Today, Blackwater founder Erik Prince defended all of his company's actions in Iraq to the Congress (and to the American people) as being as close to earthly perfection as humans can achieve on god's earth. Prince, who is a also a founder of a right-wing foundation called "Freiheit," which is German for "liberty," aimed a laser-like scowl at the forehead of Chairman Henry Waxman and the other Democrats as they dared to ask questions of a CEO who has clearly grown accustomed to operating without oversight.
Herr Prince's appearance before the committee led me to wonder what he has been discussing behind closed doors lately as a member of the super-secret "Council for National Policy." Other right-wing luminaries who belong to the Council for National Policy include the Armageddonist novelist Tim LaHaye, and the right-wing evangelical leaders Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed. The late Jerry Falwell was also a member. There also close ties between the CNP and the beer magnate Holland Coors, the NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, Phyllis Schlafly, Oliver North, Grover Norquist, and Frank Gaffney.
The Council for National Policy recently held a top-secret meeting in Utah that Vice President Dick Cheney attended. "The media should not know when or where we meet," the Council instructs its members, "or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting."
All of this over-the-top secrecy raises the obvious question: What do these guys have to hide?
Are they already planning the next five or six new wars? Do they think they can create so much misery and mayhem in the Middle East that the messiah will return?
Today, Representative Dennis Kucinich, while questioning Prince, made the clear-headed point that so long as Blackwater and other private contractors are being handed lucrative contracts during "wartime" there is a strong incentive to keep the war going, or to start new ones.
Or maybe the profit motive is secondary and they really are a bunch of Armageddonists.
In January 2001, the Republican Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, said: "John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world." (It's better if you read it aloud with a thick drawl.)
In their conservative, Christian evangelical eschatology Jesus Christ is supposed to ride down from heaven in some sort of golden chariot or something with angels blaring trumpets. There will be a "rapture" of the faithful, and they will be whisked up to the heavens to sit next to Christ's throne where, presumably, Pat Boone or somebody like him will lead a sing-along of "Onward Christian Soldier." Jews need not apply; the unbelievers will be "Left Behind." Condi Rice, John Bolton, General Boykin, Ted Haggard, and the rest of them can hold hands and greet Armageddon together. It will be a loving tribute to the "intelligent design" of a "creator" who would never hurt a stem cell but is willing to blast the whole planet to bits. [The music swells, a slow dissolve, roll credits.]