Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Manipulating a Crusade

According to Salon, this picture was posted in the photo gallery of the official U.S. Marine Corps site a few weeks ago, but was recently removed, due to someone finally realizing that it might not be exactly PC (although, today, that all depends on what circles one travels in, it appears). This "intimidating piece of machinery" was named "New Testament." The pic says it all. Unbelievable.

Should we be surprised? After all, it wasn't that long ago that we had General Boykin proudly proclaiming that our enemy is Satan, and we must smite in the name of Jesus. The good General then turns up tangled in the torture techniques of Abu Ghraib. Yet, even after all of that, he is still wearing his Crusader uniform. Just a kook? Moving right along...

In the last few weeks we have heard about the unusual story of cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs being told they must be "born again or burn in hell". Captain Melinda Morton, a Lutheran chaplain at the Academy, objected to this and other forms of forceful proselytizing happening on campus, only to be informed she is being shipped out to a new post. Note where the Academy happens to be located; Colorado Springs, the new Vatican of conservative Evangelicalism. So much for the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.

It seems the theocrats are not content with the Republican party. They want the military as well. Warriors for Jesus. Oh My God.

And then, to top it all off, we have the Downing Street memo; a secret report of a meeting between the British Prime Minister and other British officials, including representatives of British intelligence held in July of 2002. The PM is being informed of information gathered through meetings with the Bush administration. Here's a couple of rather incriminating bits;

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
This was in July of 2002, please note. We invaded in March of 2003. ...Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action... So, they fixed the facts around that policy, and told the UN to go to hell. In other words, they lied.

There's more;

It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
Almost a year before the invasion, the plan was in place. The American people were hoodwinked. Tens of thousand of people have died, many of them innocent civilians, because George Bush, for reasons only he will probably ever know, decided to get Saddam Hussein.

Why is there no outrage? Because W's supporters, the conservative Evangelicals, and the crazies like General Boykin, believe he was appointed by God to lead this Holy War against Satan.

If you think this is all conspiracy theory, then please, move along; nothing of interest here. But if you think that just maybe the US has gone off the deep end, and are outraged that we have been manipulated into a war, here's a letter you might want to sign. Or maybe you could write your own.

Let's stop the Crusade now. And let's start by impeaching this lying war criminal, before he soaks both the flag and the cross in more foreign blood.


UPDATE: The Christian Alliance for Progress; The Movement to Reclaim Christianity and Transform Politics, has posted A "Christian" Crusade?, which is related to the topic introduced here. Starting today, I'll be offering commentary over there once a week.

While you're there, take a look around the site. Jeff, from Faithful Progressive and Tim from Public Theologian have also offered some commentary worthy of a read.

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