Another example of something popped up in public view, of a general kind of thing that regularly baffles and amazes me these days, where something simultaneously manages to be stunning, unbelievable, and yet, somehow, not actually surprising. In this case, the Wall Street Journal, formerly a newspaper regarded as serious journalism specializing in the financial and business realm, and now another Rupert Murdoch mouthpiece, published a June 17 opinion/editorial commentary with a byline from a former US Vice President and his daughter.
Yes, boys and girls, former Vice President of the United States Richard Bruce Cheney, who, in almost perfect irony, is universally known by his nickname of Dick, has written a piece of commentary about the current situation in Iraq and what he thinks about it, with a fundamental theme being about how, in his opinion, the current president is just all wrong about it and how he is (or isn’t) handling it.
I was trying to think of some kind of appropriate metaphor or analogy about this, and about the best I could come up with was that this might be something like an arsonist setting some place on fire, and then later writing a newspaper editorial or letter to the editor criticizing the local fire chief for the fire department’s response to the situation.
You might think of a better one, but this piece of lunatic hubris was just a staggering shock, even while, like I just said, not really even surprising. Yep… that’s our DICK! Among other things, it’s probably a perfect case for using the artificially formed hybrid word “tragicomedy”, where something, or some larger set of circumstances and events, is so fantastically foolish it might be hilarious, if not for the terrible results of it all.
There are probably all sorts of different ways to go on this, many things to be said about it. One item that regularly pops into my head is not specifically about this WSJ text brain fart, or the broader subject of Cheney and Iraq, but rather simply noticing that I can’t really think of any past president or vice president who has pushed himself out into the public view in various media so much, so often, after leaving office, to opine about this, that, and everything. In Dick’s case, the irony is that there is probably no better example of somebody who, given their record in office, should really just shut the fuck up and go away. Maybe Richard Nixon (another “Dick”, by ironic coincidence).
After doing a quick web search to take me to the online publication on the web of this piece, after becoming aware of it, I found some commentary on the commentary, from others writing about Cheney doing this. In the reader comments following one of these, I found one person’s comments that I thought were perfectly appropriate. That person wrote that, as much as they wanted Cheney, and all of the rest of the neocon cult, to just shut the fuck up and disappear, in a way they thought it might be a good and healthy thing to have something like this amazingly arrogant and stupid editorial by Cheney pop up into public consciousness, just to serve as a reminder.
There it is, the essence of whole ugly knotted mess of hubris and psychosis of the neocon cult. One of the main themes in the Cheney & Cheney editorial is pretty much a basic restatement of the fundamental neocon principle of the United States government ruling the entire world, with all good things coming from that, and only bad things happening if that isn’t the situation. There’s nothing subtle about it, this has little to no “interpretation” involved. These ideas, the fundamental neocon dogma, are laid right out there, explicitly.
For the neocon cult, these ideas are unquestionable, in their minds, stuff that they regard as perfectly obvious to any Patriotic Real American, and if anybody suggests otherwise you’re going to encounter this “why do you hate America and want the terrorists to win?!” rhetorical nonsense that’s a regular part of the neocon litany.
The whole neocon cult, the “neoconservative” world view and political philosophy, has wound up being a recurring subject in my own recent notes. The reasons for that should be obvious. It infects and warps everything. The fiasco of invading Iraq and turning it into the chaotic mess it is today is just one item on the pile, along with others like nearly getting directly involved in the civil war chaos in Syria and the meddling in Ukraine that has only managed to cause big and continuing trouble there, while throughout all of these situations, the neocon contingent managing to cause so much trouble continue to bark furiously that in all of it, the problem is that the United States isn’t even more involved and creating even larger and more complicated messes.
The new episode of Dick Cheney running his mouth (in print form this time) is just the newest event in a larger story, of people asserting themselves and doing their best to influence and control not just this nation, but everywhere, despite being so consistently and massively wrong, and worse, having been in positions of power and causing serious problems, with huge and extended repercussions, because of being in those positions, being able to cause so much real trouble because of their positions.
As I’ve been saying quite a bit lately, just one of the problems with the domination of US national government by the neocon cult of megalomaniacs, and their crazed obsession with ambitions of ruling the world, is the way so much is diverted away from what really needs attention and serious thinking and work. That wasting diversion is not just about attention and thinking, of course, but huge issues like the sheer vast amount of wealth of the nation wasted on what’s euphemistically called “defense”, even while such a small portion of that actually has any relevance to maintaining a defense of the nation.
Watching oil prices in the swirl of the usual CNBC frenzy, even as the numbers change and the talking heads chatter about “new market highs” in stocks, the crude oil benchmark prices for WTI and Brent are hanging around $107 and $115 per barrel, respectively, higher than they had been just recently, no doubt with lots of noise about the usual memes of unrest or instability or uncertainty in the Middle East because of the new developments in Iraq, even though anything like stability or calm in the Middle East has been, how should I put it, a slightly naïve and silly notion, for a very long time.
Turn on a cable connected TV and turn to one of the C-Span channels, and you can probably accumulate vast amounts of formally posed chatter about all sorts of various topics and subtopics about international affairs and foreign policy that specifically involve the Middle East. There is also the assortment of the TV news Sunday yapfest talk shows, of course, and now, these days, those kinds of televised bullshit sessions that used to occupy broadcast TV networks on Sunday mornings are a constant thing on cable news, endlessly, filling time to avoid putting time and work into actual journalism.
Tune in C-Span, where at least some portion of events can be found unedited, rolling along as they happen (whether live or previously recorded), so you can get it all, unabridged, verbatim, not in TV news tiny sound-bites.
There you’ll find a kind of whole genre of events, titled as some conference, or symposium, or seminar, often hosted by some sort of institute or think tank or university Dead Guy School of International and Government Studies, featuring past and present persons of government officialdom and assorted characters from institutes or think tanks or university Dead Guy School of International and Government Studies, who have impressive credentials and spend their careers consuming reports and studies and papers to feed their generation of their own reports and studies and papers and books.
You know the stuff.
If you don’t, check it out sometime. I cannot predict the personal results for anyone else. Results may vary, but likely outcomes can probably include being a sure cure for insomnia, or, if you can hang with it, outrage enough to make you attack your television. In some cases, uncontrollable laughter might occur.
The subject of “foreign policy” is a popular one in these settings, and in all that, you’re likely to hear an awful lot being said, but chances are high that there will be a question posed in a form something like “what should the United States do about this stuff, in…“, wherever it might be. What you probably won’t here very often, if ever, is an answer like: nothing. Stay out of it. Leave it alone.
Dick Cheney’s obnoxious and utterly useless waste of space in the Wall Street Journal, like all the other instances of Dick Cheney wasting time and space and attention, invariably proclaim the ongoing manifesto of the whole neocon cult; that the United States government is the natural obvious ruler of the entire world, and things everywhere can only go well if that happens, and only bad things can happen otherwise. These people, Cheney and all the rest of that bunch of self-righteous psychopaths, are evidently completely oblivious to the reality, the consequences and repercussions of what they do, like the current situation in Iraq.
Elsewhere in the world, even though the story of what has been happening in Ukraine has mysteriously mostly disappeared from the American news screen, that drama continues, uglier by the day, and you have to go searching, actually making a bit of active work of it, to find out about the ongoing ugly consequences of the neocon meddling there.