Where have the real leaders gone?

March 19th, 2003

My uncle in Australia asks me on the eve of this impending war with Iraq what my observations are. Here’s my reply:

While on the whole my philosophy is not to fret unduly about things that are beyond my control, here are my thoughts:

The US decided long ago that this war was going to happen. The last 6 months has all been posturing to spin public and foreign opinion. At no time was there any chance whatsoever that circumstances could avert their course. Unfortunately, they have failed miserably to convince us to fall in line behind them:


I don’t even necessarily disagree with their ends, but their means has been to feed us bullshit rather than to give us the straight goods:


Iraq notwithstanding, America’s fabric has been imploding what with the Patriot Act and other real and proposed erosions of constitutional freedoms. If this is the direction of the American state, the terrorists have truly won.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that Dubya to me is nothing but a talking head attached to a larger machine that determines direction and fabricates the necessary spin to pave the public relations path of least resistance. I watch him speaking and I can’t for the life of me feel that he is speaking from anything but a teleprompter. If I am to hearken to heads of state who could actually write their own speeches by virtue of their deeply held convictions, their natural leadership and a personal level of eloquence that allows them to express truly heartfelt intellectual convictions as inspirational prose, I have to go as far back in Canadian politics as Pierre Trudeau, and in American politics I don’t even know when. Look at newsreels of Pierre Trudeau addressing the nation during the invocation of the War Measures Act – you feel that he actually sat and wrote the speech himself. Dubya seems as though he’s a pitchman for the propaganda of the day, like never an original (much less cogent) thought ever sprung from his conscience.

3 comments to “Where have the real leaders gone?”

  1. Right, Brent… insincerity and bad theatre seem more viable than ever. I thought this was interesting, too:

    “…In the new totalitarian system, people can say whatever they like, and it makes absolutely no difference.” Saudi Arabia, Nicolas Buchele in the Arab News

  2. Right on Brent. Kind of depressing to be reading this sort of stuff, but one must not stop thinking, unless one is certain a Florida radio station manager

  3. The “haves” feeding bullshit to the “have-nots”.
    Wow, that phenomena is only as old as, what…
    ..recorded history. Welcome to the human condition.