Monday, July 21, 2008

America: "Peace Through Strength"?

In August 2007, Family Security Matters (get it?) published and then wisely removed an article by contributing editor Philip Atkinson entitled "Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy." Here Atkinson proposes that Bush become "President for Life." I'm not kidding:

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.
If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.
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.
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.

Atkinson also proposed that Bush would have been wiser simply to nuke Iraq out of existence:
When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.
This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return.
The wisest course 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. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.
If you had any questions about how President for Life Bush would "end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court," that's probably a big clue.

We could probably dismiss Atkinson and his modest proposal utterly, except, according to SourceWatch, Family Security Matters is a project of the Center for Security Policy, which is a project of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and numerous other senior administration officials, senators, and arms manufacturers.

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the U.S. under George W. Bush, was an early member of Center's Board of Advisors (which is now called the National Security Advisory Council).
'[T]wenty-two CSP advisers -- including additional Reagan-era remnants like Elliott Abrams, Ken deGraffenreid, Paula Dobriansky, Sven Kraemer, Robert Joseph, Robert Andrews and J.D. Crouch -- have reoccupied key positions in the national security establishment, as have other true believers of more recent vintage.'
'...While CSP boasts an impressive advisory list of hawkish luminaries, its star is Frank Gaffney, its founder, president and CEO.'
'...Gaffney and CSP's prescriptions for national security have been fairly simple: Gut all arms control treaties, push ahead with weapons systems virtually everyone agrees should be killed, give no quarter to the Palestinians and, most important, go full steam ahead on just about every national missile defense program.'
'...Looking at the center's affiliates, it's not hard to see why: Not only are makers of the Osprey (Boeing) well represented on the CSP's board of advisers but so too is Lockheed Martin (by vice president for space and strategic missiles Charles Kupperman and director of defense systems Douglas Graham). Former TRW executive Amoretta Hoeber is also a CSP adviser, as is former Congressman and Raytheon lobbyist Robert Livingston. Ball Aerospace & Technologies -- a major manufacturer of NASA and Pentagon satellites -- is represented by former Navy Secretary John Lehman, while missile-defense computer systems maker Hewlett-Packard is represented by George Keyworth, who is on its board of directors. And the Congressional Missile Defense Caucus and Osprey (or "tilt rotor") caucus are represented by Representative Curt Weldon and Senator Jon Kyl.'[3]

It's a stretch to say that Atkinson represents the official foreign policy of the US under Bush. But the fact that Family Security Matters published the article suggests strongly that whatever virulent insanity afflicts Atkinson also afflicts its higher-ups or else the article would have been spiked and never have seen the light of day.

So much can be inferred, legitimately, from this constellation of policy and people relationships. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.


Morning Angel said...

There's a reason Garry Trudeau, in his Doonesbury comic, draws Bush as a headless entity wearing a Roman-style helmet. :(

Morgan said...

People like Atkinson make me glad I voted for Gore and Kerry in previous elections, that I'm Pagan and never had kids all at the same time! Bush? President for life? What then? Revive the auto da fe? Bring back the guillotine? No, no, no. This is why we have elections every 4 years.