During one of his worst years of alcoholism, Israel launched air strikes against Iraq's nuclear facilities and Bush doesn't remember a thing about it, or the year 1981 in general :
At the time, Bush was a 34-year-old oil man living in Midland, Texas running a company he founded two years earlier after a failed bid for Congress. Bush would not become governor of Texas for more than a decade and White House ambitions were even farther in his future.
During a White House press conference Monday, NBC correspondent David Gregory asked Bush whether he supported Israel's destruction of the Osiraq nuclear reactor in Iraq.
"Ya know, Dave, I don't remember what I was doing in 1981," Bush said.
A report from the New York Times Nicholas Kristof describes Bush as a "late bloomer", probably more concerned with drinking and having fun than comprehending what was going on on the international stage, despite his father's involvement in American politics and intelligence.
Writes Kristof :
"he approached 40, an age when Al Gore was already a senator running for president, George W. Bush was just a heavy-drinking, fun-loving oilman struggling to control his tempter, salvage his business and hold on to his marriage."