The liberal media is in a furor over remarks by Lt. Gen. William “Jerry Boykin,” recently made undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Over the past couple of years, Boykin, a self-described “born-again” Christian, has promoted “his” God over anybody else’s “God” (particularly the Muslim God), said that George Bush was put in the White House to lead the global fight against Satan disguised as Islam, and gave God the credit for protecting him and his troops in a bloody battle in Somalia in 1993 known as “Black Hawk Down.” That battle was, he said, a fight between “the principalities of darkness” led by him and his soldiers at God’s direction.
I say keep Boykin, and keep him talking. Why? Because his comments are the unvarnished versions of the beliefs held by George Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, John Ashcroft, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and others in the administration who hold extremist religiopolitical views. For instance, Boykin’s statement that the roots of his faith and “America’s” faith is Judaism, and thus Islamic radicals will “hate us forever” is precisely the mindset of the leaders of this country, who for years have supported the terrorist state of Israel in its efforts to destroy Palestine.
The problem with this world view, this religious and political fanaticism, is that ordinary Americans don’t hear enough of it. Save for the extreme religious right, this crusading, hate-everyone-but-white-Christians-and Jews-like-me is not the attitude of most Americans, including most Republicans.
Remember how Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, those paragons of religious virtue, started calling for war against Islam right after September 11? And remember how the administration tried to distance itself from that? Why did the White House want to shut them up? Because they don’t want Americans to know that this is precisely the Administration agenda. In fact, I would not be surprised if Falwell and Robertson had been “planted” to make those remarks as a concession to the religious right, with the understanding that in public the Administration would distance itself from them.
If you doubt that is what the Administration believes or has as its agenda start, start reading and otherwise paying attention. In the course of writing my upcoming book, “The Other War,” it has become clear to me that the war against Islam began in earnest 10 or more years ago, and September 11 gave the government the excuse to go after Islamic charities and to target Arabs and Muslims for surveillance and prosecution. Read the transcript or view online (www.pbs.org) the excellent “Frontline” report on the prosecution of six young American-Yemeni men in Lackawanna, New York. Read the articles by Georgetown University Law Professor David Cole in “The Nation” or better yet, read his new book, “Enemy Aliens” (New Press, 2003).
The problem is precisely that the truth of the Administration’s agenda in Iraq and the world is not getting out. The agenda is born of greed (corporate and oil interests), extreme politics (Zionism and American imperialism), and fundamental Christian dogma that calls itself the only “truth” and that has as one of its underlying tenets support for the “promised land” of Israel.
Hitler whispered his agenda at first, quietly crafting changes in the law and judicial system that would support his regime. By the time the world woke up, it was too late to stop him. There still may be time to stop Bush and his plot to change the world order through violence, fanaticism, and control of the critical infrastructure that holds the globe together (financial institutions, oil, water, and energy, for instance). But not if the truth does not get out.
Op-ed columnists all over the country are missing the point by warning off his rhetoric. He is “sending the wrong message,” they say. It may be the wrong message, but it is the honest message from an administration that hides its mission in the false rhetoric of tolerance, “democracy,” and humanitarianism.
Don’t muzzle Boykin and don’t demote him. The more we hear the truth, the better off we will be. And the sooner, perhaps, Americans will wake up and realize what their government has in mind for them-and the world.
ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org