Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is the Problem with Finger-Pointing That We're Using the Wrong Finger?

Is the Problem with Finger-Pointing That We're Using the Wrong Finger?

That’s One Way Of Putting It!





"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –



Is the Problem with Finger-Pointing That We're Using the Wrong Finger?

That’s One Way Of Putting It!

BY:  Harry Shearer

Actor, author, director, satirist, musician, radio host, playwright, multi-media artist


Help me. I'm confused. Are we supposed to ignore the past, forget finger-pointing and blame-gaming and look forward? Or are we supposed to demand accountability? Or some third option?


On the one hand, we have the expectations of a lot of Obama Nation for something between

John Conyers' Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a post-mortem impeachment of Bush, Cheney, et al. On the other, we have Obama's anodyne reassurances about looking to the future, mirroring the Bush insistence that an "accountability moment" happened, in November 2004, and is now past history.


On the one hand, we have the current Administration's embrace of waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping. On the other, we have Tim Geithner's apparently innocent failure to pay some taxes in a timely manner.


Hey, I bow to no one in my scorn for a Treasury Secretary-designate who can't figure out his taxes, but -- are the same senators who pooh-pooh any idea of (to use a Clinton impeachment era phrase) sending a message to our children about federal officials flouting the law going to get all pious about Geithner's boo-boo? And is the only reason because Geithner isn't yet sworn in?


What's the part of this I'm missing? You can violate the Constitution and our treaty obligations (which the Constitution makes part of the law of the land) with impunity, but woe unto you if you run afoul of the tax laws?


Sent: 1/13/2009 11:09:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Call to Action


Dear VFP chapter 16 members and friends,


National VFP Statement on Crisis in Gaza


VFP does not take the side of any government, but rather takes the side of all people in the region who are victims of the most recent outbreak of violence raging between Palestine and Israel . 

As U.S. military veterans all too familiar with the horrors of war, Veterans For Peace must shout "HALT" to the violence, restating our position that attacks on civilians are never warranted.  Neither Israel nor Hamas is justified in attacking the civilian population of the other.  Bombings, rocket attacks, blockading medical supplies and military invasions will not lead to peace and security but will perpetuate the cycle of death, destruction, fear and insecurity among the people of all countries, including the U.S.

As citizens of the United States, VFP also recognizes that tens of billions of our tax dollars provide Israel the military means to wage a vastly disproportionate attack on Gaza , a district with particularly dense population.  That attack, plainly condemned by nearly all of the world's nations, has killed many hundreds of civilians, injured hundreds more and set off a humanitarian crisis where the wounded are dying from lack of transport to aid centers and many more face death from lack of water. 

We note with great sadness the unspeakable suffering which builds by the hour in Gaza .  We support the call for an end to the violence while noting that the Security Council's inability to take effective actions to uphold the UN Charter, its own previously adopted resolutions and international law is due in great part due to the objections of the U.S.

Therefore we call upon our 7,000 members in over 100 chapters across the United States to join the millions of our brothers and sisters across the Earth who have taken to the streets to protest, to stand in the way of business as usual, until this violence is stopped.

In the spirit of the White Rose and in service to our world and its people
Veterans For Peace is conducting a dramatic action in a unique setting this Saturday in Washington DC.  We will begin our indictment of the main stream media for war crimes.  Events will occur inside and outside the Newseum. The first edition of the newspaper tabloid "War Crimes Times" is being published and over 2,000 free copies will be "hawked" outside the building. The newspaper contains 12 pages packed with real news articles written by Michael Ratner of Center for Constitutional Rights, Professor Lawrence Velvel, and many others.

The Newseum is located at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W.,
Washington, DC.  

Order your ticket now to join the fun inside.

This is an arrest risk free event.  For more information and if you would like to participate inside or outside, make a financial contribution or help to spread the word please write back.  We will
not be silent.

Tony Teolis

We, a small group of D.C. area residents, are sick and disgusted at the idea that the United States may continue a useless and criminal war in Afghanistan.

Osam bin Laden is not in Afghanistan. Afghanistan doesn't have oil. What is the point?

We are taking our incoming President at his word: he wants our input and feedback to help him bring about Change. To that end, we are distributing, free of charge, our bumper stickers. Here is a picture of one:

We hope to produce enough area interest to have a sizeable group of people at the inauguration carrying signs about Afghanistan.

If you can help us, either by taking a bumper sticker, or several, for yourself and friends, or if you have ideas about how to help us help Obama to pull back from Bush-type foreign adventurism, please E-mail:  

afghanwarbutton.jpg 7K   View   Download  




Contact: Jose Rodriguez,

3,000 in Front of FBI Building for Inaugural Parade to Demand Bush's Arrest

For January 20th, 2009, has secured a permit for the front of the FBI building for a Yes We Can Arrest Bush event during the Inaugural Parade.

We intend to fill the permitted area with attendees with ARREST BUSH signs who will demand the arrest of outgoing President Bush for crimes against humanity and numerous constitutional violations.

An ARREST BUSH sign that can be downloaded from our website, and is a free inaugural parade ticket that is required to enter our permitted area.

We call for the arrest of George W. Bush for instigating war against a sovereign nation that posed no threat, wanton attacks on civilian populations, use of torture, and violations of the U.N. Charter.

We call for the arrest of George W. Bush for lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, for the deaths of US service members and Iraqi civilians, and for the abuse of the United States Constitution.

US Park Service permit # 09-18 allows for 3,000 participants. is also the sponsor of Dupont Circle Speakout with speakers and music on January 18 & 19th from 11am - 5 pm.

Please join us as we do our duty as citizens and bring justice to the United States of America. is people joining together with one mission in mind: to arrest George W. Bush for perpetrating crimes of the very gravest of matters concerning war and peace.


Bush On The Couch

By Justin Frank

Dr. Frank is the author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (2004). He is a Washington, D.C.–based psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical School


If one of my patients frequently said one thing and did another, I would want to know why. If I found that he often used words that hid their true meaning, and affected a persona that obscured the nature of his actions, I would grow more concerned. If he presented an inflexible worldview characterized by an oversimplified distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, allies and enemies, I would question his ability to grasp reality. And if his actions revealed an unacknowledged – even sadistic – indifference to human suffering, wrapped in pious claims of compassion, I would worry about the safety of the people whose lives he touched….


George W. Bush/ Sociopath  |   January 13, 2009


Psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, says the trail of destruction wrought by Bush over the last eight years is the direct consequence of handing a man with a destructive personality profile tremendous power. What once started as cruelty to animals, siblings, and fraternity brothers blossomed exponentially until it finally involved Iraq and the world: Allen L Roland

Oxford Dictionary defines a Sociopath: as a person who lacks a social conscience, as a psychopath.

On examining the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV- TR) the characteristics associated with Anti-Social Personality Disorder (more like, the sociopath) seem as if they could apply to George W Bush. The symptoms include: Failure to conform to social norms; Deceitfulness, Impulsivity; Irritability or aggressiveness; Reckless disregard for safety of others and self; Constant irresponsibility and Lack of Remorse as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from another ~ as witnessed our illegal attack, ocupation and economic rape of Iraq which has resulted in the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Bush obviously feels little if any remorse for this action and mistreatment and it appears to be a lifetime pattern of behavior.

Psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, explores this obvious Sociopath connection in his excellent recent article WHY BUSH LOVES VIOLENCE in the Daily Beast.

" George Bush's presidency is the culmination of a lifelong history of sadistic practices that he must deny in order to maintain his fragile psychological equilibrium. Since childhood, Bush was labeled a bad child, a troublemaker, and a delinquent. He stuck firecrackers into frogs and exploded them; he shot and wounded his little brothers with a b-b gun; he branded fraternity pledges at Yale with red-hot coat hangers; he mocked others and was a verbal bully, irreverent about anything serious.

What do bad boys do when they grow up? They stop; they change. But Bush never stopped being a bad boy; he only did it in more subtle, arguably socially acceptable ways.

Now, as this bad-boy president prepares to leave office, many of his critics are pinning his failures on bumbling incompetence. The conventional wisdom holds that Bush is either a good hearted guy who got in way over his head ~ or the puppet of Dick Cheney. But if he were simply good-hearted he wouldn't have mocked his own reasons for committing our young men and women to war; if he were a puppet, he was a puppet who chose his puppeteers. In my psychoanalytic exploration, the trail of destruction wrought by Bush over the last eight years is the direct consequence of handing a man with a destructive personality profile tremendous power.

What do bad boys do when they grow up? They change. But Bush never stopped.

Bush is leaving office immensely satisfied with his presidential accomplishments: Not merely wreaking havoc worldwide ~ actively destroying Iraq, and passively turning his back on New Orleans ~ he became feared both abroad and at home, where Congress and the press have yet to muster the courage to confront him. Now, the financial devastation of his policies seems to be hurtling the globe ever faster towards an economic Judgment Day.

The secret sadist in Bush greets all this as wonderful news, made even better by the possibility that he won't get caught or punished, and that others will at least have to clean up his mess if they can. He may look and sound uncharacteristically sheepish of late, but his sense of self as president remains unchanged at its core. His primary concern remains self-regard, not history's.

Evading responsibility has always been a central element of the pleasure he takes in the suffering of others, and his evasion has taken many forms, from colluding with questioners to let him off the hook, asking "Ken who?" when asked about Enron's Ken Lay, to making light of his cruel deeds, casually dismissing the fraternity branding as nothing worse than a "cigarette burn," or insisting that the United States does not torture when confronted by reporters about Abu Ghraib.

Sadism serves purposes besides giving the sadist pleasure at the pain he inflicts on others. For Bush, the roots of his bad-boy sadism run deep. As a young boy, he identified with his harsh and often cruel mother, whose inability to provide necessary maternal early nurturing culminated in her withdrawal after George's young sister's illness and untimely death. He was a ruthlessly-teased, learning-disabled little boy who was criticized by teachers for not being able to keep up in class. And he was left behind by an emotionally distant father who reinforced the message from his mother that it was pathetic for a seven-year-old to show grief about his sister's death. All of these factors contributed to an unrelenting self-hatred that made him feel weak and ashamed, things he tried to deny by posing as superior, exploiting weakness in others and becoming a bully. This process of externalizing his damaged sense of self, which he then attacked, became so strong later in life that it could only be partly managed by daily exercise and prayer.

By January 20, George W. Bush will have inflicted enough damage worldwide so he can retire to a quiet life of watching others scramble to clean up his mess. The missions he accomplished as president all bear the personal brand of his destructive streak: astronomic debt to China, horribly wounded veterans, a crippled health care system, and America's damaged international reputation. And they will continue to be felt for years to come. What once started as cruelty to animals, siblings, and fraternity brothers has blossomed exponentially.

Bush's life-long violent tendencies have been expressed both actively and passively. As a youth he enjoyed inflicting pain directly; as a first-term president he let surrogates do his bidding; and in his second term he passively turned his back in malign indifference to the suffering of others. His pathological sadism has never waned, though his efforts to hide it (from himself and others) have occasionally succeeded. He distracted us from his destructiveness by inviting us to express our own natural destructive impulses in the name of the good, specifically justifiable revenge against Osama bin Laden. And he really snookered his Christian supporters, inciting people who are fundamentally about love and forgiveness to openly practice hate towards their fellow (gay, pro-choice, non-Christian) man.

After 9/11, Bush discovered that Americans had handed over to him much of their sense of personal responsibility for thought and action. We were seduced into developing a thirst for revenge, in a war on terror that he originally called a crusade (until his aides told him to change terminology). Bush's conscious fantasy about that crusade remains unwavering; what is unconscious is the fantasy that allows him to be willfully cruel, to dehumanize foreigners and the poor, whether they be soldiers or women and children. And he got us to go along with him.

Preemptive war preempted thought, giving us all permission vicariously to gratify our own sadistic impulses. Bush made it easy for all of us by removing the need to struggle with right and wrong. He just told us we were right to support him, and that we were doing what was best for ourselves, for our nation, and for God. But all the while he knows, at least unconsciously, how sadistic and destructive he is; otherwise he wouldn't need a heavy regimen of daily prayer, or an allegedly dangerous foreign power to demonize. Love and compassion are actually dangerous to Bush because they would push him to re-assess his experience of being surrounded by hostile forces, which might interfere with the dehumanization necessary for him simply to enjoy his sadism. He has denied his own sadism to himself by expressing it in the guise of the good.

On January 20th, Bush will smirk once more, this time in relief that he made it through without having been stopped or caught. As he prepares to leave office, and surveys the wreckage of the peace and prosperity he began destroying eight years ago, Bush consciously sees only what he defensively regards as the collateral damage of his crusades to save the nation and the world. But if we could listen to his unconscious, between satisfied chortles over forcing the Obama family to make its own hotel arrangements and the last-minute arrival of cake plates worthy of Marie Antoinette, we'd hear him say to himself what his father was regrettably ~ and for the rest of the world, tragically ~ never around or willing to say: "Heck of a job, Bushie."

Allen L Roland

Freelance Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.