Onward Christian Soldiers
March 11, 2003
By Sheila Samples
I used to think inbreeding that produced madmen was mostly about marrying your cousin. Not the deliciously titillating madness of an Edgar Allen Poe - but the crude, one-branch family tree that, throughout history, produced cackling fools, maniacal genuises, and dangerous czars - most of whom built their empires and crushed their enemies with the help of angry and vengeful gods.
History's madmen are eerily similar in their sense of manifest destiny. They are the offspring of promiscuous copulation between religious zealots and crusading warmongers, and seem to arrive fullblown on the scene, bloated with Biblical bloodlust. And, did you notice that a destructive, all-powerful God personally chose each of them for a particular moment in history? Strange, isn't it, that each power-mad dictator's "moment" involves massive expansion - a Messianic struggle for world dominion - an insatiable thirst for the destruction of all who stand in his way.
So, is Bush "mad" for relentlessly waging his Crusade of Infinite Justice to rid the world of evil and liberate all of humanity? Well, considering that he's scarcely more than a boisterous 16-year-old when it comes to sober thinking - considering the gaggle of really creepy loons with which he's surrounded himself - a case could be made that he's headed in that direction. Maybe I'm reading too much into all of this. Or maybe the Dubster's just plain nuts. Think about it. No, really.
Think about how this cabal of unelected individuals got there in the first place and, as Ari Fleischer once admonished - watch what they say; watch what they do. This rhetorically-challenged gang blurts out their "strategery" all the time, but we're laughing too uproariously to pay them any mind. Geedubya himself never shuts up about it. He tells us over and over, again and again, "they all hate us because we love freedom and they're jealous of our democracy. And, make no mistake about it," he said shortly after 9-11 - "freedom is granted to each American by Almighty God." I'm not saying that's crazy. It could even be true. But if it is, Bush needs to take his attorney general aside and explain to him the freedom chain-of-command.
He then expanded that startling revelation in a Crawford Ranch interview with the Washington Post's compliant and adoring Bob Woodward by saying, "There is a value system that cannot be compromised. And if the values are good enough for our people, they ought to be good enough for others, not in a way to impose because these are God-given values. These aren't US-created values. These are values of freedom, the human condition, mothers loving their children..."
By the time his State of the Union address rolled around, Bush had not only elevated himself to a god-like superiority over all living beings, but had wrested the flight controls from God Himself and was sitting firmly in the Captain's seat. He was now the religious-zealot-in-charge. The world could only watch in shock and awe as he flailed full-bore against the mighty Axis of Evil. "The liberty we prize," he thundered, "is not America's gift to the world - it is God's gift to humanity."
Talk about evolution! Bush has come from cowering in multiple hidey-holes on 9-11 to boldly striding forth to answer the call of History. He's really big on answering History's call. One can only wish he had learned History's lessons as well.
This is his "moment" in History - his Manifest Destiny. As God's agent here on earth, he tells us America "bears the hope of the world, and it is up to us to set things right." So, let me get this straight - even though the entire Third World doesn't take kindly to being threatened with democracy, we're gonna liberate their asses anyway and - with the help of God and a long-handled spoon - stuff freedom down their throats until they beg for the love and magic that only God can bring to their worthless, swarthy lives. Hmmm... Does that sound suspiciously like the Coulter Doctrine to you? I thought so.
Did I miss anything? Oh yeah - it's gonna take a lot of pre-emptive strikes and a lot of regime changes. At least that's what crusading warmongers Richard Perle and Condaleeza Rice are saying, and they should know since it's their plan.
Perle, the brutish chairman of the Defense Policy Board over at Rummy's Little Shop of Horrors, is the inspiration for establishing the new world order by waging violent, endless war. It is only with great effort that Perle refrains from stomping his cloven hooves as he quivers with anticipation at the thought of impending chaos and destruction. Perle told filmmaker and journalist John Pilger late last year, "This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there... If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now..." Verily, mine eyes have seen the Glory.
Not to be outdone, National Security Advisor Rice - "Condi" to those who know and love her - said in a moment of light-hearted idiocy, "Once the United States overthrows Saddam Hussein and liberates Iraq, it will then proceed to spread democracy, human rights, and enlightenment throughout the world, but most notably in the Mideast." Yes oh yes. Like jam on toast. Spread it thick...yummm.
I don't know about you, but I'm hearing looney tunes from one end of this administration to the other - and all in the name of Jesus Christ. I want to stand up and shout, "Hey - I know Jesus Christ! Jesus is a friend of mine. And the guy you're hiding behind - the one you're wagging in everybody's face for political gain - is no Jesus Christ." But all I can do when Bush or his legions blaspheme the name of Jesus and order God - like an unbottled heavenly genie - to wreak Old Testament vengeance, is clap my hands over my ears, rock back and forth in agony, and burst into uncontrollable tears. How can Christians stand by, mute, and allow the world to be savagely sodomized, allow millions of innocents to be slaughtered - and allow it all to be blamed on the spotless and gentle risen Savior? How?
Having displayed neither the interest nor the ability to lead, it seems Dubya asks only that those who are actually in control allow him to be called the leader - a noble and self-righteous dictator, protecting his subjects, killing his way to peace. This seems little enough to ask, not only of those who control him, but of those who selected him for this high office. In a May 2002 article in First Things Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that God-chosen leaders must "seize power in conflict," thus demonstrating that God chose them over others.
"It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies," Scalia wrote. "It is much more difficult to see the hand of God - or any higher moral authority - behind the fools and rogues...whom we ourselves elect to do our own will..."
Scalia knew. They all knew that the people cannot be trusted with the freedoms of self-government. Like all of History's madmen, they knew if you inundate the people with a relentless wave of confusion and fear, if you amp up the sound until it shatters all reason, if you stir a vengeful God into the mix - the fools and rogues will come to you and lay freedom at your feet. They will beg you to take it.
I'm not suggesting that everyone in this brutal, sinister Evangelical cabal is stark raving mad. Not at all. But - bottom line - it's either them or me. Every day I become more convinced that I tripped and fell into the town of Stepford and cannot find the way out. They are everywhere. For example, on a C-SPAN call-in show last week, the moderator asked for listeners' opinions on whether we should wage preemptive war on Iraq. The first response was from a woman who said in a sweet voice, "Oh, yes. Mr. Hussein is an evil man who killed 3,000 Americans. We need to attack Iraq, but" - she added hurriedly - "in a Christian way."
In search of some sanity, I turned desperately to a listing of historical quotes on war. There, I found Arnold Toynbee saying, "History teaches us that when a barbarian race confronts a sleeping culture, the barbarian always wins."
Adolf Hitler then assured me that, "The one means that wins the easiest victory over reason is terror/force."
Even Reverend Billy Graham, God's most prolific soul-winner who personally brought Dubbie to Jesus, warns, "We must have military power to keep madmen from taking over the world."
Yes indeedy. From Graham's lips to God's ears. I am convinced at last that we are witnessing Bush's Moment in History. Praise the Lord.
And pass the ammunition...
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former U.S. Army Public Information Officer.