As can be expected with any disaster, natural or man-made, the Old Testament hellfire and brimstone wing of the Evangelical junta is ready as always to explain the suffering, death and devastation as being the direct result of the usual suspects. You know: the homosexuals, liberals, Democrats, Hollywood elite, anti-war protesters and people who dance on Sunday.
From failed prophet of doom, Hal Lindsey to Rev. Fred Phelps (maybe one of the few people Jesus Himself would beat the living crap out of) to the ever more tragically insane Pat Robertson, all have found it easy to see Hurricane Katrina as the none too subtle instrument of God’s righteous indignation at our gross and abiding sin.
Now not being one of this Evangelical ilk, you may be dismayed to find that I think this triumvirate of hate may not be as wrong as we would certainly hope they are.
Maybe God was trying to tell us something.
Maybe He was pointing out that we Americans have rampant poverty and a generally ignored and burgeoning poor population in this the richest of all countries and that we should do something about it, besides talk.
Maybe He was pointing out the greed, arrogance, racism and purely evil nature of this president and his oily neocon cabal. Please notice that I do not choose to list "incompetence" as one of this syndicate’s faults, as I do not believe it to be a factor and also because I doubt that God would wreak biblical-style havoc just because of klutziness.
Maybe He was pointing out the very real danger of callously fiddling with Nature and the nonchalant destruction of His beautiful earth through depletion of the wetlands and global warming and careless oil exploration. He has reacted harshly to bad stewardship in the past.
Maybe He was trying to tell us that there is a better place for our armed forces to be. Or maybe it was His way of saying, "You think you got weapons? I got your WMD right here!"
Maybe He was trying to tell us that we really haven’t overcome that race thing we think we’ve really overcome.
Or maybe He was just trying to tell us we are after all not as powerful and in control as we seem to think we are. That in reality we are still just an anthill in the universe and the people of this planet like so many self-absorbed ants and that all our grand achievements can be washed away like even the very best sandcastles with one good, strong wave.
Then again, maybe it was just a bad storm and God was busy elsewhere. That is my hope, though it would be a bonus if we could get some sort of positive message out of the horror and destruction and use that new found wisdom to make this world a better place to be.
But before we do that, can we just at least stone Hal Lindsey for being a false and very annoying prophet?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH
We published an article entitled "A Saudiless Arabia" by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the "Article"), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the "Website").
Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.
As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.
We are pleased to clarify the position.
August 17, 2005