AMY GOODMAN: You wrote two books during the Bush administration. Two of the books you’ve written are Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace and Dreaming War. Why these two?
GORE VIDAL: Well, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, that’s my main book during that period. That was the foreign policy of the Bush administration: perpetual war. This was also Harry Truman’s dream. He started the Cold War. If any history had been imparted to our people, they’d know all this. And if you think I enjoy having to be the one to tell them about it, I don’t.
AMY GOODMAN: And what about Dreaming War?
GORE VIDAL: Well, same thing. They were dreaming war. You can see little Bush all along was just dreaming of war, and also Cheney dreaming about oil wells and how you knock apart a country like Iraq and of course their oil will pay for the damage you do. For that alone, he should have been put in front of a firing squad.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you believe in the death penalty?
GORE VIDAL: No. But in their case, yes.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, here we are, moved into the sixth year of the war with Iraq, longer than the US was involved in World War II.
GORE VIDAL: Yes, incredible. That was such a huge operation on two great continents against two modern enemies. And we’re fighting little jungle wars for no reason, because we have a president who knows nothing about anything. He’s just blank. But he wants to show off: ‘I’m a wartime president! I’m a wartime president!’ He goes yap, yap, yap. He’s like a crazed terrier. And look where he got us.
I didn’t realize—I think I’ve always had a good idea about my native land, but I didn’t think that institutionally we were so easy to overthrow, because it was a coup d’etat, 9/11. The whole went crashing. And when we got rid of—when they got rid of Magna Carta, I thought, well, really, this wasn’t much of a republic to begin with.