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January 2, 2004

James Baker: The Last Hope for America


Why Powell Must Go

by Anthony Gancarski

It's been years, it seems, since I've had anything positive to say about US foreign policy. Whether it's the jackass mathematicians and careful parsers of phrase in the Pentagon, or the mannequin posing as Secretary of State, the whole operation has proven to be all-too-effective fodder for the socialists protesting US wars overseas. It's almost seemed inevitable that any move Washington made would be essentially debauched – spiritually, economically, diplomatically, militarily – as if designed to appeal to the jackasses who went to the pre-war pro-war rallies and brayed about liberating some other helpless jackasses whose names they couldn't even pronounce and whose cities they couldn't find on the map.

I'm a cynic, I guess; I don't care much about people I don't know, have no intention of meeting, et al. It doesn't surprise me that "liberation forces" had to resort to wrapping a town in barbed wire – In The Service of Freedom. America is a culture of enforcement at this point, as it must be, given that our women are taught to be harlots by corporate culture and that our men are taught to do as they're told. A recipe for freedom? Hell no, my brother. A recipe for Apocalypse, and for the end of the American experiment, whatever the hell that actually meant.

But when my thoughts turned most cynical, along came a savior on a white horse. George W. Bush, the FNC "Beltway Boys" man of the year? Please – suggest that to my face and I'll piss down your throat, and then send you a bill for "services rendered." Pope John Paul II? As much as I appreciate the Raimondo argument on his behalf, the Pope has presided over a weakening of the Catholic Church domestically from which Rome will never recover. Donald Rumsfeld, the nonagenarian nincompoop in the Pentagon that worthies like Victor Davis Hanson and Midge Decter write paeans to while waiting to burn in hell? Some jokes are their own punch lines….

No, the "History Repeating Man of the Year" is not one of the usual suspects. He's a man that shows up and gets things done, without worrying about press conferences and the fatuous trappings of self-promotion. A former Secretary of State who should be restored to his former position forthwith, my choice for Man of the Year is none other than the old Bush hand, the Fixer, James Baker.

Look at the man's record in December alone. He worked Paris, Rome, Japan and China, just to name a few, to get debt forgiveness for the newest, sorriest U.S. protectorate – and was successful. As opposed to Colin Powell, the current Secretary of State who wanted to pay Turkey roughly a million dollars a soldier to occupy Iraq just months ago, Baker sees the bottom line and the balance sheet and acts like a professional, keeping those in mind above all other concerns.

This column shares the Chomsky/Kissinger contention that "foreign policy is not missionary work," if only because that neat phrase punctures the bloated guts of the asinine advocates of Middle Eastern Liberation more quickly than any other five words that can be said in polite company. James Baker embodies that phrase. An elite speaking to elites in a language that resonates, Baker Gets Things Done, and he doesn't even have to threaten carpet bombing Mecca to do so.

Critics of Baker love to quote him, apocryphally, telling an intimate in the Poppy Bush administration something along the lines of "Fu*k the Jews – they didn't vote for us anyway" as a way of justifying a policy toward Israel not entirely consistent with the tenets of dual-citizenship. Did Baker say it? Is anyone alive that actually heard him say it? Will that person go on Fox News and validate these craven chickensh*ts who compile the "historical record?" If not, let's dispense with the smearing of the only statesman in Washington with a vision and the acumen necessary to extricate America from its current "hyper-powered" binds. 2004 has to be a year in which things change dramatically in terms of US foreign policy, and I defy anyone to come up with a better agent of change than the well-traveled, unimpeachably-proven James Baker III.

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Anthony Gancarski, the author of Unfortunate Incidents, writes for The American Conservative, CounterPunch, and LewRockwell.com. His web journalism was recognized by Utne Reader Online as "Best of the Web." A writer for the local Folio Weekly, he lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

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