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When America Kills Children, Is God On Its Side?

David B. Livingstone/RabidNation | 25.11.2004 00:29 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Culture | London

America's unjust war on Iraq took a barbaric turn with the killing of civilians, including children, in Falluja.

Many of America’s saner citizens - at least 49% of the electorate and a higher percentage of the population - were overcome by a tide of revulsion with the results of the November 2 elections. The re-coronation of George W. Bush ensured another four years of continually failing foreign and domestic policies marked by gross disregard for the well-being of ordinary human beings, both in the United States and abroad. The most optimistic rational projections could only envision high unemployment, a worthless health care system, declining standards of living, increased international belligerance, and continuing declines in civil liberties. A less rosy view of America’s immediate future might consist of the same elements, as well as environmental destruction, rampant inflation, a worthless currency, a ruined economy, and endless warfare as bonus prizes.

The ugly frosting on the election cake: The crowing of rabid right-wingers and fundamentalist Christians, who as a class have treated the advent of Bush to the second coming of the messiah - but with better tax advantages. Bob Jones III of the virulently-racist, homophobic, and thoroughly backwards-looking Bob Jones University, wrote a congratulatory letter to the president-"elect,” wishing him well and and advising him that “you don’t owe liberals anything, because they hate your God.” (Note to BJ III: Damn straight I do, if he’s anything like you). Other fundamentalist wackos echoed Jones’ sentiments, albeit in more polite terms, but with smiling lips curling around their bared fangs.

One thing Bush and his Stepfordesque followers have in common: None of them live in Falluja. Today’s Independent contains cheery accounts from residents of the town where “freedom is on the march;” for those still in possession of their faculties and consciences, it’s not easy reading:

“As well as deaths from bombs and artillery shells, a large number of people including children were killed by American snipers. US forces refused repeated calls for medical aid for injured civilians, they said…”

“(In the case of ) the death of a family of seven, including a three-month baby - the American authorities have admitted responsibility and offered compensation…”

The refugees from Fallujah describe a situation of extreme violence in which remaining civilians in the city, who have been told by the Americans to leave, appeared to have been seen as complicit in the insurgency. Men of military age were particularly vulnerable. But there are accounts of children as young as four, and women and old men being killed…”

“The claims of abuse and killings, from different sources, appear, however, to follow a consistent pattern. Dr Ali Abbas, who arrived in Baghdad from Fallujah four days ago, worked at a clinic in the city which was bombed by the Americans. He said that at least five patients were killed…”

“Dr Abbas, 28, said: “We had five people under treatment and they were killed…Afterwards myself and other members of staff went from house to house when we could to help people who had been hurt. Many of them died in front of us because we did not have the medicine or the facilities to carry out operations. We contacted the doctors at the Fallujah hospital and said how bad the situation was. We wanted them to evacuate the more badly injured and send drugs and more doctors. They tried to do that, but they said the Americans stopped them…One of things we noticed the most were the numbers of people killed by American snipers. They were not just men but women and some children as well. The youngest one I saw was a four-year-old boy. Almost all these people had been shot in the head, chest or neck.”

Well, Bob Jones, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson: You got your way. God’s chosen idiot is in the White House, and doing what must be the Lord’s work here on earth. What was that the Bible said about “a faith without works is dead"? Perhaps a faith with works is dead too?

Tell me, you fundamentalists with the brains of fruit-bats: How do you reconcile the wholesale slaughter of human beings much like yourselves in light of your Good Book’s proclamations? It seems that I recall something about “thou shalt not kill,” and a bit about “blessed are the peacemakers.” Didn’t those passages make it into your Reader’s Digest versions?

Tell me, you bankers and CEOs and brokers and muddle-headed middle-managers with the yellow-ribboned and flag-waving SUVs: Wasn’t there something in that book about it being “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven?” You’ll get your damn tax cut. Do you think your Jesus will love you for it?

One of my favorite passages - one certainly unknown to Bush, and at least ignored by Jones, Dobson, et. al. - is the following: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Therefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”

In Falluja, in Mosul, in Baghdad the rotten fruits of the American freedom tree are falling to the ground in the form of 500-pound bombs, white phosphorus, air-to-surface missiles, and an unending hail of bullets. Freedom - the freedom to die - is on the march, with George W. Bush leading the parade. Behind follow his glassy-eyed syncophants, a Bible in one hand and a flag in the other, the world’s ugliest citizens on a merry march to hell.

David B. Livingstone/RabidNation
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