“Goodbye Jack Daniels, Hello Jesus!” So it was that George W. Bush says he met the Messiah as he switched the bottle for the Bible on a summer day after his 40th birthday. When he was young and irresponsible, he was really irresponsible, he admits, but all that has changed. Now, they say, his Christian faith permeates his daily life; he starts each day on his knees, reads the Bible and devoutly attends church. The air in the White House is said to be scented with the fragrant incense of prayerfulness, and presidential speeches are spiced with religious metaphors.
Bush envisions himself fulfilling a divine calling, as he heads a global battle that pits the forces of good against the forces of evil. He claims God speaks to his mind, directing his actions and inspiring his presidential policy decisions. He says he “felt the call” before his inauguration as Texas governor in 1999, as he listened to Methodist pastor Mark Craig preach on Moses’ reluctance to lead. It spoke conviction directly to Bush?s heart for abrogation of responsibility. Assembling leading pastors at the governor?s mansion for a laying-on of hands, he announced the news: “I’ve heard the call, I believe God wants me to run for president.”
With utter contempt for the people they govern, and the lives they destroy on the way, the project for neo-con global supremacy doesn’t just want four more years.
Bush?s testimony appears to the sincere evangelical to be genuine; his heart was changed in a “born again” experience, through a personal encounter with Christ, leading to repentance, reconciliation with God, and a conviction of God’s plan and purpose for his life. Desperate for a breath of moral fresh air after the putrid impropriety that disgraced the Clinton White House, honest Christians who never question the meaning of the word “is”, were swayed by Bush’s invocation of the name of “Christ”. He was, by his own admission, “one of them”.
Few doubted and even fewer publicly questioned the veracity of Bush?s “born again” claims. But, hey, hey, in those exuberant days that brought the warm glow of Christian fellowship right to the heart of the election campaign, who would have dared to mouth a ripple of doubt? And who could have foreseen that in pursuing their quest for a leader of integrity and compassion in action, the Christian churches, armed with the Bible in one hand and the flag in the other, were just about to exchange one liar in the White House for a better one.
Dominion and deception go claw in glove. From empire to empire there have always existed foul creatures in elegant attire lurking beneath the mud of political intrigue with megalomaniac intent. Deeply dark elites have always wielded untold influence beneath the mantles of anonymity that keep the powers behind the powers hidden from the public eye. Yet today, as the autocratic American Empire performs its awesome debut on the global stage, some of these dangerous schemers have boldly emerged from their subterranean refuge to reveal their previously hidden lust for power, and are now, in public statements and policy papers, baring their visible teeth.
These nefarious elitists ? all too often naively scorned as paper tigers by sensible folk who dismiss conspiracy theories ? may have a smile as sweet as sugar and spice, but they also have a nasty snarl and a fearsome bite. The deception that promotes their bid for dominion is the claim that American military dominance over the world is best for everyone, and that this policy ? disguised as “democracy” ? is endorsed, even directed by God.
The new elite that slipped from the shadows to direct the Bush administration foreign policy are neoconservatives, or neocons, who have formed an unprecedented right-wing alliance of former leftists and liberals. Their ideology is paradoxical, spawned in that fetid breeding ground where right meets left, producing a hybrid offspring that resembles a power-hungry, pro-Zionist mutation of Trotsky’s ideas on permanent revolution. This new elite now openly promotes a glorious vision of American supremacy based on a messianic ideology that exalts American culture as superior in every way to the cultures of other nations.
Under the motto “peace through strength,” their aim is to subjugate every aspect of American society to the bare-fisted control of the state, as part of a military crusade for complete U.S. global dominance. Like the wolf in disguise who fooled Little Red Riding Hood, their voracious blood-lust is masked by soothing reassurances of good intentions. Only this time the wolf is far more ambitious. It is the people of America and the nations of the world who are lined up for lunch under the guise of benevolence. But first, the trusting victims must be convinced that the hungry wolf is just as benign as lil? ole granny in a frilly nightgown.
The elite made its first move from the shadows of power to the spotlight when a draft of the Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) on U.S. grand strategy was leaked to the New York Times in 1992. This literal Pax Americana ? American Peace ? was framed along the same lines as the Pax Romana, and foretold a world in which global U.S. military intervention would become permanent.
Surprised commentators described the policy document as stunning in the clarity and ambition of the new U.S. military vision. The proposed strategy called for U.S. military pre-eminence over Eurasia by preventing the rise of any potentially hostile power. It also established a new policy of pre-emptive action against any state suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction. Written more than a decade ago by former Pentagon analysts Paul Wolfowitz, now Deputy Secretary of Defense, and I. Lewis Libby, now Vice President Cheney?s chief-of-staff, this prospective defense strategy has today become the backbone of America?s aggressive foreign policy, and many aspects of it are included in the important document outlining 2002 National Security Strategy. As Richard Perle put it: “The President of the United States, on issue after issue, has reflected the thinking of neoconservatives.”
Cleverly masked in the rhetoric of justice and benevolence, the new doctrine promoted by the Bush Inner Circle is characterised by a distinctly Machiavellian tinge. Niccol? Machiavelli, the political philosopher who served the Italian government in the 16th century, wrote that the true purpose of political power is to maintain and extend itself. It has nothing at all to do with the welfare of the people, nor with principles of right and wrong.
Machiavelli taught that it was useful to promote morals, ethics and religious convictions among the people for the purpose of maintaining control and productivity. The ruler himself, while advised to maintain a guise of morality and religiosity, was sanctioned in the covert use of dishonesty, cruelty, murder, or any other means necessary to perpetuate power.
The new elite, whose driving force is the pursuit of power, believe they have a right to impose their rule by way of deceit. As disciples of Machiavelli they consider themselves to be free from the constraints of moral absolutes. Their philosophy also encourages them to promote religious faith among the people, even though they themselves are not true believers. This may, perhaps, explain why some of the elite clique who are secular Jews and members of occult fraternities, have strategically embedded themselves with the Christian Right, and successfully persuaded most influential evangelical churches in America to serve their cause. The “born-again” George Bush certainly knows just how important “faith” is to the 100 million professing American Christians who form the Republican political power base.
In his book, The Prince, Machiavelli writes:
Surrounded by policy shapers with allegiance to a philosophy that advocates the shameless blinding of the electorate, President Bush has aggressively pursued strategies that have finally resulted in the imposition of new moral absolutes. Grounded neither in truth nor in national interest, the ambitious Machiavellian clique exploits religion only to rally support for the perpetuation of their own power and profit. Ironically, this strategic deception and manipulation is the exact antithesis of the faded values of the Christian community, who remain entirely oblivious to the elite?s predation.
Like Machiavelli, the German political philosopher Leo Strauss also taught that the elite, who transcend moral absolutes, should exploit religious faith in order to autocratically control the masses. Strauss became convinced, as a result of his experience of World War I, that faith in human nature without God, as it was exalted in the Enlightenment, was mistaken. He saw religion as the indispensable opiate of the people. Deception, for Strauss, was a necessity in political life, and he considered religion to be a desirable “pious fraud” ? a fraud to be encouraged as a means of control, through the imposition of “moral law”. Religion is necessary for the people, he advised, but the rulers themselves ? not bound by the same moral laws they preach and impose on others ? should maintain only an outward form of religion, a convincing fa?ade.
Leo Strauss emigrated to the United States in 1938, where he obtained a fellowship with the Rockefeller Foundation and a position teaching philosophy at the University of Chicago. The eccentric opinions of this obscure German academic would not be expected to hold much sway, except that Leo Strauss happens to be the mentor of influential neoconservatives including William Kristol, former chief of staff to Dan Quayle, and Paul Wolfowitz, now Deputy Defense Secretary.
In 1997, members of the neoconservative elite formed a number of interlocking think tanks and front groups dedicated to their fundamental belief that “American leadership is good both for America and for the world”. Several founder members were influential veterans of the Reagan administration and future senior officials of the G.W. Bush foreign policy team.
William Kristol founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with the stated goal to “promote American global leadership”. PNAC brought the neoconservatives who promote global U.S. dominance together with powerful militarists in the Bush administration such as Vice-president Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Here, at PNAC, the neoconservatives and militant hawks rub shoulders with influential Christian activists such as Gary Bauer, and other prominent leaders of the Religious Right, who obediently promote the neocon cause throughout the churches.
Influential think-tank warriors also formed several other revolving door interfaces between high positions in government and top jobs in the military-industrial complex. The Center for Security Policy (CSP), is described as the “main battle tank” whose mission is to promote world peace through American strength. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) links American defense policy with the security of Israel. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an influential Washington think tank, is known as the heartbeat of neoconservative thought.
William Kristol is often described as “the crown prince” of the neoconservative elite. His father, Irving Kristol, the “godfather” of neoconservatives, credited with defining the neoconservative credo, was a member of the American Trotskyists? Fourth International in 1940, before veering to the right. Other members of the neoconservative Inner Circle who drive U.S. foreign policy include Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith; Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton; and National Security Council director of Near Eastern Affairs, Elliot Abrams, who was convicted in the illegal Iran-Contra scandal run by George Bush Sr. in the 1980s, involving the sale of American weapons to Iran to fund the CIA?s covert war against Nicaragua?s Sandinista government.
Serving President George W. Bush as an international affairs analyst is another neoconservative who was also implicated in the Iran-Contra affair. Michael Ledeen, an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident scholar with alleged ties to the Italian P-2 Masonic Lodge, is a long-time advocate of regime change in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. He believes with Machiavelli that it is the nature of humans to do evil, and that war is our natural state. Violence, he claims, in the service of the spread of “democracy”, is America?s manifest destiny. In his book, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli?s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago, Ledeen unapologetically states that the purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people: “The goal is power, which means the domination of others, and the winners revel in it, savoring what Machiavelli calls the ?sweetness of dominion?.” Described by opponents as a “Nazi/Communist” Michael Ledeen is pressing now for the overthrow of the same Mullahs from whom he formerly profited by covertly peddling weapons. Putting his creed into action, he has fuelled the flames of war from Nicaragua to Iraq.
The ideas of the neocons are forcefully promoted in several important journals. Commentary, describing itself as “America’s premier monthly journal of opinion,” is published by the American Jewish Council and advocates regime change in all countries considered hostile to US and Israeli interests. According to the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative voice with considerable influence in Washington, peaceful coexistence between the United States and the rest of the globe is not an option. The Rupert Murdoch-financed Weekly Standard, published by William Kristol, promotes an idealistic, assertive America that will, through the barrel of a gun, export “pro-democratic” revolution around the world.
Yet even when the neocons promote war as a means of extending democracy, the term “democracy” does not mean what is normally understood as “democracy” - the participation of informed citizens in governance. “Democracy” is instead used in an Orwellian newspeak sense to describe only those acceptable outcomes that result from the manipulation of ostensibly popular decisions by the controllers. A freely elected Islamic government in Iraq would, for example, not be a desirable outcome, and would be considered “undemocratic”.
Gerhard Sp?rl comments in a Der Spiegel article, “The Leo-Conservatives” that a conspiracy theory is developing in which the Bush administration is portrayed as a puppet, controlled by the Straussian philosophy of the puppet masters. “The practical consequence of this philosophy is fatal. According to its tenets, the elites have the right and even the obligation to manipulate the truth. Just as Plato recommends, they can take refuge in “pious lies” and in selective use of the truth. It is precisely because of these fundamental elements of a political theory Strauss represented throughout his life that he is accused, in today’s America, of having used the Nazis to study the methods of mass manipulation. And “Straussians,” such as Wolfowitz and other proponents of the Iraq war, are now suspected of simply having used the Strauss’ political principles for their own purposes. When seen in this light, the partly fictitious reasons for the war against Saddam Hussein represent the philosophical heritage of an emigrant from Germany.”
The lessons of recent history clearly reveal that the neocons? world view, that will without conscience use deception as a means of achieving dominion, has striking similarities with both Stalin?s communist dictatorship and Hitler?s nazi ideology of National Socialism. In “Neocoservatism, Where Trotsky Meets Stalin And Hitler” (Chronicles Magazine), Srdja Trifkovic writes: “In the Straussian-neoconservative mindset, those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior. That mindset is America’s enemy. It is the greatest threat to the constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same eschatological dream, the End of History devoid of God. They are in pursuit of Power for its own sake ? thus sinning against God and man ? and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet Empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.”
Again like Machiavelli, Leo Strauss claimed that only if the state is united by an external threat can political order be stable. Furthermore, if no real external threat exists then one would have to be manufactured, maintaining the citizens in total deception in order to perpetuate the desired state of constant conflict. President Bush and his neoconservative policy makers have repeatedly warned that the war on terrorism ? that found its moral justification in the provocative 9-11 attacks ? would be a perpetual, global war against the forces of chaos and disorder, necessitating the shredding of constitutional freedoms and the imposition of sweeping totalitarian control.
America, a nation that likes to think of itself as an Empire of Liberty has become an Empire of Dominion. The Pax Americana that the new elite has now established as U.S. foreign policy clearly does not serve the real interests of the nations that suffer under American conquest, neither does it serve the interests of the American people ? certainly not the best interests of the Christian conservatives who believe his profession of “faith”. Nor does the dominion of the American Empire serve the true interests of the subservient allies that have depleted their budgets and sacrificed their sons to join in what is increasingly seen as the coalition of the na?ve and deceived, the bribed and the blackmailed; the coalition of those who are willing to sacrifice the good of their own nations to serve a ruthless cabal whose openly expressed goals are to fuel the demands of a power-hungry totalitarian American elite.
The adoption, under the guise of “compassion” in the Bush administration, of the agenda of a deceitful neoconservative cabal is bitter, since it was largely achieved on a wave of support from altruistic religious conservatives. What they hoped for and sought was merely to re-establish a moral anchor in American politics. George W. Bush gained support only because many people believed him to be upright, a devout, spiritual man. The crucial swing voters in the 2000 election were those who wanted a leader who would take a stand for integrity.
But then, as George Bush joked at a Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, D.C., the advice he had been given was clear: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.” The whispers of Machiavelli that echoed in the halls of the Holy Roman Empire six centuries ago still resonate today: “There is one prince of the present time, whom it is not well to name, who never preaches anything else but peace and good faith, and to both he is most hostile?”