7
Sep
2004

The Bush crusade

by James Carroll

TruthOut

09/03/04

Here is the deeper significance of Bush's inadvertent reference to the Crusades: Instead of being a last recourse or a necessary evil, violence was established then as the perfectly appropriate, even chivalrous, first response to what is wrong in the world. George W. Bush is a Christian for whom this particular theology lives. While he identified Jesus as his favorite 'political philosopher' when running for President in 2000, the Jesus of this evangelical President is not the 'turn the other cheek' one. Bush's savior is the Jesus whose cross is wielded as a sword. George W. Bush, having cheerfully accepted responsibility for the executions of 152 death-row inmates in Texas, had already shown himself to be entirely at home with divinely sanctioned violence. After 9/11, no wonder it defined his deepest urge. But sacred violence, once unleashed in 1096, as in 2001, had a momentum of its own...

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