I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally understand why Bush does what he does. I keep re-reading three paragraphs from an article in The New Yorker by Seymour M. Hersh, the brilliant journalist and abrasive critic of Bush, “Up in the Air: Where is the Iraq war headed next?”
Here are the first two:
Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.
Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.
Since the war on terrorism is Bush’s “personal mission,” he is impervious to political pressure. Of course, he disparages any conflicting views. To sustain his beliefs, he looks for signs that God is supporting his mission, and one such sign was the Republican sweep in the elections.
“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”
His cause, his mission, is more important than individual lives. He is becoming more and more isolated in his own bubble.
I am not going to do much more with this, except to remind myself, "There, too, but by the Grace of God, go I." I, too, was isolated in a bubble of my own belief system until I got so sick of it that I asked for help and miraculously awakened from my beliefs to the truth of who I am, the holy son of God. And it is ongoing. A belief system is a bad habit that requires willingness, determination, and practice to overcome. It’s always only moment to moment.
After mulling over those three paragraphs, all I wanted to do was take twenty minutes to review the first fifty lessons of Jesus’ Course in Miracles, so that I could remind myself that I am not sustained by my beliefs, but I am sustained by the love of God.
Please click on the link for a review of the first fifty lessons.
Here is the link to Hersh's article.
Today, Tuesday 18 April, 2006, James Reston, Jr., wrote an article with a similar theme: "The American Inquisition." Please click on the link below.
The New Yorker, Seymour M. Hersh, Bush, terrorism, Cheney