What Is True?

September 6, 2003

Liberty, War & Politics

Gore Vidal

All of these articles about Gore Vidal's opinions are worth reading:

The Last Defender of the American Republic?
An interview with Gore Vidal

by Marc Cooper , LAweekly.com, July 5-11, 2002

He might be America's last small-r republican. Gore Vidal, now 76, has made a lifetime out of critiquing America's imperial impulses and has -- through two dozen novels and hundreds of essays -- argued tempestuously that the U.S. should retreat back to its more Jeffersonian roots, that it should stop meddling in the affairs of other nations and the private affairs of its own citizens...

The Erosion of the American Dream
It's Time to Take Action Against Our Wars on the Rest of the World

by Gore Vidal, CounterPunch.org, March 14, 2003

March 12 interview on Dateline, SBS TV Australia.

...They're not clued in to what sort of country the United States is. They've certainly found out what kind of country the Soviet Union was and they didn't like that one bit and they associate us with their relative liberation. That's all. What we're really about they don't know. They believe the propaganda. They believe the media, which is constantly going on about democracy and freedom and liberty and the greatest country on earth and so on and the only thing wrong in the world is there are EVIL people who hate us because we are SO good. Well, I don't know how anybody can buy this line, but people do. People are not very well informed. The well-informed countries --western Europe --know perfectly well what our game is. General de Gaulle took France out of NATO because he suspected that we were in the empire--building business...

Gore Vidal on the "United States of Amnesia," 9/11, the 2000 Election and the War in Iraq
by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
May 13, 2003

Includes discussion of events on 9/11, Waco and Oklahoma bombing.

...it's pretty plain he didn't have them, nobody in Europe thought he did. The Europeans at least have a free press which we don't, or most of the countries there do. I said he probably would, if we pressed him hard enough. You see when you live with nothing but lies being told to you in the media, nothing but lies, and it's done the way they do advertising, it's repetition: "Weapons of mass destruction! He's got weapons of mass destruction! Mass destruction! Mass destruction! Mass destruction!" When you hear that 10,000 times a day, you finally think he must have,...

The Patriot
Review of Gore Vidal's Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta

by Bill Kauffman, Chronicles, chroniclesmagazine.org,
June, 2003

...Vidal as pamphleteering elder is in the mold of his forebear Edmund Wilson...

...So what are the policy prescriptions of this dangerous radical? Eliminate the income tax and devolve the taxing power to states and municipalities. Call off the ruinous drug war. Decentralize political power along the lines of the Swiss cantonal system. Bring home our troops. Slash the “atrocious taxes that subsidize this permanent war machine.” Decimate the budget of the War Department (coyly renamed the “Department of Defense” by the amusingly surnamed President True-Man)...

...Truman, in committing us to an apparently eternal involvement in the broils of Europe—precisely the mistake against which Washington and Jefferson warned—“replac[ed] the republic for which we had fought with a secret National Security State” whose subjects we are...