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LeFevre: Why the Bush Administration Is Evil

Meditations - From Martin LeFevre in California

Why the Bush Administration Is Evil

Most commentators agree President Bush gave a flat, insipid speech for his long-awaited (more like successfully baited) “new strategy” for Iraq. That despite, or because of the fact that it was 'the most important speech of his presidency.' The Bush Administration is on the ropes, but evil is never more dangerous than when cornered.

Taking up nearly half the paper above the fold of the San Francisco Chronicle on January 12th, the day after the President’s speech, was a color close-up of a glowering President Bush, his left cheek wet from tears after presenting a posthumous medal of honor to a Marine at a White House ceremony.

That picture, its caption, and the headline, “Tear For A Fallen Marine,” encapsulate the darkness and dangerousness of this moment in history. Even the paper in the most liberal city in the United States falls for the “fallen heroes” sentimentality, featuring the lamentable man who led this nation and the world into the hell of Iraq. (Having just escalated the war by 20,000 soldiers, Bush guarantees that many more of "our troops" lives will be wasted.)

In a prototypical demonstration of the American trait of having it both ways, the main headline in the Chronicle, right beside the heralding of the nation’s sappy pappy, reads: “Even GOP Senators Rip Rice On Iraq.” The denouncement of the escalation comes from both parties, though not in equal measure. Nothing will probably come of it however, because a nation caught in the throes of militarism is straight jacketed by all the “support our troops” schlock.

On the day of the big speech, a friend who runs a website in Colorado wrote an editorial entitled “If You Want to Stop the War, You Have to IMPEACH!” (

In it he says, “The Bush administration has shown repeatedly that it does not listen to other opinions. It will not co-operate on major issues and it does not give a damn that the country voted for change as it did in 2006.” As much as I agree with that statement, and the general sentiment (as opposed to sentimentality) of my friend’s remarks, he misses two key facts in my view.

First, the Bush Administration is not an anomaly, but the manifestation of the death of this nation's soul. It's true that if Americans miraculously managed to impeach Bush and Cheney (a political impossibility), it would restore the American spirit. But there isn't enough outrage to even get Congress to exercise the power of the purse, much less impeach George and Dick. Rebirth can only occur when a death has been acknowledged.

As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert bewilderedly said in a recent column, “It’s as if the U.S. had fallen into some kind of bizarrely destructive trance from which it is unable to awaken.” Precisely. A people can be good or bad, but when they are no longer intact as a people, when an indefinable thread in them and between them has broken, then evil flows to the fore.

The Bush Administration is an evil Administration. Pundits and professors have a cunning way of avoiding that fact, saying that to call the Bush Administration evil is to "demonize" people, and prevent dialogue and change. Horseshit. By this same logic, you couldn’t call the Nazis evil. Many people also tried to reason with them in the ‘30’s, refusing to see them for what they were.

Most people say that drawing parallels between the Bush Administration and the National Socialists is overdrawn, but it is not. The Nazis started a war that killed 50 million people, and murdered 11 million in concentration camps. If the Bush Administration is not stopped, millions could die before this phony “global war on terror” is over, from the self-fulfilling use of real nuclear, chemical, and/or biological weapons by state tyrants and/or stateless terrorists.

Besides, the purpose of evil in human consciousness is not physical death, but spiritual death. In Rwanda, the Interahamwe genocidaires often mutilated children before their parent’s eyes before killing them, and then the parents. The machete-wielding monsters obviously meant to hurt the parents as deeply as they could. But through such acts (now an everyday occurrence in Iraq) collective darkness means to kill the heart of the living.

After the United States pumped up and set up Saddam in the ‘80’s, the first invasion of Iraq was the straw that broke the Spirit’s back in this country, accomplished by Bush Senior. Since then the zombification of America has proceeded apace. Bush Junior, driven by Oedipal psychosis, is the main conduit for completing the job his father began, and kill the human spirit.

It is therefore witless and weak to declare, as Ira Chernus, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder does, in a column entitled, “The Warmakers Are Not Evil. They’re Just Misguided — Really,” that the Bush Administration “does evil things because they are misguided, not because their aims are fundamentally evil.”

Granted, individuals by themselves are not evil. Indeed, I think it wrong to label even such slaughterers as Hussein or Hitler evil, since evil is vastly greater than any individual, no matter how depraved. But individuals can and do serve the larger thing, evil, and they are responsible themselves for doing so.

Is Bush more or less evil than Saddam was? If unlimited power, and the absence of any limit on using it, is the greatest measure of evil, then the Bush Administration is potentially worse than Hussein.

It is not “demonizing people” to say a government has crossed the line into evil; it is speaking up, taking to heart the injunction, “all evil needs to triumph is for decent people to remain silent.”

The Bush Administration is evil, and until they are out of office, and a sufficient number of Americans cease being in denial about the death of the people here, it cannot be said enough.


- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: The author welcomes comments.

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