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Monday, December 19

Kinda Like The Mob

What underlies Chimp Boy's penchant for appointing cronies rather than well-qualified people and bestowing honors on people who stood by him while failing the country?

Case in point. Chimp Boy bestows the Medal of Freedom on George Tenet whose failure in the pre-war intelligence helped plunge America into this disastrous war, or Paul Bremer, whose misjudgement helped squander what chances there were of avoiding disaster is indeed a scandal. Aren't these honors supposed to acknowlege achievements in service to a nation as a whole, to a nation's values, and not just the loyal service to an individual?

Chimp Boy's actions help us understand his excessive valuing of loyalty is a clue to why this president consistently works to advance his own power at the cost of the nation's good.

The fortified castles in medieval Europe in feudal systems are good metaphors for the mindset in which loyalty is the surpreme value. In a world in which a great price is paid simply for protection against a hostile outside world. A world where we are divided into us and them. Then being postured in expectations of war ato the death.

The chronic war is a psychological reality for the bushites who have degraded the system of politics into warring among those whom the possibilities of cooperation are distroyed by their endless strife.

They see the world as the arena for perpetual war, the distinction is not between right and wrong but between friend and enemy. Kinda like the mob.

So the Chimp Boy's declaration that "either you are for us or you're against us" distorts the realities of the war on terror and shows us that nature of the world he inhabits. It's a world where what counts about someone is that he is "for us" and "against them."

Yesterday I watched some of The Godfather Saga and like the feudal lords, the gangster also dwells in a system in which fragmentation dictates the war is a chronic condition and for the gangster, being able to trust those within the fortified walls is a matter of life-and-death importance.

The thing I noticed as I watched was the issue of trust that is woven throughout the Godfather---whether it is the fatal indiscretion of the hot-headed brother, Sonny, in the first film, or the fatal betryal by the weak brother in the second.

"Never tell anyone outside the family what you really think," Don Corleone tells his hot-headed son and similarly, the White House has never told us what it really thinks about much of anything).

"Fredo, you broke my heart,"says the new Godfather because his brother has allowed enemies to breach the family's protective walls.

So dear readers it is in the light of the spirt of gangsterism that we can make sense of Bush's record of dealing with minions and critics.

In a world in which loyalty is so profound a value that it displaces all the others, then, is part of an amoral framework that is all about service to the aggrandizing self.

This self that never feels it has enough security and thus seeks all the power and wealth it can get. It is a self that knows no larger or greater good for which it might sacrifice some part of its personal empire.

When loyalty is not a moral virture, Chimp Boy has shown himself exceptional.

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