Monday, January 25, 2021

Biden, Bush, 1.6, 9.11


Biden, Bush, 1/6, 9/11

Peter Schultz


            It’s important to recognize two things about our current situation: (1) The obsequiousness surrounding Joe Biden is nothing new; (2) This obsequiousness serves a political agenda, which also isn’t something new.


            “In April 2003, as Saddam Hussein’s cult of personality collapsed across Iraq, George W. Bush’s cult of personality surged in the United States.” [p. 243. Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush] After Bush landed on an aircraft carrier, blazoning a sign, “Mission Accomplished,” Chris Matthews of MSNBC said: “Imagine Joe Lieberman in this costume, or even John Kerry. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our President.” Glen Ifill on PBS, as if to confirm Matthews’ take on women, said: “Picture perfect. Part Spider-Man, part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan. The President seized the moment on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.”  


            So the obsequiousness that accompanied the Biden inauguration was nothing new to American politics. Frequently, such delusions infect the body politic, much as Covid 19 has infected our society. It was evident after Nixon resigned, when Reagan defeated Carter in the 1980 presidential election, when Obama won the 2008 presidential election, and, of course, on January 21, when Biden was inaugurated as president and Trump left town.


            It is important, however, to understand that at least with regard to the hero-worship of Bush, that followed the 9/11 attacks, as well as the ongoing hero-worship of Joe Biden following the alleged “insurrection” of 1/6, these phenomena serve political purposes. Bush used the attacks on 9/11 to fortify the “New World Order” that his father proclaimed while running Saddam out of Kuwait. The hero-worship was accompanied by attacks on anyone who criticized or doubted Bush’s war on terror and his invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq. Those doubting or criticizing were portrayed as “un-American,” and this was because they were challenging US foreign policy, which was and is an essential part of our New World Order. In other words, the critics weren’t just challenging the Iraq invasion alone, because their criticisms threatened to undermine the New World Order and all the changes that meant for the American political order. A quote from Bush is revealing as to the character of this New World Order: When asked by Bob Woodward if he ever explained himself, Bush said: “Of course not. I am the commander – see, I don’t need to explain why I say things….Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.” [p. 220, Neck Deep]


            Similarly, the current obsequiousness regarding Joe Biden serves the same political agenda, completing the New World Order by bringing the war on terror by launching a war on domestic terrorists. And, such as with Bush’s glorification after 9/11, so too the glorification of Biden will lead to attacks on anyone who criticizes or doubts his politics. Doubts about the necessity or desirability of Biden’s war on domestic terrorists cannot be allowed, cannot be deemed legitimate because that would threaten and possible undermine the New World Order that has been constructed at least since Bush Sr. undertook Desert Storm and proclaimed, e.g., that “the Vietnam syndrome” was dead. That proclamation meant that there would be a new foreign policy, one not affected by the debacle of Vietnam, that would be an essential part of Bush’s New World Order. Bush was proclaiming an imperial America and, of course, imperial orders are best served by thinking of the leading imperialists as heroes. That imperial order has been fortified by the Trump presidency insofar as Trump has, inadvertently, rescued the very elites whose mis-governance made his presidency possible.


            It is difficult to think of a better exclamation point on the end of the Trump presidency and the beginning of the Biden presidency than the “insurrection” on 1/6, just as it is difficult to think of a better event than 9/11 for allowing Bush, et. al., to work toward completing our New World Order. How will this New World Order fare? Well, if the experiences of Shrub’s presidency are any indication, we’re in for a rough ride.

Friday, January 22, 2021

America's Endless Wars Aren't "Mistakes"


America’s Endless Wars Aren’t “Mistakes”

Peter Schultz


            Below is a link to an article by Danny Sjursen, speculating on what we might expect from the Biden presidency regarding our world-wide and apparently endless wars. At one point, Sjursen wrote: “Clearly, Biden must have learned from past mistakes, changed his tune, and should responsibly bring U.S. wars to a close, even if at a time still to be determined.”


            The problem with this is, as perhaps Sjursen realizes, is that from the perspective of Biden and the Washington establishment generally, these wars were not and are not “mistakes.” They are, rather, an integral part, if not the foundation of our New World Order, announced by Bush I and completed by Bush II after the attacks on 9/11. Just as the Vietnam War was not a “mistake” from the viewpoint of the then-Washington establishment, so too our current wars are not “mistakes” in the view of our elites. That’s why these wars go on and on and on.


            Sjursen writes: “The guess of this long-time war-watcher (and one-time war fighter) reading the tea leaves: expect Biden to both eschew big new wars and avoid fully ending existing ones.” This makes a lot of sense. The endless wars that are needed in order to stabilize and fortify the New World Order should not be “big.” Such wars are hard to maintain and people want such wars “won.” Our existing wars are small, and so need not end nor be won, just as the Vietnam War needn’t have been won in order to serve its purposes. And when it got “too big” Nixon put in place his “Vietnamization” plan in order to draw it down to manageable proportions. And having gotten too big, Nixon was left with little choice but to seek US withdrawal under the disguise of achieving “peace with honor.” In that, Nixon was successful and won a landslide re-election victory, only to be undermined by both conservatives and liberals who, for different reasons, did not care for Nixon. The coup against Nixon was disguised as what has come to be called the “Watergate scandal,” allowing the Washington elites to disguise their actions as “restorative” of some mythical past before Nixon was elected president.


            It is important to recognize that much of what is labeled “mistakes” aren’t mistakes. They are disguised as mistakes in order to offset what would be popular dissent were these measures, these wars were acknowledged as integral to the New World Order our oligarchic elites have created to serve their interests. By calling them mistakes, people can go on thinking our elites are well-intentioned, that is, committed to serving the common good. They aren’t. And we all know it at some level of consciousness but for some reason go on believing that “Washington is broken” and those who “broke it” will “fix it.” Not going to happen.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

There's No Normal To Return To


There’s No Normal to Return To

Peter Schultz


      In an opinion piece, Michael Goodwin says, “Welcome to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s new abnormal.” There is a link to the article below.

            While disagreeing with some of Goodwin’s argument, I do think there is no "normal" to return to. I don't think there's been a "normal" since the Bush administration’s response to 9/11. Biden was nominated in part because he's an old, long-in-the-tooth politician and so his election looks like a "return to normal." But our elites in both parties are committed to an agenda best described as "a war on 'terrorism'," domestic terrorism that is. The results will be as disastrous for the republic as was Bush Jr.'s war on terror abroad. This is the domestic side of Papa Bush's "New World Order." If successful, then game over for the republic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Are Conspiracy Theorists Domestic Terrorists? A Facebook Exchange


Are Conspiracy Theorists “Domestic Terrorists” A Facebook exchange

Peter Schultz

My Post: On 9/11,the Bush administration got exactly what it needed to carry out its agenda; on 1/6, the Democrats got exactly what they needed to carry out their agenda. Funny how that’s happened. [My contributions are in red. Interlocutor’s responses in black.]


What are you trying to say, Peter? ·

I am not trying to say anything. I said it, you’ve read it. As I am a “coincidence theorist” I am sure this is all coincidence. But it reminds me of the coincidences in the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago that allowed LBJ to begin bombing the northern

parts of Vietnam and then send over 500,000 US troops to kill there. Of course later it emerged that the attacks in the Gulf were more myth than reality. Go figure. You’re very smart, so you decide, my friend, what this means. 


Not sure it means anything. I do wish more people knew that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a sham from the start. We didn't get to see it on TV, however, the way we got to see what happened on 1/6. Is it merely a coincidence, professor, that there will be militia types gathering in all 50 states on inauguration day.  


I doubt it. How could that be a coincidence? Would the FBI make up stuff like that? Being a coincidence theorist doesn't mean I reject all conspiracy theories. I especially think well of those conspiracy theories concocted by the government, ala' those the alleged Tiananmen Square massacre, the communist Sandistas in Nicaragua, the communists in Grenada, the pedophiles at the compound in Waco, or about MLK's communism. But here is another coincidence that occurred to me after my original post: The hostages in Iran were released minutes after Reagan was sworn in as President, giving his start as president the same kind of boost Bush got from 9/11 and Biden is getting from 1/6. And then the Reagan administration began selling arms to Iran through Israel. And to think there are nuts out there who think Reagan and his team made a deal with the Iranians not to release the hostages to Carter to ensure Reagan's election. Talk about crazy, no? How anyone could believe that coincidences like that were actually conspiracies is beyond me. But, shit, what do I know?


· This is why I am a coincidence theorist because I wouldn't want to be labeled a "domestic terrorist" by the FBI. But I do wonder about this insofar as there have been several conspiracy theories concocted by the FBI, like the Red Scare in the 20s, the McCarthyism after the war, the Communist threat to our government in the 50s, MLK's communistic principles and supporters, Oswald's communism, the threats presented by the Black Panthers, just to name a few. Could it be that the FBI itself has engaged in "domestic terrorism?" Nah! Impossible. Banish the thought, keep silent, and salute the flag - or be labeled a domestic terrorist!


Monday, January 11, 2021

Violence and Liberal Politics


Violence and Liberal Politics

Peter Schultz


            It is the most interesting phenomenon that most Americans do not see that the American political order revolves around, draws strength from, and is bottomed on violence. For example, I have no idea why people think that our elites are troubled by and wish to avoid violent attacks and protests. After all, after such attacks and protests the government and its elites are fortified, strengthened, while those dissenting are weakened.


            Some examples. After the assassination of JFK in 1963, LBJ went to war full-blast in Vietnam after his landslide election in 1964. After the debacle in Vietnam, Richard Nixon, who consistently supported and even expanded that war, was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. After 9/11, President Bush’s approval ratings went through the roof, to the point where he could and did undertake the invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq based on lies about non-existent WMDs. He was so popular after failing to advert the attacks of 9/11, that even when it was discovered that there were no WMDs in Iraq, his popularity barely suffered and he was re-elected in 2004 handily.


            I can imagine the Democrats, watching the “insurrection” in D.C. unfold, and thinking, even gleefully: “Wow! This is just what we needed. Now our power will be such that anyone who opposes us can be accused of being ignorant, weak, or even of being treasonous.” As this is what happened after 9/11 and even happened during the 60s and 70s when people protested the war in Vietnam. University and college students were gunned down for protesting that war with the subsequent approval of the governor of Ohio and the president of the United States. And, of course, the protestors in Chicago were the victims of what was officially labeled “a police riot” when they demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention there in 1968. And some might have thought: “Well, this guarantees the nomination of Hubert Humphrey.” And it would also have guaranteed the continuation of the Chicago-Austin coalition that then controlled the Democratic Party.


            What this means is that regardless of how you see the possibility that the lack of armed force protecting the capitol, whether you see it as arranged to provoke the “insurrectionists” or whether you see it as an accident or the result of Trump’s malevolence, it remains a fact that the establishment Democrats and Republicans had the motivation to arrange such an “insurrection.” Such “insurrections,” such attacks, such provocations are actually welcomed events for US elites because it is in light of such events that their legitimacy is fortified regardless of other events going on that undermine that legitimacy. Pandemic being mishandled? Forgotten. Millions without health insurance? Forgotten. Police forces infiltrating and occupying black neighborhoods and using deadly force repeatedly? Forgotten. All that matters in the light of such events is responding to ensure that such events will not recur. That is, not recur until the establishment needs them again.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Clinton, Trump, Impeachment and the Moral Regeneration of America


Clinton, Trump, Impeachment and the Moral Regeneration of America

Peter Schultz


            The impeachments of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were each parts of a piece, that piece being the “moral regeneration” of America. A re-moralizing of America was the agenda, political and cultural, lying behind and animating the impeachments of these two presidents. Moreover, this agenda involved restoring the status quo in D.C., of fortifying the Washington establishment. As it was said of Clinton, so too could it be said of Trump: “He came in here and he trashed the place, and it’s not his place.” [David Broder, Washington Post] And as Broder said of Clinton, that he would be rightfully “disgraced and enfeebled,” so could this be said of Trump and the aims of his enemies.


            As there is an ideological agenda behind these two impeachments, it is worthwhile to ask what this agenda entails. What would a “morally regenerated” America look like? How would it be politically and culturally?


            First, that America would view itself as on a mission, requiring the creation of a movement dedicated to regeneration. And this movement would operate beyond the nation’s ordinary political institutions because those institutions don’t and cannot adequately enact and execute the kinds of things this movement requires to be successful. So, something like the secret and illegal activities of the Reagan administration in support of the Nicaraguan Contras would be justified. Or, as Dick Cheney said, it is not only imperative but is perfectly legitimate to embrace “the dark side,” that is, torture, continual assassinations, and endless wars.


            Secondly, because this mission is urgent and so crucial to the fate of the republic, any means deemed necessary, whether legal or illegal, constitutional or unconstitutional, should be embrace. “Managing intelligence” about alleges WMDs in Iraq in order to justify an invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq – no problem,  because as Teddy Roosevelt and Robert Bork knew, war is a wonderful medicine for a society infested by unrestrained individualism and besotted by commercialism. Wars arouse such societies, animating them with a spirited militarism that will underlay a world empire dedicated to democracy.  Or not being especially vigilant about potential attacks on the homeland – again, no problem, insofar as such attacks can be used to arouse an otherwise overly commercialized population.


            Thirdly, citizens would have to be educated or re-educated that citizenship involves not only sacrifices but public-spirited sacrifices. Life in a morally regenerated America would revolve around duties not rights. Of course, without a military draft, other ways of inculcating the needed sacrificial mindset in the people at large would be needed. In this regard, making use of what are called “natural disasters,” such as a pandemic or devastating storms and earthquakes, would make sense, necessity the government to seem incompetent in the fact of such disasters. And, finally, it would be useful for the elites to remind the people that they, the people, are responsible for the degenerate state of the nation. After all, they elected both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, revealing how deep the nation’s decline has been. As Robert Bennett said, referring to Clinton’s impeachment and the lack of public support for it, “Where’s the outrage?”


            That the people at large were not all-in over the Clinton or the Trump impeachment, while it might be seen as a sign of moral degeneracy, it also may be seen as their awareness – at some level of consciousness – that there was an ideological agenda behind these impeachments. And this awareness included that that agenda was not one they favored nor one that favored them. They “smelled a rat,” and acted accordingly. Let us hope this surmise is correct because the republic – or what’s left of it – depends on it.

When Harry Met Sally; Some Questions, Some Answers


When Harry Met Sally: Some Questions, Some Answers

Peter Schultz


            Some questions that gradually arose in my mind about Nora Ephron’s movie, When Harry Met Sally.


(1) Why the University of Chicago and why the chosen professions of Harry and Sally? The U. of Chicago was the home of Leo Strauss and those labeled “Straussians.” Harry is to become a political consultant so we might assume that he was a political science major. Sally is off to become a journalist so she can, as Harry puts it, write about things that happen to other people. And dealing from his “dark side”, Harry says that nothing may ever happen to Sally and she could die a death that would go unnoticed for weeks. Straussians, neo-cons by another label, like to argue that they are about, not reporting reality, but creating it. They are not journalists. They will be noticed, as will their deaths.


(2) Harry’s “dark side” is about what? Well, another tenet of the Straussians is a critique of what they call “modernity,” a critique that includes how dark modernity is as it was created by Machiavelli who was a teacher and proponent of evil, and its uses. As Harry tells Sally, he was going to be ready when the shit hit the fan and she wouldn’t be, because she is basically “a happy person.” Obviously, Sally hasn’t thought through the human situation.


(3) Why the movie “Casablanca?” Among some Straussians, Casablanca has achieved a cult-like status. Casablanca translates as “white house,” so obviously, the Straussians argue, the movie is about US politics. And in their take on the movie, the action of the movie, meaning how Rick moves from a non-committed political exile living out the war in Casablanca trying to be uninvolved to a committed participant, with Louis, the Frenchman, in the war. And what Harry dubs the best last line in any movie, “Louis, this is just the start of a great friendship,” indicates that Rick has now rejected his “isolationism” for interventionism – or perhaps imperialism along with the already imperialistic French. This forebodes US taking up the wars in Southeast Asia, dubbed “Indo-China” by the French, after the French are forced to leave. Not commented upon by the Straussians is the fact that Rick’s embrace of “internationalism” means he must give up Elsa. In Straussian terms, Rick’s new politics rest on the “thumotic,” the spirited part of the soul, forcing him to relinquish the claims of the erotic as evidence by his love for, his pining for Elsa. She has to leave because if she stayed, Rick would not be able or willing to do what is required by his internationalism.


(4) This is where the romance in the movie merges with what might be its underlying political agenda. To make a long story shorter, at first Harry embraces and acts on his virility by and while having sex with women, to the point that after his screwing them [the word “screwing” seems appropriate here] his first thought is “How long do I have to lie here before I can leave,” claiming all men – read “all real men”- think that. Harry also brags to Jess that he can take women to places that “aren’t human,” that he made a woman “meow.”


(5) This scene is followed in the movie by the deli scene where Sally demonstrates that women can successfully fake orgasms and in fact do so with some frequency. As this is true, it means that Harry’s vaunted virility, his prized masculinity isn’t quite as powerful as he thinks it is. It also means that despite what Harry thinks, when making love - actually for Harry that means when having sex – he is not the one controlling the scene. In fact, the women are in control or can be in control should they want to be, even while letting the male think he is in control and subduing her, taking her to places “not human.” Not so much! [Reminds me of one of my favorite stories. At one time, I watched a show called “the Dating Game,” where blind dates were set up, executed and then talked about on TV. In between segments, there were on-the-street interviews with questions asked. Once the question was: What is the best way for a man to pick up a woman? One woman said: Men don’t pick up women. Women pick up men but they just let the man think he picked them up. It was for me a light bulb experience!]


(6) Eventually, Harry realizes that “the sex thing” does not make impossible for men and women to be friends, which is the meaning of his proposal to Sally New Year’s Eve when he says, “I came here tonight because when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!” And when Harry says he doesn’t understand Auld Lang Syne, Sally offers a throw away explanation and then adds, “Anyway, it’s about old friends.”


(7) So, then I might conclude that the erotic is superior to, better than the thumotic, making love and friendship is superior to, better than making war; the erotic soul is better than the spirited soul and the poets are superior to the guardians. And for that reason Socrates’ best regime in the Republic is fundamentally flawed. And insofar as the Straussians embrace Rick’s new politics in Casablanca, their conception of the best regime is also fundamentally flawed.