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The American Funda-Nut-ocracy
The dangers of the descent into religious nuttism by our country are detailed in The New York Times by Kevin Phillips, author of American Theocracy, who once saw a Republican government as a "source of stability," but no more:

Phillips fully supports an explanation of the Iraq war that the Bush administration dismisses as conspiracy theory — that its principal purpose was to secure vast oil reserves that would enable the United States to control production and to lower prices. ("Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath," an oil analyst said a couple of years ago. "You can't ask for better than that.") Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, tyranny, democracy and other public rationales were, Phillips says, simply ruses to disguise the real motivation for the invasion.

And while this argument may be somewhat too simplistic to explain the complicated mix of motives behind the war, it is hard to dismiss Phillips's larger argument: that the pursuit of oil has for at least 30 years been one of the defining elements of American policy in the world; and that the Bush administration — unusually dominated by oilmen — has taken what the president deplored recently as the nation's addiction to oil to new and terrifying levels. The United States has embraced a kind of "petro-imperialism," Phillips writes, "the key aspect of which is the U.S. military's transformation into a global oil-protection force," and which "puts up a democratic facade, emphasizes freedom of the seas (or pipeline routes) and seeks to secure, protect, drill and ship oil, not administer everyday affairs."

Phillips is especially passionate in his discussion of the second great force that he sees shaping contemporary American life — radical Christianity and its growing intrusion into government and politics. The political rise of evangelical Christian groups is hardly a secret to most Americans after the 2004 election, but Phillips brings together an enormous range of information from scholars and journalists and presents a remarkably comprehensive and chilling picture of the goals and achievements of the religious right.

...On the far right is a still obscure but, Phillips says, rapidly growing group of "Christian Reconstructionists" who believe in a "Taliban-like" reversal of women's rights, who describe the separation of church and state as a "myth" and who call openly for a theocratic government shaped by Christian doctrine. A much larger group of Protestants, perhaps as many as a third of the population, claims to believe in the supposed biblical prophecies of an imminent "rapture" — the return of Jesus to the world and the elevation of believers to heaven.

Prophetic Christians, Phillips writes, often shape their view of politics and the world around signs that charlatan biblical scholars have identified as predictors of the apocalypse — among them a war in Iraq, the Jewish settlement of the whole of biblical Israel, even the rise of terrorism. He convincingly demonstrates that the Bush administration has calculatedly reached out to such believers and encouraged them to see the president's policies as a response to premillennialist thought. He also suggests that the president and other members of his administration may actually believe these things themselves, that religious belief is the basis of policy, not just a tactic for selling it to the public.

"Apocalypse? What Apocalypse?" said George Bush. Yeah, right.

UPDATE: Hear or read the transcript of Kevin Phillips on Democracy Now! (Thank you, Lena!)

Posted by aalkon at March 23, 2006 10:31 AM

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Comments

You're barking at the moon again. Until we find alternatives, oil will always be a strategic resource. Democrats blocked the exploration of ANWAR and they continue to block the contruction of new power plants or viable alternatives like nuclear energy. Even if the article you cite wasn't pure moonbattery, I'd have to say that the Democrats are playing right into the Evangelical Fundamentalist's hands.

I can't read the article at the NYT, but I guess that Keven Phillips is nothing more than a self-promotor like Dick Morris, who once advised the Clintons but now makes a living bashing them.

Posted by: nash at March 23, 2006 5:39 AM

Reading that transcript was like listening to Art Bell on the radio.

Posted by: nash at March 23, 2006 7:53 AM

I asked Kevin if he is saying that it is the religious conversion, rather than computer vote fraud and a douzen other dirty tricks used by the Republican tricksters in the last election that won it for them.
His reply was to totaly dismiss the thought of any vote fraud having any part in the elections.
IN CONCLUSIOUN; Kevin Phillips, is a fraud, a propogandest for the establishment.

Posted by: Richard at April 12, 2006 10:54 AM

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