Friday, June 1, 2007

The Power of Sychophancy

The Bush Administration is widely known for demanding sychophancy from their underlings. On today’s Morning Edition news show, Guy Raz did a fairly extensive story on the impact of this attitude on the military.

Donald Rumsfeld was among the most famous BushCo “leaders” for demanding unquestioning loyalty. As Raz points out in his story, Rumsfeld was quick to get shed of General Shinseki when he protested before the invasion that stabilizing Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of American troops. Never mind that the general was right. What was important was that he was not in sync with the administration’s line.

Retired General Easton called the defense department’s process for selecting generals from then on “the Rumsfeld Screen”, which he meant to indicate that no one would be selected for top rank unless he first demonstrated that he would toe the party line. The upshot of this is that for the last six years, only administration yes-men received top rank promotion. The upshot is that as time has gone on under this administration, the military spokesmen have come to sound more and more like administration politicians.

It may be backfiring, though. As Raz points out, a poll of 1,000 officers published by The Military Times indicates growing disenchantment with administration views. Another indication is that five years ago 80% of military cadets called themselves Republicans as opposed to the less than 50% who now say they are Republicans.

Maybe the Rumsfeld Screen has finally become the Bush Seive. Let us pray.

Finally, today’s newspapers bring us the final irony. Thrashing about wildly for a legacy while at the same time seeking to make sure his corporate cronies don’t suffer any setbacks, W has stepped forward in a feeble attempt to set the agenda on the global warming issue. Ooops! Sorry, George, I forgot we’re suppose to say climate change issue. (Somehow that’s now deemed to be a less threatening term, and, after all, it isn’t what you say that counts any more, it’s how you say it. Syntax is everything!)

I think W is in for a quick bitch-slap on this one, though. He won’t find many yes-men to nod and scrape for him on the world stage, and that’s the good news. (Maybe the prez should just hand this one to the head of NASA. His ability to make embarrassingly uninformed comments puts him at the head of the bobble-head class.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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