Friday, June 02, 2006

War Paradigm

George Orwell, 1984:

Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph.

In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.

Sidney Blumenthal, Salon, June 1:

Something that senior officials call the "war paradigm" is the Bush administration's central organizing principle. They do not use the phrase publicly, just among themselves, but they bend policy to serve it.
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They fervently believe that the Constitution is fatally flawed and must be severely circumscribed. The Bush administration's "holy grail," another phrase officials use in private, is to remove suspects' rights to due process, speedy trial and exculpatory evidence.

The war paradigm, which they contrast with a caricatured "law enforcement paradigm," is to be constantly strengthened to conduct a permanent war against terror, which can never be finally defeated. There is no exit strategy from emergency.
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[T]he Constitution is an intricate mechanism of checks and balances that creates constant accountability. The question at the heart of Bush's politics is whether that can be indefinitely suspended and in the meantime the Constitution radically revised.

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