A strange marriage a century ago between Christian missionaries and cut-throat capitalists created the world’s first billionaire, and it’s a marriage still working for men like Harper and Bush
PNAC luminaries like former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current World Bank president Paul.Wolfowitz and Alan Bloom (who set up shop at the University of Toronto and formed the kernel of what later developed into the so-called Calgary School, the ideological wing of Harper’s Conservatives), claim direct intellectual lineage from Leo Strauss, a post-WWII German philosopher who (perhaps rightly) saw democracy as being rife with nihilism and constantly in jeopardy of falling victim to the tyranny of the majority. In response to this, he advocated a kind of modern Machiavellian aristocracy that would use the “noble lies” of religion and nationalism to manipulate the dumb, hedonistic masses into doing the bidding of the natural ruling elites. And it was this very policy of calculated deception and manipulation that the Bush administration used to coerce the American public into getting behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One year after the Andijon massacre
When George W. Bush crawled into bed with Islam Karimov in the wake of 9/11, the U.S. government knew exactly what kind of man he was. A few years earlier, after a half-dozen bombs destroyed government buildings in downtown Tashkent, the president and former Soviet boss of Uzbekistan appeared on state television, promising to “eliminate the scoundrels” behind the assassination attempt. I write in my upcoming book Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?: “Within weeks Uzbekistan was in the throes of a brutal purge of its already beleaguered religious Muslims. That month a presidential decree authorized the punitive arrest of a suspect’s father if his extremist sons could not be found. ‘If my child chose such a path,’ Karimov said, ‘I myself would rip off his head.’ Head-ripping was a recurring theme of Karimov’s rhetoric. He added a promise to ‘tear off the heads of two hundred people in order to protect Uzbekistan’s freedom and stability.’ It is unknown whether Karimov personally supervises such reprisals; however, published reports claim that exactly that number of bodies of ‘Muslim extremists’–often the victims are identified as radicals simply because they wear long beards–were strung up from Tashkent lampposts in May. Exceptionally violent and corrupt even by Central Asian standards, the government of Uzbekistan is proof that a ruler can remain in power despite the near-universal contempt of his subjects.”