The War Drums Pause

We are having a pause in our URGENT NEED TO PANIC about Iran’s IMMINENT THREAT so that we can have our 15 minute hate for the Venezuelan Emmanuel Goldstein, whom all patriotic citizens of Oceania hate and rejoice is in hell.


It really is remarkable how much Drudge acts like the Ministry of Truth while posing as the avatar of independent journalism. But the radical totalitarians of the 20th century nearly always saw themselves as bold idealists overturning a corrupt old order and ushering in the brave new order.  Come to think of it, that’s what Chavez did too.  Neocon utopians seem to have a sort of anti-charism for learning all the wrong lessons, much as 20th century Commies did.

  • John Y

    You are in fine form today…. maybe time to lay off the coffee? ;)

  • IC

    Mark, love your enemies is SO 20 centuries ago.

  • Ed Graham

    Naturally, I reject Drudge’s speculation about the state of Chavez’s soul, but there is some justice in Drudge’s use of the thug’s porcine puss, as Chavez’s political career was based on hate and division, including the demonization of THE JEWS. But, hey, RIP.

    • Mark Shea

      Nobody’s calling Chavez a good guy. What I’m remarking on is the curious need for neocon media like Drudge to always have an enemy. Yesterday it was Iran. Today, it’s Chavez. Tomorrow it will be Iran again. It is a feature of the great totalitarian systems of the 20th century that they conceived of war, not as abnormal, but as the normal state of the human race, as essential to human flourishing and as desirable since it purified the race/class. Neocons appear to have the same pagan notion that war is not a mark of failure, but a mark of strength. So they keep pushing on us enemies to hate and pre-emptive (that is, aggressive unjust) wars.

      • Ed Graham

        Mark: Manufacturing “enemies”? Like these “neocons” you keep attacking? When I see that Drudge headline and picture, I see Drudge doing what he always does – commenting, through the use of pictures, often the juxtoposition of more than one picture, on current events with humor. I see a healthy kick-in-the-pants to mark the departure of a tyrant, not a rabid “neocon media” (and pagan to boot) manufacturing “enemies to hate.” Mao died when I was at college and our conservative student daily paper ran the headline, “Tough Commie Bites Dust.” I thought that was a funny and happy image, not a call for war. And my reaction to Mao’s exit was similar to my reaction to Chavez’s passing: Good riddance.

        • Ed Graham

          But then I know that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

        • Mark Shea

          It’s humor to wish somebody in hell? Riiiiight.

          No. The calls for war were yesterday. Suddenly there is an urgent need to go to war with Iran. Just as ten years ago, Drudge was literally screaming “PUSH THE DAMN BUTTON!” about Iraq. Yeah, the guy is a huge drum major for war. As have been FOX and the Talk Radio heads. Once the festivities over Chavez eternal damnation–oh, I’m sorry, “humor”–are over Drudge will be back pounding the drums for our next stupid military adventure.

          • Ed Graham

            So when do we attack Venezuela? If Drudge is merely a pagan, neocon drum major for war (and, boy, is that an image to conjure), how does his demonization, so to speak, of a now-dead Venezuelan caudillo serve his purpose? If the goal is war with Iran, isn’t he simply diverting attention – and all that useful hate – from the REAL target? Sounds like poor planning to me. Or a shaky theory.

            • Dr. Eric

              I went to school with a guy who worships Thor and Odin who is definitely on the Neo-con bandwagon.

      • Sean P. Dailey

        “Neocons appear to have the same pagan notion that war is not a mark of failure, but a mark of strength.”

        Never forget, the first Neocons were all ex-Trotskyites. They abandoned communism, but not the Trotskyite drive to remake the world, through war, into whatever vision of utopia they wanted (in the Neocons’ case, democracy). In one other way to Neocons reflect their Trotskyite roots: unending smear campaigns against anyone who opposes them. Where enemies of the communist revolution were right wing deviationists, opponents of the War on Terror are unpatriotic and hate Jews too.

    • Pavel Chichikov

      I bet you’re a lot better looking, and proud of it.

      • Ed Graham

        I’ll leave that for others to judge and, no, I’m not particularly vain. See, I’m just an average guy – I don’t have the power to loot a country (Chavez had a “personal wealth” in excess of $1 billion when he died) or destroy its economy or oppress it citizens or use anti-semitism to hold onto power like the recently departed. I think it is healthy to laugh at such tyrants. But if you’d rather laugh at me, that’s ok. Because you’re not Chavez either, and that’s all you can do.

        • Pavel Chichikov

          I’m not laughing at you.

          I’ve read juvenile appraisals of Stalin which seemed to think it important to note that Stalin was short and had a pock-marked face. That’s a child’s version of the pathetic fallacy: Ogres are big and ugly, and witches have big chins and noses.

          I don’t care what Chavez looked like, and I don’t care what you look like.

          • Ed Graham

            Well, that’s a relief.

            My guess is that Chaplin ridiculed Hitler’s appearance, like Disney in “Der Fuehrer’s Face,” is not because they imagined that ogres are big and ugly or that witches have big chins and noses, but because they know that tyrants tend to have very big egos and grotesquely inflated delusions of grandeur. Hit ‘em where it hurts and do what you can to puncture the inflated images they have peddled to the masses.

            • Pavel Chichikov

              The Great Dictator is not one of Chaplin’s best films. He trivialized Hitler and Mussolini by making them seem like oafs and fools. But perhaps he didn’t understand what he was trying to satirize.

  • Stu

    Tasteless headline indeed.

    Cost per impression….beer and shampoo

  • midwestlady

    Take a pill, Mark. Good grief.

  • Stu

    Now he is highlighting Rand Paul’s REAL filibuster to bring attention to the prospect of drone warfare on US citizens.

    • Mark Shea

      As I noted on FB: Drudge is not an organ of the state. He is, however, an enthusiastic organ of neocon agitprop that has a curious and tortured relationship with the state. On the one hand, he has an almost complete loathing of the leftist conception of the nanny state and a wholly uncritical love of Randian libertarianism. He has a deep (and justified) fear of the US evolving into a police state and constantly features stories of the abuse of state power domestically. On the other hand, he *loves* stories of projection of state power abroad and the Michael Ledeen vision of picking up crappy little countries and throwing them against the wall just to show we mean business–especially crappy little countries hostile to Israel. So we see not an ounce of regret about the Iraq War (the inauguration of which he demanded with the screaming headline “PUSH THE DAMN BUTTON!”), pounding drums for war with Iran, and a positively schizophrenic view of Obama, who is simultaneously Hitler, Stalin and Mao put together, as well as kind of awesome for cutting through all that pansy peacenik red tape and voting himself the power to murder anybody he decides is an enemy of the state–cuz that’s all badass and anti-terroristy.

      • Stu

        And he is a business man.

        Hits and clicks…beer and shampoo.

        As with all sources for information, lector emptor.

        • Mark Shea

          But, as I keep repeating, a businessman who knows his target demographic.

          • Stu

            As does ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, etc. That’s why they are business men.

  • astorian

    I’ve been hearing about our supposed “Rush to War” with Iran for at least 10 years now. This has to be the slowest rush to war ever!

    • Pavel Chichikov

      I think that’s because a war with Iran could ripple out into highly undesirable consequences.

      The US could “win” a war with Iran – no one doubts it. But also. And then what?

    • Mark Shea

      I see no rush. What I see is constant and relentless pressure for war from neocon warmongers that was thwarted by the disaster of the Iraq War and hindered by the consequent election of Obama, but which has never changed in its utopian desire to smash Iran and bring about the blessings of creative destruction and the glories of salvation through Leviathan by any means necessary.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Give any one of us the power that Chavez had, and we would be better? Easy to say.

  • honeybee

    When you can detach a bit and look at Drude in a purely McLuhan-esque way, he’s making some interesting comments on our culture and media as a whole. I love looking at his page in its entirely as one huge canvas. It’s sometimes profound, sometimes hilarious.

    Step back and look for the meta-message, not just what’s being presented as the surface headlines.

  • Too early for war

    With the stock market doing well, unemployment bad but not a disaster, and the Eurozone not totally falling apart, there’s no real need to go to war with Iran (or other bogeyman).

    Once we get the eventual market crash (FED money printing can’t go on forever), or the Eurozone falls apart (after Germany makes it’s bed and prints enough Deutschmarks) or some other threat to ruling class (50%+ youth unemployment) THEN war will be the only option to divert the masses away from their dire existance (assuming American Idol isn’t working anymore either) and soak up the millions of young men without jobs and futures.

    Until then, enjoy your eTrade account and American Idol.

  • Dave G.

    In honesty, Drudge isn’t exactly some bizarre exception in our modern round table of discussion or debate. I fear more people are drum majors of their particular parties than we might imagine.

  • Janette


    It looks like your old “friends” have up a new post about intelligent design:


  • Dave G.

    “Yesterday it was Iran. Today, it’s Chavez. Tomorrow it will be Iran again.”

    That was an odd observation. It isn’t as if conservatives just now decided Chavez was the enemy. In fact, I think that’s a badge Chavez wore with some level of pride.

  • Pedro Erik

    Drudge and Shea are extreme for me.
    I like Drudge but I did not like his extreme Romney support in the last election. By contrast, I like Shea, but I did not like his extreme scorn against Romney in the last election.

    • merkn

      I don’t see much difference between Drudge and Mark. They have different biases and beliefs but are in the same business. But both use hyperbole to generate interest and catch attention . Is putting Chavez in hell over the top, sure. But does he really mean it? Doubt he has even thought about it. I also think calling Obama god king is over the top and out of line, as is the call to strip politicians of their property and condemn them to various punishments without trial over some disagreements over militairy policy is alittle overdone. I don’t read Drudge’s irancoverage as cheerleading for war. It is sensationalism. On the other hand, drudge is very good on abortion and resistance to the Government control of private life.