Saturday, June 25, 2005

Red Galactic Skywalker: Bush, Cheney and the neo-Machiavellian Politics of Secrecy

After reading Ansur's blog on the Coalition of Evil, I decided to dig this one up from my archives, where I posted it on the 23rd January, to let it see its well-deserved light of day again, as it still seems all too relevant.

Damn, I spent half the morning thoroughly reading, quoting and commenting on this, and lost the lot due to a screen freeze and subsequent refreshment (o O, the conspiracy continues, although the blogosphere still remains a "freedom zone"?), but I urge all planetary fellow citizens to read it anyway; it seems George Bush is not so much the Antichrist (see picture below), as the mouthpiece of the Beast (Book of Revelation) ;-P

Never brain has been fed with this food for thought; now feed your own! ;-))

"It is not difficult to see the imprint of Machiavelli in the activities of the current Bush administration and in the Neoconservative movement. As various observers have suggested, Bush's campaign advisor, Karl Rove, is not only an admirer of Machiavelli, but one of the great Machiavellian strategists of all time, who took a thrice-failed businessman and transformed him into a remarkably popular presidential candidate: "Bush is the product. Rove is the marketer. One cannot succeed without the other." A key part of Rove's marketing was to repackage Bush for several different audiences—as a pro-corporate, big business advocate on the one hand, and as a devout Christian and liaison to the powerful evangelical Right, on the other. Rove helped present him, in short, as a kind of ambiguous ink-blot, whose message of "compassionate conservatism" could be read in a variety of different ways according to various corporate and religious interests... Bush's longtime friend, confidant and handler who had earned the sobriquet Bush's Brain. His solution was to create a Rorschach test candidate so that moderates, conservatives, and independents would see in Bush exactly what they wanted to see. ...Rove's political strategies could in fact be quite ruthless, perhaps in ways that would make even Machiavelli think twice. ..."the practice of negative campaigning, the old Sun Tzu,…was something Rove not only practiced but taught at the University of Texas."
[139] By many accounts, however, the far more Machiavellian (and more powerful) figure in Bush administration is vice-President Dick Cheney. ...As various critics have suggested, Cheney's role in the administration is so powerful as to represent a kind of "co-presidency" or "shadow presidency."[144]

Can anyone fail to see the resemblance to the Machiavellian, if not Mephistophelian, figure of Sir Humphrey, always behind the minister, and ultimately prime minister, in Yes, (Prime) Minister?

"In 1999 Ledeen published Machiavelli on Modern Leadership; Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago, which was then circulated among Members of Congress attending a political strategy meeting shortly after its release.
[150] ...War, according to Ledeen, is not an aberration or unusual occurrence in human history. On the contrary, war is the natural state of human affairs: "Peace is not the normal condition of mankind. War and the preparation for war are the themes of human history…Bloody conflicts are history's leitmotif."[154] Strong leadership means recognizing this fact and fighting ruthlessly to win the inevitable conflicts that structure human relations: "If you're going to lead, you've go to fight. Whether you're on the way up, are striving to acquire greater power or are at the top…you're involved in struggle…"

Kind of reminds me of the role of King Arthur in the Grail legends ;-P

"Thus Machiavelli concluded that "Whoever reads the Bible sensibly will see that Moses was forced, were his laws and institutions to go forward, to kill numberless men."

"You read your Bible day and night/but you read black where I read white" (William Blake)... Wish I had a buck for every time I quoted that! lol

Moses killing all the worshippers of the golden calf, Elijah slaying all the prophets of Baal... and both of these war criminals flanked Jesus at his transfiguration. Where will it all end? ;-P

Even Jesus said, "By their fruits you will know them", and I judge my Bush-voting American daughter-in-law (recently "returned to sender" as the white trash she is) by the same standards
- and she thought I equated to the satanic, witchy one! lol

[to be continued...session adjourned in the interests of lunch!]

You know, I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.
— George W. Bush, to Roland Betts

No, George, especially when that resume involves drilling for oil in Texas and not finding any, you dipstick! How dumb can anyone get? ;-P

"There is indeed much about the Bush administration that seems scripted, simulated, and often quite hyper-real. One need only think of Bush's staged landing on an aircraft carrier to declare "mission accomplished" and the "end" of the apparently endless Iraq war, which is itself a weird sequel to the first, already hyper-real and media-constructed Gulf War under the first Bush. Such an event is the epitome of Baudrillard’s hyperreality... One of the oddest aspects of the Bush presidency has been how reluctant journalists are to report that Bush lies. Reporters who jumped on Bill Clinton for disingenuous hair-splitting and piled on Al Gore for harmless exaggerations have given George W. Bush pass after pass after pass.
[177] " ...The shock of 9/11 in turn aroused a new spirit of hyper-patriotic civil religiosity throughout the country, including the media, in which criticism of the president was tantamount to sacrilege. ...In testing the frequency of three specific mistaken impressions – that evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda had been found, that weapons of mass destruction had been discovered in Iraq, and that world public opinion approved of America’s going to war – results showed that Fox News watchers were three times more likely to hold all three. The audiences of NPR/ PBS, however, consistently demonstrated a majority who did not hold any of the three views. Some 80 percent of Fox viewers…held one or more of the three perceptions.[188]" ...What makes Bush so effective in conjoining these overlapping interests is precisely his own status as a kind of "floating signifier"—or perhaps what Roland Barthes calls a "degree zero signifier"[190]—that can be manipulated by various factions for their own political interests. ...In contrast to Baudrillard’s empty simulacra, these individuals—Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and company—have committed real acts that have had real consequences and often devastating effects on real human beings: U.S. citizens suffering toxic environmental hazards, U.S. soldiers dying for a false cause, Iraqi civilians killed by the thousands for no apparent reason other than American imperial hubris. There are real secrets hidden beneath the simulacra, and they should be brought to light."

And toxic environmental hazards, as we now know as global citizens of Gaia, know no borders - witness how quickly the effects of Chernobyl spread throughout Europe ;-P

"Nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest.
— Luke 8:17 "
Hehe, William Blake has the last word, again: "you read your Bible day and night/but you read black where I read white" ;-))

"As Bruce Lincoln observes, “there is a political dimension to all religious discourse,” including scholarship.
[194] Our study of religion is no more neutral or disinterested than the religious objects that we study. The key difference, however, is that as scholars of religion we cannot appeal to divine "authority," a gift from the Almighty or a calling from God; rather, we can rely only on our own human and fallible methods of “persuasion,” by which we marshal evidence and argue our case, while at the same time remaining open to the critical objections of others.[195] "

"There is a political dimension to…what sociology should do in the modern world...Acts of research...are acts of struggle, conquest and victory over taken for granted assumptions about social life: scientific research is a struggle against all forms of symbolic domination."
[196] For the scholar of religion, that means unmasking relations of power and oppression that have been mystified by appeals to divine authority, wars of Good against Evil, and coded references to scriptures. That is how we can exert our, admittedly limited, political effect within the academy, among our students and within our communities.
It is surely high time that we began doing so. "


Blogger Sebastian Aristos said...

Maybe I've tried to repress all thoughts of George 'Dubya' Bush since seeing Fahrenheit 9/11, but your comments certainly are interesting. I'd like to think that there is some hope for peace though, and that war is not the natural state of things.

In the hope that there is some hope, maybe you should add the link to the humanitarian society that you sent me in an e-mail today, so that readers of your blog can take some positive action.

Funny that after all that talk of Machiavelli, and then when you mention your daughter-in-law, she escapes being labelled Machiavellian.

12:53 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

She is not labelled explicitly as such, but the implication is there in the "Bush-voting", i.e. I am a expert at the Machiavellian art of "writing between the lines"! lol

1:00 pm  
Blogger Ansur said...

Glad you reposted this. Is it true that great minds float down the same gutter...?

4:13 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

Haha!! Thanks for the comment, Ansur....glad to see you pay attention!!! If the FBI and CIA seem after you, they also surely follow me? ;-))

4:20 pm  

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