Open Thread - Delusions of the Emperor
The subject of Winston Churchill inspired Bush's self-reflection. The president confided to Roberts that he believes he has an advantage over Churchill, a reliable source with access to the conversation told me. He has faith in God, Bush explained, but Churchill, an agnostic, did not. Because he believes in God, it is easier for him to make decisions and stick to them than it was for Churchill. Bush said he doesn't worry, or feel alone, or care if he is unpopular. He has God.
Roberts's latest work--A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900--sounds like a standard-issue neocon narrative. As a sequel to Winston Churchill's famous series, it purports to tell the story of how the "Anglosphere" (Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and friends) saved the world from a slew of totalitarian menaces, from the kaiser to the caliphate. It presents Bush as the logical successor to Churchill--only Bush is, of course, even better.
Yet, beyond this surface sycophancy, there is something darker and more fetid. Bush, Cheney, and--in a recent, glowing cover story--National Review, have, in fact, embraced a man with links to white supremacism, whose book is not a history but an ahistorical catalogue of apologies and justifications for mass murder that even blames the victims of concentration camps for their own deaths.
Roberts advises Bush to embrace the idea of the United States as a civilizing empire ruling the world: the white man's burden in the White House. Pigmentation--the old basis for dominance--is now discredited, so he has politely switched to linguistics. The Americans must pick up where the British left off: "Just as we do not today differentiate between the Roman Republic and the imperial period of the Julio-Claudians when we think of the Roman Empire, so in the future no one will bother to make a distinction between the British Empire-led and the American Republic-led periods of English-speaking dominance."
And to do that, Roberts recommends adopting the enlightened use of British policies which led to the slaughter of civilians, building concentration camps, crushing and humiliating your enemy with overwhelming violence, and applauding policies that caused huge numbers of the conquered to starve to death.
Most important of all, stick to your guns no matter what anyone says:
[Roberts] counsels that "there can be no greater test of statesmanship than sticking to unpopular but correct policies."
It's so reassuring to know that Bush communes with people like Roberts who reinforcing how he needs to hold fast and not wimp out, and how he sees that God supports him in his quest for bringing "peace" to the world.
Lord help us.
The floor is yours.