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.

December 17, 2018
Susan Abulhawa
Marc Lamont Hill’s Detractors are the True Anti-Semites
Jake Palmer
Viktor Orban, Trump and the Populist Battle Over Public Space
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Fights Proposal to Keep It From Looting Medicare
David Rosen
December 17th: International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers
Binoy Kampmark
The Case that Dare Not Speak Its Name: the Conviction of Cardinal Pell
Dave Lindorff
Making Trump and Other Climate Criminals Pay
Bill Martin
Seeing Yellow
Julian Vigo
The World Google Controls and Surveillance Capitalism
ANIS SHIVANI
What is Neoliberalism?
James Haught
Evangelicals Vote, “Nones” Falter
Martin Billheimer
Late Year’s Hits for the Hanging Sock
Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail