Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

Friday, April 04, 2008

Chalabi, Christ, Omaba, Richardson


Well, just too many wierd things have been going on to digest.
1) Bill Clinton called Bill Richardson a "Judas" for endorsing Obama. Can anyone continue the metaphor or similie? Who, for example, becomes Christ in this context?
2) Conservative Radio Hosts have been encouraging listeners to vote for Clinton in the primaries.
3) Kieth Olbermann managed to get Wal-Mart to behave properly after listing them on his "Worst Persons" list daily until they did. It had to do with ... never mind, they screw their own employees on health care.
4) 81% of Americans think Amerika is going the the wrong direction. Really?
5) You may remember that I told many of you in 2001 about Chalabi. Now it is laid out, below:
Click here </doc/20080421/roston> to return to the browser-optimized
version of this page.
This article can be found on the web at

Chalabi's Lobby
[from the April 21, 2008 issue]
With the invasion of Iraq still three years in the future, Ahmad Chalabi
would step into the lobby of the modern granite office building at 1801
K Street in Washington--the heart of the nation's lobbying corridor. He
would walk past the security guard and ride the elevator up to the ninth
floor. The ride was, in some sense, one small vertical leg of Chalabi's
journey back to Iraq. This particular way point was the office belonging
to Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey (BKSH), one of the most powerful
lobbying firms in the United States, owned by public relations
powerhouse Burson-Marsteller.
No one could have guessed, back in 2000, what would come of Chalabi's
efforts in Washington. Few people knew who "eoconservatives" were, and
even those who did could not have grasped their remarkable affection for
and loyalty to Chalabi, a shrewd Iraqi Arab from a family of Shiite
bankers. No one could have predicted that Chalabi's group, the Iraqi
National Congress (INC), would go on to push false stories about terror
and weapons of mass destruction with such great success as the group
campaigned against Saddam Hussein's quite sadistic regime. Nor,
certainly, was it possible to foresee that the massive propaganda
campaign run by Chalabi to encourage the United States to invade Iraq
would be fully paid for with US taxpayer funds.
One thing people did know, even in 2000, was that Ahmad Chalabi, whose
thickly accented English seemed only to enhance his charisma, had lots
and lots of friends on Capitol Hill. Congress had passed the Iraq
Liberation Act in 1998, written largely to achieve Chalabi's vision for
toppling Saddam. And every year Congress was earmarking money for him.
But he had opponents, too, in the government: American diplomats who
were skeptical of him, despite his charm and his claims of inside
knowledge about Iraq. These Americans knew all about his murky past: a
bank embezzlement conviction in absentia in the Kingdom of Jordan years
earlier. They knew that the Central Intelligence Agency considered him a
phony and a liability and, after working with him for years, had cut all
ties with him.
So it is important, when considering Chalabi's relationship with BKSH,
to ponder that this elite firm was hired in part as a result of a feud
in the American government. It was in the late 1990s, when Congress was
earmarking funds for Chalabi's INC and charging the State Department
with spending all the cash, that State enlisted BKSH's services. The
State Department diplomats, under veteran Frank Ricciardone, were among
the skeptics on the subject of Ahmad Chalabi and were concerned about
the accounting challenges posed by their obligation to dole out the
earmarked funds. They figured that through BKSH, they could funnel
support to the INC while complying with Congressional intentions and
normal accounting procedures, and moreover that an American firm could
be controlled and monitored and would have the expertise in PR and
organizing that was necessary. They put a contract out for bid; PR giant
Burson-Marsteller won the award and quickly handed the work over to its
subsidiary BKSH.
BKSH was the lobbying vehicle of the legendary Republican insider
Charles Black Jr., one of "America's foremost Republican political
strategists," according to BKSH. Black, a former adviser to Presidents
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, is now a senior adviser to GOP
presidential candidate John McCain, who was himself an early Chalabi
backer with ties to the Iraqi going all the way back to 1991. BKSH,
which represented major defense contractors, governments and
international corporations, was perfectly situated to leverage its
expertise on behalf of the Iraqi National Congress.
In an interview, Charles Black explained that his firm received $200,000
to $300,000 per year from the US government "to promote the INC." Black,
in his pleasant Texas drawl, says the firm did "standard kinds of public
relations and public affairs, setting up seminars, helping them get
speeches covered by the press, press conferences." Black said he
believes his company can take a lot of pride in a strong campaign. "The
whole thing was very successful. The INC became not only well-known, but
I think the message got out there strongly."
Most of BKSH's work for Chalabi was handled by Riva Levinson, a longtime
Capitol Hill lobbyist who quickly became passionate about Chalabi's
cause. "Riva would spend her weekend thinking about, How can I get press
coverage for the INC next week?" Black explained, "and then come in on
Monday morning and schedule a speech or call reporters to get a speech
covered or get Chalabi or the other leaders out to get the message out."
Levinson even spoke out overtly as the INC's spokeswoman, giving
interviews on its behalf.
The State Department's efforts to control Chalabi through
Burson-Marsteller ultimately backfired. In the course of his power
struggle with his State Department patrons over who would control the
Iraqi opposition and the stream of American funding, Chalabi would
frequently criticize both US policy and his Iraqi competitors. The
government would complain to BKSH. "We'd tell him.... And he'd say,
'Fine,' and go say the same thing over again," said Black. "Basically
the US government couldn't make Chalabi do anything he didn't want to
do." So while US taxpayers paid for BKSH's services, the company, from
all appearances, worked for Ahmad Chalabi.
Normally, before campaigning on behalf of a foreign interest (which,
after all, was what Chalabi was), the agent would register under the
Justice Department's Foreign Agents Registration Act. That's required
whenever someone represents a foreign interest in a "political or
quasi-political" way.Examples include groups that at times had been
allied with Chalabi, like Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
and Masoud Barzani's Kurdish Democratic Party. But since BKSH was paid
by taxpayer funds through the State Department, it never registered as a
foreign agent. Since it was not technically a "lobbyist" for Chalabi,
even though that is exactly how it was functioning, it never registered
on Capitol Hill either, which would be the norm for a lobbyist. Although
the transaction was not classified or secret, journalists, legislators
and the American public weren't told about it.
T he last week of October 2003 had been particularly gory in Baghdad.
Rockets tore into the Al-Rashid Hotel, where Paul Wolfowitz lay sleeping
on a rare visit. Terrorists destroyed the International Red Cross
compound, and then, on Wednesday, October 29, a land mine gutted a US
Army Abrams tank outside Baghdad, killing two soldiers. That was the day
BKSH and the Iraqi National Congress were honored for their work in the
run-up to the war.
The black-tie award ceremony took place far from the violence in Iraq,
in London, where more than 1,000 of the public relations industry elite
assembled in a ballroom at the luxurious Grosvenor House Hotel. /PR
Week/ hosted the event, its annual awards dinner for public relations
companies. Burson-Marsteller, whose subsidiary BKSH had carried out the
work, was named the winner in the public affairs category. The "Awards
Supplement" of /PR Week/ called BKSH's work a "solid, disciplined
campaign that is totally deserving of this award." "Of particular
importance," said the citation, "was positioning INC founder Dr. Ahmad
Chalabi and other Iraqi opposition spokespeople as authoritative
political leaders." BKSH "compiled intelligence reports, defector
briefings, conferences and seminars.... The PR team also ran a
contact-building programme, focusing on the European Union, Downing
Street, the Foreign Office and MPs in the UK, matched to a US programme
aimed at the White House, the Senate, Congress and the Pentagon."
The awards description does not mention that the fund- ing came entirely
from the US government, let alone that many of the campaign's claims
turned out to be erroneous. But by the time BKSH won the award, the
State Department's funding for the program had stopped, with the
American troops surging through the desert. That did not mean that
BKSH's Iraq work would end. Instead, having eased Chalabi's path to
Baghdad, BKSH would now use its ties to Chalabi to get into the business
of Iraqi reconstruction.
The business elite was eager for a seat at the table. Corporate
executives flocked to conferences, corporations set up divisions to work
on developing business in Iraq, consultancies thrived and newsletters
proliferated to detail legal niceties and dispense advice. BKSH was
going to get in on the ground floor of the industry. Charles Black said
it was a busy time. "After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein a lot of US
companies, some of our long-term clients as well as some people who
weren't our clients, came to us and were looking to do business in
Iraq," he explained. The problem, he said, was that BKSH was not "going
to be over there. We didn't have an office over there or have full-time
But the Chalabi operation did. Margaret Bartel, an accountant who had
been hired by the State Department to sort out the INC's books and
stayed on to become a key member of the organization's staff, was taking
in Defense Intelligence Agency funds and delivering them to Chalabi's
intelligence operation. Zaab Sethna, Chalabi's press aide, was also in
Iraq. As Black explains it, "Peg was there and Zaab was there, so we
just referred business to them." Bartel and BKSH reached an agreement:
in exchange for a referral fee, BKSH would send clients to Bartel's
consulting company, which would set them up with contacts, influence,
housing, security and everything else they would need to get themselves
started on Iraqi reconstruction. In the gold rush of 1849, they say, it
was not the miners who got rich but the operators who sold the picks and
the shovels and the wagons and the denim. So it was in Iraq, with the
likes of Bartel, the INC and BKSH. The American businessmen would be the
miners taking their chances, and the PR operatives and INC loyalists
were selling the picks and shovels.
In essence, all that was required was a small adjustment in their
previous efforts. BKSH and Chalabi simply pivoted their operation. They
realized that with Chalabi on the ground, they could sell access to him
using the same sophisticated lobbying regime they already had in place.
He had the sort of influence that corporate executives could use in
their search for contracts.
One of the businessmen who signed up for the Iraq package was Albert
Huddleston, an old BKSH customer. "Albert is a longtime client," Black
explained. Huddleston, a Texas oilman and staunch supporter of George W.
Bush, was a Bush "Minor League Pioneer" in the 2000 election, raising
close to $100,000. In the 2004 election he contributed $100,000 to the
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that targeted Senator John
Kerry's campaign by publicizing discredited allegations about his
military service. Huddleston's daughter even worked in the White House
for First Lady Laura Bush.
Huddleston's interest in Iraq was logical and straightforward: he wanted
oil deals, and his company, Hyperion Resources, wanted to be in a good
position when the oil valves finally opened. So it was only natural that
BKSH would refer him to the Chalabi allies who were offering to help
American businessmen. "He was definitely interested in Iraq," Black
recalled, "and we definitely hooked him up with that organization." The
veterans of the PR and lobbying efforts of the INC went to work for
Huddleston. They had focused for years on human rights, democracy and
freedom. Now that the regime of Saddam Hussein was gone, they were
dedicating more and more time to oil and business.
Over time, Sethna became indispensable in these efforts. "Whatever
Albert wanted," recalled one associate, "it was Zaab's mission to go get
it done." In the years after the Iraq invasion, Huddleston did his best
to forge ties in Iraq. What he found at first was that there was no
legitimate government to deal with under the occupation. Paul Bremer had
no authority to negotiate oil deals, because occupying powers can't
legally make decisions about a country's natural resources. And later,
after Bremer left Iraq, the Iraqi government couldn't pass an oil law to
regulate the industry. Nabeel Musawi, a former close Chalabi associate
who later became a member of the temporary National Assembly, remembers
Chalabi, Sethna, Bartel and their guest Huddleston coming to dinner to
petition for help. They wanted to see if Musawi could set up a meeting
between Huddleston and the oil minister. Musawi says he wanted to help
but had to shrug them off because the oil minister was out of town.
Chalabi was well aware of Huddleston's connections to the Bush White
House, and he fawned over the Texan, taking him out and offering him
gifts. Chalabi presented him with a lavish crystal sculpture of an Iraqi
reed house, which had to be shipped back to Texas. But for Huddleston,
the pre-war promise of rosy prospects for American oilmen like himself
was turning out to be an illusion. Chalabi and others had talked about
Iraq's oil and the gushers to come, but despite all the oil under Iraq's
desert, it was unobtainable. Deals made during the occupation would be
shredded later. Huddleston never did make his huge oil strike in Iraq,
despite the money he paid to Chalabi's people there.
Then there is the matter of how much money the American government
itself spent on the services of Chalabi and his INC. One former member
of the INC put it at about $90 million, but a safer and more
conservative estimate of the total American taxpayer subsidy to Chalabi
and his organization is $59 million over the course of eleven years.
This includes an estimated $20 million from the CIA secret budget in the
early 1990s (although it may be far more); add to this $33 million from
the State Department in the years leading up to the war in Iraq and $6
million from the Defense Intelligence Agency starting in 2002.
Chalabi's fortunes have fluctuated wildly since the war. By mid-2006 it
appeared that he had lost any prominent political role in Iraq, although
he held on to his title as chairman of the de-Baathification commission.
A new Iraqi government had finally taken shape, presumably a permanent
one, and Chalabi seemed unsteady as he scrambled for new allies.
He began to make a public comeback, however, in the fall of 2007. One
day in late October, dressed in one of his dark suits, he climbed into a
US Army Black Hawk helicopter in Baghdad. As the rotors of the
helicopter thumped, Chalabi was surrounded by American military men. His
host was Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq.
It had been only thirteen months since a majority of the members of the
Senate Intelligence Committee had found that Chalabi's INC had
"attempted to influence United States policy on Iraq" before the US
invasion "by providing false information."
But Chalabi had survived, and he was soaring over the capital of Iraq in
an American helicopter. The new Iraqi government had appointed him to a
committee to oversee Baghdad's municipal "services." The hope was that
Chalabi, with his organizational skills and his charm, could cut his way
through the Iraqi government's red tape and spur on the efforts of the
beleaguered Health, Electricity, Communications and Transportation
ministries. And the Americans, once again, thought they had found a man
they could work with.

Monday, April 30, 2007

On Christian Fascism


Our illustration is a nice fantasy. Several of those pictured have already been knocked down, and only as a result of political expediency. The Decider would have liked to keep all of them. Condi doesn’t quite fit the Father figure type, but then she ain’t no big momma neither, no how.

Our article is on the topic of Christian Fascism. It is interesting to note that Mort Sahl commented years ago that “Americans stop just short of buying Fascism.” This is true and it is why I use the term “crypto-fascism” for it. There is a Freudian element here: most Americans also want to kill their “old man.”

Seriously, there is a point where Americans resist. Since the Decider has become more of a father type than the guy they’d like to sit down and have a beer with, his popularity has decreased.

I have added endnotes to the review, using Roman numerals than the conventional Arabic ones that we use. This is a big controversy these days as people speak Arabic and lots of them don’t like the U.S. policies. In fact, some math historians want to call then “Indian Numerals,” tracing their origin to India, not to Native Americans, of course. Actually, for a long time I contended that long division was impossible using Roman Numerals until I took a graduate seminar on Renaissance Intellectual History and the Professor (I liked him, but he was one of those about whom many said “I do not want to know THAT much) contended that it could be done. I gave him an example to use, and he actually DID the damn division using Roman Numerals. I have not been the same since.

The Democratic debate was interesting if only for Gravel, candidate from Alaska. He contributed one excellent idea: After Bush vetoes the spending bill with a non-binding timetable, every single day it should be presented to the entire congress for an override. That way, every politician supporting Bush would have to go on record as opposing funding for our troops, and go on record daily.

This week it will be the Republicans and if anyone is masochistic enough to watch it, I will reserve this space for their review. I will be walking my dog, a Malemute/Coyote mix, looking for people who cross themselves.

Best line of the week: After Dick Cheney attacked him as unpatriotic, Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate, said “I’m not going to trade insults with a hatchet man with a 9% approval rating.”

*ZNet | U.S.*

*A Review of Chris Hedges' Christian Fascism*

*by Stephen Lendman; April 25, 2007*

Chris Hedges is a journalist who for two decades was a foreign

correspondent for the New York Times spending much of his time

reporting from conflict zones in El Salvador, the Middle East

and from Serbia covering the Balkan wars of the 1990s that

divided and destroyed a country under the guise of humanitarian

intervention providing cover for naked imperialism. There it

allowed NATO (meaning the US) to expand into Central and Eastern

Europe to keep predatory capitalism on the march for markets,

resources and cheap labor everywhere using wars to get them and

eliminate "uncooperative" heads of state like Slobodan Milosevic

who was kidnapped, Mafia/Mossad-style, by the ICTY kangaroo

court in the Hague, hung out to dry when he got there, and in

the end let his health deteriorate so when he died he took his

ugly truths to the grave with him.

The wars and subsequent show-trials had nothing to do with myths

about it fed us by Western media. Those wanting the truth can

find it in excellent books like Diana Johnstone's Fools'

Crusade; the extensive research and writings of Edward Herman,

Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, law professor Michael Mandel; and

the newest book out on the subject titled Travesty: The Trial of

Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice

by British journalist John Laughland. Edward Herman wrote a

superb review of the book in the April, 2007 issue of Z Magazine

now available in which he pointedly says "the rules of the

(illegally constituted) ICTY (established by the US and UK)

stood Nuremberg on its head" and Laughland states "instead of

applying existing international law, the ICTY has effectively

overturned it" to hide NATO's crimes and allow more of the same

playing out now in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

The Christian Right supports these type crimes and motives for

them readers will understand from Hedges' new book. He's also

written many articles and is the author of four books including

his bestselling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning drawing on

his experiences in the conflicts he covered describing how

people and nations behave in wartime. The book was a finalist

for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. His

newest book is American Fascists - The Christian Right and the

War on America published in 2007 and subject of this review.

It's an incisive examination of the huge threat extremist

Christian fascists pose to a shaky free society most people in

the US take for granted but no longer will after reading this

important book.

Hedges was educated at Colgate University and received a Master

of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. For a time he was a

seminarian and is now a senior fellow at the Nation Institute as

well as a writer and lecturer at Princeton University where he

teaches in the Program for American Studies. He was also an

early vocal critic of the Bush administration's plan to attack,

invade and occupy Iraq characterizing war as "the most potent

narcotic invented by humankind" while professing not to be a


This review will cover the essence and flavor of American

Fascists beginning with some background on the Christian right,

its influence, and danger it poses that Hedges covers in

detail. He said he wrote the book out of anger and fear of the

fundamentalist Christian Right seeking to establish theocratic

dominion over society in America in the name of God and is using

the Republican party as their vehicle to do it. He compares the

movement's messianic mission to Italian and German fascism of

the last century cloaking itself in Christianity and patriotism

as their way to gain political power under theocracy's literal

meaning from the Greek words "Theos" meaning "God" and

"cratein/crasy" meaning to rule.

They're not kidding and neither is the risk they'll gain control

of government with some observers in Washington believing they

already have it including journalist/commentator Bill Moyers

saying "for the first time in our history, ideology and theology

hold a monopoly of power in Washington." Some call them "The

Christian Mafia" noting they're well-funded by and allied with

wealthy, powerful hard right businessmen like beer magnate

Joseph Coors and Amway founder Richard DeVos, Sr. Hedges calls

them American Fascists, and his powerful book leaves no doubt

how great a threat they are to our cherished liberties in a free

society now in great jeopardy. Below is an explanation of the

Christian Right and fundamentalist movement overall before

getting into the book.

The Christian Right and Its Fundamentalist Movement

The Christian or Religious Right is broadly defined to include

adherents of the radical or hard right embracing their kind of

extremist political, economic, social and religious ideology

falsely called conservative which is a relative term referring

philosophically to favoring traditional values including

libertarian ones centered on the right of everyone to be master

of his or her own fate.

Earlier, sociologist scholar Sara Diamond wrote extensively on

the rise of right wing groups in the country providing readers

with a wealth of information based on her firsthand research. In

her seminal 1995 book, Roads to Dominion, she traced the various

movements over the past 50 years identifying four types she


1. The anti-communist conservative movement that in the 1970s

included moral traditionalism of the emerging Christian Right.

2. The racist Right including the KKK and other segregationist

groups and later the paramilitary white supremacist movement.

3. The Christian Right with its evangelical roots, and

4. Neoconservatives with roots in the Cold War and Democrat

party later finding a new home in the Republican party under

Ronald Reagan.

Diamond explained these movements involved scores of

organizations, not monolithic in beliefs, who nonetheless share

a common set of policy preferences that unite them listing three

core areas - the economy, the "nation-state in global context

(military and diplomatic)," and moral norms relating to race and

gender. The movements are also unified in their advocacy of

free-market capitalism, anticommunism (now anything left of

center), US worldwide military hegemony, traditional morality,

superiority of native-born white male Christian Americans, and

the traditional nuclear family. In addition, Diamond lists what

she calls the "three pillars of the US Right" calling them

"tendencies, not absolutes" - libertarianism, anticommunist

militarism (now all liberal/progressive/leftist non-extremist

Christian ideology), and traditionalism.

In her book, Diamond included a detailed history of the

Christian Right explaining how it came to be the largest, most

influential movement on the far right dominating policy-making

in Republican-led governments and especially the one not yet in

power under George W. Bush. She explained it all in over 300

fact-crammed pages and another 100 pages of notes and

references. It's important background information summarized

here briefly to set the stage for Hedges important account of

what the Christian Right is up to today, why it matters, and why

this dominant movement threatens freedom and democracy in

America and the values most here hold dear, including most of

the 70 million evangelicals, a minority of whom are radical

ideologues selling their dogma of hate and domination to convert

the others and destroy non-believers.

Our Secular State Founding Principles

Christians founded America believing church and state should be

separated, and Jefferson called for "a wall of separation"

between them in 1802 after freedom of religion became part of

the First Amendment to the Constitution. Today that bedrock

founding principle is jeopardized by the extremist Christian

Right. If they get their way, they'll tear down that wall with

considerable public support from the 40% in the country polls

say take the Bible literally, and nearly one-third believe in

the "rapture" as Hedges explains in his book. The notion comes

from conservative Protestant eschatology denoting the final

happening when "good Christians" on earth are saved and

"raptured" to heaven to be with Jesus in eternal immortality

while non-believers are doomed to a more hellish, less

"rapturous" fate Hedges characterizes as suffering "unspeakable

torments below."

These believers and all others are entitled to their views, but

the Constitution forbids them forcing them on others. Earlier

Supreme Courts agreed in decisions requiring a "wall of

separation" between church and state prohibiting the adoption of

any state religion and requiring government to avoid undue

involvement in religion, its trappings or expressions.

That status was put in jeopardy following the introduction in

Congress of the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004." It was

then reintroduced in near-identical form in 2005, never passed,

and now awaits its fate in the Democrat-led 110th Congress or a

future one that may or may not let it die. If it's ever adopted

in its present form, it will turn the country into a de facto

theocracy despite its supporters' denial. Don't believe them as

getting this passed is key to the Christian Right's mission to

turn America into a fascist theocracy where constitutional law

is abolished in favor of extremist Christian dogma Dominionists

like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and others in

the movement want to be the supreme law of the land.

In their world, under their law, practitioners of other faiths

will be lawbreakers including about 75 million non-Christians

and many others of the faith not willing to go along with their

interpretation of it. The "Constitution Restoration Act of

2005" will also deny the Supreme Court's right to challenge

anyone in or affiliated with federal, state or local government

acknowledging the Christian "God (in their canon) as the

sovereign source of law, liberty, or government." Henceforth,

any judge at any level interpreting the new law differently

would be subject to impeachment and prosecution in the United

(extremist Christian) States of (fascist) America ruled by

people like Pat Robertson and others like him.

American Fascists Masquerading as True Christians - Defiling the

Teachings of Christ, His Twelve Apostles and Others of the Faith

Hedges begins his book with a powerful quote from Blaise Pascal

that "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when

they do it from religious conviction." Until the modern era,

the best examples in Christendom were the first Crusades when

Popes like Urban II sanctioned holy wars between 1095 - 1291 to

wrest Jerusalem and the "Holy Land" from "heretic" Muslims and

later ones in the 16th century against infidels - in the name of


Today in America, Dominionists are the new "crusaders" Hedges

equates with 20th century fascists because of their fanaticism.

They cloak their ideology in Christianity and patriotism as

their way to gain political power they claim is sanctioned by

the Almighty to give the movement moral legitimacy. But beneath

the surface, their doctrine is dark and foreboding posing real

dangers to a free society not to be taken lightly. It comes

from their view of Genesis 1:26-31 they interpret to mean God

gave man "dominion....over all the Earth," and that Jesus

commanded his followers to impose godly rule over everyone

denouncing people of other faiths and non-believers. The modern

blueprint for this ideology comes from the writings of RJ

Rushdoony's 1973 book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, calling

for a Christian government. It advocates torture and death for

gays, non-Christians resisting conversion, anyone committing

blasphemy, and women guilty of "unchastity before marriage."

Ideology of Radical Christian Right Fascists

Christian Right extremists advocate a frightening ideology

detailed below. It includes:

-- Racial hatred.

-- White Christian supremacy.

-- Blind adoration and obedience of the movement's leadership

while discouraging free and independent thought.

-- Male gender dominance portraying Jesus as a real man

dominating through force like a powerful warrior ignoring

fundamental Christian "thou shall not kill" doctrine. It's an

ideology of hypermasculinity centered in a male-dominated

authoritarian church and in the home where men are encouraged to

dominate their wives, and women and children are taught to submit.

Well-known Christian Right leader James Dobson built his career

on these ideas and now has a huge media empire dispensing advice

as a Christian therapist over his Focus on the Family program.

He's heard on more than 3000 radio stations and 80 TV stations

reaching 200 million people in 116 countries from his 81 acre

campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado employing 1300 people.

He's fiercely anti-choice and anti-gay and has backed political

candidates advocating abortionists be executed. He also calls

stem cell research "state-funded cannibalism" and urges

Christian parents take their children out of public schools and

put them in Christian ones teaching his ideology.

Dobson preaches male dominance calling non-submission a

violation of God's law. He also thinks murder is wrong but not

when committed against infidel Iraqis or Islamic terrorists

saying all non-believers, heretics and sinners will be consumed

in an End Times Tribulation of terrible calamities and torment

lasting seven years with non-redeemers condemned to eternal

punishment. True believers adhering to holy scriptures,

however, will be saved and "raptured" to eternal life and bliss

in heaven. But getting there means going along with what he,

End Times guru Timothy LaHaye, and other dominant Christian

Right figures like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell preach

including that they have a divine right to rule and must be obeyed.

Hedges notes that televangelists like Robertson, Benny Hill,

Paul and Jan Crouch and others "rule their fiefdoms as despotic

potentates" some adherents might think isn't God's way of doing

things. They travel with burly bodyguards in kingly luxury on

private jets; have amassed huge personal fortunes, much of it

gotten from listener subjects; and show up everywhere in

limousines with all the pomposity of heads of state and

billionaire CEOs but in their case playing God as false prophets

"clutching the cross and the Bible (offering seductively), like

Mephistopheles, to lead us to a mythical paradise and

impossible, unachievable happiness and security" provided we

surrender our will to theirs and our money too, which is one way

they get rich.

They preach a false gospel of prosperity and well-being preying

on the gullible to believe faith alone cures illness, overcomes

emotional distress, and assures financial and physical security

so there's no need for traditional secular institutions, social

service organizations and government regulatory agencies to

exist. The movement preaches those not trusting them lack

faith, that God alone is enough, and that fate is determined by

a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in a world in which

individuals surrender their will to a higher authority dictated

by the leadership. Hedges sums it up saying tyranny follows

when "fealty to an ideology becomes a litmus test for individual

worth" and a world of "miracles and magic" is the only "place to

turn for help" ruled by Christian Right extremists "grow(ing)

rich off (the vulnerable) who suffer" becoming passive in the


-- Hatred of gays, the "gay agenda," and everyone in the LBGT

movement with Christian Right adherents believing "same-sex

attraction" can be cured like a virus their ideological medicine

can fix. They define the problem as "male gender deficit" for

which "reparative therapy" is the antidote gotten from a close

connection with a strong heterosexual man "comfortable in his

male role." With nonsensical ideological fervor, they believe

bonding with a straight man makes homosexuality disappear while

at the same time denouncing gays as depraved perverts and

criminals threatening all Christians.

-- Disdain for non-believers and rational intellectual inquiry.

-- Condemnation of self-criticism and debate as apostasy.

-- Frequent use of the death penalty including for abortionists,

gays, Muslim "terrorists" and other "heretics."

-- Adoration of militarism, war and apocalyptic violence.

Adherence to these notions is so extreme that in the run-up to

the Iraq conflict, many Christian Right leaders and End Times

believers preached opposing war was anti-American and contrary

to God's plan and what's written in the Bible as they interpret

it. Their many supporters in Congress include Minority Leader

John Boehner, who supports endless wars. He recently said "The

spread of radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to our nation

(and) the free world....They are (everywhere and) growing right

here in America....dedicated to killing Americans (and) our

allies, and ending freedom and wanting to impose some radical

Islamic law on the entire world." With leaders like Boehner in

Congress and the administration, it's easy to see the influence

of radical Christian fundamentalist poison infecting the body

politic and threatening everyone with it.

-- Illegalization of abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

-- Ending public education with Bush administration help

budgeting billions of dollars for extremist Christian

faith-based organizations. They renounce proved science like

evolution allowing only creationism repackaged as "intelligent

design" to be taught as well as other extremist Christian values

sold through the "big lie" to trick those in the movement to

believe mysticism and magic are facts. Hedges calls the process

a "war on truth" where the culture war front lines are in

classrooms, and the battle is one traditional educators are

losing. Core values of a free and open society are being

destroyed and replaced through a process of thought control

based on pseudoscience assaulting the real thing on everything

challenging extremist Christian ideology from creation to

HIV/AIDS to pregnancy prevention to global warming to war and peace.

It's also happening inside government alarming the nonprofit

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) advocacy organization to

write in its March, 2004 Scientific Integrity in Policymaking

report: "There is significant evidence that the scope and scale

of the (scientifically unethical) manipulation, suppression,

misrepresentation of science by the (Christian Right dominated)

Bush administration are unprecendented."

-- A primary Christian mission to proselytize non-believers to

the faith by recruiting "soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ"

quoting Dr. D. James Kennedy of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian

Church in Coral Ridge, Florida near Fort Lauderdale, just north

of Miami. His voice is dominant in the Christian Right and

carried over the huge multimedia empire he built with his weekly

broadcasts heard and seen on more than 600 TV stations, four

cable networks and the Armed Forces Network reaching millions of


He also has a six day a week radio show on 744 stations reaching

millions more preaching his radical ideology that "the Christian

view of morality (according to the Christian Right) is the

(only) one that should prevail in America" while denouncing

liberal churches and other religions as godless. He holds

workshops teaching how to sell his brand of religiosity using

the same kinds of brainwashing/marketing techniques political

and other extremist movements know work. They promise believers

eternal life while those not saved are damned to eternal punishment.

-- Rejection of secular humanist notions of reason, ethics,

social equity and justice believing a better world is possible

through good will in a free and open society.[i] Also claims

secular humanist organizations like the American Civil Liberties

Union, NAACP, National Organization for Women, Planned

Parenthood and others want to destroy a Christian America. They

further include the major TV networks (for airing sex and

violence); major newspapers and magazines; US State Department;

foundations like Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie; the UN; the

Democrat party left/liberals; Harvard, Yale and 2000 other

universities; and all others not buying their gospel of

extremist white Christian dominionism and hate.

-- Seizing on the common denominator of pain, disillusion,

dislocation, suffering and despair felt by millions caused by a

culture of "soulless landscapes filled with strip malls and

highways" to build a mass movement of servile, unthinking

followers. They've replaced the real world of science, law and

rationality with unquestioning belief in the word of the

leadership and a glorious other utopian unreal world of

prophets, mystical signs and magical mumbo jumbo that's real to

them and in which they're "protected, loved, guided and

blessed." It promises what followers don't have - a stable home

and family, loving community, fixed moral standards, financial

and personal success, and abolition of doubt and uncertainty

based on religious vision and moral clarity. It also

frighteningly promises a final apocalyptic battle of their

"good" against all else they call "evil" exterminating the

forces believers blame on their despair after which they will

emerge victorious and saved.

-- A Christian totalitarian ethic based on a gospel of "free

-market" capitalism, militarism and intolerance of democratic

freedom of thought and action.

-- A fanatical devotion to and support for the state of Israel

as Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple Mount Muslims call the

Noble Sanctuary, is where Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians

believe the second coming of the Messiah will be and thus is the

holiest site in the world for Christians and Jews as well who

want it for a third and final Temple. Enter Rev. John Hagee of

the 18,000-strong Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas,

global TV ministry, and his Christians United for Israel (CUFI)

radical organization founded in early 2006. He's perhaps the

most extremist, bellicose and influential Christian Zionist in

America today preaching Muslims are Islamic fascists waging war

against Western civilization. His antidote is a gospel of

preemptive war against Islam in self-defense including one

against Iran now if he had his way. The danger is warmongering

hate-preachers like Hagee and others reach large audiences

convincing millions of adherents they're right.[ii]

The Dark Side of Radical Christian Morality

Hedges notes the movement's appeal is from the leadership's

promise of a moral Christian nation promising renewal. But the

message hides a darker side with Dominionists awaiting a fiscal,

social and/or political crisis great enough to end democratic

constitutional government replacing it with their vision of a

Christian fascist theocratic America. In the meantime, they

spent a generation working for this and now have great influence

at state, local and federal levels of government.

Hedges notes the movement already controls the Republican

party.[iii] In addition, Christian fundamentalists hold a majority

of seats in 18 of 50 states plus large minorities in the

others. Also, (as of the book's publication) 45 senators and

186 House members got 80 - 100% approval ratings from the three

most influential Christian Right advocacy groups: The Christian

Coalition, Eagle Forum and Family Resource Council. This

represents a dominant mass movement succeeding because

mainstream Christians and the major media aren't confronting it,

and their passivity threatens the constitutional rights of a

democratic state on life support sinking fast with help from the

Christian Right on the ascendancy.

They're influence is spread by Christian broadcasters commanding

large audiences estimated to be 141 million in the US through

radio and TV. They preach the Christian Right gospel flaunting

their wealth, power and celebrity status to show it works for

believers of the faith. They believe in unrestrained

free-market capitalism, divinely sanctioned to freely create a

global marketplace of (non-Christian, non-believing) serfs,

denied all rights, forbidden to organize, and left to the mercy

of a repressive state and corporate predators out for profit and

to be allowed to dictate wages and control the right to work.

Compassion for the less fortunate is left to individual acts of

charity and the churches with government out of it entirely and

only dedicated to social control and aggressive militarism

dictated by a warrior God (meaning Jesus) giving Christian

America the right to rule the world and assure corporate giants

can suck all the profit and life out of it. Hedges explains the

Christian Right sells an ideology believing it's a "Christian

duty to embrace the exploitation of others, to build a Christian

America where freedom means the freedom of the powerful to

dominate the bring about (their notion of ) a

Christian utopia (that when no legal or social protections

remain) it will be too late to resist (and the movement's

leadership will be in control of everything)." Their plan is to

"convince the masses to agitate for their own incarceration"

shocking as that notion sounds, but it's working.

The movement is on a "crusade"[iv] against constitutional government

working for now within the political system it wants to destroy

and remake in its own image. Awaiting the time they'll take

over, they're creating a parallel system within the existing one

in which only "Bible-believing" judges, Christian teachers, and

pseudo-reporters on Christian broadcasts are tolerated. And

only white Christian men championing their extremist doctrine

will be allowed to rule. Students are taught this ideology in

Christian schools Hedges says are the fastest growing segment of

the private school system. Textbooks used call Islam, Buddhism

and African religions "false," Hinduism "pagan," and even

Catholicism "distorted."

It's also heard on the campaign trail from candidates like

"stalwart on the Christian Right" 2006 Ohio gubernatorial losing

candidate Kenneth Blackwell who as secretary of state and

co-chair of Ohio's Committee to Reelect George Bush in 2004

"arranged" for enough votes in the state to go to the sitting

president to swing Ohio and the election for him. In his own

losing effort in 2006, he appeared at Christian Right rallies

laying out a blueprint for an authoritarian state where all

dissent is heresy yet campaigned carefully not to offend those

outside the movement by avoiding religious terminology.

Christian Right Fascism in Real Time in "Bush's Shadow Army" -

Blackwater USA

Journalist and author Jeremy Scahill characterizes Blackwater

USA as "the world's most powerful mercenary army" in his new

book about them. Like Hedges' book, it's frightening reading

needing exposure. It describes a "shadowy mercenary

company....largely off the congressional radar....having

remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus"

with no accountability or oversight on the ground in Iraq,

(working for the State Department, not the Pentagon, with a $300

million no-bid contract), Afghanistan, on US streets and in

neighborhoods like New Orleans, and coming soon to a city and

neighborhood near you courtesy of the Gestapo-like Department of

Homeland Security. With backing from the Bush administration,

it operates outside the law and Uniform Code of Military Justice

(UCMJ) and is immune from civil lawsuits like the military.

Scahill calls Blackwater the "Bush Administration's Praetorian

Guard (along with the CIA long-serving in that capacity and that

uses Blackwater in its illegal covert operations abroad and at


Blackwater was founded in 1996 by former Navy SEAL and now

super-rich Erik Prince who's closely tied to the Christian Right

he funds and supports. It came into its own post 9/11 becoming

a dominant player in the Bush administration's "Global War on

Terror" (GLOB) now rebranded "The Long War." Today, Blackwater

employs 2300 personnel in nine countries with 20,000 or more

private mercenary contractors ready to go wherever needed and

are part of the 100,000 contractors in Iraq, 48,000 of whom are

paramilitary mercenaries. It also has a fleet of 20 aircraft

(believed to have been used covertly as part of the Bush

administration's "extraordinary renditions" of targeted

individuals), including helicopter gunships, a private

intelligence division, and operates at home on its 7000 acre

Moyock headquarters Scahill calls "the world's largest private

military base."

It's not enough for Blackwater in the burgeoning world of

privatized secret mercenary paramilitary armies coming soon to a

neighborhood near you, so the company is preparing by seeking an

environmentally sensitive protected agricultural preserve

southeast of San Diego, CA for it current expansion plans. It's

an 824 acre site in Potrero, CA surrounded by the Cleveland

Forest Blackwater wants for a military training base with 15

firing ranges for automatic and non-automatic weapons and

various types of commando-type training facilities residents

don't want near their community for obvious reasons concerning

safety. People everywhere should object, for what may endanger

one isolated community now or a larger one in New Orleans

already may threaten us all in a paramilitarized America we're

heading for locked down by Blackwater-type storm troops

enforcing Christian Right fascist dogma.

In the meantime, Blackwater is cashing in big as a war profiteer

getting huge no-bid Bush administration contracts Congress

belatedly is showing interest in wanting to oversee to eliminate

abuses. Whether it will happen, however, is problematical as

current laws on the books aren't enforced making it likely new

ones won't be either on all matters relating to foreign wars,

so-called "terrorism," or anything claimed for national

security. As long as the nation is in wars both parties support

and the Christian Right is dominant, companies like Blackwater

will thrive. With them, wars are easier to get into and harder

to end meaning the culture of militarism will grow abroad and at

home that's part of the Christian Right's agenda to impose its

extremist theocratic rule on the country where, if it happens,

democratic freedom, as we know it, is incompatible. Under it,

Blackwater's private army will be on our city streets as

thuggish paramilitary enforcers licensed to terrorize and kill

with impunity bringing to America what they're well paid to do


"Eternal" Fascist Chickens Coming Home to Roost

A generation ago, the notion of a "global Christian empire" was

barely credible, but Hedges' ethics professor at Harvard

Divinity School, 80-year old Dr. James Luther Adams, warned back

then we'd all one day be fighting "Christian fascists." It was

when Pat Robertson and other radical televangelists began

preaching a new political religion aimed at creating a dominant

Christian world according to their extremist views. Adams was

in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and saw with horror what happened

there firsthand. Hedges says he "was not a man to use the word

'fascist' lightly." He understood before most others the

similarities of that time in Germany to what was developing here

around 1980. He saw "how the mask of religion hides irreligion

(and) our world is full to bursting with (various) faiths, each

contending for allegiance." It was a virtual "battle of faiths,

a battle of the gods who claim human allegiance."

Adams knew deep-seated resentments and bigotry exist in all

democratic societies like Weimar Germany and saw it emerging in

1980s America promoting the destruction of democracy. He feared

late in his life a movement here was on the march, more cleverly

packaged and sophisticated than in the past and this time with

no serious opposition. He saw hatreds being stoked, progressive

forces weakening, and the despair of tens of millions of

Americans losing good manufacturing and other well-paying jobs

being easy prey for smooth-talking fanatics like Pat Robertson

and Jerry Falwell promising miracles and visions of apocalyptic


Adams said then to watch the Christian Right's treatment of gays

knowing the Nazis used their "values" to repress opponents and

just days after coming to power in 1933 Hitler banned all gay

and lesbian organizations as his first target with many others

to follow. Pastor Martin Niemoller warned us in different

versions of his famous quotation listing Jews, communists and

trade unionists targeted but omitting the one Hitler chose

first. He didn't speak out because he wasn't one of them, and

when they came for him there was no one left. It was too late.

Adams explained gays in a Christian Right dominated American

would be the first "social deviants" singled out for

condemnation, disempowerment and elimination as in Nazi

Germany. Other targeted groups would follow, and we would be

next. He then warned as does Hedges that forces against

American democracy are "waiting for a moment to strike, a

national crisis that will allow them to shred the Constitution

in the name of national security." The Christian Right awaits

that time "with gleeful anticipation" wanting adherents to be ready.

Hedges warns we also must be ready quoting Alvin Toffler saying

"if you don't have a strategy you end up being part of someone

else's strategy." It means challenging the Christian Right's

gospel of hate, "exclusion, cruelty and intolerance in the name

of God" with a doctrine of life, hope and respect for the worth

and dignity of everyone, and their right to practice their

beliefs openly in a free society. That's the American dream

shared by free people everywhere. At the book's end, Hedges

says preserving it means giving up "passivity, challeng(ing)

aggressively this movement's deluded appropriation of

Christianity (and fighting back) to defend tolerance." Wishing

won't make it so. Defending democracy means working at it every

day. Today we face an imminent threat to our freedom against

which "tolerance coupled with passivity is a (deadly) vice" that

will destroy us unless we're on guard to be sure it doesn't.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen

each Saturday to the Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on

The Micro noon US central time.

[i] Yours truly has been accused of being a secular humanist. I thereupon assumed the position of Pope of Secular Humanism and invite everyone to join my church. For a mere $100 anyone can become a priest – send money order or cashiers checks only. Each $100 gets you a higher rank such as bishop, cardinal, etc. To be an ArchBishop, send $500 with “:God is Dead” in the memo field and your certificate will be sent by UPS.

[ii] I told you Israel is a problem.

[iii] I told you Republicans were a problem.

[iv] Let’s hear it for Tamburlane; see Chris Marlowe’s play on the topic.