In the comments to a post at The Belmont Club (which is a revelation in itself concerning the life and times of Norman Hsu, international man of mystery), Wretchard makes this statement:
The existence of Norman Hsu naturally raises the question: how many
other Norman Hsus are out there. For the Saudis, for the Mexicans, for the Israelis, maybe, for the Russian oil interests perhaps, and for God knows who else. How many?
Consider this: maybe the real reason to avoid war, even in self-defense, is the same reason the Tsarist Empire had reason to avoid war back in 1914. The necessity of never having to put the corrupt parts of the system to the test. The Great War showed up all the secret deals, all the seedy connections, all the unthinkable compromises into which the Russian elite had entered. The revelations the Great War laid bare discredited an entire ruling class.
Maybe the real reluctance to confront the Commies during the 1980s and to confront the Jihadis now is because it inconveniently forces people to choose between things they don't want to choose between.
Of course that's just me being bitter and speculating without purpose. I wish it was just a political party thing. Maybe it largely is a political party thing. I hope it is.
For Wretchard, the "lightbulb" went on:
...when I realized, that if a no-account Third World President like Joseph Estrada could have a psychotic creep like Mark Jimenez providing open access to the Clinton White House then other countries would be stupid not to try. Whether or not they've succeeded is a question I don't expect an answer to.
Wretchard may be feeling bitter, but for a psychiatrist this behavior is perfectly understandable....
Siggy has noted:
[The] culture of deceit and corruption runs deep in Washington, DC. That shameful culture has poisoned both political parties and ideologies. Our representatives, once elected come to believe that their first allegiance and obligations are to the institutions that will protect them and allow them the latitude and freedom to do whatever they wish. Over the decades, our representatives have spent a lot of time making sure they remain privileged and more often than not, held unaccountable for their actions. Serving the people, their constituents, are obligations that have been relegated to a secondary agenda.
Welcome to the Age of Psychopathy, where psychotic creeps, secret deals and seedy connections are integral to the accumulation of power. "The impact of that psychopathy is directly related to the amount of influence the psychopathic person has over others."
Every individual psychopath--from the congressmen and women who are so wrapped up in gaining power over others that they lose all sense of honor or integrity; to the likes of Hsu, who are happy to help them in that process--is a "mini" tyrant, hoping to hit the big time, where millions will be under his or her control.
What a rush! Like your typical addict, sociopathic to the bitter end, the excitement of exerting that power and controlling others is so unbelivably seductive, that "The principal effort and focus of any tyrant is to remain at the top of the food chain, and retaining or expanding his power is a tyrant’s primary objective, without regard for the destruction those efforts leave in their wake."
The psychopath can look around and see that there is frequently nothing and no one who is willing to stand in his (or her) way. More often than not, people are willing to suck up to the political psychopath--both in national and international politics--because such behavior consistently gets rewarded in this day and age.
Being a psychopath means never having to face responsibility for the consequences of your actions. There are a number of strategies to ensure this outcome:
1. Make people too afraid to call you to account (terrorists and thugs like this one);
2. Make it worthwhile not to stand in your way (politicians with big bucks like this one);
3. Control any and all information that might expose you for the dysfuntional sociopath you really are (a strategy beloved by all psychopaths, big and small); or,
4. When all else fails, get out of town faster than the lynch mob.
I expect that if all the dirt were known, and all the seedy connections and secret deals exposed, there would be few figures standing on either side of the aisle in our own political houses.