"The Fall of the House of Bush" tells of the birth of the neocon movement, how it linked up with the Christian evangelist movement, why Bush 43 is uninterested in facts, and how V.P. Cheney became the hidden head of American government.
Unger begins by telling us that the most significant "clash of civilizations" today is between religious fundamentalists - Islamists, Christian, and Jewish, vs. the modern world. He then reports on the rise of religious fervor within the U.S. Puritans saw American as the New Jerusalem, but were not the dominant force colonizing America - church membership during this period never exceeded 20%. Nonetheless, it became quite strong in some areas - eg. the South.
In the years after the Scopes Monkey Trial (won by the religious side), Christian colleges and Bible institutes, magazines, broadcast outlets, crusades to convert the unsaved, and thousands of new churches were founded. These included Bob Jones University (the largest producer of fundamentalist preachers in the U.S.), Billy Graham and his Crusades, Pat Robertson (Christian Broadcasting System, Trinity Broadcasting Network), Jerry Falwell (The Moral Majority and Liberty University), and James Dobson (Focus on the Family).
Switching topics, we read that the first neoconservatives were mostly 2nd-generation Jews in America. Senator Jackson (D-Wa) became leader of the fight against "faces of darkness" (communism) and a grandiose missionary belief that American values and principles were both virtuous and universal that could save the rest of the world from communism - and had the moral duty to do so. Coming from the age of Stalin and Hitler, it was easy for Jackson and neocons to push military action as a first resort. Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Douglas Feith, Scooter Libby, John Bolton and others shared common mentors, and an attitude that the Soviet Union could not be trusted - we had to have zero margin of error. An early neocon tactic was building up strength through creating an alphabet soup of committees, organizations, and think tanks.
Meanwhile the evangelicals were motivated by Genesis 13:15 where God tells Abraham about the Holy Land: "I will give it to you and your descendants forever." Thus, Israel's existence and success became seen by fundamentalists as a prelude to the return of the Messiah. Strength grew as a result of Roe v. Wade - Falwell's "Moral Majority" registered 8.5 million voters in five years and "born-agains" went on from 26% in 1976 to 39% in 1988, were boosted again through the Lewinsky scandal, and now represent roughly 10X the number of Jews in America.
Reagan fused the neocon and evangelical movements together with his calling the Soviet Union the "evil empire," and dropping Carter's efforts to end the Palestine-Israel conflict. (Neocons saw the benefits and actively encouraged uniting with the evangelicals.) Evangelicals went 2:1 for Reagan in the 1980 election.
Forward in time to Bush I. Saddam was seen by his administration as an increasingly dangerous monster that the U.S. helped create - providing pathogenic material and intelligence vs. Iran. During the Bush I and Clinton years neocons went back to their earlier standby positions - a sort of government in exile. At the same time, Chalabi gained strength with the neocons via promises to draw Iraq closer to Israel - if he was made leader.
After Rabin's assassination in 1995, neocon Israeli leader Netanyahu received from American neocon Richard Perle a guidance paper proposing to junk the Oslo Accords (trading land for peace), and substituting "peace through strength" through preemptive actions to establish a larger Israel via wars against Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to bring democracy ("democracies don't launch wars") to the region.
As 2000 approached, neocons quickly realized the Bush II was different from his father, and began "educating" him. Unger reports Bush II making statements about taking out Saddam in early 2000. Unger also cites a 2/1/2001 memo circulated by Bush II officials titled "Plan for post-Saddam Iraq" and that there were discussions about what to do with Iraq's oil wealth. In addition, Cheney's Energy Task Force posted a map of Iraq's oil deposits on the wall, along with a list of foreign companies vying for them. Bush II's first National Security Council meeting brought his declaration that he was withdrawing from the Palestinian peace process, and intended to tilt towards Israel.
Fanatical emphasis on false information from Iraqi defector and fabricator "Curveball," the Niger yellow-cake story (eventually attributed to Britain), Chalabi (seeking to further inflame matters), Judith Miller at the New York Times, the supposed Prague meeting with Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi agent, the mobile biowar weapons labs (per Curveball), Cheney's meeting with (leaning on) CIA analysts, and Tenet trying to maintain favor, along with low-ball estimates of the cost ($50-60 billion, self-funding reconstruction, soldiers greeted with flowers), and a purge of naysayers assured that Bush II's predilection came true.
Meanwhile, Bush also served evangelicals through numerous appointments at high levels of government, "faith-based initiatives" (funding), banning federal support for stem-cell research from discarded eggs, contraception, etc.
Unger ends asserting that Jeb Bush sees his political future as finished - courtesy of George, and that we'll be paying the price for Bush and the neocons' folly for years.