Throughout history, as the various empires use overpowering ultra-violence to achieve domination over and profit from smaller, weaker groups, the empires have driven their victims deeper and deeper into their own extremism, as the victims try to maintain motivation for their usually hopeless resistance efforts.
Essayist Dan Sanchez here uses history to help us take a much-needed look in the mirror as we continue to look down our noses at smaller groups (that haven’t done a fraction of what we’ve done) and say they’re worse and we’re better (though, conveniently, we’re also better than every other group, too, in our fantasy world).
He gives the examples of the “Jewish Intifadas against the Greeks and Romans”, documenting how Jews were driven deeper and deeper into religious fundamentalism and extremism as they tried to resist the disgusting onslaughts of the Greek and Roman empires.
Sanchez also invites us to “imagine how Americans would respond if another country ever did to America what the U.S. government does to Muslim countries on a routine basis.”
The obvious response from US citizens “would be an armed insurgency” that would be “deeply Christian in character, and the more desperate the struggle became, the more dominant would be its religious aspects, and especially its most radically religious aspects.”
This is because resisting the overwhelming numbers and force of an empire, like ours, requires “the trans-mundane motivations and existential consolations that only religion can offer”.
Some of the resistance, he points out, “may come to match and even surpass the evils of [the] dominators, as ISIS and Al Qaeda may be said to have done”.
However, he reminds us, “the U.S. empire is still more murderous and evil than even these Islamist butchers, who are simply more forthright and less hypocritical about their crimes.”
Sanchez’s article also contains a powerful video by Ron Paul that puts US citizens in the place of the people in the countries the US continually invades, terrorizes, and destroys.
See the must-read Sanchez piece here.
Further, we should explore the religious fundamentalist/extremist elements of our own Western/US culture.
If we can achieve an objective perspective on ourselves, we might begin to notice the Christian fundamentalist/supremacist rhetoric and themes spouted by every president from Garfield on (all of whom were Christian of some denomination). The rhetoric blends the Christian god and “America” together as supreme, ultimate entities that have a god-given right to inflict their wrath upon the world, which they do mercilessly, such as by knowingly smiting hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children under the age of five.
Western/US culture has peddled the god-given state supremacy theme at all times throughout its history, regardless of what atrocities it was committing, from fascist slavery to wars of extermination and acts of genocide.
God-given rights are never revoked. God never seems to say “America should chill out, now”, “America should reduce its size by giving back its stolen lands”, or “America has a god-given obligation to reduce its military budget.” It’s also very convenient that it is always us who are the supreme beings. God never says anything like, “I am now changing the supreme country from America to Russia.” Unless you ask Russia.
Obama constantly invokes his Christian god: “God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”
It’s an amazingly odd thing to say, yet every president says it, so we don’t think about it. Why wouldn’t you ask god to bless the whole world? Are we to believe there are devil countries not deserving of god’s blessing? Why are you talking about “god” at all? Why are you implying that it has some relation to your position as the spokes-head of a corporate-dominated gang?
Of course, all Obama is doing is conflating god and “America” to increase tribal support for US corporate domination expansion through gang violence, and foster ignorance or celebration of the USA’s grave crimes.
But who knows. Obama may be partially motivated by old books written by primitive people, as apparently was Bush as he started genocidal wars against the Middle East:
As Bush tried (and failed) to get French president Jacques Chirac on board for an act of mass murder against Iraq, Bush told Chirac:
This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.
Bush’s chilling statement was a reference to this ominous Bible passage:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Apparently, Bush Sr.’s nickname in college was “Magog”. Scary.
Impressively, all Christian-motivated US leaders are able to maintain 100% avoidance of Jesus Christ and the Bible’s teachings about hypocrisy. (Here are 100 examples of what the Bible says about hypocrisy.)
So, in the USA’s illegal invasion of Iraq we have an act of religious extremism (the worst crime of the century so far) that has killed about 1.4 million people.
But self-flattery knows no bounds: our deadly, convenient, unexceptional belief in our own supremacy is as easily maintained as when we were an openly fascist slave-state “felling trees and Indians“.
Robert Barsocchini is an investigative journalist focusing on global force dynamics. He also writes professionally for the film industry. Here is his blog. Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities. Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.