Operation Infinite Justice. It is a phrase carefully chosen by someone familiar with the rhetoric of conservative, evangelical, fire-and-brimstone Christianity. It is about heavy-duty retribution.
Although the term does not appear in the Bible, it is a familiar one preachers use to talk about God collecting on the debt of original sin and punishing the fundamental wickedness of humanity.
A Pentagon spokesman last night wouldn't say why that code name was chosen for the deployment of combat aircraft to the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon still hasn't officially declared that is the name.
But a search of U.S. military operational names going back to the Second World War turns up nothing as remotely religious.
The U.S. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, which says its purpose is "to equip Christians with good information on doctrine," defines God's "infinite justice" as His "terrible price" exacted for the reinstatement to sin-free purity of "all His created humanity."
It is defined as God's condemnation of all guilt.
Its maximum penalty, "infinite punishment," sounds like the eternal fires of hell.
It is interesting, the religious factor.
The Americans' primary target, Osama bin Laden, has declared a jihad, an Islamic holy war, against the United States. U.S. President George W. Bush has stressed that no military action against terrorists should be construed as an attack against Islam.
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