During the tense talks at the summit, Bush sought to underscore the kind of authority he could bring to efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East. While thundering that there could be "no deals with terror groups," Bush sought to assure the rattled Palestinians that he also had the ability to wring concessions from Sharon. And what was the source of this wonder-working power? It was not, as you might think, the ungodly size of the U.S. military or the gargantuan amount of money and arms America pours into Israel year after year.So while the corporatists have created this image of messianic President George W. Bush actually believes it. Yes he believes that we are involved in a holy crusade.
No, Bush said he derived his moral heft from the Almighty Himself. What's more, the Lord had proven his devotion to the Crawford Crusader by crowning his military efforts with success. In fact, he told Abbas, God was holding the door open for Middle East peace right now – but they would have to move fast, because soon the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe would have to give His attention to something far more important: the election of His little sunbeam, Georgie, in 2004.
Here are Bush's words, as quoted by Abbas in Haaretz: "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me, I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."
So the fact that the Oval Office dullard would not know what the "Great Awakening" was if Jonathan Edwards came up and slapped him across the face with a Bible does not diminish the alarming nature of Bush's Messianic pretensions. Neither does the fact that he uses these pretensions cynically and shamelessly to motivate a religious "base" that has been deliberately cultivated by the corporate elite to serve its own decidedly secular lusts for money and power. It is entirely possible to be a knowing hypocrite and a fanatic ideologue at the same time; indeed, it is often a prime requirement for national leadership. (See, for example, the history of the Soviet Union for innumerable instances of this trait.) And it is entirely possible for a fatuous, overgrown frat boy to plunge the nation and the world into a literal hell of death and ruin by viewing reality through the lens of his self-inflated ignorance – and shaping his reactions and policies accordingly.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Yes Virginia, it is a religious war
Are the United States and the world threatened by Islamic religious extremists? The answer to that is yes. But what few in the western world talk about is the threat from Christianist religious extremists. As I discussed below some of the most radical Christian fanatics have the ear of George W. Bush and in fact may be playing a big part in forming Bush's apocalyptic foreign policy. In Waking Nightmare Chris Floyd explains that George W. Bush himself is not only listening to the Christian apocalyptic nut cases he is just as insane as the nuttiest of them. He quotes his own piece in the Moscow Times.