Thursday, January 24, 2008

William Pfaff: The Coup d'Etat against Bush

David Seaton's News Links
I can't think of a more important topic than this. This is not the rant of some blogger in pajamas. William Pfaff is one of the most respected political commentators writing today in the English language.

Careful readers will notice a thick forest of nuances in everything he says here. DS

William Pfaff: The Coup d'Etat against Bush
Abstract: The conspicuous irrelevance of George W. Bush’s tour of the Middle East to any of the real forces and interests of the region, as well as the spooky irrelevance of nearly everything he said there about the alleged menace of Iran, Israel-Palestine peace, his fancied notions of Iraq’s democratic development, and even about oil prices and the American economy, embarrassed his Arab hosts as well as the American officials and press accompanying him. The tour – his farewell to the Middle East? -- lent weight to the judgement many abroad have already reached, that he no longer governs the United States, and indeed does not even understand its present foreign relationships. It is widely felt that what amounts to a coup d’etat has taken place in the United States, removing George Bush, without his even recognizing this (or at least admitting that it has occurred) from control over the principal issues of war and peace. This coup has taken the form of what amounts to a mutiny of the professional foreign policy services of the U.S. government, acquiesced in by the new Secretary of Defense, the service chiefs, and Director of Central Intelligence Bush has himself appointed.(...) The pathetic and pusillanimous refusal of recent American Congresses – and we are not simply speaking about the Congress now in office, but of practically every Congress since the beginning of the cold war – to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities with respect to the declaration and financing of wars, has now generated its own rebuke from within the executive branch of government. Leaders in the executive branch are unwilling to act on presidential orders that do not carry with them the constitutionally mandated authority of the representative branch of government.(...) I am perhaps taking a romantic and unjustified view of what has happened. I hope not. I believe that only grave malfeasance in government and unconstitutional conduct justify an executive ‘coup d’etat’ – however ‘postmodern’ the form that it assumes, and however elevated its motives. However I would suggest that the present election campaign demonstrates that powerful forces in the Washington political and foreign policy communities, reinforced by financial and industrial interests, are committed to suppressing all challenge to policies that already have altered the political character of the United States. The American form of government itself needs to be defended. READ IT ALL


Michael Blaine said...

I'm afraid I don't understand whether Pfaff is lamenting or extolling the alleged silent coup against Bush.

Michael Blaine

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

I don't either really, I think that he laments that the American system has finally come to this.

kelly said...

Did you notice Wolfowitz is "officially" back in the picture again - I imagine "unofficially" he never left:

Elmo said...

I wonder if this explains why the US warship vs. Iranian speed boat encounter was revealed to be a fake.

Nice to see a fellow Seaton out there in the blogosphere. (I have an Uncle David too) Small world...

-Kyle Seaton

Batocchio said...

Interesting. However, if you read the various books on Bush, in many instances he's only been a figurehead and rubber-stamp. If he wasn't so lazy, incurious and happy in the bubble he willingly constructed, Cheney wouldn't have been able to do things such as preventing briefing papers from reaching Bush (as described in The One Percent Doctrine). All that said, I'd say Bush is far more involved in his administration's disastrous decisions than some accounts suggest, it's just that the Cheney machine has never looked to Bush for leadership.

(BTW, have you ever seen the film A Very British Coup?)