Monday, June 27, 2005

Demand Destruction

(this is one of those op-eds where you go, shit-DOG -- they hit it on the head. brook)




By Bill Henderson -- Al-Jazeerah, June 26, 2005

"This man claims to be Christian, following the will of God, and then he misleads the whole nation on a totally fraudulent enterprise in Iraq that we should have never been attached to." -- George McGovern


Seize a very tempting Iraq after you've deceived America with innuendo about WMDs and ties to terrorism.

Kill over a hundred thousand people in a war of aggression.

Show total incompetence in disturbing the Middle-East hornet's nest and then bungle the post-war: unleashing chaos and insurgency possibly civil war, turning Iraq into a seething, dangerous, terror-breeding hell on Earth.

Add responsibility for torture and trailer trash insults to Islam - and, what do you know, his pastor probably still thinks he's a great guy.

Americans haven't a clue just how guilty Mr. Bush is because they don't know the inside story yet. But the extensive evidence of motive, premeditation and deceit and destruction for imperial gain will come out - but Mr. Bush isn't worried cause he knows for sure how shallow American Christianity really is.

I'm being too harsh?

Should a 'Christian' nation be the leader in military spending? Outspending the next twenty nations? Many trillions of dollars? With a military industrial complex that produces 40% of the planets weapons?

Be the world's leading supplier of armaments, from handguns to advanced weapons systems? Be constantly upgrading and expanding it's weapons of mass destruction?

Support an aggressively militaristic foreign policy with more than 700 military bases globally?

Give in to temptation and attack a small nation, a pitiful fraction of the size and strength of the US, using world war levels of bombing before sending in troops - because if hardly any body bags come home you can get away with murder?

Not really 'Christian'. Not turning the other cheek. Hard to be a Christian when you're wearing the biggest guns in town. But even more close to home - why does the US need this military power, this imperial attitude to the rest of the world?

American consumption is leading to Overshoot, threatening every person on the planet. But the American way of life is not negotiable, period. Even if the heavy individual American footprint - food, forests, fisheries, fuel, etc. - is five times the per capita level of consumption that would be globally sustainable.

And so much of this consumption is wasteful, obscenely wasteful. For example, Americans use 20 barrels of oil for every one used by the average person globally. Would it be fair to say that spending even 10 barrels per person on self-centered Hollywood-wannabe lifestyles is sinful in a world where billions are desperately poor?

Do we read about proposed policies to reduce US per capita energy use? Are you kidding - just like we don't read about illegal war or about the obscene and increasing military spending.

Is any evangelical leader speaking from their hearts to their congregations about luxuries now considered necessities - everything from fashion and travel; toys like boats, ride on mowers or custom cars; and must-haves like trophy wives; etc., etc., etc.?

Is Billy Graham preaching that these are luxuries that we can no longer afford with our already obese footprints? Is Focus on the Family speaking out about American consumption sinfulness in a world of more than 6 billion people - in a world where more than 5 billion people earn and consume far, far less than even Americans below the poverty line?

Oil is moving back up to challenge $60 a barrel. Traders are supposedly spooked by tight supply concerns, lack of refinery capacity, and worries about possible production hiccups in the now increasingly unfriendly and potentially unstable Middle East. There are predictions that we could soon see $100 a barrel; $5 a gallon gas. Not a surprise to people in the oil Administration - and not a word of concern from Jesusland about their Third World brethren who can't afford oil now, who will never get a chance to use this finite, one chance oil in the future.

Presumably pro sports teams and tourists will continue to jet around America. Salads will still travel thousands of miles to your plate. Speculators will continue to build 5000 sq ft homes in the Burbs. And not one business will be threatened with bankruptcy so long as nobody panics, so long as no bubbles burst, so long as the economy continues with business as usual and everybody goes to church.

Demand destruction will occur in those countries that can't afford oil. Demand destruction will occur in farmers fields and Third World slums. America will eat turkey, watch football and give thanks to the Lord while millions starve, while millions starve outside a privileged world where oil is still fungible.

Demand destruction will occur outside a Fortress America which allows who it wants to buy oil and just prints more dollars so that Americans can keep on using oil in the totally wasteful way they've become accustomed to.

I'm not being too harsh. Any Christian who takes the time to look at his or her life, their wasteful way of life in an imperialistic country, must know that Jesus would be appalled. If Jesus came to America he'd throw everybody out of the temple. The unChristianity of demand destruction will be hard to ignore - but, hey, the world's only been around for five millennia. It's not peak oil - it's rapture, naked bottoms floating up to heaven.

Nixon said 'I'm not a crook' but we knew he was a crook long before Watergate and not just because of a bungled break-in. For Bush, anybody who respects the law and the Golden Rule must cringe hearing his casual wrestler-like menace. But how guilty are the people who elect these guys to kill and maim untold innocents in their name? In Vietnam and Cambodia or now Iraq?

1 Comments:

Blogger Brook said...

Neoconservatism is the intellectual offspring of Leo Strauss (1899-1973), a jewish scholar who fled Hitler's Germany and taught political science at the University of Chicago. According to Shadia Drury in 'Leo Strauss and the American Right' (Griffin, 1999), Strauss advocated an essentially Machiavellian approach to governance. He believed that:

A leader must perpetually deceive those being ruled.

Those who lead are accountable to no overarching system of morals, only to the right of the superior to rule the inferior.

Religion is the force that binds society together, and is therefore the tool by which the ruler can manipulate the masses (any religion will do).

Secularism in society is to be supressed, because it leads to critical thinking and dissent.

A political system can be stable only if it is united against an external threat, and that if no real threat exists, one should be manufactured.

end quote

Among Strauss's students was Paul Wolfowitz. Second-generation students (whatever that means) include Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas, Irving Kristol, William Bennett, John Ashcroft, and Michael Ledeen.

Ledeen, of the American Interprise Institute, who has a "deep and abiding" fascination with Machiavelli and has written a book about him is a policy advisor to Karl Rove.

Monday, June 27, 2005 10:20:00 AM  

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