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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
A Eulogy for the Veep

The Life and Times of Dick Cheney

by DAVE MARSH

Last night I had the strangest dream.

Dick Cheney died and I was asked to deliver his eulogy. As far as I can remember this is what I said:

How shall we live without him? Without Dick Cheney, who will lie to us? Who will hide from us? Who will shoot without looking? Who will start the needless wars and instruct the President to tap the endless phone calls? Ah, the nation mourns.

To whom else should we turn in the future when we need someone to express true contempt forwell, not just for common people, but for all of humanity. Dick Cheney was a man of powerful beliefs: He believed himself better than anyone else on this planet. He believed he had the right to steal elections, pollute the environment ’til it was as tainted and gruesome as his own face, to conduct himself like a pasha and to impoverish every man woman and child to whom he did not personally bow and scrape. If you believe that God is merciful, we shall not see his like again.

Where will we find a man who shoots a man and then has the courage to stand up and acknowledge … that no one else pulled the trigger with him. Who else could so boldly ignore all the real questions? Where else will we find another squint-visaged pipsqueak chicken hawk to start wars for his masters in the oil industry? Where else will we find a man who holds secret meetings with his masters to determine our nation’s energy future and plot God knows what and refuses to release the information on which masters, exactly, to any public inquiry?

Who the fuck else will take Antonin Scalia hunting so at least justice has a CHANCE of being served?

In the future Dick Cheney’s name will be invoked when the greats of the past are mentioned: McCarthy, Hussein, perhaps Mussolini, the true tyrants of our time. When self-satisfied cruelties need to be performed in the service of power and corruption, it will take a singular individual, indeed to replace him. And while it would be out of place to mention the name of his most obvious role model, yes, our Veep did die in a manner befitting him: Cowering in his bunker.

And yet, at the end, I am still convinced of this: Dick Cheney is today in the place he wanted and deserved to be. A place where no one can find him, no one can hold him accountable. Oh shrink back in fear, ye demons of hell. And get the fuck out of the way. Whoever was the biggest, most selfish, most fascistic prick among you just stepped down a notch.

Cue: "Shotgun"

DAVE MARSH is editor of Rock & Rap Confidential. Marsh’s definitive and monumental biography of Bruce Springsteen has recently been reissued, with 12,000 new words, under the title Two Hearts. His latest book is The Beatles’ Second Album. He can be reached at: marsh6@optonline.net

Rock and Rap Confidential, one of the few newsletters both editors of CounterPunch read from front to back the moment it arrives, is now available to you for FREE simply by sending an email to: rockrap@aol.com.