Neo-Cons 'Gone Wild'
By B. Rehak ~ Columnleft.com
LOS ANGELES, August 18, 2003 ~ Thank heavens George W. Bush is a 'Compassionate Conservative.' What if we'd actually screwed up and gotten the other kind?
You know, that uptight hypocritical self-righteous HUAC/Watergate/Iran-Contra 'Precious Bodily Fluids' bunch with the bitter religious friends who see a few witch dunkings and an occasional holy war as good for the national soul?
The ultra-rich, cynical types who know that sex sells but fear gets you re-elected? The sort to whom a 'free election' is just another form of hostile corporate takeover? The kind who'll proudly photo-op with our brave troops on Fox News while screwing them out of their pay raise?
Wow, we're damned lucky we got the Compassionate ones...
If we'd got that other bunch to run the country they'd probably have us in a trumped up war by now as their rich corporate buddies looted the national treasure.
Nothing like that going on here...relax, no problem...everything is fair and balanced.
Ever notice nobody ever had to run as a 'Compassionate Liberal?'
Fortunately for all of us, just after 9/11, Mr. Bush and Congress quietly passed the "Lying S.O.B. Act." This little-understood legislation, approved by voice vote in the dark of night, assures the President and his men full latitude in their "War on Reality."
For generations the Republicans have said the only thing wrong with America is all those pesky Liberal reporters and their stupid, disloyal questions. Now they don't even have to cross their fingers behind them as they make up an answer.
The Bush folks stand ready on a minute's notice to boldly go on national TV and deny anything that actually happened if it could hurt their President's approval rating. They imply this is all God's work, but when you strip away all the flag waving and holy rolling, they're pretty much just like all con men, but with deployed troops.
To the Bush people, 'Crisis Management' isn't about dealing with the actual crisis, but knowing how to carefully grab the media and shape public indifference to avoid taking the blame. So far it's been almost a complete success.
A little thing like the truth will never get in the way of Mr. Bush's second term.
When a child lies, it's called a fib. When a teen lies, it's called growing pains. When a grownup lies it's called...a lie.
When the Bush Administration lies, it's called 'policy.'
The Bush folks actually work for the American people, but they reject all oversight. Mr. Bush won't duscuss what he was told about terrorism leading up to 9/11 and why he didn't prevent it. Mr. Cheney has gone to court to hide details of meetings with his Oil Patch friends just before the Towers fell.
Mr. Rumsfeld won't talk about anything he said before ten minutes ago. The Reverend Mr. Ashcroft is going on the road to demand an even stronger USA Patriot Act, but won't discuss Justice Dept. failures in the pre-9/11 era, or questionable moves since that may invalidate future terror prosecutions.
The new Bush redacted version of the US Constitution will fit on a postage stamp.
The 'pursuit of happiness' will be downgraded to a chance to watch its limo speed by on the way to a Bohemian Grove cookout. If you never heard of the Bohemian Grove, or the Skull and Bones, then you probably still think we're a nation of laws. In America today, some animals are more equal than others. Big Money can do that for you.
Success for today's neo-conservatives is all about 'appearing upbeat.'
The war is a disaster, but Mr. Bush is upbeat. The economy and unemployment suck, but Mr. Bush is upbeat. His poll numbers are tanking, but Mr. Bush is upbeat. The 9/11 terrorists he promised to catch are free and coming back, but Mr. Bush is upbeat.
To listen to him you'd think he wasn't actually involved at all. Perhaps he's not.
Mr. Bush is the latest in a string of Republican "Photo-Presidents." Mr. Nixon was the last guy clearly in command, and his people dutifully followed him off the Watergate cliff, like grateful lemmings in grey suits. Mr. Ford, Mr. Reagan, Bush's 41 and 43 clearly are just front men, and all have been fully 'staffed,' which is wonkspeak for 'committee leadership.' Imagine ten shady characters actually calling the shots backstage. They have the combined net worth of South America, and the combined IQ of Dan Quayle.
Everybody hailed the unique 'Reagan Style' of White House management, but then we all woke up one morning in 1987 to discover the Gipper was just a nice old actor and some oddball Marine Lt. Colonel was actually in charge of our failed US foreign policy. Bush 41 was out of that 'loop.' Bush 43 has the spark and vitality of a man who lets others do his worrying. Who these 'secret people' are and what they said and did in his name in this tortured year will doubtless be the subject of a lot of future legalities.
Mr. Bush is bullish on America. Mr. Bush's whole team is just full of bullish.
Nobody is more bullish on Iraq than it's ruling tribune, L. Paul Bremer, III.
To listen to him you have to wonder if he's in the same Baghdad they talk about on the news. Mr. Bremer's Iraq is right on track and headed to glory.
He runs something called the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
You can visit his web site at http://cpa-iraq.org. It too is very upbeat, like if the Junior Chamber of Commerce had a field office in Hell. All bullish, all the time! Fair and balanced. Fair and balanced.
It was a just another typical Summer week in Baghdad for Mr. Bremer. It's a balmy 122 degrees in the shade at noon and the living and dying are easy.
The new 950 km-long Iraq Oil Pipeline to Turkey opened for business last week, then some untidy local folks blew it up twice on Friday near Baiji, 200 km northeast of Baghdad and cut off the vital flow of Iraqi oil profits to Halliburton. Some other upset folks also reportedly hit a major fresh water main in Baghdad on Sunday that created an instant urban swimming hole. Over 300,000 Iraqis are now without water for a second day.
Death continued to claim US troops in ones and twos. Mr. Bremer dismisses those behind the violence as upset former 'Saddam supporters.' How he determines this is not clear. In the US, highly decorated military vets and the parents of troops serving in Iraq have joined to call for the kids to be brought home. Letters from the kids themselves reportedly tell of shortages, limited water rations, and growing discontent.
Mr. Rumsfeld's 'War on the Cheap' concept lies broken in the blowing sand.
Reuters reports their respected videographer, Mazen Dana, 43, was shot dead Sunday by US troops outside Baghdad's Abu Ghurayb prison after a mortar attack. Journalists on scene accused the troops of behaving in a "crazy" and negligent fashion. The Pentagon said Mr. Dana's small video camera was mistaken for a grenade launcher. Dana was the 18th journalist to die covering the war. He leaves a wife and four kids.
Mr. Bremer seems well equipped for his Iraq mission and comes from over a decade at Kissinger Associates, the shadowy despot repair firm headed by Henry Kissinger, Mr. Nixon's former Secretary of State. Mr. Kissinger and his people never met a ruthless dictator they didn't like, and couldn't help, for a price.
When the elderly Butchers of Tiananmen Square realized their use of tanks and machine guns on unarmed students in 1989 wasn't playing well in the world press, they reportedly hired 'Henry the K' and his people even before all the blood had dried.
Traditionally, a 'spin doctor' attempts to put the best public face on a bad situation, but Mr. Bremer is trained to take obfuscation and dissembly to a point that alters the atomic weight of reality until it can be more easily digested. If the Manson Family had hired Kissinger they'd not only be out of jail, they'd have their own hit cable talk show.
Writing political satire used to be a noble calling. You read the news, twisted a notion beyond reason, and concocted an implausible ditty. The humor was in the absurdity.
Lately, no matter what crackpot scheme you dream up, you discover the Bush people have already been there. Bombastic folly, abject stupidity, and vacant hubris are hard to send up, but as a national agenda they seem to be working for the Republicans. They practically invented Unrealpolitik.
Consider Mr. Bush and the environment. Depending on rich oil men to preserve America's wild lands is like hiring a pedophile to babysit your kids. Mr. Bush still doesn't believe Global Warming exists. The Republicans have stalled meaningful energy legislation for years as they tie it to unnecessary drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They skipped mentioning that when the lights went out in the North East last week. To the Bush people, 'Pristine' simply means -- we haven't drilled there yet...
Remember when we were all sure Mr. Bush's term would be a pale copy of his father's Presidency? It's playing more like "Herbert Hoover II," as Mr. Bush puts us all in hock and gives into the wiles of that eternal temptress, Rosy Scenario. The Republicans seem convinced America needs a good bankrupting - financially and morally.
The Bush folks talk constantly about their values and faith in the Almighty. Indeed, they all seem to have accepted Bechtel as their personal Savior.
Whatever your views, this is going to be the most critical election in US history, and in the 63 weeks until November 2, 2004, some glaring questions arise:
What did the President know, and when was he told to forget he knew it?
Can we be governed by honest people who aren't corporate bag men?
Why are we in a bottomless Iraqi holy war the whole World tried to tell us not to start?
Why do the most petty evangelical 'holymen' get to vet everything Mr. Bush does?
Most importantly, why can't we have a chief executive who can clearly express a complete thought without reading from a card?
The people behind Mr. Bush used to be called the 'lunatic fringe.' Now, they're the lunatic middle.
They'll continue to bleed us of our rights and national wealth until we stop them decisively at the ballot box.
Their smarmy combination of strident greed and pious hypocrisy has rattled down the ages. History hasn't taught us yet how to completely prevent them rising again but it has shown us that what they propose never really works, especially in a democracy...
The wild card in all this is still Mr. Cheney, who many believe is actually running the show. If Americans underestimate his power, then they don't Dick.
The Republicans are really counting on that...
B. Rehak is a writer in California, and can be reached via APSA WEB SITE
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