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Common Dreams

Good Versus Evil Sells Violence To Serve the American Empire

The American people's sensibilities are being saturated by violence and a brutal and destructive struggle couched in terms of good against evil. We are increasingly inundated by violence in entertainment, news, religion and politics as the American empire engages in a war against evil and terror throughout the world. Actors, preachers, generals, and politicians are in the news these days to proclaim the gospel of exterminating evil from the face of the earth. Usually it is the good guys against the bad guys but much of the brutality in entertainment is random, because violence itself sells. It's so prevalent that it gradually immunizes empathetic feelings for the victims of violence.

The major news media has merged with entertainment television and Hollywood to bring unprecedented violence into American homes. . The same mega-media corporations own movie production companies, major television companies and print media, including newspaper chains and magazines. Monetary and military motives are inextricably intertwined as violence and destruction is portrayed as the ultimate answer to evil in the American media market and in the politics of American empire. Violence to conquer evil is a perennial bestseller as an art form and the art of waging a global war against evil is being acted out by the Bush administration. In our sophisticated high tech world of the 21st century the most primitive and pernicious force in human history reigns. The art of violence in Hollywood is such a money-maker that much of the mayhem is gratuitous.

Hollywood's top box office attractions last weekend were Quentin Tarantino' s "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Laura Holson of the New York Times describes them as "blood-soaked". "Kill Bill", which has earned $43.3 million in two weeks has a character who stabs, decapitates or cuts the limbs off of at least 100 gangsters in a twenty minute fight, and "Chainsaw Massacre", earning $29 million in one weekend is described in the New York Times as a "relentlessly gory tale replete with twitching limbs and splattered brain matter". Both were rated R so that they can be later marketed in corporate chain video stores as DVD's to be viewed in homes throughout America. From such home-viewing, the mega-media owned Hollywood studios earn as much as 50% of the total revenue on a movie.

Not to be out done in cashing in on the violent clash of good versus evil and the fears of their flocks are televangelists like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham who view the escalating carnage in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan as biblical prophecy pitting the forces of their righteous Judeo-Christian God against the evil God of Islam. They also believe in and support a global crusade of their religious adherents against Islam's one billion people who comprise one-fifth of. the world's population.

Reverend Robertson says that Islam is a violent religion because its prophet, Mohammad, was a warrior. Jerry Falwell has opined, ":I think Mohammad was a terrorist". "...he was a violent man, a man of war". "...Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammad set an opposite example". The Reverend Franklin Graham, who is the son of the Reverend Billy Graham and heir to his giant televangelist empire, called Islam, "a very evil and wicked religion". These religious prophets of conflict have been upstaged recently by a "crusading" military prophet of conflict who is in a position to act out his religious fantasies.


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Making the headlines and the evening news shows this week has been Army Lt. General William "Jerry" Boykin, who was recently named Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Boykin is a self-professed Judeo-Christian zealot who has appeared before conservative religious audiences in uniform and told them that the war on terrorism is a battle between a "Christian army" and Satan and that Muslims worship an "idol' and not a "real God". The comments were first reported in the LA Times and aired by NBC News which included excerpts from video-taped speeches. A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Boykin's comments "ill-advised and bigoted" and asked that he be reassigned. General Boykin is a hands-on stalker of terrorists who belong to this "very evil and wicked religion" that Reverend Graham preaches against.

Boykin heads what is essentially an assassination program run out of the Pentagon. He is in charge of overseeing the Defense Department's "High Value Target Plan," coordinating the activities of military special operations units and the CIA in tracking down and killing those identified by the Bush administration as enemies in the "war on terrorism." Among the targets are bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Taliban leader Mullah Omar and many other lesser known figures. Ever the crusader, General Boykin also said, "George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the United States. He was appointed by God".

After scolding Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed over his recent remarks about Jews controlling the west by proxy, President George Bush finally distanced himself from General Boykin while speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en-route to Australia. Bush said, "He(Boykin) didn't reflect my opinion. Look, it just doesn't reflect what the government thinks".

In Iraq, U.S. Commanding General Sanchez admitted that the attacks on U.S. troops have increased to 20 to 25 a day and he also said that Al Queda appears to be more involved in such attacks. Bush, who has instructed his minions to says things are looking better for the U.S. in Iraq might have to distance himself from General Sanchez's remarks. All the good versus evil talk is in obvious reference to terrorists who happen to be Muslims. Such actions of the crusading crowd running U.S. foreign policy is all the radical Islamists need to rally even more fanatical fighters to their call for a Jihad against the U.S. and Israel.

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Tom Turnipseed

Tom Turnipseed

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, SC. His blog is

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