Paul Buhle, a respected scholar who has made numerous contributions to the comics medium, has a new work in comics, “Ideas Can Be Weapons,” that he has created along with Nick Thorkelson (artist) and Dave Wagner (writer) based on the work of historian George Mosse. Okay, lets make a quick leap forward and refer to a figure who has not yet faded into the background, William Barr. You remember Bill Barr, the Attorney General? Barr was Attorney General once before and it was under Barr’s advice that President George H. W. Bush in 1992 pardoned six officials involved in the Iran–Contra affair.
This is a fact but it has slipped its way out of view. The mechanism to justify the pardons was that the culprits involved in Iran-Contra were acting on behalf of the state.
The Iran-Contra scandal revealed, among other things, that the Reagan-Bush White House had secretly sold missiles to Iran in exchange for hostages held in Lebanon, using the proceeds to fund right-wing forces fighting the leftist Nicaraguan government in violation of U.S. law. All justifiable by Barr if you just say it was done for the sake of “Reasons of State.” It is this kind of muddled self-serving thinking that historian George Mosse explores, going back to Machiavelli’s The Prince.
You can read this comic, “Ideas Can Be Weapons,” here and an interview with the creative team here.
7 responses to “IDEAS CAN BE WEAPONS, a George Mosse comic”
Wow! I didn’t realize that Barr was Attorney General under Bush I but I recall those infuriating pardons.
I also know next to nothing about Machiavelli. What a great idea for a comic series. Thanks for the link.
Sadly, it seems like the philosophers and historians of the past have already called out all of the ills and BS that man is capable of producing, and done so far more eloquently than we do today. Yet, history repeats.
Carol, thanks for your comments. It’s not easy to keep up with these abuses of power, that’s for sure. In the link on the scandal that I provide in this post, it takes you to an article pointing out that the Associated Press did not bother to bring up Iran Contra/Bill Barr when Barr went up to bat as AG for Trump.
Oh geez. Sadly, it probably would not have mattered. I bet a good percentage of our elected leaders can’t tell you what the Iran/Contra scandal was about, let alone American citizens. I just watched a Frontline documentary on Michael Flynn who seems to hold a very similar philosophy. If you’re doing “what’s best for the country”, lies, violence, and lawlessness are allowed.
That says it all! Thanks for stopping by!
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