Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man
   by Carla Binion,  Online Journal Contributing Editor

Thomas Paine said belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Paine biographer
John Keane points out that Paine criticized organized religion and the
cruel-God concept, while at the same time defending "the idea of a benevolent
Creator of the universe."

George W. Bush's God is so cruel that he wants Bush to massacre Iraqi
children in order to "get" Saddam Hussein and install a puppet government,
which he mislabels "democracy."  The "God" whispering in George W. Bush's ear
is cruel enough to sanction lying as a way to gain support for slaughtering
innocents.  This "God" also approved the widely reported U.S. bugging of
United Nations members as a means to his murderous ends.

Evidently, this isn't the same God bending the Pope's ear, or speaking to the
Dalai Lama, to former President Jimmy Carter, or countless other widely
respected spiritual and political leaders and antiwar protesters, because that
God is saying "don't massacre Iraqi babies based on lies."  Whether one is
religious, spiritual, agnostic or otherwise, it's hard for the clear thinking reader
to deny there's something deceptive and, well, diabolical about George W. Bush's "God."

The Progressive magazine (February 2003) referred to Bush's belief he can
purge the world of evil at the point of a gun as "messianic militarism."
Bush has referred to his mission to "democratize" the Middle East as his
"crusade," calling perceived enemies "evildoers" and members of an "axis of evil."

The Progressive quotes reporter Bob Woodward as saying that Bush
characterizes his "mission" and that of the U. S. "in the grand vision of God's
master plan."  According to Woodward's book, BUSH AT WAR, Bush often
states he operates mainly by gut instinct.  He told Woodward, "I'm not a textbook
player.  I'm a gut player."

After spending long hours studying Bush's public statements and interviewing
him, Woodward concludes that Bush's instincts "are almost his second
religion."  With the power to go around the world making war on any nation
his instincts tell him is "evil," Bush feels no need to clarify his reasons
to critics or to seriously consider counsel from those with differing views.

Bush told Woodward, "I don't need to explain why I say things.  That's the
interesting thing about being the President.  Maybe somebody needs to explain
to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an  explanation."

The Progressive points out that when Bush was governor of Texas he stated, "I
could not be governor if I did not believe in a divine plan that supercedes all
human plans."  His mother, Barbara Bush, told her son he was a Moses figure,
and in Bush's campaign book, he claimed he had "a charge to keep."

This messianic zeal combined with the militaristic goal of bombing the Middle
East allegedly for the sake of "democratizing" the region, but in reality
done for the purpose of dominating world events, endangers the entire planet.
 Television news has barely touched on the fact that war hawks in the Bush
administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz,
have long planned to use military force to remake the entire Middle East.
Fortunately, the print media have repeatedly shown evidence that Bush hawks
consider Iraq a mere first step in a series of preemptive attacks on supposedly
"evil" nations that Bush and company imagine might some day threaten U. S.
global domination.

In The American Prospect (March 2003) Robert Kuttner writes that "throughout
the Cold War, the lunatic fringe - people like Gen. Curtis LeMay, who wanted
to bomb North Vietnam 'back to the Stone Age' - often served in government.
But providentially, these radicals never seized control of policy.  Until now."

Today the radicals of the far right have taken control of American foreign
policy.  Kuttner says the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz contingent "are
considered lunatic fringe" even among certain foreign policy realists.

Kuttner concludes that though the Bush team's crusaders might wish it weren't
true, it's impractical "to drain every political swamp" by removing every
world dictator.  "Despite abominations like Vietnam and sundry CIA-sponsored
coups," says Kuttner, "on the whole the United States has borne its vast
power with a strategic sense of proportion.  Until now."

Now we have the Dr. Strangelove types, the war-zealots, at the helm.  These
messianic crusaders think they can do no wrong and that they therefore can
totally ignore, or deem irrelevant, the United Nations, the Pope, countless
other dissenting spiritual and political leaders and the masses of protesters
around the world, because their cruel God is on their side.

The "God" leading George W. Bush and his minions into battle says the ends
justify the means.  This "God" condones lying and murder and has chosen cruel
men as his vehicles.

Not every stray Bush administration gut "instinct" or apparent spiritual
"inspiration" is divine.  Don't wise spiritual leaders suggest we might
distinguish between good and evil "spirits" or individuals by their "fruits,"
or the results of their actions?

In a Buzzflash interview (February 23, 2003), Mark Crispin Miller, NYU
Professor and author of "The Bush Dyslexicon," accurately described Bush as
"a swaggering contradiction of the Sermon on the Mount."  Miller also mentioned
Bush seems to believe "that God has chosen him to be His instrument against 'the evil one.'"

This "divine instrument" has promoted many lies in order to trump up support
for his upcoming war(s).  As LA Times reporter Robert Scheer pointed out
(Marcy 4, 2003), Bush has lied so often about such crucial matters that
increasingly people in government are speaking out.

For example, John Brady Kiesling, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign
Service, resigned recently, saying in his letter of resignation that because
of the actions of the current administration, he no longer believed that
upholding the policies of the president also meant upholding the best
interests of America and the world.

Kiesling said, "we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence,
such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam."
Is "God" guiding the Bush team to distort intelligence reports and deceive the public?

Robert Scheer notes that Bush lied when he claimed Iraq aided the September
11 terrorists.  Bush also lied when he claimed Iraq's alleged weapons of mass
destruction are an imminent threat to the U.S.  Bush is lying when he claims
his only interest is getting rid of Saddam Hussein and restructuring Iraq.
Scheer is another respected journalist confirming the fact that the Bush hawks
have no intention of stopping with Iraq, but intend to reshape the entire Middle East.

Other journalists criticizing the Bush administration's deception include
Paul Krugman of the New York Times who has written that "the Bush
administration lies a lot."  In an October Washington Post article, Dana
Milbank listed eight Bush administration statements that were lies.  William
Raspberry said of Colin Powell's report to the UN, "I don't believe him."

The Bush team's many lies should raise questions about the motives and
"divine" nature of their mission.  It also makes sense to ask whether "God"
would approve their "dirty tricks" campaign, described in a leaked National
Security Agency memo.  The memo ordered agency staff to spy on UN Security
Council members in an effort to win votes for war against Iraq.  According to
Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy and Peter Beaumont in The Observer (March 2,
2003), the surveillance operation involved "interception of the home and
office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York."

A few months ago, the Dalai Lama sent a letter to George W. Bush, trying to
talk him out of attacking Iraq.  The Dalai Lama once said his religion is
about loving kindness, adding that if he had to choose, he would rather the
world include larger numbers of loving, kind people than more Buddhists.  In
contrast, Bush would apparently prefer to bully and blackmail the world into
following his crusade than to cultivate loving kindness and worldwide good will.

The Bush hawks claim that doing nothing would be more dangerous than going
forward with their war plans.  However, in his January 2003 article, "An
Alternative to War," former President Jimmy Carter suggested a third option,
namely "a sustained and enlarged inspection team, deployed as a permanent
entity until the United States and other members of the UN Security Council
determine that its presence is no longer needed."  The earth might be a safer
place if the Bush team would consider such options.

The Bush administration's mindset and actions are leading the world toward a
destructive future - toward a new and eerie "world order" of unprecedented
darkness and peril - an order that would please the cruelest "God" imaginable.
People of conscience the world over would do well to oppose this.

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