Thursday, October 31, 2013
A Valentine from Satan
This last weekend, Dick Cheney, former Vice President under George W. Bush ("Dubya"), was tramping the media road hawking his new book Heart: The Story of a Patient, A Doctor, and 35 Years of Medical Innovation, co-authored with his physician, Jonathan Reiner, M.D. Cheney was interviewed on the television news program 60 Minutes, by Sanjay Gupta. In it, Cheney appeared in cheerful contrast to his formerly frail self, and seemed to be prepared for one last lap of political partisanship for the radical conservative Republican agenda. Viewers were treated to a gruesome shot of Cheney's actual diseased heart, just removed from his chest, lying in a stainless steel pan beside the operating table. It was a deep red color, even redder than the image below. As it was explained, Cheney's original heart had grown immense inside his chest; without a transplant, Cheney would probably have been dead by now.
As everyone knows, Cheney was the "real" President of the United States, Bush II serving in that capacity in name only. The real architect of American domestic and foreign policy was Cheney, who directed his superior's actions as a puppet-master does his puppet. There is no question that Dubya believed in what he was doing, but he lacked the intellectual nuance to formulate and implement action. That was Cheney's strong suit, having been a former Presidential advisor, with a vast personal knowledge derived from practical experience. Our real President was Dick Cheney. It was Cheney who engineered the Congressional resolution for the preemptive invasion of Iraq, the concoction of fake "intelligence" designed to "prove" that Saddam Hussein was a threat to world peace and American security. The real culprit for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, of the thousands of American service deaths, of the hundred of billions of wasted American dollars, was Cheney. Cheney's personal interest was as former CEO of Halliburton, a giant defense contractor which stood to make billions from the Mid-east conflicts. Cheney's personal wealth, derived primarily from Halliburton, is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million dollars.
There are many kinds of evil. There's the evil of the naive ignorance of the implications and consequences of great power, wielded without a sense of import, the willing servant of villainy. This was Dubya's evil. Then there's the evil of a fatalistic malice, which feeds off vanity and an inebriation of raw power, manipulating events behind a screen of secrecy. Cheney didn't need to be President. Indeed, being President carries too many distractions. Much better to be the shadow architect than the wooden figure-head.
Since leaving the Presidency, George W. Bush has been effectively silent. No one knows better than he does how odd and telling his incompetence would appear, now that he has no immediate "handlers" to feed him policy agenda and fake rational justifications for his opinions. We've had figure-head Presidents before; Reagan was a good actor who could regurgitate his lines flawlessly, an ability honed during his years as a Hollywood B movie heavy. No, the real President was Dick Cheney.
Now, after three years of recovery from heart replacement surgery, we're treated to a polished, rosy-cheeked Cheney, smiling and tapping the table with righteous optimism, forging ahead with renewed vigor, ready to help his daughter Liz's Wyoming Senatorial campaign, offering advice on foreign policy, recommending military intervention in Syria and Iran. The old devil has been outfitted with a new heart, and has years more mileage added to his balance-sheet.
Does America deserve another dose of Cheney's brand of common sense demagoguery? Apparently, the media believes it does. It likes lapsed radical old warriors like Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney, to give the country some "perspective" on the political spectrum.
The enticing tidbit which Cheney revealed last week was that, due to his severe heart condition, he actually prepared a letter of resignation, to be submitted to Dubya, in the event of his incapacitation, just a few days after being elected to office in 2000. If only God had seen fit to take Cheney from us then, how much less destructive our nation's course might have been? It's sad to contemplate. Are we expected now to be inspired by Cheney's miraculous endurance and recovery?