Bush Says We Better Beware of Enemies Because "They Believe Things":
It was one of those head-shaking, goddamned stupid statements that just makes you wanna disappear into a Bolivian village and tear up your guts with coca leaf moonshine and overcooked wild pig until you're so doubled over and shitting out your stomach lining that you don't give a fuck about anything but the sweet, slick kiss of death to take away the pain. Here's the President yesterday at a campaign dinner for Tennessee Republicans: "We face an enemy that has an ideology; they believe things." You got that? We're not facing a bunch of blank slates lashing out at all tabulas not rasa. They actually believe "things." What sorts of things, you may ask? George W. Bush has the answer: "The best way to describe their ideology is to relate to you the fact that they think the opposite of the way we think."

Now, a cynical person might respond, "Oh, really? So they don't think that it's okay to hold people without charge or access to genuine legal processes, to torture them to get any information no matter how outdated or worthless, to lie to their people about the progress of a war, to use force to impose an ideology on the population?" You get the idea.

A sarcastic person might say, "So, like they shit on plates and eat their dinners out of toilets? They marry their goats and milk their women? They call fucking their females 'jacking off' and yanking one out 'fucking'? They sit inside their televisions and watch the outside world through the screens? They screech words of love and whisper their curses?"

See, while the White House amps up the 9/11 rhetoric in the coming days (Bush mentioned it no less than five times in his speech; Cheney brought the 9/11 noise about a dozen times in his speech Tuesday at Offut Air Force Base), they're also amping up the demonizing propaganda: each of these things is like the other - al-Qaeda, Iraq, and, coming soon, Iran. There's no room for differentiation. Call it the Elision of Evil, the Axis of Yadda-Yadda-Yadda. When you're up against an ideology - when you're fighting theory and thought instead of people and nations - you don't have to worry about the niceties of reality like the lives of actual embodied people who bleed. You only need to worry about point A and point Z. B through Y are for non-believers. You only need to offer your own contrapuntal ideology.

And what is the ideology we're offering? Sure, sure, it's "hope" and "freedom" and all those gosh-darn-Miss-America's-pretty type words. But Bush lets you know who's in on it and who's out: "The United States of America must understand that freedom is universal, that there is an Almighty, and the great gift of that Almighty to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free." You get that? The USA "must understand...that there is an Almighty." And that Almighty has, through its great and magical Almightiness, given every little non-almighty one of us a present. So, one might ask, like, does that mean, absent belief in an Almighty (or absent an Almighty altogether), we don't desire freedom? Atheism equals slavery? (And this doesn't even start to get into the clusterfuck of "what Almighty are you talkin' 'bout, Georgie?")

So our job, then, see, if we are capable of understanding the Almighty in the way the President apparently does, is only to reveal to all people of the world the gift of the Almighty. You might call it "evangelizing" democracy. It's not war, you see. We're just putting the missles into missionary work.

(For real fun, since the administration is doing its damndest to cast this war as a worthy successor to World War II, check out the vast array of details in FDR's fireside chat from two years into that war. Notice how he at least acted as if the people he was talking to were adults. Notice how he talks about fighting to stop "aggression." Oh, and by the way, now that we're all into the "Islamic fascist" name-calling, just so we can evoke WWII, let us remember that Mussolini actually founded the "Fascist Party" in Italy. When we fought fascists in the 1940s, it was because we were fighting people who called themselves by that name.)