Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding Himself in a Hole, Art the Clueless Digs a Little Deeper (Update, 4/18)

Which one is the Kool-Aid this guy's been drinking?

Honestly, this is downright puerile. The guy must believe that he's addressing an audience of confused little children:

"OK, kids -- the glass in my right hand is full of vile, Commie lies; the one on your right --no LEFT hands here! -- contains the pristine waters of 100 percent, 'murickun TRUTH! I suppose it never occurred to you that as we're sitting here chatting so pleasantly, those despicable Soviets are polluting our precious bodily fluids! -- er, adulterating our patriotic discourse! I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist subversion, Communist indoctrination, and the International Communist Conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids -- uh, our otherwise Simon-pure news media!"

As if Art's little Mr. Rogers-by-way-of-General Ripper illustration weren't sufficiently convincing, he offers what to his confused little mind must seem absolutely crushing evidence that RT News is a vital cog in the machinery of Soviet disinformation: The fawning coverage they don't provide of tiny, stupid, insignificant Communist demonstrations in Russia and elsewhere. 

RT News is a government-funded media enterprise. The same is true of every major American media network, each of which is part of a vertically integrated corporatist entity that Dr. Andrew Bacevich -- a West Point graduate, Vietnam veteran, and outspoken critic of Washington's empire -- calls the "Military-Industrial-Media Complex." The biggest difference is that Washington is an immeasurably greater menace to individual freedom and international peace than Moscow.

RT News's American service is expansively critical of Washington's militarism and profligacy. This isn't because they are seeking to disarm the West so the "Soviets" can prevail; this is actually of a piece with its editorial policy toward Russia, as well -- something Art might understand if he took a minute to learn something about a subject about which he pontificates with imperturbable and entirely unearned confidence. 

The Russian government -- under Putin or anybody else -- is not a benign entity. This doesn't mean it is an enemy, unless foolish people insist on making them into one. There is no government anywhere in the known universe that is as powerful, corrupt, violent, and dangerous as the one ruling the United States of America. 

Vladimir Putin is a nasty piece of business -- but he isn't the one that forced Americans to surrender a huge portion of their earnings today; that wasn't Putin's KGB, it was the far more despicable terrorist entity known as the IRS.

In March 2005, about a year and a half before Art and his fellow geldings stabbed me in the back, I wrote the following essay as a "Last Word" column for The New American magazine. It dealt with a subject not unfamiliar to readers of that publication: The "convergence" between former Soviet Russia and the proto-Soviet USA. The reaction when I submitted it was ... interesting: Gary Benoit dutifully took it to Upper Management (aka The Realm Where Principles Go To Die); meetings were held; voice mails were exchanged -- and eventually I was told that it was simply unacceptable for the pages of TNA. It just wouldn't do, I was told, to compare the beloved President George W. Bush to Vladimir Putin. 

Bear in mind, this was the assessment of people claiming the mantle of Robert Welch, who didn't flinch from calling Dwight Eisenhower a Com-Symp.

This was the first time a "Last Word" column I had written was rejected by JBS management. It was published by Lew Rockwell, as were several other pieces  subsequently turned down by Appleton's ideological gatekeepers. 

It's worth recalling that in the letter of termination Art Thompson sent to me in October 2006, he insisted that "once we have rejected an article or nuance, you cannot go around us to post it elsewhere, identifying it as rejected material and publicly criticizing your employer for the rejection." In the specific example Art had in what passes for his mind, I had "criticized" them by the very act of pointing out that the piece had been rejected; I simply reported that fact, and let the reader draw his own conclusions. 

It was because of this tacit (if not entirely hypothetical) criticism of Leadership via samizdat that I was purged from the JBS, for which I have been consigned to the status of "un-person." Alan Scholl was the individual who instigated this, but Art Thompson is the one whose name was on the letter -- which is why he is exactly the last person entitled to accuse RT News -- or anybody else -- of keeping the Soviet tradition alive.

 Of Putin and Pig-Men 
March 4, 2005

Millions embrace him as the Dear Leader, an austere man with a steel spine summoned by destiny to defend the Homeland. Millions of others consider him an incipient tyrant, a figurehead representing a corrupt system. Many initially regarded his ascent to power as illegitimate, the result of appointment rather than election. But those misgivings were subdued after the deadly terrorist attacks that struck the nation the following September. 
Some of the Leader’s bolder domestic critics, carefully scrutinizing the evidence, accused the government of having prior knowledge of the terrorist plot. In any case, the Leader and his advisers certainly capitalized on the event. The power of the presidency was radically expanded, the security agencies were unleashed, police agencies were brought more fully under the central government’s control, and extra-judicial interrogation tactics – including torture – quietly received official sanction.
Just as alarmingly, the president himself became the centerpiece of a cult of personality. Despite a questionable personal background, the president’s supporters are firmly convinced that he is a sincere Christian devoted to defending the faith. Frequently seen in the company of military personnel, the president has been cast as a crusading warrior. One particularly memorable photo-op depicted the president at the controls of a military jet.

Is this a brief sketch of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or of U.S. President George W. Bush?


Like Mr. Bush, "ex"-KGB officer Vladimir Putin’s ascent to office was marked by irregularities. He was appointed Prime Minister by Russia’s then-President Boris Yeltsin in August 1999. A month later, hundreds of Russian citizens were killed in terrorist bombings of residential buildings. The resulting public outrage not only re-ignited Russia’s war in Chechnya, it also offered Putin – who assumed the presidency following Yeltsin’s January 2000 resignation – a pretext to proclaim a "dictatorship of the law." 

With an early presidential election called for May 2000, Russia’s state-controlled media, working in tandem with the Kremlin’s image-makers, relentlessly defamed Putin’s opponents, and began to build a cult of personality around the dour KGB careerist. This was an astounding accomplishment, given that Putin – who looks as if he could be Gollum after an unsuccessful makeover – has no discernible personality. 

According to Kremlin propagandist Gleb Pavlovsky, Putin was successfully re-cast in the role of "Stirlitz," a "dashing fictional KGB officer" from post -World War II propaganda films. The Russian public was regularly treated to "macho photo ops," such as Putin at the controls of a fighter plane, or handing out hunting knives to Russian troops on the Chechen front.

For all the superficial parallels that can be drawn between Mssrs. Putin and Bush, they made an oddly matched pair during their February 24 meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia. After all, it could be said, one of them heads an increasingly authoritarian and lawless government that is pursuing a radical vision of global revolution rooted in the teachings of the Soviet Union’s founders. The other is merely the president of the Russian Federation.

The essential tenet of the Soviet dictatorship, declared the regime’s founding dictator Vladimir Lenin, was "power without limit, resting directly on force, restrained by no laws, absolutely unrestricted by rules." The Bush administration has made extravagant claims of presidential power – to wage war abroad, to imprison "unlawful combatants" without trial both here and abroad, and to authorize the use of torture – that are in harmony with Lenin’s political formula. 

One suitable specimen of the Bush administration's neo-Leninism is found in a September 21, 2001 Justice Department memorandum written by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John C. Yoo. In that brief, Yoo claimed that it was impermissible for Congress to "place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions … are for the President alone to make." 

During a February 18 interview with Belgium’s VRT television network, Mr. Bush invoked that dictatorial doctrine with reference to a possible war with Iran: "You never want a president to say never, but military action is certainly not, is never the president's first choice. Diplomacy is always the president's – or at least my – first choice." Under the U.S. Constitution, which vests the power to declare war exclusively in Congress, that "choice" is never the president’s to make.

The Busheviks are also indebted to Soviet founder Leon Trotsky for the doctrine of "permanent revolution," through direct military intervention as well as support to surrogate movements in targeted countries – in the name of defeating "oppression," naturally. The shade of Trotsky could very well have ghost-written Mr. Bush’s declaration that "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." 

Like the countries over which they preside, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin are very different. But as with the mutant pig-men creatures described at the end of Orwell’s Animal Farm, it’s becoming difficult to distinguish between post-Soviet Russia and pre-Soviet America.

Update: Look for Strike Three Next Week...

... according to this comment from the JBS's YouTube channel:

So right now the JBS Research Department is scrambling to compile a list of "hard facts" regarding a subject about which Art Thompson has been bloviating for the past two weeks. 

People worth listening to generally get the "hard facts" before they offer supposedly authoritative pronouncements of the kind Art has inflicted on us the past two weeks. This is especially true of people who present themselves as lonely paladins of reason, holding aloft the gleaming sword of truth in defiance of universal deceit and delusion, as Art did in the first installment. That was the program in which he assailed conservatives and libertarians, including Dr. Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, who -- unlike the JBS -- consented to be interviewed by RT News, thereby making their views available to a large, politically aware audience on the sunshine side of 60.

It's hardly a news bulletin that Art Thompson is a dishonest, poorly informed fool. It remains a source of perplexity that he's actually getting paid to do what he does; most cranky, out-of-touch dinner table pundits do it for free. I know of more than a couple current JBS staffers who are weary of doing cleanup detail after a member of the ruling gerontocracy in Appleton makes a mess of things. I've not spoken with anyone in the research department, but I can't believe that duty of this sort is the best use of their time.

1 comment:

Doc Ellis said...

Greetings Will

Does the comparison between Bulshit II and Putin hold if you substitute Oshita's name for that of Bulshit II?

I think it does...


Thank you for writing this essay

Doc Ellis 124