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Occasion for Thought 4.1.1
(2008)

(Read, Print, or Download in >PDF>> Format)
..........·..........·..........·..........·..........·..........·
REPORT ON
OBAMA

————
PART ONE
————

OBAMA RECEIVES
DEMOCRATIC
NOMINATION:
GOD HELP US


..........
1

..........If you're a glutton for punishment, you could go back to Thursday, April 27, 2006, and take a look at Greg Palast blowing his own horn in praise of his then-new book, Armed Madhouse. Palast is a huckster, a self-serving quisling of the kind I've written about for some time, one of the "tea cozy radicals" who report on the neocon murder, ruin, and waste now everywhere around us, yet who refuse absolutely to attack the enemy at its truest and most available point of vulnerability.

..........It seems that reporting on murder, genocide, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace is preferable to doing all possible to end them. People like Palast—and Alexander Cockburn, Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington, Bill Keller, Bill Moyers, Bob Herbert, Christopher Hayes, David Corn, Dwight Garner, Elliot Spitzer, Frank Rich, Jacob Weisberg, Jim Hightower, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Larry Silverstein, Matthew Rothschild, Nicholas Lemann, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Robert Silvers, Ted Rall, and Tom Englehardt—feed on terror but stop short of working to end it.

..........That being the case, you can imagine how excited I was to read the following words from Palast back in 2006:
And soon you can download Jim Hightower, Larry David, Randi Rhodes, Amy Goodman and other friends reading from Armed Madhouse at www.GregPalast.com.
..........Oh, goody! How could anyone possibly have stayed away? Well, it actually wasn't hard for me, truth be told. On the other hand, for purposes of close—and fruitful—study, I've returned more than once to other displays of similar kinds. For example, I've looked more than once at this shameful, smarmy, hypocritical show put on by Palast himself as if providing a text-book model for all such quislings to learn from in their own moments of most intense artful dodging—like the soft-shoe of fibs and lies that Noam Chomsky himself dances so successfully here.

..........Gloomy talk. And it's neither new nor is it anywhere even remotely as gloomy or dreadful as what's up ahead of us.

..........But let's finish before we move on to the truly horrible stuff. After inviting us all to hear his "friends" reading from Armed Madhouse, Palast coughed up one final sentence, a sentence desperately in need of editing not only for correctness but for basic, simple, decent honesty. He said:
When the inmates are running the asylum, arm yourself with the facts.
..........And just what's wrong with what he said, you ask? George Orwell himself might have been pleased to show us how excellent an example it is of the kinds of lying and truth-dodging he wrote about in "Politics and the English Language," in 1984, and in Animal Farm.

..........Readers will remember from Animal Farm that falsehood can be made of truth by the adding of qualifiers to already-existing statements—the famous example being "All animals are equal" as changed to "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

..........And admirers of Satan in Paradise Lost will be familiar with this same sort of abused language in the service of deceit and fraud, in this case—by no means wholly different from the case of Palast—deceit not of others but of self. In Book I of Milton's great epic, Satan rationalizes his new—and low—place in hell as follows:

..............................'Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,'
..............................Said then the lost Archangel, 'this the seat
..............................That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
..............................For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
..............................Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
..............................What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
..............................Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
..............................Above his equals.' (ll. 242-249)


..........In his attempt to delude others, Palast deludes himself in exactly the same way as Satan does. The great fallen angel names god as one who has become, by merit merely of greater force in arms although not in intellect (so Satan deludes himself), "supreme / Above his equals." Sorry, Satan, old man, but there's no such thing as being "above" your "equals," wish however hard as you may.¹

..........And, in the case of Palast, a similar deception occurs. "When the inmates are running the asylum," he counsels his many followers and readers, "arm yourself with the facts." But Palast's statement, we can clearly see, is no more a true one than is Satan's. For reasons known only to him, Palast will not touch upon the central, radical, key "fact" that 9/11 was planned and sprung by the Bushiscti and certain associates for the purpose of making possible their effort to turn the world into a hegemonic neocon hell. And just why is it that Palast simply won't touch that truth? Well, we can leave the answer only to him, although it's hard not to conjecture the reason: Exposing the revelatory and curative truth of 9/11 would set into motion certain genuinely reforming events that would have the effect of depriving him, as they would, too, many of his Satanic colleagues in fraud, of a steady feed of his muckraking bread and butter.

..........To fix Palast's sentence, then, in order to make it true to Palast's real meaning, what would have to be done with it? Well, it would have to be written like this:
"When the inmates are running the asylum, arm yourself with some of the facts while I keep others hidden from you."
..........Be sure I'll do all I can to keep you blind, that is, to the big truth that if known would no longer guarantee that cornucopias of copy would keep flowing toward the Palastian pen. Those cornucopias of bribery and murder and mayhem and pestilence and genocide and crime—against humanity, against peace, against races, against nations, against republics, against peoples—are indispensable to the likes of Palast. God forbid that subjects so great as these should—well, that they should begin to dry up, or even be threatened so.

..........Palast and his like are not progressive reformers, but—however skillfully they, like Satan, may try to deceive both us and themselves—are bloodsuckers, leeches, grave-robbers, ghouls.


..........
2

..........But let's leave Palast his sinister allies behind and get to the truly gruesome stuff. The truly gruesome stuff, in a nutshell, is the unspeakably vile and dangerous situation we now face thanks largely—or mostly—to the fraud, cowardice, self-interest, play-acting, and blood-sucking of the "progressive" intellectual and journalistic establishment.

..........In a word, there is no "progressive intellectual and journalistic establishment" in the United States. It has all been corrupted, bought out, bribed, co-opted, or otherwise made stupid, ignorant, deceitful, cowardly, or outright criminal and traitorous.

..........An example, you say? Well, you might read the article-length version of "Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report" that ran in the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics. If you doubt that this "exposé," prepared "By the Editors" of PM, is other than false, fraudulent, partial, incomplete, and purposely deceitful, turn to the entire book written by David Ray Griffin in refutation of it, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory. And then, once you've read Griffin's book, take a look at what Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, had to say on the general subject. His reaction, which in my opinion makes him out to be a sheer moron, ran here in AlterNet on September 18, 2006, though you can also read it here in Rothschild's own magazine, significantly dated September 11, 2006.

..........And, if you like, you can read my own essay about the entire subject—"U.S.A.: Land of Liars"—a piece that among other things suggests my simple awe—and my anger, and my disbelief—at Rothschild's willingness to let himself be seen publicly as a grown man thinking at the intellectual level of a kindergartner, a ruinous impression that—so far as I know—he's done nothing whatsoever, since September of 2006, to correct or ameliorate.

..........The unspeakably grim and unforgivable point is this: That with the likes—quislings all—of Matthew Rothschild, Amy Goodman, and Greg Palast² representing the nation's "progressive" or "adversarial" or "liberal" journalistic or intellectual establishment, nothing has been effectively done to resist, undercut, challenge, slow, or stop the neocon-corporate-autocratic-oligarchic takeover of the United States of America, the reduction of it—at best—to a surveillance state, and the continuation of the elites' long-planned effort, by military, financial, and genocidal means, to establish and subsequently control a single world government.

..........For lack of a free progressive press and intellectual establishment; for lack of an adversarial progressive press and intellectual establishment; for lack of an honest progressive press and intellectual establishment; for lack of a non-criminal progressive press and intellectual establishment, and for lack of a non-treasonous progressive press and intellectual establishment—for lack of these things, we, as has the world, have been sold down the river, and have been delivered, through fraud of many kinds including again the spectacle of criminal and fraudulent campaigns and elections, into the very arms of Satan, even if Satan appears to be a slim, handsome, mild-mannered, socially dedicated and oratorically gifted young fellow like—well, like Barrack Obama.

..........Obama has now gotten the nomination of his party for President of the United States.

..........God help us all. It might as well be Bush/Cheney all over again.

..........You're not so sure? Tune in next time and see.

......................................................................—Eric Larsen
......................................................................—September 5, 2008
..........

GO TO "REPORT ON OBAMA, PART TWO"

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¹..........There is, however, more to this matter. For the pious Milton, God was clearly the hero of Paradise Lost. For the modern reader, however, Satan at the very least is "co-hero," since we learn, as the poem goes on, that God can exist—at least productively—only so long as Satan is there to create something for him to do. At the same time, the genuine and true hero of the poem, leaning on and needing none other than herself in doing and daring the great thing she does, is the wondrous and powerful Eve.

²
..........For a slightly fuller list: "It seems that reporting on murder, genocide, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace is preferable to doing all possible to end them. People like Palast—and Alexander Cockburn, Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington, Bill Keller, Bill Moyers, Bob Herbert, Christopher Hayes, David Corn, Dwight Garner, Elliot Spitzer, Frank Rich, Jacob Weisberg, Jim Hightower, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Larry Silverstein, Matthew Rothschild, Nicholas Lemann, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Robert Silvers, Ted Rall, and Tom Englehardt—feed on terror but stop short of working to end it."