As I write this, I am watching the audio commentary of Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown on the DVD, “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, the 1989 Gilliam film, a wonderfully surreal film that uses its surrealism to hide a very serious message.
If any of you watched Countdown tonight and last night then you may be way ahead of me.
I bought Munchausen on Tuesday and was watching it while writing the Liz Cheney post that appeared on Wednesday, the day Gilliam asked Olbermann the question about the Colin Powell comment about the terror-industrial complex in the September 2007 GQ Magazine article.
The actual “terror-industrial complex” quote is in the last three sentences of Powell’s answer to the question, “So do you think we’re getting too hunkered down and scared?” on page 2.
“But come on, this is not a threat to our survival! The only thing that can really destroy us is us. We shouldn't do it to ourselves, and we shouldn't use fear for political purposes—scaring people to death so they will vote for you, or scaring people to death so that we create a terror-industrial complex.”
As you all know (the only reason for this paragraph is this advert for “Why We Fight”), the terror-industrial complex line is an update of Eisenhower’s military industrial complex line.
So now we have another nail to put into the political coffin of the Cheneys. Fear for political purposes is exactly what the Cheneys are doing, in addition to trying to revive the phony national security issue from 2004 which almost gave Bush/Cheney/Cheney the vote, but it didn’t so they had to resort to dirty tricks in Ohio.
Cheney’s connection to Halliburton should be proof enough as to what his and her motives are. Politics is so filled with phony issues to leverage power. The problem is the mainstream media will not accuse or question the Cheneys about using fear for political gain or about their obvious motives for claiming Obama will not keep us safe from terrorists.
After all, the real purpose of Keep Halliburton Rich—I mean, Keep America Safe, is not to scare us terroristically but to scare Obama politically and remind him to make sure the war profiteers’ gluttony and greed are continually satiated with tax dollars that could be used to give us all free health care—fully paid by our tax dollars for our entire lifetimes rather than be given to the terror-industrial complex.
As many of you know, Eisenhower’s complete line was going to be “military-industrial-congressional complex” but he decided to omit the congressional reference at the last minute, or thereabouts.
The pertinent part of Eisenhower’s quote is:
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Here we are nearly 50 years later with Obama doing nothing on his campaign promise to end no-bid Federal contracts over $25,000 and breaking his campaign promise about tougher rules against revolving door lobbying in his administration.
Maybe Liz and Dick are doing Obama a favor, making his job easier in helping the system of war mongering maintain the pace it achieved during the last eight years.
Cheney (take your pick) is the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson in Munchausen—killing the truth (as personified by Munchausen) and lying by telling the story to the city of the enemy Turk being just outside the gates to maintain control.
As Gilliam puts it in the commentary at the end of the film when Munchausen forces them to open the gates to reveal no threat, “And we open the door, and has it all been a dream, has it all been an illusion? Were we ever under threat? Are there terrorists in the world, we ask ourselves, or is it just an illusion to maintain power?”
Obviously we have terrorists in our world, but how much of what Cheney is doing simply to use fear to feed the terror-industrial complex? We may never know.