By Deanna Spingola
29 October 2006
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Presidential candidate George H. W. Bush hired evangelist Doug Wead, a divorced Assemblies of God preacher as a consultant in order to “galvanize the Religious Right.”  Wead helped prepare Bush by acting out the part of televangelist Pat Robertson in a months-long series of exhaustively researched and well-financed mock presidential debates.  He coached the elder Bush on evangel-speak to help him connect with Christian fundamentalists.
A little more than a decade later, George W. Bush, already proficient in evangel-lingo, also hired Wead, the consultant. Evangelicals immediately recognize Bush as a professed “born-again Christian.”  Wead, unbeknownst to Bush, taped many of their telephone conversations over a two year period of time. “The conversations spend much time on Bush's religious beliefs and his courting of the evangelical right.” 
After Bush had become president he told Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, “God wanted me to be president.”  Post election, Bush’s propagandists, like David Frum, could employ phrases like “axis of evil” for Bush’s State of the Union address on January 29, 2002.  It was sweet to the ears of his Religious Right constituency. Bush is surrounded by theocon handlers like Frum, author of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush. Chapter one opens with “Missed you at Bible study.” Frum co-authored An End To Evil: What's Next in the War on Terror with Project for a New American Century (PNAC) charter member Richard Perle. Frum, like other Bush associates, has the perfect credentials – he was a senior fellow at the foundation-financed right-wing Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research from 1995 to 2001. 
Bush’s first use of the word “crusade” was five days after 9/11 and divulged his Christian Zionist mentality. He said: “This is a new kind of -- a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”  This fallacious war on terror did not start with 9/11. Bush’s crusade, the Iraqi Invasion, was repackaged and expensively sold as Operation Iraqi Liberation and then Operation Iraqi Freedom. The benign words “liberation” and “freedom” are Orwellian 1984 “newspeak” used to deceptively evoke support for long term warfare. Bush recently discontinued using the ambiguous phrase “stay the course.” He was asked its meaning at a news conference on Oct. 11 but refused to be pinned down. 
“Stay the course means keep doing what you’re doing,” he said. “My attitude is, don’t do what you’re doing if it’s not working; change.” 
He added: “Stay the course also means don’t leave before the job is done. And that’s — we’re going to get the job done in Iraq. And it’s important that we do get the job done in Iraq.”  And what job is that – the establishment of permanent military bases on one of the earth’s biggest oil fields?
With continuous support from distinctive Christian theocons, Bush professes that the Iraqi quagmire is a “good versus evil” crusade and that he is on God’s errand. On June 4, 2003, Bush reportedly said: “God told me to strike at al-Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.”  He doesn’t mention that al-Qaeda and Saddam were both established and financed by the CIA. Nor does he acknowledge that monstrous sums of taxpayer dollars are pumping up administration-friendly companies who make millions of dollars as a result of the Iraqi invasion. Claiming that God approves of the horrific death toll and continuing violence against non threatening foreign citizens is a shameful effort to cover the stench of death emanating from the Middle East.
James Robison, the televangelist, met with Karl Rove and Governor George Bush who told him: “I feel like God wants me to run for president.” … “I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. I know it won’t be easy, on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.” Robison set up a meeting with a group of major Pentecostal and Southern Baptist preachers who gathered around Governor Bush to lay hands on him. At another meeting “one pastor led a prayer asking God to ‘put the mantle of a champion’ on Bush.” 
You define a tree by its fruit. George Bush invaded Iraq without just provocation despite his claims: “See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction.”  America, a “free” nation, manufactures the majority of the world’s weapons, even those used against our own military during warfare. America, a “free” nation, invaded Iraq. According to Bush’s prerequisites, are we peaceful, are we free?
Laura Bush, revising history, claimed: “No American President ever wants to go to war. Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war, but he knew saving the union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn't want to go to war—but he knew defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn't want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and the world depended on it.”  Humanitarian justifications are always used by the privileged elite, before or after the assault, to gain sympathetic support and to recruit canon fodder.
George W. Bush repeatedly claims that he has a direct pipeline to God. When discussing the imminent Iraqi invasion with Pat Robertson, “Bush insisted that he had a more direct pipeline to God than the pope!”  In 2003, Bush appeared before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian Youth Centre and told them about being “born again.” Behind him were two banners: “King of Kings,” and the other declared “Lord of Lords.” “The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.” 
This highly effective visual prepared for the impressionable is similar to the cleverly maneuvered “Mission Accomplished” exploitation on the correctly re-positioned USS Abraham Lincoln (minus San Diego in the background) when he gave a speech May 1, 2003.  The USS Abraham Lincoln and its sailors waited offshore for hours instead of heading into port after its 10-month voyage. Or, how about staged publicity production with the troops as props at Fort Bragg? Visual manipulation appears to be a tactic employed by the best of the Bush handlers, genius Karl Rove, “one of the most brilliant political operatives ever.” 
In addition to using religion, “Rove re-packaged Bush as a brand. Instead of a Yale graduate who was scion of a blue-blood Connecticut family, Bush was presented as a straight-shooting Texan. Instead of showing off his 10,000 square-foot house on an estate that is larger than the Kennedy and Kerry compounds combined, Bush told everyone he lived on a ranch. Instead of defending his being the only presidential candidate ever convicted of a felony (drunk driving), Bush shifted the debate to President Clinton’s adultery. While hobnobbing with Enron CEO Ken Lay, indicted Tom DeLay and influence-peddler Jack Abramoff, who has pled guilty to bribery of top government officials, Bush adroitly ‘positioned’ himself as a drugstore, truck-driving man.” 
“According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), Bush spends more than four times on PR than any of his predecessors. His PR department has twice as many employees as the Clinton administration. Public relations agency Ketchum was paid more than $1 million in taxpayer funds to produce video PR releases designed to look like news reports. The Bush administration used $240,000 of taxpayer money to pay conservative commentator Armstrong Williams to promote Bush’s education policies.” 
It is all about perception management and Bush’s expensive PR team will use any issue and spend any amount to create the right facade. Bush is a multi-faceted international bank puppet who functions according to any given situation or congregation, Jewish or Christian.
“Religion is the most dangerous energy source known to humankind. The moment a person (or government or religion or organization) is convinced that God is either ordering or sanctioning a cause or project, anything goes. The history, worldwide, of religion-fueled hate, killing, and oppression is staggering.” 
“Religious crusades are often counterproductive; they tend to end up in unsustainable occupations of people who -- surprise! -- believe they have their own pipeline to the Almighty.”  Three years plus after the American invasion of Iraq, Americans are still dying along with thousands of Iraqis in a war purportedly against terror. Iran is also in the cross hairs.  The only benefactors are HalliburtonKBR, Blackwater, Caci and L3Titan who are stepping over bodies to pick up dollars.
Jerry Falwell, the religious leader of a 501C3 organization, endorsed Bush by saying: “I believe it is the responsibility of every political conservative, every evangelical Christian, every pro-life Catholic, every traditional Jew, every Reagan Democrat, and everyone in between to get serious about re-electing President Bush.”  The New York Times, July 16, 2004
In certain cultures individuals attribute godly characteristics to their top political leader. Bush facilitates this belief because he represents himself as having a prophetic style of direct communication with deity. With God’s alleged stamp of approval, attested to by numerous religious leaders, it is easy to manipulate the constituency. On July 9, 2004 he told an Amish group: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.” 
Jim Jones’s history may hold an answer to this phenomenon. “He not only proved the obvious fact that people are blinded by their religious beliefs and will only impute goodness, mercy, and religious motivations to their leader, but Jim Jones proved the efficacy of the basic teaching of Machiavelli: a leader must only appear to have the qualities of goodness—he need not actually possess those attributes.”  The illusion of goodness proves as effective as goodness itself.
“In fact, Machiavelli taught that it is dangerous for a leader to practice goodness. Instead, he must pretend to be good and then do the opposite. Machiavelli taught that a leader will succeed on appearances alone. A good leader puts his finger to the wind and changes course whenever it is expedient to do so.” 
“After the Sept. 11 attacks, the White House carefully scripted the religious service in which the president declared war on terrorism from the pulpit of the National Cathedral. The president declared to the nation, ‘our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.’ With most every member of the Cabinet and the Congress present, along with the nation's religious leaders, it became a televised national liturgy affirming the divine character of the nation's new war against terrorism, ending triumphantly with the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ War against evil would confer moral legitimacy on the nation's foreign policy and even on a contested presidency.” 
“A simplistic ‘we are right and they are wrong’ theology rules out self-reflection and correction. It also covers over the crimes America has committed, which lead to widespread global resentment against us.”  Power, without principle, is tyranny. Proud nations or people, who suppose moral superiority, employ religious sentimentality and arrogantly boast in their own strength are frequently left to their own devices and ultimately fall into decadent destruction.
Jim Wallis reminds us that it matters more that we are on God’s side instead of claiming God is on our side. Does God really play favorites when both sides pray for assistance? Does God really care about who wins the high school football game? Shouldn’t any issue, particularly a life and death situation, be decided by correct principles rather than who has the most advanced weapons, a preemptive advantage, questionable motives and the most money and men?
Before the invasion, Bush said to a group of church leaders at the National Association of Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville that he was totally “at peace” about striking the “evil” Saddam Hussein. “If anyone can be at peace, I am at peace about this.” Apparently this invasion had more to do with Bush’s religious ideology than anything else that would possibly warrant an invasion. Paul O’Neill, in his book The Price of Loyalty, states that “ideology ruled the White House.” “Ideology is a lot easier, because you don’t have to know anything or search for anything.” … “You already know the answer to everything.” 
 How the Republicans Stole Christmas by Bill Press, p. 11
 With God on Their Side, How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush’s White House by Esther Kaplan, p. 9
 Ibid p. 10-11
 How the Republicans Stole Christmas by Bill Press, p. 12
 Citing Falwell's Endorsement of Bush, Group Challenges His Tax-Exempt Status By David D. Kirkpatrick,
Published: July 16, 2004
 With God on Their Side, How Christian Fundamentalists Trampled Science, Policy, and Democracy in George W. Bush’s White House by Esther Kaplan, p. 12
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