Former French President says Bush invaded Iraq to thwart Gog and Magog's apocalyptic mission

Former French President Jaques Chirac says that in 2003, President Bush asked him to send troops to Iraq to stop Gog and Magog, the "Bible's satanic agents of the Apocalypse."

From James A. Haught's piece in the Council for Secular Humanism:

200908071450 It's awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who "got saved." He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.

For six years, Americans really haven't known why he launched the unnecessary Iraq attack. Official pretexts turned out to be baseless. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction after all, and wasn't in league with terrorists, as the White House alleged. Collapse of his asserted reasons led to speculation about hidden motives: Was the invasion loosed to gain control of Iraq's oil--or to protect Israel--or to complete Bush's father's vendetta against the late dictator Saddam Hussein? Nobody ever found an answer.

Now, added to the other suspicions, comes the goofy possibility that abstruse, supernatural, idiotic, laughable Bible prophecies were a factor. This casts an ominous pall over the needless war that has killed more than four thousand young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers perhaps $1 trillion.

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush


  1. I read the piece Haught wrote. Besides having a huge axe to grind and no corroboration of the story why shouldn’t we believe it?

  2. I don’t believe it’s ever been more accurately stated than this. This actually makes more sense than most other explanations we’ve heard.

  3. Mark:

    IMHO This is far and away the most disturbing thing you or any other mutant has ever posted.

    Isn’t Dick Cheney more or less secular? Gee I wonder who fed Jr all these crazy ideas… Hmm who could it be?

  4. As believable (scary!) as this may be, I would like to see a more neutral and verifiable source. When this can meet Wikipedia’s standards for inclusion on the George Bush article, then I will give it more credence and subsequently be truly saddened. (Just checked – not on Wikipedia yet, so must still be contested.)

  5. This casts an ominous pall over the needless war that has killed more than four thousand young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers perhaps $1 trillion.

    Yes, over 4000 young American soldiers died. More than a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians also died violently during the conflict. Is it expected that Americans don’t care as much about that?

  6. This is what happens when you have a nation where half the people think the earth is less than 10k years old and think that there is an actual debate of the relative merits of creationism vs evolution, and they vote…whether the story is true or not, it COULD be, and that’s scary enough

  7. At #1 — I thought these came from interviews with the French President. That would be fairly decent corrobaration, if he said these things in an interveiw. How can you corrobate private conversatoins between two heads of state? Is that the burden of proof here? The fact that a major head of state is saying this, is quite troublesome to me …

  8. This story appears to be false on the face of it. Everyone who I have ever heard about, who believes in an apocalyptic vision involving “Gog and Magog”, are 100% in favor of facilitating The Apocalypse, not thwarting it.

  9. #1, apparently you didn’t read the same article linked here. Haught didn’t break the news, and isn’t reporting it here. He is commenting on something that was first widely reported in Switzerland and France in 2007, and has recently been corroborated by Chirac in an interview with a French journalist – an interview that will included in a book to be published early next year, and which has been widely reported on this week all over the world in major news publications.

    Haught’s article is a commentary about a piece of credible news widely reported. It should be evaluated as commentary. Do you have any (anonymous) comment on the substance of Bush’s reported comments?

  10. OK, biases first; I’m a Christian. So take my blathering for what it’s worth.

    The problem I always had with Bush wasn’t his faith but the fact that he was so incompetent at it. If you’re a Christian, you should have enough understanding of your faith and its history to know better than to get involved in a war in the Middle East. If you’re a Christian, you should know that prophecy is fulfilled on Gods schedule, not ours.

    At one time I knew, *absolutely* knew that Bush would never start a war in Iraq. After all, he’s a Christian, right? Christians know that efforts by humans to influence the fulfillment of prophecy are about as effective as starting a flood by spitting in the Mississippi. And Christians know that Middle East conflicts are just flat-out supernatural in their propensity to drag all participants straight into a hell on earth. No Christian would *ever* start a war over there or get involved in one or think they could influence when or how prophecy is fulfilled. *EVER*.

    Sheesh. Did I turn out to be a dummy or what?

  11. So did Bush think he was the GateKeeper or the KeyMaster?

    And does this make Cheney “Slimer”?

  12. As a french citizen, I never thought I would feel sorry for that old slacker of Chirac, but quite frankly it must have been hard for him to be harrased by a religious crackpot on the phone, bullying him to join his God ordered loot war.

    Remember the anti-french’s craze that followed ? Freedom fries, fine wine down the gutter and everything ?

    What stays amazing to me is not the bold lies, or the huge amount of time needed to realise something was wrong ; but it is the proccess by wich America can turn racist on command.

  13. THIS is why we need to put war powers back into the hands of the Congress and out of the office of the President. Don’t forget the constitution folks.

    U.S. Constitution Art 2 Section 8

    The Congress shall have the power to …

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    Gosh all those powers are in the hands of the President. How did that happen?

  14. I, for one, am amazed that the world survived to see January 20, 2009. Fucking mystified at times, in fact.

  15. In all probability, it was not Bush’s idea [to invade] at all. Whatever his beliefs.

    The reasons given to the public were not the actual reasons for the invasion, which were strategic and economic and which we’ll probably never know.

  16. I seem to recall reading somewhere (I dunno, Alex Jones?) that W had flatly stated that he would be the president during the apocalypse. Anyone else have anything on that? Or have I merely misplaced my tinfoil hat?

  17. So Bush saved us from Gog and Magog and the Apocalypse has been averted? Cool.

    Oh..and..the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys refused to help…typical.

    Yes, over 4000 young American soldiers died. More than a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians also died violently during the conflict. Is it expected that Americans don’t care as much about that?

    I absolutely second you. I find it disheartening how even the most good-hearted, open minded Americans tend to place infinitely more value in one American life than in 10, 100 or 1000 foreign ones.

    A trope that runs through American literature and cinema as well…

    Why, Mark? Can it be that for the sake of rhetoric, you put forth arguments that you know can convince or will expose even the more hawkish of the conservatives?


  19. #6

    This is what happens when you have a nation where half the people think the earth is less than 10k years old

    gads try to keep up with the (5 year old) news.

    and think that there is an actual debate of the relative merits of creationism vs evolution

    I believe that your assumption is that they are arguing how science works. In that case yes, Neo-Creationists and their ilk lose. You seem to have a prejudice about religious people however. Considering you (mis)posted something from blind faith I would say that you are on the road to becoming the thing you hate. It is a rocky road, do be careful.

  20. For those who care about sourcing such things:

    This did not come from an interview with the French President. It came from Thomas Römer, an expert at the University of Lausanne who was contacted by the Protestant Federation of France in 2003, in response to request from the office of the French President for some assistance in trying to unravel references made by George W. Bush during a conversation with Jacques Chirac.

    This account was published by Allez savoir, a magazine published by the University of Lausanne. An English translation of the original French version is here.

    Key point, last paragraph:

    Did these political reflections figure in the one-page report that Thomas Römer sent to the French President at the beginning of 2003? “No. I sent a Biblical note. One one page, I explained the context, I explained that it was an apocalyptic prophecy, with a cosmic battle of peoples. I spoke of Gygos and I said when it was written. And I have not heard back either from Jacques Chirac or his advisers.”

    In other words: Thomas Römer received a request from the the head of the Biblical Service of the Protestant Federation of France, who requested that he provide information on a specific topic which would then be conveyed to the office of the French President. The theologian fulfilled that request with a one-page monograph. He did not speak to President Chirac. He did not speak to President Bush.

    Römer then speculated as to the nature of the conversation between the French and American Presidents based on what he was told by someone who was not, herself, privy to that conversation. This speculation was then published under the title, “Early 2003: Chirac asks theologian to explain George W. Bush’s reference to Gog and Magog.”

    So, now you know, and now you can decide whether you actually know what the former American President said and why he said it.

  21. (Whoops! One other significant source is Jean-Claude Maurice’s interview with Chirac in Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai, but I can’t find the actual text anywhere at the moment…that’d be a pretty important addition, I would think.)

  22. Can anyone out there find an actual news article corraborating this? (Even in non-English papers?) While it would not be too surprising considering all of the other Bush nonsense, my googles, they just show the same kind of “here say” talking about how this was covered officially elsewhere.

  23. Nice of him to tell us now. It would have been nice to hear this from Chirac in 2003. Pretty useless now.

  24. I have no idea whether Chirac is correct or not about Bush’s motivations, but in the very least this story is an interesting look at how other world leaders viewed- and view- our ex-president.

    Usually I find people more difficult to demonize after I’ve met them, even if I completely disagree with their views. It says a lot that a world leader who personally met with Bush on several occasions still thinks he’s a total wingnut.

  25. (Sigh. Of course #24 directly contradicts para. 2 of #23. I meant that this particular resurgence of this story did not come from an interview with Chirac.)

  26. @ #21 and RANDOMCAT

    I could not agree more. It angers and saddens me to no end that hardly anyone quotes the Iraqi death toll – only the American death toll and the price tag.

    It is disheartening and truly dishonest.

    @ #11

    Cheney is totally Slimer.

  27. Awkward to say openly?

    No it’s not, many Americans were saying it for years. Only 25% of our populace approved of the whacko at the end.

  28. No one ever mentions how many Iraqis died because of the war. Far more than 4000 Americans.

  29. @26 Sorry, but Americans weren’t really willing to listen to the much more sensible and sane “There’s no weapon of mass destructions and Iraq wasn’t involved in 9/11”. I don’t see how having some French guy openly declaring Bush to be but nutters would have any effect at all.

  30. I also agree with #5: The number of (Iraqi) war dead (100k+) is very rarely mentioned in comparison to the 4k Americans who also lost their lives. Yet if the war was fought for specious reasons, then over 104000 people died for…what, exactly? Democracy, maybe? Freedom from tyranny? Given a choice, I wonder what the Iraqis would have decided if they had known the price we exacted for their nascent republic? Or if they will eventually even have a working democracy? On the other hand, I’m sure most Americans, if asked “Will you persevere in such a war if a similar percentage of the US populace has to die to preserve our freedom?” would indeed fight on. So long as they didn’t know that their name was part of the percentage, I mean.

  31. From the original article:

    For six years, Americans really haven’t known why he launched the unnecessary Iraq attack. Official pretexts turned out to be baseless. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction after all, and wasn’t in league with terrorists, as the White House alleged.

    The problem with hindsight is it always comes after the fact… But it is 20/20!

  32. Does anyone actually believe this bullsh*t? Chirac is the guy who built the reactor the Israelis blew up in 1981 and bragged about how Saddam was his long time friend. He’s just a bitter old man trying to sell some books.

  33. Shannon said:

    Nice of him to tell us now. It would have been nice to hear this from Chirac in 2003. Pretty useless now.

    I think Chirac/the researcher Thomas Römer wanted to make sure Bush was wrong before he mocked him…

  34. Monkey Balls said:

    He’s just a bitter old man trying to sell some books.

    Does he need the money that bad? Don’t French Presidents get to go on speaking tours?

  35. @39 Err, I don’t think it can be called “hindsight”. It’s more of a case of “told ya”.

  36. My my the concern trolls sure are out tonight.

    It is a well known fact that untreated alcoholics – dry drunks like George W. Bush often simply just ‘switch seats on the Titanic’ – changing one addiction for another. In Dubya’s case it was putting down the Jack Daniels and Cocaine and picking up ‘the Bible’ – in particular probably rereading ‘Revelations’ over and over again until he was able to memorize every single word.

    Let us remember, that The Family – at C House in Washington DC has been around for some 70 years, and that this group of neocon fake Christians are more perverted than just about any other religious zealots on the face of the earth. In fact, I would go so far as to call them an entire group of Anti-Christs. They use ‘Jesus’ to break every single Commandment and are certainly a power based group of ‘insane people’

    For 8 years, we were governed by an idiot with messianic delusions and by a sociopath with imperial obsessions.

  37. Didn’t they listen to their fellow Republican Ah-nold in Terminator 3?

    “Judgement day is inevitable!”

  38. I am so fucking sick of hearing only of American losses: that just reflects the very attitude that make all those monstrosities possible. The American population, with the exception of a tiny sliver of extremely courageous souls, has no consideration whatsoever for the deaths and suffering it imposes on any non-American. Disgusting.

  39. “Chirac is the guy who built the reactor the Israelis blew up in 1981 and bragged about how Saddam was his long time friend.”

    Wow, the freedom fries and historical amnesia are back…

    Yeah, Monkeyballs, 1981 at that time the west was giving Irak high fives and dollars for fighting Iran. Saddam was everyones friend.

    Chirac, as much as I despise him, was the only one who had the guts to tell the US to fuck off. Not like some other countries…

  40. Clearly you all have this wrong. Cheney is not Slimer, Bush is obviously Slimer. Cheney is the Gatekeeper, and the Keymaster is someone not yet revealed. Obama is clearly just the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man that Zuul-esque NeoCon America has dreamed up for our demise. So that would put Ray Stentz as 9/11 & all the fear included, and Egon would represent the whole “sacrifice liberty for freedom” aspect. But who’s Venkman? Hmm.

  41. #46: Oh, blow it out your holier-than-thou ass. Far more than “a tiny sliver” of Americans are aware of and horrified by Iraqi casualties, and Afghani casualties for that matter. It doesn’t take “extreme courage” to read the damn paper.

    Mark, you’d better add “tens of thousands and possibly over a hundred thousand Iraqi casualties” to the original post, or this will become a thread about your heartless, heartless ignorance rather than the fooking Bible-thumper-in-Chief.

    * * *

    If Obama fails to get health care reform passed, I hope he spends the next three or seven years conducting a scorched earth campaign against the GOP, starting with a through investigation of the Bush administration, Blackwater/Xe, Halliburton, KBR, and the rest of the crowd who are morally culpable for Iraq. I don’t expect the pinhead gallery who cheered the bastards on for five years to acknowledge any atrocities, but at least history will have the straight story.

  42. This is, in likelihood great enough to make me squirm and wince, pretty close to the truth.

    Unfortunately, Chirac would call his mother and his wife dirty crack whores if he thought it would elevate his political status in the eyes of anyone or anything.

    It also appears that whole thing is heresay…and probably not worth any of the bile that it seems to be generating.

  43. I’ve always thought the war was about the oil. It was pretty much clear from the beginning that there were no “weapons of mass destruction”.
    Now, remind me again, what actually is the war in Afghanistan good for? Maybe that’s for thwarting Gog and Magog?

  44. Marcel: how can one be ‘relatively’ killed, maimed, disfigured (or defaced), be relatively an orphan or a widow, lose one’s rights (especially women), be terrorized day in day out?

    When Bush went to war 90% backed him vocally how ‘relative’ is that? And then they (very slowly) backed off but why? American deaths (they rarely speak of the wounded strangely; are they too embarrassing those walking, living proof of the carnage?), American gas becoming too expensive, American deficit, American economy…

    Oh and wait: there are those who aren’t backing up Bush/Cheney anymore because they find that the couple just ran the war wrong, while still estimating that this war was just. But, ‘relatively’ speaking, I still prefer these to those who resigned themselves to continue a war just because, since it was started, it would make the US look bad to pull off before some kind of (fake) resolution.

    What happened to those Americans of the ’60s and ’70s who stopped an unjust war and who had balls, possibly drug induced, but still… which were apparently lost in the process of becoming yuppies. Still the hard core of them was all that was left to protest Bush in the first days of the invasion.

    For the rest blah-blah-blah and no fucking ACTION. And they let Obama serve it to them through the butt hole with a snow shovel. In a few years we’ll hear them say: we didn’t know, we’ve been fooled…

    Even Einstein knew that a protest had to not be relative.

  45. You can read an excellent and in-depth analysis of the disastrous invasion of Iraq in John Gray’s ‘Black Mass’.

    To some extent the origins of will always be obscure. The reason is not that it was the product of a conspiracy, as some have come to believe. Many strategic objective were presented in its justification, some of them seemingly rational. Yet when the history of the war comes to be written it will show that none of the groups that supported it had goals that were achievable.

    If the Bush administration had an overall strategy it assumed regime change in Iraq would promote American interests while curbing terrorism and furthering democracy in the region. But these are not facets of a single programme that can be realised together. They are disparate and competing objectives and in acting on the belief that they were one, the Bush administration revealed its distance from reality.

    The distance from reality Gray talks about is a common feature of American neo-conservatism, and it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to think that the psychosis of religiosity contributed to this chasm of ignorance.

    Blair gives himself away on the reality issue, having said this about his Iraq war decisions to a Labour party conference: ‘I only know what I believe’.

    Large percentages of the American and British population are willfully ignorant to the point that they allow themselves to be convinced by hubris and arrogant militarism.

    Robespierre has this to say about the likely success of invasion, and he said this in 1792!

    The most extravagent idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and institutions embraced.

  46. I always figured George Jr. started the shootin’ match to show he was ‘da MAN’ to his pappy…you know, George the First chickened out right at the end so George Jr’s just had to show Daddy he was man enough to finish the job and win Daddy’s undying love and respect. Kids, drugs and alcohol really do make a mess of the inside of your head…

  47. I have not enjoyed the holy war that I have been dragged into.
    I have been crushed by knowing my money has funded this for most of my adult life.
    Atheism gives me comfort. But not too much, cause my tax dollars are STILL FUNDING THIS BULLSHIT

  48. hey hey Blackwater was on a Crusade: funny Bush needed to “go private”to fight the war the way he wanted it fought, eh?

    thanx to cryptome for the heads up: also good Afpak war fun. Nice undeclared war in Pakistan you guys have going!

    “Over 100,000 ‘casualties'(why not just call them “dead”, rather than “casualties”?)”
    Off by a factor of ten:

    No Empire in history survives once it “prints the legend”, rather than facing the facts. WWII newsreels during the conflict showed lots and lots of dead US soldiers and other personnel: as keeping the people informed in a democratic society was once considered important by the leaders of America: that’s changed, eh?

    And Iraq, a country at peace when Bush was appointed president by the Supreme Court’s Republican wing, still bleeds heavily:

    It used to be that Americans actually cared about human lives, other than their own. What changed? Are there not enough recent immigrants to America,a nation of immigrants, to remind their fellow citizens that we’re all humans, persons, and ought to be entitled to the rights & freedoms set forth by the Constitution, as far as it is in the power of the US Gov to make it so?

    But Bush denied that the enemies of the US are persons AT ALL, for the purposes of Law…and that travesty yet continues.

    Aren’t you Americans embarrassed and ashamed by this stuff, at all?

    Addendum: And the man who ordered the torture subsequently got to appoint the youngest Chief justice ever to the U.S. Supreme Court…so I am not confident that the US can get out of the hole it’s in.

  49. @IWood,
    Thank you for putting in the effort at clarifying this story. Seriously, the only reason I can stand these misleading headlines and stories is that I can be pretty sure that some reader such as yourself cares about the truth, and takes the trouble to share it.

  50. The truth?

    The truth is that as children in the playground of my Elementary School, at the age of ten, decades ago, the common saying was “Never start a land war in Asia”:
    even as kids, we knew about Hitler & Russia, and how that had played out; we knew about Napoleon and Russia, and how that had gone; and Viet-Nam was then raging…but obvious,like Afpak, that the Americans would leave at some point: once the US politicians could deal with their loss of face – it still went on for years.
    So, forty odd years later, what does Bush the strategic genius do?

    Starts two land wars in Asia at the same time.

    And how’s it been going, seven years in?

    gee, iremeber how the US media treated “Soviet gunships” as some horrible evil afflicting the “devout” Afghanis: but I guess the remote-controlUAV assassinations are just peachy-keen, huh?

    From a clasic American film, the Big Sleep (1945):
    ” A killer by remote-control.”

    At one time in American discourse, that an evil thing to be….

  51. Maybe, slang, but my link to the Blackwater-on-a-crusade is brand spanking new, at least to you, eh?

    What? is there a statute of linitations on horrible mega-crimes?

    Until the Republican dominated Supremes decided to kick Bill Clinton in the balls, Presidents could only be got at once they had left office: so get to it, already!

    Oh right that would be too embarrassing…better print the legend! LOL…

  52. What D3: fromyour silence, iguess my stuff ain’t “misleading”…although misleading writing is nothing, compared to misleading an entire Nation into savage and unwinnable attacks and wars upon other Nations.

    gee did not Madam Secretary of State recently threaten Eritria?

    And your Bush-appointed-but-unconfirmed ex-Ambassador to the UN says Israel will attack Iran soon, and that the US will …what?

    But this nut-bar been baying for Iranian blood to be spilt by Israelis for some time, it seems…got to keep the dream alive, eh?

    Anyone who supported the Iraq disaster needs to be kept out of all public counsels: the had their say, and boy oh boy did they screw it up…but unlike pot growers, it seems the Americans will forgive & forget their war-mongering lieing kleptocratic (mis-)”leaders”.

    Prove me wrong…

  53. The difference between us and the primates: they live in small bands, and when they get a leader who is dictatorial and dose not help the weak among them, they do not support him.
    Out leaders have a huge band of like-minded thugs, so when they use up one, they just slot in another. And another. and another.

  54. “He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.”

    This is exactly what the public must believe: a war that killed some hundred thousands people was the result of the insanity of a religious nut and with GWB retired everything goes back to normal.
    Unfortunately all US wars are started by the Congress and the most powerful corporations. The US president simply act as a puppet to attract criticism when things go awry and make people believe that the next elections will change something.

  55. peterbruells – The original article said:

    Official pretexts turned out to be baseless [emphasis added]

    As IamInnocent pointed out, many, many world leaders, including the majority of Democratic Candidates in the last two primaries/elections here in the United States supported the war – for example, former Presidential Candidate and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, until they learned (or, it “turned out”) the reasons were baseless. You may remember this as the famous “Bush doesn’t think he made a mistake festival” in US news reports for a while – Bush’s point was he made the best decision possible with the information he had at the time. The press choose not to understand the point, as I recall.

  56. At #6 Danlalan:

    whether the story is true or not, it COULD be, and that’s scary enough

    No, that’s not okay. Don’t do that please. We, the reality-based, surely must insist that things be actually-true, not could-be-true, sounds-true, want-it-to-be-true.

  57. The problem with hindsight is it always comes after the fact… But it is 20/20!

    Tim, you are a fool if you think everyone was convinced by the US stance, or either the US/UK intelligence at any time, let alone when the facts and lies came out later.

    I don’t know a single individual who agreed with the war (at any time) or the reasons for having it, or who didn’t think this was a war for oil, and completely and utterly unrelated to terrorism/global threats. Not one. Not even one. Of course they exist, but I’ve never met one.

    Maybe from inside the US everyone appeared to be on side, but from outside most people were disgusted and saw this for what it was, right from the beginning. I don’t know a single person who took the presentations of ‘evidence’ by Powell etc, over the repeated statements from Blix.

    To be clear, some leaders did eventually come around to the Bush view for political reasons, like maintaining a positive relationship with the bully USA. But the people did not agree remotely as strongly. There were many protests.

    And seriously, the day “freedom fries” were invented, America lost a lot of repect the world over. When that is the level of discourse, it’s a long lost cause, and America truly was.

  58. If the allegations above re: Blackwater are true, and those “contractors” killed by the people in Fallujah were Blackwater guys operating under those alleged “rules of engagement”, then the Fallujans’ actions would have been justified.

    Which, in turn, would make the civilian-ordered subsequent reduction of that city by the US Marine Corps (and it was a city, not an army, not a garrison, just a city) directly comparable to the case of town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, during the second world war – on a much larger scale.

    IIRC every MAM remaining, after the US Forces told everyone to evacuate, was considered a target
    and killed: and white phosphorus was used as a weapon…I’ve heard commentary by military guys that those orders to reduce Fallujah “must” have been issued “without them understanding what the were actually ordering the Marines to do…”. It’s enough to make a man weep.

    So: were the Fallujah contractors Blackwater’s “good Christian soldiers?”

    IMO the honor of the USMC hangs on the answer: What precisely were those contractors doing in Fallujah ? These Blackwater allegations raise that question anew, don’t they?

  59. Timothy Hutton
    “Bush’s point was he made the best decision possible with the information he had at the time.”


    My god that is the stupidest thing I’ve heard an a loooooong time. No little Timmy, Bush lied. He actively lied. His administration fabricated evidence for war. Hillary Clinton’s decision was based on that evidence but she didn’t know at the time it was all Bush’s lies. She regretted that later and said so.

  60. i REALLY get pissed off at people who have a selective memory for important things. So you don’t like Bush.. that is registered, fine.

    But saying that he started the war, by himself, for religious reasons ignores the fact that virtually the entire world believed that Saddam had WMD’s and was prepared to use them. Soon. That includes the congress, both republican and nearly every democrat, and the leadership of the majority of european nations. France and Germany were on the fence, but were compromised by their own business dealings with Saddam, which, by the way, served to perpetuate his brutality. Their morals were for sale.

    Why not ask the democratic members of congress then if they voted for the war for crackpot religious reasons?

    The only reason not to accept what I say is if you believe in a vast CIA conspiracy to hide the truth that there were no WMDs. This conspiracy would include the intelligence services of all other nations invovled. Now that is a crackpot belief.

  61. Another thought occurs: perhaps Americans ought to focus more than they have hitherto on the threats to their freedoms posed by Christian/Jewish religious fanaticism at home, as well as those generated by foreign religious fanaticism abroad. IMO it is the latter which are the greater threat to our democratic freedoms! When did religious types ever stop being a threat to freedom?

    After all, the Moslems were the tolerant ones, compared to the Christians of Europe, for many many centuries.
    As to Sharia, in many countries it has formed the basis of their Laws for over a thousand years…but the Yanks want changes now, eh? What do you propose? English common Law? The adoption of US Codes?

    As to Islam and the Jews: enemies for centuries? For 800 years they, together, ruled the Iberian peninsula. 50,000 Jewish mercenaries formed the vanguard of Chosroes’ ( a Persian tyrant) attack upon and taking of Jerusalem from the Christians in the seventh century. Hebrew and Arabic both descend from a common mother tongue…
    IMO the enmity is much more recent, with a more distinct cause: but it seems to me that many many Arabs and others in the Mid-east (and beyond) need Israel, as a whipping boy, as a foreign distraction from their own blighted mis-rule, and as an excuse to keep the price of oil much much higher than production costs in the Mid-east could justify.

    So:give peace a chance. make love not war. Seriously.
    People are kind and gentle by nature: if only the fanatics would lay off…

  62. And let us not forget Bush’s laughable invocation of the rational extension of the doctrine of war as justified in self-defense, to embrace the principle of “pre-emptive strike to head off an imminent threat”…when the Iraqi themselves were the one’s who could actually have relied on this principle, as justified by facts on the ground (ie had he hit US forces gathering in Kuwait/Saudi in clear preparation to attack Iraq).

    Oh but sauce for the US gander is not sauce for the world goose, eh? Now that’s rational…LOL.

  63. And Mr Shaffer, many nations joined Bush because he simply asked them to: some of them are/were aware of past favors,and feelobligated to help out; some hope for future favors (and probably not in vain:America does remember her friends, IMO);some wanted experience training and action for underused armed forces; but actually thinking that Saddam was an imminent threat? after a decade of sanctions?

    In 1999-2000, prior to Bush’s appointment, many were saying that as the best evidenc was showing that Iraq had complied with the conditions imposed after Gulf War I, that it was therefore time for the sanctions to come off. Not the Brits or Yanks, though…. and they strung that question along until after 9/11.
    A simply murderous and duplicitous Administration, the Bush Administration: more interested incausing death and suffering abroad, than in helping its own citizenry.
    As I have pointed out,but some Americans seem to have forgotten, these wars of HIS are still jumping: some more than ever.

    It’s the people who start wars that are at fault: are you guys now saying, “Sorry about that, we fucked up on the evidence won’t happen again?”

    Well, our response is, “With friends like you…”
    Or perhaps, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on…”
    And oh so how’s that Iran thing coming along again? Are you going to finish up any of this ongoing stuff before you start any new projects for this American century? Or are you planning leave it to others to clean it up?

    Are you planning, at all?

  64. And Shaffer, of course the CIA would never lie to the people of other nations, or their intelligence services…LOL

  65. Does anyone remember the press conference just before the invasion of Iraq, where a reporter asked (iirc) about connections between Hussein and Al Qaeda. He didn’t really answer the question and ended hin non-answer with “after all this is a man who tried to kill my daddy.”

    There’s your reason; trying to make daddy proud of his loser son, by getting back at the big bad bully.

  66. No.


    I’m even ashamed that my country aided the effort by letting US bombers and transports land in Shannon, on their way to Iraq.


  67. It is a difficult thing, but many Americans prefer their country, over the truth.

    Regardless of the tone of some of my comments (blood tastes very bitter to me), America is yet and remains the original free country: at its best a model and exemplar for free peoples everywhere. But simple truth being widely available is essential to the creation of good policy, and for good governance itself in a free country: strangely, the American mass media and government no longer seem to think so, judging from what I see. Why?

    Had I been Saddam, I would have surrendered unconditionally to the Brits – but as I said, blood to me tastes bitter.(In contrast to warlike people: and there have ever been warlike people around!)
    But since the second world war, it seems that Americans have become worse at living peacefully, and have become very good at war.

    PS Whatever happened to “The generation gap”? Or was that just another media created division between Americans?

    And a Nation which can engage in Wars without serious material consequence to itself becomes a great danger, both to the World and to the pocketbooks of its own Citizenry.

    Perhaps y’all need to de-militarize, and put away the vinegar, and get out the honey.
    Or just walk off the battlefields.

  68. No, I don’t feel “shame.” I reject Canuck’s exact words as an emotion I don’t feel, at all.

    I deeply regret my government’s actions. I mourn the loss of life, a few individually, most collectively. I mourn, too, the lost opportunities for my government and country, and for the rest of the world.

    I did what I could to protest the war, Bush, defeat McCain, etc. I could have reasonably done more, and I regret not doing so, reasonably. Again, no shame.

    Shame isn’t a productive, mature emotion: it’s counterproductive both in dealing with and mourning the past, as well as in going forward, being a responsible citizen and critic of the current government, etc. With respect, I don’t think I need to feel it because a Canadian and an Irish citizen do. I’m deeply politically aware, moderately engaged and active, and see no reason for a destructive, unproductive, maladaptive emotion. (That sounds like the kind of narcissistic bathos that non-Americans generally accuse Americans of indulging in, anyway.)

    I mean, what should I have done that my not having done should make me feel this shame thingy?

    Finally, I’m not going to accept as America’s burden things that “our” invasion (and that’s a tricky issue, to what degree a citizen “owns” his or her government’s actions) was only the proximate cause of. America’s invasion didn’t directly force Sunnis and Shias to kill themselves: we removed Saddam and the checks that were holding them in place, but blaming an entire half decade of genocide and ethnic cleansing–which arose from centuries-old conflicts in Islam–on Blackwater ops and docile “Good Americans” at home would be myopic in the extreme, like blaming Gavrilo Princip for the entirety of WWI. You don’t say this, and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I do want to disavow things I’m not even indirectly responsible for. Again, what’s the point, how does that help me, help us? It doesn’t.

    So, no, no shame.

  69. This kind of BS makes me ashamed for my government. Not personally, though: these aren’t my half-assed crazy decisions, and it troubles me much more as a bad policy decision than as a moral, right-or-wrong, emotional, shame-vs-pride issue. But to the slight degree that I’d be prone to histrionic-apocalyptic “America is teh suck” emotions, this kind of crap would provoke them!

  70. I don’t feel personally ashamed either Tdawwg, I protested my ass off. But I’m absolutely ashamed at my country’s involvement, and its leader’s priorities; enabling an unjust war for the sake of a positive political relationship with an out-of-control, imperial administation.

    Regardless of whether it helps or moves us forward, I still feel that way. Do your emotions really follow such a logical discourse? Mine don’t, or not initially, at least.

  71. Whether this is true or not, no one can say if it were true, it would actually surprise them.

    Mitthin Acomplithed! Duuuuuuh!

    1. Roach,

      If you send me a screen shot and your OS and browser info, I’ll forward it to tech.

  72. No, not really, Arkizzle, but I do logically choose how to act on those emotions, how to frame and interpret them…. at least some of the time. I had a lot of shame in the early years about the war, until I came to the conclusions mentioned above. I can still “go there,” if you will, but most often “not going there” is a conscious choice that’s easy to make. I don’t mean to sound condescending, and I totally want to recognize the validity of what you’re saying about your own feelings, even though I don’t share them in the same way you do.

  73. Ugly Canuck – You’re really arguing for the co-rule of Jews and Muslims of the Iberian peninsula? Jews were tolerated (of course, they helped the original invasion) and certainly in a better place than under the Christians, but I don’t recall Abd Al-Rahman making a mensch his co-ruler.

    But arguing for how great Muslims were during the Middle Ages is what’s really bankrupt – because you don’t mention that that rule was accomplished through an invasion which led to an 800-year war (the longest in human history, far as I know). Nor do you mention the dozen other conquests:

    Also note how many take place before the Crusades, which are the only medieval wars of conquest (if they were) anyone ever mentions. I’m not a fan of justifying any of them, though, but in the wake of contemporary Muslim terrorism, justifying Muslim wars seemes especially foul.

    I also don’t find the two primary reasons advanced in this thread for the Iraq War to be at all convincing.

    The first is the one in the OP. Besides being totally uncorroborated and fitting nicely in with the Secular Humanists’ biases (shouldn’t the grand Priests of Reason be wary of things which only confirm what they already think? I know I am when it comes to my own.), the basic problem is that not a single one of the craziest Eschatologists wants to PREVENT Armageddon. Those Christians that are heretical enough to believe they can substitute their will for God’s, despite the constant reminder that the end comes “like a thief in the night,” all want to HELP ALONG God’s plan to end the world. Plus, it’s only movie supervillains who hide crazy plans like this. Fringe religious ideologues never hide these beliefs; they put them on display because they think they’re incontrovertible truth. Bush would likely have done the same. Instead his faith was as vanilla as it comes (my parents own “Faith in the White House,” which is terrifying because of how lame, not how bloody, it is).

    The second is the blood for oil camp. The vast majority of wars, despite your experience playing Sid Meier’s Civilization, are not about resources but about ideas, ideals, principles (or preemptive defense, ironic or no). Look at every major conflict in American history up to this point, or especially Vietnam, where the Iraq comparisons are numerous. That was a completely theoretical war, waged against a competing philosophy.

    If you actually look at neoconservative philosophy, the rationale for Iraq becomes very clear, and there’s additionally a nice link back to the Reagan years, where neocons had much less effect and thus black ops, rather than outright war, provide the evidence. Neocon philosophy is about the idea that democracy and capitalism are so superior that no country would willingly be any other way. The fall of Communism “proved” it to them (although it also removed their sense of purpose for a while, until they found it in the 3rd world). They were originally Democrats, but found that the Democrats weren’t a fan of actually invading other countries (after Vietnam, at least) to encourage the social and political change that’s the foundation of the liberal camp. Classic conservatives just weren’t a fan of invading, being isolationist at heart, but neoconservatives slowly gained power in the Republican administrations. And, for a number of reasons, neocons have always focused on the Middle East – so Iraq become a theoretical exercise (despite all the non-theoretical people there), a crucible for testing neocon views on spreading democracy. And unlike Eschatologist Christians, neocons are perfectly willing to lie, as they consider themselves an elite charged with the care of the (stupid) public good.

  74. @Iwood and everyone else trying to source the book which seems to have revitalised this story, this guy seems to have read it…

    He pulls out two specific quotes that are apparently attributed directly to Bush by Chirac:

    “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East”


    “the biblical prophecies are being fulfilled”

    There’s then some Chirac grandstanding about ‘Middle East Super Bowl’ and the like. Anyone know any French-speakers willing to buy the book and hang a bit of flesh on these bones?

  75. “The vast majority of wars, despite your experience playing Sid Meier’s Civilization, are not about resources but about ideas, ideals, principles”

    wanting to stay rich and fat on everyone else’s resources is a “principle” of sorts, I suppose.

  76. Yes, I can imagine Bush saying this. It has the ring of what passes for frat boy irony. We forget that he is really a very snotty guy, the little dormitory prick we all hated. It is our misfortune that he looked cute in his leather flight jacket and cowboy boots and was picked by the makers and shakers to watch the store while they carried on with the business of plundering.

    “Gog and Magog, snicker-snicker…”

    (cant anybody spell “hearsay”?)

  77. #75-PSHAFFER-“If you believe in a vast C.I.A conspiracy….would include the intelligence services of all other nations involved”

    Well that is precisely what happened-collusion between C.I.A. and M.I.5,who were fed selective and suspect intelligence from Mossad.Had Tony”Barmy” Blair not supported the Bush cabal at the outset and acted on accurate up-to-date information from the field-specifically S.A S cells-What then?

    The “Coalition of the Willing”,some of whom were politically inveigled,blatantly bought-off and otherwise co-erced,accepted the tainted C.I.A. assessment Holus Bolus and joined Dubya’s crusade against Gog and Magog.

    To his everlasting credit,Jean Chretien,Canada’s P.M.concurred with the two other major members of the G8 group,France and Germany.It is entirely likely that he discussed matters directly with Chirac,for he is a Francophone and would have the advantage of the French intelligence input.He concluded that the “evidence” was suspect.

    The suggestion that France and Germany’s decision not to join the coalition was influenced by commercial imperatives,is a canard of the first water and worthy only of feckless fox news and the other media cur C.N.N.

  78. #72 posted by arkizzle / Moderator:

    I don’t know a single individual who agreed with the war (at any time) or the reasons for having it, or who didn’t think this was a war for oil, and completely and utterly unrelated to terrorism/global threats. Not one. Not even one. Of course they exist, but I’ve never met one.

    Bluntly: that says more about your social circles than anything else.

    Nobody voted for Nixon, either.

  79. I’m not a religious man myself,but I am fascinated by it: and its popular beliefs.

    A question for the Christians: what is the scriptural authority for the belief that the lands where Jesus lived, walked, taught and died, are in any way “sacred”, or otherwise different or more important, than any other land anywhere? Does Jesus say so?

  80. @#72

    I don’t know a single individual who agreed with the war (at any time) or the reasons for having it, or who didn’t think this was a war for oil

    I knew degree educated Americans who make a lot more money than me who asked, “Do you think Saddam had something to do with September 11th?”.

    Not insular Americans either, this was USians living in other countries.

    @Everyone fixating on the American on attention on US military deaths. If you expect a country’s leaders to focus on deaths of foreigners instead of their own nationals, you are (in my opinion) asking for a complete break with human history.

  81. #12:

    …fine wine down the gutter and everything ?

    My fine wine took a slight detour on the way down the gutter …

  82. RE: shame

    Shame is not guilt…shame is a public thing…Shame is useful to cement the determination never to f*** up in the same way again….it can be felt as to actions, or failures to act…you know, shame is just injured pride, the badge of a sensitive pride… false pride has ever been a problem, a leaden shield against self-improvement…and pride goeth before a fall.

    I’ve always thought that taking pride, or feeling shame, as to an other’s actions, or lack thereof, is a somewhat weird and useless thing to do…I suppose I was using the reference, in my previous post, as a rhetorical device, as these wars are under USian political direction: and I suppose I was using the conceit of writing my post as if the civilians who actually wrote the actual Orders to the Brass were reading.

    I mean, I know the weight Americans tend to give to a foreigners’ advice and opinions! I do not have a vote, nor any say, beyond what little force my arguments may have, and whatever little regard Usians may decide to pay to them. I am sorry if my rhetoric has dimmed my message: that war is no solution, to anything, but a dirty crying shame, for all involved.

    RE: Late byzantine, early Medieval history

    And yer right ’bout the complexity of the history of Islam, Egypt, the Jewish people, the Latins Lords, the Eastern Romans & Persians and yes, the Catholic Church too….but I refer to the period to show that some co-operation and co-existence hss always been possible: I dispute that it’s been a “8oo-year war” with Islam (although that religion has always had a vital – and usually latent – spark of fanaticism in its heart): as ever, essentially secular and temporal (although those words sound strange applied in the context of the absolute rulers of the Medieval Orient!) rulers used it as a useful tool to recruit their bands of rather mercenary and loosely-bound followers. But an “800-year-war” with “Islam”, running from the Prophet’s bands to the Ottomans?…that seems an over-simplification, going too far, only in the opposite direction from my previous post’s over-simplification. And it is debatable, I think, at whose hands medieval Jewry suffered greater insult: the European Christians, or the Saracens.

    Depressingly, over-simplification and lack of historical/geographical understanding appears to be the norm amongst USians, from where I sit.
    But as to this point or belief (ie that Americans are ignorant or naive as to the rest of the world), I sometimes suspect that I’ve received a false impression, as it is derived from the US media I’m exposed to. Just as my media-driven view led me to believe that a black person would never be President, in my lifetime.
    But I suspect I’m wrong about Americans’ lack of knowledge as to the rest of the world mainly because ALL of the USians that I do personally have the honor of knowing are, without exception, excellent and well-informed people….and they certainly dispute my take on these matters! Most certainly, and then some!

    Pride in Usian accomplishments is an excellent thing: but be selective as to what you are proud of. You have a vast and multitudinous nation of free people, with truly awesome achievements to your credit. And I know that whatever you guys do, the people actually carrying out the work will believe in what they are doing – for why else would free people participate?

    But yet in my small-little-country view of things, IMO war itself, in the modern age, is a grotesque failure of the human spirit, and of human leadership (you will of course disagree, if, like some, you believe that God has ordained war for mankind!:(
    And some of the American leadership were acting as if the start of this war was somehow a good thing!:(
    The truth is that the very fact that there is a war is a miserable admission of failure…war is ever hateful, ever a blight, and its existence ever dishonorable, to each and every human being who could do something to prevent or stop it.

    RE: Mid-East

    It is not my fight, and I am more than a little wary of expressing a view, but my feeling is that Israel and the Palestinians need to cut a deal: and the longer that keeps from happening, the greater the evidence, for me at least, that some people ( not necessarily Israelis nor Palestinians: this conflict is, I suspect, useful to others – I’m thinking maybe some Iranian, maybe some American politicians/corps: it has in the past certainly helped, indirectly, to get oil prices up) are actively and materially benefiting from keeping this conflict cooking: and if so, it is those people, and their actions, who are the principal problem. Both peoples, of course, must freely conclude, without coercion, that peace and a settlement of issues is desirable. And boy oh boy is that ever easier said than done!

    But the apparent spread of these various mid-east conflicts over the past forty years, their ever-increasing expense to ever-increasing numbers of people, over an ever-widening geographical ambit, shows that the past (and present) policies are simply not working…things would be getting better if they were, eh? To suggest more of the same as the solution, is plain nuts. It’s like shooting a pot-head to keep him from hurting himself by smoking pot. More war as the solution to war?

    I apologize should this come off as strident, or extreme, or unreasonable in my ardent desire for peace…but people are dieing right now, today in these wars…and we’ve got to stop more people, of any nationality or religion, from dieing in these wars in the future. Somehow.

  83. hey tak one of yer links (goodworksonearth) goes to a “you’re unauthorized” page, at least for me.

    The 1,000,000 count is as good as statistical science and survey methodology can make it: Iraq Body Count systemically underestimates, and they admit it.

    buddy66:sure you don’t mean “heresy”?

    There were reasons indeed for this war, just no good ones.

  84. Oh yeah Tak: I guess our work in Afghanistan ought to give our counsels some weight with Americans, eh?

    I can understand American “discounting” those foreign people dead or maimed as a result of their duly-elected politicians’ policies (although it’s novel for me to hear an American claim that his country is like any other country in history!:) – but I trust that you Yanks DO pay attention to the numbers of your Allied dead?

    Come to think on it, I haven’t noticed any mention of it in yer media…

  85. What? No answer to my question as to upon what scriptural authority Christians consider the “holy land” sacred or special?

    So was that belief (that for Christians, the “holy land” is holy or sacred, in some sense) imported after Christ’s time into the Christian faith, as an integral part thereof? By whom? Why? Based on what reasoning?

    So it’s just a popular and ancient Christian superstition, then…not a authentic part of Christian faith. A relic of a belief.

  86. Just to re-iterate, in case I’ve been unclear:

    ALL of the blame for this, if any blame there is to be, IMO belongs at the door of the civilians who put this in motion.

    They are way too expensive to equip, to maintain and to deploy, but I still have unending respect and indeed admiration for the brave and unstinting service and sacrifice which the members of the armed forces of the USA have demonstrated, again and again. As I said above, I know that they believe in what they are doing: as free people, why would they do it otherwise?

    I say again: the problems were in the civilian leadership. And I think the armed forces know that.

    The mere existence of any modern war is a miserable, bloody and shameful failure of humanity and fellow-feeling, the very worst of human failures: but I’m no pacifist, not by a long shot. Nor am I one to hold the honorable profession and exercise of arms in contempt.

    But fanaticism as to the use of armed force, or in devotion to one’s own nation, is just as bad (indeed, it’s perhaps worse) as any religious fanaticism, in its pernicious effects upon the peaceful and happy existence of human societies.
    Indeed, IMO only thing worse than either is their combination….

  87. An 800-year war with Islam is not an oversimplification, it’s an out-and-out mistake based on not being able to distinguish side. For instance, why are the Byzantine-Turk wars considered a continuation of the Byzantine-Arab wars, instead of the Arab-Turk wars immediately before them?

    The simple fact is neighboring countries used to fight a lot. When some of them were Christian and Muslims, those ended up being holy wars, and when they were both Christian or both Muslim, they didn’t. There’s no over-arching conflict, though.

  88. #102-UGLY CANADIAN.Yo! buddy yer on a roll there.Short answer to your question-NO!-

    There are many sites of historical significance in Israel that are revered by ‘Christendom’ as holy but only one location that was sanctified[holy] in the eyes of Jehovah.

    Jerusalem’s significance can be appreciated in that not only is it a national capital but also the only city on earth upon which Jah placed His name,after the ark of the covenant and the temple sanctuary were located there.

    Jerusalem’s unique status was upheld until 70C.E,according to the historian Josephus,when General Titus and his legions razed the city.Josephus claims 1,100,000 were killed or died,97,000 taken into captivity.

    The expulsion and ultimate rejection of the Jews ended their special relationship with His Nibs.Israel was “done like dinner,declared null and void”no longer the chosen people.

    Christendom may declare significant historical locii as “Holy” but that is mans’ choice-not Jah’s – and THAT is the one that counts tourist traps,notwithstanding.

  89. iWood,
    Agreed (mostly), but I definitely have some fairly varied circles.

    And your point is? I’m not making a judgment on education or nationality, just denying the underlying suggestion that everyone was on the same page with regard to there being a threat from Iraq.

    I happen to be from outside America, so that is the focus of my experience. There were plenty inside America who disagreed also.

  90. Arkizzle – First off, I can only speak to what I experienced living inside the United States, and I don’t believe I made any statement that covered anything outside the US borders. Should I have more clearly defined the scope of my comment, perhaps, but I think I was fairly clear, sorry for any confusion. I very clearly spoke only of previous democratic candidates for the Presidency in the 2004 and 2008 election cycles, a list that is actually quite short (under two dozen, but that’s a guess). You expanded my observation/claim to the entirety to the world then ridiculed me for such a presposterous suggestion, one I never made.

    IWOOD said:

    Nobody voted for Nixon, either.

    I think you are referring to the famous line frequently attributed to Pauline Kael and others:

    that she “couldn’t believe Nixon had won”, since no one she knew had voted for him.


    I agree, such statements reflect more on the speaker than on the subject under discussion.

  91. Arkizzle – In re-reading my comment, I did make passing reference to “many world leaders”, which increases the scope of my comment from less than two dozen individuals to a number under a couple hundred or so. My comment was way short of the “entire world” you felt I was commenting on though…

  92. Timothy, the words I quoted of you, and the comment to which I was replying, was @ 39.

    Wherein you suggest 20/20 hindsight was required to assess that:

    • Official pretexts turned out to be baseless.
    • Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction..
    • ..and wasn’t in league with terrorists, as the White House alleged.

    I suggested otherwise; that many, many people were quite certain of those things at the time.

    That’s it really. That was the gist of my exchange with you, and if you re-read my comment again @72, in context, you will probably see that. I apologise if I was unclear in what I was addressing, I thought the headline quote would take care of it.

  93. Mark, I think iwood’s #23 strongly suggests this post needs heavily retitling, for the claim seems to be hearsay of hearsay at best. It does not even make any sense on its face: In evangelical theology, Gog and Magog are defeated by Christ’s army, who then establishes a “millenium” rule of Christianity over the world for a 1000 years. So if Bush really believed in all that in a literal sense, why would he invade Iraq… and then order the troops to actively help the Iraqis establish a Muslim democracy led by a coalition of Shiites and Sunnis?

  94. #121 posted by Timothy Hutton:

    Tangentially, I am, but I’m pretty sure she she didn’t actually say it, as indicated in your Wikipedia link (my link goes to another, somewhat closer-to-primary source on that).

    As a sort of aphorism, though, it has a life of its own now, which is why I didn’t attribute it to Kale.

  95. I first heard the “I can’t believe” line attributed to a Park Avenue socialite who knew no one “who had voted for that awful Franklin Roosevelt.”

  96. Jake: Now, me and the lord, we have an understanding.

    Elwood: We’re on a mission from God.

  97. #132 THEWALRUS-from what God mate? The Yankee god who is identified on their specie “In God we Trust” The god of the U.S senate,JANUS,the two faced tool of duplicity.The god of Sarah Palin
    the god of intolerance and ? Satan is a god,he existed at the same time as Michael[er,Jesus] his days are numbered,boyo,and he is not going down without a fight.He is one tough M.F’er{apologies to Xeni,sometimes there isn’t a word that can express graphically,utter loathing]. On my part, for what its worth,I’ll take my chances with His Nibs.What junior tried to tell us:warn us: makes absolute sense.I have five beautiful,sensitive and creative kinder,who in their wisdom have generated five others,I am so blessed and I really do not deserve it,SHIT now I’m getting maudling,Hey Walrus,be sure you honor the right God,the one that proffered free choice .

  98. We knew Bush was a religious nut. His gut feelings and all telling him what to do. To think they wanted Palin in the White House knowing she’s as nutty as Bush. Insane.

  99. Thats just silly, everybody know the land of Magog is Sweden.

    Seriously though, during its rather long period as an European superpower, Sweden sometimes portrayed itself as the biblical land of Magog as part of its scare tactics. There are even some family trees of the then ruling royal family starting with Gog. I think France inherited the use of the same type of scare propaganda against Russia, when it as a new, up and coming, superpower tried to invade Russia (at that time also a rather young military power in Europe, but still a couple of generations older then France (Russia actually raised as an international military superpower when the threat of the Swedish king Charles XII (a really scary psychopath, Hannibal Lector is kid stuff compared to him) forced the Russians to cooperate under the rue of Peter the Great)).

  100. Ummmm, Wizard, The Walrus was quoting “The Blues Brothers”. I think you read a bit too much into it.

    You might want to have a nice cup of tea and a lie down.

  101. Actually, the Biblical reference of Gog & Magog seems a bit too obscure for the likes of Bush, who probably slept through Sunday school. The man was unarguably one of the most stupid people my Dad ever had the displeasure of serving under. But he definitely saw himself as some sort of Messianic hero, albeit limited to a strictly USA-favoring concept of “God.”

    As with many fellow BoingBoingians, I’d like to see some reputable sources cited. But I’d have a hard time dismissing this claim altogether, as it does indeed jibe with events as reported, and with Bush’s personality as observed by those who actually worked with him. Hitler, too, was heavily into occult and quasi-Biblical stuff. Reagan was known to consult an astrologer prior to making policy (good thing astrologers’ advice largely consists of common-sense tips anyway, or Reagan could have headed down a very dark path!). And Kim Jong-Il’s propaganda about his father’s “miraculous” birth is simply Bush’s own beliefs with the volume turned up to 11.

  102. #134 ROBULUS-Oops,you are right,me lady told me not to have that last Guiness.Crikey,what a load of codswallop.Ackroyd and Belushi,perfect counterpoint to the thread.Tea? mebbe with a slice of humble pie,me tinks…but at my back I always hear…..!!

  103. I don’t think the president has the authority to start wars, only the milquetoast congress does, but they constantly defer the power to the executive.

    > This casts an ominous pall over the needless war that has killed more than four thousand young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers perhaps $1 trillion.

    I hear some Iraqis died in that event as well. It’s not just about American losses, you know, which America kind of deserves for empowering Bush to do what he did. How convenient to ‘forget’ that people outside your golden border suffer most for American exceptionalism.

  104. You know, whenever I read about “birthers” touting the latest bogus “evidence” that Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, I start thinking all the intellectually unserious, uninformed ideologues are on the political right. Then I read a Comment thread like this one, in which dozens of people instantly and credulously accept an extreme, self-contradictory assertion based a third or fourth hand source. And then I remember otherwise.

  105. @#22

    “You seem to have a prejudice about religious people however.” You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Considering that most religionists believe non/other-believers to be less-than-human and act accordingly, being prejudiced is only sensible.

    Being wary of religionists until proven non-threatening seems like a good plan to me, considering religion’s track record. One only has to examine recent history to find the most outrageous atrocities perpetrated in the name of God. The Balkans, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, India, the U.S., are just some of the states where mass murder has taken place, committed by “religious people”.

    Let’s not forget, most of these religionists are monotheists, and supposedly believe in the same god. But they’re willing to kill thousands of their supposed brethren over nit-picky details of ceremony, or because they address the deity by a different name.

    So yeah, to not be prejudiced against the religious seems like a sucker’s game. When’s the last time you heard of a atheist blowing up a house of worship?

  106. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Platon said it good.

  107. Gog and Magog were just the ones to fly the plane into the twin towers, that’s all “they” needed to do. And look what happened.

  108. Gog and Magog were just the ones to fly the plane into the twin towers, that’s all “they” needed to do. And look what happened.

  109. @141 Only if you accept that forging a birth certificate is part of Obama’s character as evangelical christianity is part of Bush’s.

    Besides if you bothered to read even a selection of the comments a healthy skepticism and a desire to verify the source comes out. For instance go read @23 or @29 or @98.

    Besides we all know he was going there to look for the ten lost tribes.

  110. Let’s remember that this war lead to a genocide in which 2 million persons were internally displaced, at least 1 million died (Lancet survey), and all who were able to leave did so. Thousands of irreplaceable artworks and archeological finds were destroyed. Iraq today remains separated on ethnic lines, the legacy of an occupational government unable and unwilling to provide security to the people it ruled. The War in Iraq was second only to Vietnam in terms of human costs, and its ramifications are still playing out in Pakistan. One day we will learn to see it for what it was: The first deliberate genocide of the 21st century.

  111. Reminder: The interpretation of apocalyptic Biblical prophesy should always be conducted by a trained professional.

    Eschatology is no place for amateurs or hobbyists!

    — MrJM

  112. you mentioned the costs of Mr Bush’s crazy war…I would think as a human being,that you might also point out the horrendous cost to the people of Iraq. Which if you believe any of the neutral reporting agencies, suffered many times what you have suffered..Why do you not mention the Iraq’s suffering?

  113. Don’t get me wrong (I don’t want to offend you), but I think that you are overrating his role in this matter. Somebody else is calling the shots, he is just doing what he is told to.
    Anyway, I don’t think he is capable of (planning) anything. :D
    I.B., Belgrade, Serbia.

  114. Golgot100 @98, paragraphs 3 to 7 of the Palestine Chronicle article are a rough translation of the excerpt I linked to in 54.

    The two quotes attributed to Bush by Chirac are “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East” and “the Biblical prophecies are about to be fulfilled”.

    The Superbowl bit is: “‘They’re going to set the region on fire. They don’t know anything about anything and are profoundly ignorant of the workings of an already-complicated Orient. Ask them to name a single Arab poet. It’s almost as though the Sunni-Shiite conflict was some sort of Middle Eastern Super Bowl to them!”

  115. Bah!
    “Millions many”?
    Please remove the “many” in my above comment: I count those dead and wounded who would not have died but for the invasion: and that counts all the so-called “Iraqi-on-Iraqi” deaths and violence, which the invasion made possible.

    And in Iraq, the hits just keep on coming! Saw this while sipping my morning cup of Arabica:

  116. Re: The BBC article above seems confiused in its analysis: If Mosul is one of al-Qaeda’s last strongholds, why would they be attacking it?

    This looks to me like another hit on an entire minority group, like the one targeting the Yezedis some time ago…

    As to American “Christianity”, I notice that they seem not even aware of the existence of the so-called “Oriental” Christians, the Nestorians & Copts, also called “Arab Christians”(20% of all Palestinians , IIRC) : who have lived many centuries peacefully under Islamic rule, experience having taught them to prefer it to the treatment they had received at the hands of their European Christian “brothers”, whenever they had held the power over them.

    After all, the Koran itself proscribes any attack on Christian monasteries….

    But that some Arabs may be in fact be at present Christians with ancient origins and long histories of living amongst the Moslems seems beyond the understanding of the American evangelicals, who only see Arabs (and by extension all followers of Islam?) as the enemies of Israel.

    But then again, American Christians have a strange way of “loving” their enemies: I’d use another term…

  117. @95

    Some wars about ideas. I believe that the western military involvement in the middle east is about societal restructuring. My understanding is that the traditional societal structure in the middle east has been a hierarchy like this:

    Individual -> family -> extended family -> tribe -> local government -> etc.,

    Western restructuring calls for something more like:

    Individual -> state/media

    (I am sure soccer team belongs in both somewhere but I am not sure of its exact position)

    Also, anyone still believing in the legitimacy of the state’s latest endeavor, the “war on terror,” needs their head examined in my opinion.

  118. Gog and Magog were out in a boat.

    Gog fell over.

    Who was left?

    Seriously, this works as well as any explanation I’ve heard. I always thought that Bush’s cohort felt they could shake up the Mideast in some inchoate way by dynamiting the ice jam and just watching what happened next, with no regard for the folks living downstream. Again, they apparently truly thought Baghdad 2003 would be Paris 1944.

    It appears that Bush regarded the Sunni-Shiite division as of no more moment than Methodist-Baptist.

    The dispensation aspect to Bush’s motivation has occasionally been speculated on. Some in the Confederate Christian Crusade (Republican Party) want to hasten the rapture with human intervention (which would seem blasphemous on the face of it, even by their terms). Problem is, I always thought the vague evil forces of the north (the Soviet Union, no, wait, Iran, no, wait, Russia) had to triumph completely before Christ returns to clean up the mess according to dispensation theology. In an all-out conventional field battle, Third ID and a few Marine brigades will stop G and MG cold, with time left over for a PX run. This would seem to thwart God’s intention, not something even Pat Robertson could contemplate with equanimity.

    Maybe I ought to quit reading the NIV study Bible version of Revelation, and stick with the straight NRSV text.

  119. Why would a Christian want to delay the apocalypse? Don’t they just get sucked right up to Heaven before anything bad happens? You would think he would be egging it on if he actually believed the mythology.

  120. Why do people want to live forever, anyway?

    In my experience,the religious fanatics always seem the most miserable people in life…not very happy, nor pleasant to be around.

    Strange to me, that people who seem not to know how to live happily, would want to wish to live forever.

  121. Will you master identity politicians, mh, Americans, ever stop counting only American victims?

    I, properly re-educated by you & yours, won’t get over this.

  122. Pendrift @154 (& anon @162), cheers for posting the Maurice piece. I scanned your original link quickly and took it for the La Liberte ‘A Small Scoop’ article for some reason. Def does look like source for the Palestine Chronicle piece.

    I’m gonna try and push some French-speakers I know to get the book just to have a rummage for context. Will stick any thoughts they have up here if achieved.

  123. Wizard of Plum, you cannot mark your paragraphs with indentations. You must double-space at the end of each one.

    You must also remember to insert spaces after punctuation marks. Failure to do so will make you look deranged. This may not be fair, but it is infallibly true.

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