The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Straitjacket Bush

Straitjacket Bush




The president's warmongering remarks on the Iranian threat suggest he is psychotic. Really.




Rosa Brooks










October 25, 2007










Forget impeachment.

Liberals,
put it behind you. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't be treated
like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like
psychotics who need treatment.

Because they've clearly gone
mad. Exhibit A: We're in the middle of a disastrous war in Iraq, the
military and political situation in Afghanistan is steadily worsening,
and the administration's interrogation and detention tactics have
inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements around the
globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tamp
down tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with
hostile parties and give our military a little breathing space. But
crazy people? They look around and decide it's a great time to start
another war.

That would be with Iran, and you'd have to be
deaf not to hear the war drums. Last week, Bush remarked that "if
you're interested in avoiding World War III . . . you ought to be
interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to
make a nuclear weapon." On Sunday, Cheney warned of "the Iranian
regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gain hegemonic
power . . . [we] cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills
its most aggressive ambitions." On Tuesday, Bush insisted on the need
"to defend Europe against the emerging Iranian threat."

Huh?
Iran is now a major threat to Europe? The Iranians are going to launch
a nuclear missile (that they don't yet possess) against Europe (for
reasons unknown because, as far as we know, they're not mad at anyone
in Europe)? This is lunacy in action.

Writing in Newsweek on
Oct. 20, Fareed Zakaria, a solid centrist and former editor of Foreign
Affairs, put it best. Citing Bush's invocation of "the specter of World
War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a
nuclear weapon," Zakaria concluded that "the American discussion about
Iran has lost all connection to reality. . . . Iran has an economy the
size of Finland's. . . . It has not invaded a country since the late
18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and
defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab
country (except Syria and Iraq) are . . . allied against Iran. And yet
we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international
system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we
on?"

Planet Cheney.

Zakaria may be misinterpreting the
president's remark about World War III though. He saw it as a
dangerously loopy Bush prediction about the future behavior of a
nuclear Iran -- the idea being, presumably, that possessing "the
knowledge" to make a nuclear weapon would so empower Iran's repressive
leaders that they'll giddily rush out and start World War III.

But
you could read Bush's remark as a madman's threat rather than a
madman's prediction -- as a warning to recalcitrant states, from
Germany to Russia, that don't seem to share his crazed obsession with
Iran. The message: Fall into line with administration policy toward
Iran or you can count on the U.S.A. to try to start World War III on
its own. And when it comes to sparking global conflagration, a U.S.
attack on Iran might be just the thing. Yee haw!

You'd better
believe these guys would do it too. Why not? They have nothing to lose
-- they're out of office in 15 months anyway. Après Bush-Cheney, le déluge! (Have fun, Hillary.)

But
all this creates a conundrum. What's a constitutional democracy to do
when the president and vice president lose their marbles?

The
U.S. is full of ordinary people with serious forms of mental illness --
delusional people with violent fantasies who think they're the
president, or who think they get instructions from the CIA through
their dental fillings.

The problem with Bush is that he is the president -- and he gives instructions to the CIA and military, without having to go through his dental fillings.

Impeachment's
not the solution to psychosis, no matter how flagrant. But despite
their impressive foresight in other areas, the framers unaccountably
neglected to include an involuntary civil commitment procedure in the
Constitution.

Still, don't lose hope. By enlisting the aid of
mental health professionals and the court system, Congress can act to
remedy that constitutional oversight. The goal: Get Bush and Cheney
committed to an appropriate inpatient facility, where they can get the
treatment they so desperately need. In Washington, the appropriate
statutory law is already in place: If a "court or jury finds that [a]
person is mentally ill and . . . is likely to injure himself or other
persons if allowed to remain at liberty, the court may order his
hospitalization."

I'll even serve on the jury. When it comes to averting World War III, it's really the least I can do.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-brooks24oct25,1,1829713,print.column



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