Writes co-founder David Lytel for our new 'Capital Offenses' column: "Washington, DC should welcome boxer Mike Tyson with open arms. Who else could be a better poster boy for the Bush Doctrine of bellicose threats and its commitment to giving war a chance than Tyson? And like Bush, Tyson is incapable of comprehending why his own image of himself is not reflected in the eyes of the world. If the credible and serious reports in the foreign press that the U.S. government threatened war against the Taliban before September 11th is correct, then the miscalculation by the Bush administration shows the terrible results of reckless menacing. Did we force them to choose between annihilation and capitulation? Did they, to the everlasting regret of every American, chose to strike first, while they still could?"

The Tyson Administration: Menacing as a Lifestyle and a Public Philosophy

By David Lytel

Why shouldn’t the District of Columbia welcome boxer Mike Tyson here for a public spectacle? Not only can Tyson provide DC with revenues and notoriety, but he’s also the perfect poster boy for the Bush Doctrine – Get in our way and we will beat you up. Could we find any better ambassador for America’s new commitment to giving war a chance than Mike Tyson?

Like the Bush Administration, Tyson doesn’t offer finesse or elegance, just raw overwhelming violence. He’s shown his willingness to break the rules if things aren’t going his way. If he’s losing he’ll do whatever it takes to inflict damage on his opponent. Unlike fighters who have mastered their emotions and learned to focus their energies on opponents in the ring, Tyson is just a thug with gloves on. He lacks the self-awareness or the self-control to be able to channel and control his anger. He is a menace to anyone and everyone and cannot comprehend why his own image of himself is not reflected in the eyes of the world.

Like Tyson, Bush and his government – for all the fawning in the press about the tremendous clarity of their vision – are incapable of grasping why their menacing and bellicose threats aren’t welcome throughout the world. The Bush doctrine is to go to war, show them America’s overwhelming firepower first, and then perhaps secure the support of our allies and negotiate with an opponent that has been all but decapitated.

But wait, aren’t God and the cause of justice on our side? We have every right and duty to defend ourselves from attack. But credible and serious reports in the foreign press show that the U.S. government was engaged in intensive negotiations with the Taliban, and it was the breakdown of those talks that led directly to the September 11th attacks. Did the U.S. government threaten the Taliban with war if they did not consent to selecting an American-led consortium of oil companies build a pipeline across their country?

Could the reason the Bush Administration refuses to reveal the internal workings of its Energy Task Force be that the oil industry executives outside the government asked the oil industry executives inside the government to use the U.S. diplomatic corps to threaten the use of the U.S. armed forces on its behalf? It is quite possible that the Taliban understood only too well that it either had to give in to the control of its oil and natural gas reserves by American petroleum companies or it would be destroyed. Those secret talks that collapsed in the summer are the real unreported prelude to the war. Did we threaten them with war and force them to choose between a first strike or capitulation?

And now the Bush Administration is finally, after more than a year of nearly complete indifference, involving itself in the struggle to bring peace to the middle east. Clearly, it has been dragged kicking and screaming into this close involvement in peacemaking, which it only reached after giving free reign to unencumbered war-making. What the Bush Administration really trusts, like Mike Tyson, is brute force.

So sure, let’s have Mike Tyson to DC to fight. And after he’s done let’s send him around the globe as our badwill ambassador, menacing foreign governments on our behalf. Never has the U.S. government been more in need of someone of his special talents.

David Lytel is a co-founder of, the largest independent community of Democratic activists with headquarters on the Internet at

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