Thursday, September 01, 2005
We learned while researching the post below that the leaders of Christian Exodus pinched most of their best ideas from a group of libertarians who came up with a scheme to take over New Hampshire, and that reminded us that we hadn't visited LewRockwell.com in ages. As usual we found a couple of entertaining pieces nestled, rather uncomfortably it seemed, among the usual selection of hebephrenic rants by incurably demented attic-dwellers; the first, via our steadfast colleagues at Cursor, is by our old favorite Karen Kwiatkowski, writing on Homer Simpson as neocon role model:
When will they admit their mistakes and grave errors to the families of the dead on all sides and to the people of America? Homer Simpson answers for them, "I don't apologize. I am sorry Lisa, that's the way I am." And so it is with the neoconservatives who clamored for war and cakewalks and slam-dunks. You will hear the inconsistency in their voices. You will see their pain in the Sunday morning talk shows. But you will never hear those responsible for designing a flawed policy in the Middle East, destroying the U.S. Army and its Guard and Reserve system, and Iraq as a nation ever say they’re sorry . . . .Next up, courtesy of Zemblan patriot M.D., is former NSC staffer Roger Morris, who argues that you needn't immerse yourself in the works of Leo Strauss to understand the origins of neoconservatism. The true spritual father of the movement is Democratic uberhawk Henry "Scoop" Jackson:
Urged by neoconservative ravings of Pentagon appointees, the administration, and several major national newspapers and TV stations, Republicans and Democrats alike trumpeted and brayed the false rationale for the Iraq invasion in 2002 and 2003. Neither party challenged the President’s agenda, or the Pentagon’s plan, or its lack of a plan. Like bouncy but brain-dead cheerleaders, they jostled, competing to be heard screaming "War, War, War!"
Today, while Cindy Sheehan clearly and correctly calls the President a liar, CNN and Fox attempt – unsuccessfully – to get any member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, to themselves say that the President lied. What is so hard about that! He lied, they lied, Congress was lied to, plus the mainstream media transmitted the lies to the rest of us with nary a whisper of doubt. It was a veritable liefest, a flood of falsehoods, a barrage of bull. The legacy of those lies is lived by soldiers in Iraq, every member of the military and the intelligence community, all of Washington, and throughout our nation today.
Why can no one admit the lies, even now? Homer again, is wise. "Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen." All participants are culpable . . . .
As Charley Reese and many others have correctly observed, Iraq as a U.S. controlled entity, is in dire straits and tanking. The concept was flawed from the beginning; disunity and conflict are aggravated by the ongoing theft of both U.S. and Iraqi resources by favored U.S. perps and the remnants of Jerry Bremer’s bureaucrats. Iraqi rage is fueled by the persistent lack of electricity, clean water or jobs they face in most of their post-liberation towns and cities.
Homer Simpson explains this aspect of neoconservatism in Iraq as well. "Marge! Look at all this great stuff I found at the Marina. It was just sitting in some guy's boat!"
But seriously, what is it that can politically unify a country? Think hard, people! A common enemy. Saddam Hussein was the master of this political construct, first with Iran, and later with the United States. Even a doltish neoconservative can see that it wouldn’t be in their interest for the Iraqi "unifying enemy" to be the United States – and the past two and a half years in Iraq shows this as the one true thing we have accomplished.
That leaves Iran, the real obsession of academics, evangelicals, and pundits who embrace neoconservatism over republicanism or constitutional democracy. Just think! The United States charges into Iran, and Iraqis unite with the enemy of their enemy, and we get a new mass state construct that allows unrestrained U.S. interference into the politics and finances of Iraq, justifies continued radical expansion of the DoD, intelligence and Homeland Defense budgets and influence, and makes use of those big new bases Halliburton and Bechtel built in Iraq! Plus, another patriotic "war" might help shut up the local dissidents (all 58% of them!)
Astute readers will be able to successfully challenge my assumptions, my logic, and my morality in proposing such a scheme. But the neocons don’t apologize, they don’t care, and they don’t operate in our reality-based world.
See you in Iran.
But it was in national security that Jackson's impact was deepest. The hawks' hawk, he was to the right of many in both parties. Not even the massive retaliation strategy and roving CIA interventions of the Eisenhower '50s were tough enough for him. Perched on the mighty Armed Services Committee as well as his other bases of power, he went on over the next decade to goad the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, urging the Vietnam War, fatter military budgets, stronger support of Israel in the Middle East and a more aggressive foreign policy in general.(And if, by the way, you saw our reference to "hebephrenic rants by incurably demented attic-dwellers" and wondered exactly what we meant, allow us to commend to your attention "God Help You When the Government Does," by Becky Akers. We are not making a word of it up:
It was then, 40 years ago, that Jackson began to be linked directly, if furtively, to some of the uglier and little-known origins of the war on Iraq. Overseeing the CIA's "black budget" for covert operations and interventions from a subcommittee of Armed Services, he was one of a handful of senators who gave a nod to two U.S.-backed coups in Iraq, one in 1963 and again in 1968. Those plots brought Saddam Hussein to power amid bloodbaths in which the CIA, exacting the price for its support, handed Saddam and his Baath Party cohorts lists of supposed anti-U.S. Iraqis to be killed.
The result was the systematic murder of several hundred and as many as several thousand people, in which Saddam himself participated. Whatever the toll, accounts agree that CIA killing lists comprised much of Iraq's young educated elite – doctors, teachers, technicians, lawyers and other professionals as well as military officers and political figures – Iraqis who would not be there to oppose Saddam's growing tyranny over ensuing years or to help rebuild or govern Iraq, as the United States now hopes to do, after the current war . . . .
I saw these origins firsthand working in the Senate in the early '70s after resigning from Henry Kissinger's National Security Council staff over the invasion of Cambodia. Seen from the inside, Jackson's Senate heft was considerable. Though a relatively small, unprepossessing figure as politicians go, he usually did his homework, could be incisive about important details his colleagues let slip and struck a shrewd balance between conviction and expedience. Much of his Capitol Hill power derived from his unique role, which he played well, as a northern Democrat with solid labor backing and other party credentials yet whose hard-line international view drew the support of many Republicans and the most conservative Southerners on either side of the aisle.
His belligerence also exerted – as it still does, of course – an extortionist pull on Democrats deathly afraid of appearing "weak" on national defense or in standing up to the Russians or anyone else. There was no question that "Scoop," albeit very much a half-educated provincial from the mountains and straits of the far northwest corner of the continental United States, shrewdly caught the unease and reflexive combativeness of much of America in dealing with a planet we knew, and know, so little despite our power. Still, in the '70s, a more worldly post-Vietnam moderation and sensibility in the leadership of both parties appeared to have passed Jackson by, leaving his chauvinism and foreign policy animus marginal, sometimes looking a bit crazed.
As for Perle, he was a pear-shaped, slightly fish-eyed man of self-consciously affected locution, the too-hungry, too-sly and too-toadying aide familiar in bureaucracies public and private. His views were patently uninformed, and he wore his conference-room warrior's zealotry no more gracefully than his expensive blue pinstriped suits. It seemed obvious that the bellicose policies he and Jackson embodied were not only wrong for America, but would also usher Israel into the ruinous isolation I and other admirers of its brave people most feared. "Scoop" & Co. would remain, I assumed, an extremist fringe.
How wrong I was.
The only thing worse than Katrina's devastating destruction is Leviathan's horrific "help."
The day after the hurricane, Louisiana's Governor Kathleen Blanco ordered New Orleans evacuated – again. Yep, folks facing a flood several fathoms deep without electricity, potable water, or food are too stupid to leave on their own. Good thing the Nanny Kate tells them what to do.
Nanny's sending buses, boats and helicopters after all the silly little citizens who didn't know enough to come in out of the rain. These "refugees," as the Associated Press calls them, will be taken to shelters across the state. Some of these, such as cruise ships and mobile home parks, are private property that the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] is commandeering: apparently, their owners escaped Katrina only to be ravaged by FEMA. The bureaucracy also plans to erect hundreds of tents, ignoring both the wet ground and campers' comfort. It may even house citizens aboard its "floating dormitories," the boats on which FEMA quarters its minions while they run around getting in the refugees' way.
Whatever happened to bunking in with friends and families? I've experienced several hurricanes; on hearing that an especially dangerous one was heading my way, my first thought would be: "Time to visit Dad.")