Thursday, August 06, 2009

Holy War and Holy Warriors

Remember way back in the early days of the War on Terra when Bush used the term "crusade"? It was quickly waived away - a slip of the tongue. Look who's doing the talking, after all. But this weeks, two bits of a news coming out show more and more that some folks, at the highest levels of power, saw the war in Iraq through Christian beer goggles.

First, there's the story from The Nation about the head of Blackwater (now "Xe" - apparently "Xenu" was taken). In a pair of affidavits filed in a civil action against Blackwater in federal court in Virginia, two anonymous former employees accuse boss Erik Prince of everything from arms smuggling to murder. Along the way, one employee explains that:

Among those leveled by Doe #2 is that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe":

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.
Given that world view, it's not surprising that other allegations include Prince and company treating killing Iraqis like sport and valuing the destruction of Iraq. Read the whole piece - it's chilling, if true. I'm cynically suspicious of anonymous sources.

As if that weren't bad enough, Charleston Gazette editor James Haught, writing at the Council for Secular Humanism (via Kos), describes a conversation between Bush and French president Chirac in the run up to the Iraq war:
Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their 'common faith' (Christianity) and told him: 'Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.'

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its 'coalition of the willing' to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and 'wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.'
Is it any wonder they didn't join in our little adventure?

Between stories like these and the earlier Bible-thumping daily briefings Rumsfeld prepared for Bush, it looks more and more likely that we were thrown into Iraq to fulfill some bullshit religious quest.

Might all that the war has cost - in lives, cash, and opportunity - finally shock the electorate into thinking that having fundamentalist religious types run the place is a bad bad idea? We can only hope, but I won't hold my breath.

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