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Lies Of The Neocons

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    Lies Of The Neocons From Leo Strauss To Libby The Philosophy Of Mendacity By John Walsh 11-6-5 http://www.counterpunch.org/walsh11022005.html All governments
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2005
      Lies Of The Neocons
      From Leo Strauss To Libby
      The Philosophy Of Mendacity
      By John Walsh

      All governments lie as I. F. Stone famously observed, but some
      governments lie more than others. And the neocon Bush regime serves up
      whoppers as standard fare every day. Why this propensity to lie? There
      are many reasons, but it is not widely appreciated that the neocons
      believe in lying on principle. It is the "noble" thing for the elite
      to do, for the "vulgar" masses, the "herd" will become ungovernable
      without such lies. This is the idea of the "noble lie" practiced with
      such success and boldness by Scooter Libby and his co-conspirators and
      concocted by the political "philosopher" Leo Strauss whose teachings
      lie at the core of the neoconservative outlook and agenda, so much so
      that they are sometimes called "Leocons."

      Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was a Jewish-German émigré from the Nazi
      regime who eventually landed at the University of Chicago where he
      developed a following that has achieved enormous prominence in
      American politics. Among his students were Paul Wolfowitz who has
      openly acknowledged that he is a follower of Straus as has the
      godfather of neconservatism, Irving Kristol. Irving Kristol begat
      William Kristol, the director of operation for the DC neocons, editor
      of the Weekly Standard and "chairman" of the Project for the New
      American Century, which laid out the plans for the Iraq War. (PNAC
      also opined in 2000 that a Pearl Harbor-like event would be necessary
      to take the country to war, and one year later, presto, we had the
      strange and still mysterious attack of September 11.)

      For his part Paul Wolfowitz begat Libby, in the intellectual sense,
      when he taught Libby at Yale. Others stars in the necon firmament are
      Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and lesser figures like Abram Shulsky,
      director of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, created by Donald
      Rumsfeld. Shulsky, also a student of Strauss, was responsible for
      fabricating the lies masquerading as intelligence that were designed
      to get the U.S. into the war on Iraq. While the neocons have a passion
      for the Likud party and Zionism, they also count among their number
      not a few pre-Vatican II Catholics and an assortment of cranks like
      Newt Gingrich and John Bolton and crypto fascists like Jeanne
      Kirkpatrick. The list goes on and Justin Raimondo has documented it in
      great detail over the years on Antiwar.com. But it is enough to note
      that Cheney's alter ego was Libby, and Rumsfeld's second in command
      until recently was Wolfowitz. So both Cheney, the de facto president
      with an apparently ill perfused cerebrum, and the geezer commanding
      the Pentagon have been managed by younger and very prominent
      Straussians for the past five years.

      A superb account of the ideas of Strauss, his followers and his
      influence is to be found in The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss
      (hereafter PI) and Leo Strauss and The American Right (hereafter AR),
      both by Shadia Drury, professor of politics at the University of
      Calgary. Her account of Strauss's ideas and the prominence they play
      in American politics today will give you chills or nausea, perhaps
      both. As she says in PI (p.xii), "Strauss is the key to understanding
      the political vision that has inspired the most powerful men in
      America under George W. Bush. In my view men who are in the grip of
      Straussian political ideas cannot be trusted with political power in
      any society, let alone a liberal democracy. This book explains why
      this is the case." For those who wish to understand the neocon agenda,
      Drury's books are essential reading. She is clear and thorough.

      Of pertinence to "Scooter's" case and the pack of lies he was
      concealing is Strauss's idea that a "philosopher elite" (i.e.,
      Straussians) must rule. Moreover they must do so covertly. As someone
      remarked before last Friday, "Who ever heard of I. Lewis Libby?" a man
      who shunned the spotlight and operated behind the scenes. The reason
      for such covert rule, or cabal, is that the "vulgar" herd, as Strauss
      liked to call the rest of us, cannot appreciate "higher truths" such
      as the inevitability and necessity of wars in relations between states
      and even the utility of wars in governing a state. So the covert elite
      must be certain that myths like religion or the glory of the nation
      are not weakened for these are among the best ways to rule over the
      ignorant herd and lead it into war. (Note that the Straussians
      themselves are not religious. They are "above" religion, capable of
      dealing with tough truths like man's mortality. But in their view,
      religion is a crucial factor in governing in their view. Irving
      Kristol, following Strauss, tells us that religion is "far more
      important politically" than the Founding Fathers believed and that to
      rescue America it is necessary "to breathe new life into the older,
      now largely comatose religious orthodoxies." (AR, p. 148). Any
      religion will do - except perhaps Islam, which is more or less
      verboten, given the affinity of all leading neocons for Israel. Hence
      the neocons readily embrace the ideology and leadership of Christian
      fundamentalism which can keep the crowd under control and get them to
      march off to war and death. The neocons are mainly interested in
      foreign policy, as was Strauss, but in exchange for the support of the
      religious Right in foreign affairs, the neocons line up behind the
      domestic program of the fundamentalists. It's a win win situation,
      from their point of view.

      But useful lies of the grand sort like religious myth or blind
      nationalism need support by lesser lies at crucial moments. And so we
      go to the "smaller" lies like "weapons of mass destruction," the
      "smoking gun that comes in the form of the mushroom cloud." And here
      too the elite has a role to play. They are to use their "superior
      rhetorical skills" to make the weak argument seem stronger. In other
      words the cabal not only has to protect myths and manufacture lies but
      go to work in selling them. What Strauss called "rhetoric," we call spin.

      All of this comes down to one word: lying. But for Strauss, these lies
      are necessary for the smooth function of society and triumph of one's
      own nation in war. Hence for Strauss, the lie becomes "noble." This
      phrase Strauss borrows and distorts from Plato who meant by a "noble
      lie" a myth or parable that conveyed an underlying truth about
      morality or nature. But in Strauss's hands the "noble lie" becomes a
      way of deceiving the herd. Strauss's "noble lies are far from "noble."
      They are intended to "dupe the multitude and secure power for a
      special elite" (AR, p. 79).

      One other idea of Strauss's bears on the situation of "Scooter" Libby.
      How is the Straussian philosophical elite going to get from the halls
      of academe to the corridors of power? This depends on good luck and
      the "chance" encounter between the powerful and the Straussian. Here
      the contemporary neocons go beyond Strauss and leave nothing to
      chance. It would even appear that they look for the stupid, gullible
      or those who are mentally compromised. So William Kristol becomes Vice
      President Quayle's chief of Staff, and Libby becomes the right hand
      man to the addled Cheney as well as assistant to the Quayle-like Bush.
      And there are many more.

      Finally, Drury makes the point the Strauss and the neocons are not
      really conservative at all. They are radicals, at war with the entire
      modern enterprise which makes them turn to the ancients for their
      inspiration - and even there they need to distort the teachings of
      Socrates or Plato to make their case. But the Enlightenment comes to
      us with the advance of science to which Strauss is also hostile. He
      says that he is not against science as such "but popularized science
      or the diffusion of scientific knowledge.Science must remain the
      preserve of a small minority; it must be kept secret from the common
      man" (PI, p. 154). But this is impossible. Science by its very nature
      is a vast social enterprise requiring the widest possible
      dissemination of its findings. Any society that puts a lid on this
      will fail, and so by natural selection, the Straussian project is
      doomed to fail.

      But before that happens the Straussians can do a lot of damage. As
      Drury says, they "cannot be trusted with political power." But we can
      learn from them the importance of boldness, not in the pursuit of the
      "noble lie" but of the truth. And we must be certain that we are
      vigorous as we hunt them down and get them out of power. In that
      effort Shadia Drury has done us a great service.
      John Walsh can be reached at jvwalshmd @ gmail.com.

      He thanks Gary Leupp a regular on CounterPoint.com for pointing him to
      Shadia Drury's books.


      2000 Lies

      "People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an
      election." (Otto von Bismarck Prussian Prime Minister, 1815-1898)

      I wonder how many people really believe that the milestone figure of
      2000 US soldiers killed is the real truth - I certain do not, and it
      has nothing to do with my views on the war, but everything to do with
      the various independent reports and analysis emanating from numerous
      sources around the world. Recently a friend of mine came back from
      Baghdad, what he reported was consistent with many others who have
      come back from the region, about the level of violence, security and
      the level of attacks on the US forces. Even the most die hard pro-war
      supporters have trouble believing the reports from the embedded
      sources, or from those reporting from their Hotels in the `comfort
      zone' or the so-called Green Zone, named in the fantasy Hollywood style!

      The 2000 US soldiers constitutes around 1.0% of the total number of
      159,000 US troops present in Iraq. To suffer this level of loss over a
      period of two years should be almost insignificant, in terms of
      impacting the military operations. Yet, in the press there is a
      constant cry about the shortage of troops, and thus National Guardsmen
      are now being deployed in Iraq. After hurricane Katrina, shortage of
      National Guardsmen surfaced, as everyone witnessed the lack of
      manpower in helping the people of New Orleans and Louisiana to cope
      with the devastating hurricane.

      Numerous other sources, have also confirmed as to how the casualty
      figures are being massaged, for example if a soldier is lifted from
      the battlefield to say the hospitals in Germany, and then dies there,
      his death is not added to the total number of dead. Then there are
      numerous stories of the deaths of soldiers from Latin and Central
      America, who are serving in the US army in Iraq with the promise of
      being awarded Green Card after they have completed their mission; they
      are not added to the total number of US casualties either. In fact
      many witnesses have said that their bodies were dumped in the river in
      Baghdad or buried in mass graves.

      There is also a glaring discrepancy between the statements of the
      ordinary US soldiers, and the PR mouthpieces of the Pentagon, conveyed
      by the likes of Reuters, CNN, FOX-TV and others. A BBC documentary on
      the Iraq war made by Sean Langham, prior to the revelations of
      Abu-Ghraib, also indicated this lie about the US casualty figures. He
      interviewed a senior US soldier in a military hospital in Baghdad, who
      stated in disbelief and surprise that he could not understand where
      the media was getting the figures about the US casualty rates, stating
      that he was seeing far more casualties and deaths than were being
      reported; and Sean Langham himself witnessed a helicopter landing in
      the hospital every hour delivering wounded soldiers. That was one
      hospital, with one account, with one reporter, now multiply that with
      all of the hospitals handling US casualties, and you begin to see
      there is serious deception going on here.

      Prior to the war you would have to scan the newspapers to see US
      helicopters or planes crashing. Yet, something like 40-50% of the
      aircraft and helicopters that have perished in this conflict are now
      listed as `accidents' in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is that really true?
      Let's face it, the US has the state of the art technology built into
      these aircraft and helicopters, giving it a lot of inbuilt safety
      measures, twin engines typically for battlefield redundancy,
      professionally maintained and the pilots are really well trained. So
      these accidents in volume, and frequency would again point to more
      lies, instead of admitting the opponent's effectiveness, as this might
      sap morale and appeal for the recruiting effort back home.

      Take another final example, it is reported that around 15,000 US
      troops have been injured, yet I clearly remember a year after combat
      was initiated around 2004, some of the press in the US were reporting
      around 30,000 injured. So the actual number of wounded has fallen?

      Truth indeed is the first casualty of this war, and part of this is
      the distortion of the casualty figures. But the truth always surfaces
      sooner or later. To cover the truth you need to generate heaps of
      lies, so the spin-doctoring machine churns out: Iraq's mythical WMDs,
      45 minute threat from Iraq, Niger connection, plagiarised dodgy
      dossier, denial of torture, suppression of war crimes against cities
      like Fallujah, executions of wounded old men in Mosques, setting up of
      US sanctioned death squads to remove opponents and of course the
      disgusting and delinquent US favourite porno-torture.

      Recently one of the most disgusting stories [1] that have surfaced is
      that around 50,000 US army personnel were exchanging pictures of dead
      Iraqis, in order to gain access to a porn site on the internet. Some
      of those pictures included pictures of genitals of dead corpses,
      obviously to cater for the sick perverts that are into things like
      snuff sex and other bizarre sexual practices that most of is could not
      even imagine. The soldiers reported that the site help to keep their
      morale up, which speaks volumes about the morality of the soldiers of
      democracy and freedom. No wonder they want to shove democracy,
      liberalism and freedom down our throats or up the rear end if you are
      in Abu-Ghraib! So, become a devout Muslim earn the label of a
      `terrorists' but become a sodomite earn the liberal credentials!

      Lies about war strategy could be understood, part of which is to
      conceal your casualty figures in order to keep your moral high and not
      to give the enemy any encouragement; but the American and the British
      populations deserve to be told the truth about the reasons behind this
      war, why Iraq? Is it oil? Is it a war for Israel given that
      pro-Zionist neo-cons were largely pushing for the war? Is it to deny
      the US competitors like China, Russia and India a cheap supply of oil?

      May be it is a combination of all those facts. But it was certainly
      not about Iraq threatening the mighty US, with its mythical WMDs.
      Despite what Blair and Bush says about their reliance upon military
      intelligence, the whole world including so many internet pundits
      without the military `intelligence' knew that Iraq was exhausted after
      the criminal sanctions imposed since 1991, the UN inspectors to which
      Scott Ritter and now Hans Blix will testify that all the WMD capacity
      was liquidated after the 1991 Gulf war. Perhaps Bush was `informed' by
      God assuming he was also sober at the time and Blair may well have
      made his confession by now as a devout Catholic!

      Nor was the war about liberation? If the US were liberators this would
      be obvious by now; the US soldiers would be walking the streets
      unarmed, with the fellow Iraqis, living amongst them, like they did in
      the UK during the Second World War and in other parts of Europe after
      expelling the Germans. Women in liberated Europe were showering the US
      soldiers with flowers and not bullets. The recent pictures of the
      Iraqi Shi'ites pelting British soldiers were another very stark image
      of this reality of the occupier, not the liberator. Now consider the
      latest report [2] shows death rate for the US soldiers has
      accelerated, proving that resistance is becoming more popular, more
      effective, and the occupiers are seen as the source of instability.

      Of course we see those who have never fought in the battlefield and
      avoided all the war drafts, talk of sacrifices. Where are the sons and
      daughters of the members of the Senate, Congress and Parliament? Why
      are they not on the frontline making the same sacrifices that ordinary
      citizens are making? Those who talk about sacrifices they have made
      the least and they will profit the most. Blair whose face reminds me
      of the devil incarnate, as his face deteriorates everyday drenched in
      the blood of the innocents in Iraq, has secured a lucrative position
      with the Carlyle group, a background sponsor of the war. This is
      something I predicted early on, I do not need to elaborate on Bush and
      his cronies, as they were already known to have links and interests
      with the companies that profit from war; they profit from the blood of
      the innocents. Yet they are the ones trying to tell the world how
      benevolent they are. Consider the following verse from the Quran:

      "And when it is said unto them: Do not make mischief in the earth,
      they say, we are only peacemakers" (Al-Koran 2:11)

      Now count the number of times they scream "peace" whilst dropping
      bombs on you.

      Yamin Zakaria (www.iiop.org)
      London, UK

      [1] http://www.iiop.org/index3.php?recordID=99

      [2] http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20051026/ts_latimes/adeadlysurge



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