Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Please Support CounterPunch’s Annual Fund Drive
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We only ask you once a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Devil’s Advocate

Too little attention has been paid to a remarkable declaration by George W. Bush in his State of the Union address last January. In between great lardbuckets of warmongering lies and vacuous preening, Bush also delivered this ringing passage: “We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.”

Dismissed at first as either a bit of overheated rhetorical trumpery or else a slab of coded red meat thrown to his voracious “core constituency” on the hard Christian Right, Bush’s declaration is in fact a powerful tool for understanding what otherwise seems to be the irredeemably chaotic nature of human reality. In essence, his masterful philosophy can be boiled down to this: “God did it.”

For example, last week Iraqis began unearthing a mass grave that could contain up to 15,000 bodies of Shiites slaughtered during an uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991. Some heretics might want to blame Saddam for this atrocity, or even assign partial blame to George H.W. Bush, who specifically called on these Shiites to rebel, then betrayed them, granting the just-conquered Saddam permission to use his full military might against the rebels, while a vast American army stood by, motionless, in Kuwait. But now, thanks to Bush Junior’s revelation of divine agency behind every single act in history, we know that neither ex-CIA asset Saddam nor his long-time supporter and sugar daddy Bush Senior were in any way responsible for those corpses moldering in the desert wastes. God did it.

It’s all so simple, isn’t it? So blindingly clear, so infinitely comforting. Feel free to try it at home. Take any situation you please and run it through the patented George W. Bush God Did It meat-grinder. You’ll find a neat little patty of moral clarity on the other end, ready to fry up in a creamy sauce of red wine, onions, amnesia and self-absolution.

Big event or private failing, it doesn’t matter. That father who just slammed his infant’s head into a wall? All part of God’s plan – for verily, His loving hand is behind all of life and all of history. The Holocaust? Surely it goes it without saying that those six million Jews weren’t killed by the Nazi Regime, nor that any of the American financial elitists – such as the Bush Family – who made millions of dollars bankrolling Nazi enterprises while American soldiers were dying on the battlefield were in any degree responsible for what seemed to be their own actions. No, you poor, misguided, Satan-deceived wretches – God did it, don’t you see?

And the September 11 attacks? Again, no true believer could ever hold Mohammed Atta or ex-CIA asset Osama bin Laden responsible – especially not for an act which, as many Bushist evangelicals now openly avow, was a blessing for America, because it greatly augmented the powers and popularity of the man the Lord Himself has appointed to lead the nation – yea, the world – to a new Promised Land of peace and prosperity. No: God killed those 3,000 innocent people, He burned them, He crushed them, He flung them out of windows hundreds of feet in the air. It was His loving hand, that same hand behind all of life and all of history.

This divine principle applies equally to acts of omission, as well as commission. Consider Bush’s “war on terror.” It’s true, the anthrax killer has not been caught. Osama bin Laden has not been caught (in fact, he’s busier than ever). Mullah Omar has not been caught. Saddam Hussein has not been caught. It’s true, Afghanistan has collapsed again into anarchy, rampant warlordism, fierce Islamic extremism, hopelessness, violence, despair. It’s true, Iraq is collapsing into anarchy, incipient warlordism, fierce Islamic extremism, hopelessness, violence, despair. But none of this has anything to do with the staggering, criminal incompetence of the Bush Regime in gutting legitimate domestic security measures at home – both before and after September 11 – and launching mindless foreign adventures aimed largely at thrusting American military power into the world’s oil regions, regardless of the consequences. No; it is without doubt the will of the loving God behind all of life and all of history.

When – and if – He wants these miscreants to be caught, they will be caught. For now, He is quite content to let them roam the earth and murder more innocent people. When – and if – He wants to relieve the suffering of the Afghan and Iraqi peoples, He will do it. For now, He is happy to watch children blow themselves to pieces with brightly-colored cluster bombs. There’s nothing that His faithful servant, George W. Bush, can do about any of this. He is not to blame; God did it. We are all merely automatons, pushed hither and yon by the all-encompassing wisdom of His totalitarian order.

Yes, on the surface, this all sounds like the self-justifying moral onanism of a complacent, pampered, willfully ignorant upper-class twit – but it is actually one of the most profound and earth-scorching expressions of religious nihilism ever uttered by a public figure. Stepping far beyond Nietzsche, who merely asserted that God is dead, Bush’s philosophy declares that God is a lust-maddened, child-devouring demon, glutted with the blood and bones of the innocent – the malevolent agent of every atrocity ever committed in “all of life and all of history.”

Does Jerry Falwell know about this?

CHRIS FLOYD is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to CounterPunch. He can be reached at: cfloyd72@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

October 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Climate Crisis is Upon Us
Conn Hallinan
Syria’s Chessboard
Patrick Cockburn
The Saudi Atrocities in Yemen are a Worse Story Than the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Sheldon Richman
Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist
Justin T. McPhee
Uberrima Fides? Witness K, East Timor and the Economy of Espionage
Tom Gill
Spain’s Left Turn?
Jeff Cohen
Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters
Dean Baker
Corporate Debt Scares
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Affair and and the Anti-Iran Axis
Russell Mokhiber
Sarah Chayes Calls on West Virginians to Write In No More Manchins
Clark T. Scott
Acclimated Behaviorisms
Kary Love
Evolution of Religion
Colin Todhunter
From GM Potatoes to Glyphosate: Regulatory Delinquency and Toxic Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
Evacuating Nauru: Médecins Sans Frontières and Australia’s Refugee Dilemma
Marvin Kitman
The Kitman Plan for Peace in the Middle East: Two Proposals
Weekend Edition
October 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
My History with Alexander Cockburn and The Financial Future of CounterPunch
Paul Street
For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity
Nick Pemberton
The Colonial Pantsuit: What We Didn’t Want to Know About Africa
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Summer of No Return
Jeff Halper
Choices Made: From Zionist Settler Colonialism to Decolonization
Gary Leupp
The Khashoggi Incident: Trump’s Special Relationship With the Saudi Monarchy
Andrew Levine
Democrats: Boost, Knock, Enthuse
Barbara Kantz
The Deportation Crisis: Report From Long Island
Doug Johnson
Nate Silver and 538’s Measurable 3.5% Democratic Bias and the 2018 House Race
Gwen Carr
This Stops Today: Seeking Justice for My Son Eric Garner
Robert Hunziker
Peak Carbon Emissions By 2020, or Else!
Arshad Khan
Is There Hope on a World Warming at 1.5 Degrees Celsius?
David Rosen
Packing the Supreme Court in the 21stCentury
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Threats of Death and Destruction
Joel A. Harrison
The Case for a Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System
Ramzy Baroud
That Single Line of Blood: Nassir al-Mosabeh and Mohammed al-Durrah
Zhivko Illeieff
Addiction and Microtargeting: How “Social” Networks Expose us to Manipulation
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
What is Truth?
Michael Doliner
Were the Constitution and the Bill of Rights a Mistake?
Victor Grossman
Cassandra Calls
Ralph E. Shaffer
Could Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing Ended Differently?
Vanessa Cid
Our Everyday Family Separations
Walaa Al Ghussein
The Risks of Being a Journalist in Gaza
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal and Treachery—The Extremism of Moderates
James Munson
Identity Politics and the Ruling Class
P. Sainath
The Floods of Kerala: the Bank That Went Under…Almost
Ariel Dorfman
How We Roasted Donald Duck, Disney’s Agent of Imperialism
Joe Emersberger
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Assault on Human Rights and Judicial Independence
Ed Meek
White Victimhood: Brett Kavanaugh and the New GOP Brand
Andrew McLean, MD
A Call for “Open Space”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail