OR SHOULD THAT BE EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN?
George Bush claims a return to old unquestioned truth and wisdom that
resonates strongly with some. Is a return to the past something to be
embraced or are things of old to be kept at an arm’s length? The myth
of a Golden Era lost has a powerful pull on the human imagination.
Some would say we pop up to float where we should always have been.
Others say to drench in false nostalgia is how we are dragged down to
THE NATURE OF TIME ITSELF is hidden in the telling
events of history. Is time linear and are things like freedom on the
march? Or is progress an illusion? Do we come back again and again to
the same place?
IN 1897 WILLIAM McKINLEY TOOK OFFICE
as President of the United States. Some considered him a good guy, well
speaking pawn of others, the puppet to the marionette master Mark
Hanna. Politics were cast freely in religious terms. Attention
focused on a domestic economic crisis revolving around silver gave way
to foreign forays.
IN SHORT TIME AMERICA BECAME AN EMPIRE
The foe fought was either the Spanish nation or naysayers who doubted
America should rule the world with a benevolent hand. The Spanish
American war gave us press manipulation and collaboration. The war
itself had dubious beginnings. A major media magnate made money in the
mad times. America was cast as the liberator of the Philippine
Islands. Local “rebels,” “insurgents,” or “terrorists” were battled in
the Philippines by us for years, as were other such forces in the
Caribbean. America officially controlled its friends in the
Philippines for fifty years. DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? How are these times similar and how are we different?
THE BATTLE OVER THE LEGACY OF DEEP THROAT IS HARD TO SWALLOW When You Hear Nixon Apologists Say Deep Throat Mark Felt Is a Traitor, Remember That History Is a Story Won By The Ones Strong Enough To Endure The Mudslinging And Let Truth Shine Through The Muck.
Born Again Chuck Colson has a problem with revelation that the number two man in the FBI Mark Felt went the anonymous source route.
Colson added that Felt "broke the confidence of the president of the United States. If you're a president of the United States, you've got to have somebody in the FBI you can talk to with the confidence you talk to a priest."
People should remember that before Colson became born again and spoke out against people breaking confidences with the president, the president, Colson, and the rest of like men all alike broke confidence with the American people. ...................................................
Ben Stein has a problem with people who see the problem in Nixon.
Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad?. ........................................... BEN STEIN/ PROSPECT
Ben Stein has a problem with reality. Ben, many people remember and will never forget what Nixon did was so terrible. Stein’s focus on the small detail of a two bit burglary like Watergate as some small thing obscures the larger picture that Nixon’s role in Watergate brought on a Constitutional crisis that may have echoes today. Which is why some of these loud mouthed lances against the left have their swords out in the first place. Who rewrites the history and the past so often has an agenda for the past.
David Broder puts the past in its proper context.
In these comments, Americans born in the 1970s, '80s and '90s can learn everything they need to know about the dangerous delusions of the Nixon era. The mind-set that created enemies lists, the blind loyalty to a deeply flawed individual, the twisting of historical fact to turn villains into heroes and heroes into villains -- they are all there.
Such tendencies are not unique to one White House; they go with the territory. They must be consciously resisted by men and women of conscience working within an administration and checked by those on the outside -- notably journalists -- whose job it is to monitor the presidency.
That is why excessive official secrecy is always suspect and why the isolation of a president behind a closed circle of advisers can lead to abuse of power. .............................................. BRODER/WASHINGTON POST
The battle over the past and the battle in the present are joined at the skirmish line of how much power the president has and whether he is accountable under law to the sovereign people of the United States of America. Those who would put such poisoned fruits on our plates forget what is the root of our liberty: We, the people rule. So a president must serve us his best and will be held accountable by law for his worst.
Peggy Noonan is an idiot. She too is upset with Mark Felt. Felt and all the attention he brought to Watergate apparently are responsible for the death of millions. Pat Buchanan has a similar view. Look what happened after Nixon was removed from office! The idea that what happened after Nixon was removed from office is a mote in the eye, unseen. Maybe, just maybe Noonan might want to consider that what happened after Nixon was removed from office happened because Nixon was once in office.
Ben Stein is angry but not incorrect: What Mr. Felt helped produce was a weakened president who was a serious president at a serious time. Nixon's ruin led to a cascade of catastrophic events--the crude and humiliating abandonment of Vietnam and the Vietnamese, the rise of a monster named Pol Pot, and millions--millions--killed in his genocide. America lost confidence; the Soviet Union gained brazenness. What a terrible time. Is it terrible when an American president lies and surrounds himself by dirty tricksters? Yes, it is. How about the butchering of children in the South China Sea. Is that worse? Yes. Infinitely, unforgettably and forever.
Maybe the big lesson on Felt and Watergate is as simple as the law of unintended consequences. You do something and things happen and you don't mean them to, and if you could take it back you would, but it's too late. The repercussions have already repercussed.
End of story. Why? Because in celebrating this story in a certain way journalists of a certain age celebrate themselves. Because to bring unwelcome and unwanted skepticism to the narrative would be to deny 20th-century journalism--and 21st-century journalists--their great claim to glory. Because the MSM is still liberal, and the great Satan of all liberals, still, is Richard Nixon. .............................................. NOONAN/WALL STREET JOURNAL
Repercussed? While Noonan’s back neologisms are as strained and wannabee cute as her argument, the darling of the right may be right about the liberal media breaking its arm as it pats itself on the back. The problem is today, however, is there is no liberal media, not if you look at the colossuses of calumny aligned against dissenting views. In endeavoring to rehabilitate Nixon in the public eye, Noonan, Buchanan, and others remain blind to the logical fallacy they commit to achieve their goals. That fallacy may be summed up as: after this, because of this.
The facts of Nixon are the reason his legacy will always have a five o’clock shadow, no matter what shadow opinion makers try to obscure the light of the truth now. Willliam Ruckelshaus, the assistant attorney general who like his boss Elliot Richardson resigned rather than obey Nixon order to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, puts things in a perspective.
Willliam Ruckelshaus: "But if you see the White House and the head of the FBI [L. Patrick Gray] interfering with the investigation, what are you going to do? If you go public with the charges, who is going to believe you?"
Mark Felt did what whistle-blowers need to do. He took his information to reporters who diligently dug up the evidence to support his well-founded suspicions.
The republic was saved and the public well served. That Colson and Buchanan still don't get it speaks volumes about them.
The history of the past slams into the news of the present. George Bush said he wasn’t sure if Mark Felt was a hero either. That speaks volumes about Bush as well.
FOR THOSE WHO MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN
It Came to Light June 17, 1972: Operatives working for the White House
were arrested and charged with breaking into the Democratic Party
headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
Early 1973: Top White House aides were implicated in the break-in and subsequent cover-up.
July 1973: A Senate Committee learned that Nixon had secretly
tape-recorded conversations in his office since 1971. Nixon refused to
hand over the tapes and fought for more than a year to keep them
private. During this time, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned over
a federal investigation into his acceptance of illegal payments. House
Minority Leader Gerald Ford became vice president on Dec. 6, 1973. Nixon offered to provide tape "summaries" and fired the special prosecutor Archibald Cox when he refused them.
October 1973: The House Judiciary Committee initiated impeachment hearings. July 1974: The committee voted to recommend impeachment.
Aug. 5:Nixon relinquished records of taped conversations. They
indicated that he had approved a cover-up six days after the break-in. Aug 8:Nixon announced on national television that he was resigning the next day. Aug. 9: Ford was sworn in as president and later pardoned Nixon to "heal the wounds that had festered too long."
MORE ON DEEP THROAT FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE INTERNETS
I’m glad the Mark Felt thing has died down. I will admit that it was a
minor pleasure to see Pat Buchanan and Gordon Liddy and, Lord love us,
Charlie "Grab ‘em by the balls and their heart and minds will follow"
Colson, and their various blogospheric enablers, trying to blow-dry
their own soggy reputations by denigrating Felt. (What lover of
American political comedy could resist hatchet-man Colson telling Aaron Brown that "the ends don’t justify the means"?)
ON PEGGY NOONAN: This is the last column of her's we'll read. We already
subscribe to Mad Magazine and although her writing is a bit funnier, we
get more variety in Mad. And we suspect if the column below was
submitted as a satire, Mad would reject it for being too off-the-wall.
The Onion? Her column isn't quite cutting edge enough. FROM: THE MODERATE VOICE
QUESTIONS: Is Deep Throat Mark Felt a traitor or a hero? Nixon: Saint or Sinner? Are anonymous sources a good or a bad thing? What do you think?
CONNECT THE DOTS . . . today soldiers . . . end up in coffins . . . in the ground . . . when a people . . . blindly follow leaders . . . leaders with their heads . . . . in the clouds . . . or somewhere . . . far below heaven . . . what we have . . . seen before . . . we must not. . . allow to happen . . . again . . . History repeats itself, a stutter of stupidity unstopped, unless we give voice to our better mind, a conscience to conquer brutality dressed in deception.
ALL THAT'S MISSING IS THE GOOSESTEP On the Day of the Twentyfifth Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero , The Heretik would like to offer a reminder of what those insane times were like and who was involved in and how. The Archbishop was assassinated while he was saying mass in public by Salvadoran military forces, forces supported by the likes of John Negroponte. John Negroponte was a prime supporter and exponent of what is politely called The Salvadoran Option.
You may have heard that term described for what is currently taking place in Iraq, the forgotten place in newspapers and broadcasts. The Salvadorn Option is a euphemism for sending out death squads to find and kill leading opponents. Somehow in El Salvador "opponents" came to include nun, priests, missionaries and archbishops.
The Heretik hopes the people who brought us the shock of the awful remember what happens when a dog of a policy is unleashed. The innocent take the bite.
Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, 'Thou shalt not kill'. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. ... In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression."
These are the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated 25 years ago today by the Salvadoran militarywhile saying mass in San Salvador, El Salvador. He was an outspoken critic of the repressive military government that ruled El Salvador.
The battle for history is never about yesterday; it is always about today. Who wins today lays claim to tomorrow.
History doesn't wait for tomorrow to be told. Stories told in the news today lay control to how events will be viewed tomorrow. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself. If that seems simple enough, it is more simple to the those in power who would control what you know and how you know it. No matter who is in power or why, the desire to control information and its flow is irresistable. Methods overt and most coy are used to achieve ultimate goal. One story, one voice. All the same, all the time.
The battle for history is never about yesterday; it is always about today. Who wins today lays claim to tomorrow.
SHORT AND SWEET, SWEET AND SOUR
Five Sentences for John Negroponte
(1)I'm pleased to announce my decision to nominate Ambassador John
Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence. . . . (2)John understands America's global
intelligence needs because he spent the better part of his life in our
foreign service, and is now serving with distinction in the sensitive
post of our nation's first Ambassador to a free Iraq. George W. Bush at The White House February 14, 2005
(3)As ambassador to
Honduras, Negroponte played a key role in coordinating US covert aid to
the Contras who targeted civilians in Nicaragua and shoring up a
CIA-backed death squad in Honduras. Democracy Now January 10, 2005
(4)Supporters credit the policy with calming the insurgency, although it left a bitter legacy and stirred anti-American sentiment. London Times January 10, 2005
(5) . . . John
Negroponte . . . spent the better part of his life . . . shoring up a
CIA-backed death squad in Honduras . . . a bitter legacy.
Five sentences then for Mister Negroponte. Let no laments come for him now. The lament must be for those who know nothing of this legacy of lawlessness. The Heretik wonders who will be the heirs to this bitter legacy of Negroponte's deeds, who will be the heirs and how?
A further examination of John Negroponte, media coverage, and history continues later this week.
FAUX VS REALITY Rewriting History Right From the Start, One Word at a Time Suicide Bomber in Iraq become "homicide" bomber on FCN
No apology, Ward Churchill? Hate, like love, is where you find it. Hateful words have only one defense: the unjustified love of freedom. They are coming now for Mister Churchill. He has hurt again the most pained, wounding them again with words unwise, saying horrible things about a horror of tears in which this world still swims. The mad man Mister Churchill has said even the most innocent have had a guilty hand. Dirt enough for all around. No one’s hands are clean. They are coming for Mister Churchill.
When the times change, the terms of discussion
change as well. One so often hears the saying people are "merely a
product of their times." This canard is never used to explain good and
noble behavior. People take credit for their good and noble behavior.
On the other hand , they spread out the guilt to the broad group for
ignoble acts. One rarely meets people proud of their mistakes.
History is not just the story of battles won. History is the battle for who will tell the story and under what terms.
Bill Polhemus presents a contrasting side to that previously enunciated by Jeanne D'Arc at Body and Soul. For each side, the battle here is won (or lost) at the very start by who succeeds most in defining the terms to be discussed. For our purposes, the contrasting sides are both highlighted in red. Note now the competing terms.
How in the world a Leftist living in California can have a single complaint about the teaching of history in that Blue State is beyond me. Nothing but “muliticulturalism” as far as the eye can see. In fact, the sad truth is that this state and many of the other “alternate universe-inhabiting” Blue States long ago abandoned the teaching of fundamentals in the Humanities in favor of “alternate readings” that have very little to do with what has actually gone in to making our nation.
The Heretik knows the first lesson of history is we must know what we are talking about. To begin to understand math, first you must recognize the numbers for what they are. People are much more than numbers. How people are named is how they are understood. Who gives the name counts too. Terrorist or freedom fighter? War hero or mass murderer? A name is a frame in so many ways.
Thanks to Jeanne D'Arc for inspiring the series Past Tense . Thanks to Elisa for info on Oyate