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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/6/12

The War on Terror: How it is Affecting Our Politics and Society Today

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Retrospect is an amazing thing.  Decisions rendered in the past can many times be looked at with this tool of reason in order to protect against future mistakes. It also gives one the opportunity to recognize the motives for decisions made by others in situations which seemed at the time, confusing or conflicted.  Given the religiously charged, national security centered, political frenzy of late in the race to reclaim the Presidency, the War on Terror and the rhetoric accompanying it, now more than ever, makes poignant sense.

Post 9-11, America experienced a wave of legislative acts to combat terrorism. With these acts, political propaganda and media manipulation began to promote a wave of nationalism not seen since World War II. The cries for a Christian rebirth to battle the "evil empire" both domestically and abroad had surfaced and with it, a new form of control over the people's opinions and actions which we still today, are having to battle. In retrospect, these events were the beginning of not only our National march toward an offense-oriented military policy abroad and a police state at home but the surge of Christian Reconstructionism as well, introducing a Constitution-crushing march toward the militaristic and theocratic blindness we are experiencing now.

The Beginning of the End

Energized by the attack on New York's Twin Towers, the fevered cry to protect our national security became more prophetic than the "shot heard round the world" which heralded our American Revolution. In the case of the War on Terror though, the barrage of missiles and anti-Islam air raids against Iraq were the shots that heralded our current march toward a new National agenda; operating in direct conflict with Constitutional freedoms America had once stood proudly to represent. It is reasonable that a certain amount of security enhancements were necessary after these attacks, but when the Christian revivalists and War mongers embraced the moment as an opportunity to promote their agenda and reclaim America as a Christian Nation, a proverbial line in the sand, had been crossed.

Rather than accounting for the actions that predicated 9/11, the radicals inside the Christian Reconstruction movement, fervently backed by political hopefuls and angry, misinformed Americans, began to lead our nation not only to the brink of financial destruction, but defined what we as a nation were to become over the next, ten-plus years. The Pied-piper-like hypnotism employed was not condemned as it should have been by the People, but rather was fueled by corporate ambition and propagated apathy for the long term affectations of these actions. In addition, President Bush embraced the fear he and his cohorts had conjured as a weapon to not only advance an underlying agenda but as a fanatical tool to win a second term in office. If it hadn't been for the reawakening of We the People to the religious fervor which would follow, the future would have been very different.

Political Advantages
Riding this wave of spiritual renewal and expounding upon their unique brand of judgment against the Nation of Islam and any who do not believe what they do, the "Christian Right" embraced a new cross with which to march when 9/11 occurred.  Taking our political conundrum to the next level, many candidates jumped onto the band wagon of "Patriotism" with condemning anything and everything that did not agree with their movement's agenda.  They also brought to bear, the rhetoric of American reclamation, backed by media power and the politics of distraction.

Promises to restore family values, our Founding Father's intentions and impassioned speeches of "Social Conservatism" to lead us from the dregs of the economic mire we were in sinking into, facilitated this rise to power but the reality of the matter pointed to one intrinsic truth:  The lessons learned through the history of support by the Christian Right equated to victory in voting lines.  This powerful tactic which was utilized by President George W. Bush to win a second term, had not been forgotten. Many of the contenders realized that never has there been and never will there be a more powerful aphrodisiac than the wicked web of "Faith" to convince an unsuspecting flock to follow without question.

2010 saw the affectations of this when the Republican faithful turned out in droves to elect their brand into State and Federal level positions in record numbers.  Believing that somehow faith and vitriol against any who opposed them would save us from economic destruction, they gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and Governance in several, independent States. The candidates, with the support of a strengthened base, managed to engineer this resurgence in a very straight forward manner, utilizing the fears Americans had about another attack from "terrorists" and promises of bettering the state of the American economy which had imperiled so many of us.

As stated by Max Blumenthal, "Had Bush not cultivated the Christian right as his power base or courted its leadership as his informal advisors, re-election would have been impossible." Bush clung to and exacerbated this movement in order to rally the vote the best way he could. Any who stood in opposition to this movement though, were immediately castigated as non-Christians or un-Patriotic and therefore, un-American. The vitriol created surrounding the so called, evil of Islam and the unceasing opinion making from mainstream media serving the whims of those who supported this movement convinced many of "We the People" to back the movement, inevitably driving our nation toward a series of war efforts and ushering in, our present day, all too real, financial anemia. 

Case in point: When Barrack Obama rose to the forefront of the political race in 2007, he was immediately castigated as a non-Christian premised on the fact that he was born into a Muslim family.  Even when news broke of his conversion to Christianity at 18 years old, his ex-pastor Jeremiah Wright; the reverend to which Obama had listened for twenty years, was labeled as radical for having asserted that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own form of "terrorism".  He was condemned and Obama with him, for speaking the intrinsic truths preceding 9/11 and for pointing out America's own brand of global terrorism.  But truth has never mattered much to those who have profit to make and people to control. Truth is the antibody of ignorance; a disease which was spread unconscionably by these zealots of control hiding in the shadows of Biblical Law and contrived Patriotic rhetoric.

As time marched on and Barack Obama won the title of President of the United States of America (despite the vehement objections from the Right Wing and Christian Reconstructionists), the next battles were already being planned. In the continued fight against any non-Christian Right affiliated, Obama was labeled as a Muslim, a non-citizen, a Marxist and on and on.  The right had made it a mandate across its political spectra, to attack President Obama instead of working with him to help our nation out of the present crisis.  Anything he did was across the board blocked by the supporters of the movement.

When traveling overseas to try to ease the tensions of a growing war and to ebb the rising affectations of the ecclesiastical hatred against Islam, he was accused of "bowing" to foreign leaders and apologizing for American actions.  In retrospect, most agreed that what he was apologizing for were actions our nation had taken which threatened our own financial health and represented a national policy against global solidarity. Despite his efforts, the War on Terror continued to feed national isolation and "exceptionalism" while dividing this Nation's people without prejudice.

The Monster behind the Curtain

Anti-Islam vitriol is still being thrown around by candidates to energize their base and further the agenda of the Christian Right.  Instead of the real issues facing this nation which are supposed to be centered upon by these aspiring "Representatives", we are again hearing that Obama is supporting America and in fact, " a threat to our security " because of his proposed cuts to "Defense".  There are claims of his " phony theology " from opposing candidates and ambitious political pundits who have concentrated their efforts to accuse him of being a big government, socialist spender.

The fallacy of this argument lies in the anti-Christian tenet surrounding it. The Christian Right faithful in Washington demand a balanced Budget but will not give any less on War.  What they have proposed instead of reducing the very financial black hole which has caused so much financial strife in America, is reductions in education, workers rights, women's heath and social assistance to the unemployed and poverty stricken. These measures are justified by these self-proclaimed Christians to promote their fiscal conservatism but in reality, they stand in direct conflict with the faith for which they march.

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Steven Forrest is a Project Architect living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, he is working to implement Green Building initiatives in several communities across Florida. Given the current situation in America and the continued (more...)
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