Friday, August 28, 2015

Sociopaths of Glory

If you ever wondered what would happen if you gave a mediocre Conservative toady an incredibly influential job for life, a shit-ton of money and 100% amnesty from any fucking accountability whatsoever, you're in luck!  The New York Times has been conducting just such an experiment for over 10 years now, and the results are impressive.

For example, while David Fucking Brooks is paid a princely sum to write something like this --
President Obama has said that ISIS stands for nothing but savagery. That’s clearly incorrect. Our military leaders speak of the struggle against ISIS as an attempt to kill as many ISIS leaders and soldiers as possible. But this is a war about a vision of history. ISIS ideas have legitimacy because it controls territory and has a place to enact them.

So far the response to ISIS has been pathetic. The U.S. pledged $500 million to train and equip Syrian moderates, hoping to create 15,000 fighters. After three years we turned out a grand total of 60 fighters, of whom a third were immediately captured.

It’s time to stop underestimating this force as some group of self-discrediting madmen. ISIS is a moral and political threat to the fragile and ugly stability that exists in what’s left in the Middle East. ISIS will thrive and spread its ideas for as long as it has its land.
-- the real perk that comes with the job of being David Brooks is an absolute, iron-clad Beltway guarantee that absolutely no one but few uppity commenters and disreputable bloggers will ask him any follow-up questions like...

Hey, David, how come you didn't mention George W. Bush, the author of this catastrophe, even once in this column?

And how come you didn't mention Dick Cheney?

And how come you didn't mention Paul Wolfowitz or Doug Feith or L. Paul Bremmer or Richard Perle or your former employer, Bill Kristol, or any of your other neocon fellow travelers who designed, built and defrauded the America public into buying George Bush's Iraqi clusterfuck?

And whatever happened to the billions of American taxpayer dollars and American taxpayer-funded materiel we already flushed down the rathole which President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney both solemnly promised us back in 2004 would be more than sufficient to meet the needs of keeping Iraq free and secure from just these kinds of threats?

And speaking of competing "visions of history" how do you keep getting away with constantly lying about the immediate past history of your Republican party and your Conservative movement? 

And as long as we're asking impossible questions which no one will ever ask and which you will never answer, do you even remember when you wrote shit like this back in the day?
The Collapse of the Dream Palaces
Mass destruction of mistaken ideas.
APR 28, 2003

Now that the war in Iraq is over, we'll find out how many people around the world are capable of facing unpleasant facts. For the events of recent months confirm that millions of human beings are living in dream palaces, to use Fouad Ajami's phrase. They are living with versions of reality that simply do not comport with the way things are. They circulate and recirculate conspiracy theories, myths, and allegations with little regard for whether or not these fantasies are true. And the events of the past month have exposed them as the falsehoods they are.

Finally, there is the dream palace of the American Bush haters. In this dream palace, there is so much contempt for Bush that none is left over for Saddam or for tyranny. Whatever the question, the answer is that Bush and his cronies are evil. What to do about Iraq? Bush is evil. What to do about the economy? Bush is venal. What to do about North Korea? Bush is a hypocrite.

In this dream palace, Bush, Cheney, and a junta of corporate oligarchs stole the presidential election, then declared war on Iraq to seize its oil and hand out the spoils to Halliburton and Bechtel. In this dream palace, the warmongering Likudniks in the administration sit around dreaming of conquests in Syria, Iran, and beyond. In this dream palace, the boy genius Karl Rove hatches schemes to use the Confederate flag issue to win more elections, John Ashcroft wages holy war on American liberties, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and his cabal of neoconservatives long for global empire. In this dream palace, every story of Republican villainy is believed, and all the windows are shuttered with hate.

My third guess is that the Bush haters will grow more vociferous as their numbers shrink. Even progress in Iraq will not dampen their anger, because as many people have noted, hatred of Bush and his corporate cronies is all that is left of their leftism. And this hatred is tribal, not ideological. And so they will still have their rallies, their alternative weeklies, and their Gore Vidal polemics. They will still have a huge influence over the Democratic party, perhaps even determining its next presidential nominee. But they will seem increasingly unattractive to most moderate and even many normally Democratic voters who never really adopted outrage as their dominant public emotion.

In other words, there will be no magic "Aha!" moment that brings the dream palaces down. Even if Saddam's remains are found, even if weapons of mass destruction are displayed, even if Iraq starts to move along a winding, muddled path toward normalcy, no day will come when the enemies of this endeavor turn around and say, "We were wrong. Bush was right." They will just extend their forebodings into a more distant future. Nevertheless, the frame of the debate will shift. The war's opponents will lose self-confidence and vitality. And they will backtrack. They will claim that they always accepted certain realities, which, in fact, they rejected only months ago.
The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media has conspired to liberate pundits like America's High Priest of Telling Other Journalists to Atone and Repent from the need to atone or repent of his own loathsome actions or even acknowledge that his own words exist.  This has enabled pundits like Mr. Brooks to build global brands and lucrative careers despite the mountains of easily-researched and publicly available evidence of their lies and hypocrisy.

And I find the sheer nakedness of that fact breathtaking.


Anonymous said...

" no day will come when the enemies of this endeavor turn around and say, "We were wrong. Bush was right." "

Well he got one thing right in that otherwise steaming pile of BS. That day will NEVER come.

dinthebeast said...

It’s time to stop underestimating this force as some group of self-discrediting madmen. ISIS is a moral and political threat to the fragile and ugly stability that exists in what’s left in the Middle East. ISIS will thrive and spread its ideas for as long as it has its land.

Substitute "The Republican Party" for "ISIS" and "The United States of America" for "the Middle East" and you'd almost be making sense. Almost.

-Doug in Oakland

Unknown said...

"And I find the sheer nakedness of that fact breathtaking."


Brooks has been doing this poor sloppy tap-dance for ten years, to standing ovations and critical acclaim from the VSP and the Village, and yet it still amazes you?

You are a better, more optimistic person than I am.

Jimbo said...

I didn't read the astonishing drivell of that 2003 editorial because, ironically, I was working on an environmental protection project in Egypt. And, much as many ordinary Egyptians like Americans (and some educated ones have dual citizenship) they hated "Boosh" with a white hot intensity. It wasn't just that he was attacking a Sunni-led regime (Egypt's Muslim's are almost all Sunni) but also because of the reckless, cowboy, taunting nature of the Bush Administration and then the never-ending fuck-ups of the Occupation. Also remember that "AQI" (al-Qaeda in Iraq) became ISIS and has been led, militarily, in part by ex-generals from Saddam's regime who knew what they were doing as opposed to the corrupt clowns from al-Maliki's army. As someone who has worked in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon a long time it does not pain me at all to say we must get out militarily once and for all since our interventions have been disastrous except for Israel (there is still a role for humanitarian and development aid).

Kathleen O'Neill said...

@dinthebeast Doug in Oakland

You always nail it!

dinthebeast said...

Thank you kindly, Kathleen, I enjoy your comments also, and remain ever thankful to Driftglass for running this here shop where I actually get to read them...

-Doug in Oakland

Kathleen O'Neill said...

@dinthebeast Doug in Oakland

Thank you for your kind words, Doug. I am grateful to DG as well.

Matt jones said...

The 2003 piece illustrates Brooks' greatest "talent": taking thousands of words to say "NO U"...