August 29, 2005

Bush & Co: How Bad Are They, Really?

Mike Whitney's latest piece at Axis Of Logic has got me thinking...

Whitney is pretty aggressive in his complaints about Bush. Sometimes he comes across as perfectly spot-on, but sometimes he sounds a little bit... how shall I say it? .... extreme? But wait a minute, because that has always been one of my own biggest problems in running this blog. How on earth do you tell the truth about what the Bush administration has been doing for the past five years or more, without coming across as (basically) a complete, raving and presumably Commie-loving lunatic?

Of course, it helps that nowadays 60% or more of the US public disapproves of the job Bush is doing. So whereas in the beginning my little blog was easily dismissed as a "Conspiracy Theory" site, it's now getting a rapidly increasing number of hits from pissed-off US citizens Googling for the information they never got from FAUX News et al.

Looking back now, the "conspiracies" which have turned out to be real are actually quite astonishing (although, with the benefit of hindsight, even those who were fooled by them may now be inclined to just shrug them off as common knowledge).

Consider the sheer size and bravado of the lies that lead up to the Iraq War - which Whitney calls a "high-water mark" of state propaganda. Look at how elaborately the web was spun, how resolutely the truth was suppressed on multiple fronts, how many, many people, organisations, even countries were involved. Who but the most committed zealot, or morally bankrupt materialist, would even contemplate such deceit?

What about Bush's AWOL scandal? The Jessica Lynch story? Pat Tillman? Look how carefully the propaganda machine was built, how many people (Jeb Bush in Florida, Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, Alberto Gonzales on the White House legal team) were gradually brought into positions of power and influence, ready for the day when their input would be needed. Then imagine people like Rumsfeld and Cheney planning deceptions like the massacre of Falluja, knowing they had a more than even chance of hiding such an atrocity from the world, not only from the weekly press but from the evidence of historians in years to come?

What about stealing two elections in the USA, staging a failed coup in Venezuela and a successful one in Haiti? What about keeping a lid on the global warming data, turning it into a "debate" by pretending it isn't happening, even as tsunamis, floods and hurricanes kill millions around the globe? What about ridiculing the Geneva convention as a "quaint" anachronism while legitimizing US torture? Now they are even thinking they can reduce Darwinian evolution to a "theory" on a par with their own creationist mumbo-jumbo!

It's just so much easier to dismiss all this stuff as crazy "conspiracy", isn't it? Because if it's not a fantasy, it's as scary as all hell. As many others have said, if Bush is not the divinely-inspired leader he claims to be, then he is either a willfully ignorant fool or a conniving, cynical hypocrite - and which is worse?

So how bad is it? Whitney says that the US government is now "so inherently corrupted that there is very little worth salvaging":
In all areas of American life, information is being manipulated to manage public perceptions... Bush's top lieutenants are entirely committed to creating their own storyline and calling it news. They are not restrained by the facts that emerge from the"reality-based" community... We should assume that they will do whatever it takes to eliminate the voices that compete with the one message they want to convey.
"Whatever it takes"? Scary words... How low would they go?

Well, the sad fact is that Bush & Co have already sent thousands of innocents to their premature deaths. They have already destroyed the USA's international reputation, parading the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib as part of their "new post-9/11 reality". They have already torn down civil liberties with the Orwellian-named "Patriot Act" and "Homeland Security". They have run up a massive deficit while ignoring the environmental problems that will cost future generations many trillions more to fix.

Ignoring all the facts that refute their ideological crusade, refusing to even acknowledge their lies and deceit, they instead push ahead with their pre-set agenda: Bolton is set to disable the United Nations even as Roberts puts the Supreme Court firmly in Bush's pocket.

How low will they go? The real question is: How low will we let them go?

Whitney argues that the Internet itself is the next logical target for the Bush machine, since that is where dissent is spreading most rapidly:
Both free speech and its antecedent the truth are much greater threats to the state than any bomb-wielding revolutionary. In the new world order only the managers are entitled to the truth, not the managed... Information is freedom; and that freedom is destined to become the province of the ruling class alone if the public fails to organize resistance.
If Whitney is right, pathetic little "conspiracy theory" blogs like this could become the next front in the war on truth.

Does that sound crazy?


elendil said...

How on earth do you tell the truth ... without coming across as (basically) a complete, raving and presumably Commie-loving lunatic?

It's now getting a rapidly increasing number of hits from pissed-off US citizens Googling for the information

I think you answered your own question. Too much of what we're getting is stage-managed by people who will never make mistakes, and if they do, never admit it, because that would destroy the perfection of the fundamentalism they are creating. You don't want to stage-manage youself, you want to stay authentic, be true, always look hard and critically at yourself to maintain that authenticity. The only time you should manage yourself is when you see yourself lie, or be inconsistent, or anything else that would break that authenticity. By "you" I mean "I". I'm thinking out loud here for myself, and borrowing your comments section to do it :-) Hope you don't mind.

I did have a reason for commenting though. The thing that prompted me ... Check this out. This is what I mean by lack of authenticity. They did this knowing that it would fly. This is the state of the discourse.

gandhi said...


What you say about never acknowledging mistakes is very important.

If our politicians (even so-called "oppositions") can never admit their mistakes, how can we ever change the course they have set us on? And how will those who oppose these policies ever know that it is time to stop fighting? And how will we avoid repeating these mistakes again and again?

For instance, Paul Krugman has a good article today looking at the failings of Alan Greenspan.


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