If you haven’t read today’s op-ed by David Brooks in the New York Times, do so now. When you’ve finished, try to fight the urge to take up any method, any means, to remove forever George W Bush and Dick Cheney, not merely from office, but from the United States Of America. Try not to imagine them set adrift, men without a country, Phillip Nolans of the 21st Century. Try not to visualize torch-toting millions of common folk storming the White House – tanks on Pennsylvania Avenue, Tiananmen Square in red, white and blue. Try to keep at bay images of Frenchmen, New Zealanders and Poles, rapt before their television screens, both horrified and nearly gleeful as the Berlin of 1989 is projected upon the white stone façades of Washington. Try. And fail.
Brooks’ central argument, that leadership will out over the organic and plastic nature of nations, communities and human nature itself, is nothing more than cheerleading for Armageddon. Because it is the leadership of an insane despot, not only does it hold no water, there is no water there – only fire and brimstone.
The meat of Brooks’ essay is this revelation:
“…his self-confidence survives because it flows from two sources. The first is his unconquerable faith in the rightness of his Big Idea. Bush is convinced that history is moving in the direction of democracy, or as he said Friday: ‘It’s more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn’t exist.’”
With this smug exhortation, the President has now revealed himself to be not only the prime arbiter of US policy, but its theologian-in-chief. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists – even Christians who hold to the actual teachings of Christ rather than the screeds of His various self-righteous interpreters, and most certainly, atheists, are no longer welcome to participate in the American experiment. We are now no longer being governed, we are being ruled. We have no say. All must bend to the will of the Almighty and the man who serves as his sole messenger on earth.
Imagine the jihadist reaction to this declaration of Crusade. This is quite possibly not only the stupidest, but also the most dangerous utterance of any American president since 1776.
While David Brooks was correct to call to the fore a Russian perspective on the issue of leadership, he picked the wrong Russian. Not Tolstoy – Stalin. Stalin, who never met a man or woman he allowed to disagree with him. And live.
Stalin, like Bush, was a rube, a blunt instrument. But unlike Uncle Joe, Bush is, at his core, a coward, afraid to expose his method to sunlight, operating under cover of darkness. At least in the former Soviet Union, everyone knew about the Gulags.
Speaking of darkness; Dick Cheney.
Recent news stories indicate from White House sources that Lord Vader has, on the subject of Iran, usurped Bush’s ear from the gentle, soothing and relatively reasonable tones eminating of late from the State department where, you’ll recall, the President’s girlfriend works. Diplomacy is off the table, regardless of how successful it has been – Iran is no threat to the US, certainly not a nuclear one – to be replaced with Cheney’s heroin: more war. A war that will destroy possibly forever what is left of what has long been America’s greatest export, its goodwill among nations. The plot: Cheney has apparently convinced Bush that no future President will have the guts to attack Iran, so he must do it now.
Imagine the “I-told-you-so’s” Condi must be hearing from Colin Powell.
Friends, it’s time to max out your credit cards. Bush and Cheney are the death twins, the two horsemen of the apocolypse, worse than Hitler, worse than Mussolini, worse than Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Put together.
Their plan, which they are about to implement whether you give a shit or not, is to send one half of the world to Hell and the other to Heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer Chicago.