Belaboring the Obvious

Friday, August 04, 2006

New Paradigm, or Ancient Blood-Lust?

War has become commonplace in the 20th century. More people have been killed in war in the 20th century than at any other time in human history--probably more have died during the lifetime of the oldest currently-living world citizen than in all previous centuries of human existence combined. The highest technology of each decade in the last hundred or so years is likely the principal means of that dubious accomplishment, but not exclusively--wars in Cambodia and Rwanda and the Congo have killed several million people through simpler means: sticks and stones, starvation, clubs, machetes and simple unfeeling brutality expressed through the most creative of elementary instincts and for the most puerile of reasons.

However, with the Rapture for Lunch Bunch, it is something else entirely. It is to be the fulfillment of several thousand years of biblical prophecy. It will bring on the return of Jesus. They said the same thing about attacking Iraq, and Jesus apparently hasn't made an appearance, so now they are saying, in effect, that the Iraq war just wasn't big enough to kick off the main event, and so didn't manage to attract Jesus' attention. For that, it's going to take a world war (hint, hint, one that befits the age, i.e., a nuclear one), one in which Israel is prominently involved.

Now, I was raised to show some manners, and to believe that it's not a proper thing to do to question someone's faith (leave that sort of thing to the devil, etc.).

But, lordamighty, these people are stone-cold, barking-mad looney tunes. Gonzo. Over-the-edge lemmings on crystal meth. Wacko. Berserker.

There have been instances of millennial apocalyptic movements before--especially at the turn of the previous Millennium--but compared to the present, it was the equivalent of the guy walking the sidewalk with a sign saying, "The End is Coming." Global communications, nuclear weapons, immensely large and technological armies (along with a panderer to both the Christian right and the neo-conservatives slouching in the Oval Office) make such movements much more suspect and considerably more dangerous today than at any time in the past.

What makes the dispensationalist crowd even more dangerous is their political savvy--they've hooked up with the right wing in the U.S. political think tanks, the right wing in Israel, and the Republican Party, in particular, and that dominance has influenced public opinion. Though the neo-conservatives may have their own reasons for wishing war on the planet, their objectives dovetail neatly enough with those of the Christian right--often domestically and internationally--that the neo-conservatives likely see the Christian right as, in Lenin's term, useful idiots. In that way, the two factions tend to act synergistically, even though their anticipated end results are likely different.

In all likelihood, each group sees the other in the same way. The neo-conservatives will seek to use the wacko Christian right, certain that once they've been used to precipitate the desired conflagration, they'll get to run the world. The Christian right, on the other hand, will depend heavily on their faith, certain in their own minds that once the properly large conflict is initiated, biblical prophecy will play out, and they, as Jesus' minions, will run the world. Both groups essentially want to reshape the world to ensure their control over it.

But, for those of us on the outside looking in, this cooperation is much like one group at the front of the wagon, pulling, with the other group behind, pushing, with the intention of getting the wagon to and over the cliff as quickly as possible, even though the wagon is carrying the future of the rest of us.

At the heart of this is a neo-con belief in forced escalation. Once the U.S. and Israel are pushed toward a multi-front war by these crackpots, because neither has the ground forces available to invade and occupy all of the Middle East, the inevitable strategic policy--to prevent a series of Iraqs from coming into being and thus ruining the intent of world war--will be escalation to more air power and more intense bombing. When that fails to produce the desired result (unconditional surrender of the Muslim hordes), someone (Cheney, perhaps?) will say, "guess we gotta nuke `em. Yup, then they'll surrender, just like those Japanese." If such attacks kill a bunch of the Russian technicians now in Iran, or Chinese workers in Iran's oil fields, what happens then? Can we then count on civility and restraint from Russia or China? Can we expect their hard-liners to stand by, knowing that they could be the next ones on the chopping block? After all, those countries certainly have their share of knuckleheads in positions of power, too, that think diplomacy is appeasement.

Anyone with the notion that tactical nuclear (or as Bush insists, "nuke-you-ler") weapons can be used to good effect and in controlled fashion has more than a couple of screws loose. When the smoke clears after the WWIII that everyone on the right is pleading for, praying for and doing their subversive best to make happen, the invisible clouds of radiation will remain. And Jesus won't be anywhere to be found. Neither will be Mohammed. Perhaps, neither will Israel. And the rest of us will be much worse off.

Einstein said once, "I do not know with what weapons WWIII will be fought, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones." The right-wing knuckleheads in charge now, both here and elsewhere, still think of world war as something glorious and uplifting, as a means of getting what they want. To them, superior weaponry is the same as moral rectitude. If they get what they want, and if they live through it, you can bet they'll be stumping for more defense spending on better sticks and stones.

If there are any wise men left in the power centers of Israeli government, and there's some doubt about that, they'd best think long and hard about U.S. neo-cons trying to make Israel the stalking horse for their worldwide fusion-fueled auto da fe.

Anyone who thinks there can be no such thing as institutional insanity hasn't been paying attention, lately.


  • Amen, brother..I was raised in strict christian home and was always amazed by the two faces of that religion, thank whatever real god there is that I escaped. Your comments are all I could ever say, I may print and post all over town haha

    By Blogger HAL W, at 4:24 PM  

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