Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Sociopath at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Will someone please explain how George W. Bush can call himself a Christian and still endorse torture as a legitimate tool of American foreign policy? Will someone please tell us how a purported believer in the teachings of Jesus Christ can behave so brutally and unethically, and still claim that he he is a man of virtue. a compassionate conservative? The last we knew Jesus didn't advocate the twin perversions of torture and sadism, and yet, for reasons which defy imagination, Bush and his merry band of sexual sadists are perfectly willing to crawl into the gutter with societies such as Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the Peoples Republic of China as they make a mockery out of both, decency and Western civilization. Ironically, American torture techniques are derived from methods used by the KGB. They include sensory deprivation and self-inflicted torture; black bags over the victims head to maintain disorientation; forcing the victim to stand on his or feet for days on hand with his or her arms stretched out at his or her sides. That may not sound disturbing, but the end results are horrific. Fluid builds into the legs, sores break out, the kidneys begin to fail. Then add fear, threats, cultural humiliation, personal intimidation, and....well, you get the idea.

Of course, he ultimate irony in all of this is that torture really doesn't work. The weak will offer false information to end the pain and the strong will be ale to resist, offering either silence or false information in defiance of their persecutors. Cases in point.

*In 1944, after the failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler, one of the conspirators, Fabian von Schlabrendorff, was brutally interrogated by the Gestapo--so much so that he suffered a series of significant heart attacks; and yet he refused to give his torturers the information they were demanding.

*In the 1960s, when John McCain was being tortured by the North Vietnamese, instead of revealing the names of the pilots in his Squadron, McCain gave them the offensive line up of the Green Bay Packers.

So why, you might be asking, would the administration want the right to inflict pain, humiliation, and suffering when such measures clearly don't work?

Some might be inclined to suggest stupidity, others might be inclined to suggest fear or perhaps even over-enthusiasim, but we have another suggestion.

They might actually enjoy it.

In many ways the members of this administration and its lemming like followers are no different than the proverbial serial killer who not only gets a thrill out of the actual killing, but who also gets a sexual rush from the expression of horror on the victim's face. And who, having committed his heinous deed, then collects a memento to revive the feelings of excitement and satisfaction that he experienced during the act itself. Indeed, we wouldn't be surprised to learn that members of this administration were keeping trophies or keep sakes from some of their victims so that they can recreate the sexual high at a later date.

I think it's time to admit that we're dealing with a truly creepy clique of sexual sadists who clearly enjoy the suffering of others, and who would probably do anything, both legal and illegal, to satisfy their perverted psycho-sexual desires. So perhaps, just perhaps, the time has come to pose the question that our corporate, mainstream press refuses to ask.

Can a country, or rather a political party, have a sociopathic breakdown?

That is a question that has been gnawing at us ever since George W. Bush and his merry band of empire builders decided to wage a war of aggression against a sovereign nation which, while brutal and repressive, had been militarily contained and represented no serious threat to the United States.

During the course of the next few years we came to the conclusion that the modern Republican Party is the first political movement in the history of the United States to be based on a collective personality disorder.

Something has gone very wrong.

The parts, the qualities which might allow these people to act or function like normal human beings, are either stunted or missing. Under normal circumstances you would think that the same people who so fervently claim to love Jesus and his moral example would be the same people who would want to condemn brutality and sadism in anyone on both religious and legal grounds. But these are not normal times and our leaders are clearly have a few problems that go beyond your typical run of the mill political difficulties.

Ever since we learned about incidents of sexual assault and sexual sadism (there just isn't another way to describe it) in Iraqi prisons and at Guantanamo Bay, we have been increasingly concerned about the flippant manner in which this administration dismisses or denies allegations of human rights violations. Never mind the rhetoric from Mister Gonzalez about the Geneva Convention being quaint , or foolish rhetoric about how the Nuremberg accords don't apply to America (a suggestion which in and of itself might be illegal under international law in that it promotes torture); we have a real problem on our hands and it seems to be stemming not from the immorality within the Republican Party but from the amorality within the Republican Party.

Assistant Propaganda Minister Scott McClellan routinely brushed off allegations of prisoner abuse as fabrications by Islamic terrorists, and our enabling media never press him on the issue. Worse, the reporters never said something to the effect of, "well Scott, if that's the case, then why don't you prove your denials and give the media more access to Guantanamo Bay?" In the mean time Karl Rove tells is that "liberals saw the savagery of the 911 attacks and want to offer therapy and understanding to our attackers," completely oblivious to the fact that it is he and his partners in crime who need the therapy. And it hasn't improved under Assistant Propaganda Minister Tony Snow. Indeed, the Snowman has regressed back to the days of Ari Fleishcer, smugly suggesting that the press had better be careful about uncovering and reporting about the manner in which this administration has often (illegally) undermined our civil liberties.

In the mean time, Bush supporters on AM hate radio, look at incidents of rape and murder my American Marines, look at civilian deaths, and tell their extremely dysfunctional listeners that "things like this happen in war," or that "we're not as bad as Saddam." And we find ourselves thinking:


Wow! We're not as bad as Saddam Hussein—a leader which the right wing hate-mongers and their delusional listeners have compared to Adolf Hitler. Which means what? That we're not as bad as Hitler? Are we supposed to be impressed or puzzled by this? A handful of American soldiers, guards, and interrogators have been caught, indeed photographed, performing acts of sexual abuse and sadism, but the radical, sociopathic right feels comforted by the fact that Americans aren't as bad as Hitler or Saddam. Five Marines have been accused of rape and murder, and the far right issuies a collective "oops."

Is that supposed to make us feel better?

In many ways this rapacious regime reminds us of an old joke: A wealthy man approaches a woman at a cocktail party and asks her if she would sleep with him in exchange for a million dollars. After a brief hesitation the woman says, "of course I will." Clearly satisfied, the man then asks her if she would sleep with him for $1.50, prompting the woman to snap: "Well of course I won't. What do you think I am?" To which the man says, "We have already established that, we are now arguing over price."

In other words, it's all a matter of degree. Sexual assault is wrong under any set of circumstances. It either existed or it didn't; and as we have seen in the infamous photos, it clearly existed. Perhaps we wouldn't feel so offended if so much of the casual, ho-hum approval weren't coming from the moralistic, "Christian" Right, which routinely condemns those of us on the left for alleged moral relativism. But when we look at their attitude on this matter we can only see another glaring moment of right wing duplicity. This is another, painful time when the radial right needs to cast the beam from its own eye before it condemns others for its own sins. Not only is their tacit approval of sexual abuse under military circumstances an example of right wing hypocrisy—it also takes moral relativism to an absurd extreme.

You really have to wonder: Why do our leaders flaunt sexual morality when they're condemning legal, consenting acts between gays and lesbians (who they love to hate and persecute here at home), but then turn around and promote rape, murder, and sadism as viable tools of America's foreign policy? And we are not talking about the soldiers in the battlefield, who this Administration has overextended to the point of physical and emotional collapse. We are talking about the leaders at the top of this criminal regime.

Why does this Administration have so much trouble living up to the tenants of the religion that it so hypocritically loves to flaunt? Don't ask the Radical Christian Right or our Republican leaders in Washington DC, because it appears as if they don't even know. Or worse yet, it appears as if they don't even care. So here we are, still wondering what has gone wrong. And the answer that comes to mind is both probable and chilling. The answer did not come from the Bible and it did not come from an mean-spirited sermon by Jerry Falwell or James Dobson. Rather, it came from a book, from the pages of the Fourth Edition of DSM-IV-TR, The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders as published in the year 2004 by the American Psychiatric Association.

This is the answer--or should I say these are the answers?

*Sociopaths are frequently deceitful and manipulative for personal gain or pleasure.

*Sociopaths lie and malinger

*Sociopaths are irritable and aggressive and may repeatedly get into physical fights or commit acts of physical assault

*Sociopaths have a reckless disregard for their own safety and the safety of others. Not only are they reckless but they can be neglectful and irresponsible. Their work habits and work histories reveal irregular habits and tend to be unpredictable.

*Sociopaths show little remorse for their acts and are indifferent to the pain and suffering of others. They may blame their victims for being foolish or helpless. Sociopaths fail to compensate. They do not make amends.

*Sociopaths can be charming, charismatic, exploitative, and manipulative.

*Sociopaths may have trouble controlling their finances.

*Sociopaths have problems with self control and may suffer from addictive disorders.

Now do you see why some of us are worried? We have a president and a cabinet of advisers (or, if you will, cronies) who wanted to wage a war of aggression for years but who were so disorganized and unprepared when they actually got around to actually waging it that they gave a new meaning to the word irresponsible. The same president, who advocated this debacle, has a history of reckless, alcoholic behavior, and seems irritable and even aggressive when questioned about his past or questioned about his policies. The way in which he went to war revealed a basic dishonesty and a disregard for the lives of American soldiers that bordered on the delusional--or should we say the cold-blooded? Neither Bush nor his appointed goons have shown a scintilla of regret for what they have done; the Demander and Thief has yet to attend a funeral, but Bush himself has been caught on camera joking about the weapons of mass destruction about which he had lied.

Moreover, Bush and his cabinet of unfeeling killers refuse to take responsibility for anything, but continuously blame Democrats and the supposedly liberal press for their many blood soaked failures. And if you want to see how well they can handle their finances, we would only use the term "sky rocketing deficits" to point out how inept this crowd is when it comes to spending and wasting our hard earned tax dollars. These people are sociopathic to their corrupt, authoritarian cores.

Indeed, if you want to see sociopathy at its very worst, just stay tuned for the 2006 elections. Is there anyone out there who seriously doubts that these mentally defective thugs will attempt to project their many dysfunctions onto the rational individuals who see them for what they are and who have dared to speak truth to power? Do we really believe that they won't wrap themselves in the flag and try to paste Osama Bin Laden's beard on Saddam Hussein? Do we really believe that they won't promote fear and terror by reciting the phrase "nine-one-one" as if it were a Republican Satanic chant? Does anyone really believe that this power hungry administration won't try again and again and again to feed its megalomaniacal impulses through additional unconstitutional policies and practices? Is it any wonder that we have seen Vietnam-dodging Republicans using the word "unpatriotic" against Democratic Veterans? Are we really surprised by the fact that cowardly NEOCONS who ran away from military service in the 1960s and 1970s are now accusing Democrats of cutting and running? You just have to give these right wing psychopaths credit. When it comes to propaganda and outright deceit, they make Adolf Hitler and Paul Josef Goebbels look like rank amateurs.

We would suggest that the 2006 election will--at least in terms of strategy--be a repeat of 2004. Two years ago they offered a platform of "Run on the war in 2004." Now it seems as if they will offer a platform of "Dirty Tricks in 2006." Can you say "classic projection?" There is no point in expecting the Bush Administration and its many dysfunctional followers to show a modicum of concern about human rights violations. Nor is there any point in expecting these warped individuals to behave honorably or to tell the truth. Those would be humane responses, and humanity is something that this president and his arrogant cronies have never been able to muster.

See also: Bush isn't a Moron: He's a Cunning Socipath by Ben Conover.


shrimplate said...

As for me, I couldn't agree more. I have been screaming this from the top of my lungs since before the 2000 presidential race, after reading about Bush in Texas newspapers and Molly Ivins. Bush is a monster.

He has no ability to feel empathy.

It dismays me to no end that so many people are taken in by Bush and his fellow psychopaths. Unfortunately, families and even corporations only tend to be as "well" as those in charge, and our government too is now pathologically insane.

We had every reason to expect that Bush would do to the entire country what he did to Texas. He'll Enron it.

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