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Ian McColgin
04-16-2007, 05:35 PM
This is Gore Vidal at his post apocalyptic best . . . Gotta remember that the older guys, like Vonnogut a few months ago, have as sense of time closing in that we in our youthful late fifties might lack. This is fodder of great value for we who would make change but is utterly without value per se for changing the minds of those whose minds we must change. Use it to deepen your perception but don't expect it to be a talking point with your favorite Bush believer.

Published on Monday, April 16, 2007 by TruthDig.com

HAIL AND FAREWELL: THE END OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE

by Gore Vidal

Whenever The New York Times finally gets the point to what is going on in our native land a celestial choir can be heard in Times Square, shouting hosannas. This happened recently, on April 14th, when they realized that there could be a dark explanation for what W. is doing when he sends a Mr. Bolton, a U.N. hater, to be ambassador to that body or a Mr. Wolfowitz to the World Bank, a man as ignorant of history and finance as the president himself. Maureen Dowd in the Times was allowed to set the pitch for the latest revelations with her “More Con Than Neo” headline. Meanwhile, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of incompetents are now cluttering the Justice Department while known incompetents are in place to wreck from within regulatory systems and even mighty Walter Reed Hospital itself.

And then such investigations that W. has cut back—particularly at the height of the pet food investigation, a matter of such passionate interest to our countrymen.
Needless to say, the Times, instinctively pro-Bush, as it too is an inept creature of our leviathan master: corporate America. But though the Times now notes a mysterious problem with Bush’s general relations to the outside world, the Times, as usual, cannot grasp what so many of us fans of the American Republic can see so clearly: In the name of Manichaean religious cults he is eager to destroy every last trace of the New Deal (privatize Social Security) by destroying both the state and its global imperium.
W.’s love of torture and the death penalty suggests this that is Caligula Redux, but actually he is a home-grown Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor as viewed by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt and refashioned by me in an English version that played on Broadway in the 1960s. As the play opens, the northern barbarians are closing in on Rome, while the emperor dawdles, neglecting to appoint a “war tsar” to defend the city itself. What is wrong with him? Well, he does have a plan. When Odoaker, the king of the Teutons, arrives, Romulus expects to be executed, but Odoaker also has a plan: The two rulers will unite in a realm of peace. Romulus then admits that all his actions and non-actions had a single end: the destruction of the bloody empire he had inherited.

For the admiring Teutons he holds up an imaginary globe. “Now watch,” he says, as the emperor dissolves his empire. “Look, all of you, once more upon this tinted globe, this dream of a great empire, floating in space, driven by the slightest breath of my lips, yes, look once more upon the far-flung lands encircling the blue sea with its dancing dolphins, these rich provinces golden with wheat, these teeming cities overflowing with life, yes, the empire was once a sun, warming mankind, but at its zenith it scorched the world. Now it is a harmless bubble, and in the hands of the emperor it dissolves into nothing. And, thus, the throne of blood is overturned!”

Obviously, our weird little emperor is incapable of moral reflection, thus inviting us to reflect morally upon him as he has gone about his systematic wrecking of our common empire, which, after 1945, should have come into its own but thanks to Truman et al. it stayed forever at war and now but, Hark! what is the Times chorus singing now? Can it be a new weekend edition? Without troubling news? Or has W. finally snapped our military machine for fun if not global peace. On a high moral ground Romulus the Great disowned his empire. W. the Minuscule, driven by ignorance and greed like his cronies, leaves us defenseless and at sea in a terrorized world of prisons, phony trials, renditions, executions without due process of law, while leaving in the Middle East a vast charnel house which he likes to call “a fledgling democracy.”

At the end of the Broadway play, one Roman soldier (played by Robert Duvall) eager to save Rome joins Romulus but Romulus tells him “the Roman empire has been dissolved,” as surely as W. is dissolving us as hurricanes, tempests, droughts of his making ravage our alabaster cities and amber waves of grain. Ave Atque Vale.

© 2007 TruthDig

WX
04-16-2007, 05:59 PM
Mr. Wolfowitz...what an appropriate name. Fighting corruption while slipping his girlfriend a sizable raise in salary; pretty much sums up the Bush administration.

BrianW
04-16-2007, 07:42 PM
Uh, where we going? :)

Osborne Russell
04-16-2007, 07:52 PM
Uh, where we going? :)

To hail the "weird little emperor." Meanwhile, don't pretend like you care.

glenallen
04-16-2007, 07:55 PM
The Epmire is going, not us.
We have to stay here and repair the damage the Cheerleader has done, and is still doing.

LeeG
04-16-2007, 08:18 PM
psst, Donn. You're not.

BrianW
04-16-2007, 08:25 PM
To hail the "weird little emperor." Meanwhile, don't pretend like you care.

It pleases me immensely to see you get your panties in a wad over something like article above. :D

Goodness... now Bush has brought forth droughts on our alabaster cities...

The funny thing Ozzy, is you eating that crap up. :D :D :D

LeeG
04-16-2007, 08:43 PM
then there's this one,,,in '89 74% of Americans could identify Quayle as the vp. Now it's 69% who can identify Cheney as vp.
There's a connection between what GW/Cheney/Rove thought they could get away with and the empires willingness to shuffle along.
Yep, das right, you get them terrists GW,,you get them terrists and librate Iraq from Al Kayduh.


http://people-press.org/

http://people-press.org/

SamSam
04-16-2007, 09:26 PM
''Use it to deepen your perception but don't expect it to be a talking point with your favorite Bush believer.'' The irony is flagwaving patriotic people laughing as America goes down the tubes. They don't see what's happening, they don't know enough to worry.

BrianW
04-16-2007, 11:53 PM
''Use it to deepen your perception but don't expect it to be a talking point with your favorite Bush believer.'' The irony is flagwaving patriotic people laughing as America goes down the tubes. They don't see what's happening, they don't know enough to worry.

Ah yes... the "if they don't agree with me, then they must be stupid" theory.

Ian McColgin
04-17-2007, 05:42 AM
No Brian. Not stupid. In the grip of a tragic delusion, but not stupid. People who assume that seeing how terribly wrong Bush is shows their intelligence and who assume that Bushies are uniformly dumb are not just wrong on both counts - about themselves they about have it backwards.

Regrettably, being smart is little protection against being wrong if one neglects to use those brains for independent and critical thinking. Without serious reflection, the connection between being smart and being right is only accidental.

SamSam
04-17-2007, 11:33 AM
Ah yes... the "if they don't agree with me, then they must be stupid" theory.

No, it's more like '' if they don't see a problem by now, then they must be stupid'' theory.

Osborne Russell
04-17-2007, 12:03 PM
Ah yes... the "if they don't agree with me, then they must be stupid" theory.

If the shoe fits, wear it. After the Chimp's moment in the sun, in denial of its ruinous consequences, you got nothing left but spite for "liberals" or "the elite" or whoever and you value that more than your country.

Which is an instructive example of the domestic political part of why America has gone from republic to empire and even that has a very shaky foundation.

Love Caesar if it makes you feel better, but it won't last.

BrianW
04-17-2007, 12:07 PM
Of course the foundations shaky... the 'Chimp' hath brought drought unto the alabaster city. :D

Me thinks you take yourself too seriously.

Keith Wilson
04-17-2007, 12:20 PM
I don't much like Gore Vidal, and that's far from his best effort. He sounds more than a little hysterical. The American Republic - and we're still a republic, otherwise Mr. Bush wouldn't be hunkered down behind sandbags in the White House, trying to figure how many people he'll have to pardon and wondering if there's any way to keep the next election from being landslide for the opposition - is far more robust than he thinks. The "American Empire" was only a dream in the fevered brains of some of the neoconservatives. You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people for an election cycle or two, but not forever. Vidal suffers from Chomsky's disease. He's a pretty decent novelist, but not nearly so good as a political commentator.

Osborne Russell
04-17-2007, 12:34 PM
When exactly did Rome become an empire? When it was officially declared, or when Caesar crossed the Rubicon?

Osborne Russell
04-17-2007, 01:09 PM
the 'Chimp' hath brought drought unto the alabaster city.

So it's the rhetoric of the aspirational phrasing you don't like? Too classical, too European? Want something with more chrome? How about:

"The New American Century"

LeeG
04-17-2007, 01:21 PM
hey, you want to talk about deluded imagery of a modern empire follow the Victor David Hansen literature. The neocons love his allusions to ancient times.
"We are the champions,,of the world"...sing it

Gulfcoastbreeze
04-17-2007, 01:34 PM
then there's this one,,,in '89 74% of Americans could identify Quayle as the vp. Now it's 69% who can identify Cheney as vp.


Fortunately, 0% of the population can identify John Edwards as Vice President.