Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jeff Sharlet's Article " Jesus Kill Mohammed"

One of the best articles I've read this week would be Jeff Sharlet's "Jesus Killed Mohammed "

Sharlet raises concerns over the influence of Evangelical Fundamentalists in the U.S. military who are influencing policies and strategies of the armed forces in the War On Terror. The Evangelical Fundamentalists the War on Terror is seen as Apocalyptic and as part of the End-Times eschatology of the Ultimate battle between "Good " and "Evil ".

Anyway Jeff Sharlet in his article "Jesus Killed Mohammad " argues that a significant proportion of the U.S. military personnel are in fact Evangelical Fundamentalists These American soldiers see themselves as being on a mission from God to fight a Crusade against the Muslim Infidels who are in effect agents of Evil and of Satan who are out to defeat not just America but Christianity. In their view it is not merely a fight against Islamic extremists ie the terrorists but is a war against Islam itself which they believe is anti-American, anti-Christianity and therefore anti-GOD. They act as if this were part of the Cosmic battle prior to the Apocalypse and Jesus' Second Coming as predicted in the Bible's "Book of Revelation of St. John the Devine'.

Sharlet descibes an incident in which soldiers drive through the streets of Samarra with an interpretor shouting "Jesus Kill Mohammed" and each time some civilian pokes their head out to see what's going on the U.S. soldiers shoot and kill them. The only way to see a justification of such action is if one believes that all Iraqis are seen as the "Enemy".

So it appears that many Americans & others in the West believe that the so-called War on Terror is actually " A Clash Of Civilizations " between Christianity and Islam. Christianity represents "Good" while Islam represents " Evil "
And so the question arises: is President Obama and his VP Joe Biden and secretary of State Hillary Clinton in agreement with this sort of apocalyptic view of the current situation. If Obama is really an agent of change then he should be taking this issue seriously and find ways to establish more control over The Pentagon and the U.S. armed forces. But it appears that Obama as he has shown does not want to make waves or step on any toes as it were and so may just stick with the "status Quo".

Hillary Clinton for instance has been connected to the Evangelical Fundamentalist organization known as the Family.
Are these more ways to win hearts and minds in the Middle East and in Islamic countries in general.

May 05, 2009 "Jesus Killed Mohammed" The Crusade For A Christian Military By Jeff Sharlet, May 2008 Issue Courtesy Of Harpers Magazine

(In the sping of 2004)... Sergeant Jeffery Humphrey and his squad of nine men,, were assigned to a Special Forces compound in Samarra, “Guarding Special Forces,spring, 2004... the 10th Special Forces Group...(who) called themselves “the Faith element.”..

On Easter Sunday... a unit from the 109th National Guard Infantry dropped off their morning chow. With it came a holiday special—a video of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and a chaplain to sing the film’s praises...Humphrey ducked into the chow room to check it out. “It was the part where they’re killing Jesus, which is, I guess, pretty much the whole movie. Kind of turned my stomach.” He decided he’d rather burn trash.

As dusk fell, the men prepared four Bradley Fighting Vehicles for a “run and gun” to draw fire away from the compound. Humphrey headed down from the roof to get a briefing. He found his lieutenant, John D. DeGiulio, with a couple of sergeants. They were snickering like schoolboys. They had commissioned the Special Forces interpreter, an Iraqi from Texas, to paint a legend across their Bradley’s armor, in giant red Arabic script.

“What’s it mean?” asked Humphrey.

“Jesus killed Mohammed,” one of the men told him. The soldiers guffawed. JESUS KILLED MOHAMMED was about to cruise into the Iraqi night.

The Bradley, a tracked “tank killer” armed with a cannon and missiles—to most eyes, indistinguishable from a tank itself—rolled out. The Iraqi interpreter took to the roof, bullhorn in hand. The sun was setting. Humphrey heard the keen of the call to prayer, then the crackle of the bullhorn with the interpreter answering—in Arabic, then in English for the troops, insulting the prophet. Humphrey’s men loved it. ...A Special Forces officer stood next to the interpreter—“a big, tall, blond, grinning type,” says Humphrey.

“Jesus kill Mohammed!” chanted the interpreter. “Jesus kill Mohammed!”

A head emerged from a window to answer, somebody fired on the roof, and the Special Forces man directed a response from an MK-19 grenade launcher. “Boom,” remembers Humphrey. The head and the window and the wall around it disappeared.

“Jesus kill Mohammed!” Another head, another shot. Boom. “Jesus kill Mohammed!” Boom. In the distance, Humphrey heard the static of AK fire and the thud of RPGs. He saw a rolling rattle of light that looked like a firefight on wheels. “Each time I go into combat I get closer to God,” DeGiulio would later say. He thought The Passion had been a sign that he would survive. The Bradley seemed to draw fire from every doorway. There couldn’t be that many insurgents in Samarra, Humphrey thought. Was this a city of terrorists?...

Naomi Klein: If America is a Christian nation, then it will have a Christian army

and so it goes,

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