September 28, 2005


Commandress in Chief

Last night I watched the first episode of ABC's "Commander in Chief." Or maybe I should say "the last episode," judging by the reviews. It is a kind of West Wing Light or West Wing for Dummies (somewhat in the way that the Star Trek: Voyager series was Star Trek: The Next Generation for Dummies).

Geena Davis plays the Independent Vice-President Mackenzie Allen who assumes the job of a Republican President on his death. In the tradition of television's propaganda shows (but – someone might ask – is there any other kind?), the most critical problems faced by the US Government are things like rescuing a woman held for adultery in Nigeria. TV Governments never find themselves face to face with catastrophes such as, for instance, having destroyed a whole country.

Anyway, President Allen’s first act as President is to bestow American benevolence on the said Nigerian woman. The woman has been sentenced to death, and is to be executed in some crude fashion, which, needless to say, offends American sensibilities. Any kind of violence, don’t you know, offends American sensibilities. The Nigerian ambassador is duly summoned to the White House to hear about plans for a massive rescue operation in case the woman is not released into US custody. Nigeria duly complies.

There have in reality been several such verdicts in Nigeria in recent years, and the US Government (the real US Government, that is) has done nothing whatsoever in any of those cases, other than registering strong condemnations. Those verdicts were eventually overturned through diplomatic intervention by other African states and worldwide protests, which is an example of the multilateralism that solves the world's problems instead of creating new ones.

This is, of course, quite normal. No US government has ever intervened militarily to save the life of a foreign national, unless that foreign national happened to be of some use to the US government. Examples are German scientists who were removed from Germany after WWII, given new employment in weaponry and rocket development, and spared from facing the Nuremberg trials.

In the TV world, though, every undertaking of the US government is for the purpose of furthering truth and justice. Even when it does something that smells of villainy, it is for a good end, such as the assassination of an Arab leader on West Wing. After all, he was suspected of supporting terrorism …

As I have said a number of times in this blog, even American leftists are unable to perceive the real nature of their government. So, for instance, Martin Sheen, who has spent much of his life protesting against US policies, was happy to act in a TV show (West Wing) that only served the usual propaganda line. Even American leftists, in other words, see the evil that their government commits as an aberration. They are blind to the real nature of the entire American political project since its inception, which began with the Founding Fathers’ promulgation of racism and expansionism.

When a Democratic TV President played by a known professional protester failed to portray the reality of US power, what can we hope for from an Independent one?

My other posts on related topics:
Opportunism, thy name is Dubya!

September 26, 2005


False arrest or miscarriage of justice?

...but Cindy Sheehan is being arrested!

September 21, 2005


Weekend of Protest

Lots of info on this weekend's worldwide protests: (with links to peace groups in many countries)

September 13, 2005


Opportunism, thy name is Dubya!

Dubya has taken "responsibility" for the disaster-creating response to the Gulf Coast disaster. This is a man who in his whole life has never accepted blame for anything. So why the current uncharacteristic behaviour? I don't think the answer lies in the plummeting popularity ratings, as unpopularity is nothing new to him. It is something he has bravely weathered throughout his life! Rather, the explanation lies in his next statement: "Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That’s a very important question and it’s in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond." Although the latter statement was made in response to a question and appeared spontaneous, the fact is that it has been a constant theme since the disaster. In fact, it has been a constant theme for the past four years. He has exploited nearly every single negative news of any kind since 9/11 to escalate the level of paranoia in the US population. Yet, it seems, he never felt he was being quite convincing enough. Dubya's "genius" is in his current juxtaposition of manufacture of paranoia and the Gulf Coast disaster. Rather than focusing on disaster prevention and putting in place better preparations for relief and rescue, Dubya's first priority is to tell the American people they have not yet sacrificed enough resources and rights on the altar of imaginary security. He chooses to exploit the tragedy of New Orleans to advance his agenda of transforming every single event in the world into an actual or potential "attack" on the United States. That so profound a lack of ethical bearings and simple humanity can be found in a man is indeed a marvel of historical proportions.


From an Associated Press story on Sep. 8:

Pelosi, D-Calif., said Brown had "absolutely no credentials" when Bush picked him to run FEMA. She related that she urged Bush on Tuesday [Sep. 6] to fire Brown.
"He said, 'Why would I do that?' " Pelosi said.
"I said 'because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go right last week.' And he said 'What didn't go right?' "
"Oblivious, in denial, dangerous," she said.

Well, I beg to differ. Brown did have the one qualification that counts, namely absolute loyalty to Bush. The rest is immaterial.

Pelosi has got most of the rest wrong as well. Dubya is indeed dangerous—very dangerous—but he is not in denial or oblivious. Neo-conservatives don’t care what ordinary people think, or what effects their policies have on such people. Incidentally (or not so incidentally), they don’t care about their “legacy” either. All they care about is implementing the agenda they sought political office for. Again, the rest is immaterial.

The issue of Dubya’s approval rating, therefore, is irrelevant, because it doesn’t register where it could count, namely with Dubya himself. There is no threshold of popularity rating below which he would feel obliged to resign.

At the moment, the only thing that his buddies and he care about is that they will be able to make a whole lot of money out of Gulf Coast reconstruction, as they have and will through the Iraq war. Prior to Katrina, the only alternative available to them was to begin another war. Domestic reconstruction is much more convenient!

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