Bush and the Neo-Con Pharisees

Yesterday afternoon I rode my bicycle to work. Thankfully I live in a place where the sun shines in December and there’s little snow and the temperature is endurable through most of the winter. I live a mile from the university so the bike ride is doable. On the way there I passed what I call Church Row — a stretch of Christian churches. As I pedaled past I began to think about Christianity, which no longer is Christianity as first envisioned, but long ago mutated into something I call Christism, or political theology.

Christianity died with the disciples of Jesus. It was replaced by Christism as preached by Saul of Tarsus, otherwise known as Saint Paul, a former tentmaker and a zealous nationalist and likely a Pharisee. >From the theological writings of Saint Paul flowed the formulistic and largely intransigent doctrines of Christism — and eventually the authoritarianism of the Catholic church, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the bloody wars of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, and innumerable persecutions, purges, heresy-huntings, witch burnings, and the mass murder of infidels and heathens (including not only Muslims and Jews, but also uncounted millions of indigenous people) conducted unswervingly in the name of Christ, tribunals of penance, self-immolation, flagellation, et cetera, that leave a bloody swath right up to the present day, right up to the supine doorstep of Christism.

George W. Bush, the unelected president, swears by this defective version of Christianity. Dubya credits the Reverend Billy Graham with his sudden conversion to latter day Christism while vacationing at the Bush compound in Maine. Soon thereafter he began attending the Methodist Church of Midland, Texas, and also became an enthusiastic participant of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family (Dobson, along with other self-righteous Pharisees and Sadduccees such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Charles Colson, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, and Phylis Schlafly, to name but a few, are determined to transform America into a Christism theocracy).

Like Moses, Bush wants to lead his people to a land of milk and honey — or so he says. “During the more than half century of my life,” said a pious Bush during the election he would ultimately steal with the help of fellow Christer and right wing extremist, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, “we have seen an unprecedented decay in our American culture, a decay that has eroded the foundations of our collective values and moral standards of conduct… The changing culture blurred the sharp contrast between right and wrong and created a new standard of conduct: ‘If it feels good, do it.’ and ‘If you’ve got a problem, blame somebody else’.” Of course, “moral standards of conduct” only applies to vassals, not to Bush or the felons and rogues he appoints to do the bidding of the imperium (i.e., John Poindexter, Elliot Abrams, Otto Reich, Richard Armitage, John Negroponte, and other Iran-Contra recycled Reagan riffraff responsible for untold death and misery).

But the neo-biblical aspect of the Bush administration really shines when you scratch beneath the surface and observe the rot festering at the core — the neo-con Likudites, the unabashed Zionists who work tirelessly as drum majors for the Israeli war criminal Ariel Sharon and his government. These are primarily American Jews with double allegiance — Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary, Department of Defense; Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy; Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Chief of Staff to the Vice President.

In fact, the idea of killing Saddam Hussein and inflicting depredation on the Iraqi people is not a Bush idea (it can be argued Bush has no original ideas of his own) — the current scheme was a roughcast devised by Likudite Richard Perle. In 1996, Perle (and Douglas Feith) wrote “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which he presented to then Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu. The plan called for not only eliminating Hussein and installing a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad, but also for trashing the Oslo Accords, Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and overthrowing or destabilizing the governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Perle’s master plan for Likud regional dominance (otherwise known as “Greater Israel”) was crafted for the Jerusalem and Washington, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS). IASPS is out front these days explaining for the media and the befuddled American public why the US should spend $200 or so billion to kill Hussein and occupy Iraq. These explanations never include mention of Likud, Sharon, or Israel.

Add to this war-loving and empire-building stew the flaky Christers known as the “religious right” and you have a recipe designed to plunge America into an era of religious strife, terrorism, and unholy war. Lately Christism’s most vocal and high-profile true believers have unloaded splenetically (and, some would argue, strategically) in the direction of Islam, the Quran, and the prophet Mohammed. Pat Robertson: Mohammed was an “absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand.” (Fox News) Jerry Falwell: “Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses. I think Mohammed set an opposite example… I think Mohammed was a terrorist.” (CBS) Franklin Graham: “It wasn’t Methodists flying into those buildings [on 911], it wasn’t Lutherans. It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith.” (NBC) So much for brotherly love — but then Christism is not about brotherly or any other kind of love; it’s about missionary work and converting as many infidels, atheists, savages, pagans, and Jews as possible before the Rapture. In fact, many born-again Christers sincerely believe converting the Jews to Christism will be the eschatological event that will climax the history of the world. After all, the Jewish God gave the Torah to his people, not the goyim, and so long as the Jewish people exist it is a constant reminder that Christers are interlopers, even trespassers, in the covenant. Jews are not interested in salvation: for them obedience to the Torah is everything, which irks Christers and makes them all the more determined to convert every last Jew in Israel. The Palestinians, Islamic fundamentalism, the politics of oil — all of these come in second to the Christism mandate to convert the Jews over so the Rapture can be realized. Christism is all about itself — at the expense of everything else, including a few billion humans who are doing fine without Christism, thank you very much.

Obviously, the Likudites and fundamentalist Christers need to be expelled from Washington and the White House proper if sanity is to return — and all-consuming war to be avoided. Yet, as my bicycle ride down Church Row demonstrates, Christism is not going anywhere — it is part and parcel of the American psychological and sociological makeup. Of course, not all Christers are rabid chicken hawks bent on killing another 500,000 or so Iraqis, or are most of them crazed with the desire to convert every last Jew in Israel to Christism. Nonetheless, it seems natural to many Americans for the president to be religious (if he were an atheist or even avowedly secular they would be horrified). This is a problem, especially when religious faith is used as a wedge by special interests and those who do their bidding at our expense. Americans need to realize — as the founders did over 200 years ago — there is good reason for a separation between church and state. Allowing Zionists and Christers to dictate and drive foreign policy will ultimately result in disaster — and thousands, possibly millions of unnecessary deaths.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com


KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com