Rumsfeld’s religious war

May 17, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

I’m truly disgusted to learn of newest evidence for the religious underpinnings for Donald Rumsfeld’s (and George Bush’s) thought process.  GQ has revealed that Rumsfeld authored an entire series of Bible/war memos, “Top Secret Briefings,” to get Bush fired up that he was on God’s side in a Manichean struggle.

This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine.

For those who say that religion is good, that is sometimes true.  Many people have been inspired by religion to channel their natural empathy into acts of kindness.

Secretary of Defense religious memos - Click to go to GQ for full article

Secretary of Defense religious memos - Click to go to GQ for full article

To those who say religion is dangerous, that is also sometimes true, as witnessed by America’s religious war waged in Iraq.   Thanks to the Bush Administration’s application of religion, 100,000 people are deadtens of thousands of Americans wounded, and millions of Iraqis who have lost their homes.

I would say, as a general rule that we should always discourage violence in the name of religion.   Religion is too often a potent mind-altering trip.  Too often, it causes people to unplug their pre-frontal cortices, so that their base instincts, especially their xenophobia, rise’s to the top.   Religion is too often used to concoct needless imaginary lines between and among groups of people, resulting in growing distrust, which too often ripens into seething hate.

Bottom line:  Thanks to Rumsfeld’s (and Bush’s) embrace of what we now know (better than ever) to be religious violence, our “secular” government was able to conclude that their religious ends justified their military means, and that any lie, any torture, and any amount of collateral damage was justified.

All of this in the name of God.

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Category: Corruption, Iraq, Politics, Religion, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Stacy Kennedy says:

    Wonder how Christopher Hitchens will rationalize this.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Stacy: This recent revelation has me turned inside out even though I assume that this sort of thought process was driving our military adventures.

  3. Stacy Kennedy says:

    I haven't read the GQ article yet, but Frank Rich says Rumsfeld isn't particularly pious:

    "As Draper writes, Rumsfeld is not known for ostentatious displays of piety. He was cynically playing the religious angle to seduce and manipulate a president who frequently quoted the Bible." (FR)

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Robert Draper, author of the GQ article, speaking about Rumsfeld's religious-themed intelligence reports with Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow:

    Now, Secretary Rumsfeld is, himself, not the kind of person who wears his religion on his sleeve, but he seemed to appreciate these. The general who created them told other people that he would continue to produce these, because his seniors, meaning Secretary Rumsfeld, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers and President Bush, appreciated them. And Secretary Rumsfeld would indeed bring this intelligence briefing paper with that cover sheet over to the Oval Office every morning during the time of the invasion and subsequent to it…

    Now, there were some who were involved in the preparing of these intelligence documents who took umbrage and suggested to General Shaffer that it was highly inappropriate to be marrying intelligence data with Biblical references. In particular, there was a female Muslim analyst who was quite offended by it.

    General Shaffer . . . told me that he had no—had had no intention of discontinuing them, unless Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ever told him to stop, which he did not.

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