I realize this is old news, but it’s finally been documented at least: a new study by an independent group of journalists has found that “False statements preceded war.”
The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.
The Bush administration, not surprisingly, is trying to pass the buck, and to claim that other intelligence agencies made the same “mistakes.” (They don’t mention, of course, their own role in inducing those agencies to commit those “errors.”) But that’s rather beside the point. The responsible course of action would have been to investigate these suspicions more thoroughly, and uncover their inconsistencies and fallacies before diving headfirst into the quagmire–a course of action that the administration specifically forbade, on the grounds that we “can’t afford to wait for Chicago to disappear under a mushroom cloud.”
What I find interesting is that George W. Bush was elected by a Christian majority (i.e. most of his supporters have been conservative Christians), who assumed that a Christian president would be better than a non-Christian president because he would have the benefit of God’s blessing, guidance, and wisdom. And yet, throughout this whole, long, predictable Iraq fiasco, it has been the Christians in general and Bush in particular who have been the very last to acknowledge the facts and who have made the least contribution to trying to stop screwing things up, let alone trying to recover a reasonable sense of order and stability.
This factor, among others, was one of the more significant factors leading to my realization that God does not show up in the real world, not even in the hard-to-measure realm of sociological trends. The intangible, sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, which ought to have produced a significant improvement in things, simply does not show up in real life. Bush has become infamous precisely for his lack of inspired insight into foreign policy issues, not to mention environmental issues, economic issues, and fundamental human rights. At best, he’s come up with some “inspired” rationalizations for why torture is ok when “the good guys” do it.
All this could be dismissed as the failings of a weak and fallible believer. But George W. Bush is not an isolated anomaly. His Christian followers still support and defend him. They even deny that he’s making any missteps. Not one “prophetic voice” is being raised to rebuke him with a “Thou art the man.” The conservative Christian church has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Republican Committee, and they recite the party “Talking Points” like it was their creed. They are moved by secular political power, and there is no sign of the power of God anywhere.
In 1999, I was a Bible-believing, church-going, seminary-studying Christian whose principle goal in life was to know Christ and to make him known. My seminary studies had raised some doubts, but it was the Bush presidency (and the shenanigans his team pulled to get him into office) that was the final straw that broke the back of my faith. I could not watch the events taking place in the real world, and God’s manifest lack of any influence whatsoever, even among His believers, without realizing that I’d been duped all along. The real world had been witnessing against my gullible trust in men, but it took George W. Bush to make a genuine unbeliever out of me. I suppose, in a way, I should be grateful.