Sunday, November 21, 2004

GW Bush, Jesus and the Manhattan Institute

You have to admire the nerve of G.W. Bush. It takes a kind of goofy audacity to claim that Jesus' teachings and the CIA-derived ideas of the right-wing Manhattan Institute are your twin sources of inspiration. Bush publicly credits the Manhattan Institute with inventing his entire "compassionate conservative" platform and persona.

GW Bush, Jesus and the Manhattan Institute
by Robert Lederman

NY Times June 12, 2000
Bush Culls Campaign Theme From Conservative Thinkers

"Gov. George W. Bush has said his political views have been shaped by the work of Myron Magnet of the Manhattan Institute."

The Dallas Morning Star 4/16/2000
The Godfathers of 'Compassionate Conservatism

"In Austin that day in 1997, Mr. Bush told Mr. Magnet that his 1993 book The Dream and The Nightmare, had changed his life..."

This past April, G.W. declared a new public holiday will be celebrated in Texas each June 10th-Jesus Day. [See:] Even many Christians found this unprecedented crossing of the line between church and state to be troubling. It is however entirely in line with the teachings of the MI (Manhattan Institute), which advocates having religious institutions take over many of the present tasks of government.

The Weekly Standard 8/23/2000
The Political Theory of Compassionate Conservatism
by John J. Dilulio Jr. [A theorist for the Manhattan Institute]

"In every instance where my administration sees a responsibility to help people,"[G.W. Bush] promised, "we will look first to faith-based organizations, charities and community groups."

While Jesus' teachings are well-known even to most non-Christians the ideas of the MI are much less familiar to the public. MI was started in 1978 by Ronald Reagan's CIA director, William Casey, and has become the nation's most influential, though not best known-as befits a CIA operation-right wing think tank. While I personally have great respect for the traditions of the world's religions, including Christianity, the CIA promoting religion may not exactly be what Jesus had in mind.

NY Times Monday May 12, 1997

Turning Intellect Into Influence Promoting Its Ideas,the Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward"Currently housed in an unprepossessing warren on the second floor of a building near Grand Central Terminal, the institute was founded as a free-market education and research organization by William Casey, who then went off to head the Central Intelligence Agency in the Reagan Administration."

Casey was a top American intelligence operative who, among other endeavors, helped the CIA bring thousands of Nazi SS officials into the U.S. after WWII as part of Operation Paper Clip. These Nazi SS doctors, scientists and intelligence experts who were directly involved in the death camps, in propaganda work and in creating the prototypes for new and better ways to kill masses of people, were installed in private industry, in the CIA, in medical and psychological research programs in universities and in the media, supposedly to fight Communism.

Many of these SS officials professed strong religious convictions, as did Adolf Hitler himself and as do many of the top scholars associated with the MI."Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it."[Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

While school vouchers and the turning over of public education to religious institutions is being sold by many on the right as a new and very progressive idea, the promotion of religious teachings in public schools was actually a key aspect of the Third Reich.


"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people." [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]

More than simply a violation of the separation of church and state which is an essential part of the Constitution, my concern with Bush's "religious convictions" is that they, like those of the Manhattan Institute, are actually a cover for fascism.

Previous to adopting G.W. as their poster-boy, NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was their most prominent operative in elected office. Like G.W. Bush, the infamously repressive and Constitution-violating Mayor of New York has also publicly acknowledged on numerous occasions that the Manhattan Institute is the source of his policy ideas.

"The mayor has a very close working relationship with the Manhattan Institute," Giuliani's communications director, Crystine Lategano, said."-Boston Sunday Globe 2/22/98

The MI's twin obsessions as evidenced by even a brief visit to their webpage, are race and privatization. Among the ideas they are particularly keen on is getting everyone's DNA in a national database. The best known of their many celebrity scholars is Charles Murray, who wrote his controversial book, The Bell Curve-proposing the genetic inferiority of Blacks as a justification for eliminating affirmative action-while a research fellow of the MI. He continues, despite their claims to the contrary, to publicly speak there about eliminating welfare and on racial issues.

From an announcement on the MI website April 14, 1999 New York, New YorkCenter for Civic Innovation Welfare ConferenceHeld at the Manhattan InstituteTopic: "Next Steps in Welfare Reform."Participants: [a partial list] Charles Murray (Author of Losing Ground; American Enterprise Institute), Jason Turner (Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration)

While the public expression of the ideas of the MI are couched in politically-correct terminology, the ideas themselves are closer to those of late 19th and early 20th century Eugenics than any other source. Eugenics is the application of science to the task of improving the human race by selective breeding (positive Eugenics) and sterilization or elimination of undesirable members of society (negative Eugenics).

More here.


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