Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Bush joins the Jacobins (updated)

Paul Craig Roberts is quickly becoming my favorite conservative. He begins his response to Bush's inaugural speech quite mildly—
After listening to his inaugural speech, anyone who thinks President Bush and his handlers are sane needs to visit a psychiatrist. The hubris-filled megalomaniac in the Oval Office has promised the world war without end.
But by the time he finishes considering the parallels between Bush and the Jacobins of the French Revolution, he is virtually frothing—
At home the casualties are the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Republicans explode in anger when a liberal judge creates a constitutional right. But they sit in silence when the US Department of Justice (sic) creates the right for Bush to decide who has constitutional protections and who has not.

Like Robespierre, Bush justifies the state of terror that he has brought to Iraq by his noble aspirations. The effect is to destroy idealism with hypocrisy about violence. When the neoconservatives succeed in draining idealism of its power, will they then declare violence alone to be their goal?

Led by Bush, the Republican Party now stands for detainment without trial and war without end. It is a party destructive of all virtue and a great threat to life and liberty on earth.

I couldn't have said it better myself. According to wikipedia, members of the French Dept. of Homeland Security of 1793, known back then as "le Haut Comité de la santé publique" or "Committee of Public Safety," perceived that the Revolution was under seige and began what is known today as the Reign of Terror. As Robespierre so aptly put it,
La terreur n'est autre chose que la justice prompte, sévère, inflexible. ("Terror is nothing other than prompt, severe, inflexible justice.")
Robespierre was a member of what today we would call a moral-values coalition—
Robespierre, who had previously condemned the Cult of Reason, advocated the new state religion and recommended the Convention to acknowledge the existence of God. Next day, the worship of the deistic Supreme Being was inaugurated as an official part of the Revolution. Comparing with Hébert's popular festivals, this austere new religion of Virtue was received with signs of hostility by an amazed Parisian public.

The centralization of repression also brought thousands of victims before the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, whose work was expedited by the draconian Law of 22 Prairial (June 10, 1794) which led to The Great Terror. As a result of Robespierre's insistence on associating Terror with Virtue, his efforts to make the republic a morally united patriotic community became equated with the endless bloodshed. [emphasis added]

What sort of historical figure will George Bush cut?


Paul Craig Roberts has published a follow-up on his take of the Bush inaugural speech—

Readers in numbers beyond my ability to reply individually have challenged me whether President Bush's inaugural speech is a statement of his intentions or merely a celebration of himself and American democracy. Surely Bush doesn't believe America has the power to remake the world in its own image other than by being an example for others to follow?

The answer is that it doesn't matter whether Bush believes, or even understands, what he said. The neoconservatives believe it, and they control the Bush administration.

On the heels of Bush's speech, neocon Robert Kagan used his column in the Washington Post to set Bush's inaugural speech in stone as U.S. foreign policy. Kagan wrote: "The goal of American foreign policy is now to spread democracy, for its own sake, for reasons that transcend specific threats. In short, Bush has unmoored his foreign policy from the war on terrorism."

The neoconservatives are Jacobins. The neocons are the greatest threat America has ever faced, and they have the reins of power. Americans need to wake up to this fact and stop indulging their macho "kick their Muslim butts" fantasies and their "end times" Rapture fantasies.

The Bush administration is not establishing any democracies. It is starting a war that will last a generation. That is the neocon plan. They have put their intentions in writing just as Hitler did. It is no protection that their plan is detached from reality. Robespierre was detached from reality, and that did not stop him. So were Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. People with power in their hands who are detached from reality are the most dangerous people of all. The delusional quality of their rantings disarms people from taking them seriously: "Oh, they couldn't mean that." But they do.


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