they existed, while lowering wages and
worsening working conditions for the entire labor force. Welfare recipients
could even be hired as scabs to replace workers being paid according to
normal pay scales. Those workers, after they had been fired, would
themselves end up destitute and on welfare, and could then be forced to
take workfare for even lower wages than those who had been on welfare at
the outset of the process. This was known as "recycling."
Critics of the Nixon workfare bill pointed out that it contained no minimum
standards regarding the kinds of jobs or the level of wages which would be
forced upon welfare recipients, and that it contradicted the original
purpose of welfare, which was to allow mothers to stay home with their
children. Further, it would set up a pool of virtual slave labor, which
could be used to replace workers earning higher wages.
But Bush thought these tough measures were exactly what the explosion of
the welfare rolls demanded. During House debate on the measure April 15,
1970, Bush said he favored FAP because it would force the lazy to work:
"The family assistance plan ... is oriented toward work," he said. "The
present federal-state welfare system encourages idleness by making it more
profitable to be on welfare than to work, and provides no method by which
the State may limit the number of individuals added to the rolls."
Bush had only "one major worry, and that is that the work incentive
provisions will not be enforced.... [It] is essential that the program be
administered as visualized by the Ways and Means Committee; namely, if an
individual does not work, he will not receive funds." The Manchester
School's Iron Law of Wages as expounded by George Bush, self-styled expert
in the dismal science....
In 1967, Bush joined with Rep. James Scheuer (D-N.Y.), to successfully
sponsor legislation that removed prohibitions against mailing and importing
contraceptive devices. More than opening the door to French-made condoms,
Bush's goal here was a kind of ideological "succes de scandale." The
zero-growth lobby deemed this a major breakthrough in making the
paraphernalia for domestic population control accessible.
In rapid succession, Bush introduced legislation to create a National
Center for Population and Family Planning and Welfare, and to redesignate
the Department of the Interior as the Department of Resources, Environment
On the foreign policy front, he helped shift U.S. foreign assistance away
from funding development projects to grapple with the problem of hunger in
the world, to underwriting population control. "I propose that we totally
revamp our foreign aid program to give primary emphasis to population
control," he stated in the summer of 1968, adding: "In my opinion, we have
made a mistake in our foreign aid by concentrating on building huge steel
mills and concrete plants in underdeveloped nations...."
Notes - Chpater 11, Part 1
1. See Fitzhugh Green, "George Bush: A Biography" (New York: Dodd, Mead &
Company, 1980), p. 92, and George Bush and Victor Gold, "Looking Forward"
(New York: Doubleday, 1987), p. 90.
2. Stevens's remarks were part of a Public Broadcasting System "Frontline"
documentary program entitled "Campaign: The Choice," Nov. 24, 1988. Cited
by Fitzhugh Green, "op. cit.," p. 91.
3. For the chronicles of the Harris County GOP, see local press articles
available on microfiche at the Texas Historical Society in Houston.
4. "Geor ge Bush vs. Observer Editor," "Texas Observer," July 23, 1965.
5. "Texas Observer," Oct. 14, 1966.
6. Joe McGinniss, "The Selling of the President 1968" (New York: Penguin
Books, 1968), pp. 42-45.
7. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 91.
8. See John R. Knaggs, "Two-Party Texas" (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985), p. 111.
9. "Congressional Quarterly," "President Bush: The Challenge Ahead"
(Washington, 1989), p. 94.
10. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," in "Texas Monthly," June 1983.
11. "New York Times," Jan. 24, 1968.
12. "New York Times," May 7, 1968.
13. The following account of Bush's congressional record on population and
related issues is derived from the ground-breaking research of Kathleen
Klenetsky, to whom the authors acknowledge their indebtedness. The material
that follows incorporates sections of Kathleen Klenetsky, "Bush Backed Nazi
'Race Science,'|" "New Federalist", Vol 5, No. 16, April 29, 1991.
RUBBERS GOES TO CONGRESS
One of Bush's more important initiatives on the domestic side was his
sponsorhip of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of
1970, brainchild of Sen. Joseph Tydings of Maryland. Signed into law by
President Nixon on December 24, 1970, the Tydings-Bush bill drastically
increased the federal financial commitment to population control,
authorizing an initial $382 million for family planning sevices, population
research, population education and information through 1973. Much of this
money was funnelled through private institutions, particularly local
clinics run by Bush's beloved Planned Parenthood. The Tydings-Bush measure
mandated the notorious Title X, which explicitly provided "family planning
assistance" to the poor. Bush and his zero-growth cohorts talked constantly
about the importance of disseminating birth control to the poor. They
claimed that there were over 5 million poor women who wanted to limit their
families, but could not afford to do so.
On October 23, 1969, Bush praised the Office of Economic Opportunity for
carrying out some of the "most successful" family planning projects, and
said he was "pleased" that the Nixon administration "is giving them
additional financial muscle by increasing their funds 50 percent -- from
$15 million to $22 million."
This increased effort he attributed to the Nixon administration's "goal to
reach in the next five years the 5 million women in need of these services"
-- all of them poor, many of them from racial or ethnic minorities. He
added: "One needs only to look quickly at the report prepared by the
Planned Parenthood-World Population Research Department to see how
ineffective federal, state, and local governments have been in providing
such necessary services. There is certainly nothing new about the fact that
unwanted pregnancies of our poor and near-poor women keep the incidence of
infant mortality and mental retardation in America at one of the highest
levels of all the developed countries."
The rates of infant mortality and mental retardation Bush was so concerned
about, could have been significantly reduced, had the government provided
sufficient financing to pre-natal care, nutrition, and other factors
contributing to the health of infants and children. On the same day he
signed the Tydings-Bush bill, Nixon vetoed -- with Bush's support --
legislation that would have set up a three-year, $225 million program to
train family doctors.
Bush seemed to be convinced that mental retardation, in particular, was a
matter of heredity. The eugenicists of the 1920s had spun their
pseudoscientific theories around "hereditary feeble-mindedness," and
claimed that the "Kallikaks and the Jukes," by reproducing successive
"feeble-minded" generations, had cost New York state tens of millions of
dollars over decades. But what about learning disorders like dyslexia,
which has been known to afflict oligarchical families Bush would consider
wealthy, well-bred, and able? Nelson Rockefeller had dyslexia, a reading
disorder, and both Bush's friend Nick Brady, and Bush's own son Neal suffer
from it. But these oligarchs are not likely to fall victim to the
involuntary sterilization as "mental defectives" which they wish to inflict
on those they term the lower orders.
In introducing the House version of the Tydings bill on behalf of himself
and Bush, Rep. James Scheuer (D-N.Y.) ranted that while middle-class women
"have been limiting the number of offspring for years ... women of
low-income families" did not. "If poverty and family size are so closely
related we ask, 'Why don't poor women stop having babies?'|" The
Bush-Tydings bill took a giant step toward forcing them to do so.
Population Task Force
Among Bush's most important contributions to the neo-Malthusian cause while
in Congress was his role in the Republican Task Force on Earth Resources
and Population. The task force, which Bush helped found and then chaired,
churned out a steady stream of propaganda claiming that the world was
already seriously overpopulated; that there was a fixed limit to natural
resources and that this limit was rapidly being reached; and that the
environment and natural species were being sacrificed to human progress.
Bush's task force sought to accredit the idea that the human race was being
"down bred," or reduced in genetic qualities by the population growth among
blacks and other non-white and hence allegedly inferior races at a time
when the Anglo-Saxons were hardly able to prevent their numbers from
Comprised of over 20 Republican Congressmen, Bush's Task Force was a kind
of Malthusian vanguard organization which heard testimony from assorted
"race scientists," sponsored legislation and otherwise propagandized the
zero-growth outlook. In its 50-odd hearings during these years, the task
force provided a public forum to nearly every well-known zero-growth
fanatic, from Paul Ehrlich, founder of Zero Population Growth (ZPG), to
race scientist William Shockley, to the key zero-growth advocates infesting
the federal bureaucracy.
Giving a prestigious congressional platform to a discredited racist
charlatan like William Shockley in the year after the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King, points up the arrogance of Bush's commitment to
eugenics. Shockley, like his co-thinker Arthur Jensen, had caused a furor
during the 1960s by advancing his thesis, already repeatedly disproven,
that blacks were genetically inferior to whites in cognitive faculties and
intelligence. In the same year in which Bush invited him to appear before
the GOP task force, Shockley had written: "Our nobly intended welfare
programs may be encouraging dysgenics -- retrogressive evolution through
disproportionate reproduction of the genetically disadvantaged.... We fear
that 'fatuous beliefs' in the power of welfare money, unaided by eugenic
foresight, may contribute to a decline of human quality for all segments of
To halt what he saw as pervasive down-breeding of the quality of the U.S.
gene pool, Shockley advocated a program of mass sterilization of the unfit
and mentally defective, which he called his "Bonus Sterilization Plan."
Money bonuses for allowing oneself to be sterilized would be paid to any
person not paying income tax who had a genetic deficiency or chronic
disease, such as diabetes or epilepsy, or who could be shown to be a drug
addict. "If [the government paid] a bonus rate of $1,000 for each point
below 100 IQ, $30,000 put in trust for some 70 IQ moron of 20-child
potential, it might return $250,000 to taxpayers in reduced cost of mental
retardation care," Shockley said.
The special target of Shockley's prescriptions for mass sterilizations were
African-Americans, whom he saw as reproducing too fast. "If those blacks
with the least amount of Caucasian genes are in fact the most prolific and
the least intelligent, then genetic enslavement will be the destiny of
their next generation," he wrote. Looking at the recent past, Shockley said
in 1967: "The lesson to be drawn from Nazi history is the value of free
speech, not that eugenics is intolerable."
As for Paul Ehrlich, his program for genocide included a call to the U .S.
government to prepare "the addition of ... mass sterilization agents" to
the U.S. food and water supply, and a "tough foreign policy" including
termination of food aid to starving nations. As radical as Ehrlich might
have sounded then, this latter point has become a staple of foreign policy
under the Bush administration (witness the embargo against Iraq and Haiti).
On July 24, 1969, the task force heard from Gen. William H. Draper, Jr.,
then national chairman of the Population Crisis Committee. Gen. Draper was
a close friend of Bush's father, having served with the elder Bush as
banker to Thyssen and the Nazi Steel Trust. According to Bush's resume of
his family friend's testimony, Draper warned that the population explosion
was like a "rising tide," and asserted that "our strivings for the
individual good will become a scourge to the community unless we use our
God-given brain power to bring back a balance between the birth rate and
the death rate." Draper lashed out at the Catholic Church, charging that
its opposition to contraception and sterilization was frustrating
population-control efforts in Latin America.
A week later, Bush invited Oscar Harkavy, chief of the Ford Foundation's
population program, to testify. In summarizing Harkavy's remarks for the
August 4 "Congressional Record," Bush commented: "The population explosion
is commonly recognized as one of the most serious problems now facing the
nation and the world. Mr. Harkavy suggested, therefore, that we more
adequately fund population research. It seems inconsistent that cancer
research funds total $250-275 million annually, more than eight times the
amount spent on reproductive biology research."
In reporting on testimony by Dr. William McElroy of the National Science
Foundation, Bush stressed that "One of the crises the world will face as a
result of present population growth rates is that, assuming the world
population increases 2 percent annually, urban population will increase by
6 percent, and ghetto population will increase by 12 percent."
In February 1969, Bush and other members proposed legislation to establish
a Select Joint Committee on Population and Family Planning, that would,
Bush said, "seek to focus national attention on the domestic and foreign
need for family planning. We need to make population and family planning
household words," Bush told his House colleagues. "We need to take the
sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by
militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program
but, rather, are using it as a political steppingstone.... A thorough
investigation into birth control and a collection of data which would give
the Congress the criteria to determine the effectiveness of its programs
must come swiftly to stave off the number of future mouths which will feed
on an ever-decreasing proportion of food," Bush continued. "We need an
emphasis on this critical problem ... we need a massive program in Congress
with hearings to emphasize the problem, and earmarked appropriations to do
something about it. We need massive cooperation from the White House like
we have never had before and we need a determination by the executive
branch that these funds will be spent as earmarked."
On August 6, 1969, Bush's GOP task force introduced a bill to create a
Commission on Population and the American Future which, Bush said, would
"allow the leadership of this country to properly establish criteria which
can be the basis for a national policy on population." The move came in
response to President Nixon's call of July 18 to create a blue-ribbon
commission to draft a U.S. population policy. Bush was triumphant over this
development, having repeatedly urged such a step at various points in the
preceeding few years. On July 21, he made a statement on the floor of the
House to "commend the President" for his action. "We now know," he intoned,
"that the fantastic rate of population growth we have witnessed these past
20 years continues with no letup in sight. If this growth rate is not
checked now -- in this next decade -- we face a danger that is as
defenseless as nuclear war."
Headed by John D. Rockefeller III, the commission represented a radical,
government-sanctioned attack on human life. Its final report, issued in
1972, asserted that "the time has come to challenge the tradition that
population growth is desirable: What was unintended may turn out to be
unwanted, in the society as in the family." Not only did the commission
demand an end to population growth and economic progress, it also attacked
the foundations of Western civilization by insisting that man's reason had
become a major impediment to right living. "Mass urban industrialism is
based on science and technology, efficiency, acquisition, and domination
through rationality," raved the commission's report. "The exercise of these
same values now contain [sic] the potential for the destruction of our
humanity. Man is losing that balance with nature which is an essential
condition of human existence."
The commission's principal conclusion was that "there are no substantial
benefits to be gained from continued population growth," Chairman
Rockefeller explained to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The
commission made a host of recommendations to curb both population expansion
and economic growth. These included: liberalizing laws restricting abortion
and sterilization; having the government fund abortions; and providing
birth control to teenagers. The commission had a profound impact on
American attitudes toward the population issue, and helped accelerate the
plunge into outright genocide. Commission Executive Director Charles
Westoff wrote in 1975 that the group "represented an important effort by an
advanced country to develop a national population policy -- the basic
thrust of which was to slow growth in order to maximize the 'quality of
The collapse of the traditional family-centered form of society during the
1970s and 1980s was but one consequence of such recommendations. It also is
widely acknowledged that the commission Bush fought so long and so hard to
create broke down the last barriers to legalized abortion on demand.
Indeed, just one year after the commission's final report was issued, the
Supreme Court delivered the Roe v. Wade decision which did just that.
Aware that many blacks and other minorities had noticed that the population
control movement was a genocide program aimed at reducing their numbers,
the commission went out of its way to cover its real intent by stipulating
that all races should cut back on their birth rates. But the racist animus
of their conclusions could not be hidden. Commission Executive Director
Westoff, who owed his job and his funding to Bush, gave a hint of this in a
book he had written in 1966, before joining the commission staff, which was
entitled "From Now to Zero", and in which he bemoaned the fact that the
black fertility rate was so much higher than the white.
The population control or zero population growth movement, which grew
rapidly in the late 1960s thanks to free media exposure and foundation
grants for a stream of pseudoscientific propaganda about the alleged
"population bomb" and the "limits to growth," was a continuation of the old
prewar, protofascist eugenics movement, which had been forced to go into
temporary eclipse when the world recoiled in horror at the atrocities
committed by the Nazis in the name of eugenics. By the mid-1960s, the same
old crackpot eugenicists had resurrected themselves as the
population-control and environmentalist movement. Planned Parenthood was a
perfect example of the transmogrification. Now, instead of demanding the
sterilization of the inferior races, the newly-packaged eugenicists talked
about the population bomb, giving the poor "equal access" to birth contol,
and "freedom of choice."
But nothing had substantively changed -- including the use of coercion.
While Bush and other advocates of government "family planning" programs
insisted these were strictly voluntary, the reality was far different. By
the mid-1970s, the number of involun tary sterilizations carried out by
programs which Bush helped bring into being, had reached huge proportions.
Within the black and minority communities, where most of the sterilizations
were being done, protests arose which culminated in litigation at the
In his 1974 ruling on this suit, Federal District Judge Gerhard Gesell
found that, "Over the last few years, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000
low-income persons have been sterilized annually under federally funded
programs. Although Congress has been insistent that all family planning
programs function on a purely voluntary basis," Judge Gesell wrote, "there
is uncontroverted evidence ... that an indefinite number of poor people
have been improperly coerced into accepting a sterilization operation under
the threat that various federally supported welfare benefits would be
withdrawn unless they submitted to irreversible sterilization." Gesell
concluded from the evidence that the "dividing line between family planning
and eugenics is murky."
As we have seen, George Bush inherited his obsession with population
control and racial "down-breeding" from his father, Prescott, who staunchly
supported Planned Parenthood dating back at least to the 1940s. In fact,
Prescott's affiliation with Margaret Sanger's organization cost him the
Senate race in 1950, as we have seen, a defeat his son has always blamed on
the Catholic Church, and which is at the root of George's lifelong vendetta
against the Papacy.
Prescott's 1950 defeat still rankled, as shown by Bush's extraordinary
gesture in evoking it during testimony he gave on Capitol Hill before
Senator Gruening's subcommittee of the Senate Government Operations
Committee on November 2, 1967. Bush's vengeful tirade is worth quoting at
"I get the feeling that it is a little less unfashionable to be in favor of
birth control and planned parenthood today than it used to be. If you will
excuse one personal reference here: My father, when he ran for the U.S.
Senate in 1950, was defeated by 600 or 700 votes. On the steps of several
Catholic Churches in Connecticut, the Sunday before the election, people
stood there passing out pamphlets saying, 'Listen to what this commentator
has to say tonight. Listen to what this commentator has to say.' That night
on the radio, the commentator came on and said, 'Of interest to voters in
Connecticut, Prescott Bush is head of the Planned Parenthood Birth Control
League,' or something like this. Well, he lost by about 600 votes and there
are some of us who feel that this had something to do with it. I do not
think that anybody can get away with that type of thing any more."
Bush and Draper
As we saw in Chapter 3, Gen. William H. Draper, Jr. had been director and
vice president of the German Credit and Investment Corp., serving
short-term credit to the Nazi Party's financiers from offices in the U.S.A
and Berlin. Draper became one of the most influential crusaders for radical
population control measures. He campaigned endlessly for zero population
growth, and praised the Chinese Communists for their "innovative" methods
of achieving that goal. Draper's most influential outlet was the Population
Crisis Committee (PCC)-Draper Fund, which he founded in the 1960s.
In 1967-68, a PCC-Draper Fund offshoot, the Campaign to Check the
Population Explosion, ran a nationwide advertising campaign hyping the
population explosion fraud, and attacking those -- particularly at the
Vatican -- who stood in the way of radical population control.
In a 1971 article, Draper likened the developing nations to an "animal
reserve," where, when the animals become too numerous, the park rangers
"arbitrarily reduce one or another species as necessary to preserve the
balanced environment for all other animals.... But who will be the park
ranger for the human race?," he asked. "Who will cull out the surplus in
this country or that country when the pressure of too many people and too
few resources increases beyond endurance? Will the death-dealing Horsemen
of the Apocalypse -- war in its modern nuclear dress, hunger haunting half
the human race, and disease -- will the gaunt and forbidding Horsemen
become Park Ranger for the two-legged animal called man?"
Draper collaborated closely with George Bush during the latter's
congressional career. As noted above, Bush invited Draper to testify to his
Task Force on Earth Resources and Population; reportedly, Draper helped
draft the Bush-Tydings bill.
Bush felt an overwhelming affinity for the bestial and degraded image of
man reflected in the raving statements of Draper. In September 1969, Bush
gave a glowing tribute to Draper that was published in the "Congressional
Record." "I wish to pay tribute to a great American," said Bush. "I am very
much aware of the significant leadership that General Draper has executed
throughout the world in assisting governments in their efforts to solve the
awesome problems of rapid population growth. No other person in the past
five years has shown more initiative in creating the awareness of the
world's leaders in recognizing the economic consequences of our population
In a 1973 publication, Bush praised the PCC itself for having played a
"major role in assisting government policy makers and in mobilizing the
United States' response to the world population challenge...." The PCC made
no bones about its admiration for Bush; its newsletters from the late
1960s-early 1970s feature numerous articles highlighting Bush's role in the
congressional population-control campaign. In a 1979 report assessing the
history of congressional action on population control, the PCC/Draper Fund
placed Bush squarely with the "most conspicuous activists" on
population-control issues, and lauded him for "proposing all of the major
or controversial recommendations" in this arena which came before the U.S.
Congress in the late 1960s.
Draper's son, William III, has enthusiastically carried out his father's
genocidal legacy -- frequently with the help of Bush. In 1980, Draper, an
enthusiastic backer of the Carter administration's notorious "Global 2000"
report, served as national chairman of the Bush presidential campaign's
finance committee; in early 1981, Bush convinced Reagan to appoint Draper
to head the U.S. Export-Import Bank. At the time, a Draper aide, Sharon
Camp, disclosed that Draper intended to reorient the bank's functions
toward emphasizing population control projects.
In 1987, again at Bush's behest, Draper was named by Reagan as
administrator of the United Nations Development Program, which functions as
an adjunct of the World Bank, and has historically pushed population
reduction among Third World nations. In late January of 1991, Draper gave a
speech to a conference in Washington, in which he stated that the core of
Bush's "new world order" should be population reduction.
The Nixon Touch
Nixon, it will be recalled, had campaigned for Bush in 1964 and 1966, and
would do so also in 1970. During these years, Bush's positions came to be
almost perfectly aligned with the the line of the Imperial Presidency. And,
thanks in large part to the workings of his father's Brown Brothers
Harriman networks -- Prescott had been a fixture in the Eisenhower White
House where Nixon worked, and in the Senate over which Nixon from time to
time presided -- Bush became a Nixon ally and crony. Bush's Nixon
connection, which pro-Bush propaganda tends to minimize, was in fact the
key to Bush's career choices in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Bush's intimate relations with Nixon are best illustrated in Bush's close
brush with the 1968 GOP vice-presidential nomination at the Miami
convention of that year.
Richard Nixon came into Miami ahead of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller
and California Governor Ronald Reagan in the delegate count, but just
before the convention, Reagan, encouraged by his growing support, announced
that he was switching from being a favorite son of California to the status
of an all-out candidate for the presidential nomination. Reagan attempted
to convince many conservative southern delegations to switch from Nixon to
himself, since he was the purer ideological conservative and better loved
in the South than the new (or old) Nixon.
Nixon's defense of his southern delegate base was spearheaded by South
Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who kept the vast majority of the
delegates in line, sometimes with the help of the unit rule. "Thurmond's
point of reasoning with Southern delegates was that Nixon was the best
conservative they could get and still win, and that he had obtained
assurances from Nixon that no vice-presidential candidate intolerable to
the South would be selected," wrote one observer of the Miami convention. /
Note #1 / Note #4 With the southern conservatives guaranteed a veto power
over the second spot on the ticket, Thurmond's efforts were successful; a
leader of the Louisiana caucus was heard to remark: "It breaks my heart
that we can't get behind a fine man like Governor Reagan, but Mr. Nixon is
deserving of our choice, and he must receive it."
These were the circumstances in which Nixon, having won the nomination on
the first ballot, met with his advisers amidst the grotesque architecture
of the fifteenth floor of the Miami Plaza-Hilton in the early morning of
August 9, 1968. The way Nixon tells the story in his memoirs, he had
already pretty much settled on Gov. Spiro Agnew of Maryland, reasoning that
"with George Wallace in the race, I could not hope to sweep the South. It
was absolutely necessary, therefore, to win the entire rimland of the South
-- the border states -- as well as the major states of the Midwest and
West." Therefore, says Nixon, he let his advisors mention names without
telling them what he had already largely decided. "The names most mentioned
by those attending were the familiar ones: Romney, Reagan, John Lindsay,
Percy, Mark Hatfield, John Tower, George Bush, John Volpe, Rockefeller,
with only an occasional mention of Agnew, sometimes along with Governors
John Love of Colorado and Daniel Evans of Washington." / Note #1 / Note #5
Nixon also says that he offered the vice presidency to his close friends
Robert Finch and Rogers Morton, and then told his people that he wanted
But this account disingenuously underestimates how close Bush came to the
vice-presidency in 1968. According to a well-informed, but favorable, short
biography of Bush published as he was about to take over the presidency,
"at the 1968 GOP convention that nominated Nixon for President, Bush was
said to be on the four-name short list for Vice President. He attributed
that to the campaigning of his friends, but the seriousness of Nixon's
consideration was widely attested. Certainly Nixon wanted to promote Bush
in one way or another." / Note #1 / Note #6 Theodore H. White puts Bush on
Nixon's conservative list along with Tower and Howard Baker, with a
separate category of liberals and also "political eunuchs" like Agnew and
Massachusetts Governor John Volpe. / Note #1 / Note #7 Jules Witcover
thought the reason that Bush had been eliminated was that he "was too
young, only a House member, and his selection would cause trouble with John
Tower," who was also an aspirant. / Note #1 / Note #8 The accepted wisdom
is that Nixon decided not to choose Bush because, after all, he was only a
one-term congressman. Most likely, Nixon was concerned with comparisons
that could be drawn with Barry Goldwater's 1964 choice of New York
Congressman Bill Miller for his running mate. Nixon feared that if he, only
four years later, were to choose a Congressman without a national profile,
the hostile press would compare him to Goldwater and brand him as yet
another Republican loser.
Later in August, Bush traveled to Nixon's beachfront motel suite at Mission
Bay, California to discuss campaign strategy. It was decided that Bush,
Howard Baker, Rep. Clark MacGregor of Minnesota and Governor Volpe would
all function as "surrogate candidates," campaigning and standing in for
Nixon at engagements Nixon could not fill. And there is George, in a
picture on the top of the front page of the "New York Times" of August 17,
1968, joining with the other three to slap a grinning and euphoric Nixon on
the back and shake his hand before they went forth to the hustings.
Bush had no problems of his own with the 1968 election, since he was
running unopposed -- a neat trick for a Republican in Houston, even taking
the designer gerrymandering into account. Running unopposed seems to be
Bush's idea of an ideal election. According to the "Houston Chronicle",
"Bush ha[d] become so politically formidable nobody cared to take him on,"
which should have become required reading for Gary Hart some years later.
Bush had great hopes that he could help deliver the Texas electoral votes
into the Nixon column. The GOP was counting on further open warfare between
Yarborough and Connally, but these divisions proved to be insufficient to
prevent Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, from carrying Texas as he
went down to defeat. As one account of the 1968 vote puts it: Texas "is a
large and exhausting state to campaign in, but here special emphasis was
laid on 'surrogate candidates': notably Congressman George Bush, a
fit-looking fellow of excellent birth who represented the space-town
suburbs of Houston and was not opposed in his district -- an indication of
the strength of the Republican technocracy in Texas." (Perhaps, if
technocracy is a synonym for "plumbers.") Winning a second term was no
problem; Bush was, however, mightily embarrassed by his inability to
deliver Texas for Nixon. "|'I don't know what went wrong,' Bush muttered
when interviewed in December. 'There was a hell of a lot of money spent,'|"
much of it coming from the predecessor organizations to the CREEP. / Note
#1 / Note #9
When in 1974 Bush briefly appeared to be the front-runner to be chosen for
the vice presidency by the new President Gerald Ford, the "Washington Post"
pointed out that although Bush was making a serious bid, he had almost no
qualifications for the post. That criticism applied even more in 1968: For
most people, Bush was a rather obscure Texas pol, and he had lost one
statewide race previous to the election that got him into Congress. The
fact that he made it into the final round at the Miami Hilton was another
tribute to the network mobilizing power of Prescott Bush, Brown Brothers
Harriman, and Skull and Bones.
As the 1970 election approached, Nixon made Bush an attractive offer. If
Bush were willing to give up his apparently safe congressional seat and his
place on the Ways and Means Committee, Nixon would be happy to help finance
the Senate race. If Bush won a Senate seat, he would be a front-runner to
replace Spiro Agnew in the vice-presidential spot for 1972. If Bush were to
lose the election, he would then be in line for an appointment to an
important post in the executive branch, most likely a cabinet position.
This deal was enough of an open secret to be discussed in the Texas press
during the fall of 1970: At the time, the "Houston Post" quoted Bush in
response to persistent Washington newspaper reports that Bush would replace
Agnew on the 1972 ticket. Bush said that was "the most wildly speculative
piece I've seen in a long time." "I hate to waste time talking about such
wild speculation," Bush said in Austin. "I ought to be out there shaking
hands with those people who stood in the rain to support me." / Note #2 /
In September, the "New York Times" reported that Nixon was actively
recruiting Republican candidates for the Senate. "Implies He Will
Participate in Their Campaigns and Offer Jobs to Losers"; "Financial Aid is
Hinted," said the subtitles. / Note #2 / Note #1 It was more than hinted,
and the article listed George Bush as first on the list. As it turned out,
Bush's Senate race was the single most important focus of Nixon's efforts
in the entire country, with both the President and Agnew actively engaged
on the ground. Bush would receive money from a Nixon slush fund called the
"Townhouse" fund, an operation in the CREEP orbit. Bush was also the
recipient of the largesse of W. Clement Stone, a Chicago insurance tycoon
who had donated heavily to Nixon's 1968 campaign. Bush's friend Tower was
the chairman of the GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Bush's former
campaign aide, Jim Allison, was now the deputy chairman of the Republican
Bush himself was ensconced in the coils of the GOP fundraising bureaucracy.
When in May, 1969, Nixon's crony Robert Finch, the Secretary of Health,
Education and Welfare, met with members of the Republican Boosters Club,
1969, Bush was with him, along with Tower, Rogers Morton, and Congressman
Bob Wilson of California. The Boosters alone were estimated to be good for
about $1 million in funding for GOP candidates in 1970. / Note #2 / Note #2
By December of 1969, it was clear to all that Bush would get almost all of
the cash in the Texas GOP coffers, and that Eggers, the party's candidate
for governor, would get short shrift indeed. On December 29, the "Houston
Chronicle" front page opined: "GOP Money To Back Bush, Not Eggers." The
Democratic Senate candidate would later accuse Nixon's crowd of "trying to
buy" the Senate election for Bush: "Washington has been shovelling so much
money into the George Bush campaign that now other Republican candidates
around the country are demanding an accounting," said Bush's opponent. /
Note #2 / Note #3
But that opponent was Lloyd Bentsen, not Ralph Yarborough. All calculations
about the 1970 Senate race had been upset when, at a relatively late hour,
Bentsen, urged on by John Connally, announced his candidacy in the
Democratic primary. Yarborough, busy with his work as chairman of the
Senate Labor Committee, started his campaigning late. Bentsen's pitch was
to attack anti-war protesters and radicals, portraying Yarborough as being
a ringleader of the extremists.
Yarborough had lost some of his vim over the years since 1964, and had
veered into support for more ecological legislation and even for some of
the anti-human "population planning" measures that Bush and his circles had
been proposing. But he fought back gamely against Bentsen. When Bentsen
boasted of having done a lot for the Chicanos of the Rio Grande Valley,
Yarborough countered: "What has Lloyd Bentsen ever done for the valley? The
valley is not for sale. You can't buy people. I never heard of him doing
anything for migrant labor. All I ever heard about was his father working
these wetbacks. All I ever heard was them exploiting wetbacks," said
Yarborough. When Bentsen boasted of his record of experience, Yarborough
counterattacked: "The only experience that my opponents have had is in
representing the financial interest of big business. They have both shown
marked insensitivity to the needs of the average citizen of our state."
But, on May 2, Bentsen defeated Yarborough, and an era came to an end in
Texas politics. Bush's 10 to 1 win in his own primary over his old rival
from 1964, Robert Morris, was scant consolation. Whereas it had been clear
how Bush would have run against Yarborough, it was not at all clear how he
could differentiate himself from Bentsen. Indeed, to many people the two
seemed to be twins: Each was a plutocrat oilman from Houston, each one was
aggressively Anglo-Saxon, each one had been in the House of
Representatives, each one flaunted a record as a World War II airman. In
fact, all Bentsen needed to do for the rest of the race was to appear
plausible and polite, and let the overwhelming Democratic advantage in
registered voters, especially in the yellow-dog Democrat rural areas, do
his work for him. This Bentsen posture was punctuated from time to time by
appeals to conservatives who thought that Bush was too liberal for their
Bush hoped for a time that his slick television packaging could save him.
His man Harry Treleaven was once more brought in. Bush paid more than half
a million dollars, a tidy sum at that time, to Glenn Advertising for a
series of Kennedyesque "natural look" campaign spots. Soon Bush was
cavorting on the tube in all of his arid vapidity, jogging across the
street, trotting down the steps, bounding around Washington and playing
touch football, always filled with youth, vigor, action and thyroxin. The
Plain Folks praised Bush as "just fantastic" in these spots. Suffering the
voters to come unto him, Bush responded to all comers that he
"understands," with the shot fading out before he could say what it was he
understood or what he might propose to do. / Note #2 / Note #4 "Sure, it's
tough to be up against the machine, the big boys," said the Skull and Bones
candidate in these spots; Bush actually had more money to spend than even
the well-heeled Bentsen. The unifying slogan for imparting the proper spin
to Bush was "He can do more." "He can do more" had problems that were
evident even to some of the 1970 Bushmen: "A few in the Bush camp
questioned that general approach because once advertising programs are set
into motion they are extremely difficult to change and there was the
concern that if Nixon should be unpopular at campaign's end, the theme line
would become, 'He can do more for Nixon,' with obvious downsides." / Note
#2 / Note #5 Although Bentsen's spots were said to give him "all the
animation of a cadaver," he was more substantive than Bush, and he was
Were there issues that could help George? His ads put his opposition to
school busing to achieve racial balance at the top of the list, but this
wedge-mongerging got him nowhere. Because of his servility to Nixon, Bush
had to support the buzz-word of a "guaranteed annual income," which was the
label under which Nixon was marketing the workfare slave-labor program
already described; but to many in Texas that sounded like a new give-away,
and Bentsen was quick to take advantage. Bush bragged that he had been one
of the original sponsors of the bill that had just semi-privatized the U.S.
Post Office Department as the Postal Service -- not exactly a success story
in retrospect. Bush came on as a "fiscal conservative," but this also was
of little help against Bentsen.
In an interview on women's issues, Bush first joked that there really was
no consensus among women -- "the concept of a women's movement is unreal --
you can't get two women to agree on anything." On abortion he commented: "I
realize this is a politically sensitive area. But I believe in a woman's
right to choose. It should be an individual matter. I think ultimately it
will be a constitutional question. I don't favor a federal abortion law as
such." After 1980, for those who choose to believe him, this changed to
strong opposition to abortion. ...
Could Nixon and Agnew help Bush? Agnew's message fell flat in Texas, since
he knew it was too dangerous to try to get to the right of Bentsen and
attack him from there. Instead, Agnew went through the follwing contortion:
A vote for Bentsen, Agnew told audiences in Lubbock and Amarillo, "is a
vote to keep William Fulbright chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee," and that was not what "Texans want at all." Agnew tried to put
Bentsen in the same boat with "radical liberals" like Yarborough,
Fulbright, McGovern and Kennedy. Bentsen invited Agnew to move on to
Arkansas and fight it out with Fulbright, and that was that.
Could Nixon himself help Bush? Nixon did campaign in the state. Bentsen
then told a group of "Anglo-American" businessmen: Texans want "a man who
can stand alone without being propped up by the White House."
In the end, Bentsen defeated Bush by a vote of 1,197,726 to Bush's
1,035,794, about 53 percent to 47 percent. The official Bushman explanation
was that there were two proposed amendments to the Texas constitution on
the ballot, one to allow saloons, and one to allow all undeveloped land to
be taxed at the same rate as farmland. According to Bushman apologetics,
these two propositions attracted so much interest among "yellow dog" rural
conservatives that 300,000 extra voters came out, and this gave Bentsen his
critical margin of victory. There was also speculation that Nixon and Agnew
had attracted so much attention that more voters had come out, but many of
these were Bentsen supporters. On the night of the election, Bush said that
he "felt like General Custer. They asked him why he had lost and he said
'There were too many Indians. All I can say at this point is that there
were too many Democrats,'|" said the fresh two-time loser. Bentsen
suggested that it was time for Bush to be appointed to a high position in
the government. / Note #2 / Note #6
Bush's other consolation was a telegram dated November 5, 1970: "From
personal experience I know the disappointment that you and your family must
feel at this time. I am sure, however, that you will not allow this defeat
to discourage you in your efforts to continue to provide leadership for our
party and the nation. Richard Nixon.
This was Nixon's euphemistic way of reassuring Bush that they still had a
deal. / Note #2 / Note #7
Footnotes - Chapter 11, Part 2
14. Norman Mailer, "Miami and the Siege of Chicago" (New York: D.I. Fine,
1968), pp. 72-73.
15. Richard Nixon, "RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon" (New York: Warner
Books, 1978), p. 312.
16. "Congressional Quarterly," "President Bush," (Washington: 1989) p. 94.
17. Theodore H. White, "The Making of the President 1968" (New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1969),p. 251.
18. Jules Witcover, "The Resurrection of Richard Nixon" (New York: Putnam,
1970), p. 352.
19. Lewis Chester et al., "An American Melodrama: the Presidential Campaign
of 1968" (London: Deutch, 1969), p. 622.
20. "Houston Post," Oct. 29, 1970.
21. "New York Times," Sept. 27, 1969.
22. "New York Times," May 13, 1969.
23. "Houston Chronicle," Oct. 6, 1970.
24. See "Tubing with Lloyd/George," "Texas Observer," Oct. 30, 1970.
25. Knaggs, "op. cit.," p. 148.
26. "Houston Post," Nov. 5, 1970.
27. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 102.
UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR, KISSINGER CLONE
At this point in his career, George Bush entered into a phase of close
association with both Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. As we will see,
Bush was a member of the Nixon cabinet from the spring of 1971 until the
day that Nixon resigned. We will see Bush on a number of important
occasions literally acting as Nixon's speaking tube, especially in
international crisis situations. During these years, Nixon was Bush's
patron, providing him with appointments and urging him to look forward to
bigger things in the future. On certain occasions, however, Bush was
upstaged by others in his quest for Nixon's favor. Then there was
Kissinger, far and away the most powerful figure in the Washington regime
of those days, who became Bush's boss when the latter became the U.S.
ambassador to the United Nations in New York City. Later, on the campaign
trail in 1980, Bush would offer to make Kissinger secretary of state in his
Bush was now listing a net worth of over $1.3 million / Note #1, but the
fact is that he was now unemployed, but anxious to assume the next official
post, to take the next step of what in the career of a Roman Senator was
called the "cursus honorum," the patrician career, for this is what he felt
the world owed him.
Nixon had promised Bush an attractive and prestigious political plum in the
executive branch, and it was now time for Nixon to deliver. Bush's problem
was that in late 1970 Nixon was more interested in what another Texan could
contribute to his administration. That other Texan was John Connally, who
had played the role of Bush's nemesis in the elections just concluded, by
virtue of the encouragement and decisive support which Connally had given
to the Bentsen candidacy. Nixon was now fascinated by the prospect of
including the right-wing Democrat Connally in his cabinet in order to
provide himself with a patina of bipartisanship, while emphasizing the
dissension among the Democrats, strengthening Nixon's chances of
successfully executing his Southern Strategy a second time during the 1972
The word among Nixon's inner circle of this period was "The Boss is in
love," and the object of his affections was Big Jawn. Nixon claimed that he
was not happy with the stature of his current cabinet, telling his domestic
policy advisor John Ehrlichman in the fall of 1970 that "Every cabinet
should have at least one potential President in it. Mine doesn't." Nixon
had tried to recruit leading Democrats before, asking Senator Henry Jackson
to be secretary of defense and offering the post of United Nations
ambassador to Hubert Humphrey.
Within hours after the polls had closed in the Texas Senate race, Bush
received a call from Charles Bartlett, a Washington columnist who was part
of the Prescott Bush network. Bartlett tipped Bush to the fact that
Treasury Secretary David Kennedy was leaving, and urged him to make a grab
for the job. Bush called Nixon and put in his request. After that, he
waited by the telephone. But it soon became clear that Nixon was about to
recruit John Connally, and with him, perhaps, the important Texas electoral
votes in 1972. Secretary of the Treasury! One of the three or four top
posts in the cabinet! And that before Bush had been given anything for all
of his useless slogging through the 1970 campaign! But the job was about to
go to Connally. Over two decades, one can almost hear Bush's whining
This move was not totally unprepared. During the fall of 1970, when
Connally was campaigning for Bentsen against Bush, Connally had been
invited to participate in the Ash Commission, a study group on government
re-organization chaired by Roy Ash. "This White House access was
dangerously undermining George Bush," complained Texas GOP chairman
O'Donnell. A personal friend of Bush on the White House staff named Peter
Flanigan, generated a memo to White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman with
the notation: "Connally is an implacable enemy of the Republican party in
Texas, and, therefore, attractive as he may be to the President, we should
avoid using him again." Nixon found Connally an attractive political
property, and had soon appointed him to the main White House panel for
intelligence evaluations: "On November 30, when Connally's appointment to
the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board was announced, the senior Senator
from Texas, John Tower, and George Bush were instantly in touch with the
White House to express their 'extreme' distress over the appointment. /
Note #2 Tower was indignant because he had been promised by Ehrlichman some
time before that Connally was not going to receive an important post.
Bush's personal plight was even more poignant: "He was out of work, and he
wanted a job. As a defeated senatorial candidate, he hoped and fully
expected to get a major job in the administration. Yet the administration
seemed to be paying more attention to the very Democrat who had put him on
the job market. What gives? Bush was justified in asking." / Note #3
The appointment of Connally to replace David Kennedy as secretary of the
Treasury was concluded during the first week of December 1970. But it could
not be announced without causing an upheaval among the Texas Republicans
until something had been done for lame duck George. On December 7, Nixon
retainer H.R. Haldeman was writing memos to himself in the White House. The
first was: "Connally set." Then came: "Have to do something for Bush right
away." Could Bush become the director of NASA? How about the Small Business
Administration? Or the Republican National Committee? Or then again, he
might like to be White House congressional liaison, or perhaps
undersecretary of commerce. As one account puts it, "since no job
immediately came to mind, Bush was assured that he would come to the White
House as a top presidential adviser on something or other, until another
fitting job opened up."
Bush was called to the White House on December 9, 1970 to meet with Nixon
and talk about a post as assistant to the President "with a wide range of
unspecified general responsibilities," according to a White House memo
initialed by H.R. Haldeman. Bush accepted such a post at one point in his
haggling with the Nixon White House. But Bush also sought the U.N. job,
arguing that there "was a dirth [sic] of Nixon advocacy in New York City
and the general New York area that he could fill that need in the New York
social circles he would be moving in as ambassador. / Note #4 Nix on's U.N.
ambassador had been Charles Yost, a Democrat who was now leaving. But the
White House had already offered that job to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who
But then Moynihan decided that he did not want the U.N. ambassador post
after all, and, with a sigh of relief, the White House offered it to Bush.
Bush's appointment was announced on December 11, Connally's on December 14.
/ Note #5 In offering the post to Bush, Haldeman had been brutally frank,
telling him that the job, although of cabinet rank, would have no power
attached to it. Bush, stressed Haldeman, would be taking orders directly
from Kissinger. Bush says he replied, "even if somebody who took the job
didn't understand that, Henry Kissinger would give him a twenty-four hour
crash course on the subject." / Note #6
Nixon told his cabinet and the Republican congressional leadership on
December 14, 1970 what had been in the works for some time: that Connally
was "coming not only as a Democrat but as Secretary of the Treasury for the
next two full years." Even more humiliating for Bush wasthe fact that our
hero had been on the receiving end of Connally's assistance. As Nixon told
the cabinet: "Connally said he wouldn't take it until George Bush got
whatever he was entitled to. I don't know why George wanted the U.N.
appointment, but he wanted it so he got it." Only this precondition from
Connally, by implication, had finally prompted Nixon to take care of poor
George. Nixon turned to Senator Tower, who was in the meeting: "This is
hard for you. I am for every Republican running. We need John Tower back in
1972." Tower replied: "I'm a pragmatic man. John Connally is
philosophically attuned to you. He is articulate and persuasive. I for one
will defend him against those in our own party who may not like him." /
There is evidence that Nixon considered Connally to be a possible successor
in the presidency. Connally's approach to the international monetary crisis
then unfolding was that "all foreigners are out to screw us and it's our
job to screw them first," as he told C. Fred Bergsten of Kissinger's
National Security Council staff. Nixon's bumbling management of the
international monetary crisis was one of the reasons why he was Watergated,
and Big Jawn was certainly seen by the financiers as a big part of the
problem. Bush was humiliated in this episode, but that is nothing compared
to what later happened to both Connally and Nixon. Connally would be
indicted while Bush was in Beijing, and later he would face the further
humilation of personal bankruptcy. In the view of James Reston, Jr.,
"George Bush was to maintain a smoldering, visceral dislike of Connally,
one that lasted well into the 1980s." / Note #8 As others discovered during
the Gulf war, Bush is vindictive.
Confirmed by the Senate
Bush appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his pro
forma and perfunctory confirmation hearings on February 8, 1971. It was a
free ride. Many of the Senators had known Prescott Bush, and several were
still Prescott's friends. Acting like friends of the family, they gave Bush
friendly advice with a tone that was congratulatory and warm, and avoided
any tough questions. Stuart Symington warned Bush that he would have to
deal with the "duality of authority" between his nominal boss, Secretary of
State William Rogers, and his real boss, NSC chief Kissinger. There was
only passing reference to Bush's service of the oil cartel during his time
in the House, and Bush vehemently denied that he had ever tried to
"placate" the "oil interests." Claiborne Pell said that Bush would enhance
the luster of the U.N. post.
On policy matters, Bush said that it would "make sense" for the U.N.
Security Council to conduct a debate on the wars in Laos and Cambodia,
which was something that the United States had been attempting to procure
for some time. Bush thought that such a debate could be used as a forum to
expose the aggressive activities of the North Vietnamese. No senator asked
Bush about China, but Bush told journalists waiting in the hall that the
question of China was now under intensive study. The "Washington Post" was
impressed by Bush's "lithe and youthful good looks." Bush was easily
At Bush's swearing-in later in February, Nixon, probably anxious to calm
Bush down after the strains of the Connally affair, had recalled that
President William McKinley had lost an election in Ohio, but neverthless
gone on to become President. "But I'm not suggesting what office you should
seek and at what time," said Nixon. The day before, Senator Adlai Stevenson
III of Illinois had told the press that Bush was "totally unqualified" and
that his appointment had been "an insult" to the U.N. Bush presented his
credentials on March 1.
Then Bush, "handsome and trim" at 47, moved into a suite at the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, and settled into his usual
hyperkinetic, thyroid-driven lifestyle. The "Washington Post" marveled at
his "whirlwind schedule" which seemed more suitable for a "political
aspirant than one usually associated with a diplomat." He rose every
morning at 7:00 A.M., and then mountedhis exercycle for a twelve-minute
workout while taking in a television news program that also lasted exactly
twelve minutes. He ate a small breakfast and left the Waldorf at 8:00, to
be driven to the U.S. mission to the U.N. at Turtle Bay where he generally
arrived at 8:10. Then he would get the overnight cable traffic from his
secretary, Mrs. Aleene Smith, and then went into a conference with his
executive assistant, Tom Lais. Later there would be meetings with his two
deputies, Ambassadors Christopher Phillips and W. Tapley Bennett of the
State Department. Pete Roussel was also still with him as publicity man.
For Bush, a 16-hour work day was more the rule than the exception. His days
were packed with one appointment after another, luncheon engagements,
receptions, formal dinners -- at least one reception and one dinner per
day. Sometimes there were three receptions per day -- quite an opportunity
for networking with like-minded freemasons from all over the world. Bush
also traveled to Washington for cabinet meetings, and still did speaking
engagements around the country, especially for Republican candidates. "I
try to get to bed by 11:30 if possible, " said Bush in 1971, "but often my
calendar is so filled that I fall behind in my work and have to take it
home with me." Bush bragged that he was still a "pretty tough" doubles
player in tennis, good enough to team up with the pros. But he claimed to
love baseball most. He joked about questions on his ping pong skills, since
these were the months of ping pong diplomacy, when the invitation for a
U.S. ping pong team to visit Beijing became a part of the preparation for
Kissinger's China card.
Mainly, Bush came on as an ultra-orthodox Nixon loyalist. Was he a liberal
conservative? asked a reporter. "People in Texas used to ask me that in the
campaigns," replied Bush. "Some even called me a right-wing reactionary. I
like to think of myself as a pragmatist, but I have learned to defy being
labeled.... What I can say is that I am a strong supporter of the
President. If you can tell me what he is, I can tell you what I am."
Barbara liked the Waldorf suite, and was an enthusiastic hostess.
Soon after taking up his U.N. posting, Bush received a phone call from
Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Joseph Sisco, one
of Kissinger's principal henchmen. Sisco had been angered by some comments
Bush had made about the Middle East situation in a press conference after
presenting his credentials. Despite the fact that Bush, as a cabinet
officer, ranked several levels above Sisco, Sisco was in effect the voice
of Kissinger. Sisco told Bush that it was Sisco who spoke for the United
States government on the Middle East, and that he would do both the
on-the-record talking and the leaking about that area. Bush knuckled under,
for these were the realities of the Kissinger years.
Henry Kissinger was now Bush's boss even more than Nixon was, and later, as
the Watergate scandal progres sed into 1973, the dominion of Kissinger
would become even more absolute. During these years Bush, serving his
apprenticeship in diplomacy and world strategy under Kissinger, became a
virtual Kissinger clone in two senses. First, to a significant degree,
Kissinger's networks and connections merged together with Bush's own,
foreshadowing a 1989 administration in which the NSC director and the
number two man in the State Department were both Kissinger's business
partners from his consulting and influence-peddling firm, Kissinger
Associates. Secondly, Bush assimilated Kissinger's characteristic
British-style geopolitical mentality and approach to problems, and this is
now the epistemology that dictates Bush's own dealing with the main
questions of world politics.
The most essential level of Kissinger was the British one. / Note #9 This
meant that U.S. foreign policy was to be guided by British imperial
geopolitics, in particular the notion of the balance of power: The United
States must always ally with the second strongest land power in the world
(Red China) against the strongest land power (the U.S.S.R.) in order to
preserve the balance of power. This was expressed in the 1971-72
Nixon-Kissinger opening to Beijing, to which Bush would contribute from his
U.N. post. The balance of power, since it rules out a positive engagement
for the economic progress of the international community as a whole, has
always been a recipe for new wars. Kissinger was in constant contact with
British foreign policy operatives like Sir Eric Roll of S.G. Warburg in
London, Lord Victor Rothschild, the Barings bank and others.
On May 10, 1982, in a speech entitled "Reflections on a Partnership" given
at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London,
Henry Kissinger openly expounded his role and philosophy as a British
agent-of-influence within the U.S. government during the Nixon and Ford
"The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a
participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never
before practiced between sovereign nations. In my period in office, the
British played a seminal part in certain American bilateral negotiations
with the Soviet Union -- indeed, they helped draft the key document. In my
White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better
informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State
Department.... In my negotiations over Rhodesia I worked from a British
draft with British spelling even when I did not fully grasp the distinction
between a working paper and a Cabinet-approved document."
Kissinger was also careful to point out that the United States must support
colonial and neo-colonial strategies against the developing sector:
"Americans from Franklin Roosevelt onward believed that the United States,
with its 'revolutionary' heritage, was the natural ally of people
struggling against colonialism; we could win the allegiance of these new
nations by opposing and occasionally undermining our European allies in the
areas of their colonial dominance. Churchill, of course, resisted these
American pressures.... In this context, the experience of Suez is
instructive.... Our humiliation of Britain and France over Suez was a
shattering blow to these countries' role as world powers. It accelerated
their shedding of international responsibilities, some of the consequences
of which we saw in succeeding decades when reality forced us to step into
their shoes -- in the Persian Gulf, to take one notable example. Suez thus
added enormously to America's burdens."
Kissinger was the high priest of imperialism and neocolonialism, animated
by an instinctive hatred for Indira Gandhi, Aldo Moro, Ali Bhutto, and
other nationalist world leaders. Kissinger's British geopolitics simply
accentuated Bush's own fanatically Anglophile point of view, which he had
acquired from father Prescott and imbibed from the atmosphere of the family
firm, Brown Brothers Harriman, originally the U.S. branch of a British
Kissinger was also a Zionist, dedicated to economic, diplomatic, and
military support of Israeli aggression and expansionism to keep the Middle
East in turmoil, so as to prevent Arab unity and Arab economic development
while using the region to mount challenges to the Soviets. In this he was a
follower of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Balfour. In
the 1973 Middle East war which he had connived to unleash, Kissinger would
mastermind the U.S. resupply of Israel and would declare a U.S.-worldwide
thermonuclear alert. In later years, Kissinger would enrich himself through
speculative real estate purchases on the West bank of the Jordan, buying up
land and buildings that had been virtually confiscated from defenseless
Kissinger was also Soviet in a sense that went far beyond his sponsorship
of the 1970s detente, SALT I, and the ABM treaty with Moscow. Polish KGB
agent Michael Goleniewski is widely reported to have told the British
government in 1972 that he had seen KGB documents in Poland before his 1959
defection which established that Kissinger was a Soviet asset. According to
Goleniewski, Kissinger had been recruited by the Soviets during his Army
service in Germany after the end of World War II, when he had worked as a
Kissinger had allegedly been recruited to an espionage cell called ODRA,
where he received the code name of "BOR" or "COLONEL BOR." Some versions of
this story also specify that this cell had been largely composed of
homosexuals, and that homosexuality had been an important part of the way
that Kissinger had been picked up by the KGB. These reports were reportedly
partly supported by Golitsyn, another Soviet defector. The late James Jesus
Angleton, the CIA counterintelligence director for 20 years up to 1973, was
said to have been the U.S. official who was handed Goleniewski's report by
the British. Angleton later talked a lot about Kissinger being "objectively
a Soviet agent." It has not been established that Angleton ever ordered an
active investigation of Kissinger or ever assigned his case a codename. /
Note #1 / Note #0
Kissinger's Chinese side was very much in evidence during 1971-73 and
beyond; during these years he was obsessed with anything remotely connected
with China and sought to monopolize decisions and contacts with the highest
levels of the Chinese leadership. This attitude was dictated most of all by
the British mentality and geopolitical considerations indicated above, but
it is also unquestionable that Kissinger felt a strong personal affinity
for Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, and the other Chinese leaders, who had been
responsible for the genocide of 100 million of their own people after 1949.
Kissinger possessed other dimensions in addition to these, including close
links to the Zionist underworld. These will also loom large in George
For all of these Kissingerian enormities, Bush now became the principal
spokesman. In the process, he was to become a Kissinger clone.
The China Card
The defining events in the first year of Bush's U.N. tenure reflected
Kissinger's geoplitical obsession with his China card. Remember that in his
1964 campaign, Bush had stated that Red China must never be admitted to the
U.N. and that if Beijing ever obtained the Chinese seat on the Security
Council, the U.S.A. must depart forthwith from the world body. This
statement came back to haunt him once or twice. His stock answer went like
this: "That was 1964, a long time ago. There's been an awful lot changed
since.... A person who is unwilling to admit that changes have taken place
is out of things these days. President Nixon is not being naive in his
China policy. He is recognizing the realities of today, not the realities
of seven years ago."
One of the realities of 1971 was that the bankrupt British had declared
themselves to be financially unable to maintain their military presence in
the Indian Ocean and the Far East, in the area "East of Suez." Part of the
timing of the Kissinger China card was dictated by the British desire to
acquire China as a c ounterweight to India in this vast area of the world,
and also to insure a U.S. military presence in the Indian Ocean, as seen
later in the U.S. development of an important base on the island of Diego
On a world tour during 1969, Nixon had told President Yahya Khan, the
dictator of Pakistan, that his administration wanted to normalize relations
with Red China and wanted the help of the Pakistani government in
exchanging messages. Regular meetings between the United States and Beijing
had gone on for many years in Warsaw, but what Nixon was talking about was
a total reversal of U.S. China policy. Up until 1971, the U.S.A. had
recognized the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan as the sole
sovereign and legitimate authority over China. The United States, unlike
Britain, France, and many other Western countries, had no diplomatic
relations with the Beijing Communist regime.
The Chinese seat among the five permanent members of the United Nations
Security Council was held by the government in Taipei. Every year in the
early autumn there was an attempt by the non-alignedbloc to oust Taipei
from the Security Council and replace them with Beijing, but so far this
vote had always failed because of U.S. arm-twisting in Latin America and
the rest of the Third World. One of the reasons that this arrangement had
endured so long was the immense prestige of R.O.C. President Chiang
Kai-shek and the sentimental popularity of the Kuomintang with the American
electorate. There still was a very powerful China lobby, which was
especially strong among right-wing Republicans of what had been the Taft
and Knowland factions of the party, and which Goldwater continued. Now, in
the midst of the Vietnam War, with U.S. strategic and economic power in
decline, the Anglo-American elite decided in favor of a geopolitical
alliance with China against the Soviets for the foreseeable future. This
meant that the honor of U.S. commitments to the R.O.C. had to be dumped
overboard as so much useless ballast, whatever the domestic political
consequences might be. This was the task given to Kissinger, Nixon, and
The maneuver on the agenda for 1971 was to oust the R.O.C. from the U.N.
Security Council and assign their seat to Beijing. Kissinger and Nixon
calculated that duplicity would insulate them from domestic political
damage: While they were opening to Beijing, they would call for a "two
Chinas" policy, under which both Beijing and Taipei would be represented at
the U.N., at least in the General Assembly, despite the fact that this was
an alternative that both Chinese governments vehemently rejected. The
U.S.A. would pretend to be fighting to keep Taipei in the U.N., with George
Bush leading the fake charge, but this effort would be defeated. Then the
Nixon administration could claim that the vote in the U.N. was beyond its
control, comfortably resign itself to Beijing in the Security Council, and
pursue the China card. What was called for was a cynical, duplicitous
diplomatic charade in which Bush would have the leading part.
This scenario was complicated by the rivalry between Secretary of State
Rogers and NSC boss Kissinger. Rogers was an old friend of Nixon, but it
was of course Kissinger who made foreign policy for Nixon and the rest of
the government, and Kissinger who was incomparably the greater evil.
Between Rogers and Kissinger, Bush was unhesitatingly on the side of
Kissinger. In later congressional testimony, former CIA official Ray Cline
tried to argue that Rogers and Bush were kept in the dark by Nixon and
Kissinger about the real nature of the U.S. China policy. The implication
is that Bush's efforts to keep Taiwan at the U.N. were in good faith.
According to Cline's fantastic account, "Nixon and Kissinger actually
'undermined' the department's efforts in 1971 to save Taiwan." / Note #1 /
Note #1 Rogers may have believed that helping Taiwan was U.S. policy, but
Bush did not. Cline's version of these events is an insult to the
intelligence of any serious person.
The Nixon-era China card took shape during July 1971 with Kissinger's
"Operation Marco Polo I," his secret first trip to Beijing. Kissinger says
in his memoirs that Bush was considered a candidate to make this journey,
along with David Bruce, Elliot Richardson, Nelson Rockefeller, and Al Haig.
/ Note #1 / Note #2 Kissinger first journeyed to India, and then to
Pakistan. From there, with the help of Yahya Khan, Kissinger went on to
Beijing for meetings with Zhou Enlai and other Chinese officals. He
returned by way of Paris, where he met with North Vietnamese negotiator Le
Duc Tho at the Paris talks on Indo-China. Returning to Washington,
Kissinger briefed Nixon on his understanding with Zhou. On July 15, 1971
Nixon announced to a huge television and radio audience that he had
accepted "with pleasure" an invitation to visit China at some occasion
before May of 1972. He lamely assured "old friends" (meaning Chiang
Kai-shek and the R.O.C. government on Taiwan) that their interests would
not be sacrificed. Later in the same year, between October 16 and 26,
Kissinger undertook operation "Polo II," a second, public visit with Zhou
in Beijing to decide the details of Nixon's visit and hammer out what was
to become the U.S.-P.R.C. Shanghai Communique, the joint statement issued
during Nixon's stay. During this visit, Zhou cautioned Kissinger not to be
disoriented by the hostile Beijing propaganda line against the U.S.A.,
manifestations of which were everywhere to be seen. Anti-U.S. slogans on
the walls, said Zhou, were meaningless, like "firing an empty cannon."
Nixon and Kissinger eventually journeyed to Beijing in February 1972.
U.N. 'Two Chinas' Farce
It was before this backdrop that Bush waged his farcical campaign to keep
Taiwan in the U.N. The State Department had stated through the mouth of
Rogers on August 2 that the United States would support the admission of
Red China to the U.N., but would oppose the expulsion of Taiwan. This was
the so-called "two Chinas" policy. In an August 12 interview, Bush told the
"Washington Post" that he was working hard to line up the votes to keep
Taiwan as a U.N. member when the time to vote came in the fall. Responding
to the obvious impression that this was a fraud for domestic political
purposes only, Bush pledged his honor on Nixon's commitment to "two
Chinas." "I know for a fact that the President wants to see the policy
implemented," said Bush, apparently with a straight face, adding that he
had discussed the matter with Nixon and Kissinger at the White House only a
few days before. Bush said that he and other members of his mission had
lobbied 66 countries so far, and that this figure was likely to rise to 80
by the following week. Ultimately Bush would claim to have talked personlly
with 94 delegations to get them to let Taiwan stay, which a fellow diplomat
called "a quantitative track record."
Diplomatic observers noted that the U.S. activity was entirely confined to
the high-profile "glass palace" of the U.N., and that virtually nothing was
being done by U.S. ambassadors in capitals around the world. But Bush
countered that if it were just a question of going through the motions as a
gesture for Taiwan, he would not be devoting so much of his time and energy
to the cause. The main effort was at the U.N. because "this is what the
U.N. is for," he commented. Bush said that his optimism about keeping the
Taiwan membership had increased over the past three weeks. / Note #1 / Note
By late September, Bush was saying that he saw a better than 50-50 chance
that the U.N. General Assembly would seat both Chinese governments. By this
time, the official U.S. position as enunciated by Bush was that the
Security Council seat should go to Beijing, but that Taipei ought to be
allowed to remain in the General Assembly. Since 1961, the U.S. strategy
for blocking the admission of Beijing had depended on a procedural defense,
obtaining a simple majority of the General Assembly for a resolution
defining the seating of Beijing as an Important Question, which required a
two-thirds majority in order to be implemented. Thus, if the U.S .A. could
get a simple majority on the procedural vote, one-third plus one would
suffice to defeat Beijing on the second vote.
The General Assembly convened on September 21. Bush and his aides were
running a ludicrous full-court press on scores of delegations. Twice a day,
there was a State Department briefing on the vote tally. "Yes, Burundi is
with us.... About Argentina we're not sure," etc. All this attention got
Bush an appearance on "Face the Nation," where he said that the two-Chinas
policy should be approved regardless of the fact that both Beijing and
Taipei rejected it. "I don't think we have to go through the agony of
whether the Republic of China will accept or whether Beijing will accept,"
Bush told the interviewers. "Let the United Nations for a change do
something that really does face up to reality and then let that decision be
made by the parties involved," said Bush with his usual inimitable
The U.N. debate on the China seat was scheduled to open on October 18; on
October 12, Nixon gave a press conference in which he totally ignored the
subject, and made no appeal for support for Taiwan. On October 16,
Kissinger departed with great fanfare for Beijing. Kissinger says in his
memoirs that he had been encouraged to go to Beijing by Bush, who assured
him that a highly publicized Kissinger trip to Beijing would have no impact
whatever on the U.N. vote. On October 25, the General Assembly defeated the
U.S. resolution to make the China seat an Important Question by a vote of
59 to 54, with 15 abstentions. Ninety minutes later came the vote on the
Albanian resolution to seat Beijing and expel Taipei, which passed by a
vote of 76 to 35. Bush then cast the U.S. vote to seat Beijing, and then
hurried to escort the R.O.C. delegate, Liu Chieh, out of the hall for the
last time. The General Assembly was the scene of a jubilant demonstration
led by Third World delegates over the fact that Red China had been
admitted, and even more so that the United States had been defeated. The
Tanzanian delegate danced a jig in the aisle. Henry Kissinger, flying back
from Beijing, got the news on his teletype and praised Bush's "valiant
Having connived in selling Taiwan down the river, it was now an easy matter
for the Nixon regime to fake a great deal of indignation for domestic
political consumption about what had happened. Nixon's spokesman Ron
Ziegler declared that Nixon had been outraged by the "spectacle" of the
"cheering, handclapping, and dancing" delegates after the vote, which Nixon
had seen as a "shocking demonstration" of "undisguised glee" and "personal
animosity." Notice that Ziegler had nothing to say against the vote, or
against Beijing, but concentrated the fire on the Third World delegates,
who were also threatened with a cutoff of U.S. foreign aid.
This was the line that Bush would slavishly follow. On the last day of
October, the papers quoted him saying that the demonstration after the vote
was "something ugly, something harsh that transcended normal disappointment
or elation." "I really thought we were going to win," said Bush, still with
a straight face. "I'm so ... disappointed." "There wasn't just clapping and
enthusiasm" after the vote, he whined. "When I went up to speak I was
hissed and booed. I don't think it's good for the United Nations and that's
the point I feel very strongly about." In the view of a "Washington Post"
staff writer, "the boyish looking U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
looked considerably the worse for wear. But he still conveys the impression
of an earnest fellow trying to be the class valedictorian, as he once was
described." / Note #1 / Note #4
Bush expected the Beijing delegation to arrive in new York soon, because
they probably wanted to take over the presidency of the Security Council,
which rotated on a monthly basis. "But why anybody would want an early case
of chicken pox, I don't know," said Bush.
When the Beijing delegation did arrive, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister
Ch'aio Kuan-hua delivered a maiden speech full of ideological bombast along
the lines of passages Kissinger had convinced Zhou to cut out of the draft
text of the Shanghai communique some days before. Kissinger then telephoned
Bush to say in his own speech that the United States regretted that the
Chinese had elected to inaugurate their participation in the U.N. by
"firing these empty cannons of rhetoric." Bush, like a ventriloquist's
dummy, obediently mouthed Kissinger's one-liner as a kind of coded message
to Beijing that all the public bluster meant nothing between the two secret
and increasingly public allies.
Notes - Chapter 12, Part 1
1. In 1970, Bush's portfolio included 29 companies in which he had an
interest of more than $4,000. He had 10,000 shares of American General
Insurance Co., 5,500 shares of American Standard, 200 shares of AT&T, 832
shares of CBS, and 581 shares of Industries Exchange Fund. He also held
stock in the Kroger Company, Simplex Wire and Cable Co. (25,000 shares),
IBM, and Allied Chemical. In addition, he had created a trust fund for his
2. James Reston, Jr., "The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally" (New York:
Harper & Row, 1989), p. 380.
3. William Safire, "Before the Fall" (New York: Doubleday, 1977), p. 646.
4. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes,"
"Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1988.
5. Reston, "op. cit.," p. 382.
6. George Bush and Victor Gold, "Looking Forward" (New York: Doubleday,
1987), p. 110.
7. For the Nixon side of the Bush U.N. appointment, see William Safire,
"op. cit.," especially "The President Falls in Love," pp. 642 "ff."
8. Reston, "op. cit.," p. 382. Reston (pp. 586-87) tells the story of how,
years later in the 1980 Iowa caucuses campaign when both Bush and Connally
were in the race, Bush was enraged by Connally's denigration of his manhood
in remarks to Texans that Bush was 'all hat and no cattle.' Bush was
walking by a television set in the Hotel Fort Des Moines when Connally came
on the screen. Bush reached out toward Connally's image on the screen as if
to shake hands. Then Bush screamed, "Thank you, sir, for all the kind
things you and your friends have been saying about me!" Then Bush slammed
his fist on the top of the set, yelling "That prick!"
9. On Kissinger, see Scott Thompson and Joseph Brewda, "Kissinger
Associates: Two Birds in the Bush," "Executive Intelligence Review," March
10. Tom Mangold, "Cold Warrior", (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 305.
11. See Tad Szulc, "The Illusion of Peace" (New York: Viking Press, 1978),
12. Henry Kissinger, "White House Years" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979), p. 715.
13. Szulc, "op. cit.," p. 500, and "Washington Post," Aug. 12, 1971.
14. "Washington Post," Oct. 31, 1971.
UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR, KISSINGER CLONE
The farce of Bush's pantomime in support of the Kissinger China card very
nearly turned into the tragedy of general war later in 1971. This involved
the December 1971 war between India and Pakistan, which led to the creation
of an independent state of Bangladesh, and which must be counted as one of
the least-known thermonuclear confrontations of the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. For
Kissinger and Bush, what was at stake in this crisis was the consolidation
of the China card.
In 1970, Yahya Khan, the British-connected, Sandhurst-educated dictator of
Pakistan, was forced to announce that elections would be held in the entire
country. It will be recalled that Pakistan was at that time two separate
regions, east and west, with India in between. In East Pakistan or Bengal,
the Awami League of Sheik Mujibur Rahman campaigned on a platform of
autonomy for Bengal, accusing the central government in far-off Islamabad
of ineptitude and exploitation. The resentment in East Pakistan was made
more acute by the fact that Bengal had just been hit by a typhoon, which
had caused extensive flooding and devastation, and by the failure of the
government in West Pakistan to organize an effective relief effort. In the
elections, the Awami League won 167 out of 169 seats in the East. Yahya
Khan delayed the seating of the new nationa l assembly and on the evening
of March 25 ordered the Pakistani Army to arrest Mujibur and to wipe out
his organization in East Pakistan.
Genocide in East Pakistan
The army proceeded to launch a campaign of political genocide in East
Pakistan. Estimates of the number of victims range from 500,000 to 3
million dead. All members of the Awami League, all Hindus, all students and
intellectuals were in danger of execution by roving army patrols. A senior
U.S. Foreign Service officer sent home a dispatch in which he told of West
Pakistani soldiers setting fire to a women's dormitory at the University of
Dacca and then machine-gunning the women when they were forced by the
flames to run out. This campaign of killing went on until December, and it
generated an estimated 10 million refugees, most of whom fled across the
nearby borders to India, which had territory all around East Pakistan. The
arrival of 10 million refugees caused indescribable chaos in India, whose
government was unable to prevent untold numbers from starving to death. /
Note #1 / Note #5
From the very beginning of this monumental genocide, Kissinger and Nixon
made it clear that they would not condemn Yahya Khan, whom Nixon considered
a personal friend. Kissinger referred merely to the "strong-arm tactics of
the Pakistani military," and Nixon circulated a memo in his own handwriting
saying, "To all hands. Don't squeeze Yahya at this time. RN" Nixon stressed
repeatedly that he wanted to "tilt" in favor of Pakistan in the crisis.
One level of explanation for this active complicity in genocide was that
Kissinger and Nixon regarded Yahya Khan as their indispensable back channel
to Peking. But Kissinger could soon go to Peking any time he wanted, and
soon he could talk to the Chinese U.N. delegate in a New York safe house.
The essence of the support for the butcher Yahya Khan was this: In 1962,
India and China had engaged in a brief border war, and the Peking leaders
regarded India as their geopolitical enemy. In order to ingratiate himself
with Zhou and Mao, Kissinger wanted to take a position in favor of
Pakistan, and therefore of Pakistan's ally China, and against India and
against India's ally, the U.S.S.R. (Shortly after Kissinger's trip to China
had taken place and Nixon had announced his intention to go to Peking,
India and the U.S.S.R. had signed a 20-year friendship treaty.)
In Kissinger's view, the Indo-Pakistani conflict over Bengal was sure to
become a Sino-Soviet clash by proxy, and he wanted the United States
aligned with China in order to impress Peking with the vast benefits to be
derived from the U.S.-P.R.C. strategic alliance under the heading of the
Kissinger and Nixon were isolated within the Washington bureaucracy on this
issue. Secretary of State Rogers was very reluctant to go on supporting
Pakistan, and this was the prevalent view in Foggy Bottom and in the
embassies around the world. Nixon and Kissinger were isolated from the vast
majority of congressional opinion, which expressed horror and outrage over
the extent of the carnage being carried out week after week, month after
month, by Yahya Khan's armed forces. Even the media and U.S. public opinion
could not find any reason for the friendly "tilt" in favor of Yahya Khan.
On July 31, Kissinger exploded at a meeting of the Senior Review Group when
a proposal was made that the Pakistani army could be removed from Bengal.
"Why is it our business how they govern themselves?" Kissinger raged. "The
President always says to tilt to Pakistan, but every proposal I get [from
inside the U.S. government] is in the opposite direction. Sometimes I think
I am in a nut house." This went on for months. On December 3, at a meeting
of Kissinger's Washington Special Action Group, Kissinger exploded again,
exclaiming, "I've been catching unshirted hell every half-hour from the
president who says we're not tough enough. He really doesn't believe we're
carrying out his wishes. He wants to tilt toward Pakistan and he believes
that every briefing or statement is going the other way." / Note #1 / Note
But no matter what Rogers, the State Department and the rest of the
Washington bureaucracy might do, Kissinger knew that George Bush at the
U.N. would play along with the pro-Pakistan tilt. "And I knew that George
Bush, our able U.N. ambassador, would carry out the President's policy,"
wrote Kissinger in his memoirs, in describing his decision to drop U.S.
opposition to a Security Council debate on the subcontinent. This made Bush
one of the most degraded and servile U.S. officials of the era.
Indira Gandhi had come to Washington in November to attempt a peaceful
settlement to the crisis, but was crudely snubbed by Nixon and Kissinger.
The chronology of the acute final phase of the crisis can be summed up as
"December 3, 1971": Yahya Khan ordered the Pakistani Air Force to carry out
a series of surprise air raids on Indian air bases in the north and west of
India. These raids were not effective in destroying the Indian Air Force on
the ground, which had been Yahya Khan's intent, but Yahya Khan's aggression
did precipitate the feared Indo-Pakistani war. The Indian Army made rapid ad
vances against the Pakistani forces in Bengal, while the Indian Navy
blockaded Pakistan's ports. At this time, the biggest-ever buildup in the
Soviet naval forces in the Indian Ocean also began.
"December 4": At the U.N. Security Council, George Bush delivered a speech
in which his main thrust was to accuse India of repeated incursions into
East Pakistan, and challenging the legitimacy of India's resort to arms, in
spite of the plain evidence that Pakistan had struck first. Bush introduced
a draft resolution which called on India and Pakistan immediately to cease
all hostilities. Bush's resolution also mandated the immediate withdrawal
of all Indian and Pakistani armed forces back to their own territory,
meaning in effect that India should pull back from East Pakistan and let
Yahya Khan's forces there get back to their mission of genocide against the
local population. Observers were to be placed along the Indo-Pakistani
borders by the U.N. secretary general.
Bush's resolution also contained a grotesque call on India and Pakistan to
"exert their best efforts toward the creation of a climate conducive to the
voluntary return of refugees to East Pakistan." Ths resolution was out of
touch with the two realities: that Yahya Khan had started the genocide in
East Pakistan back in March, and that Yahya had now launched aggression
against India with his air raids. Bush's resolution was vetoed by the
Soviet representative, Yakov Malik.
"December 6": The Indian government extended diplomatic recognition to the
independent state of Bangladesh. Indian troops made continued progress
against the Pakistani Army in Bengal.
On the same day, an NBC camera team filmed much of Nixon's day inside the
White House. Part of what was recorded, and later broadcast, was a
telephone call from Nixon to George Bush at the United Nations, giving Bush
his instructions on how to handle the India-Pakistan crisis. "Some, all
over the world, will try to make this basically a political issue," said
Nixon to Bush. "You've got to do what you can. More important than anything
else now is to get the facts out with regard to what we have done, that we
have worked for a political settlement, what we have done for the refugees
and so forth and so on. If you see that some here in the Senate and House,
for whatever reason, get out and misrepresent our opinions, I want you to
hit it frontally, strongly, and toughly; is that clear? Just take the
gloves off and crack it, because you know exactly what we have done, OK?" /
Note #1 / Note #7
"December 7": George Bush at the U.N. made a further step forward toward
global confrontation by branding India as the aggressor in the crisis, as
Kissinger approvingly notes in his memoirs. Bush's draft resolution,
described above, which had been vetoed by Malik in the Security Council,
was approved by the General Assembly by a non-binding vote of 104 to 11,
which Kissinger considered a triumph for Bush. But on the same day, Yahya
Khan informed the government in Washington that his military forces in East
Pakistan were rapidly disintegrating. Kissinger and Nixon seized on a
dubious report from an alleged U.S. agent at a high level in the Indian
government which purported to summarize recent remarks of Indira Gandhi to
her cabinet. According to this report, which may have come from the later
Prime Minister Moraji Desai, Mrs. Gandhi had pledged to conquer the
southern part of Pakistani-held Kashmir. If the Chinese "rattled the
sword," the report quoted Mrs. Gandhi as saying, the Soviets would respond.
This unreliable report became one of the pillars for further actions by
Nixon, Kissinger and Bush.
"December 8": By this time, the Soviet Navy had some 21 ships either in or
approaching the Indian Ocean, in contrast to a pre-crisis level of three
ships. At this point, with the Vietnam War raging unabated, the U.S.A. had
a total of three ships in the Indian Ocean -- two old destroyers and a
seaplane tender. The last squadron of the British Navy was departing from
the region in the framework of the British pullout from east of Suez.
In the evening, Nixon suggested to Kissinger that the scheduled Moscow
summit might be canceled. Kissinger raved that India wanted to detach not
just Bengal, but Kashmir also, leading to the further secession of
Baluchistan and the total dismemberment of Pakistan. "Fundamentally," wrote
Kissinger of this moment, "our only card left was to raise the risks for
the Soviets to a level where Moscow would see larger interests jeopardized"
by its support of India, which had been lukewarm so far.
"December 9": The State Department and other agencies were showing signs of
being almost human, seeking to undermine the Nixon-Kissinger-Bush policy
through damaging leaks and bureaucratic obstructionism. Nixon, "beside
himself" over the damaging leaks, called in the principal officers of the
Washington Special Action Group and told them that while he did not insist
on their being loyal to the President, they ought at least to be loyal to
the United States. Among those Nixon insulted was Undersecretary of State
U. Alexis Johnson. But the leaks only increased.
"December 10:" Kissinger ordered the U.S. Navy to create Task Force 74,
consisting of the nuclear aircraft carrier "Enterprise", with escort and
supply ships, and to have these ships proceed from their post at Yankee
Station in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam to Singapore. / Note #1 / Note #8
In Dacca, East Pakistan, Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan, the commander
of Pakistani forces in Bengal, asked the United Nations representative to
help arrange a cease-fire, followed by the transfer of power in East
Pakistan to the elected representatives of the Awami League and the
"repatriation with honor" of his forces back to West Pakistan. At first it
appeared that this de facto surrender had been approved by Yahya Khan. But
when Yahya Khan heard that the U.S. fleet had been ordered into the Indian
Ocean, he was so encouraged that he junked the idea of a surrender and
ordered Gen. Ali Khan to resume fighting, which he did.
Colonel Melvin Holst, the U.S. military attache in Katmandu, Nepal, a small
country sandwiched between India and China in the Himalayas, received a
call from the Indian military attache, who asked whether the American had
any knowledge of a Chinese military buildup in Tibet. "The Indian high
command had some sort of information that military action was increasing in
Tibet," said Holst in his cable to Washington. The same evening, Col. Holst
received a call from the Soviet military attache, Loginov, who also asked
about Chinese military activity. Loginov said that he had spoken over the
last day or two with the Chinese military attache, Zhao Kuang-chih,
"advising Zhao that the P.R.C. should not get too serious about
intervention because U.S.S.R. would react, had many missiles, etc." / Note
#1 / Note #9
At the moment, the Himalaya mountain passes, the corridor for any Chinese
troop movement, were all open and free from snow. The CIA had noted "war
preparations" in Tibet over the months since the Bengal crisis had begun.
Nikolai Pegov, the Soviet ambassador to New Dehli, had assured the Indian
government that in the eventuality of a Chinese attack on India, the
Soviets would mount a "diversionary action in Sinkiang."
"December 11": Kissinger had been in town the previous day, meeting the
Chinese U.N. delegate. Today Kissinger would meet with the Pakistani Deputy
Prime Minister Ali Bhutto, in Bush's suite at the Waldorf-Astoria. Huang
Hua, the Chinese delegate, made remarks which Kissinger chose to interpret
as meaning that the "Chinese might intervene militarily even at this late
"December 12:" Nixon, Kissinger and Haig met in the Oval Office early
Sunday morning in a council of war. Kissinger later described this as a
crucial meeting, where, as it turned out, "the first decision to risk war
in the triangular Soviet-Chinese-American" geopolitical relationship was
taken. / Note #2 / Note #0
During Nixon's 1975 secret grand jury testimony to the Watergate Special
Prosecution Force, the former President insisted that the United States had
come "close to nuclear war" during the Indo-Pakistani conflict. According
to one attorney who heard Nixon's testimony in 1975, Nixon had stated that
"we had threatened to go to nuclear war with the Russians." / Note #2 /
Note #1 These remarks most probably refer to this December 12 meeting, and
the actions it set into motion.
Navy Task Force 74 was ordered to proceed through the Straits of Malacca
and into the Indian Ocean, and it attracted the attention of the world
media in so doing the following day. Task Force 74 was now on wartime
At 11:30 a.m. local time, Kissinger and Haig sent the Kremlin a message
over the Hot Line. This was the first use of the Hot Line during the Nixon
administration, and apparently the only time it was used during the Nixon
years, with the exception of the October 1973 Middle East War. According to
Kissinger, this Hot Line message contained the ultimatum that the Soviets
respond to earlier American demands; otherwise Nixon would order Bush to
"set in train certain moves" in the U.N. Security Council that would be
irreversible. But is this all the message said? Kissinger comments in his
memoirs a few pages later: "Our fleet passed through the Strait of Malacca
into the Bay of Bengal and attracted much media attention. Were we
threatening India? Were we seeking to defend East Pakistan? Had we lost our
minds? It was in fact sober calculation. We had some seventy-two hours to
bring the war to a conclusion before West Pakistan would be swept into the
maelstrom. It would take India that long to shift its forces and mount an
assault. Once Pakistan's air force and army were destroyed, its impotence
would guarantee the country's eventual disintegration.... We had to give
the Soviets a warning that matters might get out of control on our side
too. We had to be ready to back up the Chinese if at the last moment they
came in after all, our U.N. initiative having failed. [...] However
unlikely an American military move against India, the other side could not
be sure; it might not be willing to accept even the minor risk that we
might act irrationally." / Note #2 / Note #2
These comments by Kissinger led to the conclusion that the Hot Line message
of December 12 was part of a calculated exercise in thermonuclear blackmail
and brinksmanship. Kissinger's reference to acting irrationally recalls the
infamous RAND Corporation theories of thermonculear confrontations as
chicken games in which it is useful to hint to the opposition that one is
insane. If your adversary thinks you are crazy, then he is more likely to
back down, the argument goes. Whatever threats were made by Kissinger and
Haig that day in their Hot Line message are likely to have been of that
variety. All evidence points to the conclusion that on December 12, 1971,
the world was indeed close to the brink of thermonuclear confrontation.
Where Was George?
And where was George? He was acting as the willing mouthpiece for madmen.
Late in the evening December 12, Bush delivered the following remarks to
the Security Council, which are recorded in Kissinger's memoirs:
"The question now arises as to India's further intentions. For example,
does India intend to use the present situation to destroy the Pakistan army
in the West? Does India intend to use as a pretext the Pakistani
counterattacks in the West to annex territory in West Pakistan? Is its aim
to take parts of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir contrary to the Security
Council resolutions of 1948, 1949, and 1950? If this is not India's
intention, then a prompt disavowal is required. The world has a right to
know: What are India's intentions? Pakistan's aims have become clear: It
has accepted the General Assembly's resolution passed by a vote of 104 to
11. My government has asked this question of the Indian Government several
times in the last week. I regret to inform the Council that India's replies
have been unsatisfactory and not reassuring.
"In view of India's defiance of world opinion expressed by such an
overwhelming majority, the United States is now returning the issue to the
Security Council. With East Pakistan virtually occupied by Indian troops, a
continuation of the war would take on increasingly the character of armed
attack on the very existence of a Member State of the United Nations." /
Note #2 / Note #3
Bush introduced another draft resolution of pro-Pakistan tilt, which called
on the governments of India and Pakistan to take measures for an immediate
cease-fire and withdrawal of troops, and for measures to help the refugees.
This resolution was also vetoed by the U.S.S.R.
"December 14": Kissinger shocked U.S. public opinion by stating off the
record to journalists in a plane returning from a meeting with French
President Georges Pompidou in the Azores, that if Soviet conduct continued
in the present mode, the U.S. was "prepared to reevaluate our entire
relationship, including the summit."
"December 15:" The Pakistani commander in East Pakistan, after five
additional days of pointless killing, again offered a cease-fire. Kissinger
claimed that the five intervening days had allowed the United States to
increase the pressure on India and prevent the Indian forces from turning
on West Pakistan.
"December 16:" Mrs. Gandhi offered an unconditional cease-fire in the west,
which Pakistan immediately accepted. Kissinger opined that this decision to
end all fighting had been "reluctant" on the part of India, and had been
made possible through Soviet pressure generated by U.S. threats. Zhou Enlai
also said later that the United States had saved West Pakistan. Kissinger
praised Nixon's "courage and patriotism" and his commitment to "preserve
the balance of power for the ultimate safety of all free people."
Apprentice geopolitician George Bush had carried out yeoman service in that
After a self-serving and false description of the Indo-Pakistani crisis of
1971, Kissinger pontificates in his memoirs about the necessary priority of
geopolitical machinations: "There is in America an idealistic tradition
that sees foreign policy as a context between evil and good. There is a
pragmatic tradition that seeks to solve 'problems' as they arise. There is
a legalistic tradition that treats international issues as juridical cases.
There is no geopolitical tradition." In their stubborn pursuit of an
alliance with the second strongest land power at the expense of all other
considerations, Kissinger, Nixon and Bush were following the dictates of
classic geopolitics. This is the school in which Bush was trained, and this
is how he has reacted to every international crisis down through the Gulf
war, which was originally conceived in London as a "geopolitical"
adjustment in favor of the Anglo-Saxons against Germany, Japan, the Arabs,
the developing sector and the rest of the world.
Genocide in Vietnam
1972 was the second year of Bush's U.N. tenure, and it was during this time
that he distinguished himself as a shameless apologist for the genocidal
and vindictive Kissinger policy of prolonging and escalating the war in
Vietnam. During most of his first term, Nixon pursued a policy he called
the "Vietnamization" of the war. This meant that U.S. land forces were
progressively withdrawn, while the South Vietnamese Army was ostensibly
built up so that it could bear the battle against the Viet Cong and the
North Vietnamese regulars. This policy went into crisis in March 1972 when
the North Vietnamese launched a 12-division assault across the
Demilitarized Zone against the south. On May 8, 1972, Nixon announced that
the full-scale bombing of the north, which had been suspended since the
spring of 1968, would be resumed with a vengeance: Nixon ordered the
bombing of Hanoi and the mining of Haiphong harbor, and the savaging of
transportation lines and military installations all over the country.
This mining had always been rejected as a tactic during the previous
conduct of the war because of the possibility that bombing and mining the
harbors might hit Soviet, Chinese, and other foreign ships, killing the
crews and creating the risk of retaliation by these countries against the
U.S.A. Now, before the 1972 elections, Kissinger and Nixon were determined
to "go ape," discarding their previous limits on offensive action and
risking whatever China and the U.S.S.R. might do. It was another gesture of
reckless confrontation, fraught with incalculable consequences. Later in
the same year, in December, Nixon would respond to a breakdown in the Paris
talks with the Hanoi government by ordering the infamous Christmastide B-52
attacks on the north.
It was George Bush who officially informed the international diplomatic
community of Nixon's March decisions. Bush addressed a letter to the
Presidency of the U.N. Security Council in which he outlined what Nixon had
set into motion:
"The President directed that the entrances to the ports of North Vietnam be
mined and that the delivery of seaborne supplies to North Vietnam be
prevented. These measures of collective self-defense are hereby being
reported to the United Nations Security Council as required by Article 51
of the United Nations Charter."
Bush went on to characterize the North Vietnamese actions. He spoke of "the
massive invasion across the demilitarized zone and international boundaries
by the forces of North Vietnam and the continuing aggression" of Hanoi. He
accused the north of "blatant violation of the understandings negotiated in
1968 in connection with the cessation of the bombing of the territory of
North Vietnam.... The extent of this renewed aggression and the manner in
which it has been directed and supported demonstrate with great clarity
that North Vietnam has embarked on an all-out attempt to take over South
Vietnam by military force and to disrupt the orderly withdrawal of United
States forces." Bush further accused the north of refusing to negotiate in
good faith to end the war.
The guts of Bush's message, the part that was read with greatest attention
in Moscow, Peking and elsewhere, was contained in the following summary of
the way in which Haiphong and the other harbors had been mined:
"Accordingly, as the minimum actions necessary to meet this threat, the
Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America have jointly decided
to take the following measures of collective self-defense: The entrances to
the ports of North Vietnam are being mined, commencing 0900 Saigon time May
9, and the mines are set to activate automatically beginning 1900 hours
Saigon time May 11. This will permit vessels of other countries presently
in North Vietnamese ports three daylight periods to depart safely." In a
long circumlocution, Bush also conveyed that all shipping might also be the
target of indiscriminate bombing. Bush called these measures "restricted in
extent and purpose." The U.S. was willing to sign a cease-fire ending all
acts of war in Indochina (thus including Cambodia, which had been invaded
in 1970, and Laos, which had been invaded in 1971, as well as the Vietnams)
and bring all U.S. troops home within four months.
There was no bipartisan supp ort for the bombing and mining policy Bush
announced. Senator Mike Mansfield pointed out that the decision would only
protract the war. Senator Proxmire called it "reckless and wrong." Four
Soviet ships were damaged by these U.S. actions. There was a lively debate
within the Soviet Politburo on how to respond to this, with a faction
around Shelest demanding that Nixon's invitation to the upcoming Moscow
superpower summit be rescinded. But Shelest was ousted by Brezhnev, and the
summit went forward at the end of May. The "China card" theoreticians
congratulated themselves that the Soviets had been paralyzed by fear of
what Peking might do if Moscow became embroiled with Peking's new de facto
ally, the United States.
Bombing Civilian Targets
In July 1972, reports emerged in the international press of charges by
Hanoi that the U.S.A. had been deliberately bombing the dams and dikes,
which were the irrigation and flood control system around Vietnam's Red
River. Once again it was Bush who came forward as the apologist for Nixon's
"mad bomber" foreign policy. Bush appeared on the NBC Televison "Today"
show to assure the U.S. public that the U.S. bombing had created only "the
most incidental and minor impact" on North Vietnam's dike system. This, of
course, amounted to a backhanded confirmation that such bombing had been
done, and damage wrought in the process. Bush was in his typical whining
mode in defending the U.S. policy against worldwide criticism of war
measures that seemed designed to inflict widespread flooding and death on
North Vietnamese civilians. According to North Vietnamese statistics, more
than half of the north's 20 million people lived in areas near the Red
River that would be flooded if the dike system were breached. An article
which appeared in a Hanoi publication had stated that at flood crest many
rivers rise to "six or seven meters above the surrounding fields" and that
because of this situation "any dike break, especially in the Red River
delta, is a disaster with incalculable consequences."
Bush had never seen an opportunity for genocide he did not like. "I believe
we are being set up by a massive propaganda campaign by the North
Vietnamese in the event that there is the same kind of flooding this year
-- to attribute it to bombs whereas last year it happened just out of lack
of maintenance," Bush argued.
"There's been a study made that I hope will be released shortly that will
clarify this whole question," he went on. The study "would be very helpful
because I think it will show what the North Vietnamese are up to in where
they place strategic targets." What Bush was driving at here was an
allegation that Hanoi customarily placed strategic assets near the dikes in
order to be able to accuse the U.S. of genocide if air attacks breached the
dikes and caused flooding. Bush's military spokesmen used similar arguments
during the Gulf war, when Iraq was accused of placing military equipment in
the midst of civilian residential areas.
"I think you would have to recognize," retorted Bush, "that if there was
any intention" of breaching the dikes, "it would be very, very simple to do
exactly what we are accused of -- and that is what we are not doing." /
Note #2 / Note #4
The bombing of the north continued and reached a final paroxysm at
Christmas, when B-52s made unrestricted terror bombing raids against Hanoi
and other cities. The Christmas bombing was widely condemned, even by the
U.S. press: "New Madness in Vietnam" was the headline of the "St. Louis
Post-Dispatch" on Dec. 19; "Terror from the Skies" that of the "New York
Times" Dec. 22; "Terror Bombing in the Name of Peace" of the "Washington
Post" Dec. 28; and "Beyond All Reason" of the "Los Angeles Times" of Dec.
More Zionist than Israelis
Bush's activity at the U.N. also coincided with Kissinger's preparation of
the October 1973 Middle East war. During the 1980s, Bush attempted to
cultivate a public image as a U.S. politician who, although oriented toward
close relations with Israel, would not slavishly appease every demand of
the Israelis and the Zionist lobby in the United States, but would take an
independent position designed to foster U.S. national interests. From time
to time, Bush snubbed the Israelis by hinting that they held hostages of
their own, and that the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem would not be
accepted by the United States. For some, these delusions have survived even
a refutation so categoric as the events of the Kuwait crisis of 1990-91.
Bush would be more accurately designated as a Zionist, whose differences
with an Israeli leader like Shamir are less significant than the
differences between Shamir and other Israeli politicians. Bush's
fanatically pro-Israeli ideological-political track record was already
massive during the U.N. years.
In September 1972, Palestinian terrorists describing themselves as the
"Black September" organization attacked the quarters of the Israeli Olympic
team present in Munich for the Olympic games of that year, killing a number
of the Israeli athletes. The Israeli government seized on these events as
carte blanche to launch a series of air attacks against Syria and Lebanon,
arguing that these countries could be held responsible for what had
happened in Munich. Somalia, Greece and Guinea came forward with a
resolution in the Security Council which simply called for the immediate
cessation of "all military operations." The Arab states argued that the
Israeli air attacks were totally without provocation or justification, and
had killed numerous civilians who had nothing whatever to do with the
terrorist actions in Munich.
The Nixon regime, with one eye on the autumn 1972 elections and the need to
mobilize the Zionist lobby in support of a second term, wanted to find a
way to oppose this resolution, since it did not sufficiently acknowledge
the unique righteousness of the Israeli cause and Israel's inherent right
to commit acts of war against its neighbors. It was Bush who authored a
competing resolution, which called on all interested parties "to take all
measures for the immediate cessation and prevention of all military
operations and terrorist activities." It was Bush who dished up the
rationalizations for U.S. rejection of the first resolution. That
resolution was no good, Bush argued, because it did not reflect the fact
that "the fabric of violence in the Middle East in inextricably interwoven
with the massacre in Munich.... By our silence on the terror in Munich are
we indeed inviting more Munichs?" he asked. Justifying the Israeli air
raids on Syria and Lebanon, Bush maintained that certain governments
"cannot be absolved of responsibility for the cycle of violence" because of
their words and deeds, or because of their tacit acquiescence. Slightly
later, after the vote had taken place, Bush argued that "by adopting this
resolution, the council would have ignored reality, would have spoken to
one form of violence but not another, would have looked to the effect but
not the cause."
When the resolution was put to a vote, Bush made front-page headlines
around the world by casting the U.S. veto, a veto that had been cast only
once before in the entire history of the U.N. The vote was 13 to 1, with
the U.S. casting the sole negative vote. Panama was the lone abstention.
The only other time the U.S. veto had been used had been in 1970, on a
resolution involving Rhodesia.
The Israeli U.N. ambassador, Yosef Tekoah, did not attend the debate
because of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. But Israel's cause was well
defended -- by Bush. According to an Israeli journalist observing the
proceedings who was quoted by the "Washington Post," "Bush sounds more
pro-Israeli than Tekoah would have." / Note #2 / Note #5
Later in 1972, attempts were made by non-aligned states and the U.N.
Secretariat to arrange the indispensable basis for a Middle East peace
settlement -- the withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied during
the 1967 war. Once again, Bush was more Zionist than the Israelis.
In February of 1972, the U.N.'s Middle East mediator, Gunnar Jarring of
Norway, had asked that the Security Council reaffirm the original contents
of Resolution 242 of 1967 by reiterating that Israel should surrender Arab
territory seized in 1967. "Land for peace" was anathema to the Israeli
government then as now. Bush undertook to blunt this non-aligned peace bid.
Late in 1972, the non-aligned group proposed a resolution in the General
Assembly which called for "immediate and unconditional" Israeli withdrawal
from the occupied territories while inviting other countries to withold
assistance that would help Israel to sustain its occupation of the Arab
land. Bush quickly rose to assail this text.
In a speech to the General Assembly in December 1972, Bush warned the
assembly that the original text of Resolution 242 was "the essential agreed
basis for U.N. peace efforts and this body and all its members should be
mindful of the need to preserve the negotiating asset that it represents."
"The assembly," Bush went on, "cannot seek to impose courses of action on
the countries directly concerned, either by making new demands or favoring
the proposals or positions of one side over the other." Never, never would
George Bush ever take sides or accept a double standard of this type.
Bush in Africa
From January 28 through February 4, 1972, the Security Council held its
first meeting in twenty years outside of New York City. The venue chosen
was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bush made this the occasion for a trip through
the Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Zaire, Gabon, Nigeria, Chad and Botswana. Bush
later told a House subcommittee hearing that this was his second trip to
Africa, with the preceding one having been a junket to Egypt and Libya "in
1963 or 1964." / Note #2 / Note #6 During this trip, Bush met with seven
chiefs of state, including President Mobutu of Zaire, Emperor Haile
Selassie of Ethiopia, President Tombalbaye of Chad, and President Numayri
of the Sudan.
At a press conference in Addis Ababa, African journalists destabilized Bush
with aggressive questions about the U.S. policy of ignoring mandatory U.N.
economic sanctions against the racist, white supremacist Ian Smith regime
in Rhodesia. The Security Council had imposed the mandatory sanctions, but
later the U.S. Congress had passed, and Nixon had signed into law,
legislation incorporating the so-called Byrd amendment, which allowed the
U.S.A. to import chrome from Rhodesia in the event of shortages of that
strategic raw material. Chrome was readily available on the world market,
especially from the U.S.S.R., although the Soviet chrome was more expensive
than the Rhodesian chrome. In his congressional testimony, Bush whined at
length about the extensive criticism of this declared U.S. policy of
breaching the Rhodesian sanctions on the part of "those who are just using
this to really hammer us from a propaganda standpoint.... We have taken the
rap on this thing," complained Bush. "We have taken the heat on it.... We
have taken a great deal of abuse from those who wanted to embarrass us in
Africa, to emphasize the negative and not the positive in the United
Nations." Bush talked of his own efforts at damage control on the issue of
U.S. support for the racist Rhodesian regime: "... what we are trying to do
is to restrict any hypocrisy we are accused of.... I certainly don't think
the U.S. position should be that the Congress was trying to further
colonialism and racism in this action it took," Bush told the congressmen.
"In the U.N., I get the feeling we are categorized as imperialists and
colonialists, and I make clear this is not what America stands for, but
nevertheless it is repeated over and over and over again," he whined. /
Note #2 / Note #7
On the problems of Africa in general, Bush, ever true to Malthusian form,
stressed above all the overpopulation of the continent. As he told the
congressmen: "Population was one of the things I worked on when I was in
the Congress with many people here in this room. It is something that the
U.N. should do. It is something where we are better served to use a
multilateral channel, but it has got to be done efficiently and
effectively. There has [sic] to be some delivery systems. It should not be
studied to death if the American people are going to see that we are better
off to use a multilateral channel and I am convinced we are. We don't want
to be imposing American standards of rate of growth on some country, but we
are saying that if an international community decides it is worth while to
have these programs and education, we want to strongly support it." / Note
#2 / Note #8
Mouthpiece for Kissinger
Bush spent just under two years at the U.N. His tenure coincided with some
of the most monstrous crimes against humanity of the Nixon-Kissinger team,
for whom Bush functioned as an international spokesman, and to whom no
Kissinger policy was too odious to be enthusiatically proclaimed before the
international community and world public opinion. Through this doggedly
loyal service, Bush forged a link with Nixon that would be ephemeral but
vital for his career, while it lasted, and a link with Kissinger that would
be decisive in shaping Bush's own administration in 1988-89.
The way in which Bush set about organizing the anti-Iraq coalition of
1990-91 was decisively shaped by his United Nations experience. His initial
approach to the Security Council, the types of resolutions that were put
forward by the United States, and the alternation of military escalation
with consultations among the five permanent members of the Security Council
-- all this harkened back to the experience Bush acquired as Kissinger's
envoy to the world body.
Notes - Chapter 12, Part 2
15. See Seymour M. Hersh, "The Price of Power" (New York: Summit Books,
1983), pp. 444 ff.
16. Henry Kissinger, "op. cit.," p. 897. The general outlines of these
remarks were first published in Jack Anderson's syndicated column, and
reprinted in Jack Anderson, "The Anderson Papers" (New York: Random House,
17. Anderson, "op. cit.," p. 226.
18. Elmo Zumwalt, "On Watch" (New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co.,
1976), p. 367.
19. Anderson, "op. cit.," pp. 260-61.
20. Kissinger, "op. cit.," p. 909.
21. Hersh, "op. cit.," p. 457.
22. Kissinger, "op. cit.," pp. 911-12.
23. See R.C. Gupta, "U.S. Policy Toward India and Pakistan" (Delhi: B.R.
Publishing Corp., 1977), pp. 84 "ff."
24. "Washington Post," July 27, 1972.
25. "Washington Post," Sept. 11, 1972.
26. U.S. House of Representatives, Joint Hearing Before the Subcommittee on
Africa and the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements of
the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ninety-Second Congress, Second Session,
March 1, 1972, (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972), p. 12.
27. House of Representatives, Joint Hearing, pp. 7, 10-11.
28. House of Representatives, Joint Hearing, pp. 7-8.
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