Well, okay, that’s not the best example because of its stomach-churning implications, but you get my point, I think, about what Bachmann and other tea party Republicans are doing, when you see Bachmann say, as part of a large anti-Muslim diatribe, that “Obama is supporting Al Qaeda, proving that we are in the End Times.”
What Bachmann did was to take a false premise and say because A=B then C. But A is NOT B and even C itself has not been proven to be true regardless of the relationship between A and B.
Now Bachmann sleeping with Putin might well herald the end times, rather like the old adage about dogs and cats, but it illustrates how something that is not true does not make something else true.
I said something about Bachmann’s premise being false: What is rather funny about Bachmann’s claim is that she said this on Saturday, on the very same day that an Army special forces unit sent to Libya by President Obama nabbed al-Qaeda leader as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, better known by his alias Anas al-Libi, and Navy SEAL Team 6, operating in southern Somalia, attempted to nab Ikrima, a leader of terrorist group linked to al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab.
Will this change Bachmann’s thinking? No. Facts cannot be allowed to intrude on a good anti-Obama diatribe, which began when the Minnesotan lunatic, er, I mean, Representative, invented another lie she could use as an excuse for the whole End Times thing:
President Obama waved a ban on arming terrorists in order to allow weapons to go to the Syrian opposition…US taxpayers are now paying to give arms to terrorists, including al Qaeda.
If you look at what President Obama is ACTUALLY doing as opposed to what Bachmann claims he is doing, back on September 16 a White House press release revealed that,
Today, the President signed a Presidential Determination exercising his authority to waive certain restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act. This action will allow the U.S. Government to provide or license, where appropriate, certain non-lethal assistance inside or related to Syria. This includes: 1) chemical weapons-related personal protective equipment to international organizations, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for the conduct of their operations; 2) chemical weapons-related life-saving assistance for organizations implementing Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development programs to strengthen local Syrian health care providers’ ability to prepare for and respond to any use of chemical weapons; and 3) defensive chemical weapons-related training and personal protective equipment to select vetted members of the Syrian opposition, including the Supreme Military Council, to protect against the use of chemical weapons. This action is part of longstanding and ongoing efforts to provide life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance to people in need in Syria.
Of course, Bachmann had to completely invent some implications for this completely humanitarian aid (drum-roll please):
This happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists. Now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the end times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history. Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice. Maranatha Come Lord Jesus. His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this, these days would be as the days of Noah.
Besides Bachmann’s evident inability to express herself clearly, there are several problems with all this, including the fact that she is speaking of a relationship between things that are demonstrably untrue and other things that cannot be proven to be true.
I’ve used this example before when discussing such absurdities as the GOP’s crazy reaction to the Boston bombing, but it clearly needs to be trotted out again. These attempts to obfuscate remind me a bit of an episode of the British comedy The Black Adder, in which one of Edmund the Black Adder’s cronies tells him that the eyes of the Spanish Infanta are “as blue as the blue stone of Galveston”:
Edmund: Mm! … What?
Percy: The famous Stone of Galveston, My Lord.
Edmund: And what’s that, exactly?
Percy: Well, it’s a famous blue stone, and it comes … from Galveston.
Edmund: I see. And what about it?
Percy: Well, My Lord, the Infanta’s eyes are bluer than it, for a start.
Edmund: I see. And have you ever seen this stone?
Percy: (nods) No, not as such, My Lord, but I know a couple of people who have, and they say it’s very very blue indeed.
Edmund: And have these people seen the Infanta’s eyes?
Percy: No, I shouldn’t think so, My Lord.
Edmund: And neither have you, presumably.
Percy: No, My Lord.
Edmund: So, what you’re telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else you have never seen.
Percy: (finally begins to grasp) Yes, My Lord.
Bachmann claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, yet she demeans his name by lying through her teeth as often as she gets the opportunity. I don’t remember that injunction from the New Testament, to lie on Jesus’ behalf. Bachmann, like other Christians real and fake, claims belief in a capital-T Truth, but fundamentalist Christians (like Bachmann) seem to think it is perfectly permissible, even obligatory, to lie on behalf of this Truth.
I suppose that makes as much sense as me saying that because Michele Bachmann has a secret harem of incubi that her husband Marcus is an al Qaeda operative. Much as I despite everything Bachmann and her husband stand for, I would not say this because it is ridiculously, obviously untrue.
This sort of rubbish belongs on the pages of the National Inquirer, but even tabloids can’t match the sheer dishonest creativity of tea party Republicans. And to make matters worse, unlike the National Inquirer, people like Bachmann get to spout their lies before a national audience on a major television network as though it were documented fact.
On Sunday, the White House said, “This operation should be a clear reminder that the United States will seek justice against those who would attack Americans, and never forgets those who are victims of terrorism,” and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the raids “send a strong message to the world that the United States will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable, no matter where they hide or how long they evade justice.”
We will continue to maintain relentless pressure on terrorist groups that threaten our people or our interests, and we will conduct direct action against them, if necessary, that is consistent with our laws and our values.
For Bachmann then, this can only mean President Obama is signalling his support for al Qaeda. But what is really happening is that she is signalling her own divorce from reality, ethics, common decency, and abrogating any right to claim a relationship to Jesus Christ, who never once in his short career said, “Blessed are the liars, and those who lie in my name.”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.