Bushs Sin? He Covets
by Lonna Gooden VanHorn
The twenty-third Psalm states: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
When I was younger, I always believed that meant that if my heart was pure, and if I trusted in Him, God would look out for me and take care of my needs. He would not let me starve.
I still believe that is true to some degree, even though there have been times in my life when God did not appear to be looking out for me, and when He did not keep me or mine from harm.
There are an awful lot of people who trust in God who believe God will take care of their needs -- who are killed in battle or in other tragic ways when they most assuredly do not want to die. In war-time this fact is brought home most dramatically.
People dismiss such tragedy as Gods will. And they say that these people are with God now and so are much better off.
That answer is both convenient and simplistic.
I quit trying to understand the mind of God long ago. I believe that is called "faith."
I cannot change the fact that good people who trust God to take care of their needs and who do not want to die, die every day. That is a fact that is beyond both my understanding and my control.
What is not beyond my control is what I want. And, now that I am older, I put another interpretation on the I shall not want phrase of the Twenty-third Psalm.
To me, I shall not want means that I will be at peace with my situation. That I will not need other than what I have or more than what I have. If I am right with God, I will no longer feel the frantic, grasping need to acquire things. I shall not have a want for things. A hunger for things -- the kind of want that causes some kids to kill other kids for their expensive shoes or their prestige jackets. Only when I do not want am I truly at peace. And, it is a given that when I do not want I am not going to go out and steal or kill.
When all the patriotic propaganda has been stripped away, nearly every war in history has been committed or fought for one reason. Covetousness. The people or the country attacked have something the people who attack them want. But, As General Butler said seventy years ago in his War is a Racket speech, Of course it isn't put that crudely in wartime, it is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and putting ones shoulder to the wheel, but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket, and are safely pocketed."
Initially, according to this administration, we went to war because Hussein was a "threat" to the United States. Wolfowitz actually said they settled on WMDs because they knew that was a reason the country would unite behind. But there were no WMD/s so now their reason for going to war has morphed into we went to war to "liberate" the Iraqi people.
In reality we went to Iraq to control its oil and to build 14 more military bases from which to enforce our power. We went to war so that Bechtel, Halliburton, etc. could win lucrative government contracts.
We went to war because our leaders coveted.
They coveted wealth for American corporations. They coveted power and control. And, although they believed the Iraqi people would benefit from the removal of Saddam Hussein, any benefit to the Iraqi people from our actions would occur merely as a by-product of those actions. Had the welfare of the Iraqi people been their first priority, they would have guarded Iraqs museums, libraries, and hospitals during the invasion, but they guarded only the oil ministry.
America was supposed to be different than the empires that went before us. We were supposed to be better than the empires that went before us.
We never were as altruistic as many have tried to paint us, but under Bush/Cheney, Americas exploitative intent is clear for all the world to see. And not only reconstruction funds, but also Iraqi oil money has come up missing.
Ike warned that there is no such thing as absolute security but, he said, the United States can bankrupt itself morally and economically in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone.
Four more years of this administrations overwhelming zeal to rule the world and to advance corporate interests around the world will do just that bankrupt this country both morally and economically. Bush/Cheney have already delivered a body blow to Americas credibility and to its image as a force for good around the world.
Members of the administration always knew Iraq was not an imminent threat. Before the invasion, United Nations weapons inspectors were in Iraq and asked for more time to search for WMDs, but Bush pulled them out because the people in his administration never wanted any solution to the problem of Iraq other than war. War would, they thought, ensure world dominance and bring them power and glory while providing profits for their friends and corporate campaign contributors.
At the soul of Christianity is the idea of sacrifice. But this administration refuses to ask that anyone other than the soldiers and their families sacrifice to pay for their war of choice. Above all, they do not ask those who have the most to sacrifice anything at all. They even cut taxes during war-time, an unprecedented gift to the wealthy and the war profiteers.
An administration that celebrates materialism whose answer to Americas problems is that people should go shopping -- is not an administration that truly reflects Christian principles, which are, basically, that the possession of things is not the purpose of life and does not, in itself, make one happy.
An administration which advances corporate greed and profit at the expense of its workers and the environment does not adhere to Christian principles. Yet, if there is one element that is a marker of this administration it is greed and lust. Not sexual lust, but a much more evil kind of lust. The lust for money, resources, corporate profits, advancement, and, above all, POWER.
I believe the flight suit stunt on the Abraham Lincoln by a grounded flyer also indicates Bush wants to experience vicariously the glory of being a hero in war the glory he might have had if he had actually flown missions in Vietnam rather than sitting out that war in a safe National Guard slot in Texas. The only audiences he ever appears before are carefully screened to include only people who are enthusiastic supporters. Bush has a need to be adored.
At the center of being a conservative is the idea of fiscal restraint and accountability; The idea of conserving what we have. Bushs most admired president, Teddy Roosevelt, was at the forefront of some of the environmental conservation programs that Bush and his administration are now willing to sacrifice for short-term corporate profit.
As Benito Mussolini said, Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.
He also said, And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."
This administration has already said we will be at war for the foreseeable future. Their belligerence and arrogance in dealing with other nations, along with their colossal incompetence in waging the current wars -- their eagerness to use force in preference to diplomacy, and their concern for the financial well-being of the corporations which build our weapons and rebuild war-torn countries -- add to the likelihood America will be engaged in more wars in the future.
Because almost no one in the current administration has every experienced war, the horror of shock and awe to those on the receiving end of our weapons is an abstraction to them. War is a painless political and military game to achieve global political and corporate ends. Their willingness to mislead, manipulate the people through fear to achieve their aims, and to tell bald-faced lies as a matter of course their obvious belief that the ends justify the means is another indication that they are not advanced Christians.
Under the Bush administration, which is peopled with corporate leaders, we are on the fast track to making America, not a country or a people, but a grasping, soulless, conscienceless corporation which will tell any lie, use any means to achieve its goal of a more profitable bottom line whatever the cost to humanity. Whatever the cost to any but the elite few in the United States and in the world.
Bio: Lonna Gooden VanHorn is the mother of 6 and a grandmother. She began writing out of her frustration with the medias failure to provide the people with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Raised on a small farm in Minnesota, she now lives in New Mexico with her husband, a veteran who served 18 months in Vietnam.
She has a journal of observations about the Bush presidency and this campaign which can be accessed at: