Christian Zionism

Counterpunch published a story today, “Bush, God, Iraq and Gog,” by Yale professor Clive Hamilton, about George W. Bush, lobbying leaders to put together the “Coalition of the Willing” in 2003, telling French president Jacques Chirac that Yahweh’s will was at work in the world, and that mythical apocalyptic creatures of the ancient Hebrews, Gog and Magog, were rising to threaten Israel. Bush was on a mission from God to vanquish them. “This confrontation is willed by God,” Bush told Chirac. God, Bush said, “wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.” Bush told Chirac that “the biblical prophecies are being fulfilled.”

Gog and Magog are mentioned in both Genesis and Ezekiel of the Old Testament, and famously in Revelations 20:7-8: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (By the way, George H. W. Bush’s nickname in the Skull and Bones at Yale was “Magog.”)

Élysée Palace turned to a theologian at the University of Lausanne, Thomas Romer, and find out what Bush was talking about. It’s Romer who provides the first account of this revealing movement, published in an article by Jocelyn Rochat, “George W. Bush et le Code Ezéchiel,” in Allez Savoir! (No. 39, September 2007). Since the account was written in the French language, it long escaped scrutiny by US observers (much like Zbigniew Brzezinski admission in Le Nouvel Observateur, Jan 15, 1998, that the Carter administration played the key role in turning Afghanistan into a cesspool to destabilize the Soviet Union and that he had no regrets about being responsible for the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist networks operating today). Chirac has corroborated Romer’s account in a book by Jean Claude Maurice, Si vous le répétez, je démentirai, published in March of this year.

In his article, Anderson writes, “There can be little doubt now that President Bush’s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him, fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam’s Iraq was the fulfillment of a Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord.” Indeed. It was a crusade in Bush’s mind. But we didn’t need to wait for this new piece of evidence to know this. Readers familiar with my work will recall that I exposed Bush’s motives to an international audience in my article “Faith Matters: George Bush and Providence,” published in The Public Eye on March 18, 2003, two days before the Iraq invasion.

(This article landed me a interview with public radio and the first invitation to speak at the United Nations University in Amman Jordan. There was a funny moment in the discussion period following my 2006 presentation in Amman, Jordan, at the United Nations University. I shared the stage with, among others, Shlomo Avineri. For those of you who are not familiar with Avineri, he is the famous Israeli political scientist noted for landmark works on Theodor Herzl, Moses Hess, and Zionism, and the political and social thought of Hegel and Marx. He also did considerable political work in negotiations in the Middle East countries on questions of science. It the work on Marx that first introduced me to Avineri. When I finished discussing the role of Christian Zionists in the Middle East, Avineri quipped, “This is help we don’t need.”)

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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