Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Robert Scheer on Dick Cheney and the Banality of Evil

Robert Scheer reads Dick Cheney's memoir as a study in the banality of evil.  Cheney lies as easily as pouring water on the ground, and is mesmerized by power--by the illusion that he himself has power, when he lies boldly, manipulates others, and contributes to the killing of thousands of innocent civilians in wars based on his fabrications.

Scheer writes, 

It is not clear that Cheney is a true believer in military mayhem as much as he is an uncontrollable careerist who finds war talk a convenient tool for advancement. He seems to have no real sense of the cost of the Iraq War beyond what it might have done to hurt his own legacy. If his memoir has any enduring value, it is not as another offering of hollow excuses for an unjustifiable war but rather as a study in what the famed historian of European fascism, Hannah Arendt, termed the “banality of evil.” 

And as I read this, I wonder if the American people have the capacity any longer to care about evil of these monstrous proportions.  Or if the very banality of the evil that has been done in our name through the likes of Mr. Cheney will continue to make us passive in the face of the evil, even as we trumpet our unalloyed virtue to the world all over again in the upcoming 9/11 celebrations.

The graphic is from a posting at the Death and the Maiden blog about the banality of evil and the current American practice of torture.

No comments: