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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 01:55 AM
Original message
Christian Right moves closer to taking over military

Americas Holy Warriors

Posted on Dec 31, 2006

By Chris Hedges

Editors note: The radical Christian right is coming dangerously close to its goal of co-opting the countrys military and law enforcement.

The drive by the Christian right to take control of military chaplaincies, which now sees radical Christians holding roughly 50 percent of chaplaincy appointments in the armed services and service academies, is part of a much larger effort to politicize the military and law enforcement. This effort signals the final and perhaps most deadly stage in the long campaign by the radical Christian right to dismantle Americas open society and build a theocratic state. A successful politicization of the military would signal the end of our democracy.

During the past two years I traveled across the country to research and write the book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. I repeatedly listened to radical preachers attack as corrupt and godless most American institutions, from federal agencies that provide housing and social welfare to public schools and the media. But there were two institutions that never came under attackthe military and law enforcement. While these preachers had no interest in communicating with local leaders of other faiths, or those in the community who did not subscribe to their call for a radical Christian state, they assiduously courted and flattered the military and police. They held special services and appreciation days for all four branches of the armed services and for various law enforcement agencies. They encouraged their young men and women to enlist or to join the police or state troopers. They sought out sympathetic military and police officials to attend church events where these officials were lauded and feted for their Christian probity and patriotism. They painted the war in Iraq not as an occupation but as an apocalyptic battle by Christians against Islam, a religion they regularly branded as satanic. All this befits a movement whose final aesthetic is violence. It also befits a movement that, in the end, would need the military and police forces to seize power in American society.

One of the arguments used to assuage our fears that the mass movement being built by the Christian right is fascist at its core is that it has not yet created a Praetorian Guard, referring to the paramilitary force that defied legal constraints, made violence part of the political discourse and eventually plunged ancient Rome into tyranny and despotism. A paramilitary force that operates outside the law, one that sows fear among potential opponents and is capable of physically silencing those branded by their leaders as traitors, is a vital instrument in the hands of despotic movements. Communist and fascist movements during the last century each built paramilitary forces that operated beyond the reach of the law.

And yet we may be further down this road than we care to admit. Erik Prince, the secretive, mega-millionaire, right-wing Christian founder of Blackwater, the private security firm that has built a formidable mercenary force in Iraq, champions his company as a patriotic extension of the U.S. military. His employees, in an act as cynical as it is deceitful, take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution. These mercenary units in Iraq, including Blackwater, contain some 20,000 fighters. They unleash indiscriminate and wanton violence against unarmed Iraqis, have no accountability and are beyond the reach of legitimate authority. The appearance of these paramilitary fighters, heavily armed and wearing their trademark black uniforms, patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, gave us a grim taste of the future. It was a stark reminder that the tyranny we impose on others we will one day impose on ourselves.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:03 AM
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1. Somebody is needed to crush the opposition if the goal is to take power.
These guys seem like good candidates, and the last thing we need are fundamentalist militias.
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:14 AM
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2. What Happens When They Come Home?
God knows I'm hoping for a staged withdrawal of American troops from the Iraqi quagmire -- as soon as humanly possible.

But what happens when these Blackwater blackshirts return to America? We will have a home-grown fascist militia within our borders.

Chilling. I intend to learn more about this.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. That's the plan
Iraq is just the training ground to create a paramilitary force of ruthless killers. Dehumanizing people by encouraging them to commit wanton acts of murder and violence against Iraq's civilian population is a short jump to unleashing them on the 'godless' in America.

Blackwater is connected to the DeVos family which is connected to the CMP which is a front for the Knights of Malta.
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Theduckno2 Donating Member (905 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's especially haunting when I remember .....
...Pat Robertson's comments regarding Hugo Chavez.

Looks like I have another book to put on my 2007 list.
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. The Air Force Seems To Be Particularly Overrun With Fundys
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 02:28 AM by loindelrio
Guess Armageddon is to important to be left to chance.

Know about any sales on 2 Million SPF sunblock?

Link to Mikey Weinsteins site. Heard him on AAR a couple of times making some pretty disturbing allegations.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. This is not a first. Read about the Pinkertons
who started out as Civil War Vets, hired out to finish things here and there.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. The Pinkertons did the bidding of companies
These Blackwater mercenaries seem the same to me. OK I guess the religious right has influence but it's corporations and not churches that are paying these 20,000 private 'security guards' to do their bidding in Iraq.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Exactly so. Religon is a front for the
corporate interests.
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. I've been reading with alarm about these sleazeballs.
They have an agenda on taking over the country and making it taliban style. They are not true religious people in the fact that they are into the politics and not the christain message. They are bullyboys and not understanding and compassionate.
The rise of the religious right is a very scary thing. I do feel shrub is part of this and encouraging it. He tries to keep everyone distracted while they gain power and become entrenched into everything.
We must keep vigil and fight them at all costs. They are serious and dangerous.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. What better way to wage their holy war,
Than by taking over the military? :scared:
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