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Monday, October 18, 2004

Create our own reality

Scary Quote of the Week:
That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.
That's from an unnamed "senior advisor to Bush," quoted in Ron Suskind's article in the New York Times Magazine about the faith-based presidency. I'll join with plenty of other bloggers like Tom Tomorrow, Bob Harris, Juan Cole, Whatever It Is I'm Against It and I'm sure dozens of others in recommending that you read Suskind's article. I'm not sure there's much to add that Suskind and all those other bloggers have said, but I will offer some speculation of my own. Suskind doesn't name the "senior advisor to Bush" quoted above, but I will hazard a guess that it is Michael Ledeen. Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and his name is connected, in this book at least, with Repug scandals going back to the October Surprise of 1980 and Iran-Contra. I'm guessing Ledeen because the quote above seems to be from the same type of zealotry Ledeen expounded in an AEI conference shortly in October 2001. The final sentence below was the one most widely quoted in late 2001 and early 2002, although it was frequently mis-attributed to Richard Perle, who moderated the conference. See if you don't agree with me that the quote above and the quote below could very easily have come from the same person:

Now, in this war, I just have two basic points. The first is what Jim Woolsey and Newt said earlier which is we can't be bound by legalisms. Churchill said in WWII that it was preposterous to expect the allies in WWII to observe every jot and tiddle of the law, every legal and moral principle, when we were fighting against enemies who would destroy all law and morality if they triumphed.
Because, if you lose, there will be no discussion of these things, whatsoever. The first thing is to win.
If we just let our own vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to be clever and piece together clever diplomatic solutions to this thing, but just wage a total war against these tyrants, I think we will do very well and our children will sing great songs about us years from now.
Again, that quote was from Michael Ledeen at an AEI conference in October, 2001.