FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Divine Hatred

“Hatred stirreth up strife.”

The Holy Bible, Proverbs

They had a certain symmetry. Each preached hatred and neither was denounced as promptly as some might have thought appropriate.

Mahathir Mohamad gave a speech to the Organization of the Islamic Conference on October 16 in which he made an astonishing declaration. He said, among other things, that Jews seek to run the world. He said: “The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” Mr. Mohamad’s speech struck a resonant chord with many in his audience. Yemen’s foreign minister said he agreed with Mr. Mohamad. He said that: “Israelis and Jews control most of the economy and the media in the world.” The Egyptian foreign minister was no less flattering. He said the speech was “a very, very wise assessment.” George Bush’s close friend and ally, Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, described the speech as “very correct.”

Mr. Bush criticized the speech four days after it was delivered. That was longer than it took other leaders to respond. At first blush one might attribute that to insensitivity. That is probably not fair to Mr. Bush. It is probably because he had not heard about the speech because no one had bothered to tell him about it. Unlike many of his predecessors who could and did read newspapers and watch television news, Mr. Bush eschews all those activities. In an interview with Brit Hume on Fox News on October 17, he explained that he gets the news from neither television nor newspapers. He explained that: “The best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.”

Leaders of other countries who can read and do and are, therefore, not dependent on others to tell them what is happening in their world, were quicker to respond. On October 17, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia called the remarks repugnant and said “any invocation of rivalry between Jews and Muslims is very unhelpful.” Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the speech “ran counter to the principles of tolerance and dialogue between the West and the Muslim world.” Mr. Frattini probably hadn’t heard about Jerry Boykin. Jerry is a General in the United States Army and is to the Muslims what Mr. Mohamad is to the Jews. He is also the deputy undersecretary of defense of intelligence in charge of a new Pentagon office that focuses on finding people like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. He’s had no success.

General Boykin is a Christian. He is a Christian who hates Muslims, just as Mr. Mohamad is a Muslim who hates Jews. He is a Christian with great belief in the power of the Lord. Speaking of why George Bush is president he said: “Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.” This was the first official proclamation attributing Mr. Bush’s election to divine intervention (and if true could cause some people to abandon their faith).

In his speeches General Boykin says that Islamic extremists hate the United States and then proceeds to give them reason to do so. He says that Christians worship “a real God” and others revere”an idol.” He has described the war in which Mr. Bush is now engaged as a battle against Satan.

Attending a National Prayer Breakfast, General Boykin described “a demonic presence in [Mogadishu] that God revealed to me as the enemy.” Speaking of Somali warlord Osman Ato he said: “He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, ‘They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.’ Well, you know what, I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” Three days after Mr. Ato’s television appearance (a coincidence and not an interval having religious significance) Mr. Ato was captured. General Boykin went into Mr. Ato’s cell and said: “Mr. Ato, you underestimated our God.”

When NBC news broadcast videotapes of the general giving his religiously inspired hate-filled speeches, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld responded. He didn’t criticize the general. Instead he said: “We do know that he is an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States Armed Forces.” General Boykin is in charge of finding terrorists. Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t mention that he’s failed to find either Mr. bin Laden or Mr. Hussein. The General may be awaiting divine intervention.

The General has the right to say whatever he will. Mr. Mohamad has the right to say whatever he will. Neither contributes to world peace. In a letter dated October 17, Senators John Warner and Carl Levin said inflammatory statements by a senior military officer “may easily be exploited by enemies of the United States and contribute to an erosion of support within the Arab world.” They got that right. Messrs. Mohamad and Boynton got it wrong. They do, however, help us understand why people hate people.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI is a Boulder, Colorado lawyer. His column appears weekly in the Daily Camera. He can be reached at: brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu

 

More articles by:

December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail