Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rodriguez: America's Soul Sickness Part II


In Columbus and other Cannibals, American Indian scholar, Jack Forbes
writes about a disease that afflicts the West, an illness he refers to
as: soul sickness. It's the belief that God has especially chosen
Westerners to bring civilization and enlightenment to the rest of the
world. While it permeates all of Western society, it appears to
manifest most poignantly in the United States.

With Obama soon to be at the helm, many people are seemingly not clear
about what this means vis a vis this sickness.

Under this superstitious belief system, Westerners have been
authorized by God to eliminate infidels and heathens if they don't
convert (because if they don't, the unbelievers may wipe out the
civilized world). This traditionally has meant the right to take
lands, colonize and enslave peoples and the right to invade, occupy
and destroy nations. It matters little if one innocent person dies or
a million, because they are not truly human. Conversely, the death of
one Westerner or the threat to one, is "just cause" for war. Since
Westerners believe God has anointed them to spread Judeo-Christian
values, democracy & capitalism, all their military incursions are
justified. This is why war is constantly waged, always obviating the
need for laws and trials

Under this belief system, Westerners are always combating evil,
terrorists and disciples of the devil. Yet, this delusional belief
system sometimes comes face to face with reality. For instance, most
religious/spiritual leaders worldwide do not believe that the invasion
of Iraq has constituted a "just war." This has led to cognitive
dissonance – a contradictory mental and spiritual state.

None of this has affected president Bush who actually believes that
God specifically chose him to lead the United States and to wage war
against Iraq. Yes. The Prince of Peace chose him to bring peace – via
war – to Arab/Muslim infidels, and eventually, to the entire world.

Bush's beliefs best exemplify that soul sickness that Forbes writes
about. It is a combination of sickness and delusion – the
spiritual/political belief that the United States and its allies are
entitled – by divine birthright – to wage permanent war against any
and all nations – to bring civilization to the uncivilized. This
belief did not begin with Bush-Cheney. Reagan-Bush took these same
ideas to Africa and Central America. Johnson & Nixon previously took
them to Asia. As Forbes points out, it is the same ideas – steeped in
the Dark Ages – that were brought to this continent by the

Accompanying these delusional ideas is the belief in the eternal right
– with impunity – to freely exploit these nations, their peoples and

All of this also is combined with the belief that Euroamericans were
especially chosen to build a heaven on earth in the Americas – a place
reserved for God's chosen few (dark people not welcome here).
Ironically, this belief system – as exemplified by the idea of
Providence, Manifest Destiny and the religio-secular idea of American
exceptionalism – has never believed in borders. Quite the contrary.
The very idea of a United States has been an expansionist belief: the
original idea was that Euroamericans would one day take over the
entire Americas – from sea to shining sea. Yet, now, heaven on earth
seemingly constitutes the entire planet.

But there is still the land mass called the United States – the New
Promised Land – especially designated for the chosen few. While these
chosen few seek global domination, adherents of this philosophy insist
upon a form of racial/political and cultural purity for these United
States. This is why we have "culture" or "civilizational" wars.

This is why these chosen few insist upon English Only and walls along
the southern, but not the northern, border. This is the reason for
massive immigration raids against red-brown peoples; to communicate
the message of who belongs, who is legitimate and who merits rights
and who doesn't. It's all predicated on a 500-year idea on this
continent of who is human and who is entitled to live – and who isn't.

The majority of the world has diagnosed this sickness and thoroughly
rejects it. It is highly likely, based on the 2008 presidential
elections, that most Americans have also diagnosed this sickness, and
many also reject it.

The idea of Barack Obama in the White House also causes cognitive
dissonance. It may be counter-intuitive, but it is not at all certain
that a Black Man – or this Black Man – will combat this centuries-old
soul sickness and the barbaric policies that emanate from it.

(c) Column of the Americas 2009

Rodriguez can be reached at:

Column of the Americas
PO BOX 85476
Tucson, AZ 85754

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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