George Bush’s Holy Crusade in Iraq

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I’ve been pretty tough on the prez — calling him everything from a coward to a crackpot — but there is one thing that I have not criticized him for: His messianic faith-based convictions.

Well, Mr. Bush, time’s up.

By way of introduction to this subject, I should note that there is an aspect of George Bush’s life of which I am deeply respectful: His successful battle to overcome a drinking problem and probably a drug problem, as well. (Although some would say that an addict’s recovery cannot be complete without humility, which he seems to have not a shred of.)

It was through this catharsis that he has said he found religion, and as president his speeches have been suffused with allusions to the Almighty. Indeed, he believes that as the Leader of the Free World he is nothing less than on a mission from God and channels the wisdom of the Holy Son.

That’s okey-dokey with me, but as was the case when Bush was boozing and snorting cocaine, he seems to do nothing in moderation – except of course when it comes to intellectual curiosity.

So his view that the Iraq war has an eschatological underpinning and therefore is the right thing to do is appalling.

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  • jdledell

    Shaun – As a member of AA for a couple of decades, I have great familiarity with alcoholics having lived the life of one. In my AA experience I have encountered thousands of different alcoholics with literally hundreds of different approaches to dealing with their addiction and the chaos alcohol has created in their lives.

    AA is a good way to deal with alcoholism but it is not the ONLY effective way. I have seen many replace alcoholism with religion. It works as a temprorary blanket smothering the problem but it does not solve it. The underlying character and life issues are merely shunted into the background.

    Bush has had enablers throughout his life. People who got him into Yale and Harvard Business School without the academic credentials normally required. They handled his Texas National Guard obligations for him. They took care of his brushes with the law. They bailed him out of bad business deals. They allowed him to continue to drink excessively until well into his adult life. George W. Bush never was allowed to hit bottom and thus aquire the motivation and tools to deal with his own character and shortcomings.

    In AA, we call these people “dry drunks” because nothing in their life has changed except for not being physically drunk all the time. While being a dry drunk is better than being a wet one, it is not sufficient for good personal physical and emotional health. They are still capable of creating almost as much chaos is their lives and the lives of others as they were when they were stumbling around drunk.

    George W. Bush, in my mind, has not advanced emotionally or intellectionally one iota since he stopped drinking. The anger, paranoia, impulsiveness, lack of sustained concentration and narcissistic feelings of grandiosity he exhibits are prime examples of alcoholic behavior.

    A wet or dry drunk is a danger to himself and others and this is especially true when given the power that goes with the American Presidency. In short, I believe Bush’s messianic conceptions of his role in Life is more due to alcoholism than religion.

  • domajot

    I’ll leave it to history to psychoanalyze Pres. Bush.
    Another possibility is that he used the God rhetoric to rev up support for the war in the same way the GOP used appeal to the far right Chsirsians to get elected.

    What’s scarier to me is to realize how many accept that kind of rhetoric and reasoning as logical and ‘true’. To them, the WOT is the latest Crusade, not only justified , but sanctified..

    That leads me to wonder what the thinking in this regard is among the brass of our military. The evangelicalization of the Air Force Academy has disappeared from news reportage but not from my memory. It’s hard to imagine, that, due to one law suit, all those zealots suddenly saw the light and became more sensitive to other religious
    perspectives. I wonder how many Crusaders are leading our men and women in our wars.

    If the nation kept its thinking straight, we would have nothing to fear from Bush’s or anyone else’s claims of divine guidance. It’s the people in ournational mirror that present the danger.

  • Sam

    You’d think the world being the way it is today, that any world leader that figures religon into his plans/justification for military action would send shivers down the spine of anyone not a fundie.

  • grognard

    I’ve been pretty tough on the prez — calling him everything from a coward to a crackpot

    Oh good, more name calling, that’s why I come to the “moderate voice”.

  • Rudi

    JD – Thanks for sharing your AA experience. Are you familiar with SOS and Jim Christopher? W does remind one of some of the cultists at an AA meeting. I wonder if he chain smokes and does his coffee through an IV?

  • jdledell

    Rudi – I am somewhat familiar with SOS having participated in discussions about the relative effectiveness of various approaches. As I’m sure you are aware, adherents to each particular path of sobriety become convinced their path is the best and many become dogmatic in pursuit of new followers.

    What I have found most effective is that each person builds their own unique path. They will take from each school of thought what works best for them. This is then tempered by the thoughts and experiences of sober people. AA works for some and I’ve seen SOS work for others. The only approach I have never seen work is the school of “moderate” drinking.