Short fuses in Iran and Israel, plus presidential bomb-throwers. From paranoia to reality.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve picked up the phone on the rewrite desk of newspapers and had some caller tell me:
That’s what Richard Hersh said the other day. But he wasn’t talking to me. Unfortunately, he was not some poor addled person spewing his paranoid delusions to a newspaper. The 59-year-old peace activist was on Capitol Hill, saying this in all seriousness to the Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee during their rump hearing Friday on Spygate.
And it was no delusion. It’s the presidency — Vise President Dick Cheney and Secretary of War Don Rumsfeld, channeling through their front man George W. Bush — that is paranoid and delusional.
What a scary thought as we edge closer and closer to some sort of nuclear war — or at least a war ostensibly about nuclear weapons. An even more delusional leader, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by denying that the Holocaust ever happened and calling for the immediate destruction of Israel, is helping edge us closer to another, even bigger, holocaust, as Bloomberg News and others report this morning.
Ahmadinejad is merely channeling the thoughts of Iran’s clerics, a dangerous situation considering that another group of religious fanatics, the hard-line Israeli government, won’t take such threats lying down.
As Martin Walker of UPI reported January 21:
“Look at the fate of others who sought the destruction of the Jewish people. They only brought havoc and destruction to the own people,” Mofaz said.
“I know that a large part of the people of Iran do not support his policies but his despicable acts could bring destruction to all of you. You understand what must be done to prevent this,” Mofaz added, directly addressing the Iranian people.
We’ll do just about anything to ensure the safety of Israel — look at our unwarranted invasion of Iraq. And for a draft dodger, Bush is bellicose to the extreme. Lost in all the current bluster are the past bomb-throwing statements of our own Phineas T. Bluster — except that Bush is not nearly as lovable (or harmless) as that Howdy Doody character.
In its November 28, 2005, “The Futility of Secrecy,” the New Statesman put Bush’s B.S. in perspective:
Before the planet explodes, check out Tom Engelhardt‘s “Bush v. Reality: War, Trials, Leakers, Investigations, Packed Courts, and a Constitutional Crisis.” That rundown of what Engelhardt, the auteur of tomdispatch.com, calls the “year of living dangerously” aptly sums up the explosive issues surrounding the doofus POTUS.
To keep track of that half-wit Bush, you have to have all of your wits — and plenty of wit. So Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, who collects Bushisms, is must reading when he goes beyond Bush’s bone mots to provide a scouting report from this side of the Atlantic on the U.S. president’s own bomb-throwing arm. In a piece last December 7, “Beyond Spin: The Propaganda Presidency of George W. Bush,” Weisberg noted:
Is there anything to be done about any of these bomb-throwers? Sure, but it’s not being done in this country. As Noam Chomsky recently said:
So far, there are only losers, and all of us are among them.