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Writing in the (London) Sunday Times Sarah Baxter says the departure in disgrace of Paul Wolfowitz from the World Bank marks the “end of an ideological era” in Washington. I’m losing track of the number of times that the end of the Neocon regnum has been announced in the foreign press right now, and I’ll just observe for the moment that Prince Feliks Yusupov took the right precautions when he dealt with Rasputin. You’ll recall that after being invited to the Moika Palace, Rasputin was fed a dose of cyanide sufficient to kill ten men, then shot through the back with a revolver, and then shot three more times, he was bound in a sheet and then thrown through a hole in the ice in the Neva River (it was December). When an autopsy was performed it was found that neither the cyanide nor the bullets had killed Rasputin; he died of hypothermia. But Baxter’s piece is a fascinating read, especially in that it is able to write with candor about the Neocons and their manipulations – something which is still impossible to find, for instance, in the Washington Post or New York Times. Here are a couple of the more glittering nuggets from the piece:
The writer Christopher Hitchens, a friend of Wolfowitz and foe of Falwell, says: “The main noise in Washington right now is that of collapsing scenery. The Republican party is in total disarray. They’ve been dropping their most intelligent people over the side while the presidential candidates are all outbidding each other to be nice about the revolting carcass of Falwell.” …
According to Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan and a persistent critic of the Iraq war: “Wolfowitz has demonstrated a penchant for cronyism and for smearing and marginalising perceived rivals as tactics for getting his way. Indeed, these tactics are typical of what might be called the neoconservative style.”
By the time Wolfowitz was forced out, the ugly side of the World Bank boss was revealed in a memo in which he vowed in the style of a mafia don that “if they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too”.
And the “fucking back,” Baxter notes, has been done with gusto by the Neocon’s house organ, the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”