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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

 

theatrical warfare


Pandagon observes the sophistry of the bush administration with respect to their war on terror, but it could really be their public outlook on any of a number of issues.

It's become an action movie; the qualities that served Harrison Ford's cinematic conception of the president (toughness, aggression) are the qualities they think are necessary to win this confrontation. But the grit and aggression that allowed Ford to triumph in hand-to-hand combat against the evildoers isn't analogous to the strategic mind, long-term view and patience required to oversee a transnational conflict. That those are the first traits Dick Cheney's mind jumps to, as if a president will, Die-Hard style, be required to run and jump and kick and swing and shoot and bleed to keep the bomb from the buildings, shows how fundamentally unprepared this Administration is to face a threat as serious as Al Qaeda.
one can argue that this anti-intellectual sort of philosophy is a product of a democracy whose voters can often understand little more than emotion. i think it is not completely by accident that the installation of plebiscitarian government in the west has coincided with the rise of zealously ideological politics and parties. investing the mob with power means necessarily making base simplicity -- lust, fear and greed, most often, at the expense of reason -- the prime mover in politics. mussolini, is it said, called le bon's "the crowd" one of his favorite books (le bon wrote of the emotional irrationality of the mob), and michael ledeen himself views the fascist model of nationalist appeal as the invigorating tonic that will redeem western civilization. in such a context, the theatrical presentation of terrorism that cheney invokes seems studied.

but is it simply the disingenuous public philosophy that we're talking about -- or is such reductivism what cheney and his lot really believe?


Another good post. But more, please, on this matter of 'belief.' I guess I can buy that Bush 'believes' things that are fantasy. While a clever little devil, the synapses that lead to a logical conclusion got fried a long time ago. But Cheney, who, if the dynamic duo is elected will almost certainly take over (there is a good chance Bush is seriously ill) is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. It is entirely possible that Cheney can 'believe' what he is spouting at the same time as he remains the cynical bastard that he is. The Scott Fitzgerald man who can keep two opposing ideas in his head at one time. Did Hitler and Mussolini 'believe' what they ranted? And Stalin?
Definitely worth some full time thinking about.

 
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