Single vision and double standards

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

IF POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP were a product, it would carry the label:

WARNING: CAUSES PARTIAL BLINDNESS 

This applies not only to the institutional Democratic and Republican parties, but the broader ideological parties of Left and Right establishment opinion. Since these parties are synthetic bundles of ideological incoherence, usually those who identify strictly with one or the other are led to miss important facts.

There are many illustrations of this principle, but let’s go with a random recent episode that I noticed. Last week, Carl Wolfson guested for progressive radio host Thom Hartmann on his nationally syndicated show. I tuned in as Wolfson was bashing Glenn Beck for his bashing of billionaire financier George Soros, whom Beck sees as a lone “puppetmaster” of the Left. Wolfson did not challenge the content of Beck’s assertions; rather, he charged, the mere mention of a shadowy financier manipulating things from behind the scenes constitutes prima facie proof of anti-Semitism.

A few minutes later, Wolfson brought on author Russ Baker to discuss his book “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Invisible Government and America’s Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.” The interview was chockablock with talk of conspiracy, including — zOMG!! — shadowy financiers manipulating things from behind the scenes.

“I am not a conspiracy buff,” Baker disclaimed, per legal requirement. However, the amiable-sounding author then went on to say that America is ruled by a small oligarchy that gets its way regardless of which party is in power.

“One of the darkest secrets of Richard Nixon was that he was created by bankers,” Baker said. The same bankers ousted him in a “silent coup” called Watergate. All quite conspiratorial-sounding to this writer.

Baker continued saying that both Skull and Bones and international banking firm Brown Brothers Harriman “[have] been instrumental in shaping nearly every president” of the last century.”

George H.W. Bush, the book’s main subject, actually had a secret history in the CIA “all the way back [to] when he was a flyer in WWII working for Naval Intelligence,” Baker said. Oil companies such as Bush’s Zapata Offshore Drilling Company provided commercial cover for intelligence operations. This might explain why Gerald Ford, the unelected president, would put Bush in as CIA director with no apparent intelligence experience.

Wolfson, the host who said that talk of extracurricular activities by bankers is anti-semitic, seemed to be enjoying this particular conspiracy theory.

Baker continued with a claim that Bush, who in 1963 was in Texas supposedly drilling oil, has never been able to recall where he was on the morning of November 23. Persistent reports have linked him to Dealey Plaza and even to the hospital where JFK was pronounced dead. Sometime later, Baker alleged, Bush hurriedly flew from Dallas to Tyler, from where he then made a “confidential” call to the Houston (not Dallas) FBI office, taking pains to identify himself by name and that he was “calling from Tyler” and that he “might have a tip as to who shot the president.” Bush then gave the FBI a groundless tip to send them on “wild goose chase,” Baker said.

Besides providing a diversion, the only purpose Bush’s call served would seem to have been to establish that “around the time the president expired, [Bush]  wasn’t in Dallas,” Baker said.

So, it seems that implying George H.W. Bush played a role in the Kennedy assassination is not a despicable anti-WASP conspiracy theory, but pointing out George Soros’ known bankrolling of political groups, candidates and Mideastern political uprisings is a despicable anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

I’m not quite following the logic.

It’s not that I am either validating or invalidating questions about either conspiracy. Both are fair game in a free country with free speech. Questions should always be asked, and truth always sought. I’m just pointing out that those going around with only one eye open — be it the left one or the right one — invariably wind up with impaired depth perception.

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