Democrats, Republicans and Pro Wrestlers: What They Have in Common
By Dennis Loo (8/23/13)
In the story that prompted this headline, yesterday Obama's DOJ filed a brief in Federal Court in response to a lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh. Saleh is an Iraqi single mother who "filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a 'crime of aggression' against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II."
The DOJ's response to this lawsuit: the named Defendants George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz are immune from being sued on the grounds that they were acting within the scope of their employment. In other words, as some of the Nazi defendants at Nuremberg famously argued: "We were only following orders [doing our jobs]."
Evidently, within the scope of your jobs at the head of the Empire is lying the nation into a war that has cost trillions in dollars, hundreds tortured, millions rendered orphans, and over a million killed so far. Interesting statement that the Obama DOJ is making, isn't it? Their immediate predecessors should not be held to account for lies that the whole world knows were lies - except perhaps some poor beknighted Fox News viewers who still don't know this - and all of the deaths, torture, destruction (think of the priceless artifacts destroyed from what was the heart of the Fertile Crescent where early civilizations began and flourished), costs, displacements, and ruined lives of both Iraqis and Americans, the gutting of civil liberties, a process that Obama has aggressively carried forward, because these were all within the "scope of their employment." And further, does this not tell us what they - the current administration - thinks that their job is - to do likewise, to mangle the truth and destroy lives, isn't that what Empires are known for?
Ex-professional wrestler, Navy Seal, and ex-Minnesotta Governor Jesse "the Body" Ventura is known for his blunt honesty. After leaving the governorship, Ventura stated that the Republicans and Democrats are just like pro wrestlers: they fight like sworn enemies in the ring and afterwards go out to dinner together like fast friends. "It's all show biz," he said.
The first - and last - time I attended a pro wrestling match in person was at the now long ago torn down Civic Auditorium in Honolulu, a very big silver metal structure. I went in a big school outing that brought young students - I was in elementary or secondary school at the time - from all over the city. The place was packed with thousands in attendance. The guys in the ring gave a great performance that the kids all loved, but what struck me was the way that the wrestlers would hit the canvas with one hand simultaneous with their hand strike or leg strike on their opponent. The hand slap on the canvas made a big sound, but it was obvious to me that this made their actual strike against their opponent a mere slap. "This is so fake" I said to myself. "How come everybody's so excited? It's fake."
The other thing about this that I already knew from watching a little bit of wrestling on TV: the characters in these mini-melodramas were designed to get you to identify with the "good guy" against the "evil one." The usual plot was that the evil one would do something dirty pretty early in the match and proceed to pummel the poor defenseless good guy. Then all of a sudden, when it looked like the good guy couldn't possibly recover from this terrible beating, he would get a sudden surge of adrenaline and proceed to whip the evil one's ass, winning the match, much to the delight of the audience.
In yet another expression of this phony rivalry designed to get the observers siding with one or the other faux opponent, several years back you had the big cola companies advertising that their Uncola is better than those superficial colored colas. And only cool people drank the Uncolas. What they didn't tell you was that the company advertising Uncola was also an owner of the colored cola too.
Obama ran on a platform of reversing the evils of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (the evil one incarnate). Millions believed him. Just after finding Chelsea (fka Bradley) Manning guilty of treasonous behavior and releasing sacred secret documents to the world and sentencing him to 35 years, the Obama administration leaked its own cherrypicked, previously sacred secret document to the world and filed this brief in Federal Court claiming that the previously evil Bush Regime that lied us into war - and the reason why people voted in Obama who was "against" the Iraq War - was only doing its job.
When trying to rope us into their electoral circuses, they tell us that if we hate something that the current administration is doing or has done, the solution is to vote for their rivals, who will then, they promise, fix all of those bad things. Once they get elected, however, somehow those terrible things they ran against are now not terrible but justifiable. In fact, the new White House occupants consider these once terrible and unconstitutional things fine indeed. They are so fine that they are going to go even further than their predecessors did down the same path.
When someone files a lawsuit expressly reminding everyone of how terrible those policies were/are, the current White House occupants reincarnate themselves as the past administration's best buddies (BFF's), dismissing the lawsuit on the grounds that the previous administration was merely doing its job. Could the real nature of politics under this system and the superficiality of the putative rivalry between the two major political parties be any clearer?