"We’re on a mission from God!"

Saw this item on Dave Farber’s Interesting People list (one of the oldest and most prominent agglomerations of “opinion leaders” on the net – I’ve been subscribed since the early 1990’s)… Tony Norman of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette writes about Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin’s, uh, interesting opinions about current events. He’s apparently writing in reaction to a recent column by William R. Arkin in the Los Angeles Times (also accompanied by a news article) that includes even more choice quotes.

Here are a couple of choice quotes from the man Donald Rumsfeld just appointed to be in charge of chasing down Osama Bin Laden:

“George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the United States,” Gen. Boykin told an Oregon congregation in a moment of biblical clarity five months ago. “He was appointed by God.”

“It is a demonic presence in that city [Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia] that God revealed to me as the enemy,” he said, indicting the devil for the murder of 18 American soldiers.

I.e., Satan, whose shadow he apparently detected hovering over Somalia in photographs (and no, he wasn’t speaking figuratively – he meant a literal, physical shadow). Mr. Boykin apparently believes it is his mission in life to protect this “Christian nation” from the onslaughts of Islamic fundamentalists and Satan’s minions.

As Mr. Norman said, is this the man we want in charge of co-ordinating the effort to hunt down Osama? If this guy sets off the average American’s fruitcake detector, what the hell kind of reaction is he going to generate in those Pashtun villiages on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where we’ve got to win the hearts and minds of some very religiously motivated Muslim folk who are deeply suspicious of our motives?!? We’re critical of Islamic fundamentalists who talk about a “jihad” against the West, but then we put a Christian fundamentalist who talks about a Chrisitan “crusade” against Islam in charge of our efforts to track down Osama? This makes sense only in the warped, completely U.S.-centric view of the neo-cons… these folks are even more insular than your old style isolationist Republicans. At least those folks didn’t insist on spending America’s blood and treasure abroad in pointless exercises of U.S. imperialism for political gain, while remaining devoutly ignorant of worldly reality.