In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the American people were stunned. The question "why?" emanated from the lips of nearly 300 million people in this country and billions more around the globe. The answer came from the U.S. government as swiftly as the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center towers. Cohorts of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network executed a coordinated surprise attack using a crude plan of simultaneously hijacking four passenger airliners and using them as projectiles (we were told the same day). The U.S. government offered little rationale for such an irrational plan other than to suggest that such acts of terrorism are conducted to disrupt peace, rather than to achieve an end goal. In other words, so-called Muslim radical extremists hated America to the point of conspiring to create catastrophe on our soil.

A nation comprised of a majority Christian population bought the U.S. government's explanation and rallied behind a plan of revenge.

The truth, however, is that the attacks of 9/11 are still highly suspect as contrived in house (perhaps a white house), and the galvanizing of ad hominem Christian support for intense aggressive military action around the world is reflective of the policy of capitalists, not the beliefs of Christians. The criticism of President George W. Bush and his "war on terror" is often parlayed into a lambasting of Christians and the characterization of the religion of Christianity as one accepted by crusading marauders who use violence as a means of dealing with disputes and differences.

A commonly-held belief among those who depict "organized religions" as merely the hope of those with less intelligence, is that religious peoples are responsible for much of the major violence in the world. These critics point to the Christian Crusades, the massacres at the hands of Muslims, and the evidence of slaughters by Jews condoned by God in the Old Testament. They seldom point to the numerous acts of violence throughout history perpetrated by pagans and others who hold no allegiance to Christianity or any other "organized religion."

The current crisis in Iraq and Afghanistan &

initiated by the U.S. government &

is believed by some to be the policies of Christian aggression at work, since Dubya and company are all professing Christians.

SECULARIST VALUES

The reality is that Christianity has nothing to do with the U.S. war on terror. The decisions by the executive branch to go to war were made with the support of the legislative branch through a democratic system of governance, devoid of consideration of moral beliefs. Moreover, the decision to appropriate taxpayer funds to pay for the war is yet another choice made in tandem with cooperation from the representatives of the American people. To add injury to insult, the augmenting of both the troops and the funds during the most recent round of political bickering between Bush and Congress ended with more troops and more funds heading to the Middle East - all due to decisions based upon the politics of capitalism.

The Christian beliefs of Bush and others involved in the decision-making processes have never been a consideration nor publicized as rationale for any decision made.

Additionally, the tacit support of the secularized judicial branch of government for the Bush administration is evident in its quiet go-along-to-get-along policies that empowered the executive branch to ignore American laws prohibiting kidnapping, assassinations, indefinite detainments, torture, secret prisons, internal spying and a host of other breaches of legal boundaries.

Bush could never sell his decisions to initiate aggression against other nations to Jesus, but somehow he convinced a nation of Jesus' followers.

The bottom line is that the decisions made at the pinnacle of U.S. leadership have nothing to do with religious beliefs at all. Those decisions are made based upon protecting the economic "interests" of the U.S. government. Every president since I graduated high school has stated exactly that.

In 1980, when president Jimmy Carter was determined to use military force to control the Persian Gulf, he didn't claim that his Christian beliefs were the reason. He stated unequivocally that such a decision was being made to protect U.S. "vital interests" in the area. What interests does the U.S. government have in the Persian Gulf region that warrants the sacrifice of the lives of U.S. military personnel and the killing of others targeted by the U.S. government?

It isn't the protection of moral beliefs, I assure you. It is oil - the resource that fuels our economic engine.

CAPITALIST AGGRESSION

The year prior to Carter's infamous State of the Union address (often referred to as the Carter Doctrine), the U.S. had lost control over the oil flowing from Iran. That control was ill-gotten through a clandestine CIA operation in 1953 known as Project Ajax. Yet again, the decision to murder and plunder was one of capitalistic policies, not Christian beliefs.

Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush followed Carter's lead. Their decisions - based upon greed and capitalistic agendas - resorted to numerous clandestine operations that provided assistance to Iraq in an aggressive war against the Iranian people. Additionally, the U.S. supplied a brutal tyrant with chemical weapons of mass destruction. These decisions to murder people en masse in order to progress a secret agenda were not in keeping with any Christian principles or policies, but most assuredly were acceptable to those who believe the U.S. and EU economies are worth killing and dying to protect.

In 1990, Bush (41) ushered in a new policy for the U.S. in the Middle East. He sent more than a half-million troops to Saudi Arabia ostensibly to "defend Saudi Arabia" from Saddam Hussein's supposed aggression. In the aftermath of that conspiracy we discovered the president lied about the threat to Saudi Arabia. He lied to the ruling Saudi family and he lied to the American people. The net result was an invasion of Iraq by the U.S. military in 1991. Apparently, the old axiom "it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission" was a belief held by the Bush (41) administration.

In the wake of the tidal wave of force sent into that country, a monsoon of disapproval from around the world washed over the Bush (41) administration, causing it to pull out the ground troops but retain military control of the skies over Iraq. Such decisions weren't the product of Christian thinking, but rather the outcropping of a hunger for expanding capitalist power.

Since 1991, the U.S. government has maintained control of the skies over Iraq through force - bombing that nation continually throughout the Clinton administration's eight years in office and the current Bush administration - until a second ground invasion of Iraq was initiated in 2003. That decision was made by the son of the president who initially sent U.S. troops to invade Iraq in 1991. None of the decisions to use aggressive violence against the peoples of Iraq were due to consideration of Christian principles.

The president's presumptions of vengeance, pre-emptive protection and prioritizing peace were preposterous. But in the aftermath of 9/11, the American people - most notably the people's representatives in Congress - provided the president with a blank check to wage war wherever and however he determined. These decisions by members of Congress were not made in accordance with the principles of Jesus Christ. Instead they were made in accordance with assumptions produced by fear and belief in the postulates presented by the president's administration. Such propaganda was promoted to persuade panicking people that pre-emption of presumed progress in Iraq's nuclear production was a preeminent priority.

No Christian principles were applied.

Fear of unknown aggressors motivated the American people to support war. Faith and trust in government explanations compelled compliance with rapid expansion of government powers. Millions of Christians were as guilty as non-Christians in targeting Islam as an enemy, and supporting the capitalists in the White House who targeted Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. The historical involvement of the U.S. government in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan decades before the "war on terror" was given birth by 9/11 is a lesson most Americans to this day have not learned.

CHRISTIANS FOLLOW CHRIST, NOT BUSH

Yet, despite ignorance of our nation's unholy aggression against the Muslim peoples in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, if Christians had trusted in Jesus and remained faithful to the principles provided by our Savior, millions of lives would not have been scorched by America's immoral capitalistic approach to controlling the oil flowing from the desert sands of the Middle East.

These are the words of Jesus as written by His disciple, Matthew:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:38-39.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you &

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166;" Matthew 5:43-44.

Christians are those who faithfully believe in the words of Jesus, not U.S. presidents. Christians are those who trust in God, not governments. And if Christians in America had maintained a faithful trust in the words of Jesus, the conspiracy claims by this nation's president following the events of 9/11 would not have led to widespread support for war against concocted enemies. Without such support the current manufactured war on terror would not exist and U.S. ground troops would not be occupying Iraq today.

SERVING MAMMON

But America's foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere isn't based upon the beliefs of Christians, nor does it plant roots in the foundation of any religion. Instead, it is the secular culture that promotes evolving truths and ever-changing decisions based upon current information gleaned through faulty processes that provide pretext for the president's pre-emptive policies. If something goes awry, everyone blames it on faulty intelligence. When "thousands of mistakes" are made that cost tens of thousands of lives, they are dismissed easily as difficulties encountered along a path toward well-intended goals that ought not be abandoned on the basis of a few thousand mistakes. Mistakes are easier to forgive than admissions of willing sacrifices made enroute to achieving strategic economic and military goals.

Protecting America's foreign economic interests has high value in a secular society but holds no weight in Christian circles. Thus, to galvanize Christian support the president sold the followers of Christ a lie - accusing "radical" elements of Islam of perpetrating a catastrophe of monumental proportions based upon their religious beliefs. To many for whom Jesus plays no role in their decision-making process, the lies promoted by the Bush administration seemed rational, given the notion that religious ideologues are dangerous and act violently based upon irrational beliefs. But Christians are quite aware of the warnings we've been given in accepting the perspectives of those who trust in themselves and governments while paying homage to things valued by men rather than God.

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1:25

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices." Colossians 3:9

CAPITALIST VALUES

Today, the war in Iraq isn't predicated upon the teachings of Christianity, but rather the lies that have been sold to Christians, Jews, Muslims and also those who claim no organized religious beliefs as well. The American people have been duped by clandestine cohorts in positions of power - both in the executive and legislative branches of government. The sons and daughters of American families have been sacrificed upon an altar of political deception for the sake of achieving economic goals. Millions of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan have been impacted due to the blind faith of the American people - whose trust in a deceptive government and known liars in leadership positions have caused irreparable harm.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that supports the suggestion of secular motives and capitalist ideology at work in our government's foreign policy decision-making processes, there are those who maintain that such notions are the birthplace of conspiracies. It is time for these naysayers to review American history, which is replete with real conspiracies carried out by tens of thousands acting in accordance with the decisions of a few. And perhaps it is time that the remnant of Christians remaining faithful to the Bush administration's aggression in the Middle East also review the foreign policies of our King, whose patience with evil is finite.

is the author of "The WHOLE Truth about the U.S. War on Terror: answers to every question you never knew to ask"