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Yes, Virginia, This Is A Crusade! Posted on 09/20/2001.

So, word is that "infinite justice" was an existing meme.

It turns out that Muslims have objected to the name, because supposedly only God or Allah can mete out infinite justice.

A trip around Google, removing the contemporary embellishments, shows just how deeply the meme "infinite justice" is ingrained with religion.

Which basically suggests that we were declaring a holy war ourselves. I'm sure that the Pentagon will deny any religious intent with the name, but they'd be lying. It's too weird a phrase to have popped up independently.

So much for that whole "separation of church and state" thing, eh?


6 comments so far. Add a comment.

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Like so much else in American culture we're pushing it to the conceptual and linguistic maximum: rap lyrics of insane wealth, Hollywood movies with fantastic events via special effects, marketing messages that can't possibly deliver what they promise.

What if the administration finds the need to step it up a notch after a while and need a new name for the mission. What the hell is beyond 'infinite justice'? Really, it's like they've been playing too many video games.
Posted by victor @ 09/20/2001 06:14 PM PST [link to this comment]

I linked to this story today: The Art of Naming Operations
From Parameters, Autumn 1995, pp. 81-98.

an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how they do what they do.
Posted by rebecca blood @ 09/20/2001 06:50 PM PST [link to this comment]

It really does sound like a bad Van Damme movie (is there a good one?).

Infinite justice as dealt by your average subjective, mortal human is pretty much impossible, I think. I can't see civillian deaths fitting under the banner of justice either.

Medium term vengeance, perhaps. Justice is distinct from ongoing prevention.

Choosing a term with such religious significance does seem unwise.
Posted by Mathew @ 09/20/2001 11:22 PM PST [link to this comment]

My french husband has been reading moroccon newspapers to get a feeling on this whole thing. One of the many interestign things he's pointed out to me is how severely bad it was for Bush to use the word "Crusade." Crusade means "white christians going to the middle east to straighten out the heathens" and is a huge trigger for both arabs and europeans. Bush might have only meant to say it was a serious job we were going to do, but that is definately not what was heard....
Posted by christina @ 09/22/2001 07:55 AM PST [link to this comment]

Thank God the first name was replaced. One need not be Muslim to see the original as blasphemous. It echoed with the self-righteous certainty of infallibility that only the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells and Newt Gingrichs of the world can exude.... It made Bush Jr.s war an automatic trump over anything Papa fought.

I'm for dealing with terrorists. The nature of their invisible penetration of society may well justify declaring it a "WAR". So be it... we must deal with the anti-social... but we are not "infinite", nor is our course invariably "Just" in any absolute sense.
Have we truly addressed the issues that Bin Laden and company are agrieved over?
Posted by Mike @ 09/25/2001 10:08 PM PST [link to this comment]

It seems that what Bush is supposedly implying and what he is actually saying is totally contradictary. He made it quite clear that the war on terrorism is not an attack on Muslims and Islam. Yet he has gone on to declare this war a 'crusade'. And then later using the name 'infinite justice'. If he really does not mean to pit world religions against each other, he is not doing a very good job of it.
Posted by Naasief @ 09/26/2001 11:29 PM PST [link to this comment]

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