Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Pin Heads: The Bushist Push To Theocracy

Originally published in The Moscow Times, March 12, 2004

One of the sticking points in finalizing the "interim constitution" of the Pentagon cash cow formerly known as Iraq was the question of acknowledging Islam as the fundamental source of law in the puppet state. Secularists objected, moderates were uneasy, extremists insisted. In the end, a fudge was worked out that cites the Koran as a fundamental source of legal authority, with the proviso that no law can be passed that openly conflicts with Islam.

We in the enlightened West smile at such theocratic quibbling, of course: imagine, national leaders insisting that a modern state be governed solely by divine authority! Governments guaranteeing the right of religious extremists to impose their views on society! What next – televised debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Oh, those poor, ignorant barbarians in Babylon!

Well, wipe that smile off your face. For even as we speak, the ignorant barbarians in Washington are pushing a law through Congress that would "acknowledge God as the sovereign source of law, liberty [and] government" in the United States. What's more, it would forbid all legal challenges to government officials who use the power of the state to enforce their own view of "God's sovereign authority." Any judge who dared even hear such a challenge could be removed from office.

The "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004" is no joke, no rhetorical flourish by obscure fringe elements; it was introduced by some of the Bush Regime's most reliable – and powerful – Congressional sycophants, including the renegade Democrat, Bush-backing Senator Zell Miller of Georgia. If enacted, it will effectively transform the constitutional republic of the United States into a theocracy, where the abitrary dictates of a "higher power" – as personally interpreted by a judge, policeman, bureaucrat or president – can override the rule of law.

If you think this is an exaggeration – typical liberal paranoia – think again. Although the very little mainstream comment on the bill has described it merely as a sop to those who want to post the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and the like, the Religious Right knows full well what the true impact of the bill will be. That's why they've mobilized their forces to give all-out support to the measure, even at the expense of other high-profile battles against abortion and gay marriage. Indeed, some hardright commentators are calling the bill "the most important item on the conservative agenda this year – more important than the presidential election," as investigator Karen Yurica reports.

The Act – drafted by a former minion of TV evangelist Pat Robertson – is the fruit of decades of work by a group of extremists known broadly as "Dominionists." Their openly expressed aim is to establish "biblical rule" over every aspect of society – placing "the state, the school, the arts and sciences, law, economics, and every other sphere under Christ the King." Or as Attorney General John Ashcroft – the nation's chief law enforcement officer – likes to say: "America has no king but Jesus!"

According to Dominionist literature, "biblical rule" means execution – preferably by stoning – of homosexuals and other "revelers in licentiousness;" massive tax cuts for the rich (because "wealth is a mark of God's favor"); the elimination of government programs to allieviate poverty and sickness (because these depend on "confiscation of wealth"); and the re-institution of slavery, based not on race but on debt. No legal challenges to "God's rule" will be allowed. And since this order is divinely ordained, the "elect" can use any means necessary to establish it, including deception, subversion, even violence. As Robertson himself adjures the faithful: "Zealous men force their way in."

Again, this is no tiny band of cranks meeting in some basement in Alabama or a cabin in Utah, as a series of chilling reports by Yurica, David Niewert and other investigators make clear. The Dominionists are bankrolled and directed by deep-pocketed, well-connected business moguls and political operatives who have engineered a takeover of the Republican Party and are now at the heart of the U.S. government. They have made common cause with the "American Empire" faction – Cheney, Rumsfeld, the neo-conservatives – who seek "full spectrum dominance" over the globe.

In addition to the lust for controlling the earth, the two groups share a belief in the divinity of wealth, of course. And the Bushist Dominators know well that a religious herd under the cracking whip of approved clerics will be far more malleable to corporate predation than a bunch of secular citizens demanding their rights, questioning authority and reveling in licentiousness. (Which is why they approved the Islamic character of the Iraqi "constitution" – and why they're so fiercely opposed to such things as gay marriage.) Thus, the Dominionists provide money and domestic political muscle for the Dominators' geopolitical goals; in turn, the Dominators provide a practical vehicle – overwhelming military might and state power – for making the Dominionists' dreams a reality.

The Dominionist movement was founded by the late R.J. Rushdoony, a busy beaver who also co-founded the Council for National Policy. The CNP is the politburo of the American conservative movement, filled with top-rank political and business leaders who set the national agenda for the vast echo chamber of rightwing foundations, publishers, media networks and universities that have schooled a whole generation in obscurantist bile – just like the extremist Wahabbi religious schools funded by Saudi billionaires have poisoned the Islamic world with hatred and ignorance. Candidate George W. Bush humbly paid his ritual obesiance to the CNP Wahabbis in 1999, in a speech that has remained a fiercely guarded secret.

One of the chief moneybags behind the rise of Dominionism was tycoon Harold Ahmanson, Rushdoony's protégé and fellow CNP member. In addition to establishing theocracy in America, Ahmanson had another abiding interest: computerized voting machines. As reported here last year, Ahmanson, a fervent Bush backer, was instrumental in establishing two of the Republican-controlled companies now rushing to install their highly hackable machines – with untraceable, unrecountable electronic ballots – across the country in time for the November election. Whatever it takes, O Lord: "Zealous men force their way in."

The Dominionists also have strong backing on the Supreme Court, Yurica notes. Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the ludicrous and illegal ruling that appointed Bush to the presidency, declared in the theological journal First Things that the state derives its moral authority from God, not the "consent of the governed," as the Declaration of Independence would have it.

Rejecting that old reveler in licentiousness, Thomas Jefferson, Scalia proclaims that government "is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword." He rails against the "tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government" and "foster civil disobedience." Approvingly, he cites the Apostle Paul: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." (Unless, of course, the Dominators need a "regime change" somewhere. Then the "powers that be" suddenly lose their divine ordination.)

Meanwhile, the potential arsenal of dominion keep expanding. Just days after the Congressional Bushists fired their theocratic missile, General Ralph Eberhart, head of America's first domestic military command, declared that the Regime must now bring the experience learned on foreign battlefields to the "Homeland" itself, including the integration of police, military and intelligence forces, "wide-area surveillance of the United States" and "urban warfare tactics," GovExec.com reports. Since there has never been a terrorist cell uncovered in the United States larger than the mere 19 men who carried out the September 11 attacks, one wonders just who this "urban warfare" will be aimed at? Licentious Jeffersonians, perhaps?

Put this juggernaut at the service of democracy-hating extremists with no legal restraints on their enforcement of "God's sovereign authority" – plus a proven track record of subverting the law to gain political power – and what would you have? A mullah state? A military theocracy?

Or should we just call it "a second term"?

Chris Floyd