I'm back in Paris (Yay!) and recently caught up on a bunch of Jon Stewart's Daily Shows. One of the things I like about Stewart is that he has people on the show that I don't like, but he treats them with respect, when I would have done something different, like... not have them on the show at all. When I saw that John Bolton would be on one of the segments as the guest, I almost didn't watch it. But curiosity won out.
I've been railing against the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and all of its n'er-do-wells like Bolton, Cheney, Abrams, Yoo, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush (G must have been out getting drunk), Scooter Libby, Steve Forbes, Bill Kristol, Kagan, Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, etc. for, well, a New American Century (at least that's what it feels like). But since I'm a Z-list blogger (I stole that from some other Z-lister who is so unknown, just like me, that he'll never know I stole it), somehow my PNAC rants have never made it to MSNBC. Darn. Last night I mentioned PNAC to an Irish writer friend and I watched that "oh, you believe in that conspiracy theory" smile flash across his face. I was just stunned that he even knew who/what PNAC was. He said, "Did you know that the origin of those guys was liberal?" Yup. Bill Kristol's dad started the whole mess. And I understand how that kind of evolution happens...people's pendulums can swing from one extreme to the other. But, in this case, I think it's beside the point.
In the PNAC statement of principles, they state very, very clearly: We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership. ... Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.
This isn't, "We lead through diplomacy and right thinking and cooperation and mutual respect and benefit." This is, "We lead by force. If you don't follow, we'll nuke your ass."
Hell, they urged Clinton to get rid of Saddam Hussein all the way back in 1998. And since Clinton was too busy smoking cigars and getting blow jobs, he kind of failed in that one area. We had to wait for the PNAC shadow government to prop up nincompoop GW Bush to pretend that 911 was perpetrated by Saddam so we culd invade Iraq and git 'er done! Somehow, I prefer blow jobs to bombs. I'm just sayin'.
If you read PNAC's project paper, Rebuilding America's Defenses (PDF), written in 2000, which they famously still have online, because they famously believe in it, you can see, from the final signature page, how a bunch of politicos got together with some military guys and some captains of industry (that would be the war industry), and came up with a compelling (?) analysis that supports a theory that the US has no choice but to become the bad ass of the Middle East, and subsequently, of the world. Otherwise, those rag heads will have us by our oil-consuming hairy balls and this gonad-snatching could threaten the national security of the US of A.
I guess it's the Big
Dick Stick Theory.
There are two (or probably more, but these are the only ones I can come up with on a Monday morning) problems with this:
- If we had spent some money on developing alternative energy instead of pouring billions of dollars (borrowed from China) down the toilet trying to conquer the Middle East, nobody would have us by the short hairs. (But then, the PNAC guys couldn't feel like bad asses.)
- Their whole theory is based on the assumption that being scary is the only way you can control people. It discounts the huge leaps forward, in consciousness and sociopolitical evolution, that have been made by peaceful people like Mandela and Ghandi and Martin Luther King (before the right-wing mob killed him).
But, I've always been curious about ivy-league-educated guys like Bolton who espouse these theories. I mean, is he a dick at home too? Or a loving husband and father who simply believes that you have to threaten and kick the shit out of people (and dogs) in order to keep them "in line." So, I watched him on the Daily Show. He wasn't a dick (well, not much of one). He was well-spoken. And... he's still full of shit. But the most telling thing he said, the thing that answered so many questions I've had for such a long time, was what he said before Jon closed the interview:
"There's not much difference between me and the people who want a world where no government has nuclear weapons...I only want one government to have nuclear weapons...You're sitting in it."
I guess he assumes that American leaders are the only ones capable, in the whole wide world, of controlling nuclear weapons and deciding who to threaten them with and when to drop them (think Sarah Palin. mmm hmmm). I can see French faces getting rouge right now. Putain!
I also guess he assumes that all the "good" countries will go, "Whew! I'm sure glad America is handling all this for us!" And all the "bad" countries will go, "UH-OH! We better be good now! Or America will nuke us off the face of the earth! Hurry up! Tell me where I can go and become a Christian. Quick! Oh, and where can I find enough K-Y to make it easier to accept Democracy as it's being shoved up my ass? (soto voce: And call North Korea and have them ship us all that nuclear shit toute suite!)"
So, forget the walk softly part, let's just make sure we super-elite Americanos are the only ones carrying the biggest stick. Talking? Diplomacy? Waste o' time. That's for pussies. Unless the talking is about how big our stick is. Then, we'll talk and talk and talk about that. Because we love our big stick. We're proud of our big stick. We want to drop our pants and show you our big stick...all the time. And by the way, we really are very nice. We'll "engage" any time. We'll play with you! As long as we always get to win. K?