November 09, 2007
There is a Washington insider named Michael Gerson who wrote speeches for the Cheney White House and who supposedly was Bush Jr’s favorite speechwriter. He now writes for Newsweek and the Washington Post. Gerson was a guest on Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” program on CNBC last Friday evening, November 2nd. Since leaving his desk at the White House, Gerson has written a book entitled Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America’s Ideals.
Gerson apparently believes that Cheney and Bush Jr. are heroic conservatives, whom we should emulate. At this point in time, such an outlook is not only ridiculous but embarrassing. Still, everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. My view, for what it may be worth, is that Cheney and Bush Jr. are neither heroic nor conservative, and should not be emulated by anybody, certainly not by Republicans. Cheney, Bush Jr. and Karl Rove have destroyed the good name of the Republican Party, as handed down by Ronald Reagan. As I have often said, the biggest mistake Reagan made was his very first one, when he choose H.W. Bush for his Vice President. That led to Bush Jr., and the Cheney Regency.
Instead of being emulated, Cheney and Bush Jr. ought to be impeached for malfeasance. The Cheney Regency deserves to be thoroughly investigated. If the U.S. Constitution meant anything and if we were living in more rational times, Cheney and Bush would have been impeached months ago, or at least limited to one term in office by the voters. I speak as someone who voted for Bush-Cheney in 2000. A major impediment to impeachment is the fact that there are simply not enough elected officials left on Capitol Hill with clean enough hands to carry out an impeachment process. The accusers would be almost as guilty as those under impeachment; defenders of Cheney and Bush Jr. would be quick to point that out, and they would be correct. The situation is not the blind leading the blind. No one is blind. Everyone has been corrupted and stupefied by power, campaign contributions, and by the lobbies in Washington.Yet no one is held accountable for anything. This makes impeachment superannuated and no longer an option.
Getting back to “Hardball”, what caught my attention were remarks by Chris Matthews which heaped praise upon a speech written by Gerson. Matthews was referring to the first speech Bush Jr. delivered to Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. Here’s part of the transcript from the show: “MATTHEWS: I think”first of all, I think you wrote one of the best speeches ever written by a White House speechwriter, that first speech after 9/11, the horror of 9/11, when the president went up to Capitol Hill and for a while unified the country. Let”s take a look at a bit of that, what I think is a fabulous speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: Americans are asking, Why do they hate us? They hate what they see right here in this chamber, a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. (END VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEWS: Well, the country was united by that speech. How did you write that? How did that work?…”
Here as elsewhere, Matthews seems more enthused with the style and process of politics than with the substance and content. Inasmuch as Matthews is a self-admitted political junky and a former Presidential speechwriter, perhaps this is only to be expected. The “fabulous” speech which Bush Jr. delivered to a joint session of Congress on September 20th, 2001 could be said to have united the country. On the other hand, it could be observed that the country was already united in outrage by the 9/11 attacks. Bush Jr., Dick Cheney and their speechwriters had little to do besides feed off that outrage and reinforce common misconceptions. In terms of substance, the speech itself did not address in any intelligent way the reason for the attacks, which attacks most Americans found inexplicable and from out of the blue.
The speech strongly suggests that America was hit on September 11th because the Islamic Arab attackers hated our democracy and freedoms. In making that assertion, the speech paid homage to the ignorance of the average American, who is oblivious about U.S. Middle East policy. I am referring to a blinkered, one-sided and incendiary U.S. foreign policy which constitutes an ongoing national scandal. It is a scandal based upon political expediency and racketeering. This charade will be carried forward seamlessly into the next Administration under Hillary Clinton or whomever. Of course, many members of Congress who sat listening to the September 20th speech knew better. After all, they were part of the scandal, a big part. But they have stayed silent going forward, enabling Cheney and Bush Jr. to carry out their predatory escapades, e.g., “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. As a result, America remains in denial about 9/11, and our foreign policy in the Middle East is a disaster. Side benefactions for the American people are the collapse of the Dollar and the emptying of the U.S. treasury.
How might all this relate to the other “surprise” attack on America, Pearl Harbor, and to the other famous speech by another American President in the aftermath of that attack undertaken by the Empire of Japan? The similarities are remarkable. In both instances, the ace card for the White House was the prevailing ignorance of those outside the circle of Washington. Then as now, the White House fed off of the ignorance, came to rely upon it, and took it for granted. Without it, the outrage from the “surprise” attacks would have been directed at the White House itself, in addition to the attackers. In fact, had the full truth about the Pearl Harbor been known to the American people the day after the attack, the White House may have been stormed and Roosevelt put under house arrest.
In terms of style and process, FDR’s short speech to a joint session of Congress on December 8th, 1941 was magnificent. Listen to it or read the transcript. Like most sociopaths, FDR exuded and engendered confidence. Nonetheless, the content of the “day of infamy” speech was both dishonest and dishonorable, like the man delivering the speech. The Japanese attack had been instigated and provoked by FDR himself, and it came as no surprise to him or to his inner circle of traitors. This story has been related in many books in various aspects, and I regard it as beyond dispute. My two favorite books on the subject are The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor by Rear Admiral Robert Theobald (1954) and
” title=“Tragic Deception, FDR & America’s involvement in World War II”>Tragic Deception, FDR & America’s involvement in World War II by New York Congressman Hamilton Fish (1983). More recently (2007), there is The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable by George Victor. .
Why FDR conducted his diplomacy in such a manner to incite the Japanese to attack U.S. armed forces in the Pacific is a big subject, but it can be boiled down to two prime motives: (a) FDR wanted to get the country, once and for all, out of the lingering Great Depression and (b) he wanted at the same time to propel America into the war in Europe, before Germany knocked out the Soviet Union. Pearl Harbor achieved both objectives. Some historians and intellectuals have suggested that, under the circumstances, FDR exhibited remarkable foresight in provoking the Japanese to attack. Their thinking is, America was too “isolationist” for its own good. Well, you see where we are today thanks to such reasoning and to the mindless policy of interventionism, empire, and over-expansion.
It is important to understand how we got where we are. Dick Cheney and Bush Jr. and the “neocons”—who represent one wing of the Washington establishment—are extreme and out of control, but in most respects they are on track with those who came before them. Indeed, the present Administration, seen in perspective, is only the logical result of the wrong track the country has been on for a long time. In fact, since before the outbreak of World War I.