The Bush Cult: 

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality"

By Chris Floyd 

10/22/04 "Moscow Times"
-- Now we come at last to the heart of darkness. Now we know, from their own words, that the Bush Regime is a cult -- a cult whose god is Power, whose adherents believe that they alone control reality, that indeed they create the world anew with each act of their iron will. And the goal of this will -- undergirded by the cult's supreme virtues of war, fury and blind faith -- is likewise openly declared: "Empire." 

You think this is an exaggeration? Then heed the words of the White House itself: a "senior adviser" to the president, who, as The New York Times reports, explained the cult to author Ron Suskind in the heady pre-war days of 2002. 

First, the top Bush insider mocked the journalist and all those "in what we call the reality-based community," i.e., people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." Suskind's attempt to defend the principles of reason and enlightenment cut no ice with the Bush-man. "That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Anyone with any knowledge of 20th-century history will know that this same megalomaniacal outburst could have been made by a "senior adviser" to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or Mao. Indeed, as scholar Juan Cole points out, the dogma of the Bush Cult is identical with the "reality-creating" declaration of Mao's "Little Red Book": "It is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever." For Bush, as for Mao, "discernible reality" has no meaning: Political, cultural, economic, scientific truth -- even the fundamental processes of nature, even human nature itself -- must give way to the faith-statements of ideology, ruthlessly applied by unbending zealots. 

Thus: The conquered will welcome their killers. The poor will be happy to slave for the rich. The Earth can sustain any amount of damage without lasting harm. The loss of rights is essential to liberty. War without end is the only way to peace. Cronyism is the path to universal prosperity. Dissent is evil; dissenters are "with the terrorists." But God is with the Leader; whatever he does is righteous, even if in the eyes of unbelievers -- the "reality-based community" -- his acts are criminal: aggressive war that kills thousands of innocent people, widespread torture, secret assassinations, rampant corruption, electoral subversion. 

Indeed, the doctrine "Gott mit Uns" is the linchpin of the Bush Cult. Tens of millions of Americans have now embraced the Cult's fusion of Bush's leadership with Divine Will. As a Bush volunteer in Missouri told Suskind: "I just believe God controls everything, and God uses the president to keep evil down ... God gave us this president to be the man to protect the nation at this time." God appointed Bush; thus Bush's acts are godly. It's a circular, self-confirming mind-set that can't be penetrated by reason or facts, can't be shaken by crimes and scandals. That's why Bush's core support -- comprising almost half of the electorate -- stays rock-solid, despite the manifest failures of his administration. It's based on blind faith, on poisonous fantasy: simple, flattering ("We're uniquely good, God's special nation!"), comforting, complete -- so unlike the harsh, bewildering, splintered shards of reality. 

This closed mind-set is constantly reinforced by the ubiquitous right-wing media -- evoking the threat of demonic enemies on every side, relentlessly manufacturing righteous outrage -- and by Bush's appearances (epiphanies?) at his carefully screened rallies, where even the slightest hint of demurral from his Godly greatness is ruthlessly expunged. For example, three schoolteachers were ejected from a Bush rally under threat of arrest last week. Not for protesting -- they hadn't said a word -- but merely for wearing T-shirts that read, "Protect Our Civil Liberties." Thus the faithful "create the new reality" of undivided loyalty to the Leader. 

The dogma of Bush's godliness is no rhetorical flourish; it has been forged with blood and iron. Consider General Jerry Boykin, who, in uniform, toured churches across the United States, declaring openly that "George W. Bush was not elected by the majority of the American people; he was appointed by God" to lead his "Christian nation" against Satan and the "idol-worshippers" of Islam, as reports. Bush then made Boykin the Pentagon's chief of military intelligence -- the point man for wringing information out of Islamic captives in the "war on terror." The result -- confirmed even by the Pentagon's own anemic investigations -- was a military intelligence system gone berserk, systematically torturing and occasionally murdering prisoners who, as the Red Cross notes, were overwhelmingly innocent of any crime. Bush signed orders removing these prisoners from the protection of U.S. and international law; Boykin's boys then visited divine wrath upon the heathens. But these atrocities cannot be crimes, because Bush and Boykin are, in the general's phraseology, "Kingdom warriors" in the "Army of God." 

This isn't politics as usual -- not even an extreme version of it, not McCarthyism revisited, Reaganism times two, or Nixon in a Stetson hat. There's never been anything like it in American life before: a messianic cult backed by vast corporate power, a massive cadre of religious zealots, a highly disciplined party, an overwhelming media machine and the mammoth force of history's most powerful government -- all led by men who "create new realities" out of lies, blood, theft and torment. 

Their "empire" -- their Death-Cult, their power-mania -- is an old madness rising again.


Without a Doubt
New York Times, Oct. 17, 2004

Suskind on Bush: 'I Can Fly!'
Juan Cole, Informed Comment, Oct. 17, 2004

Teachers' T-Shirts Bring Bush Speech Ouster
The Bend Bugle (Oregon), Oct. 14, 2004

The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib
The Guardian, May 20, 2004

Reality-Based Reporting, Oct. 20, 2004

Pat Robertson: Bush Believed There Would be No U.S. Casualties in Iraq
CNN, Oct. 19, 2004

Dreams of Empire
New York Review of Books, Oct. 19, 2004

The Brownshirting of America, Oct. 16, 2004

At Cheney's Side, Controversy (Author of 'Torture Memos')
Boston Post, Oct. 17, 2004

Has Bush Lost His Reason?
The Observer, Oct. 17, 2003

Infiltrating the U.S. Military: Gen. Boykin's Kingdom Warriors
Yurica Report, Oct. 12, 2004

The Army's Three-Star Zealot
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 18, 2003

Evangelical General Sees War as Religious Battle
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 16, 2003

The Abu Ghraib Supplementary Documents
Center for Public Intergrity, Oct. 8, 2004

The Persian Gulf Empire and Perpetual War
Informed Comment, Oct. 14, 2004

Pentagon Rewards Abu Ghraib Accomplices
The New Standard, Oct. 18, 2004

Republican Presidential Campaign Blasphemous: UM Bishop
The Charleston Gazette, Oct. 8, 2004

A War Without Reason
New York Times, Oct. 18, 2004

The Other War: On Civil Liberties
CounterPunch, Oct. 18, 2004

Orwellian Twist on the Campaign
The Nation, Oct. 18, 2004

Delusions of Empire, Oct. 20, 2004

A Fatal Faith in the Cleansing Winds of War
International Herald Tribune, Oct. 20, 2004

Why is War-Torn Iraq Giving $190,000 to Toys R Us?
The Guardian, Oct. 16, 2004

Bush's Crimes: The Tie to Abu Ghraib
New Times, Sept. 30, 2004

Now on DVD: The Passion of the Bush
New York Times, Oct. 3, 2004

The Roots of Torture
Newsweek, May 24, 2004 issue

Rendition: The 800-Pound Gorilla in US Foreign Policy
The Guardian, July 28, 2004

The Interrogation Documents
National Security Archives, July 13, 2004

The President's Stance on Torture: Gonzales Letter
Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2004

Rumsfeld's Dirty War on Terror
The Guardian, Sept. 13, 2004

I Don't Care What the International Lawyers Say, We Are Going to Kick Some Ass
George W. Bush, quoted in "Against All Enemies," Richard Clarke, Free Press, March 22, 2004

The Logic of Torture
New York Review of Books, May 27, 2004

America's Dirty Torture Secret
The Guardian, Sept. 10, 2003

A U.S. License to Kill
Village Voice, Feb. 21, 2003

Justice Memo Explained How to Skip Prisoner Rights
New York Times, May 21, 2004

US Struggled Over How Far to Push Tactics
Washington Post, June 23, 2004

Justice Department Memo Says Torture May be Justified
Washington Post, June 13, 2004

Lawyers Decided Torture Bans Didn't Bind Bush
New York Times, June 8, 2004

The Torturers, June 14, 2004

Fear Up Harsh: Diaries of Abu Ghraib Interrogator, June 8, 2004

Documents Build a Case for Working Outside the Law in Interrogations
New York Times, June 9, 2004

Interrogation Abuses Were 'Approved at the Highest Levels,'
The Daily Telegraph, June 13, 2004

Tortured Meanings
The Guardian, June 12, 2004

The Secret World of US Jails
The Observer, June 13, 2004

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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