To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the assassination of our last Yankee president The Wall Street Journal published an article by Christopher Hitchens, “Where’s the Aura?”. Hitchens is glad that the Kennedy cult is dying, and, having grown up in Massachusetts, I agree, the near-nuclear war Cuban missile showdown by itself being reason enough – see “Cuban Missile Crisis Closer to Nuclear War Than Believed.” (And, no, the fact that civilization wasn’t destroyed doesn’t disprove the point; there’s a very good chance of surviving a round of Russian roulette, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Ask any successful options trader you happen to meet about the risk /reward profile.)
“In a recent ill-phrased speech, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts referred with contempt to the combat in Iraq as something cooked up ‘in Texas.’ He thereby gave vent to a facile liberal prejudice that still sees the Galahad of Camelot as having been somehow slain by Dallas itself, or by Texas at any rate. And what do we think of, or what are we supposed to think of, when the word ‘Texas’ is invoked? Why, cowboys and gunplay and irresponsible capitalist dynasties.”
This brings to mind Glenn Danzig’s song for Jackie O:
“Texas is an outrage when your husband is dead,
Texas is an outrage when they pick up his head,
Texas is the reason that the president’s dead.”
Who should we believe – wobbly late-Hitchens or classic early Misfits-era Danzig? (Here’s the full song in Real Audio – Warning! Language, adult content, nihilism and mature themes: “Bullet.”)
According to The Yankee and the Cowboy War conspiracy theory, much of the past half-century of US history can be explained as the results of an East Coast – West feud. Nixon, cowboy. Reagan, Yankee turncoat (Illinois to cowboy actor in the West, Roosevelt Democrat to Goldwater Republican), cowboy.
But can’t they just get along? Yes! US spycraft (Yankee) and oil (Cowboy) meet in the person of Bush I, who actually moved from East to West. Bush II made the reverse migration. Which brings us to James Baker III.
“Baker fuses patrician chill with Texas saltiness: He’s a hyperefficient control freak dressed up in cowboy boots and chaw. He rocketed through the political hierarchy from President Ford’s undersecretary of commerce to Reagan’s chief of staff to secretary of the treasury to Bush’s secretary of state. … With the smugness that only the combination of Texas and the Ivy League can produce, Baker settled for an aide’s role because he knew he was better than the pols he served.”
– “James Baker – The Bush family janitor,” by David Plotz
The hereinreality.com website has a nice bunch of links about Baker and and his law firm, Baker Botts:
“He led the campaigns of the last four Republican presidents. He watched the September 11 attacks at the Ritz-Carlton with the Bin Laden family. He’s defending the Saudis against a trillion-dollar lawsuit brought forth by the September 11 families. Some say he’s the most powerful lawyer in the world. …
“He’s the Senior Counsel for The Carlyle Group, a company that invests pension funds in defense and telecommunications companies around the world. The Carlyle Group is the nation’s 10th largest defense contractor, with extensive ties to Enron, Global Crossing, Arthur Andersen, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Bin Ladens.
“Through his law firm, Baker & Botts, he is also working to assist American oil companies in the Caspian Region. This work right now involves a pipeline to be built through Afghanistan, a pipeline that Texas oil companies were negotiating with the Taliban to build before 9-11.
“Is this the same James A. Baker that works for the Department of Justice as the Counsel for Intelligence Policy? ‘The Office serves as adviser to the Attorney General and various client agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Defense and State Departments, concerning questions of law, regulation, and guidelines as well as the legality of domestic and overseas intelligence operations.’ …”
That’s right, Baker, like Cheney and the Bushes, is one of the Big Oil, Saudi royalty–partnering, national security statists who brought us international jihad, the Gulf wars, and the “occupation of the land of the two sacred mosques.” It wasn’t easy but that’s why they get the big bucks.
A few months back, President Bush sent Baker to meet with the president of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze has recently been deposed, and Mark Ames, for one, thinks these events are connected: “Georgia in the Crunch.”
In Ames’ other excellent article in the current issue of The Exile, he shares advice from a Russian friend of his regarding conspiracy theorizing: Vsyo gorazdo prosche – It’s always much more simple than the analysts portray it.