Rush Limbugh recently
threw a fit on his radio show over an appearance by Michael Sheuer on the FOX
News Channel (as did Sean Hannity, who was even more apoplectic than
Limbaugh). Michael Sheuer is the former CIA head of the bin Laden unit.
Limbaugh was at his sarcastic and bombastic name-calling worst in responding
to Sheuers comments.
What on earth did Michael
Sheuer say to cause such an emotional explosion of bombast?, one might ask.
Well, when asked by the host of a FOX News show about what might motivate
Muslims from the Middle East to harm Americans, the man the CIA put in charge
of the "bin Laden unit" said, "People dont like being invaded or
bombed," and they sometimes retaliate. This of course is perfectly
reasonable and understandable. Its called "blowback." He reminded the FOX host that Muslims
have long protested the American military presence in the Muslim country of
Saudi Arabia; the invasion and occupation of Iraq; the killing of thousands
of Iraqi civilians; the statement by U.N. Ambasador Albright that a half
million dead Iraqi children was "a price we are willing to
pay" to achieve our political objectives; the U.S. governments support for the government of
Israel in its wars against Muslims; and the bombing and killing of civilians
in numerous other Muslim countries, most recently in Mali and Libya under the
"We are trying to
impose democracy . . . and parliamentary government . .. on a people who dont want it," said Sheuer. All
of this is perfectly true, which is why Limbaugh did not spend one second of
air time disputing anything that Michael Sheuer actually said. He did not
because he could not. Instead, Limbaugh attacked a straw man by
words to supposedly mean that "Islam has nothing to do with it" and
"Its the United
Scheuer never said
"Islam has nothing to do with it." Limbaugh said that. What
Sheuer has said is that many Muslims resent the never-ending attempts by the
U.S. government to impose our culture of "democracy" on them at
gunpoint and at the cost of thousands of Muslim lives. Limbaugh was never a
CIA agent like Scheuer, but one might think of him alternatively as an FIB
agent of the state.
Limbaugh was even more misleading when he screeched and whined over and over
that Scheuer supposedly said that "Its the United States fault!"
"Its Americas fault!" No, Rush, its not "Americas"
fault. It is the fault of the several dozen or so political connivers, liars,
manipulators and empire builders who call themselves "statesmen."
The average American never has anything whatsoever to do with the
"diplomacy" that gets us into never-ending, perpetual wars for
perpetual peace. As Randolph Bourne wrote in his famous essay, "War is
the Health of the State," [A]ll foreign policy, the diplomatic
negotiations which produce or forestall war, are . . . the private property
of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check
whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass
It is not "America" that is responsible for the killing of
hundreds or thousands of Muslim civilians with drone strikes or other
weapons of mass destruction. War always originates, wrote Bourne, when "the
government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the
people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces
and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other
government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war"
(emphasis added). Contrary to what Limbaugh insinuates and what Barack Obama
has similarly declared, the government is not us. The government is
the government; it is the largest instrument of organized plunder ever known
to man. We are the plundered, duped, and misled into catastrophic,
bankrupting war after war that has nothing to do with "national
What really set Limbaugh off was Michael Scheuers mockery of the standard
neocon line that "they hate us because of our freedoms." Muslims
are not motivated to harm Americans because "you and I can have a beer
after work," Sheuer said to the FOX host. He called this theory
"insane," and he was right.
Those who really hate our freedoms are those who supported the
PATRIOT Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, warrantless wiretapping,
internet eavesdropping, and the creation of what William F. Buckley
approvingly described as a "totalitarian bureaucracy within our
shores" with a gigantic FBI and CIA complex, a massive military, and the
militarization of society into a police state. (Buckley Limbaughs hero of
heroes once said that all of that was necessary in his day to fight the
Cold War). Rush Limbaugh would be at the top of the list of supporters of
such a freedom-destroying regime.
Randolph Bourne would be even more cynical about war had he lived to
witness the gargantuan army of squawking chickenhawks on TV and talk radio,
led by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, whose cheerleading for war is many
orders of magnitude greater that that produced by the chickenhawk journalists
of Bournes day (the World War I era). The role of todays squawking
chickenhawks is to serve as the propaganda megaphones of the warfare state
and the military-industrial complex. In return, they are paid eye-popping
salaries for their mediocre talents and turned into "celebrities"
of a sort. Their job is to make sure that the nightmarish reality of the
warfare state as described by Randolph
Bourne becomes or remains a reality. With the onset of war, said Bourne,
"the patriot loses all sense of the distinction between state, nation,
and government" and "the individual becomes almost identical with
his society." This of course is what the Limbaughs of the world want
when they falsely accuse people like Michael Sheuer of saying "America"
is at fault for terrorist attacks.
With war, "minority opinion" becomes "a case for
outlawry," and at times "the minorities are either intimidated into
silence, or brought around slowly by a subtle process of persuasion . . .
" That again is the job of the squawking chickenhawks. They are in
reality a part of "the whole terrific force of the state" which is
"brought to bear against heretics," a.k.a., the proponents of peace
and prosperity as opposed to war and impoverishment of the masses.
As soon as Barack Obama took office Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, and the rest
of the squawking chickenhawks totally reversed their personas. During the
Bush regime they sounded like Benito Mussolini in their denunciations of the
Constitution in the name of "safety." "9/11 changed everything"
was their mantra. Translation: To hell with the Constitution. Liberty
Schmiberty. But with a Democrat in office they began sounding more like
Thomas Jefferson, even writing books about liberty and freedom for a change.
But their true personalities are revealed whenever a genuine Jeffersonian
like Ron Paul, or a genuine advocate of American peace and prosperity like
Michael Sheuer becomes prominent. In such instances the claws come out, the
microphones are turned up, and they reveal their true selves as the
propaganda mouthpieces for the state, which Randolph Bourne described as
representing "all the autocratic, arbitrary, coercive, belligerent
forces within a social group," a "sort of complexus of everything
most distasteful to the modern creative free spirit, the feeling for life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. War is the health of the State."