Global Eye -- Divine Afflatus

By Chris Floyd

You will be much relieved to know that President Bush's witless dithering while the Holy Land burns is, in fact, a manifestation of the will of God. That's because Witless was appointed to his post not, as you might think, by five corrupt bagmen on the Supreme Court, but by the Almighty Himself.

The revelation of this divine anointing was proclaimed at a Texas church this week -- on Easter Sunday no less -- in the presence of Bush the Father and Bush the Son. The latter received the Word of his apotheosis with a humble chuckle and lordly nod of his head, AP reports, as the Reverend Michael Taylor of Canaan Baptist Church looked back on the glorious five weeks of recount litigation that parked Junior's blessed butt in the Oval Office.

"My friend, President Bush, for us who believe, that day of the counting it was all over but the shouting," cried Taylor , as the rafters rang with "Amen!" from the congregation. The recount result, Taylor said, was "the will of God, who appoints those who are in authority to be there." (Including, of course, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Slobodan Milosevic, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Mullah Omar, Idi Amin, Ayatollah Khomeini, King George III -- God's little sunbeams every one, raised up and confirmed in power by His mighty hand.)

Taylor promised there would be "blessings to the believer" on the final day of reckoning, but warned that God would take a break from meddling in electoral politics to "launch the most terrifying judgement on the unbelievers," who will burn in eternal hellfire for their failure to subscribe to the narrow set of superstitions, prejudices and self-selected cultural norms embraced by a certain number of white American fundamentalists in the early 21st century.

Braced by this message of exquisite theological subtlety, Bush ran out and ordered the divinely appointed leader of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, to "denounce terrorism" by making a speech, in Arabic, to that effect to his people. At that very moment, of course, Arafat was barricaded in his office by the divinely appointed Ariel Sharon, with no electricity and no access to communications, save for a few cell phones with fading batteries, and Israeli tanks pointing their gun barrels at the door.

Bush also urged Arafat to use his Palestinian Authority police to "do more" to round up suspected terrorists. At that very moment, of course, Israeli military forces were arresting and/or shooting Palestinian Authority police by the hundreds and destroying their offices all across the West Bank , effectively destroying their ability to operate in any capacity whatsoever.

Hellbound disbelievers in Bush's divine wisdom might be forgiven (as if hellbound disbelievers could be forgiven, of course!) for thinking these presidential adjurations were nothing more than the senseless blatherings of a weak and ignorant mind overwhelmed by events. But as always, hellbound disbelievers would be wrong.

Yes, it's true that Bush's words bore little relation to reality (when do they ever?), but surely we have learned by now that there is method in his mouthing madness. He can spew any number of contradictions -- such as supporting a United Nations call for Israeli withdrawal while also approving the Israeli incursions, and so on -- for one simple reason: He doesn't care.

Bush doesn't care how many Palestinian grandmothers are shot dead on their way to the hospital by Israeli snipers. He doesn't care how many Israeli teenagers are blown to bits at Passover celebrations. He doesn't care how many Palestinian children grow up in squalor and captivity, how many Israeli children live in fear and trembling every day of their lives. He doesn't care how brutalized both peoples become, how hardened by hate, their humanity numbed and diminished by killing.

For 14 months, Bush sat on his hands, downgrading the peace process to a backwater for low-level functionaries and retired errand boys. The unfolding horror in the Holy Land was only a sideshow to the main events: the coming invasion of oil-rich Iraq and the projection of U.S. dominance over oil-rich Central Asia . Plans for the attack on Afghanistan were finalized (and communicated to the Taliban) in the summer of 2001 -- well before bin Laden's pre-emptive strike. And of course, Daddy's folly in keeping Saddam in power after the Gulf War -- and Daddy's crimes in betraying the Shiites and Kurds who, at his urging, rebelled against the Iraqi regime -- must be erased from history; that was a given from Day One of Junior's administration. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be left to simmer -- even at a high heat -- as long as it didn't spill over and interfere with grand strategy. The death and suffering of those trapped in the conflict meant nothing to a man busy "reordering the world" according to God's will -- and the greed of his partners.

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But now the pot has boiled over -- and Bush's irritation at having to deal with such trivia was palpable. For days, he bristled testily at questions about his Mideast "policy" -- which is of course no policy at all, except to get those hellbound Jews and heathen Arabs to shut up already so he can get on with the godly business of killing Iraqis and pumping black gold from the Caspian basin.

By midweek, however, Bush grew calmer, heartened by a headline that gave joy to all those who hunger and thirst after righteousness:

"Oil Prices Rise Amid Mideast Turmoil."

Ah yes, the Lord looks after His own.

Bush Pushes Mideast Diplomacy, Attends Easter Service
Associated Press, March 31, 2002

Bush Spends Easter With Family
Reuters, March 31, 2002

Bush is Criticized for Mideast Role
New York Times, April 2, 2002

Oil Prices Rise Amid Mideast Turmoil
Associated Press, April 2, 2002

Hard Choices For Bush
New York Times, April 1, 2002

Humiliating Surrender for Palestinian Police
The Guardian, April 2, 2002

White House Feels Its Way as Crisis Deepens
New York Times, April 3, 2002

Fear Stalks the Streets of Bethlehem
The Guardian, April 4, 2002

The Bodies, the Chaos, A City Under Siege
The Guardian, April 3, 2002

US 'Planned Attack on Taliban Before Sept. 11'
BBC News, Sept. 18, 2001

Threat of US Strikes Passed to Taliban Weeks Before NY Attack
The Guardian, Sept. 22, 2001

Say Anything: Pipeline Politics March On
Ted Rall, April 2, 2002

Pipeline Politics Taint U.S. War
Chicago Tribune, March 18, 2002

The Unfinished War: A Decade Since Desert Storm
CNN.com, Jan. 16, 2001

Gulf War Aftermath: Our Enormous Lie
The Observer, Aug. 12, 2001

Cheney's Black Gold
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 10, 2000