Paul Barber

PRESIDENTIAL PETER PRINCIPLE

by P.S.Barber

drawing by Gerta Lind

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography
— Mark Twain

Our game-show-host President is as quintessentially American as a yuuuge proverbial piece of apple pie, with an even yuuuger shovel of ice cream atop; vanilla, of course, unadulterated – emphasis on “un-adult” – then scrumptiously coated with a radiant-orange sherbet-shell. Our President is the American Dream: ostentatious wealth; celebrity for its own sake; hot chicks, fast cars, big houses, bigger hair; sui generis; loud-mouthed, know-it-all; wholly A-Historical and brazenly A-Hole proud of it; bigger, better, harder, thicker, longer, bursting his seams with prodigious, boundless reserves of scorching-hot stamina.

According to many women I’ve known, there are men — white males in particular — who nickname their penises. Though I’ll have to take these women’s word for it and have no reason to doubt them, I do know for certain that our U.S. Generals love to nickname their penises.

As with their human archetypes, in naming weapons of mass destruction, the Pentagon Boys subscribe to that priapic precept which firmly purports, “Bigger is Better.” Again, I’m not here to debate long-held biological beliefs; it’s the psychological aspects of our Masters of War which worry me, those precepts of power which engender their murderous mindset.
Let’s take a look at their latest and largest penis – the yuuugest non-atomic armament ever deployed in the history of humankind, dropped April 13th by the U.S. Military in Afghanistan (America is also the record-holder for the only two other larger bombs ever dropped, Hiroshima and Nagasaki). This newest shlong is the length of a city bus and officially named GBU43: this prior-to-now never-used bomb falls under the category of Massive Ordinance Air Blast, more familiarly known under its acronym, M.O.A.B.

And it’s from MOAB that we get the unlikely penis-nickname, Mother Of All Bombs.

Now it’s no accident that all this devastation delivered-by-phallus is given, by the Pentagon Boys, a female moniker: after all, who wants to be the gruesome progenitor birthing a bomb whose blast radius is one mile wide, 360-degrees? That instantaneously sucks the oxygen from that sorry area — then lights the air on fire? At a cost of 16-million, weighing 11-tons, there is no bomb-bay that can disgorge the Mother Of All Bombs, and so it’s pushed out the back of a C-130 Hercules transport – ejaculated, you might say — then GPS guidance and gravity do the rest, until the Pentagon Penis explodes midair with a concussion so goddamned yuuuge, it causes the earth below to crumble and quake for miles.

An Afghan Army spokesman proudly claimed that the bomb killed nearly 100 ISIS-K militants and that, apparently miraculously, there were zero civilian casualties. The media, with no pushback, reported what they were told — the bombing happened in a “remote” province. Other Afghan sources point out that there were villages in the bombed area for many centuries – “were” being the operative word. Whatever the truth, it will take a while longer until unbiased, on-the-ground facts are accurately reported – if they ever are.

The child in the White House, when asked if he ordered the April 13th bombing, couldn’t take first-hand credit for the show of force, like he likes – because he didn’t order the bombing. Among the run-on sentences and obfuscation in his swerving answer to a simple yes-or-no question, it became clear that the Pentagon, who’d previously been given carte blanche in the Afghan War by Obama, acted unilaterally and Trump, catching up, was left having to salvage credit as best he could.

But whether he gave the final go-ahead or not, is irrelevant: GBU43 was developed during Bush-the-Second’s unilateral and illegal invasion of Iraq, but neither he nor Obama felt its usage was worth the blowback. However, the new martial atmosphere this President has created, endorsed the Generals’ freedom to whip out their yugely-yuge dick and finally drop it without fear of recrimination. Our 45th President has boisterously loosened the lightning of his terrible swift sword along with the Pentagon’s official rules of engagement, the most heinous of which is now allowing for broad civilian casualties as entirely acceptable – in fact, negligible.

The day after the Mother Of All Bombs was unloaded, the unabashed idiots at Fox and Friends showed grainy aerial, black-and-white Pentagon footage of the massive explosion as Toby Keith sang his hit, Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry American) on the show’s soundtrack: “You’re gonna feel like the whole wide world is raining down on yooooooouuu!” By unanimously crowing, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” The Press and Congress, liberal and conservative alike, positively acknowledged the President’s actions, validated and affirmed that malignant ego, normalizing what’s perversely anomalous. Trump had finally risen to Commander-in-Chief status; the Presidential table was re-set; an amateur administration was suddenly decisive; Trump was a tough guy, authoritative, moral even, he showed “credibility.” Even Nancy Pelosi went along with some ill-placed praise. So see? In the end, size does matter.

There’s one more megalomaniacal quality of Donald Trump’s which is particularly American, glove-in-hand with his Sys-Male machismo: sentimentality. It’s a swell counterpoint to the bombast — maudlin consternation cloaked passionately in outrage and surprise at suddenly discovering there’s such a thing as human suffering. The man who vociferously and viciously excoriates Syrian refuges every chance he gets, cold-bloodedly barring every despairing woman, child, sick and old person from our shores is abruptly, incomprehensibly in touch with himself — or more accurately, he likely touched himself, felt something, even if it was tiny.

After all, what did Trump do the moment those gruesome TV-images caught his usually inattentive eyes? Whip out his dick — albeit in a limp and impotent way — this time with the leader of China visiting Mar a Lago, slathering over the yuuugest piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen. Donald-in-Chief ordered the Navy to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise penises into Syria, causing minor damage to an airfield, after alerting the enemy of the imminent attack; this from the President who says, “I never telegraph my moves.” Trump’s heart, had he one, craves to be in the right place — even if his pecker never is.

Donald Trump doesn’t recognize his own contradictory behavior, much less his country’s complex history, so he can afford to be suddenly sentimental about other people’s violence while simultaneously sweeping U.S. influences under the rug. The rest of us have no such luxury when it comes to America’s prior relationships with dictators, chemical armaments and their precursor elements – many supplied by the United States in times past.

In the aftermath of Assad’s chemical carnage on his own people, the Trump Administration and Corporate Media conveniently forgot about Ronald Reagan’s cynical response years earlier to an immensely more horrible gas attack in Northern Iraq during the waning days of the Iran-Iraq War. Let’s go back a bit and examine how this paragon of piety for the Republican Party reacted to the Halabja chemical attack, perpetrated by the dictator-dog America supported in that fight, Saddam Hussein.

As evening fell on the Halabja residential district, March 16, 1988, it had been quiet for several hours — quiet since Hussein’s planes had begun raining conventional bombs and Napalm on the town’s civilians starting at 11:00 that morning, lasting three hours (ostensibly to route Iranian fighters that Saddam said were ensconced among the city’s residents).

With the sun setting at a nearby airbase, more bomber planes departed – 14 sorties, each comprised of 8 bombers, this time lasting five interminable hours: their planes’ ordinances? Mustard and Sarin gas: 6,800 civilians suffocated to death, burning and writhing in agony – including thousands upon thousands of women and children – leaving tens of thousands more forever injured, including future cases of cancer and birth defects. It was the largest chemical attack against civilians in world history; a genocidal massacre specifically carried out against Kurdish Iraqis whom Saddam loathed because they historically desired independence from Iraq.

What did that moral paragon, the Christian-Right icon Ronald Reagan do? He blamed Iran instead of Iraq: publicly and purposefully, he wagged a guilty finger at the wrong side, though he knew privately with indisputable and absolute certainty from his CIA, that it was Saddam Hussein and not Iran who’d perpetrated the War Crime on his own people, then denied it with alacrity as his U.S. sponsors looked the other way, as they generally tend to do. That is, unless of course, it serves America’s purposes to do otherwise – then there’s outrage! Suddenly everyone’s Claude Rains, “Shocked! Shocked to hear there’s gambling!” at Rick’s American Café.

Welcome then to Trump’s American Café where the coffee’s bitter, hard to swallow, and is calculated to induce vomiting. Truly though… years after Halabja, when Bush Junior was concocting “smoking guns as mushroom clouds” to justify his invasion of Iraq, he had the temerity to use the previously shunned horrors of Halabja – officially denied for 15 years — now proof positive that Hussein was an imminent threat to the United States.

In a gruesome parallel, Assad claims that the TV images of his chemical attack (which moved The Donald to such emotional depths) are “Fake News,” the dead and dying were, he said, “child actors” staging the event just to make him look bad.

And as a peculiar side-note to chemical weapons, I give you the following observation: that inimitable mass murderer, the teetotaling vegetarian, non-smoking, true nonpareil of evil with that iconic slap of black paint above his sneering lip, owes his mustache’s truncated and oblong shape to the planet’s first ever use of poison gas, down in the wet trenches of World War One (remember the “War to End All Wars”?).
At the start WWI, young Adolf sported a lengthier, Teutonic-stach with extravagant extremities he could twirl as he railed, one imagines, against Jews, immigrants, communists, homosexuals, Freemasons – basically all “Others.” But Corporal Adolf faced a life-and-death decision regarding his proud Prussian persona: that handlebar of pubic hair interfered with his infantry gas mask, jutting out its sides, precluding a hermetic seal against the terrifying, toxic gases. Forced to swallow his vanity, the Fuher-to-be trimmed his manhood to a more manageable size, giving us that rectangle of hate forever-after painted on the loathed images of every leader across the globe whom the public believes is oppressing them. But let’s be real: no one will ever match that malignant villain, nor match the horrors he wrought.

Not even You-Know-Who — not by a yuuuge shot.

And though the Organ Grinder’s Monkey himself invokes Hitler vis-a-vis Bashar al-Assad, claiming the latter is worse because the former never gassed his own people (except of course, the Monkey realized on reflection, in “Holocaust Centers”), we can all agree that the Archetypal Adolf holds a place all his own and comparisons are inescapably hyperbolic.

What isn’t a false comparison, is the striking similarity between today’s Republicans and the collaborators with the Third Reich, most particularly the Vichy French, who represented the failed French State at the time. The calculation was that France would be spared from Nazi excesses with a wait-and-see attitude, “Attentiste,” rather than openly resisting the German occupation. The bet was that Hitler would defeat England and it was better to be on the winning than losing side; so normalize the Nazi presence, go-along-to-get-along – collaborate.

The arch collaborators, Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval, were the masterminds behind the Vichy policies; Laval had a close relationship with the German Ambassador, bragged that he “had the ear” of the Third Reich. Laval also saw himself as a Christ-like figure sacrificing himself for the greatness of France and that only HE could do the job which needed doing: Trump has certainly echoed this sentiment numerous times during his campaign and in the White House. The reality for France, despite Laval’s messianic self-image, was quite different: all Hitler actually wanted was to suck the French teat dry of all its resources, use French airbases in Syria to attack the British in Iraq — not that history repeats itself or anything.

Laval and Petain, so as to keep their faux Vichy government afloat and restore “National Unity,” initiated draconian “law-and-order” measures and began rounding up thousands of “undesirables” to meet Hitler’s target numbers for forced-labor camps. This authoritarian New Order was meant to mitigate the “degenerative effects of parliamentary democracy” leading to a “National Revolution” wherein Traditional Values and Culture were glorified; as opposed to the evils of “La Decadence,” meaning all things Modern. France, they explained, would experience a “Moral Revolution” wherein the French people would return to their TRUE National Identity, turning inwards and away from the rest of the world. Not unlike today’s mantra, say it with me now, “Make America Great Again!”

Religiously Catholic and aristocratic in their self-image, the Vichy New Order would tolerate zero criticism of its national vision for moral purity: all media was strictly controlled to match the propaganda message; birth control and abortion were outlawed; the patriarchal family, where a subservient wife bore numerous children, was exalted; this vision of family included the firing of all married women from government jobs so they could fulfill their true purposes at home.

The mentality of the Vichy collaborators is not unlike many of the changes America has experienced since the election of this incompetent poseur. For instance: the President’s Men embarking on their quest to disembowel our government for some ideological “greater good”, or in Steve Bannon’s words, “Deconstruct the State”; the Law-and-Order authoritarianism which lifts restrictions on police violence and responsibility; the abrogation of Women’s Rights and taking control their wombs; the so-called Alt-Right ethos of White-Traditional-Values taking precedence; demonizing of the press and all things progressive; Nationalism and isolationism; a preoccupation with provoking conflict in order to seem strong, in lieu of tangible progress and actual strength; emphasis on religion and family as the nonpareil of National Existence.

So as the Cheeto-in-Chief flexes his muscle against our old torture-buddy Bashar al-Assad and “shows credibility” by being a more hair-trigger (if not ham-fisted) President than his predecessors, this apotheosis of orangish-white male privilege, dummy-with-a-hammer to whom everything is a nail, this vulgarian who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing, a profane misogynist who lies when he says “hello” to you, this fucking loudmouth… is the American Dream become the American Nightmare.

There are many who will continue to collaborate with the megalomaniacal bag of wind no matter what — the “Adults in the Room” as they’re often and un-ironically called – they will continue to try and normalize what is by any and all standards of decency and reason, insupportable. These Vichy Republicans will have much to answer for down the road, because already to the vast majority of the American public, the first 100 days of this inexcusable excuse of an administration are a fiasco (though the Liar-in-Chief calls it, “The best 100 days of all time”).

So fellow Venetians and Americans everywhere, let’s stay hip to the fact that “normalizing” and “accepting” of this moment in our nation’s history is NOT acceptable. That the ONLY solution to collaboration is RESISTANCE! The future of our Republic — of the world’s first Great Experiment in Democracy — demands this fight from us all.

VIVE LA RESISTANCE!

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Categories: Paul Barber, Politics

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