chapter  4
21 Pages

Bush’s political fundamentalism and the war against militant Islam: The US–European divide

ByDIRK NABERS, ROBERT G. PATMAN

In order to understand the US-European divide in international affairs after September 11, 2001, this chapter will examine the question of how domestic religious thinking influenced the political behavior of the Bush administration. After the terrorist attacks of that day, the Bush administration constructed a distinctive form of rhetoric to articulate its policies in the “new” war on terror. The language was grounded in a conservative religious outlook, characterized by absolutism, that imagined a divine hand in history and a sense of American manifest destiny, but it also took on a clear political expression and application. David Domke thus coined the term “political fundamentalism” to describe the new fusion of evangelicalism and foreign policy activism that characterized the Bush administration after 9/11.1 By using religious language as a horizon, it became possible to create a dominant discourse in the US in the early stages of the war against terror. However, the Bush administration had much less success in framing the war on terror outside the US.