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Hail and Farewell: the End of the American Empire

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Posted on Apr 16, 2007
Gore Vidal
Zuade Kaufman / Truthdig

By Gore Vidal

Whenever The New York Times finally gets the point to what is going on in our native land a celestial choir can be heard in Times Square, shouting hosannas. This happened recently, on April 14th, when they realized that there could be a dark explanation for what W. is doing when he sends a Mr. Bolton, a U.N. hater, to be ambassador to that body or a Mr. Wolfowitz to the World Bank, a man as ignorant of history and finance as the president himself. Maureen Dowd in the Times was allowed to set the pitch for the latest revelations with her “More Con Than Neo” headline. Meanwhile, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of incompetents are now cluttering the Justice Department while known incompetents are in place to wreck from within regulatory systems and even mighty Walter Reed Hospital itself.

And then such investigations that W. has cut back—particularly at the height of the pet food investigation, a matter of such passionate interest to our countrymen.

Needless to say, the Times, instinctively pro-Bush, as it too is an inept creature of our leviathan master: corporate America. But though the Times now notes a mysterious problem with Bush’s general relations to the outside world, the Times, as usual, cannot grasp what so many of us fans of the American Republic can see so clearly: In the name of Manichaean religious cults he is eager to destroy every last trace of the New Deal (privatize Social Security) by destroying both the state and its global imperium.

W.‘s love of torture and the death penalty suggests that this is Caligula Redux, but actually he is a home-grown Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor as viewed by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt and refashioned by me in an English version that played on Broadway in the 1960s. As the play opens, the northern barbarians are closing in on Rome, while the emperor dawdles, neglecting to appoint a “war tsar” to defend the city itself. What is wrong with him? Well, he does have a plan. When Odoaker, the king of the Teutons, arrives, Romulus expects to be executed, but Odoaker also has a plan: The two rulers will unite in a realm of peace. Romulus then admits that all his actions and non-actions had a single end: the destruction of the bloody empire he had inherited.

For the admiring Teutons he holds up an imaginary globe. “Now watch,” he says, as the emperor dissolves his empire. “Look, all of you, once more upon this tinted globe, this dream of a great empire, floating in space, driven by the slightest breath of my lips, yes, look once more upon the far-flung lands encircling the blue sea with its dancing dolphins, these rich provinces golden with wheat, these teeming cities overflowing with life, yes, the empire was once a sun, warming mankind, but at its zenith it scorched the world.  Now it is a harmless bubble, and in the hands of the emperor it dissolves into nothing. And, thus, the throne of blood is overturned!”

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Obviously, our weird little emperor is incapable of moral reflection, thus inviting us to reflect morally upon him as he has gone about his systematic wrecking of our common empire, which, after 1945, should have come into its own but thanks to Truman et al. it stayed forever at war and now but, Hark! what is the Times chorus singing now? Can it be a new weekend edition? Without troubling news?  Or has W. finally snapped our military machine for fun if not global peace. On a high moral ground Romulus the Great disowned his empire. W. the Minuscule, driven by ignorance and greed like his cronies, leaves us defenseless and at sea in a terrorized world of prisons, phony trials, renditions, executions without due process of law, while leaving in the Middle East a vast charnel house which he likes to call “a fledgling democracy.”

At the end of the Broadway play, one Roman soldier (played by Robert Duvall) eager to save Rome joins Romulus, but Romulus tells him “the Roman empire has been dissolved,” as surely as W. is dissolving us as hurricanes, tempests, droughts of his making ravage our alabaster cities and amber waves of grain. Ave Atque Vale.


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By blog dog, May 1, 2007 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

#67564 by Skruff on 5/01 at 2:35 pm - “Hungry, or homeless children, because their parents had bad luck, or made bad choices is a part of capitalism I shall not “forget”

Come to think of it, those dumpsters are fairly close to some very expensive-looking churches…”

********** Skruff, old boy, you’re sounding like old Dickens himself; just what’s needed to shake some sense into those hypnotized by the catechism of The Capitalist Paradise — where it’s always been: “go for the gold - everyone bought - everyone sold - got a philistine mamma -  got a philistine dad - philistines everyone - blew the best chance we ever had!”

http://66.49.150.190/FWM/Philistine.Nation.Joe.Blow.m3u

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By Skruff, May 1, 2007 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

67465 by Douglas Chalmers on 5/01 at 8:09 am says:

“Likewise, continuously remembering or recalling the past negative experiences we have endured and forever trawling over the injustices we and others have suffered will only restrict us as well. It is necessary to let such things go completely before we can attain the inner peace we deserve.”

With all due respect Mr. Chalmers, we hail from different planets.  and I say where there is no justice, no one deserves peace, inner or otherwise!

Those who forget history, are condemmed to repeat same. That is why we are fighting the Vietnam war in Iraq… I’m waiting for one of those egg-heads in Washington to say they see the light at the end of the tunnnel…

Perhaps PAST injustices might be forgotten and forgiven IF they were past… The poor (as spoke Jesus) will always be with us, and I still see children eating out of Dumpsters in Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor.  Hungry, or homeless children, because their parents had bad luck, or made bad choices is a part of capitalism I shall not “forget”

Come to think of it, those dumpsters are fairly close to some very expensive-looking churches… wonder why those religious folk feel a good-looking church is more immediate than a hungry child…

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 1, 2007 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

#67442 by Skruff on 5/01 at 6:22 am: “...Maybe we are all of “lower nature” and the only difference is some of us are clean, dry, and rich, and some of are wet dirty and stuck in a slum…?”

Well, that’s true, too, Skruff. But, in that case, we all also have “higher natures” as well. 

Its not a matter of the haves and the have-nots. It really is true that “it is easier for a camel to pass through ‘the eye of a needle’ than for a rich man to go to heaven” (the camel had to be unloaded before it could walk through the small passage in the wall of a fortified place).

What does than mean? Until we can give up our personal attachments, we will never be truly free. Clinging to physical ‘property’ and endlessly pandering to our wants and desires only binds us and limits us. These are not things of the inner spirit.

Likewise, continuously remembering or recalling the past negative experiences we have endured and forever trawling over the injustices we and others have suffered will only restrict us as well. It is necessary to let such things go completely before we can attain the inner peace we deserve.

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By Skruff, May 1, 2007 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#67360 by Douglas Chalmers on 4/30 at 6:33 pm says:

“Actually, its our ‘lower natures’”....Instead of applying our higher minds and our “golden rule” philosophies,(Please tell me who on the earth has a “golden rule” philosophy? and also tell this “lower natured” person what the hell that means?) we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the more negative and self-seeking amongst us. We are easy prey when we are willing to be ruled by our own petty likes and dislikes and our fears, however real they may be.


I’ve heard this before, when I was living in a South Worcester ghetto.  The concept of ‘lower natures’ made up by those of “higher natures…, as in lower-class defined by middle and upper classes. the “peace” they want is peace in the ghetto so they can go about their lucritive business of world domination without losing the cannon fodder they get from poor city neighborhoods and rural country backwaters.  A good war keeps the “lower-natured” busy.

BUT

check this out, the folks of “higher nature” (like Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison) design the high tech weapons that we of lower nature are expected to use on folks we don’t know, in the name of “God”.

Maybe we are all of “lower nature” and the only difference is some of us are clean, dry, and rich, and some of are wet dirty and stuck in a slum?

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 30, 2007 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

#67122 by Skruff on 4/29 at 6:03 am: “...Humans prey on other humans as male lions prey on their own young… nothi9ng evil about it… just nature….”

Actually, its our “lower natures” which we are following when we do those things, Skruff. Instead of applying our higher minds and our “golden rule” philosophies, we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the more negative and self-seeking amongst us. We are easy prey when we are willing to be ruled by our own petty likes and dislikes and our fears, however real they may be.

Check the article on the R-complex and why we think the way we do at http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl12.shtml  Also, an interesting search is “cognitive dissonance” regarding our inability to cope with uncomfortable truths (usually about ourselves).

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By Skruff, April 29, 2007 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#66980 by Lauren Rowan on 4/28 at 10:40 am says:

As a Christian, I can’t help but wonder if evil of this degree can come from any but the obvious source….. and the fact that Bush launched his entire evil reign in the name of Jesus Christ,

There is no “evil” nor is there “good.  only human predators (with those tell-tale canine teeth) doing what they always have done.

The belief in man created by god in his own image is supposed to negate our true being.  Humans prey on other humans as male lions prey on their own young… nothi9ng evil about it… just nature.

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By American Slave, April 28, 2007 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

#66980 by Lauren Rowan on 4/28 at 10:40 am
+(
As a Christian, I can’t help but wonder if evil of this degree can come from any but the obvious source….. and the fact that Bush launched his entire evil reign in the name of Jesus Christ, defaming that name in the process, frightens me as much if not more than his actions themselves.
)+

There are spiritual dynamics at work here.  Evil is the inevitable result of complacency and hypocrisy.  The magnitude of the evil today measures the extent to which “Christianity” has become hollow and meaningless. 

Note that the chief offense of the Pharisees, according to Christ, was hypocrisy and superficiality: They reduced spiritual substance to tribalism and ritualism.  They rejected Abraham’s attitude and idolized his genes.  Christ opened the door to salvation by resurrecting the possibility of spiritual life, spiritual substance, spiritual transformation and growth.  He tore down the walls of tribe and ritual, and thus set spirit free.

Given this dynamic, one might say that the purpose of evil is to goad us into rediscovering the good.  The need to resist evil brings people together.  It forces people to examine their assumptions and overcome their differences.  It makes people larger and induces people to find unimagined spiritual resources.  It builds character.  It gives people an opportunity to appreciate and understand what they have lost—things like freedom and justice.  The struggle against evil takes us beyond platitude and into the realm of reality. 

This understanding of evil is analogous to the Christian idea of “being tested”.  The Evil Empire is being tested, and because it is made of illusions, not substance, it will fall. 

None of this is a justification for evil.  However, knowing that good sometimes derives indirectly from evil may help us to avoid despair.

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By cann4ing, April 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

re comment #66993 by American Slave.  The latest Lancet/John’s Hopkins University study, released in October 2006 estimated the number of Iraqis killed at 650,000.  According to the UN, some 4 million Iraqis have been driven from their homes, one half of whom are in exile.

We are continually reminded of the words of the ancient Roman historian, Tacitus:  “They created desolation and call it peace.”

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By blog dog, April 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

#66980 by Lauren Rowan on 4/28 at 10:40 am — “But what kind of agenda?”

********* the global elite (the one’s calling the shots and in no way loyal to any citizenry or national legacy) do have an agenda, clear to anyone who studies it seriously. This agenda is to fail all states that resemble in any way “democratic republics.”

Why? Too inefficient - Deflects too much potential profit - Too hard to maintain classical fascism (what Mussolini called corporatism) - Too hard to get genuine patriots to fight for their corporatist cause - indeed, but why bother now that they have Blackwater (read: Waffen SS, the regime’s private army) - a regime fully in service to the global elite - the finance oligarchs.

As for Bush’s doing it for Christ, or whatever — it’s perfect: fuels the myth of a religiously driven War of Civilizations - an important feature in the global war of terror and the myth of Islamofascism, rising to wage eternal Jihad, pushing toward Armageddon — sells in the heartland like snow cones on the 4th of July.

It’s all scripted: the hate, the terror, the fear, the war; and what little that’s by chance is provoked by all of the above. Incompetence is the ultimate cover up, and everything that points to it is a limited hangout.

I hate to say it, but I really question Vidal’s position. He knows all this, yet holds back. At his age it shouldn’t matter. Others (blatant Left Gatekeepers) like Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, the entire crew at The Nation, are obviously protecting their funding sources by continually supporting the “blow back” position. They know it ultimately supports the regime’s position: “they hate us for…whatever.”

Some go so far as to challenge them with the accusation of “rich assets.” I think they’re all just chicken-hearted and a far too comfortable.

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By American Slave, April 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

#64824 by blog dog on 4/18 at 11:44 am
+(
911 Truth is the only option - nothing else touches them - they cite “the lessons of 911” as pretext for everything done in the name of the global war of terror - this is compelling - the peace movement must include 911 Truth and the treason at its heart - we must destroy the 911 myth and render it impotent - one question for fence-sitters: Do you really believe the regime has lied about everything except 911?
)+

Exactly!

http://www.freeforum101.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4778&mforum=times#4778—Kaminski: Peace groups must address 9/11 fraud

Men in suits (neo-cons) who had everything to gain from 9/11 tell us to blame men in robes (first Arabs, then Iraqis—but not Saudis!).  But what, actually, is the magical difference between a suit and a robe?  I suppose we think the suited gangsters are “like us”. Appearance is everything; the inner moral void goes unseen. 

Here’s a thought experiment: What if Bush were to take off his suit and don a robe?  Would he then become capable of 9/11 in our eyes? 

http://emperors-clothes.com/images/bushladen.jpg


Ask the Iraqis.  The men in suits have given the Iraqis the equivalent of 9/11 a hundred times over, a new 9/11 each month in the words of Riverbend.  If these suited Talmudists, with their deranged ideology, could inflict such evil on Iraq, smiling all the while, then is it really such a stretch to imagine them doing the same here to us Americans? 

Whoever engineered 9/11—whoever told the U.S. Airforce to stand down on that morning—it is certain that the neo-cons have sacrificed more American lives in Iraq than were sacrificed on 9/11.  And the neo-cons are preparing a far larger human sacrifice, this one involving Iran.

Who ARE these ghouls?  What do we REALLY know about these neo-con killers?

- -

http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/age14.htm
+(
How many dead innocent Iraqis is too many?
09 Nov 2004

Surely we have not been reduced to arguing that we are not as bad as terrorists, writes Waleed Aly.

Too many innocent people are dying in Iraq. A recent report, in the medical journal The Lancet, estimates 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the beginning of the US-led invasion. Half of them are women and children. Almost all were killed by coalition air strikes.

Take a minute to think about the enormity of this human cost. Think of it as September 11, 30 times over.
....
)+

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
+(
....
We have 9/11’s on a monthly basis. Each and every Iraqi person who dies with a bullet, a missile, a grenade, under torture, accidentally- they all have families and friends and people who care. The number of Iraqis dead since March 2003 is by now at least eight times the number of people who died in the World Trade Center.
....
)+

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By Lauren Rowan, April 28, 2007 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It has been my opinion now for some time that the arrogance and incompetence which characterize the present administration were “too much” to be accidental. 

I’m not sure, however, that the atrocities committed by the Bush administration are based in anything remotely altruistic, such as the toppling of an evil/bloody empire as I understand Mr. Vidal is positing in the book which triggered this posting…

The Bush regime is unapologetically amoral, and tramples over principles of international and domestic law, humanaitarianism and justice, enshrining (unpunished) incompetence as an excuse for failures ranging from the continuing non-response to the devastation of New Orleans, to the contant and pervasive over-riding of long-standing principles of international and domestic law. 

The litany of these failures, shortcomings and deliberate abrogations of principles which, at least in my mind, made our nation what it was, has long-since become too lengthy to be deemed an aberation and must be viewed as a deliberate agenda.  But what kind of agenda? 

As a Christian, I can’t help but wonder if evil of this degree can come from any but the obvious source….. and the fact that Bush launched his entire evil reign in the name of Jesus Christ, defaming that name in the process, frightens me as much if not more than his actions themselves.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Also - 1984 the movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087803/ - Big Brother: [voiceover] “This is our land. A land of peace and of plenty. A land of harmony and hope. This is our land. Oceania. These are our people. The workers, the strivers, the builders. These are our people. The builders of our world, struggling, fighting, bleeding, dying. On the streets of our cities and on the far-flung battlefields. Fighting against the mutilation of our hopes and dreams. Who are they?”

Winston Smith: [In Winston’s diary] Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals to five. If that is granted all else will follow.

Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O’Brien: Of course he exists.
Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
O’Brien: You do not exist.

O’Brien: What are your feelings towards Big Brother?
Winston Smith: I hate him.
O’Brien: You must love him. It is not enough to obey him. You must love him.

O’Brien: If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

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By Doug Tarnopol, April 24, 2007 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Hey, maybe it’s my ears, but the recording is too slow, and Vidal’s voice too low. Not sure if anyone else noticed, but how about a fix, Truthdig?

Thanks!

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 24, 2007 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

#66016 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 4/24 at 5:39 am: “...Vidal, as usual, is right on - but what we need is something far more hard-hitting than a literary comparison .....We need an essay NOW that reviews, if available, Thomas Jefferson’s RATIONALE for the “occasional revolution” to get people motivated…”

Perhaps we should first review “1984”, Plenum?

1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. “1984” - a Negative Utopia, creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny this novel’s power, its hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time….....

“The world is divided into three countries that include the entire globe: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Oceania is a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors everyone’s behavior, even their thoughts. Winston is disgusted with his oppressed life and secretly longs to join the fabled Brotherhood, a supposed group of underground rebels intent on overthrowing the government…...

Winston meets Julia and they secretly fall in love….. something which is considered a crime.  Winston encounters O’Brien, an inner party member .......giving him the impression that O’Brien was a member of the Brotherhood .......O’Brien is actually a faithful member of the Inner-Party and this is actually a trap for Winston, a trap that O’Brien has been cleverly setting for seven years. Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thoughtcrime…....”

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By cann4ing, April 24, 2007 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Re comment #65104 by Maani.  Excellent quote.  Unfortunately, there is no room for historical accuracy in the Orwellian Bush World of Amnesia.

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By plenum222@yahoo.com, April 24, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vidal, as usual, is right on - but what we need is something far more hard-hitting than a literary comparison to the travesty that is occurring with the rule of George Bush.

We need an essay NOW that reviews, if available, Thomas Jefferson’s RATIONALE for the “occasional revolution” to get people motivated in the States.  [[[TRUTHDIG, take note, and if possible contact a motivated writer to consider this suggeston for your publication.]]]

I don’t know if having lived in Europe for almost six years has opened my eyes to how they see the USA, but Vidal is a bit late, even if correct.  Bush is intentionally dissolving the institutions within the U.S. and destroying what positive perceptions abroad with his policies.  For him, what we call failure he terms “success”.

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By plenum222@yahoo.com, April 24, 2007 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vidal, as always, is right on - but what we need is something far more hard-hitting than a literary comparison to the travesty that is occurring with the rule of George Bush.

We need an essay NOW that reviews, if available, Thomas Jefferson’s rationale for the “occasional revolution” to get people motivated in the States.

I don’t know if having lived in Europe for almost six years has opened my eyes to how they see the USA, but Vidal is a bit late, even if correct.  Bush is intentionally dissolving the institutions within the U.S. and destroying what positive perceptions abroad with his policies.  For him, what we call failure he terms “success”.

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By Doug Tarnopol, April 20, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Gore Vidal is a national treasure. We are recently deprived of Vonnegut; I don’t look forward to Vidal’s exit. He is one of the last remaning sane people, it seems.

Excellent article, as per usual.

I strongly recommend Vidal’s _Narratives of Empire_ series of historical novels about America, as well as his collected essays.

As Lapham has recently reminded us, Cicero once said: “Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child.”

As is evidenced by a couple of the comments here.

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By Maani, April 19, 2007 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All:

The following paragraph appears in an article in the current issue of Harpers.  It is Lewis Lapham writing about Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the eminent historian.  The paragraph has some relevance to the present discussion:

“The separations of the then from the now produce ‘delusions of omnipotence and omniscience,’ which Arthur diagnosed as the illness afflicting the Bush Administration and one likely to lead to the death of the American idea unless treated with the ‘antidote’ of history.  Children unfamiliar with the world in time become easy marks for the dealers in fascist politics and quack religions.  The blessed states of amnesia cannot support either the hope of individual liberty or the practice of democratic self-government.”

Comments?

Peace.

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By rowdy, April 19, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

i just listened to vidal,on TD’s live audio. i wish you had allowed him to read it all. he is a hoot.i could listen to him for hours. i just wish Brickley Paiste would stop his philandering.

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By vanjejo, April 19, 2007 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

It’s been a long time coming - the truth behind the “conspiracy”.  When we re-read history it has ALWAYS been there -  a “certain element” of this world will ALWAYS “need” what others have, need others to get what they want and use the weaker to advance their power.  They followed the trail of money and strength over with the mayflower ...

              XXX

The following was intended for leading financiers only, and appeared in the Civil Servants’ Year Book, “The Organizer”, Jan. 1934”


“Capital must protect itself in every way…Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible.

When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world.”

                XXX

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are…a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
—President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a letter to his brother on Nov. 8, 1954

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By cann4ing, April 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Re comment #64610 by Hugh Scott.  Dr. Minot’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder is but one of a multitude of diagnoses I have seen advanced to try to explain George W. Bush.  Whether a single diagnosis, such as Dr. Minot offers, or multiple disorders are advanced, the bottom line is that the entire cabal is made up of syncophantic sociopaths who seek to subjugate the vast majority of Americans—the working and middle classes—to the interests of those Bush describes as his “base”—“the haves and the have mores.”  Of course they have no empathy towards the poor African-Americans wading in that toxic soup in New Orleans.  They have no qualms about how great the carnage in Iraq, how deep they dip into the U.S. treasury, how much damage they do to constitutional democracy, so long as the profits at Halliburton, Blackwater, Bechtel, Exxon-Mobil, et al, soar.  They’re fascists.  What else should we expect?

Perhaps Dr. Minot would like to profer a diagnosis that would perhaps explain why a so-called Democratic leadership that was elevated to power in order to extract us from this morass finds it necessary to fund the war to the end of the Bush presidency and beyond.  But wait, the same measure that provides the funds to enable Bush to leave our men and women in uniform in harm’s way, demands a new hydrocarbon law from the Maliki government that would deliver that black, sticky substance to the oil industry at bargain basement prices.  Perhaps there is a word that eliminates the need for a psychiatric diagnosis—Greed?

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By Maani, April 18, 2007 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blog Dog:

Here, here!  I second that emotion!  Proving Bush & Co. complicity in 9/11 (which admittedly will not be easy, despite mounting evidence for it) could be a critical determinant in shutting down the entire neocon strategy, even post-Bush.

Felicity:

You have your history right; all great “empires” were ultimately detroyed from within, usually as a result of some combination of decadence, arrogance, failed economics, and a willful disregard, if not outright disdain, for “the people.”

Peace.

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By Skruff, April 18, 2007 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Start small:

Don’t renew your drivers license
Appeal decissions government (at any level) makes. 
Don’t buy that stuff you want but don’t need.
Avoid taxes legally by incorporating your family.
use the whisper campaign (Did you hear what Bush is doing in Cuba….to children?)

In otherwords use the Reagan philosophy which was “Starve the government” 

If there is less money in government service we will get only candidates who care lettle for money.

1/3 of the population paying half the taxes they pay today would be enough to shur-her-down.

BUT I ain’t holdin my breath waiting for this to happen.

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By blog dog, April 18, 2007 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

#64753 by Jean Tracy on 4/18 at 7:03 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Tell us, how can W. be stopped

=====================

911 Truth is the only option - nothing else touches them - they cite “the lessons of 911” as pretext for everything done in the name of the global war of terror - this is compelling - the peace movement must include 911 Truth and the treason at its heart - we must destroy the 911 myth and render it impotent - one question for fence-sitters: Do you really believe the regime has lied about everything except 911?

Report this

By Christopher Robin, April 18, 2007 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr.Vidal,

That was brilliant, and not to dwell on any impending doom, or the pet food crisis, of which the Bush FDA admitted in a recent hearing, could also apply to the pet’s master’s food. Et tu human wheat gluten?

Drop that fork! (How do you say that in italian?)

No, let’s keep it light, and whistle past the…well? Maybe that’s what was done in the final days of Russian empire, come to think of it? Right?

Speaking of liver failure and not pet food induced renal type.

I see the poor “gray lady” is taking it on the chin in many quarters now, awakening on the sofa, hung-over and wondering where did everyone go? Not recognizing the surroundings, it’s a stranger’s home. Aghast to recall the previous night’s events, for the fear of a lost reputation.

Sobering after the party is always painful. More so to admit you have a drinking problem.

But the “The Gray Lady” is jaundiced from years of drinking at Wall Street watering holes, like a lady of her sort, she is loyal to the powerful, not the servants, and I think soon she’ll realize she is neither, or none of all three.

“In un mondo di ciechi un orbo è re.”

^ those “internets” are a handy tool, my italian begins with ciao and ends with arrivadeci

Your always a welcomed read, and poetry sounds best, when heard from the poet.

Always more,cause I’m selfish.

Take care and love,
Your avid reader

“Ciao”

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By felicity, April 18, 2007 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Do great nations inexorably follow the trajectory of primative, republican, imperial, decadent?  History evidences that such is the case. Our “great” nation seems to be hovering between imperial and decadent. 

If we look back at great nations of the past we may find counterparts of Mr. Bush in power when those nations were hovering between imperial and decadent - men with delusions of omniscience and omnipotence which precluded any possibility that they could ever be appealed to by way of reason. If our planet survives, Mr. Bush will certainly join the roster of just such men.

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By Maani, April 18, 2007 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
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Hugh:

Minot should have added that the textbook definition of “insanity” (or, to be more clinically PC, psychosis) is “the belief that doing things the same way every time will lead to differing results.” This is GWB in a…nut-shell.

On a separate matter, from a strictly political point of view, Bush et al are almost certanly wrong that pulling out of Iraq would lead to it becoming “a puppet state of Iran.”  Everything I have read of late - including highly conservative pundits and magazines (e.g., Foreign Affairs, which is the voice of the CFR) - suggests that this is a red herring; that although it would certainly wield SOME incrased influence among SOME sects, Iran does not want or need Iraq as a “puppet state.”

Peace.

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By Jean Tracy, April 18, 2007 at 8:03 am Link to this comment
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Tell us, how can W. be stopped?

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By Jeanne, April 17, 2007 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
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People who destroy love destroying. They feel power when they take the security away from as many people as they can. Bush is just obsessive about it. He also has his oil buddies who need the Iraqi oil. And Halliburton and Blackwater who need the contracts. This adminstration is the perfect storm.

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By blog dog, April 17, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

#64579 by Lorien on 4/17 at 12:01 pm - “When the Lord bellowed down from on high that He’d had enough of sinful humanity”

***** all this quoting of scripture - just a reminder: the progeny of Abraham can always be counted on to find in their scripture reasons for anything — recommended reading: the teachings of Buddha, in whose name no wars have ever been fought, no pogroms ever invoked and no smiting of the wicked ever handed down — in fact, unlike his Western counterpart, Buddha doesn’t exist…he’s just a state of mind…far too sublime for the progeny of Abraham, the legacy of whom it appears the world is destined to suffer until it is no more.

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By Maani, April 17, 2007 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
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Doug:

Strange how all I need do is mention anything even mildly related to the Bible and you turn the discussion into a theological debate.

All I was pointing out was that Bush is one of those who believe in the prophetic tradition of the Bible, particularly with respect to the “end times” as understood by some vis-a-vis Revelation. This is separate and apart from any theological debate on the meaning or usage of terms.

So…

It remains my contention that any destruction by Bush & Co. of “America as we know it” is not so much “deliberate” as it is an outgrowth of a much larger - and, to them, far more important - strategy, one which is religious in nature.

Peace.

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By Lee, April 17, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment
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Remember wrong way peach fuzz? Rocky could always tell it was Captain peach fuzz because he was always going in the wrong direction.

If George Bush is the world’s biggest bungler, he has managed to bungle immense sums of money from the many to the few. If he’s simply a retarded religious fanatic, he’s been miraculously successful at transforming the American way into something closer to the Hitler way.

It doesn’t really matter if he’s an idiot or a genius or a retarded puppet. The damage is done. The treasure is gone. The freedom is lost. The ecology that supports life is teetering.

Good job George if that was your plan. You’ve accomplished more than any single person in history. It’s all been in the wrong direction, but it’s been a hell of an accomplishment. Congratulations W., you piss ant.

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By David Mora Marín, April 17, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
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I believe that George W. Bush is intent on destroying the social fabric of this country.  Another case in point is his No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy.  NCLB is designed to undermine public education, even the schools that are doing very well.  At the same time, it promotes transferring children to private schools.  It is a case of sabotaging public education so that only the rich—those that can afford private schools for their children—can have access to a good education.

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By Hugh E. Scott, April 17, 2007 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
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While studying the neoconservative paperwork organization, “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC), whose founders include Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, it became obvious to me they were psychological misfits. 

President Bush, who is connected to PNAC by his brother, Jeb, an original member. seemed the most disturbed neocon of all - to the point of being dangerous.  However, I didn’t realize how much until reading the following article titled, “A Psychiatrist’s Analysis of George W. Bush,” by Dr. Paul Minot, which reads in part:

George Bush’s “irrational” consideration of a “surge” in the wake of the Iraq Study Group report—which apparently defies all credible counsel—has begun to generate speculation regarding his sanity. 

As a psychiatrist, I understandably get concerned when I see clinical terminology bandied about in political discourse, and thought it might be of interest to share a professional perspective on this question. I have a distinct clinical impression that I think explains much of Mr. Bush’s visible pathology.  First and foremost, George W. Bush has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What this means is that he has rather desperate insecurities about himself and compensates by constructing a grandiose self-image.  Most of his relationships are either mirroring relationships—people who flatter him and reinforce his grandiosity; or idealized self-objects—people that he himself thinks a lot of, and hence feels flattered by his association with them.  Some likely perform both functions.  Hence his weakness for sycophants like Harriet Miers, and powerful personalities like Dick Cheney.

Even as a narcissist, Bush knows he isn’t a great intellect, and compensates by dismissing the value of intellect altogether.  Hence his disses of Gore’s bookishness, and any other intellectual who isn’t flattering him.  Bush knows that his greatest personal strength is projecting personal affability, and tries to utilize it even in the most inappropriate settings.

That’s why he gives impromptu backrubs to the German Chancellor in a diplomatic meeting—he’s insecure intellectually, and tries to make everyone into a “buddy” so he can feel more secure.  The most disturbing aspect about narcissists, however, is their pathological inability to empathize with others, with the exception of those who either mirror them, or whom they idealize.  Hence Bush’s horrifying insensitivity to the Katrina victims, his callous jokes when visiting grievously injured soldiers, and numerous other instances.  He simply has no capacity to feel for others in that way. 

Mr. Bush knows that things aren’t going his way in Iraq, and he knows that this is damaging him politically.  He also sees that it is likely to get worse no matter what he does, and in fact it may be a lost cause.  However, he recognizes that if he follows the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, Iraq will almost certainly evolve into a puppet state of Iran, and given his treatment of Iran he will completely lose control of the situation—and he will be politically discredited for this outcome.

The ONLY chance that he has to avoid this political disaster, and save his political skin, is to hope against hope for “victory” in Iraq.  Advancing the “surge” idea offers Bush two political advantages over following the ISG recommendations.  One is that if it is implemented, maybe, just maybe, he can pull out some sort of nominal “victory” out of the situation.  The chances are exceedingly slim, granted, but slim is better to him than the alternative—none.

End of Dr. Minot’s abbreviated article.

If the diagnosis is correct, then we might very well experience what Born-again Bush seems to be pursuing in the Middle East: Armageddon. 


Hugh E. Scott, editor of King-George.biz—the only website with hardcopy proof of White House corruption.

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By Lorien, April 17, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
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We can rant and rave about W and the neo-cons all we like. But we, the people, are the authors of our own demise, and we are getting just what we deserve. Yes, there are those who see through the fix and would do things differently if they were in charge. But they aren’t in charge. When the Titanic goes down, some make it to the lifeboats, most don’t. And the ones in the lifeboats may never make it to safety. And the waves don’t care that some folks on deck may have shouted a warning.

When the Lord bellowed down from on high that He’d had enough of sinful humanity and, in two week’s time, was going to drown the world in a flood, preachers of all faiths ran around calling for repentance in the hope of bargaining with the divine decree. Noah didn’t waste his breath. He went and built an ark.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 17, 2007 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Maani, “Revelation” and “Armageddon” are two different things although Armageddon was discussed in the Bible’s book of Revelations.

Armageddon is with us now more or less (Apocalypse Now!) but Revelations went on to a golden age of a spiritual kind which the human race has so far repudiated. That must mean that there might not be many left to inherit this new age when it finally does arrive.

Frankly, though, it also sounds a lot like Nostradamus as well. Nevertheless, there is nothing more fanciful than assuming that a deliberate series of negative evil acts can ever bring about a positive spiritual result - as much as that there are people who do believe that!

Action and reaction are opposite and equal. That is also the law of Karma, if you will. No good can come of doing wrong. If you want a good result, you must do the positive things necessary to ensure that result. The result of forcing negative scenarios is that a worse outcome will eventuate.

If there were prophesies, they are only indicators of the times, not “necessary factors” in themselves. What is more, if you imagine there can be some silver lining to that cloud, it can only be that the Earth will forever be free of the human race as a consequence of its own disastrous actions.

That is to say that if there is another global war, there still will eventually be a golden New Age on this Earth but it will happen WITHOUT the human race!

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By thallos, April 17, 2007 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

We are taxes. We are taxed.
To make war. To parry horror. 
Gore seems to be in the horror camp.

I didn’t want to come to that conclusion, he has so much reputation.  Regardless, he writes “…hurricanes, tempests, droughts OF HIS MAKING ravage our alabaster cities and amber waves of grain.” (My emphasis.) that really takes the cake or makes W God.

No, mellifluous though he be, he be not for me.

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By thallos, April 17, 2007 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Douglas, if I study international finance, I study only what money has become or one way it is used today.  That does not tell me what money is.

Let me ask you this:  You use a computer.  Did you purchase it?  How would you obtain a computer without using a medium of exchange?

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By Maani, April 17, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
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All:

Everyone seems to be missing what I believe may be the underlying dynamic re Bush (and the Christian Right that is among his primary bases): as a (misguided) Christian, Bush believes that his actions will hasten the Second Coming.  And while I believe that his belief in this regard “trumps” everything else - including “America as we know it” - I do not believe his destruction of “America as we know it” is intentional; it is simply an outgrowth of this deeper, more important belief.

Indeed, I believe that Bush’s underlying belief in this regard would explain everything from 9/11 (in which he and his cronies were almost certainly complicit) to regime change in Iraq, to saber-rattling against Iran.  It is all about “destabilization” in the Middle East in order to (attempt to) bring about “Armageddon” and the expected return of Christ.  But this cannot happen without the “clash of cultures” (primarily the West vs. Islam) that 9/11 and Iraq have dramatically increased since 9/11 (even if that clash existed to some degree prior thereto).

Scoff if you will, but Scriptural prophecy predicts much of what is occurring right now, at least as far as it applies to the Middle East prior to what is often called the “end times scenario.”  I am not suggesting that we are in such a scenario (though it is always possible).  Only that, according to prophecy, certain things must be in place and/or occur before the events of “Revelation” (including Armageddon) can occur.  And Bush has deliberately set in motion - or outright created - some of those things.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 17, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

“Money is nothing more than something that facilitates exchange.  Money is in of itself neither good nor evil…...”

Ha ha, no, that’s the illusion, thallos. You must study international finance to see that money is an artificial construct. It is then applied falsely to ‘value’ and then, through trade and banking, we are bound hand and foot.

Try searching “yen carry trade” and you will start to get the picture! I have no doubt that there is a “moral” value in fair trade, etc etc but that is not what is really going on - even within a country’s borders.

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By thallos, April 17, 2007 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Douglas, you are correct.  Money today has no value and it certainly has evolved into something that enslaves us.  But that is not the fault of money, rather of what we have let money become. 

Consider this, Douglas.  If you make candles and I make bread and we trade, we are both richer—providing of course that one of us did not cheat and that neither of us was coerced.  Now, what if you and I value peanuts.  We want them; we like them.  We like to squirrel them away.  In fact we both have some stashed away.  Now, if I say I’ll give you 5 peanuts for a candle and you say I’ll give you 3 peanuts for your bread and we each say OK.  We are again winners, but this time we used “money”.  We knew the value of our peanuts.  We knew the effort their collection required.  We made informed decisions to better our life. 

Money is nothing more than something that facilitates exchange.  Money is in of itself neither good nor evil.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 17, 2007 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Money DOESN’T have value, thallos! How can mere pieces of paper have “value” to dictate peoples’ lives?

It is a device designed to enslave us! We are thus endlessly manipulated as surely as a little monkey which sticks its hand into a jar to grab the nuts inside but cannot let go - it is thus trapped!!!

Do you really see “value” in that???

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By thallos, April 17, 2007 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

I suppose I’m being simplistic, but I see no conspiracies, no planning.  I see only a logical unfolding.  My father often said, “Money does not grow on trees.”  But, what happens when a community believes that money does grow on trees; that there is no correlation between effort and product; that everything is the result of mysterious or arcane processes that necromancers spirit?

My guess is that what comes are a stock market that cannot be predicted, a culture with skewed values, best meaning politicians called to the dark side, and businessmen who play the game.

If money has no value, we cannot know worth.

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By D.W. Sabin, April 17, 2007 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
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Ahhh yes, Mr. Bennett, loyal factotum to the vaunted popular culture which purportedly pays more if one grazes lightly. There is nothing whatsoever in Mr. Gore’s essay that is even remotely difficult to comprehend for anyone with even a pedestrian education. Throwing rocks at intellectuals because they are smarty-pants time wasters is Exhibit One of the current Government’s Hee-Haw Propaganda machine. If there has ever been a better demonstration of why venal idiocy in service to greed should be avoided, this Administration is it.

A nation that thinks history and literature to be irrelevant or finely crafted writing a waste of time is a nation that deserves, as H.L. Mencken suggested, to get what is coming to them “good and hard”. We need a debate between H.L. Mencken and Izzy Stone and instead, because of the likes of Mr. Bennett, we must eat a gruel of Beavis and Butthead. What this peasantry must want is a good old fashioned Bolsheviki drubbing. One really wonders what a $30,000-$40,000 yearly tuition buys anymore.

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By Roberta Kelly, April 17, 2007 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
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Of course Gore Vidal’s writing is brilliant and the culture he provides to us in how he tells this grim story - is as smoothe as silk.

And that’s how it has been over these years and years, the illusion of a silky feeling, our fiat money system.

Debt as money - how did it become such a silk-like addiction, so smoothe and wonderful?

Ahhhh, our many systems to be so proud of - Wall Street for example.  What honest people these were and are, continuing to sell stocks and bonds that are worthless.

Our fabulous Federal Reserve System, the keepers of our economy and of course since it is owned by approximately 6000 private global investors - why, why shouldn’t we trust those who gain to profit at our expense?  Especially since they’ve proven the track record of “fraudulent inducement” and “transference of wealth” . . “legally” since 1913.

What you say!  China rejected American Brands in 2005!  What upstarts!!  After all the debt we’ve sold them how dare they kick Warren Buffett’s Coca Cola, Nestles, and other such poisonous products from China’s stock market!!!

Boo hoo Americans cry as they realize that the politicians who were their leaders did not keep the oath they took to the Constitution of the United States - since before the ink was dry.

And so it is, the Hopi Tale of this time comes to pass.

Get ready because our Virginia Tech tragedy is “here at home” and not “over there” - a reflection of America’s inner self loathing beginning to manifest itself as the criminal reality that the so-called “leaders” represent.

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By Maynard, April 17, 2007 at 8:03 am Link to this comment
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Zionism is the key here. Bush, colorful though he is, is merely a puppet.
Scary anger is rising. People are wondering who is destroying the country - and they’re grasping for answers. Check out govnn.com as one example.

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By drawlr, April 17, 2007 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
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A true fan of the American Republic, whose demise began with the “Civil War” and was greatly furthered at the turn of the 20th century with the passing of the 16th and 17th amendments and the creation of the federal reserve, cannot be a fan of the New Deal since it was the New Deal and its attendant concentration of power at the federal level that has administered to coup de grace to the Republic.  The socialization of America, largely brought about by the New Deal, is inimical to the principles of republicanism.

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By David, April 17, 2007 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal is an icon of the literary and academic world but this maybe the first time he may not be entirely correct.  I think Bush is not working from the point of ignorance and stupidity but rather sheer malevolence.  He is keeping our troops in Iraq fighting an endless war against an unknown enemy.  He has started to bankrukpt our society economically and morally.  All of this for the ultimate purpose of transforming this great nation into a fascistic, theocratic state. 

This process has started with him but it will continue his successors.  The religiosity that is corrupting this great nation is truly disturbing.  Nothing that is done in the US is now done from the prism of reality but rather delusion and fantasy.  We will bomb nations into Jeffersonian democracy.  We will torture people to get good, usuable intelligence about criminal acts.  We will overthrow democratically elected leaders who do not agree with our policies and all of a sudden when things go horribly wrong we don’t understand what happened (ie M. Mossadegh (Iran), S. Allende (Chile)).

Then again our Ceaser or as Gore Vidal put it Caligula is slowly bringing about the end of the US and its global empire.  This maybe a good thing but it may also be a bad thing in that there will be anarchy and chaos as other powers jockey to fill the vacuum left by the US.

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By John, April 17, 2007 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
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If Bush is ending our empire, perhaps unwittingly, I say it is a damn good thing.

We are so overextended in Iraq that we cannot even deal with Chavez, or Morales, or any number of Latin American nationalists reclaiming their resources. Once it would have been a CIA contingent, at worst a division or so of Marines. Now, Forero bleats in the NYT that Chavez’s policies are making privileged Venezueleans unhappy, and tsk, tsk.

Someplace else I just saw that the dollar has sunk to a new low against the Euro.

There have been any number of empires in history, all of them powerful, all of them extensive, all of them dead. Why not us too?

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By Vince Liberty, April 17, 2007 at 4:24 am Link to this comment

Gore Vidal is wrong about one thing, that the Republicans are in some way idealogically opposed to “Big Government”, or uniquely so. The last reductions in the rate of increase of Federal spending, for example occurred under Clinton, as did “Welfare Reform”, so it’s a bit off the mark to claim that somehow this sorry performance is the result of some kind of libertarian anti-government bias.

It is instead the frank, out-and-out looting of the people via the vast increase in military spending (justified of course by 9/11) that is actually hastening the demise of the empire.

Bush’s DOA Social Security “privatization” scheme is nothing of the sort, it would, if implemented simply be yet another example of what government usually does, which is to transfer large streams of money confiscated from ordinary people at the point of a gun, to well-connected interests. Real privatization would mean the people would own the money in the account, not Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan as envisioned by the Bushites.

We can argue whether the Democrats can save the “New Deal” (they can’t and they won’t), the real discussion should be about how to replace it, without the looting and destruction that the Republicans are indulging in now, and without strangling the remaining vestigial industry in the country.

Doing this will involve devolving both the money and the responsibility for the care of the old, the sick, and the infirm to the states, the communities, and the individual, and away from the mass thievery that is inevitable in Washington D.C. regardless of party.

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By Roberteconomist, April 17, 2007 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
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I hope and wish good health to Gore Vidal, Lewis Lapham and even Chomsky.  Without these patricians (and the odd tenurned professor) leading articulate and deep thinking voices would be virtually unkown in our “republic”.  Not since Mencken (the sage of Baltimore) has there been a more thoughful and poweful voice urging us to fullfill our promise and abandon our follies.

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By Roberteconomist, April 17, 2007 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
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Brilliant.  Its troubling that many of my fellow citizens think that a new president will change everything.  The next president, McCain, Clinton, Obama will have just as a bizzare collection of parasites and mountebaks serving up their masters and debasing the republic and people.  I agree—the day is late and hope is not due in my time.  Nemisis has arrived and the next best hope for humanity lay elsewhere—we frittered it away—sad as we had some promise…..

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By Robert Cavazos, April 17, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
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Ahh, Mr. Vidal you are a national treasure!  Alas, the problem is beyond an idiotic president and the larger lomming problem of priesidential dynasties.  Fellow commenter Robert Bennet is THE emodiement of the problem.  Apparently, Mr. Bennet and many others do not view knowledge of history, the role of the citizen, reading, thinking and other such activities as part of “living life”.  Perhaps if he watched fewer football games or television shows….Alas, such as in Rome the problem is greater than mere idiotic leaders.  Recall Diocletian—an honest brave wise man could not save Rome…..

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By TAO Walker, April 17, 2007 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

With nearly all of their “commonwealth” already looted and moved offshore, and corporate corsairs like Haliburton getting safely away there too, theamericanpeople are being prepped by their homegrown predator classes for the final fleecing and flensing (and this is NOT just a figure-of-speech), before they’re left to the tender mercies of the repo-man from Peking.  Such other rag-and-bone pickers as might dare to challenge the new collossus for what will certainly be much less than pennies, on their billions of dollars in worthless IOUs, can fight over the scraps. 

Meanwhile, the Bush crime family, for example, is reported to’ve prepared a hidey-hole in Uraguay, a favorite of first-generation nazis, as well.  London is calling lots of other Tory loyalists home from their two-hundred-plus-year (and now all-but-accomplished) mission to smother the upstart republic in its crib.  And let it be an object lesson, also, to anybody else with any similarly disestablishmentarianist big-ideas.  Are you paying attention, you Venezuelans?

Gore Vidal sounds here, to this old Indian, like a man watching the-point-of-no-return recede rapidly in the rearview mirror.  His heroic and sustained effort to offer Americans a story out of which they might salvage enough of substance to at least make worth waging a real battle for independence (The “War” was only an opening skirmish, after all, and that of 1812 a very successful British diversion.) looks like it’s coming to naught. 

What doomed them almost from the beginning was “ordinary” Americans’ general failure to recognize that the real, ruthless, implacable enemies of their freedom were not only already well-established in their midst, but had captured the wheelhouse of their fledgling ship-of-state even as the yeoman-and-farmer army was evicting the mostly mercernary soldiers of an earlier King George from these shores.  Buying-into the suicidal fantasy of “rugged individualism” then sealed their fate, and rendered them easy pickings for the highly organized forces of the corporatist plutoligarchy today preparing to take the money and run….leaving your average Joe and plain Jane holding nothing but the “right” to spend their lives (and their great grandchildren’s for generations) slaving-away to pay the “vig” on “the national debt.” 

“Almost heaven West Virginia,” with its ruined rivers, trashed landscape, institutionalized poverty, heritage of multi-generational exploitation and disease and despair, nearly statewide superfund status, and now mostly pre-recorded mountain music, looks like the prototype for what allamerica is intended to resemble (much of it does already) in a whole lot less than another two hundred years.  Try five-to-ten, before defacto involuntary servitude is the rule….for everybody “left behind.”

Most Americans reading this would no doubt scoff….dead sure it could never happen here.  Some of those who frequent this site might agree it already has, to all intents and purposes….that only the incidental details remain to be seen. 

All of you will be thanking your lucky stars one of these days on-accounta that other famous George, Armstrong Custer, losing the whole shebang there on the bluffs above the Greasy Grass River, that fine morning of the Red-calf moon, in “1876.”  Because this is still all Indian Country, and we won’t be letting another bunch of over-the-water gangbangers occcupy Turtle Island….especially now we’re just about to get rid of our uninvited euroamerican “guests,” once and for all.

Now anybody who has figured out that our Mother Earth has no place here for human “individuals” will have no trouble staying at-home in these parts.  There’ll be a tiyoshpaye accepting members in a place near you.  Those who prefer to persist in their present domesticated condition will surely be a lot more comfortable someplace else….only god knows where, though.

HokaHey!

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By TS, April 16, 2007 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
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Ok, Mr. Vidal and I are most likely of the same political opinion and share most believes and values, but even so that was one hell of a bad article. Is he trying to tell me something important about current affairs or is he trying to remind me of what a great play wright he is? I don’t get it.

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By Dawn, April 16, 2007 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

Gore Vidal was rightfully pointing out the complicity of the media in our present lack of focus on what is important and what is not. There have been so many well researched books, articles and websites dedicated to shedding some light on the flagrantly treasonous actions of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It is amazing to me as well that the newspapers are not filled with articles and letters calling for an immediate double impeachment - Cheney, first. Instead we are discussing “global warming” and presidential hopefuls.

Why have we allowed Nancy Pelosi to convince the freshman congressmen that impeachment is off the table? They were elected to be brave - not to go along to get along. Impeach the bums.

Bush is digging in his heels. He has thrown his lot in with the boys at the Project for the New American Century and now he has to stick it out because his psyche can’t take being wrong. His brother Jeb is a member of the PNAC. Cheney is a founder. Bush has stacked his staff with PNAC cronies.

No one could be that incompetent by accident. Everything is going as planned. The chaos in Iraq is providing so much cover for corruption on so many levels. That is why Bush is always laughing and Cheney is always sneering. They have their permanent military base in Iraq which is larger than Vatican City. That was the goal. They have achieved it. They are still working on getting those oil rights signed away to multinational corporations with 30 year binding contracts. And we the people are paying for this, with our soldeirs lives, our taxes, our reputation and our children’s future.

The Iraqis have lost their country, their educational system, their laws, their museums and national treasures, their money, their mosques, their sophisticated medical facilities, their oil, their husbands and fathers, their children, their solidarity and their hope for a sovereign future without an occupying force in their midst. And we have lost our country if we do not oust these liars and cheaters from our Capitol.

Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Zalmay Khalilzad, Dick Cheney, I.Lewis Libby, Seth Cropsey, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Bruce Jackson, Peter W. Rodman, Randy Scheunemann, Dov S. Zakheim, Robert B. Zoellick and Abram Shulsky (mentored by Leo Strauss) are all members of the Project for the New American Century and they are all leaders in our government. The PNAC was a think tank established in 1997 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the goal of promoting American global dominance.

William Kristol and Donald Rumsfeld proposed that the “military should be enlarged, equipped and restructured for the “constabulary” roles associated with shaping the security in critical regions of the world.” In 1998, the PNAC wrote a letter to Bill Clinton urging him to “remove Saddam Hussein from power because he posed a threat to the U.S., its Middle East allies and oil resources in the region.” Was the decision to ivade Iraq made in 1998 by PNAC members? Was 9/11 the result of an order to stand down by powerful people in high places who needed an excuse to invade Iraq? I don’t know. Let’s investigate 9/11—properly this time.

Let the New York Times publish these names every day for a month until people realize our government is stacked with ideologues that have been pushing their agenda at our expense. I think that should be included in “all the news that’s fit to print.” Let impeachment become a household word. What can you do to help?

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By Mathew, April 16, 2007 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment
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Trish…...

Eye Rack for Iraq and Bag-Dad (put your father in a sack) for Baghdad. They can’t even pronounce the names correctly, let alone everytyhing else.

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By blog dog, April 16, 2007 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

#64459 by Trish on 4/16 at 8:03 pm — “I’m saying Bush made it much worse than it had to be”

******** of course - the goal has been and is to fail all states in the region (eventually the entire world) - all states exhibiting any signs of democratic potential - the hegemons and their oligarch task masters don’t do democracy - too unpredictable - profit margins too uncertain - Bush takes orders from people for whom all of humanity is simply a troublesome mess in need of control…no mystery to it…in some circles they are literally referred to as reptilian — no joke and not an analogy…not a follower but some like Ikes.

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By Trish, April 16, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

I’ve disapproved of numerous politicians over the years - supporters of the War on Drugs, opponents of welfare & national health, those that cater to the stranger-danger panic that have left our nation’s kids obese & facing shorter life expectancy than their parents.  But W. has been the only one whose actions have left me completely puzzled.  Couldn’t he have captured Saddam without the long occupation of Iraq the way we captured Noriega? [not that I’m saying it’s America’s right to capture foreign leaders - I’m saying Bush made it much worse than it had to be].

And why is it, after an occupation of Iraq longer than WWII, not only our leader, but every military person I ever hear speak in the media calls the nation we’ve flattened “Eye Rack”?  It’s “Ee-rock”.  How hard is that?

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By UncleMax, April 16, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Hey euromind, you can slap a lot of labels on old Gore Vidal but “ignorant” will never stick. I’ve been a fan and champion of Gore Vidal for a long time, but I won’t bore you with that. I am intrigued by what you said. I think you penetrated a shadow-area in our wise elder’s understanding. Can you clarify what you said? Elaborate perhaps?

I believe I know of what you speak when you refer to “the American theory and practice of management”. The con game our free market experts played on Russia would be a prime example. The Russians, who were desperate when the empire was crumbling, actually listened to—and believed—U.S. advisers about the need for “radical restructuring”. The Russians actually thought they were saving the nations with the help of benevolent U.S. advisers. But they were suckered weren’t they? They should have known the U.S. wanted to debilitate the red menace forever. ... Euromind, am I anywhere near to understanding you?

I’m not qualified to pass harsh judgment on the great (and I mean it) Gore Vital. But I believe I can point to one of his limitations. He likes to portray America as an animate being, a sort of supra-agent with a palpable personality. He say America has amnesia, for example. He sees events in theatrical terms with great themes flowing this way and that through a history populated by nations that have coherent personalities. I don’t want to distract from his insights, but he uses devices and tools like anyone else and the use of specific tools leads to specific oversights. I don’t think Gore Vidal has noticed that the value of “nation”, as an analytic devise, does not have the currency it had in 1945. “The nation”, as a concept, as an analytic devise, is rotting from within while the corporation and the free market grow in pertinence as concepts. I think Euromind, in a reactionary way, was saying as much.

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By Dr. Richard Blackmmor, April 16, 2007 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment
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Vidals take on Bush is as good as any. He IS destroying the advancements of the USA over the last 207 years. Of course this was started, ideologically at least,by Regan.
  Less freedom,less competence,less morality,less wealth,less security,less of all that America has valued is the bush-neocon GOP legacy.
  Bennet you should read some. perhaps you can begin educating yourself by researching the references in Mr. Vidals column.
  It never failes to amaze me how ignorant many Americans are about Hidtory,and Science.
  This lack will enable China to surpass us if not corrected.

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By Wallace Pancoast, April 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal is one of the great minds and writers of our time.  Of course, some will not read him because his sharp wit and profound understanding will be considered to be threatening by them.  That does not
render his observations any less valuable or less true.  I hope that he continues his puncturing of inflated egos for many years: we should be flattered that he thinks we are worth the trouble. Kudos!

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By newspaperbrat, April 16, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Bravo Gore Vidal!

Thank you good people at truthdig for posting the narration by this American Treasure and Citizen of the World. 

My late father, a veteran newspaperman, considered Gore Vidal the most important American writer of my lifetime and he was correct. 

I can only add Vidal is too good for his fellow Americans but his talent, wit and scholarship is timeless be it fiction, nonfiction, memoir or polemic. Long may he Live!

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By euromind, April 16, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal is ignorant, and his pretentious pronouncements are ridiculous.
He is a good example of a “tower” resident who never ventures outside and and has a very obstructed view of a real world.
Gore Vidal is not familiar with the greatest human achievement – American workplace. Otherwise he would have known that since managers were declared “gods” and knowledge became a nuisance, most American institutions have followed a familiar pattern – the competent and dedicated have been replaced by ruthless, incompetent by definition, and greedy by definition “managers.” Dear Mr. Vidal, Bush is one of those managers, and his enrichment his only goal.

Many people (Vial probably too) talk a lot about the danger of the neoconservative thought. Not a single one talks about the danger the American theory and practice of management (now exported to innocent, unsuspected nations) pose to the world.
Collaboration or just ignorance?

I recommend Vidal talk to some of the heroes of American non-profits, for example,
victims of elegant “captains of culture,” known as also as Kommendanten.

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By Christopher Rose, April 16, 2007 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
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Bob Bennett, you only speak for yourself, so don’t wrap your failure to grasp the article in your imputed ignorance to others when it is only your great ignorance that passes for what you call a life.
Keep educating yourself, you’ll be glad you did.

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By Alex, April 16, 2007 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
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Horray for Gore Vidal! Please writemore often.

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By mrbose, April 16, 2007 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
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Too bad Mr. Bennett can’t get through Vidal’s standard English.  You have to read something besides the newspaper sometime, or you’ll fall into that massmind memory hole that will turn you into a perpetual adolescent (typical quote: “They’re all bad. They all lie. I don’t care. Get me a beer.”)

Vidal understandably sounds overcomplicated, perhaps bad, to most of us. The great pundit, Don Imus, is closer to the way (and substance) most people speak, and more’s the pity.  The object of the Bush crowd is that a diminished America will still be almost 100 percent their property; that is what these crooks mean when they try to lure support using phrases such as “ownership society”—it just leaves vague who will be the owners—the wealthy, not the ordinary citizen. The New Deal has been a source of loud whining on the Right for over half a century. Almost al of those ‘new ideas’ Newt Gingrich and his hucksters have touted are merely old ideas jettisoned in the wake of the horrible Depression of 1929. Now, the populace has forgotten those lessons, young ambitious cads see only quick cash up for grabs, and the WSJ in its infinite wisdom considers a market doped by the removal of all restraint to be just as good as a sound one whose excesses are monitored and ameliorated by regulation.  We will see who is the wiser soon. Problem is, the rich will stil be the rich and won’t, as usual, learn a goddam thing from the suffering of others. And, as usual the will crank up their resentments and their huge propaganda apparatus to convince people that controls on the market are unholy. It will fool the greedy and ambitious again and America will sink even lower, unless China takes us over and shows us what real ruthlessness is like.

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By Concrete man, April 16, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
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With all due respect to Mr. Vidal (not the hair guy), I think it is much more likely that Israel is out to destroy, or take down a few notches, their enemy, America. This might sound crazy until you study the “philosophy” of Judaism, as Michael A. Hoffman, and Israel Shamir have, among others such as Israel Shahak, the great Israeli critic of his government’s policies.

Gore Vidal claims, I believe, that the war in Iraq was partially, at least, to do with oil. I think he is naive on this point. Note what James Petras stated in a debate with Professor Norman Finkelstein about the power of the Israel Lobby:

“I have looked at all the documents, I’ve done interviews with oil companies, I’ve looked at their publications for the five years in the run-up to the war and there is absolutely no evidence.  On the contrary, if you pursue research on the various members of the Zionist power configuration in the United States, which I think is a conceptually more correct way of talking about this, rather than ‘the Lobby’, you will find that people of dubious loyalties, like Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and Elliott Abrams – the felon, that had an agenda of furthering Israel’s interests.”

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 16, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

On Reuters today: Relatively gloomy U.S. growth expectations—effectively a decoupling of the United States from the rest of the world—and a diminishing yield advantage are major factors forcing investors to think long and hard about holding dollars. This comes against the perennial concern over funding the U.S. current account deficit and talk of central banks diversifying their reserves away from the dollar….........

“A very powerful reason is decoupling—the U.S. economy’s trajectory is heading in the opposite direction to the rest of the world so for a period the dollar will be vulnerable—definitely this quarter,” said Stephen Jen, chief currency economist at Morgan Stanley.

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By writeon, April 16, 2007 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
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At his age, looking back at the wasted promise and forward to what? Gore Vidal seems almost desparate and dispondent looking at the criminal damage Bush the lesser, has wrought on America.

But even the great Gore Vidal seems almost to be clutching at straws here, like the rest of us. He seems to be searching, searching, for some method in their madness, any sign, any method that makes even fleeting sense of it all. Clearly, these neoconmen, cultist, nutters to a man and woman are incompetent, but they must have a dastadly plan of some sort? It can’t be, there must be more to them than just incompetence, surely? It’s as if the simple answer, that yes, these people are hopeless, is too much to bare. To undermine an empire, drag it down, through collosal incompetence and gross missmanagement, can’t be the real explanation can it?

Do they really have the wherewithall to bring down the old in order to raise up the new? Slash and burn, slash and burn, let the green shoots break through the ashes, a new nation is born.

But maybe it’s worse than even Gore imagines. Maybe the plan is to scorch the earth, the Sampson option, bring down the temple and start all over again, and the last man standing, bloodied but unbowed, will lift up his head, look at the sky and praise his Lord God!

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By AnnaCatherine, April 16, 2007 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
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The administration has a six year run on screwing up. No exceptions that I can think of. Nothing works in Iraq. Think about it. It’s just as hard to get it all wrong as it is to get is all right. I would agree that there’s more to it than incompetency. Mr. Bush doesn’t expect much of himself. Neither do we, anymore.

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By Trigger finger, April 16, 2007 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
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Mr. Vidal.

I know most of your comments on this site are secretly coded so Mr. Bush cannot understand what the hell you are saying, but lets ease up a bit so the rest of us can understand.  We won’t tell him, we promise and unless you reduce it in comic book form, you’d be still safe.

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By Fluffy the Cat, April 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
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I still think that, as far as the religious fervor is concerned, the Neocons interpret it as just more opium for the masses. I doubt they regard themselves bound by what they preach. However, they still believe their own ideological crap - it’s just that it may be a more obscure screed than the one they try to poison the masses with.

I don’t think Bush is Caligula. I don’t think he is Romulus either… He most reminds me of Theodosius II. Theodosius fell off his horse, Bush fell of a Segway.

And, Bob Bennett… Matey, you are a blithering twit.

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By RobertBennett, April 16, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Vidal,

You are obviously a very intelligent man.

I hope someday you become intelligent enough to writeessays real people can actually read. 

Understanding all the obscure references in your work requires more of an education than most of us are willing to pay for. 

You see, we have lives.

Peace,
Bob Bennett
Lick Skillet, AL
http://thespiritandthestone.squarespace.com/

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By Joe R., April 16, 2007 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
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Gen. Tony Zinni said on Meet the Press yesterday that he witnessed Vice President Cheney lie about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction in 2002. Zinni new he was lying because Zinni new all that Cheney knew. Of course Tim Russert didn’t follow up on the most explosive revelation about the entrance into this war that has yet to come to light.  Here is the commander of CENTCOM admitting the war was started by Cheney and Bush and that that they lied from the get go and absolutely nothing comes of it.  Neither the press or the Democrats say or do a damn thing.  Watching this bunch run the country into the ground is the saddest thing I have ever seen.  What do these jerks have to do to get impeached?

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By 911truthdotorg, April 16, 2007 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Of course he wants to destroy America…the Constitution doesn’t serve his, the rest of the neo-cons and the corporations needs.

Democracy is too wordy, too messy. It gets in the way.

He started our systematic destruction on 9/11 with the slaughter of the first 3,000 of us.

It’s only a matter of time until he gets the rest of us, one way or another.

Please watch the Google videos:
9/11 Press for Truth
Loose Change 2nd Edition
America: Freedom to Fascism
Terror Storm

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By QuyTran, April 16, 2007 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Is it time for all of us to stand up and make revolution against the new Stalin of modern time ?

The legislature ought to bring him down with impeachment before it’s too late.

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By blog dog, April 16, 2007 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

A curious article this - certainly Vidal sees behind the curtain - Bush is the ultimate puppet - the regime is in the pocket of global finance oligarchs - we’re talking Bilderberg - its the military industrial complex that’s in their service as an expeditionary force at their beckon call - the American middle class has been literally robbed and abandoned while the oligarchs wage their global war of terror at the tragic expense mostly of 3rd world innocents - the Pentagon and SEC mega-frauds set to break all over the MSM 09-10-01 were the tipping point - the 09-11-01 attacks which destroyed most of the records generated in those investigations, both in WTC7 and at the Pentagon was the coup de grace — the precise moment in time where historians will demarcate The Fall of The American Empire.

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By rober davies, April 16, 2007 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
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A fine essay by Vidal (as usual). But it is sad to see people saying yes if only the good days of Truman could return! While of course even Roosevelt supported The Octopus of United Fruit in South America,Truman is responsible in large part for the Cold War, employment of the A-bomb etc. What these conservative/ Kerry/Clinton 1&2/Obama Democrats want is a less obviously rapacious regime. Hence the apparent approval of a strike on Iran, blind support of Israel and a merely smaller military presence in Iraq.Robert Davies

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By MN, April 16, 2007 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
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“Yes of Course he want’s to destroy America. Because then the religous right can re build it in their own image…without freedom… “....

G. Anderson is close to correct here. The only error is that it is the anti-Christ who will “restore” our country. Bush is the puppet of the anti-Christ, only he doesn’t even know it. Bush thinks he is getting messages from God, but it is satan who he hears. The anti-Christ is just using Bush.

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By CPR, April 16, 2007 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
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Have we not learned anything from William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act III? cut to:
George Jr. “A Horse! a Horse! my Kingdom for a Horse! and then he gets it.  The End.

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By TC, April 16, 2007 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Bush Co. is an extreme example of the status quo (or worse) establishment always working against democracy to expand empire in various guises, predominantly corporate now, as Vidal notes. As Dimslow notes below, the Bush plan is the latest fine tuning of that longstanding effort:

The Bush Plan to Abolish America

President Bush announced today that he expects to find a congressional sponsor for a bill that would abolish Congress as it is currently known. The Old Congress would be replaced by the New Congress which would consist of two and only two Senators, one from the North and one from the South, and three and only three Representatives — one from the North and one from the South and one from the Middle of the country, to break ties. In the Senate, per tradition, the (full of) Vice President would continue to break any tie between the two new Senators….

Republican legislators, in the name of cutting government spending, seem to be generally for the plan. In any event, there are rumors that each Congressional seat will be privatized, transformed into independent lobbying corporations. Democrats have said they are inclined to go along with the plan so as not to appear partisan. “Plus,” one leading congressional Democrat concluded, “if the plan fails and the country turns into a total right-wing fascist dictatorship, we will all know who is to blame.” ...

http://apragmaticpolicy.wordpress.com/2006/04/20/the-bush-plan-to-abolish-america/

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By Groovesmoothly, April 16, 2007 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

And now we know why they have been filtering billions if not trillions of dollars from OUR national defense to THEIR private military opperations i.e. Blackwater, Haliburton, etc… while at the same time causing OUR national military to be strangled to death leaving WE THE PEOPLE defenseless against THEM.
Essentially the entire support staff for the military has been privatized and is mostly operated by a company that is currently moving to Dubai.
This clearly suggests that when Bush threatens that if congress does not approve funding the war his way he really means the now unfunded private sector can and will be justified to pull out of Iraq and leave OUR national defense stranded in the Middle East surrounded by a really pissed off enemy created by THEM. This would further explain his willfull circumvention of congressional approval by depleting the rest of the Pentagon’s budget intended for OUR actual national defense to fund this otherwise seemingly pointless surge.
As a white, upper-middle class, conflicted (should I own a gun or not?) passive-defensive that rode out Katrina this really is terrifying, having witnessed first hand who’s side OUR local law enforcement chose (and still chooses) to serve and protect when poop hits fan.
Compound this with the FEMA detention camps around the country and the Warden bill quietly passed last October that makes it even easier for Bush to declare martial law against US- and by US I mean all of us that support the views published here at Truthdig. I think we all need to pause daily and wonder what if our idyllic way of life were to suddenly crash into a wall and we truly had to live at the other end of the stick.

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By Eso Benjamins, April 16, 2007 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal is right as far as it goes for the present. But I believe that an American Revolution is in the offing. The constellations are about the same as for the French and Russian revolutions: the secular state has allied itself with the religious right. King+nobles/Catholics, tsar+nobles/Russian Orthodox, now Bush+billionaires/Christian cum Blackwater. As Vidal foresees, the empire will crumble due to overreach. But then hopefully an American Revolution will break out. The so-called American Revolution heretofore really was a war to be rid of the Britts.

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By toussaint31, April 16, 2007 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Is Vidal mourning the end of an empire that drains the citizenry of blood and treasure?  Why?

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By Tom Doff, April 16, 2007 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal is exactly correct. Want proof? Try this thought experiment:

If you were going to try to destroy the US constitutional form of government, with it’s mighty dream of a nation concerned about the welfare of all it’s citizens, helping them to happily survive, try to achieve their potentials, and provide for their descendants, wouldn’t you:
1. Fu*k-up the educational system at the primary level, so citizens wouldn’t have the knowledge they need to self-govern?
2. Fu*k-up the social protections put in place by previous generations, so citizens would be struggling to survive, with no time to devote to correcting political depredations?
3. Fu*k-up the economic system, to insure that the rich get richer, the corporations rule, and the mass of citizens must serve them on their terms in order to survive?
4. Fu*k-up, distort the language, so that ‘black’ means ‘white’, ‘good’ means ‘evil’, and language has no relevance to reality?
5. Install a ‘president’ who is such a fu*k-up that he ‘believes’ he gets direction directly from a ‘god’ who created and rules the universe, so ignorant that he cannot recognize how ignorant he is, so arrogant that he believes his warped ‘truth’ is the only truth, and so insecure he will appoint only people less competent than himself (there are very few of those, where he finds them is his only genius) in all positions?

Voila! G.W. Boob and the current maladministration, courtesy the Neocon-Zionists, the Mega-Rich, the Corporate-Nabobs (often the same folk), a corrupt DieBold, cheating state Republican officials, and the ignorant, duped, ‘republican’ public.

This is a real test of the genius of our founding fathers, can the US of A survive this horrific, despicable, amoral administration and live to realize it’s potential?

Why don’t we give our nation a helping hand?

Impeach Bush and his cohorts.

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By GW=MCHammered, April 16, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
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We are a nation of cattle that, as our pen closes ever tighter, only bump and grumble.

When a mad cow bolts by then hogs all our feed, we kowtow like they are the celebrity moo.

Alas once potent American buffalo, we now are all Bush-branded and cattle called for the spindle horn that we are…

The cow that lives the life of a goat.

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By Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi, April 16, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
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Wonderful. Just wonderful. This is Vidal at his best.
Thanks Mr. Vidal.

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By carlito paquito-rivera, April 16, 2007 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
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PP’s, Psychotic Personalities, Kurt Vonneguts’ ‘Man without a Country’ touches on it some.  Personally, I’ve witnessed it, college educated, wealthy background, not a care or reason in the world for wanting to trash the place, add the rapture fairy tale, bam, a recipe for chaos and a method to madness.

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By Bill Blackolive, April 16, 2007 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
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Gore vidal, individuals as yoursef with listeners need to be saying there is a 9/11 coverup.  Like: How strange, 3 building sink to their foundations, when no time before fire melts steel beams.  And: How strange, when media people hear of irregular physics, they keep smiling.  Think, man, to get this going, how all will begin to change….

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By SamSnedegar, April 16, 2007 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Far from my power it is to quibble with one as erudite and wise as the great Vidal, but since he failed to mention oil, I feel I must.

1. it’s about oil
2. Bush is a moron.

Methinks there be a Wolsey in Bush’s court, and it won’t be Billy Graham, nor will it be the Rove monster who takes his orders from elsewhere, but will be part of the secret cabal which delivers commands to someone in an undisclosed location.

Dissolve the Empire? More like create the Fourth Reich, as I see it.

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By Thomas Higgins, April 16, 2007 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
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“Bush the Miniscule” is destroying the republic, not the empire; but Team America’s empire shall fall, just the same. What will happen then is anybody’s guess.

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By Hammo, April 16, 2007 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Vidal seems to be correct on many points, noting that “he [Bush et al] is eager to destroy every last trace of the New Deal.”

That may be one reason the Bush-Cheney gang is running up our national debt. They are “starving the beast”—creating financial restrictions on future social safety net programs.

Vidal again provides insight when he writes, “W. the Minuscule, driven by ignorance and greed like his cronies, leaves us defenseless and at sea in a terrorized world of prisons, phony trials, renditions, executions without due process of law…”

Are there other hidden, covert and discreet plans by the Bush-Cheney gang that seem to be “mistakes?” You bet. Take a look at:

“‘Mistakes’ or ‘plans’ in Iraq, War on Terror?”

PopulistAmerica.com
February 12, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/mistakes_or_plans_in_iraq_war_on_terror

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By G. Anderson, April 16, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
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Yes of Course he want’s to destroy America.

Because then the religous right can re build it in their own image…without freedom…

That was what the New-Con was about, faking righteousness, while using the ideology as a way to get your evil foot in the door…

W. has been a Wolf in sheeps clothing from the very beginning….

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By Larry, April 16, 2007 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

I possess no keen prognosticatory power, but then one doesn’t need such to forsee that history will brand the Bush 43 administration as the WORST in American history. 

In fact, I will go so far as to predict that future historians will proclaim Dubya as our first “fundamentalist” president.  Surely he has proven, once and for all, that we don’t need a person of “faith” to run this country, but rather one of the “reality-based” persuasion.  Dubya has, I admit, stuck to his guns: alas, those guns have all backfired, leaving our Pastor-in-Chief blackened and smoldering—much like the nation of Iraq, which Dubya, in his wisdom divine, destroyed in order to “save.”

For the past half century, Gore Vidal has been a “voice crying in the wilderness,” justly condemning the American Empire for its policies, both foreign and domestic.  Alas, few in the wilderness listened.  But now, according to the polls, about two-thirds of Americans have at last caught on to the fact that the war in Iraq is Dubya’s Folly and should end.  Whether this hard-won insight will result in further national epiphanies, such as that the Pentagon budget should be drastically cut, and that decent health care should be available to ALL Americans, remains to be seen.  I am not optimistic.

But I cling to this joyous knowledge: in January of 2009, our “long national nightmare” will be over.  At last!

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By KISS, April 16, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
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The great man of words has done it again. If truth is bespoken, Gore Vidal is the one to speak it. Yes, our little Caligula is in charge of systematically destroying what little freedoms citizens had. Gore’s attack on the Times could easily be directed to 99% of all news media. The little Emperor can only succeed with a news media who’s head is buried in the sand. The principles of democracy are the banner of truth that only news agencies can and should carry. Without this commitment, democracy is doomed. Pretty speeches of freedom are pure bullshit from our incompetent ruler. And let us not forget our Congress, that has turned out to be the lap-dog of the white house.

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By Jim Yell, April 16, 2007 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I mostly like what Gore Vidal writes, but am left confused by his use of Romulus Augustulus as the pivot of his story about deliberate incompetence. Romulus was just a young boy/man and he was put in place by the barbarians, to continue the charade that the Empire still existed in the West, or that was my understanding of the historic Romulus Augustulus.

I made the observation previously that Bush was the American Caligula and was pleased to see someone else had entertained this explaination too. Bush is much like Caligula, busy making his horses Roman Senators and Officials and waging a war on Neptune, with sea shells as the swag. I was also glad that he included the Corporations as our masters, as that is the only explaination that really is consistent in this mess.

I always felt the Reagan Administration was not trying to destroy the Russian Soviet, so much as use its supposed power to justify the wasting of huge amounts of tax money in useless and over priced war R & D. Conterproductive for the nation and society, but a God send to the greedy and mean spirited. When Russia collapsed, it was clear Reagan had no plan for dealing with the collapse and no idea how to help Russia form the Democratic Republic that the people wished for. This was all brought about by using the once again flawed and political, and invented hype from CIA and others.

We have more to fear from a government that has been preverted and subverted by big business and ultra rich people addicted to power and wealth. The fault is both the Republican and Democratic, two party system that allows a monopoly on the election process and the wish by the right to be free of social obligations and the wish of the left to be freed from having to learn anything.

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By Kol Klink, April 16, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Mr. Vidal for sharing your insight and knowledge with us. I am a long time fan and have read many of your books, both fiction and non fiction. I believe that you are right about shrubs intentions and I believe that he is well on the way to destroying our country. What will remain in his wake is scary to contemplate.
Is there a way to stop a mentally deranged person from harming himself and others, especially a president that cannot or will not be impeached? The newly elected democrats have already shown that they are unwilling to even attempt impeachment.
In Florida, and possibly other states, there is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis. It is called the Baker Act.
A voluntary Baker Act is when a person 18 years of age or older, or a parent or guardian of a person age 17 or under, makes application for admission to a facility for observation, diagnosis or treatment.
An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or OTHERS (that would be all American Citizens in shrubs case) in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.
A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis.
The Baker Act is not an obscure law and is used many times each day in Florida. Typically, people that are ‘Baker Acted’ are individuals that are ‘way out there.‘i.e; drug addicts and alcholics that are so far gone that they dont even know who or where they are, individuals that have had ‘mental breakdowns’ and are no longer able to communicate or care for themselves, and people that have just gone nuts (sorry but I am not a clinical psychologist) and pose a threat to themselves or others. I believe that shrub would fall into one or more of the above catagories and is therefore a candidate for ‘Baker Acting.’ If shrub travels to Florida, or a state with a similar law, perhaps a group of citizens or law enforcement officals could place him in a place where he could do no more harm?
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Of Course, if shrub reads this there is the possibility that he will dispatch someone to Baker Act me.

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By DSmith, April 16, 2007 at 6:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush came into office and according to Paul O’Neil, former treasury secretary, who was on the scene, wanted to invade Iraq “From day one.” This was prior to 9-11, not that Iraq had anything to do with 9-11, but it was a great smokescreen for his desire to kill Saddam, the man who had supposedly tried to murder his father. Securing the Iraqi oil fields was also a prime consideration.

Bush looked around for a plan to carry out his illegal invasion and lo and behold the radical Zionist Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Perle, Abrams and others just happened to have a plan called The Project For A New American Century. This plan laid out a course of “Creative Chaos” for the middle-east. The plan was to use American military to secure the regions oil fields and to inusure the safety of nuclear Israel. Not until 9-11 did the cards fall into place. 9-11 gave these devious warmongers the idea that they could scare Americans into backing an invasion of Iraq by planting stories about Iraq trying to obtain nuclear weapons and how that we might wake up to a mushroom cloud one morning.

Now the attention is on Iran, who only wants nuclear power for peaceful means, but is being demonized by the same bloodthirsty neocons who are responsible for the Iraq fiasco.

No, they don’t want the American empire destroyed, not yet. There are other wars to be fought.

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