Bush the Empire Slayer

Bush's neoconservative doctrine seeks to apply Straussian philosophy to the unfettered pursuit of US energy interests. Its unspoken motto: “perpetual war for perpetual peace.” The rough idea—and the idea is, indeed, rough—is to play this century's Great Game (first prize: control of Mideast oil supply) under the banner of national security. Until we whacked them on the head, Iraqis had never expressed much desire to attack us. To the lesser minds, therefore, the idea of fighting them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here always teetered on the edge of insanity. To the neocons' delight, 9/11 came to cleanse the public discourse of the yelpings of lesser minds.

And so, today, we gather to honor the superior minds, all of these men (they are mostly men) who so decisively turned out the lights on the American empire. Heading the roll call is none other than the Decider himself. If you're among the wise who chose to sit out the Bush years at the bottom of a well, you need to know only two things about the man: the first is that he is President of the United States; the second is that he said:

“One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”

To connect it to the war for terror would indeed be easier. A self-declared uniter, Bush is beginning to unite the country around the belief that he is the worst president in US history. Whether his reelection, ipso facto, makes the electorate the dumbest ever is a logical inference that a political culture drunk with self-admiration will have trouble getting its woozy head around.

To call Team Bush a thundering herd of galloping loons is to be unnecessarily kind. For rarely has daftness been elevated to such a lofty plane of power and influence. The early days of the Iraq adventure set the tone. A year after Defense strategist Ken Adelman infamously called the coming liberation of Iraq a “cakewalk,” Paul Wolfowitz, then Rumsfeld's deputy, used the occasion of an interview with NPR's Melissa Block to stamp the prediction with the Pentagon's gold seal.

“We're seeing today how much the people of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe appreciate what the United States did to help liberate them from the tyranny of the Soviet Union. I think you're going to see even more of that sentiment in Iraq. There's not going to be the hostility that you described Saturday. There simply won't be.”

Hostility? What an idea! On the eve of the war, in a vice presidential reprise of Tom Cruise's couch-hopping antics, Cheney stepped on the set of NBC's “Meet The Press” to share the love: “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” For a mere $44 billion a year, all we got from US intelligence was a silly update of an old movie script:

Renault: And what in Heaven's name brought you to Baghdad?

Bush: The sweets and the flowers. I came to Baghdad for love.

Renault:Love! What love? We're in the Middle East.

Bush: I was misinformed.

Christmas 2003 came early in Iraq and WMD-stuffed stockings were spotted everywhere by late March. Or so Rumsfeld told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: “We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” East, west, south and nowhere somewhat. In September of that year, the part-time AEI scholar, full-time slimeball Richard Perle got all his neurons firing at once to produce this marvel of crystal gazing:

“And a year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush.”

Or perhaps some grand morgue? Which naturally leads us to the 600-billion dollar question: where did they find these people? The answer: in that dank rodent house known as the American Enterprise Institute. Often found gnawing on the chicken wire, the rabid ferret Michael Ledeen needs no cage rattling to work himself into a froth of hysteria:

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

In their knockoff of Mein Kampf, retitled An End to Evil, Richard Perle and former Bush speechwriter David Frum give voice to their full-blown dementia by recommending all-out attacks on anybody ever so slightly Muslim. Why? Because “There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust." Salon's Gary Kamiya calls the Perle-Frum worldview “a strange combination of Hobbes and Popeye.” Harsh on Popeye. Me, I have no patience for moral midgets who've seen their Napoleonic hour arrive. Like Alexander in Gordium, I head straight for the deliciously obvious: to end evil, end Perle and Frum.

The American Enterprise Institute serves to mitigate the most glaring defects of our democracy. Take the current escalation in Iraq, for example. President Bush alone grasps the full cosmic immensity of its wisdom, even calling the idea a “surge” to convey its irresistibility. Alas, the Forces of Darkness, aka the Pentagon, the Congress, and the American public, will have none of it. Enter the AEI and its paunchy, double-chinned warmonger, Frederick W. Kagan. Faster than a chickenhawk can flap its wings, Kagan demothballs his fave retired general, Jack Keane, and whips up The Surge. Voilà. Rasputin would be proud.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

It would be unfair to let Team Bush steal all the credit for the imperial collapse without a tip of the hat to the White House Dictation Office, also known as the mainstream media (MSM). Skipping right over the miniskirted hyena Ann Coulter (a risky stunt but I've got my spiked pogo shoes on), the oafish junkie Rush Limbaugh, and the assortment of one-trick performing fleas hopping mad on the AM dial, I shall ascend Mount Olympus to gaze at the brainy stars of the MSM.

Few shine more brightly than Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, the supernova of the Murdoch empire—unless red dwarf is a tighter cosmic fit for someone known to his friends and pet hamster as “Dan Quayle's brain.” The day after the 9/11 attacks, the surrogate brain seized the moment and began pounding the war drums: “There's a fair amount of evidence that Iraq had very close associations with Osama bin Laden in the past.” There was not a shred of evidence. A year later, Kristol nuzzled up to The New Republic's Lawrence F. Kaplan to break into a cakewalk jig on the National Review dance floor: “Having defeated and then occupied Iraq, democratizing the country should not be too tall an order for the world's sole superpower.” Brilliance of this magnitude is Kristol's trademark. Time magazine took longer than most to realize that and only this month got around to adding Kristol to its roster of columnists.

Two influential Canadians with a nasty case of empire envy, Mark Steyn and Michael Ignatieff pulpiteered the good news—one from his stool at the Chicago Sun-Times, the other from his booster seat at the Harvard Kennedy School. From Steyn we learned that “Imperialism is the answer” and from Ignatieff that “The case for empire is that it has become, in a place like Iraq, the last hope for democracy and stability alike.” [2] (I don't know about you, but the dazzling acumen of the expert never fails to give me goosebumps!) Former TNR editor Andrew Sullivan, another heavy smoker of the imperialist's hookah pipe, found his knees wobbly after 9/11 and his left flank badly exposed: “The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead—and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column.”

Of course, no account of MSM malfeasance would be fitting without at least a passing glance at the yapping chihuahuas. Newsweek's Howard Fineman woofed a few choice words of his own: “We had controversial wars that divided the country. This war united the country and brought the military back.” [37] Well said, Howard. His colleague Chris Matthews yaks at such vertiginous speeds that his brain emits exotic particles of synchrotronic quirkiness. One month into the war, he blurted out, “We're all neocons now.” A few weeks later, Matthews highlighted a side of war that too often gets short shrift: what great, clean fun it is! “Check it out. The women like this war! I think we like having a hero as our president.” Must a TV show be pornographic just because it's called “Hardball”?

The war has given the American mainstream media a brilliant opportunity to prove its essential worthlessness. It has shown itself to be little more than a circus of entertainers and cheerleaders for whom every season is the silly season. Tragically, the media has failed in its sacred duty to keep a vigilant, skeptical, critical eye on the centers of power. Who is the American Robert Fisk, Gideon Levy, or Amira Hass? Whoever they are (and Sy Hersh proves they exist), why are their writings not filling the op-ed pages of the great American newspapers? How can the nation that produces the bulk of Nobel prize winners be stuck with such a sullen bunch of journalistic mediocrities? The sycophantic enablers of the Fourth Estate have blood on their hands.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq had a single cause: the reassertion of US hegemony after 9/11. Its trigger was a rare astral alignment. Big Oil, the neocons, the Christian fundamentalists, the liberal hawks, AIPAC, the MSM, and 9/11 all formed cosmic dots in the sky that only one power could—and did—successfully align: the president of the United States. No American leader has so much owned a war.

And none has so little owned up to it. Victors are never war criminals. That's because they get to write the history books. Bush won't have that chance. The die has been cast and the hour is too late for him or anyone to alter the unforgiving judgment of posterity. Therein, paradoxically, lies our quandary. For, if freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, then Bush is a free man—free to pursue the most malignant policies, heedless of the consequences to his unworsenable presidential standing. Beware the desperation of a cornered man.

The apostle of imperial dominance, Bush slew the “last empire.” The towering figure of our time, he is a piteously small man. The self-anointed emissary of a “higher father,” he is servant to no power but himself. The captain of the sinking ship has laid his command upon his fellow Americans: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for me.” No sacrifice of life shall be too great, no damage to civil liberties too high, no expenses too vast for a vainglorious man deluded by fantastic dreams of redemption by force.

But who besides the bereaved will mourn? Who besides the orphan will whimper? Who besides the humiliated will stare back? Who besides the thugs and the craven will lead? Patriotism is a lovely thing. In its name, some go dying by the side of an Iraqi road in twitching agony; others go shopping in oversized automobiles festooned with yellow ribbons. We all play our part—and nobody else's.

Yeats bemoaned an era when the best lacked all conviction, while the worst were full of passionate intensity. Today, Kristol blusters and hectors, Cheney scolds and forebodes, Bush struts and smirks. Meanwhile, the giant, timid chorus listens politely to the deafening silence of the outraged—and the mad march of war goes on.

-------

“ The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.”

-- Wilfred Owen

uh-oh...

(moved comment)

"The truth shall make you free." Why not make the truth free? We live on a priceless blue pearl, awash in a universe of fire and ice. Cut the crap.

Your welcome Erin

The criticism here on this blog that comes from those who think We are crazy to fight for truth, don't they realize how despicable those pursuing this "war on terror" really is?
We are supposed to believe that this cause is justified and no matter what kind of destruction the Neocons cabal brings down upon anyone, it's the right thing to do? The only thing to do? And not question or dispute it?
I choose not to be part of the timid populace who allow this to go on, as many here on this blog are also fed up with this Bush/Neocon/ Straussian cabal.
The writings above show just how corrupted the power is, and how inhumane they really are. 9/11is the springboard for all of this misery, and so it is the key for stopping it.

Bush the Empire Slayer, huh?

So does that mean:

Rove=Giles
Cheney=Willow
Rice=Xander
?

I don't think I'm going to like this show...

Seriously though, good blog.

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

I discovered this blog by

I discovered this blog by accident. The text posted above is an excerpt from my recent essay "Bush the Empire Slayer"

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~chazelle/politics/bush-jan07.html

I don't mind if people post the essay on their blogs but I would kindly request that they credit the author and/or link to the original.

Thanks.

Bernard Chazelle

PS: It also appeared here

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16177.htm
and
http://mwcnews.net/content/view/11801/254/

"Enjoyment" seems the wrong word to apply to that...

However, I really felt you did a brilliant job blending so many of their own words into a narrative of their insanity, while you added your own fantastic jabs highlighting by absurdism.

Thanks,

e

"The truth shall make you free." Why not make the truth free? We live on a priceless blue pearl, awash in a universe of fire and ice. Cut the crap.

"Harsh on Popeye"

:)

Brilliant work (and really funny in tragic way)...thank you.

Sorry about that Bernard..My mistake

I only copied part of it, and I liked the title, and I also got a little hasty by not linking it to you,My sincere apologies. But I would like to ask You about your opinion on 9/11, if you come back to this blog, or if there is an e-mail address I can contact you with. Your writing and satire is top notch, and I really am interested to hear your take on 9/11, how much do you believe the government was a factor in having prior knowledge and allowing it to happen and/ or aiding and abetting. Let me know, We here are always interested in a journalist/ writers perspective.

No harm done Mike! All the

No harm done Mike!

All the best to you and your fellow bloggers.