“If the rest of the world adhered to the ‘Bush Doctrine,’ they’d all attack us immediately.”
Steve’s and my buddy Simon Scott views civilization as a Darwinian dance between the Lizard Brains (LBs) and common mammalian knuckleheads who view the world from higher up the brain stem. The LBs, while some are not at all without capacities for high reasoning (think G. Gordon Liddy, Rudy Giuliani); when it really matters, all react from the fight, flight and greed synapses. The LBs think that, when cornered, the best option is always to strike — witness the latest saber-rattling about Iran.
Of course, we see Bush as Top Lizard Brain. The Leaker-in-Chief can barely speak without notes (often, even with them), unless in some sort of bullying snit or that other smug “we can do and take anything we want; we’re the superpower and we’re in charge; I’ve got political capital” awfulness. Whenever the home team is on a losing streak, the manager starts to get incoming from the fans and the always slow-to-awaken, if not complicit rah, rah hometown booster media (think Portland Trailblazers). Of course, even as a Giant Lizard goes down, a lot of damage can be done by the thrashing tail before it’s forever silenced.
The usual outcome is Berlin in ruins. But, here in America we have other options; unused recently. But, the rust remover has been rediscovered of late. That’s why this week has been so entertaining and, dare I say, hopeful.
Those “Liberal” Media Polls
Bush is reeling and having to actually face bracing questions from the media. A wide range of the latest polls show an average Bush disapproval/approval of 37.7% to 57.4%. Various on-line Impeachment polls are lopsided in favor. A recent MSNBC poll with over a quarter million votes is running 86% in favor of Impeachment.
It’s refreshing to see Bush and company squirm as they deal with it all. Take the Plame leak. Do they really believe that anyone will fall for the “it wasn’t really Classified, cuz the prez can override that at will” defense? After all this time of stonewalling? That’s the best they can come up with? Do they think no one remembers Bush’s indignant press conference of October 6, 2003? He boldly broke off, “And if this helps stop leaks, this investigation in finding the truth, it’ll not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked — and this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action. But also hopefully we’ll help send a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop as well.”
Now it’s not a criminal action because Bush himself “authorized” it? As a means of getting back at a political critic who told the truth about the same Iraq/Niger uranium claim that Bush lied about? A falsehood used to justify an illegal war. Wow! Bush has some ‘splainin’ to do. Guess it’s up to the usual compliant Senate to hold some show hearings and then make it all go away.
Then there’s matter of the Washington Post report that Bush knew that the two trailers found in Iraq had already been found by a select Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) team to have nothing to do with any biological WMD program. Despite the team’s unanimous report, which the White House had in hand for two days prior, Bush rabidly declared on May 29, 2003, “We have found the weapons of mass destruction” — a charge the administration kept up for an additional year despite the report. Another lie used to justify the war.
Amazingly, administration spokesman Scott McClellan’s response when queried about the report was to shoot the messenger. In yet another misfire that’s sure to boomerang, much like the revelation of massive illegal surveillance served as a media, if not political opposition wake up call; McClellan channeled Ron Ziegler, “You know, I saw some reporting talking about how this latest revelation – which is not something that is new; this is all old information that’s being rehashed – was an embarrassment for the White House. No, it’s an embarrassment for the media that is out there reporting this.
.I hope they will go and publicly apologize on the air about the statements that were made, because I think it is important given that they had made those statements in front of all their viewers. So we look forward to that happening as well.”
Déjà vu Iran
And, then there’s Iran. The very same untruths all over again and even more oil/gas at stake?
At least we’re spared the “exporting of Democracy” nonsense this time around now since an actual democratic plebiscite here would easily come out against military action. And obviously some large segment of the military has no stomach for any such Iran escapade. The Seymour Hersh tale of the deranged set of plans to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities with “bunker-busting mini-nukes” can only be seen as a strong no-way statement out of the Brass . Of course, the Pentagon undoubtedly has contingency plans for invading from the Maldives to Malta, but such a leak has to be seen as “official.”
And, Bush has had to really squirm over this insanity. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quickly upped the ante and announced that Iran had “joined the nuclear club.” (Only for electrical generation purposes, wink, wink.) A bluff? Maybe. After all, Ahmadinejad may very well be “not a rational human being,” as Karl Rove projected; but he can surely see what happened to Iraq and what did NOT happen to North Korea…(a Lesser Evil Axis?)
Bush has had to actually field questions about the attack plan. And, the smirk darkens every time he has to resort to dismissing his mini-nuke wet dream as “wild speculation.” But as Gary Leupp noted last year on CounterPunch, of course the plan is for real. The lizards are cornered. Already we see shrill headlines like this one, “Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says” Never mind that Iran would need 50,000 centrifuges to produce enough enriched uranium. The fine print: it would take 13 years using the 164 centrifuges they currently possess.
Of course, Bush makes no mention of Iran’s planned oil bourse, which would use Euros instead of petrodollars as its medium of exchange — a much more immediate threat than those 164 centrifuges. For the Bushites, the petroEuro heresy must be quashed like the Gnostics of old. (The line “Kill them all, God will know his own” dates to the bloody repression of that earlier Middle Eastern heresy.)
Things aren’t going well for some of the other top LBs, either. Robert Sheer reports that “On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and his department’s top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the President followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim.”
Not quite what Powell told the UN.
And Cheney? Last we heard, he came out of his bunker and was roundly booed at the Washington Nationals home opener, where Dead-eye bounced up the ceremonial first pitch. The Washington Post noted that he “drew boisterous boos from the moment he stepped on the field until he jogged off.”
The “I” Word. Are We There Yet?
Does all this mean we can expect mini-nukes or relief or regime change at home? That the Iran plans will indeed be scuttled like Social Security “Reform”? Or will the LBs panic and blunder on with their destructive course? Will the woeful Democrats who have done little on their own to expose all these Bush crimes and missteps (in fact, facilitated each and every one) actually find themselves in control of the House and/or Senate come January? Will they have any idea what to do if that does occur?
Or will it all come down to a Democratic Senate holding those impotent show hearings and applying the cover-up? As Steve Spahr also notes about the surveillance, which actually pre-dates Bush, “They’ve got something on everyone. That’s the only explanation why there’s no opposition. Well, thatand money, ambition, lack of ethics”
No matter how bad it appears now, it may only take one more “new Pearl Harbor,” and a freshly acquiescent press to bail them out. They’re counting on it. Ahmadinejad certainly knows that and is recklessly playing chicken. But, I’m betting that “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” bromide that Bush famously botched in Fahrenheit 911 will kick in. The average American, asked to swallow the same pack of lies again, may just answer like a disbelieving Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown, “My ass may be dumb. But, I’m no dumb ass.”
But ultimately, as the arch-lizard Karl Rove ironically noted about Iran, “It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be tough because they are led by ideologues who have a weird sense of history.”
MICHAEL DONNELLY still believes that Cheney will resign (for “health reasons”) before the year is out and Bush will be gone soon after. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org