Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Did Bush Justify the Iraq Invasion As Biblical Prophecy?

jesus_return.jpgAccording to a new account, President Bush tried to enlist France’s support for the Iraq invasion by telling French President Jacques Chirac that the war would fulfill Biblical end of times prophecies.

“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.”


This is truly an extraordinary accusation. Could it possibly be true? I don’t read French so it’s hard for me to assess but here’s the explanation from James Haught, who is editor of the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette and a secular website, the Council for Secular Humanism:

After the 2003 call, the puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal. Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, the mystical book of Revelation envisions Gog and Magog gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.” But other news media missed the amazing report.
Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

(Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

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posted August 6, 2009 at 2:32 pm

David Letterman’s hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin) against a leading evangelical named Sarah Palin, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned Palin’s continuing “crucifixion”!
While David, Sandra, and Kathy are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
(For even more stunning information, visit MSN, Google etc. and type in “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” “Bible Verses Obama Avoids,” and “Hate Bill Favoritism.”)

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posted August 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Uhh ok Gershon. Whatever. Your post had absolutely nothing to do with what Steve posted but it was a nice rant. How long have you been off your meds?

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Your Name

posted August 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm

This sounds like the same speculative vitriol that was said of Reagan and Bush the Elder. It might have sparked my curiosity had I not heard it all 29 years ago. Of course, Chirac is treated as infallible in all he says and does.
Silly me, but maybe, just maybe, after the plane crash into the Pentagon, the loss of the WTC, Shanksville, and the first time a President was made to coordinate national defense from Air Force One, Bush may have believed that an existential threat needed to be met. Why did Abu Nidal get assasinated in Baghdad a week before we went in, and what was he doing there? Where DID all the WMD that UN weapons inspector Hans Blix claimed to have catalogued disappear to? On the strength of Blix’s word, we accepted that an unaccepable threat existed.
Oh well. No use going over the dead past. For the first time, the American people have elected a savior, so it’s really a moot point. No doubt Obama’s charisma and statesmanship will bring our enemies into peaceful orbit with us. Let’s forget Bush and rally ’round the savior.

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Gerard Nadal

posted August 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

That Your Name was me. CAPTCHA strikes again.

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posted August 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Concerning those Zechariah prophecies, I’m writing a book on Haggai and Zechariah, so what you were saying is right up my alley. In the early part of Zechariah 12, it does say “all the nations will be arrayed against Israel.” I would have hoped that we would have been excluded, but no such exclusion is in there. This does appear to be a latter day prophecy, but not the “end end.” Israel miraculously destroys the attackers in that battle. In verse 10, some of the Jews (the house of David) in Jerusalem and some of the Muslims recognize “the one they have pierced,” which sounds like Jesus.
However, the mention of 2/3 of the Jews in Israel being killed is not an end-times prophecy, in my opinion. That prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. The verses on that are Zechariah 13:7-8. Verse 7 says “strike the shepherd who is my associate.” That’s a reference to Jesus and his crucifixion. The 2/3’s being killed occurred in the Roman assault against Judea in 67-70 A.D.
I find the prophecies very interesting, but anyone who would think that they should intervene to help God fulfill these prophecies is seriously deluded. Such an effort, in itself, would be a profaning of God.

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posted August 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

“…….but anyone who would think that they should intervene to help God fulfill these prophecies is seriously deluded.” reddopto
And you think “W” wasn’t seriously deluded most of the time, as to his importance? He started a war because he was actually thought we could win in 2 weeks. He was going to be a “savior” I guess. I admire the soldiers and back them, but they died and were maimed for no other reason except Bushe’s arrogance. Prophecy fulfillment? No, just because Bush Jr. wanted to leave his mark…he has. Not a good mark.

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Mark Eichenlaub

posted August 7, 2009 at 12:11 am

Interesting debate here. I think Bush may have believed some of the religious aspect in this though it’s complicated though there was a lot of world consensus on WMD’s.
The Iraq,terror thing that I write about often was a good reason to be concerned about though maybe not grounds for invading Iraq. Certainly important issues to look at.

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Your Name

posted August 7, 2009 at 10:45 am

Did Bush Justify the Iraq Invasion As Biblical Prophecy?
I think President Bush and others use the Bible to justify a lot of decidedly heinous, un-Christian behavior
It’s said the awful things people will do in the name of Jesus and Ronald Reagan

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posted August 7, 2009 at 11:24 am

While I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if this account were true, I’ll remain skeptical until I hear something from a source other than the Council on Secular Humanism. Nothing against the Council on Secular Humanism per se, but one must be cautious when a story’s only source is a group that is at odds with the subject of the story. (This also applies to a lot of the false, exaggerated, and distorted stories that have been circulated regarding health care legislation.)

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posted August 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Don’t confuse support for Israel with love of the Jews.
I’ve found that too many of the most ardent evangelical supporters of the state of Israel are also fairly-to-blatantly anti-Semitic. Love Israel for the Biblical prophesies or at least the ones that your version of the Bible give you while at the same time condemning the Jewish people to hell for not being the “right” kind of Christian.

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posted August 8, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Helter Skelter… 40 years later?..another guy tries the theory?

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posted August 10, 2009 at 11:06 am

Talking about fulfilling prophecies, God’s intentions of punishing certain groups and elevating others, former president Bush’s way of thinking and the thinking of others similar to him could be great stories, even true stories with one important qualification: we must state that we are operating in an Imaginary World, where no proof, no logic, no verification are ever required. In the Real World, however, we see a merciless interaction among a variety forces, where prediction can only be a dream and the outcome of any struggle is always unpredictable, due to the concept of uncertainty, which establishes and guarantees an unalterable relationship between likely and unlikely, therefore things that are likely will not, and things that are unlikely, will happen. Did the Bible mention uncertainty?

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posted August 11, 2009 at 10:25 am

I call shenanigans.
Jean Claude Maurice has a book to sell.
W would have undoubtedly reconciled his action with his faith after making all of the logical arguments, and that may have included his role in the prophesies.
We are not being given the whole truth of this conversation with Chirac (who was no real friend).

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posted August 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm

One thing about France, the Iraq war, etc. that has long puzzled me is this: why do we never re-examine the starting point for our views? Robert says “Chirac ([was] no real friend),” & I wouldn’t be surprised if he also felt France generally was not our friend. Why?
In 2002-3, the Bush administration began a campaign to convince America to go to war with Iraq. They used false information — in some cases, probably unknowingly, but in other cases, it’s less clear whether this was naively done. One of the keystones of their argument was that “everyone” knows that Hussein has WMD. Except… some number of experts and people from other countries dissented. It was never actually true that “everyone” thought this. This dissent was poorly relayed to the American people & most people today really do believe that “everyone” in 2002 thought Hussein had WMD. So I can understand, at least somewhat, why Americans in 2002-3 were so upset with France — we were told Iraq threatened our lives & our allies wouldn’t join us.
But France wasn’t the only nation who said “No” to Bush. Russia, Germany, and Canada also said “No.” Canada’s refusal should have given us the most pause, because Canada helped us more on 9/11 than other countries — when we were too fearful to let American-bound flights land, who had the courage to accept them? Canada sent troops to Afghanistan & has kept them there, despite frequently undiplomatic treatment at the hands of the Bush administration, including the rendition & torture of an innocent Canadian. So why did Americans sneer at our long-time allies, especially France? & why — now that we know that the claims made to get us into the war were false — why do we persist in disliking & distrusting France, whose advice we should have heeded? Why didn’t the revelations about the falsity of the premises for war make people rethink their anger at France?
Consider a more personal case. Suppose you have been so unfortunate as to develop a drinking habit and start hitting your wife. Suppose she takes out a court order against you. One night, you drink again, & propose to your two best friends that they accompany you on a trip to try to win her back. Who is the better friend? The one who agrees to help or the one who counsels you against such folly &, partially in an effort to stop you (but partially because he can foresee no good will come of this for himself, either), refuses help? I say the second friend is more trustworthy. Tony Blair & John Howard did America no favors. France, Germany, & especially Canada have shown themselves our more clear-sighted allies.
I believe Bush is likely to have told such a story (btw, there’s no indication that he’s denied doing this) because others have pointed out that he habitually linked the Iraq war to Biblical texts (why else did Rumsfeld put quotations on Defense Department briefings?), the story came out before Jean-Claude Maurice told it or had a book to sell, and Professor Romer (one source for the story) is not selling a book nor is he a secular humanist with any anti-religion axe to grind.

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posted September 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm

[Yo Beliefnet. Saw this on the net. Reaction?]


Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this, and also Google “Pretrib Rapture Pride.”
Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).
PS – For some final shocks Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

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