again, the dispiriting spectacle of the American
media in full campaign cry is upon us, as coverage
of the 2004 presidential race begins in earnest.
But this time around, the usual inanities, inaccuracies
and insipidities have a more melancholy flavor,
an almost elegiac feel. It's like watching priests
of a dead cult, vacantly enacting their rituals
in a ruined temple whose gods have been broken,
desecrated and cast down.
difference from past campaigns lies in the media
mandarins' sad belief that there will actually
be a genuine, open, presidential election in November
2004. This childlike faith stems, of course, from
their equally fallacious conviction that the United
States did not suffer a coup d'etat in December
2000 at the hands of an extremist faction of elites.
the installation of second-place finisher George
W. Bush was engineered in a wholly unprecedented
and unconstitutional manner -- from the illegal
purging of more than 90,000 eligible, predominantly
black voters from the Florida rolls by Jeb Bush
to the violent mobs of Republican congressional
staffers paid by George Bush to break up the vote
recounts in Miami to the threats of military insurrection
muttered by Bush Family factotum General Norman
Schwarzkopf to the use of Republican-paid ex-CIA
operatives to "correct" 15,000 Florida
absentee ballots to the Supreme Court ruling that
unlawfully halted the Florida recount by citing
a totally fictitious deadline for final tallies,
down to the congressional session that officially
"ratified" the election result, held
in an half-empty chamber lacking the legally required
quorum -- America's media leaders insist there
was no coup because power was transferred "without
tanks in the streets."
of course, a classic coup is "not necessarily
assisted by either the intervention of the masses
or, to any significant degree, by military-type
force." It's an inside job, carried out by
factions within the elite. Who says? The man who
literally wrote the book on the subject: right-wing
guru -- and Pentagon advisor -- Edward Luttwak.
1968, Luttwak penned "Coup d'Etat: A Practical
Handbook," which could be the text of the
2000 Bush campaign, as John Dee reports in Lumpen
magazine. Drawing on the extensive experience
of the CIA in such pranks, Luttwak says that "a
coup consists of the infiltration of a small but
critical segment of the state apparatus, which
is then used to displace the government from its
control of the remainder." True coupsters
"want to seize power within the present system"
[his italics], then use the existing lines of
authority and habits of obedience inherent in
legitimate government to advance their own illegitimate
and false patriotism are key coup ingredients.
Luttwak says a coup's "information campaign"
must "reassure the general public by dispelling
fears that the coup is inspired by extremist elements,
and to persuade particular groups that the coup
is not a threat to them. The first aim will be
achieved by manipulating national symbols and
by asserting our belief in the prevailing pieties."
United we stand!
Luttwak explains, opponents of the coup must be
painted as isolated cranks, "a few misguided
or dangerous individuals," unable to "move
on" and accept the wonderful new reality.
Reports of opposition must be "withheld"
whenever possible; failing that, they must be
marginalized and belittled, because "news
of any resistance against us would act as a powerful
stimulant to further resistance by breaking down
this feeling of isolation."
know that Bush never reads any book that doesn't
have pictures of goats in it, but it's clear that
Dick Cheney has had a well-thumbed copy of Luttwak's
handbook in his back pocket for years. The 2000
coup was carried out along Luttwakian lines by
a small group of ideologues and elitists -- the
latter drawn largely from the energy and defense
industries -- seeking to advance their illegitimate
aim of global domination by military force and
control of the world's energy resources.
objectives were no secret. Since 1992, Cheney,
Don Rumsfeld and a gaggle of other dominionists
now in power aired their plans publicly via a
web of corporate-funded pressure groups. These
documents -- including their chilling call in
September 2000 for a "new Pearl Harbor"
to shock Americans into supporting rapacious dominion
schemes -- provided a blueprint that the coup-makers
have followed with remarkable fidelity. The truth
was there for anyone to see. But it was ignored
by the dim-witted, well-wadded corporate media
-- whose owners, drooling over Bush promises of
mega-mergers and deregulation, were easily persuaded
that the takeover "was not a threat to them."
dangerously naive to believe that such a gang,
coming to power in such a fashion, will allow
a legitimate electoral contest to take place next
year. They have too much to lose. They haven't
expended so much effort -- and so many thousands
of innocent lives -- to build this vast engine
of repression and profit only to turn it over
to Howard Dean or John Kerry, just because the
stupid American people say so.
yes, there will be an "election" --
with conventions, debates, ads, voting, the whole
schmeer. But as Josef Stalin once said: "It's
not the votes that count, it's who counts the
votes." And in 2004, most votes will be "counted"
by paperless, unverifiable, eminently hackable
computer systems, privately owned and secretly
programmed by Bush supporters from the Religious
Right and the military-intelligence complex.
this is no "conspiracy theory"; it's
all out in the open -- for anyone who cares to
look. Next week, we'll do just that. Stay tuned.
Copyright 2002, The Moscow Times. All Rights Reserved.
September 17, 2003