The Null Device

America's God-given manifest destiny

George Monbiot claims that, to some, America is a religion, This view which went back to Jefferson's day (no, it doesn't claim that the founding fathers were Pat Robertson-style fundamentalists; their god was a secular one) and the dispensationalist theologians who saw their nation as the New Jerusalem, though has gained more currency in recent days as some see the New American Century as a sacred mission in the stewardship of all Mankind.
So American soldiers are no longer merely terrestrial combatants; they have become missionaries. They are no longer simply killing enemies; they are casting out demons. The people who reconstructed the faces of Uday and Qusay Hussein carelessly forgot to restore the pair of little horns on each brow, but the understanding that these were opponents from a different realm was transmitted nonetheless. Like all those who send missionaries abroad, the high priests of America cannot conceive that the infidels might resist through their own free will; if they refuse to convert, it is the work of the devil, in his current guise as the former dictator of Iraq.
So those who question George Bush's foreign policy are no longer merely critics; they are blasphemers, or "anti-Americans". Those foreign states which seek to change this policy are wasting their time: you can negotiate with politicians; you cannot negotiate with priests. The US has a divine mission, as Bush suggested in January: "to defend ... the hopes of all mankind", and woe betide those who hope for something other than the American way of life.

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