The outer limits: War party’s wackos are indicative of a trend
Every movement has its wackos, its “extremists,” who take the original premise of an idea to its furthest, kookiest application. Usually they are harmless, due to their small numbers and the obvious nuttiness of their ideas. In times of crisis, however, when people are looking for simple answers – and, above all, safety – these ideological entrepreneurs of the fringe have the potential to make many more sales than usual. And then, watch out…
I draw your attention to this phenomenon because we very rarely get a glimpse of the pure, undiluted craziness of the War Party. Observed through the veil of euphemism, doubletalk, and outright lies, their bombast always falls short of the full-tilt moonbattiness that we can see, quite clearly, lighting up their eyes. When the president’s men talk about the “unitary presidency,” when the editor of National Review “jokes” about nuking Mecca, when the more unhinged neocons darkly imply that critics of the war and the Dear Leader should be jailed, they always qualify it, mask it, and sweeten the bitter pill of what Lew Rockwell calls “red-state fascism.” But sometimes they let the mask slip…
One such very instructive instance was the publication of an article by the Family Security Foundation – a neocon propaganda outfit associated with the well-known Center for Security Policy – written by one Philip Atkinson, entitled “Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy,” which bemoans the fact that Bush didn’t take “the wisest course” in Iraq, which “would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead.”
This statement, alone, should be enough to make the gauge in our crazy-ometer go, uh, crazy, but Atkinson is just getting started. The problem, says this self-proclaimed “philosopher,” is that Democracy (he insists on capitalizing the word) is a fatally flawed system, because it elevates the “popular” policy over the “wise” course, i.e., nuking Iraq. Ah, but there is a solution to Bush’s conundrum…
According to Atkinson, Bush can follow in the supposed footsteps of Julius Caesar “by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans.” Atkinson seems to be laboring under the delusion that the Roman caesar committed genocide in Gaul, although where he gets this is beyond me, but that is neither here nor there. The punch line of what one might have suspected is an extended joke is this:
“He could then follow Caesar’s example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.”
Oh, but why stop there? This is the mark of the true nutball, who cannot avoid the “logic” of his craziness and must follow it wherever it leads:
“President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming ‘ex-president’ Bush or he can become ‘President-for-Life’ Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.”
Notice the rationalization, coming in at the end: our “president-for-life” must seize total power because of a potentially overwhelming threat, one that requires the suspension of the normal rules and customs of a liberal society and imposes its own ruthless logic on our institutions. We find ourselves transformed, quite beyond our power to stop it, from a republic into an empire: the choice, in effect, has already been made for us. That is, unless we want to commit suicide, which is supposedly the only alternative to hailing Bush as the ancient Romans once hailed Caesar. As Atkinson explains:
“The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself.”
What “modernity” means to Atkinson and at least some of his fellow neocons is that technological advances have given us permission to commit genocide. It apparently also means we must revert to the absolutism of the ancients.
Now, a lot of crazy sh*t gets posted on the Internet every single day, and to take even half of it seriously would be a major time-waster, but Atkinson’s brand of kookiness deserves to be noted on account of the organization that sponsored it, published it, and then quickly pulled the piece off its Web site when an uproar ensued. The group is the Family Security Foundation, which runs the Family Security Matters Web site, and whose head honcho, Carol Taber, is touted as a “security expert” by Fox News.
Taber was trotted out during the last presidential election as the living embodiment of a new voter demographic, the “security moms,” whose only thought is the safety and security of their children and whose fear of terrorism leads them to support every jot and tittle of Bush’s war-crazed foreign policy – especially the war in Iraq.
The group’s Web site, which gave blogger/policy wonk Steve Clemons “the over-the-top creeps,” also features such neocon standbys as Michelle “Intern All Muslims” Malkin, terrorism “expert” Steve Emerson, and Ben Shapiro, among many others. The Family Security Foundation’s board of directors is a veritable who’s who of third-and-fourth level neocon shills, with a few first-tier types, such as Frank Gaffney, standing out. Indeed, the whole Family Security Matters operation is described by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters as a “front group” for Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP), the hardest of the hard-line neocon propaganda outfits. Media Matters notes that the two groups shared a phone line: calls to FSM were answered by CSP. (The number has since been changed.)
Aside from longtime head honcho Gaffney, CSP members and supporters include Richard Perle, former CIA chief R. James “World War IV” Woolsey, current Deputy National Security Adviser Jack Dyer Crouch II, former undersecretary for defense policy Douglas J. Feith, and former secretary of the U.S. Air Force James G. Roche. CSP is funded to the tune ofmillions of dollars per year by the big neocon foundations and the “defense” industry. Gaffney’s group is the veritable voice of the military-industrial complex.
More than that, however, the link between the two groups is ideological, as well as a matter of cross-pollinated boards of directors and “advisers” (Gaffney and James T. DeGraffenreid serve as CSP officials and advisers to FSM). CSP pushes the same propaganda of fear that underlies Carol Taber’s “security moms” pitch.
In Philip Atkinson’s ravings, we have the pure distillation of the politics of fear that have been given ample expression by this president and his media Praetorian Guard. The only difference is that Atkinson comes out of the closet, so to speak, and plainly says what the others strongly imply: that the only good Arab is a dead Arab, that President Bush ought to silence his opponents at gunpoint, and that any and all opposition to this administration’s “wise” policies is not only “treason” – it’s “suicide.”
We must ditch our old republic and adopt an authoritarian mode of government; we must invade, conquer, and relentlessly destroy the Arab world; Israel’s interests in the Middle East and ours are identical. Where have we heard all this before?
In fairness, Atkinson’s article was pulled by the FSM staff, but one has to wonder why: was it because Atkinson was too honest and plainspoken in detailing the neocon program for America?
Taber and her fellow “security moms” are seemingly complacent in their belief that Americans – especially women – will gladly surrender their liberty for a modicum of “security.” If I were them, however, I wouldn’t bet on it: the first hint that Clueless George is about to declare himself “president-for-life” would have the American people up in arms, with women – whom I doubt want their children to grow up under a dictatorship – taking the lead.
The Family Security Matters crowd is at the outer limits of neocon kookery, but, I submit, they are indicative of an emerging trend: as the War Party suffers more losses, it tends to get a little crazy, and this outburst isn’t an isolated one by any means. More and more, we’ll be seeing the mask slip, little by little, until the true faces of the cretins who want to destroy our republic are revealed in all their ugliness.