War on Terrorism? OR Winning the Peace? - Part 2

08/18/2005 03:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There is a stream of rancor appearing in reaction to my post yesterday, all focused on the phrase "If you hate Bush as Bush hates Islam." There is a transcription mistake at work here that I caught too late to correct. The actual phrase should have read, "If you hate Bush as Bush hates militant Islam." What I had in mind was the following: If you destroy other people does it matter that you say you like them? Does it even make sense? The U.S. has killed as many as 100,000 people in Iraq according to some estimates.

It has incited a disastrous insurgency in the country, and basic necessities like water and electricity have yet to be restored in some areas. Incipient religious civil war is fomenting by the day. All this has been done to a country that showed no intent in attacking us and had nothing to do with 9/11.

In addition, the right-wing justification for the war is based partially on a religious agenda that includes intolerance of Islam as one of its underpinnings. In some rightist circles the war is seen as furthering the coming of the anti-Christ, the arrival of the End of Days, and other parts of the apocalyptic drama that fundamentalist Christians accept as real.

So I ask myself if carrying out acts of hatred on behalf of haters makes you a hater. If I helped kill Jews in Nazi Germany without myself being anti-Semitic, what is my status? Am I not a hater in some de facto way? The notorious Adolf Eichmann, who personally managed the extermination camps, stated over and over that he wasn't anti-Semitic and didn't hate Jews. In what way do actions speak louder than words?

But for those who want to persist in the dark cult of nationalism with all its trappings of "good wars" and strategic interests, under the cloak of which numberless horrors are committed, I did not intend to bring out the hidden anger and intolerance that has kept the U.S. on a war footing for the past sixty years.