An article by James A. Haught for the Council for Secular Humanism recounts a conversation between George W. Busch and French President Jacques Chirac when the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” in preparation for the Iraq invasion.
Bush apparently told Chirac that “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”
Err, Gog and Magog? Turns out that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, mysterious forces menacing Israel. God vows to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, they show up again in the book of Revelation, this time gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
Think of that. In the eyes of The President of the United States, the war against Iraq was nothing less than a religious war based on Biblical prophesies of agents of the apocalypse.
Holy shit right? I mean HOLY SHIT!
The conversation between Bush and Chirac is reported in an article in the French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche as well as France’s La Liberte. Canada’s Toronto Star has reported the story but the only US newspaper to cover it so far is The Charleston Gazette out of West Virginia.
(The article from the Toronto Star can be found here . The article from the Charleston Gazette can be found here but it should be noted that it was also written by James Haught and is therefore not an additional source. Further it was posted as an opinion column. I was unable to locate the articles in La Liberte , possibly because I don’t speak French. How ‘bout that dear readers? Dig the work I do so you don’t have to!)
Chirac himself confirms the conversation in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who relates the story in his book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon. ( Here is the link to the book on Amazon’s French site.)
I don’t care how deep or shallow your religious convictions are, this is clearly fringe-element stuff. Did you think that we invaded Iraq to find and destroy their weapons of mass destruction or did you think that we were fulfilling biblical prophesy?
This is not the first piece of evidence that the Bushies were pursuing religious madness. This 2005 article from the UK’s Guardian details conversations that Busch had with the Palestinian Foreign Minister in which he said "I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."
God talks to George W. Bush. Or he’s hearing voices. Either way…
Earlier this year GQ Magazine broke a story that revealed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used to present daily intelligence briefings to Bush that featured apocalyptic bible verses side-by-side with battle photographs from Iraq. Here are some examples of the cover sheets of those reports . (Click each image to embiggen...)
It is becoming clear that the war in Iraq was about one gang of religious fundamentalists bent on destroying another gang of religious fundamentalists. These guys are all far-side nut jobs who, getting off on a John Wayne vibe and gobbling up freedom fries, led us into a war that didn’t have to happen and cost the lives of over four thousand Americans and the lives of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians .
I’m just having such a hard time swallowing this. It is so outrageous, so…outlandish that I can hardly believe that it’s true. I keep thinking back to an earlier paragraph in this post where I said that this is “clearly fringe element stuff” but I wonder, is it really?
Because to me, this is bat-shit crazy medieval mythology. You would have to be completely nuts to believe in any of it much less act upon it as the leader of the free world. Gog and Magog? Are you serious?
Apparently Bush was.