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The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roller Empire
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan
President of the United States of America, George W. Bush
(Photo by Agence France-Presse)
Israeli girls write messages on shells ready to be fired towards Lebanon. Photo: Agence France-Presse
Top US general says Rumsfeld is inspired by God
Thursday Oct 19, 2006
MIAMI (AFP) - The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.
"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."
`Road map is a life saver for us,' PM Abbas tells Hamas
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
By Arnon Regular
Abbas said that at Aqaba, Bush promised to speak with Sharon about the siege on Arafat. He said nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except the Americans.
According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." - Entire article
From JVIM, Jack Van Impe Ministries , August 11, 2003
Q: Do you think that President Bush, apparently a Christian man, believes and knows he is involved in prophetic events concerning the Middle East and final battle between good and evil?
A: I believe he is a wonderful man. They say he is a prayer warrior. He was born again through Billy Graham's visit a few years ago when he was having problems with alcohol, and today he's proud to claim these verses in John 3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," verse 3. Verse 7, "You must be born again." He said I have been born again. My life has been changed.
I am not sure whether he knows all of the prophecies and how deep of a student he has been in God's Word, but I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline. And I’ve spent hours preparing it. I will release this information to the public in September, but it’s in his hands.
- Dr. Jack Van Impe.the man known as the "Walking Bible" and "one of the world's foremost prophetic scholars" - JVIM "end-time prophecy" movies
According to Tel Aviv University historian, Prof. Shlomo Sand, the description of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, "who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland," is nothing but "national mythology." Like other national movements in Europe, which sought out a splendid Golden Age, through which they invented a heroic past - for example, classical Greece or the Teutonic tribes - to prove they have existed since the beginnings of history, "so, too, the first buds of Jewish nationalism blossomed in the direction of the strong light that has its source in the mythical Kingdom of David."
So when, in fact, was the Jewish people invented, in Sand's view? At a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people "retrospectively," out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people. From historian Heinrich Graetz on, Jewish historians began to draw the history of Judaism as the history of a nation that had been a kingdom, became a wandering people and ultimately turned around and went back to its birthplace.
Haaretz.com, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel
Shattering a 'national mythology'
By Ofri Ilani
Of all the national heroes who have arisen from among the Jewish people over the generations, fate has not been kind to Dahia al-Kahina, a leader of the Berbers in the Aures Mountains. Although she was a proud Jewess, few Israelis have ever heard the name of this warrior-queen who, in the seventh century C.E., united a number of Berber tribes and pushed back the Muslim army that invaded North Africa. It is possible that the reason for this is that al-Kahina was the daughter of a Berber tribe that had converted to Judaism, apparently several generations before she was born, sometime around the 6th century C.E.
According to the Tel Aviv University historian, Prof. Shlomo Sand, author of "Matai ve'ech humtza ha'am hayehudi?" ("When and How the Jewish People Was Invented?"; Resling, in Hebrew), the queen's tribe and other local tribes that converted to Judaism are the main sources from which Spanish Jewry sprang. This claim that the Jews of North Africa originated in indigenous tribes that became Jewish - and not in communities exiled from Jerusalem - is just one element of the far- reaching argument set forth in Sand's new book.
In this work, the author attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the Kingdom of Judea during the First and Second Temple period. Their origins, according to him, are in varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history, in different corners of the Mediterranean Basin and the adjacent regions. Not only are the North African Jews for the most part descendants of pagans who converted to Judaism, but so are the Jews of Yemen (remnants of the Himyar Kingdom in the Arab Peninsula, who converted to Judaism in the fourth century) and the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe (refugees from the Kingdom of the Khazars, who converted in the eighth century).
Unlike other "new historians" who have tried to undermine the assumptions of Zionist historiography, Sand does not content himself with going back to 1948 or to the beginnings of Zionism, but rather goes back thousands of years. He tries to prove that the Jewish people never existed as a "nation-race" with a common origin, but rather is a colorful mix of groups that at various stages in history adopted the Jewish religion. He argues that for a number of Zionist ideologues, the mythical perception of the Jews as an ancient people led to truly racist thinking: "There were times when if anyone argued that the Jews belong to a people that has gentile origins, he would be classified as an anti-Semite on the spot. Today, if anyone dares to suggest that those who are considered Jews in the world ... have never constituted and still do not constitute a people or a nation - he is immediately condemned as a hater of Israel."
According to Sand, the description of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, "who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland," is nothing but "national mythology." Like other national movements in Europe, which sought out a splendid Golden Age, through which they invented a heroic past - for example, classical Greece or the Teutonic tribes - to prove they have existed since the beginnings of history, "so, too, the first buds of Jewish nationalism blossomed in the direction of the strong light that has its source in the mythical Kingdom of David."
So when, in fact, was the Jewish people invented, in Sand's view? At a certain stage in the 19th century, intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people "retrospectively," out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people. From historian Heinrich Graetz on, Jewish historians began to draw the history of Judaism as the history of a nation that had been a kingdom, became a wandering people and ultimately turned around and went back to its birthplace.
Actually, most of your book does not deal with the invention of the Jewish people by modern Jewish nationalism, but rather with the question of where the Jews come from.
Sand: "My initial intention was to take certain kinds of modern historiographic materials and examine how they invented the 'figment' of the Jewish people. But when I began to confront the historiographic sources, I suddenly found contradictions. And then that urged me on: I started to work, without knowing where I would end up. I took primary sources and I tried to examine authors' references in the ancient period - what they wrote about conversion."
Sand, an expert on 20th-century history, has until now researched the intellectual history of modern France (in "Ha'intelektual, ha'emet vehakoah: miparashat dreyfus ve'ad milhemet hamifrats" - "Intellectuals, Truth and Power, From the Dreyfus Affair to the Gulf War"; Am Oved, in Hebrew). Unusually, for a professional historian, in his new book he deals with periods that he had never researched before, usually relying on studies that present unorthodox views of the origins of the Jews.
Experts on the history of the Jewish people say you are dealing with subjects about which you have no understanding and are basing yourself on works that you can't read in the original.
"It is true that I am an historian of France and Europe, and not of the ancient period. I knew that the moment I would start dealing with early periods like these, I would be exposed to scathing criticism by historians who specialize in those areas. But I said to myself that I can't stay just with modern historiographic material without examining the facts it describes. Had I not done this myself, it would have been necessary to have waited for an entire generation. Had I continued to deal with France, perhaps I would have been given chairs at the university and provincial glory. But I decided to relinquish the glory."
Inventing the Diaspora
"After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom" - thus states the preamble to the Israeli Declaration of Independence. This is also the quotation that opens the third chapter of Sand's book, entitled "The Invention of the Diaspora." Sand argues that the Jewish people's exile from its land never happened.
"The supreme paradigm of exile was needed in order to construct a long-range memory in which an imagined and exiled nation-race was posited as the direct continuation of 'the people of the Bible' that preceded it," Sand explains. Under the influence of other historians who have dealt with the same issue in recent years, he argues that the exile of the Jewish people is originally a Christian myth that depicted that event as divine punishment imposed on the Jews for having rejected the Christian gospel.
"I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land - a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that it has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the country. The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled."
If the people was not exiled, are you saying that in fact the real descendants of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah are the Palestinians?
"No population remains pure over a period of thousands of years. But the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I are its descendents. The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt [1936-9], knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don't leave until they are expelled. Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, 'the vast majority of the peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the land.'"
And how did millions of Jews appear around the Mediterranean Sea?
"The people did not spread, but the Jewish religion spread. Judaism was a converting religion. Contrary to popular opinion, in early Judaism there was a great thirst to convert others. The Hasmoneans were the first to begin to produce large numbers of Jews through mass conversion, under the influence of Hellenism. The conversions between the Hasmonean Revolt and Bar Kochba's rebellion are what prepared the ground for the subsequent, wide-spread dissemination of Christianity. After the victory of Christianity in the fourth century, the momentum of conversion was stopped in the Christian world, and there was a steep drop in the number of Jews. Presumably many of the Jews who appeared around the Mediterranean became Christians. But then Judaism started to permeate other regions - pagan regions, for example, such as Yemen and North Africa. Had Judaism not continued to advance at that stage and had it not continued to convert people in the pagan world, we would have remained a completely marginal religion, if we survived at all."
How did you come to the conclusion that the Jews of North Africa were originally Berbers who converted?
"I asked myself how such large Jewish communities appeared in Spain. And then I saw that Tariq ibn Ziyad, the supreme commander of the Muslims who conquered Spain, was a Berber, and most of his soldiers were Berbers. Dahia al-Kahina's Jewish Berber kingdom had been defeated only 15 years earlier. And the truth is there are a number of Christian sources that say many of the conquerors of Spain were Jewish converts. The deep-rooted source of the large Jewish community in Spain was those Berber soldiers who converted to Judaism."
Sand argues that the most crucial demographic addition to the Jewish population of the world came in the wake of the conversion of the kingdom of Khazaria - a huge empire that arose in the Middle Ages on the steppes along the Volga River, which at its height ruled over an area that stretched from the Georgia of today to Kiev. In the eighth century, the kings of the Khazars adopted the Jewish religion and made Hebrew the written language of the kingdom. From the 10th century the kingdom weakened; in the 13th century is was utterly defeated by Mongol invaders, and the fate of its Jewish inhabitants remains unclear.
Sand revives the hypothesis, which was already suggested by historians in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to which the Judaized Khazars constituted the main origins of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.
"At the beginning of the 20th century there is a tremendous concentration of Jews in Eastern Europe - three million Jews in Poland alone," he says. "The Zionist historiography claims that their origins are in the earlier Jewish community in Germany, but they do not succeed in explaining how a small number of Jews who came from Mainz and Worms could have founded the Yiddish people of Eastern Europe. The Jews of Eastern Europe are a mixture of Khazars and Slavs who were pushed eastward."
'Degree of perversion'
If the Jews of Eastern Europe did not come from Germany, why did they speak Yiddish, which is a Germanic language?
"The Jews were a class of people dependent on the German bourgeoisie in the East, and thus they adopted German words. Here I base myself on the research of linguist Paul Wechsler of Tel Aviv University, who has demonstrated that there is no etymological connection between the German Jewish language of the Middle Ages and Yiddish. As far back as 1828, the Ribal (Rabbi Isaac Ber Levinson) said that the ancient language of the Jews was not Yiddish. Even Ben Zion Dinur, the father of Israeli historiography, was not hesitant about describing the Khazars as the origin of the Jews in Eastern Europe, and describes Khazaria as 'the mother of the diasporas' in Eastern Europe. But more or less since 1967, anyone who talks about the Khazars as the ancestors of the Jews of Eastern Europe is considered naive and moonstruck."
Why do you think the idea of the Khazar origins is so threatening?
"It is clear that the fear is of an undermining of the historic right to the land. The revelation that the Jews are not from Judea would ostensibly knock the legitimacy for our being here out from under us. Since the beginning of the period of decolonization, settlers have no longer been able to say simply: 'We came, we won and now we are here' the way the Americans, the whites in South Africa and the Australians said. There is a very deep fear that doubt will be cast on our right to exist."
Is there no justification for this fear?
"No. I don't think that the historical myth of the exile and the wanderings is the source of the legitimization for me being here, and therefore I don't mind believing that I am Khazar in my origins. I am not afraid of the undermining of our existence, because I think that the character of the State of Israel undermines it in a much more serious way. What would constitute the basis for our existence here is not mythological historical right, but rather would be for us to start to establish an open society here of all Israeli citizens."
In effect you are saying that there is no such thing as a Jewish people.
"I don't recognize an international people. I recognize 'the Yiddish people' that existed in Eastern Europe, which though it is not a nation can be seen as a Yiddishist civilization with a modern popular culture. I think that Jewish nationalism grew up in the context of this 'Yiddish people.' I also recognize the existence of an Israeli people, and do not deny its right to sovereignty. But Zionism and also Arab nationalism over the years are not prepared to recognize it.
"From the perspective of Zionism, this country does not belong to its citizens, but rather to the Jewish people. I recognize one definition of a nation: a group of people that wants to live in sovereignty over itself. But most of the Jews in the world have no desire to live in the State of Israel, even though nothing is preventing them from doing so. Therefore, they cannot be seen as a nation."
What is so dangerous about Jews imagining that they belong to one people? Why is this bad?
"In the Israeli discourse about roots there is a degree of perversion. This is an ethnocentric, biological, genetic discourse. But Israel has no existence as a Jewish state: If Israel does not develop and become an open, multicultural society we will have a Kosovo in the Galilee. The consciousness concerning the right to this place must be more flexible and varied, and if I have contributed with my book to the likelihood that I and my children will be able to live with the others here in this country in a more egalitarian situation - I will have done my bit.
"We must begin to work hard to transform our place into an Israeli republic where ethnic origin, as well as faith, will not be relevant in the eyes of the law. Anyone who is acquainted with the young elites of the Israeli Arab community can see that they will not agree to live in a country that declares it is not theirs. If I were a Palestinian I would rebel against a state like that, but even as an Israeli I am rebelling against it."
The question is whether for those conclusions you had to go as far as the Kingdom of the Khazars.
"I am not hiding the fact that it is very distressing for me to live in a society in which the nationalist principles that guide it are dangerous, and that this distress has served as a motive in my work. I am a citizen of this country, but I am also a historian and as a historian it is my duty to write history and examine texts. This is what I have done."
If the myth of Zionism is one of the Jewish people that returned to its land from exile, what will be the myth of the country you envision?
"To my mind, a myth about the future is better than introverted mythologies of the past. For the Americans, and today for the Europeans as well, what justifies the existence of the nation is a future promise of an open, progressive and prosperous society. The Israeli materials do exist, but it is necessary to add, for example, pan-Israeli holidays. To decrease the number of memorial days a bit and to add days that are dedicated to the future. But also, for example, to add an hour in memory of the Nakba [literally, the "catastrophe" - the Palestinian term for what happened when Israel was established], between Memorial Day and Independence Day."
Ruben Israel, left, of Los Angeles, and Stephen James, right, of Somerset, Penn., heckle anti-war demonstrators as they march in Washington to protest the U.S. troops presence in Iraq on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003. The thousands strong march, labeled 'Bring the Troops Home Now, End the Occupation of Iraq,' was organized by the groups A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now To Stop War And Racism) and United For Peace And Justice. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Holy Bible, Job 34:30: "That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared."
Bush says God chose him to lead his nation
Book reveals how President's religious and political beliefs are entwined - and claims he did pray with Blair
Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 2, 2003
President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian.
'If you change their heart, then they change their behaviour. I know,' he said, referring to his own conversion, which led to him giving up drinking.
Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.
Few US Presidents have been as openly religious as Bush. Now a new book has lifted the lid on how deep those Christian convictions run. It will stir up controversy at a time when the administration is keen to portray its 'war on terror' as non-religious.
The book, which depicts a President who prays each day and believes he is on a direct mission from God, will give ammunition to critics who claim Bush's administration is heavily influenced by extremist Christians.
Bush is already under fire for allowing the appointment of General William Boykin to head the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Boykin, who speaks at evangelical Christian meetings, once said the war on terror was a fight against Satan, and also told a Somali warlord that, 'My God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.'
Bush has also been accused of a 'creeping Christianisation' of federal government programmes. In September, the government made more than $60 billion available for religious charitable groups. Critics say the groups will be able to use the cash to promote their religion. One group that benefited from previous grants was an Iowa prison project that entitled inmates to televisions, private bathrooms and computers - in return for Christian counselling.
Now Bush is likely to face intense scrutiny. The book, The Faith of George W. Bush, was written by Christian author Stephen Mansfield. It details numerous incidents where Bush's faith has been shown to be at the centre of his political thinking.
Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this.
Mansfield, however, says that, while there were no witnesses, aides were left in little doubt as to what had happened. He told The Observer: 'There is no question they have shared scripture and prayed together.'
The book also shows that in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.
Bush said to James Robison: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'
In a book by the late Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War, published in 1986, Ms. Halsell quotes TV evangelist James Robison:
"'There'll be no peace until Jesus comes. Any preaching of peace prior to this return is heresy; it's against the word of God; it's Anti-Christ,' says TV evangelist Jim Robison, who was invited by President Reagan to deliver the opening prayer at the 1984 Republican National Convention."
Their beliefs are bonkers, but they are at the heart of power
US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush's Middle East policy
Tuesday April 20, 2004
To understand what is happening in the Middle East, you must first understand what is happening in Texas. To understand what is happening there, you should read the resolutions passed at the state's Republican party conventions last month. Take a look, for example, at the decisions made in Harris County, which covers much of Houston.
The delegates began by nodding through a few uncontroversial matters: homosexuality is contrary to the truths ordained by God; "any mechanism to process, license, record, register or monitor the ownership of guns" should be repealed; income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax should be abolished; and immigrants should be deterred by electric fences. Thus fortified, they turned to the real issue: the affairs of a small state 7,000 miles away. It was then, according to a participant, that the "screaming and near fist fights" began.
I don't know what the original motion said, but apparently it was "watered down significantly" as a result of the shouting match. The motion they adopted stated that Israel has an undivided claim to Jerusalem and the West Bank, that Arab states should be "pressured" to absorb refugees from Palestine, and that Israel should do whatever it wishes in seeking to eliminate terrorism. Good to see that the extremists didn't prevail then.
But why should all this be of such pressing interest to the people of a state which is seldom celebrated for its fascination with foreign affairs? The explanation is slowly becoming familiar to us, but we still have some difficulty in taking it seriously.
In the United States, several million people have succumbed to an extraordinary delusion. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to Earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's occupation of the rest of its "biblical lands" (most of the Middle East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to Earth.
What makes the story so appealing to Christian fundamentalists is that before the big battle begins, all "true believers" (ie those who believe what they believe) will be lifted out of their clothes and wafted up to heaven during an event called the Rapture. Not only do the worthy get to sit at the right hand of God, but they will be able to watch, from the best seats, their political and religious opponents being devoured by boils, sores, locusts and frogs, during the seven years of Tribulation which follow.
The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about. This means staging confrontations at the old temple site (in 2000, three US Christians were deported for trying to blow up the mosques there), sponsoring Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, demanding ever more US support for Israel, and seeking to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world/Axis of Evil/United Nations/ European Union/France or whoever the legions of the antichrist turn out to be.
The believers are convinced that they will soon be rewarded for their efforts. The antichrist is apparently walking among us, in the guise of Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Yasser Arafat or, more plausibly, Silvio Berlusconi. The Wal-Mart corporation is also a candidate (in my view a very good one), because it wants to radio-tag its stock, thereby exposing humankind to the Mark of the Beast.
By clicking on www.raptureready.com, you can discover how close you might be to flying out of your pyjamas. The infidels among us should take note that the Rapture Index currently stands at 144, just one point below the critical threshold, beyond which the sky will be filled with floating nudists. Beast Government, Wild Weather and Israel are all trading at the maximum five points (the EU is debat ing its constitution, there was a freak hurricane in the south Atlantic, Hamas has sworn to avenge the killing of its leaders), but the second coming is currently being delayed by an unfortunate decline in drug abuse among teenagers and a weak showing by the antichrist (both of which score only two).
We can laugh at these people, but we should not dismiss them. That their beliefs are bonkers does not mean they are marginal. American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999 suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans. The best-selling contemporary books in the US are the 12 volumes of the Left Behind series, which provide what is usually described as a "fictionalised" account of the Rapture (this, apparently, distinguishes it from the other one), with plenty of dripping details about what will happen to the rest of us. The people who believe all this don't believe it just a little; for them it is a matter of life eternal and death.
And among them are some of the most powerful men in America. John Ashcroft, the attorney general, is a true believer, so are several prominent senators and the House majority leader, Tom DeLay. Mr DeLay (who is also the co-author of the marvellously named DeLay-Doolittle Amendment, postponing campaign finance reforms) travelled to Israel last year to tell the Knesset that "there is no middle ground, no moderate position worth taking".
So here we have a major political constituency - representing much of the current president's core vote - in the most powerful nation on Earth, which is actively seeking to provoke a new world war. Its members see the invasion of Iraq as a warm-up act, as Revelation (9:14-15) maintains that four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of men". They batter down the doors of the White House as soon as its support for Israel wavers: when Bush asked Ariel Sharon to pull his tanks out of Jenin in 2002, he received 100,000 angry emails from Christian fundamentalists, and never mentioned the matter again.
The electoral calculation, crazy as it appears, works like this. Governments stand or fall on domestic issues. For 85% of the US electorate, the Middle East is a foreign issue, and therefore of secondary interest when they enter the polling booth. For 15% of the electorate, the Middle East is not just a domestic matter, it's a personal one: if the president fails to start a conflagration there, his core voters don't get to sit at the right hand of God. Bush, in other words, stands to lose fewer votes by encouraging Israeli aggression than he stands to lose by restraining it. He would be mad to listen to these people. He would also be mad not to.
· George Monbiot's book The Age of Consent: a Manifesto for a New World Order is now published in paperback
Guarded by God, U.S. colonel hunts Iraqi guerrillas
TIKRIT, Iraq, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. officer leading the hunt for Iraqi guerrillas in Saddam Hussein's home town hones the rifle laser sight before raiding a suspected bombmaker's house.
But Lieutenant Colonel Steven Russell isn't nervous. He believes he has the best protection.
"If God doesn't intend for me to die in Iraq then nothing the enemy can do will make it so," he told Reuters.
"I have a strong belief in Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour."
Meet the man who heads the search for some of Iraq's most dangerous guerrillas in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, a grim place that only has dust and flatlands in common with Russell's native Del City, Oklahoma.
Russell is a deeply religious family man who believes good old-fashioned American discipline and prayers will help lead him to Saddam's hardcore supporters.
"The diehards will just have to die hard," he said in an interview, sitting in one of Saddam's former palaces as American soldiers grunted and lifted weights nearby.
U.S. troops also hope ordinary Iraqis will step forward and hand over information on guerrillas. But that's a daunting task in Tikrit.
"The amount of resistance that we have from former regime loyalists is just staggering. They do believe that by some miracle or Allah's will or whatever they will return," said Russell.
Even young children are mesmerised by Saddam in Tikrit.
When U.S. troops conduct foot patrols young boys gather around but they are not impressed. Many praise Saddam, not soldiers kicking down doors in house searches that have infuriated Iraqis.
Still, Russell said U.S. troops should "stay the course".
"We will take the fight to the enemy at every turn. We are not going to hand out lollipops to them. You use a bullet for those who can't be convinced," he said.
The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior
Oct. 16, 2003
The top soldier assigned to track down Bin Laden and Hussein is an evangelical Christian who speaks publicly of 'the army of God.' A Christian extremist in a high Defense post can only set back the U.S. approach to the Muslim world.
by William M. Arkin
"...[Army Lt. General William G. "Jerry"] Boykin is also an intolerant extremist who has spoken openly about how his belief in Christianity has trumped Muslims and other non-Christians in battle. He has described himself as a warrior in the kingdom of God and invited others to join with him in fighting for the United States through repentance, prayer and the exercise of faith in God. He has praised the leadership of President Bush, whom he extolled as 'a man who prays in the Oval Office.' 'George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States,' Boykin told an Oregon congregation. 'He was appointed by God.'"
In this newly created position, Boykin is not just another Pentagon apparatchik or bureaucratic warrior. He has been charged with reinvigorating Rumsfeld's 'High Value Target Plan' to track down Bin Laden, Hussein, Mullah Omar and other leaders in the terrorism world.
All Americans, including those in uniform, are entitled to their views. But when Boykin publicly spews this intolerant message while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army, he strongly suggests that this is an official and sanctioned view - and that the U.S. Army is indeed a Christian army.
But that's only part of the problem. Boykin is also in a senior Pentagon policymaking position, and it's a serious mistake to allow a man who believes in a Christian "jihad" to hold such a job.
For one thing, Boykin has made it clear that he takes his orders not from his Army superiors but from God - which is a worrisome line of command. For another, it is both imprudent and dangerous to have a senior officer guiding the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan who believes that Islam is an idolatrous, sacrilegious religion against which we are waging a holy war.
And judging by his words, that is what he believes.
In a speech at a church in Daytona, Fla., in January, Boykin told the following story:
"There was a man in Mogadishu named Osman Atto," whom Boykin described as a top lieutenant of Mohammed Farah Aidid.
When Boykin's Delta Force commandos went after Atto, they missed him by seconds, he said. "He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.'
"Well, you know what?" Boykin continued. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Atto later was captured.
Other countries, Boykin said last year, "have lost their morals, lost their values. But America is still a Christian nation."
The general has said he has no doubt that our side is the side of the true God. He says he attends prayer services five times a week.
In Iraq, he told the Oregon congregation, special operations forces were victorious precisely because of their faith in God. "Ladies and gentlemen I want to impress upon you that the battle that we're in is a spiritual battle," he said . "Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army."
"We are going to watch the Road-map very carefully." - Jerry Falwell
Bush has fostered an alliance with Jewish supporters of Israel and the rapidly-growing ranks of Christian Zionists A Very Mixed Marriage Evangelical Christians lining up to fight for Israel maybe an unmovable obstacle to Bush’s ‘Roadmap’
By Howard Fineman and Tamara Lipper
June 2 issue — It’s a landmark in the history of strange bedfellows: Tom DeLay says kaddish. It happened last February, the day the space shuttle Columbia fell apart. Among the dead astronauts was an Israeli, Ilan Ramon. In Florida, at the Boca Raton Resort, some big machers had gathered to hear a speech by House Republican leader DeLay, an evangelical Christian from Sugar Land, Texas. Mixing Churchill and the Bible, DeLay talked of a destiny shared by America and Israel. He asked for “divine assistance” in protecting both. In closing, to the astonishment of his audience, he recited—in Hebrew—the last lines of the Jewish prayer for the dead. The crowd, many in tears, joined in. (DeLay had been coached by a Jewish former staffer.) “It was quite a moment,” said Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who was there.
Indeed, these bedfellows aren’t strangers anymore, which presents George W. Bush with a new opportunity - and a new risk. Opening another front in his war on terror, the president has launched an effort to coax Israelis and Palestinians toward peace. As Bush prepares for his trip to the G8 summit in France, there is talk he’ll tack on a trip to the Middle East. But the "Roadmap" he wants to pursue there runs not only through the Byzantine byways of the Levant, but along the political freeways of America. If he is at all serious, Bush eventually will hit a potentially impenetrable roadblock at home: the deepening alliance between Jewish supporters of Israel and the growing ranks of Christian Zionists.
Simply put, the administration won’t be able to lean hard on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon without being attacked by two blocs it cares very much about as the 2004 election approaches. Eager to capitalize on Bush’s standing as a war commander and a friend of Israel’s, White House strategists hope to double the size of Bush’s Jewish vote. Still, the numbers there, however pivotal in places such as Florida, are small. Much more is at stake among the nation’s 50 million evangelicals. Pressuring the Israelis also risks incurring the wrath - perhaps expressed in thundering, Biblical terms- of activists who claim to speak for that constituency, which the White House hopes will turn out in record numbers next year. "We are going to watch the Road-map very carefully," Jerry Falwell told NEWSWEEK.
Evangelical crusaders prepare to fight Islam with aid and a Bible
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
22 April 2003
Evangelical charities with an overt hostility to Islam are preparing to distribute food, water, medicine and building materials in Iraq, all in the name of Jesus.
One of the charities, Samaritan's Purse, is run by Franklin Graham the son of the evangelist Billy Graham, who declared after the 11 September attacks that Islam was "a very evil and wicked religion". Another is the Southern Baptist Convention, whose former president once described the Prophet Mohamed as "a demon-possessed paedophile". About 800 of SBC's volunteers are reported to be on their way to Iraq to deliver food packages labelled with a verse from St John's Gospel, in Arabic, saying that "grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ".
Such insensitivity is viewed by some as playing into the hands of those to whom the "war on terrorism" is a religious crusade. But what really riles Muslim groups all over the world is that these activities are overtly supported by the Bush administration. Franklin Graham, a long-standing friend of the President, was invited to participate in this year's Good Friday prayer service at the Pentagon, angering many in the Defence Department. Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the invitation "sends entirely the wrong message to the Muslim and Arab world ... This kind of incident can undo any kind of bridges built by a hundred public affairs officers at the Pentagon."
Franklin Graham has a record of hostility to Islam and unabashed proselytising, even where it is illegal. After the 1991 Gulf War, he infuriated Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of Operation Desert Storm, by shipping tens of thousands of Arabic-language New Testaments to Saudi Arabia in defiance of Saudi law and the US-Saudi military alliance.
In his most recent book, he says that Christianity and Islam are "as different as lightness and darkness" and that the two religions are destined to fight each other until the second coming of Christ, which he says is imminent. During a book tour last year, he said Islam posed "a greater threat than anyone's willing to speak". He has toned down the rhetoric recently to pacify his critics but few believe him when he says "we don't have to preach to be a Christian relief organisation".
Samaritan's Purse has worked in many countries, including Rwanda, Somalia, southern Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Mr Graham flies in his some of his relief planes, especially when they are in danger. Such gusto has won him many friends in the Republican Party, including Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, who has joined him on missions in Sudan. And he is a popular figure on the fundamentalist right - an important Bush constituency that loves the idea of good versus evil and a president ordained by God to lead America in tough times.
That is also why the Iraqis are likely to oppose his presence. As Michelle Cottle writes in this week's New Republic magazine: "At this point, Graham's ugly disquisitions on the nature of Islam have made him so radioactive that, even if he doesn't utter one word about Jesus while in Iraq, his mere presence in the region could be considered a provocation."
U.N. Human Rights Body Criticizes Israel
April 15, 2003
GENEVA - The United Nations' top human rights body overwhelmingly condemned Israel's human rights record on Tuesday, accusing the country of "mass killings of Palestinians" and a host of other violations.
The United States, Israel's main ally, was alone in voting against all four resolutions. The American delegate said the criticism was one-sided and unfair.
The resolutions came after impassioned arguments earlier in the commission's annual session, during which Palestinian delegate Nabil Ramlawi claimed Israel used methods of killing and torture that "were worse than the practices of Nazism." The comments sparked an outcry among Jewish groups.
By a 50-1 vote, the commission passed a resolution put forward by European countries voicing "grave concern" because Israel has not halted settlements of Palestinian territory. It criticized restrictions on the movements of Palestinians and a barrier Israel is building to separate it from the Palestinian territories.
Agence France Presse
March 10, 2002
According to Jerusalem police spokesman Kobi Zarhad, Salah was 'wearing an explosive belt on his stomach and detonator to his chest,' AFP said. Neither the belt nor the detonator could be seen in the pictures. According to the initial version given by the Israeli police, Salah was wearing a large overcoat and policemen opened fire when he refused to take it off, although the pictures clearly show that Salah was shot after being stripped of his clothes.
Mohammed Salah was executed in the street without going on trial. His alleged crime was never proven and no evidence was submitted for any wrongdoing.
4 Israeli Police Held in Youth's Death
Friday Apr 18, 2003
JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - In a case that prompted an outcry from human rights groups and Palestinians, four Israeli border police accused of killing a detained Palestinian youth were arrested Friday after a four-month investigation into the killing.
The police allegedly detained 18-year-old Imran Abu Hamdia in the West Bank city of Hebron on Dec. 30 and dumped his body about an hour later, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said.
An autopsy concluded he died from a sharp blow to the skull, the Haaretz newspaper said.
Police spokesman Gil Kleiman confirmed arrests had been made.
On the eve of war, military brass listened intently as Michael Drosnin expounded the Bible codeDecoding Bible's 'cryptogram'Will Saddam Hussein be overthrown? Where is Osama bin Laden hiding? For answers, see the Good Book
Among the hundreds of meetings and briefings that took place in the Pentagons bowels in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, one earned the fleeting disdain of The New York Times, whose columnist, Bill Keller, sniffed that "several man-hours of valuable intelligence-crunching time" had been "consumed [by a writer] who claims -- I am not making this up -- that messages encoded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament provide clues to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
"Maybe were all a little too desperate these days for a simple formula to explain how our safe world came unhinged," Keller said.
The gathering, which reportedly took place Feb. 21, was said to have been convened by Paul Wolfowitz, the hawkish U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defence, and attended by 10 top military intelligence officials, including Vice Admiral Lowell "Jake" Jacoby, director of the massive Defense Intelligence Agency, and Wolfowitz's deputy, Linton Wells, who is in charge of the Pentagon's nerve centre, known as 3CI (Command, Control, Communications).
On the eve of war, the military brass listened intently for a full hour as Michael Drosnin expounded on his two brisk-selling volumes on the Bible code.
Drosnin argues the Hebrew Torah -- the first five books of the Old Testament -- were intentionally encrypted, by a higher power, with prophetic warnings that have accurately predicted the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Kennedy assassinations, the moon landing, Watergate, and 9/11 -- and foretell the fall of Saddam Hussein and the precise location of bin Laden.
The Americans "took it very seriously," Drosnin says. "They're practical people and I wanted to give them something of practical use."
As a result of the meeting, Drosnin says U.S. and Israeli intelligence forces are hot on bin Laden's trail in that very place the Bible mentions, "right as we speak." Of course, he would not divulge where that place is.
As for Saddam Hussein, the Bible's embedded code ponders, "Who is destroyed?" and then, in the same matrix, answers, "Hussein," with the following number crossing his name: 5763, the Jewish year that corresponds to 2003. "That foretells the outcome of this conflict," Drosnin says confidently. "It might be obvious now, but it wasn't when I told them."
It could be that the U.S. defence establishment is grasping at straws, or that more and more people in Washington are motivated by a White House that frequently invokes God and religious imagery. Drosnin discounts the religious angle.
"This is not based on faith. This is based on experience. The code keeps coming true."
Drosnin is a secular Jew, a former police reporter for the Washington Post and former writer for The Wall Street Journal. To be sure, his books, The Bible Code (1997) and last year's sequel, Bible Code II: The Countdown have been used by various fundamentalists, prophets of doom and supermarket tabloids as sure signs the Good Book knows all and that the end is nigh. Detractors point out the code violates the Bible's own ban on soothsaying.
Bush puts God on his side
Sunday, 6 April, 2003
By Tom Carver
BBC Washington correspondent
Before September 11, President George W Bush kept his evangelical Christian beliefs largely to himself.
He had turned to God at the age of 40 as a way of kicking alcoholism, and his faith had kept him on the straight and narrow ever since, giving him the drive to reach the White House.
But all that changed on the day of the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
Those close to Mr Bush say that day he discovered his life's mission.
He became convinced that God was calling him to engage the forces of evil in battle, and this one time baseball-team owner from Texas did not shrink from the task.
"We are in a conflict between good and evil. And America will call evil by its name," Mr Bush told West Point graduates in a speech last year.
In this battle, he placed his country firmly on the side of the angels.
"There is wonder-working power in the goodness and idealism of the American people," he said in this year's State of the Union address.
This concept of placing America in God's camp sticks in the throat of a lot of American clergy.
"It is by no means certain that we are as pure as the driven snow or that our international policy is so pure," says Fritz Ritsch, Presbyterian minister in Bethesda, Maryland.
The Reverend Ritsch says it also makes their job as clerics harder by giving Christians in America an easy way out.
They do not need to examine their souls because their president has told them they are on the side of good.
"There is an opportunity here for spiritual enrichment in this country that is just getting missed."
Battle with anti-Christ
In fact, nearly all the mainland churches in America oppose this war, including Mr Bush's own church, the United Methodists.
Mr Bush is certainly not the first president to invoke God in time of war, but his approach is markedly different from his predecessors.
During America's Civil War, Abraham Lincoln did not claim that God was on his side.
In fact, in his famous second inaugural address, he said the war was a curse on both armies: "He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offence came."
Yet Mr Bush's rhetoric does have a huge audience.
One in three American Christians call themselves evangelicals and many evangelicals believe the second coming of Christ will occur in the Middle East after a titanic battle with the anti-Christ.
Does the president believe he is playing a part in the final events of Armageddon?
If true, it is an alarming thought.
But he would not be alone, as 59% of all Americans believe that what is written in the Bible's Book of Revelations will come to pass.
Tim LeHaye is an evangelical minister who has written 10 best-selling novels based on the Book of Revelations.
With exquisite timing, his 11th, called Armageddon, will be published next week.
By combining the apocalypse with a Tom Clancy style, Mr LeHaye has found a winning formula.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, the minister became America's best-selling novelist in 2001, beating even John Grisham.
In his latest novel we see the anti-Christ, armed with nuclear weapons, setting up camp at New Babylon in Iraq.
The millions of Americans who believe in the biblical prophecies see this war in a very particular way and among them, George Bush's stark talk of good versus evil plays very well.
If America prevails, millions will say it was divinely ordained.
But many others will suspect that it had more to do with the power of American weaponry than the active intervention of the Almighty.
Army chaplain offers baptisms, baths
CAMP BUSHMASTER, Iraq - In this dry desert world near Najaf, where the Army V Corps combat support system sprawls across miles of scabrous dust, there's an oasis of sorts: a 500-gallon pool of pristine, cool water.
It belongs to Army chaplain Josh Llano of Houston, who sees the water shortage, which has kept thousands of filthy soldiers from bathing for weeks, as an opportunity.
''It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized,'' he said.
From The Australian Broadcasting System, 3/30/03:
US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush
They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.
Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.
"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.
The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.
Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding".
Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".
Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy
Newhouse News Service
Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday, March 25 that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination, and the Rev. Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse said workers are near the Iraq border in Jordan and are ready to go in as soon as it is safe. The relief and missionary work is certain to be closely watched because both Graham and the Southern Baptist Convention have been at the heart of controversial evangelical denunciations of Islam, the world's second largest religion.
Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, has been less diplomatic about Islam than his father has been. Two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Franklin Graham called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion" during an interview on NBC, the television network. In his book published last year, "The Name," Graham wrote that "The God of Islam is not the God of the Christian faith." He went on to say that "the two are different as lightness and darkness."
On the eve of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis last year, the Rev. Jerry Vines, a former denomination president, told several thousand delegates that Islam's Allah is not the same as the God worshipped by Christians. "And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah, either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist," Vines said.
[President] Bush, an evangelical Christian himself, has close ties to both Franklin Graham, who gave a prayer at his inauguration, and Southern Baptists, who are among his most loyal political supporters.
San Francisco Pro-War Rally, "God is on our side"
Sat Mar 29, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Carrying American flags and stepping to the sounds of country music, a small but determined group of people rallied in San Francisco on Saturday to show support for U.S. troops in Iraq in a city that has been home to perhaps the most active U.S. anti-war movement.
"We all support our troops and our president to dethrone the oppressive Iraqi regime. We are all patriots here and we have God on our side," said Les Erekson, a San Franciscan native and former U.S. Navy sailor.
"For weeks all we have seen here are the protests from liberals who don't give a damn about America. What we're doing is something the rest of America supports," added Erekson, waving a giant American flag.
Bush backer sponsoring pro-war rallies
Oliver Burkeman in Washington
Wednesday March 26, 2003
They look like spontaneous expressions of pro-war sentiment, "patriotic rallies" drawing crowds of tens of thousands across the American heartland.
In a counterpoint to anti-war demonstrations, supporters of war in Iraq have descended on cities from Fort Wayne to Cleveland, and Atlanta to Philadelphia. They wave flags, messages of support for the troops - and also banners attacking liberals, excoriating the UN, and in one case, advising: "Bomb France Now."
But many of the rallies, it turns out, have been organised and paid for by Clear Channel Inc - the country's largest radio conglomerate, owning 1,200 stations - which is not only reporting on the war at the same time, but whose close links with President Bush stretch back to his earliest, much-criticised financial dealings as governor of Texas. The company has paid advertising costs and for the hire of musicians for the rallies.
Tom Hicks, Clear Channel's vice-chairman, is a past donor to Bush's political campaigning. The two were at the centre of a scandal when Mr Bush was governor and when Mr Hicks chaired a University of Texas investment board that awarded large investment-management contracts to several companies close to the Bush family - including the Carlyle Group, on whose payroll Mr Bush had been until weeks previously, and which still retains his father.
"Should this be happening? No," said Dante Chinni, a senior associate with the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Columbia University programme based in Washington. "What kind of company is Clear Channel? What's their mission? Are they a media company, a promotional company? For some people, Clear Channel's reporting, for want of a better word, may be the reporting that they're getting on the war in Iraq."
I suspected the often quoted UPI story below about a human shield "pastor" who "was shocked back to reality", was a lie:
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor at Large
From the International Desk
AMMAN, Jordan, March 21 (UPI) --
A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
I contacted the Assyrian Church of the East, asking for confirmation. I received this reply from Bishop Soro:
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 08:17:47 EST
Subject: Re: Can you confirm this story?
Johnny: The only thing that I can confirm is that Kenneth Joseph, IS NOT a pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East nor has he been associated with the Assyrian Church in any shape or form.
Secretary General of Interchurch Relations
Assyrian Church of the East
UPI Now Owned By Bush/GOP Benefactor Reverend Moon
From Brill's Content: "Some UPI employees, such as the doyenne of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, who had stuck with the service through its decline, resigned to protest the purchase [by Moon's News World]." Check out the Moonie background of UPI's head Arnaud de Borchgrave, especially as former editor-in-chief of the Washington Times. De Borchgrave also worked at the Richard Mellon Scaife-financed right wing think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). UPI now provides news items for such Scaife-linked outfits as Chris Ruddy's NewsMax and the Drudge Report. "De Borchgrave's replacement, at least for now, is News World CEO Douglas Joo, probably not a good omen to those concerned about UPI's editorial independence." At the Washington Times, reporters and editors resigned over Moon's editorial interference. The article also mentions how Moon has donated $1 million to the Bush Library, and Bush Sr.'s speeches at Moonie events.
China readies for future U.S. fight
By CNN Senior China Analyst Willy Wo-Lap Lam
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- The Iraqi war has convinced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership that some form of confrontation with the U.S. could come earlier than expected.
Bush Urges Prayer During 'Testing Time'
Thu Feb 6, 2003
WASHINGTON -AP - President Bush and members of his war council prayed Thursday for God's guidance through "a testing time for our country".
"This is a testing time for our country," Bush said at the 51st annual National Prayer Breakfast, which brings together lawmakers, foreign leaders and spiritual leaders in prayer.
"God teaches us to be resolute in the face of evil using all of the weapons and armor that the word of God supplies," CIA Director George Tenet told the breakfast.
Bush Links Faith and Agenda In Speech to Broadcast Group
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 11, 2003; Page A02
NASHVILLE, Feb. 10 -- President Bush has addressed countless audiences as commander in chief. Today, he was introduced as "our friend and brother in Christ."
Appearing at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, before a backdrop that read "Advancing Christian Communications," the president was hailed as a man who "unapologetically proclaims his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." Bush, in a strikingly religious address even for a president long comfortable with such speech, cast the full range of his agenda -- foreign, domestic and economic -- in spiritual terms.
"I welcome faith," Bush said after he was greeted with rock star adulation. "I welcome faith to help solve the nation's deepest problems." Attendees called out "amen" as Bush spoke, and some waved rhythmically as they did during the hymns that preceded his speech.
About the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bush said: "We're being challenged. We're meeting those challenges because of our faith. . . . We carried our grief to the Lord Almighty in prayer." Bush assigned religion a role in the economy ("There are some needs that prosperity can never meet"), in a possible attack on Iraq ("Liberty is God's gift to every human being in the world"), and in coping with the Columbia space shuttle accident ("Faith assures us that death and suffering are not the final word").
Statements of faith are standard for presidents, and Bush, who found religion in the 1980s after a struggle with excessive drinking, thanked Jesus during the presidential primaries for changing his life. Still, the nation's modern secular leaders have generally been understated in their public expressions of faith, a tone set by Jimmy Carter, a born-again Christian. And Bush, through much of his presidency, has spoken of his faith subtly.
But with war in Iraq looming, and much of the world opposed to his position, the president in recent weeks has adopted a strongly devotional tone. In a series of speeches -- a pair of remembrances for the Columbia victims, last week's National Prayer Breakfast and today's address to the religious broadcasters -- Bush has far more openly embraced Christian theology. Today's speech brought the most thorough linkage yet between Bush's worldly policies and Christian faith -- including a pronouncement that an American attack on Iraq would be "in the highest moral traditions of our country."
On poverty programs, Bush observed that "welfare policy will not solve the deepest problems of the spirit. . . . You don't fix the crack on the wall until you fix the foundation." On justice programs, he said, "building more prisons will not substitute for responsibility and order in our souls. . . . That happens when someone puts an arm around a neighbor and says, 'God loves you, I love you, and you can count on us both.' " Turning to matters overseas, the president said America's enemies "hate the thought [that] . . . we can worship the Almighty God the way we see fit."
Bush advocated vouchers for drug addicts, "especially" for programs of a spiritual nature. He said religious charities should not "compromise their prophetic role." He addressed the faith of the religious broadcasters in the hall. "I am honored to be with so many of you all who have dedicated your lives to sharing the Good News," he said.
The gratitude was mutual. "We pray for you -- in fact, we pray for you daily," Glenn Plummer, the broadcasters' chairman, said in his introduction. "The United States of America has been blessed by God Himself to have George W. Bush as president."
In 1995, the group announced that President Bill Clinton was not invited to its meetings because of his views on abortion and homosexuality. By contrast, many attendees today said Bush was divinely chosen to lead the country during its trials. "At certain times and at certain hours in our country, God has had a certain man to hear his testimony," said Steve Clark, of Faith Baptist Tabernacle in Jamestown, Tenn.
Bush noted that the Christian pianist who performed for the broadcasters, Michael W. Smith, had played at the White House days earlier. During the program, which began with a Bush speech blending into Christian hymns, Karl Rove, Bush's top political aide, worked the crowd.
In recent speeches, Bush has read passages from Isaiah and from the hymn "How Great Thou Art." At last week's prayer breakfast, he said that when he is told by citizens that they are praying for him, he tells them "it is the greatest gift you can give anybody, is to pray on their behalf." Today, Bush thanked his listeners for their prayers, suggesting he would need them in the days ahead. "Let us pray for strength equal to our tasks," he said.
J. Mark Horst, who has a radio ministry in Breezewood, Pa., said faith is what makes Bush propose seemingly unreachable goals and defy odds to reach them. "As Christians, we're commanded to be of strong courage," Horst said. "He's taking what he reads in the Word and saying, 'This is what I believe, and I'm going to go for it.' "
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
January 4, 2003
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Bush's Armageddon Obsession, Revisited
by MICHAEL ORTIZ HILL
"We are lived by forces we scarcely understand," wrote W.H. Auden. What forces live us now as America again torques toward war?
George W. Bush is certainly the plaything of such forces as the geopolitics of oil but it seems that he is susceptible to other even darker archetypal concerns. Let me be blunt. The man is delusional and the shape of his delusion is specifically apocalyptic in belief and intent. That Bush would attack so many vital systems on so many fronts from foreign policy to the environment may seem confusing from the point of view of realpolitik but becomes transparent in terms of the apocalyptic worldview to which he subscribes. All systems are supposed to go down so the Messiah can come and Bush, seemingly, has taken on the role of the one who brings this to pass.
The Reverend Billy Graham taught Bush to live in anticipation of the Second Coming but it was his friendship with Dr. Tony Evans that shaped Bush's political understanding of how to deport himself in an apocalyptic era. Dr. Evans, the pastor of a large Dallas church and a founder of the Promise Keepers movement taught Bush about "how the world should be seen from a divine viewpoint," according to Dr. Martin Hawkins, Evans assistant pastor.
S.R. Shearer of Antipas Ministries writes, "Most of the leaders of the Promise Keepers embrace a doctrine of 'end time' (eschatology), known as 'dominionim.' Dominionism pictures the seizure of earthly (temporal) power by the 'people of God' as the only means through which the world can be rescued.... It is the eschatology that Bush has imbibed; an eschatology through which he has gradually (and easily) come to see himself as an agent of God who has been called by him to 'restore the earth to God's control', a 'chosen vessel', so to speak, to bring in the Restoration of All Thingss." Shearer calls this delusion, "Messianic leadership"-- that is to say usurping the role usually ascribed to the Messiah.
In Bush at War Bob Woodward writes, "Most presidents have high hopes. Some have grandiose visions of what they will achieve, and he was firmly in that camp."
"To answer these attacks and rid the world of evil," says Bush. And again, "We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great nation." Grandiose visions. Woodward comments, "The president was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of Gods Master Plan."
In dominionism we can see the theological source of Bush's monomania. Not to be distracted by the fact that he lost the popular election by a half a million votes, that the Joint Chief of Staff at the Pentagon were so concerned about his plans to invade Iraq that they leaked their unanimous objection, that he has systematically alienated much of the world, that roughly seventy percent of Americans remain unconvinced of the imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and the same percentage object to war if there will be significant American casualties--none of this is in the least relevant. He believes his mandate toward action is from God.
As humans we live within stories. Some stories, like apocalypse are thousands of years old. The scriptured text that informs Bush understanding of and enactment of the End of Days (Revelations 19) depicts Christ returning as the Heavenly Avenger. Revelations is the only New Testament book that justifies violence of any kind, and this it takes to the limit: Christ himself the agent of mass murder.
"I saw heaven open and there before me was a white horse who is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war...He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the word of God...Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the Nations. And I saw an angel standing in the sun who cried in a low voice to all the birds flying in midair--come gather together for the great supper of God, so you may eat the flesh of kings, generals and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
Such is "the glory of the coming of the Lord." Truth, carnage, and the ecstasy of vultures. In a ruined world the Messiah slays the antichrist and creates "a new heaven and a new earth." The dead are judged, the Christians saved and the rest damned to eternal torment. The New Jerusalem is established and the Lord rules it "with an iron scepter."
It is not inconceivable that Bush is literally and determinedly drawn, consciously and unconsciously, toward the enactment of such a scenario, as he believes, for God's sake. Indeed the stark relentlessness of his policy in the Middle East suggests as much.
It dishonors the profundity of the Christian tradition if one doesn't note that Revelations has always been a rogue text. Because of its association with the Montanist heresy (which like contemporary fundamentalists took it to be literal rather than allegorical) it was with great reluctance that it was made scripture three centuries after the death of Christ. Traditionally attributed to St. John, most Biblical scholars now recognize its literary style and its theology has little in common with John's gospel or his epistles and was likely written after his death. Martin Luther found the vindictive God of Revelations incompatible with the gospels and relegated it to the appendix of his German translation of the New Testament instead of the body of scripture. All the Protestant reformers except Calvin regarded apocalyptic millenialism to be heresy.
But Revelations is also a rogue text because it is unmoored from its origins, which are far from Christian. It is a late variant on a story that was pervasive in the ancient world: the defeat of the wild and the uncivilized by a superior order upon which a New World would be established. Two thousand years before Revelations depicted Christ slaying the antichrist and laying out the New Jerusalem, Marduk slayed Tiamat and founded Babylon.
This pagan myth recycled as a suspiciously unchristian Biblical test found new credence in the 19th century when John Darby virtually revived the Montanist heresy of investing it with a passionate literalism. Given to visions (he saw the British as one of the ten tribes of Israel) Darby left the priesthood of the Church of Ireland and preached Revelations as both prophecy and imminent history. In this he inaugurated a lineage in which Bush's mentors, the Reverend Billy Graham and Dr. Tony Evans are recent heirs. Revelations is much beloved by Muslim fundamentalists and like their Christian compatriots they also thrill to redemption through apocalypse. Jewish fundamentalists of course do not believe in Revelations but have nonetheless made common cause with the Christian Right. "It's a very tragic situation in which Christian fundamentalists, certain groups of them that focus on Armageddon and the Rapture and the role of a war between Muslims and Jews in bringing about the Second Coming, are involved in a folie a deux with extremist Jews," said Ian Lustick, the author of For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. The Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition (and yes it is a single tradition) is being led by its fringe into the abyss and the rest of us with it.
The world has been readied for the fire but the critical element is the Bush Administration. Never in the history of Christendom has there been a moment when this rogue element has carried anything like the credibility and political power that it carries now.
Michael Ortiz Hill is the author of Dreaming the End of the World (Spring 1994) and, (with Augustine Kandemwa) Gathering in the Names (Spring Journal books, 2002). The companion to this essay, The Looking Glass War, is posted at http://www.gatheringin.com/.
President draws on the Bible to comfort a grieving nation
Mon Feb 3, 2003
Cathy Lynn Grossman USA TODAY
President Bush's speech Saturday resounded in biblical poetry, God images and an invitation to pray. It came into millions of homes like a homily from a national pulpit.
He drew on Isaiah 40:26, one of the most beautiful passages in the Hebrew scriptures: ''Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.''
The choice likely reflected the hand of his lead speechwriter, Michael Gerson, who studied theology at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois. Bush, a born-again Christian who became a Methodist when he married Laura, is at home with scripture in a way that Ronald Reagan , who rarely attended church, was not.
''President Bush sounded more like a preacher than a politician -- and a good one,'' said the Rev. Rod Loy of the First Assembly of God, a megachurch in North Little Rock, Ark. In his Sunday sermon, Loy quoted Bush. ''I thought Bush did such a wonderful job of acknowledging grief and loss but pointing us to the fact that there is a God of all.''
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
By Ann McFeatters, Post-Gazette National Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Is President Bush using inappropriately religious language as he talks daily about the possibility of war with Iraq?
Some religious leaders say they are becoming uncomfortable with the strongly religious tone of Bush's rhetoric, worried that he is usurping the role of preacher or possibly inciting Islamic fundamentalists with his good-versus-evil references.
In two recent speeches, at the annual convention Monday of the National Religious Broadcasters and at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Bush said he welcomed faith to solve the nations' deepest problems and was greeted on both occasions with "amens." To some, however, he sounded more like an evangelical Christian minister than an elected political leader.
In discussing a likely war in Iraq with Australian Prime Minister John Howard this week, Bush said freedom for the Iraqi people is not a gift the United States can provide, but instead "liberty is God's gift to every human being in the world." To some, his word's implied that a war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would be a divinely endorsed act of liberation.
Going beyond religious references even of such presidents as Abraham Lincoln -- who once said he hoped that the nation during the Civil War was on God's side -- Bush told the religious broadcasters this week: "We're being challenged. We're meeting those challenges because of our faith."
The White House defends the president's language as expressions of his personal beliefs and says he has every right to speak with fervor about his faith.
But the Rev. William Gaddy, a Baptist minister who heads the Interfaith Alliance Foundation in Washington, disagrees. "The president of this nation has as his job to promote the common good. It's not his job to promote sectarian beliefs," he said.
Elaine Pagels, of Princeton University's Department of Religion, argues that Bush is betraying the religious diversity of the nation when he speaks of war in absolutist terms. "This is not political discourse," Pagels said. "This is the language of religious zealots, Christian and Muslim. When he speaks of the 'axis of evil,' he is placing those who disagree with him in the realm of evil."
The effect of injecting religion into a debate about war, Pagels said, is to halt discourse and to provoke one's target (in this case, mainly Iraq but also North Korea and Iran) into a shouting match about who is more evil. She said that while she believes it is appropriate to label some acts (such as the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001) as evil, much of the rest of the world is appalled by the way Bush has been branding countries and certain peoples as evil.
Responding to such criticism, Bush said Monday he will increasingly stress that his quarrel is with Saddam Hussein, not the Iraqi civilian population.
Gaddy accuses the president of going beyond acceptable limits of generalizing about religious beliefs, moving instead to active proselytizing. In analyzing the president's rhetoric in the last few years, Gaddy said: "You see a growing feeling he [believes] he is, in fact, a divinely chosen leader in this moment of history. It's as if he discovered the power of religion late in life and thinks the nation needs to [do the same]."
Such groups as the nondenominational National Council of Churches have been expressing uneasiness over Bush's faith-based initiative -- permitting more flexibility with federal funds to expand the ministries of synagogues, mosques and other religious groups to assist the needy. When these groups lobbied Congress to block Bush's proposed law that would allow such flexibility, the president instead issued an executive order forbidding the federal government from discriminating against religious institutions when dispensing funds. But he is still asking Congress to approve it.
After the Columbia shuttle disaster, Bush invoked "the Creator who names the stars" and quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, saying, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens ... ," as a way to comfort the nation.
Religious leaders such as Gaddy do not contest the use of religious references in such a context. But they do fault his citation of his Christian faith in justifying a war.
The White House has countered, though, that the president will continue to use such references because it is how he thinks and because a majority of Americans agree with him.
Tony Blair's crusade
January 31, 2003 – British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been the most articulate spokesperson for the American administration on the issue of the need to disarm Iraq. His high moralizing tone and tough talk on the issue at times give the impression that he has become the lapdog of the U.S. President George W. Bush. For his loyal support Bush has laid out the red carpet for him whenever he visits the U.S.
However, this siding with Bush has begun to cost Blair loss of popular support at home. In recent United Kingdom opinion polls, the majority of the British public (around 65 to 68 per cent) appears to be questioning Blair's apparent subservience to the U.S. There is now an impression that the U.K. Prime Minister is so distracted by the war on terrorism and the pending attack on Iraq that he has been ignoring the domestic economy and social conditions in Britain.
When one listens to Blair these days, one gets the distinct impression that he is on a crusade to save the world from the 'bad' forces of extremism. He seems genuine in his belief that the U.S. and the U.K. share trans-Atlantic 'Christian' values and are being a force for good in this fight against terrorism and the autocratic Saddam. Blair is too smart to be simply written off as Bush's 'obedient lapdog', as some in the media have pronounced. If anything, Blair has presented the case against Saddam in more rational and articulate terms than has George Bush. It would appear that there is a genuine meeting of hearts between these two leaders that is linked to strongly held Christian religious beliefs. In other words, both Blair and Bush appear to be on a righteous campaign that pits fundamentalist Christianity and so-called western civilization against extremist Islam.
More than anything else, this unites the two leaders. And one should not be too surprised if this 'like-minded' crusading spirit causes both Bush and Blair to suffer the same fate at the hands of their respective electorates, should things go badly in Iraq.
Dr. W. Andy Knight is professor of International Relations at the University of Alberta and editor of Global Governance journal. This article originally appeared in the Nov. 21 edition of the Vancouver Province.
by CAROL WOLMAN, M.D.
Many people, inside and especially outside this country, believe that the American president is nuts, and is taking the world on a suicidal path. As a board-certified psychiatrist, I feel it's my duty to share my understanding of his psychopathology.
From a Jungian point of view:
Dubya may be identifying with an archetype (as Hitler did with the ubermensch)--something out of Revelations, perhaps, whereby he sees himself as an instrument of God's will to bring about Armageddon.
Dr. Carol Wolman is a board certified psychiatrist. More of Dr. Wolman's differential diagnosis.
Poll: Anti-American Sentiment Building Overseas
Dec. 4, 2002 -- A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests a significant negative shift in perceptions of the United States among people in 44 nations, including many in the Muslim world.Read the complete poll results, plus the summary of highlights.
"Despite an initial outpouring of public sympathy for America following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks," the report reads, "discontent with the United States has grown around the world over the past two years."
A potential war with Iraq, according to the survey results, could further stain America's tarnished image overseas. Again, however, there are contradictions: many acknowledge the threat Iraq poses to peace in the Mideast, yet the majority of those polled were suspicious of America's motives.
The God-Awful Truth About Christian Zionism"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'. - Jerry Falwell, 9/13/01, appearing with Pat Robertson, explaining the reasons for the attacks on 9/11.
"Our goal has been achieved. The Religious Right is solidly in place, and religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration" - Jerry Falwell
Louise Witt, Salon, January 3, 2003
One can't blame Jerry Falwell for feeling invincible these days. Religious conservatives fasted and prayed that antiabortion candidates would win in November; Falwell believes their prayers were answered when the Republicans won control of the 108th Congress.
Christian conservatives believe they tipped the close Senate elections to the GOP in Georgia, Minnesota and Missouri (though they lost a heated run-off in Louisiana). And Falwell gives much of the credit to fierce campaigning by President Bush, himself a born-again Christian, in the final days before the election. "His work brought out the religious conservative vote, which elected the people we want to have in office," Falwell says. "No one in the world would deny that the religious conservatives certainly played a major role in regaining Republican control of the Senate. It's encouraging to think that if we get people out, we can make a difference every time, just like in the election of Ronald Reagan."
Former President Bill Clinton and other Democrats may blame voters' preoccupation with terrorism and the impending war with Iraq for their party's midterm loss, but the Christian fundamentalists weren't distracted. With messianic zeal, they focused on a plan to control the nation's political agenda by securing the Senate. Many give credit to political strategist Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition who is now chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. Now, as the 108th Congress readies to begin its work, it's clear that the religious right will press the most conservative agenda in recent American history -- and it's clear, too, that Falwell and other conservatives have faith they will achieve their goals.
The agenda is so controversial that it has created deep divisions even in Bush's White House. Though such internal dissent is usually hidden, it flared into the open late last year when John DiIulio, a top policy adviser who departed in frustration, ripped the influence of the religious right on Bush. Thus far, however, the president has done little to discourage the troops of the religious right from their radical mission to make the government and judiciary agents for the moral cleansing of America. In their vision, churches would be given government funds to carry out social services. Prayer would be allowed -- and encouraged -- in public schools. Israel would be backed virtually without question in its conflict with the Palestinians because that would fulfill a prophecy portending the second coming of Christ. Foreign countries would have to pass a moral litmus test to receive U.S. aid.
Jerry Falwell, appearing on CNN, claimed, "global warming is a myth. .. I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming. We’ll be cooler by then, if the Lord hasn’t returned..."
At the end of the spot, Falwell said, "I urge everyone to go out and buy an SUV today."
The conservative Baptist minister Jerry Falwell said "I think Muhammad was a terrorist" in an interview broadcast Sunday, October 6, 2002 on the CBS' "60 Minutes." Falwell was widely criticized after 9/11 when he said on Pat Robertson's TV show that pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and civil liberties groups had secularized the nation and helped the Sept. 11 attacks happen. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)
Lebanon Cleric Attacks Falwell's Slur of Mohammad
Sat Oct 12, 2002
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A leading Shi'ite Muslim religious authority urged Muslims on Saturday to confront what he called an attack on Islam in U.S. preacher Jerry Falwell's reference to the prophet Mohammad as a "terrorist."
In a statement, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah said Falwell's remarks reflected the thinking of President Bush and his backers among the staunchly pro-Israeli U.S. Christian Right.
"All Muslims must make a stand against this attack on Islam, its prophet and Muslims themselves," Fadlallah said. He stopped short of urging a violent reaction: "We do not desire physical violence against this person and those who share his views, including President Bush, who belongs to Zionized Christianity, but...to stand up to this oppressive campaign against Islam and Muslims."
Falwell drew condemnation from Britain and Iran by telling CBS News this week in an interview: "I think Mohammad was a terrorist."
"If a preacher, or anyone else, spoke about Judaism and Zionist massacres in Palestine,... would the U.S. administration permit this? If one mentioned the crimes of Zionism and Judaism, they would accuse him of anti-Semitism," he said.
Falwell Remarks Prompt India Riots
Friday Oct 11, 2002
By RAMOLA TALWAR, Associated Press Writer
BOMBAY, India (AP) - Five people were killed Friday in Hindu-Muslim rioting and police gunfire after riots broke out during a general strike to protest the Rev. Jerry Falwell calling the founder of Islam a terrorist.
Falwell's remarks had triggered street protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday.
The key leaders of the fundamentalist religious right in America are counted among President Bush's closest political allies. Their reactionary views are a noxious mix of religious bigotry, intolerance, and anti-Muslim demagoguery,
Fundamentalist religious conservative leaders count Mr. Bush as one of their own. There is the Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and successor and a participant in the president's inauguration, who has declared Islam a "very evil and wicked religion."And there is Christian Coalition founder and television evangelist Pat Robertson, who said that "to think that [Islam] is a peaceful religion is fraudulent." Robertson, in full attack mode, called the prophet Muhammad "an absolute wild-eyed fanatic . . . a robber and brigand . . . a killer." And, in an appearance on the CBS program "60 Minutes", the Rev. Jerry Falwell completes the demonization of a religion by smearing the prophet of Islam as "a terrorist."
These are not just the words of a fringe movement. The speakers are leaders among the religious right in America, a movement close to a president who speaks their language. Their embrace is mutual. It therefore falls to the president to break his silence on their gross distortion and to put some distance between their rhetoric and his own professions of tolerance. To avert his gaze from their actions is to permit the Falwells, Robertsons and Grahams to legitimize their own perverse teachings through their association with the president of the United States.
Franklin Graham, playboy-turned-preacher son of the Reverend Billy Graham was quoted in an interview saying, the war on terrorism should not be limited to the battlefield. He says it needs to expand to include a war on Islam, the religion. Franklin Graham was chosen to deliver the invocation sermon at George W. Bush Inaugural Prayer Service , and selected to lead the first officially declared National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving, declared by Dubya.
Graham's comments, coming on the first day of Ramadan, caused quite a stir, especially among American Muslims
"We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us," Graham said. "The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the Son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
Graham says his beliefs are based on what he has read in the Kur'an, the Islamic holy book, and suggests that America's war on terrorism is also a war on Islam.
"I think we better take a hard look, though, at Islam. I don't believe this is this wonderful, peaceful religion."
The addled clerics' remarks were broadcast all across America on NBC TV on Friday, Nov. 16, 2001. By some weird coincidence, that was the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. By another weird concidence, the U.S. accidentally bombed a mosque on that same day:
November 16, 2001
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A bomb damaged a mosque in Khowst, Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command officials said.
Way back in the 1950's when I first tasted politics and journalism, Republicans briefly controlled the White House and Congress. With the exception of Joseph McCarthy and his vicious ilk, they were a reasonable lot, presided over by that giant war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, who was conservative by temperament and moderate in the use of power.
That brand of Republican is gone. And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government - the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary - is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.
That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives.
It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich.
It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable.
And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming.
And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture. These folks don't even mind you referring to the GOP as the party of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty is using him to promote 'a Biblical worldview' in American politics?
So it is a heady time in Washington - a heady time for piety, profits, and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money.
Don't forget the money. It came pouring into this election, to both parties, from corporate America and others who expect the payback. Republicans outraised Democrats by $184 million dollars. And came up with the big prize - monopoly control of the American government, and the power of the state to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.
Having received the green light from “above,” Christian George is about to unleash a holiness that just might Armageddon all of us.
By Rick Friedman & Stewart Nusbaumer
Gather ‘round us, brothers and sisters, saints and sinners. Rick and Stewart feel a heavy sermon comin’ on.
All of us know that Osama bin Laden is a Muslim religious fanatic hell-bent on implementing his demented version of Armageddon in the Middle East. What we’re not sure about, however, is whether or not George Bush is a Christian religious fanatic hell-bent on his demented version of Armageddon in the Middle East. It’s this scary thought planted in the air of public consciousness that our timid mainstream media has begun to explore, lightly explore, delicately dancing around the edges to avoid setting off the land mine of religion.
Two weeks ago in the Christian Science Monitor, Francine Kiefer wrote that "Bush’s religious beliefs are emerging as a central influence to his policies and politics -- inextricably linked to everything from the war on terrorism to the November elections.” “For Bush,” Kiefer continued, “who reads his Bible every morning, faith extends beyond the national catharsis of the moment. By his own admission, his religious views shape much of who he is and, by extension, experts say, some of his most important decision-making."
Just over a week ago, Time published an article by Michael Duffy, who had interviewed more than a dozen senior Republican Party operatives, people who advise and support the president and talk regularly to him and his inner circle. "Bush has always preferred his poison straight up or down, good vs. bad, dead or alive, you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists,” Duffy wrote. "In one horrifying two-hour period [on September 11], the world shuddered and conformed to his way of thinking: there was good and there was evil, and it wasn’t hard to tell the difference.” Then Duffy added: “Privately, Bush even talked of being chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment."
"Today Christians ... stand at the head of Germany ... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years." - Adolph Hitler - The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872.
"The mission of the Christian Coalition is simple. It is to mobilize Christians -- one precinct at a time, one community at a time -- until once again we are the head and not the tail, and at the top rather than the bottom of our political system." The Christian Coalition will be the most powerful political force in America by the end of this decade. We have enough votes to run this country...and when the people say, 'We've had enough,' we're going to take over!" -Pat Robertson
"It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." - Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986
"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them." --Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991
PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE PROZAC!
U.S. Christian Evangelicals financing Israeli settlements
Danielle Haas, San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service
Wednesday, July 10, 2002 -
Tel Aviv -- The largest contingent of American Jewish immigrants in years stepped off the El Al charter flight at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, overjoyed at the chance to begin their new lives in Israel.
Forgotten amid all the excitement was the fact that many of the 371 newcomers had been bankrolled by grants from U.S. evangelical Christians, who regard the return of Jews to the Holy Land as part of an apocalyptic prophecy foretold in the Bible.
"What I'm seeing is the Scriptures being fulfilled right before our very eyes," said Bishop Huey Harris, whose First Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Elkton, Md., raised $2,500 from its congregation to help finance the American Jews' journey.
"What's next? I'm looking for the church to be raptured, Jesus returning for the church . . . and the Jews would receive him as their Messiah."
"This is the time to show we are behind Israel," Gary Bauer, former GOP presidential candidate and prominent member of the religious right, said during his first trip to Israel this month.
Fundamentalist Christian support for the Jewish people is not new, especially among an evangelical subset known as Christian Zionists, who make up an estimated 3 million of America's 98 million evangelicals. Religious experts believe that some 30 million Christians have some Zionist beliefs.
Doctrinally, they regard the ingathering of Jewish exiles as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy that will precede the Second Coming and end of days. Such a belief has tended to fill many Jews with suspicion and made for mutually tense relations.
While pro-Israel advocates once looked to liberal Democrats for their main support, they are increasingly warming to conservative Republicans, whose pet causes such as school prayer have long been anathema to many Jews.
Manifestations of the growing relationship are being seen increasingly on both sides of the Atlantic -- including a recent speech by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, an invitation to Attorney General John Ashcroft to speak to the Anti- Defamation League.
LETTER TO SHARON
In Israel this week, Bauer presented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a letter signed by several leading members of the Christian right including Jerry Falwell, expressing the belief that Israel has shown "incredible restraint" toward Palestinians.
Last month, Earl G. Cox, a longtime Republican activist who served in four presidential administrations, announced that he was buying a series of commercials on Israel's Channel Two television to "announce to the people of Israel that the vast majority of American Christians recognize Israel as their friend and ally."
"Enemies of Israel must clearly understand that when they attack the Jewish state they take on millions of American Christians who passionately embrace the Jewish people," Cox told reporters.
$60 MILLION IN DONATIONS
Eckstein, who as head of the Jerusalem Friendship Fund for the past eight years claims to have collected some $60 million in donations from the evangelical community to assist Jewish immigration, has joined forces with former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, now a leading GOP consultant, as part of the effort. Their plans include an Internet site for supporters of Israel to write their congressional representatives. Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza have been among the most significant beneficiaries of the Christian support.
"We've seen financial support . . . to the settlements double during the past 21 months," said Sondra Oster Baras, an Orthodox Jew and director of the Israel office of the Colorado-based Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, which runs an "Adopt-a-Settlement Program."
Jewish settlements benefiting from Christian contributions include Itamar and Hebron. One of the largest settlements, Ariel, has had close relations with the evangelical Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colo., which "adopted" Ariel before the intifada -- one of about 40 such relationships established by the Christian Friends of Israel Communities.
American evangelicals' closer political relationship with Israel began when the conservative Likud party first came to power in 1977. Prime Minister Menachem Begin found common ground with such leaders as Falwell and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.
U.S. evangelical leaders have frequently met with Likud members, including Sharon, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told an evangelical audience in Washington in 1998 that "we have no greater friends and allies than the people sitting in this room."
That is, possibly, until George W. Bush assumed the White House. His sympathy for Israel's military responses to Palestinian terror attacks is attributed by some analysts to his born-again religious convictions.
Other Jews are less sure, fearing that fundamentalist Christians are religious wolves in sheep's clothing, extending the hand of friendship in the present while believing in an eventual endgame of conversion or death for Jews upon Jesus' return.
In February, Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, said he had blocked settlements in Gaza from accepting bulletproof vests from evangelicals.
First in a two-part series
By MARGOT PATTERSON
In September, thousands of Christian Zionists met in Jerusalem for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot to cheer on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to declare their unconditional support for the state of Israel. Organized by the International Christian Embassy, the meeting appeared to be a love-in as much as a rally. “Walking here, I heard many times, and many people said, ‘We love you, we love Israel,’ ” Sharon said. “May I tell you we love you. We love all of you.”
On the face of it, the love affair between conservative Christians and Israel’s hawkish head of state seems unlikely, but mutual interests notoriously make for strange bedfellows. Many fundamentalist Christians embrace the state of Israel because of its role in their own end-of-time theology. For its part, the right wing in Israel welcomes the economic and political support it receives from conservative Christians around the world and particularly in the United States.
Religion and politics. It’s an incendiary combination anywhere, and particularly in the Middle East where Christian fundamentalists, often working in tandem with Jewish Messianic settlers, promote the formation of a Greater Israel that they believe will usher in Armageddon itself. Many of this country’s most ardent Christian supporters of Israel welcome that prospect. Others who don’t subscribe to the end-of-time theology of “dispensational premillennialism” worry that the agenda pushed by the tactical alliance between Jewish and Christian fundamentalists will transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a battle between two nationalities into a war of civilizations that will engulf the world.
“It’s a very tragic situation in which Christian fundamentalists, certain groups of them that focus on Armageddon and the Rapture and the role of a war between Muslims and Jews in bringing about the Second Coming, are involved in a folie à deux with extremist Jews,” said Ian Lustick, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, a consultant on the Middle East to the last four presidential administrations and the author of the book For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel.
Whether the Bush administration is reflecting the views of the Christian right or responding to them is difficult to say, but some Mideast analysts are convinced they are seeing their effect played out in U.S. support for Sharon’s hard-line policies. “I think in general it’s safe to say Christian fundamentalism has an influence on the administration and specifically with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Kathleen Christison, a former CIA political analyst and the author of Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy.
“There is a group of people in the Defense Department and in the vice president’s office who are very, very pro-Israeli and very pro the Likud Party in Israel,” said Christison, who named Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary of Policy in the Defense Department Douglas Feith; adviser to the Defense Department Richard Perle; Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby Jr.; and Elliot Abrams on the National Security Council staff.
The United States’ current and exclusive focus on Islamic fundamentalism is a case of what some argue is selective blindness.
“We pay a lot of attention to Islamic extremism, but we don’t pay a lot of attention to Christian extremism or the extremism in the Jewish religion that is being used to justify what is going on today,” said James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, speaking about the turmoil in the Middle East. Zogby argues that despite disclaimers to the contrary the United States is waging a war on Islam at home and abroad even as it tacitly supports extremist settlers in the occupied territories Israel controls.
Since Sept. 11, suspected Muslim charities have been shut down by the U.S. government without the government offering any evidence that these charities have links to terrorists, Zogby said. At the same time, a known terrorist organization such as the Jewish Defense League is not placed on the government’s list of terrorist organizations, he said.
“Without question, we are subsidizing those settlements. Money is money,” said Zogby, noting that Israel is not only the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid but the only country that receives its foreign aid in cash without going through the Agency For International Development and without being held accountable to the General Accounting Office for what it does with U.S. aid.
“We say settlements are unhelpful or counterproductive, but every single effort to sanction Israel for building settlements or to take international steps to stop Israel from building settlements, we block,” Zogby said. “We’re massive enablers of Israel’s bad practices.”
Gershom Gorenberg, author of The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, remarks that depictions of those who believe they are living in history’s final days are often cartoonish, drawing too rigid a separation between mainstream religion and beliefs that are relegated to doomsday cult status. An American-born Israeli journalist who is an associate at the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, Gorenberg has studied the spectrum of Messianic belief both in Israel and in the United States.
“The fact is that millions of quite rational men and women, belonging to established religious movements around the globe, look forward to history’s conclusion, to be followed by the establishment of a perfected era. They draw support from ideas deeply embedded in Western religion and culture. You don’t need to go to central Africa to find them; they live in American suburbs; they work in insurance offices and high-tech startups. Some are influential leaders of America’s Christian right,” Gorenberg writes.
An article in the May 23 issue of The Wall Street Journal headlined, “How Israel Became a Favorite Cause of Christian Right,” discusses the effects on U.S. foreign policy of the alliance between the Christian right and traditional supporters of Israel. “More than any other single factor, it explains why there has been so little pressure from a Republican White House on Israel to curb its crackdown on Palestinians,” write Wall Street Journal reporters Tom Hamburger and Jim VandeHei.
In describing the transformation of the Republican Party by religious conservatives during the past 20 years, the two reporters detail how conservative Christian Republicans once suspected of intolerance and even anti-Semitism have become some of the staunchest supporters of Israel.
Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and a host of other conservative Christian leaders now lobby on behalf of Israel and support the most hard-line Israeli positions. Many fundamentalist Christian groups finance efforts to resettle Russian Jews in Israel, often in settlements in the occupied territories that offer settlers special tax breaks and financial inducements to move there.
“You have a number of very conservative Christian groups that support settlements because they see this as a way of strengthening Jewish hold on the land of Israel because in their mind this is important for end-of-time theology and part of hastening the Second Coming and the conversion of Jews that would be entailed in some of the theology. One would think that would be a good reason for conservative Jewish groups not to be involved with these groups, but they have made a pact to focus on political goals. They leave the proselytizing at the door when they entered into joint activity,” said Lewis Roth, president of Americans for Peace Now, a U.S. branch of the Israeli movement Peace Now.
Esther Levens, president of the National Unity Coalition for Israel, an alliance of Christian and Jewish organizations founded in 1993-94 to support Israel, said the coalition has a hard-and-fast rule against members proselytizing. Beyond that, Levens said she doesn’t probe too deeply into the reasons why many Christian groups have chosen to partner with the coalition.
But end-of-time theology is an important motive to many. For biblical literalists, particularly those who subscribe to dispensational premillennialism, a theology articulated by British preacher John Darby in the 19th century and popularized today by such books as Hal Lindsay’s The Late, Great Planet Earth or the Left Behind books by the Rev. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the Rapture is near at hand in which Christ’s faithful will be caught up in the clouds and given new, immortal bodies while the rest of the population faces the horrors of the last seven years of human history. Israel plays a key role in this theology, which posits that the Second Coming requires Israel to be reconstituted and the Jewish Temple, destroyed in 70 A.D., rebuilt. According to the script many Christian fundamentalists read from, the Antichrist will desecrate the rebuilt Temple, which will be followed by a period of tribulation when earthquakes, plagues and all the other furies outlined in the Book of Revelation will come to pass. This in turn will be followed by Jesus’ return to earth. At that time, according to some Christians, those Jews who accept Jesus will enter the kingdom along with faithful Christians. Others will perish violently.
Jews have their own Messianic reading of the future. No apocalypse. No mass conversion of the Jews. No second coming of Jesus. For fundamentalist Jews, the establishment of the state of Israel and the extension of its sovereignty to the West Bank, Gaza and even further, is part of the process of world redemption. Eventually, Jewish rule will extend beyond the borders of the present state of Israel to the entire land of Israel described in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Temple will be rebuilt, and the Messiah will arrive, ushering in the redemption of the world.
For both fundamentalist Christians and Jews, an end to human history as we know it is connected to a transcendent imperative that necessitates actions that others see as risky, provocative and aggressive. For both groups, Israeli settlers are the vanguard troops in a campaign of action rooted in believers’ reading of the Bible.
“Certainly Jewish Messianism inspires this sort of affinity and sense of entitlement to these territories and to the land of Israel itself,” said Geoffrey Aronson of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a nonprofit organization in Washington that tracks the growth of settlements in the occupied territories. “That idea, that the Bible has some sort of contemporary relevance to Israel’s territorial breadth and extent, is reality. It affects the entire political spectrum that one of the basic presumptions of the Israeli Jewish community is that they live and claim title to the state of Israel and perhaps areas beyond it by right, and it’s a right that’s recognized in the Bible. Ultimately, this sort of idea has been a very important motivator of the Jewish community in Palestine for the past hundred years,” said Aronson.
The Bible as property deed
While the notion of biblical entitlement to the land of Israel was latent in the founding of the state of Israel, religious claims were soft-pedaled by early Zionist leaders. Opposed by many Orthodox Jews who believed it violated the rabbinic injunction to avoid human efforts to bring redemption, Zionism was a predominantly secular movement that appealed to Jews and non-Jews alike by arguing that providing Jews a homeland of their own would end Jews’ condition as a persecuted minority and make Jews into a people like any other.
If arguably a streak of secular Messianism underlay the Zionist enterprise, it was the Six Day War in 1967 and the swift and surprising victory Israel achieved in that war, doubling in less than a week the amount of territory it controlled, including the prized city of old Jerusalem, that provided the impetus for the settler movement and the development of a Jewish fundamentalism that had been largely dormant for 18 centuries.
Even secular Israelis regarded the victory as a kind of miracle while for others, especially religious Zionists, the conquest of the West Bank was proof of a divine plan at work. “As never before, Messianism became a respected ideology, powering the movement that settled Jews across the West Bank,” Gorenberg writes. He adds that Israel’s victory became part of another story, too: the resurgence of Christian fundamentalism in the last third of the 20th century.
“The Jewish conquest of Jerusalem provided ‘proof’ of premillennial doctrine. It amplified hopes for the Second Coming; it spurred some people to predict just when the great event would take place. …
“Christian millennialists eagerly watched the Middle East for more signs. In time, some moved from being onlookers to being participants, offering support to Israel -- or to the Israelis deemed most likely to make prophecy come true,” Gorenberg writes.
Now some conservative Christians not only raise money for Israel, they meet in breakfasts and monthly briefings organized by the Israeli Embassy and participate in schemes to build the third Temple in Jerusalem. In 1998, for instance, the Canaan Land Restoration Inc. of Israel was established by Clyde Lott, an American cattleman and a Pentecostal minister.
Responding to verses in the Book of Numbers that say only the ashes of an unblemished red heifer that has never been yoked can purify a priest to enter the Temple, Lott joined forces with Rabbi Chaim Richman in Israel in an effort to raise red cattle suitable for Old Testament sacrifices. An Internet page for the Canaan Land Restoration, Inc., solicited tax-deductible contributions that would cover the costs of shipping red cows from the United States to Israel. Lott’s project is now idle because of internal problems and fear of an impending war, but Dean Hubbard, the vice president of the now-bankrupt organization, said the idea is to regroup and refocus when they can. “It’s staggering to see how it’s all on schedule,” Dean Hubbard said of the pace of world events.
The Web site of one Christian Zionist organization states that “Today, tens of millions of Protestant Christians in the United States and more around the world support Israel with an uncritical fervor, exceeding even Jewish support.”
“There are a lot of forces at work here,” said Jim Besser, a writer for The New York Jewish Week and The Baltimore Jewish Times. “There are evangelical Christians who support Israel simply because they believe it is biblically mandated for them to do so. There are also those who support the right wing in Israel because of their views of the end-time prophecies. They believe Israel will play a central role just by view of getting destroyed. These are not necessarily distinctive groups. There are different motivations. The third element of the equation is that a lot of political conservatives are increasingly supporting the right wing in Israel because of purely geopolitical reasons. They see Israel as the front line in the battle against terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism,” Besser said.
Not all evangelical Christians are unqualified supporters of Israel, of course. A letter sent to President Bush from 40 evangelical Christian leaders this past summer called upon him to employ an even-handed policy toward Israeli and Palestinian leadership and noted that the “American evangelical community is not a monolithic bloc in full and firm support of present Israeli policy.”
Still, many of the most prominent names in the evangelical world support Israel unconditionally and are opposed to Israel negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“The feeling among evangelicals is that any effort to create peace in the Middle East is ultimately a trick,” Besser said. “If you pick up any of Hal Lindsay’s books or Pat Robertson’s books, it’s all laid out there in quite a lot of detail by many of these popular evangelical authors. The demands of these prophecies are very much in the minds of many of these evangelicals who are so vocal in their support of Israel right now.”
The intransigence of certain Christian fundamentalists mirrors that of many right-wing Israelis, notably the ultra-nationalist religious settlers on the West Bank who view the conquest of the West Bank as part of a plan for divine redemption and who oppose a peace settlement that would involve Israel ceding any inch of territory it controls. For many of these settlers, rebuilding the Temple, an activity that would almost inevitably involve the destruction of the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third-holiest site, which is believed to lie on the ruins of the old Temple, has become a rallying cry.
A little-known force
In his book For the Land and the Lord, Ian Lustick writes that Americans and Israelis alike share a dangerous ignorance of the animating beliefs of Jewish fundamentalists despite the importance fundamentalists have assumed on the Israeli political scene since 1967.
Haim Dov Beliak seconds that statement. A rabbi in California, Beliak studied at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Israel. Headed by the messianic Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, the yeshiva was at the ideological center of the settler movement in the 1970s when Beliak attended it. According to Beliak, neither the Jewish community in the United States nor the American public at large knows much about the settlers. “There is a profound lack of curiosity about them,” Beliak said. “They are very problematic because they are going to cause World War III. They are not dealing with a normal political reality. There’s a complete denial of any rights that the Arabs might have.
“Many of these settlers simply want to come in where Palestinians are living and say a Jew lived here 75 years ago so they should be living here now, or that 1,500 years ago Jews controlled the land so Jews now should control the land. There’s an attempt to use the Bible as a land deed claim,” said Beliak.
If Christian scenarios of the end of time involving the anti-Christ and Armageddon sometimes seem outlandish or bizarre, fundamentalist Jewish schemes for redemption can appear no less so. Beliak reported efforts underway by some Zionist groups to track down the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who disappeared in 276 B.C. when they were carried off into captivity. Scouts are looking for the descendents of these tribes in Africa and Asia, and a group of people in Burma and another in Peru are being seriously investigated.
“The lengths of this search is almost comical,” Beliak said. “The hope is that these people will discover their Jewishness, reconvert to Judaism and therefore they will need a place to live and then it will be legitimate to displace the Arabs who are living [in the occupied territories.] …
“It is fantastic the lengths of religious nationalistic jingoism these people are prepared to go to,” said Beliak.
Beliak and others distinguish between those settlers who move to the West Bank and Gaza for ideological reasons and those who are drawn by the economic inducements offered them and who would resettle if similar opportunities were provided elsewhere. It’s the first and smaller group that forms the core of the settler movement: Israelis who because of fundamentalist religious views or extreme nationalism believe all of the occupied territories should be incorporated into the state of Israel, despite the Arab population living there.
Practically speaking, there is no distinction between the settler movement and the current Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Beliak said.
“Sharon is the architect of the settler movement, and he’s the practical engineer of the idea that there is no room for the Arabs to live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in their own political entity,” Beliak said. “They can live there as laborers and choppers of wood and drawers of water but only if they eschew any political aspirations.”
According to Peace Now, since February 2001 when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took office, 34 new settlements have been established in the occupied territories. Close to 400,000 settlers now live in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, and their presence poses what many analysts call the biggest obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The growth and entrenchment of the settlers, whose population has doubled since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords were signed, have proved to be Jewish fundamentalists’ greatest success. But Ian Lustick said fundamentalists in Israel have experienced reverses, too, notably the peace accords themselves and the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
“The peace process showed they actually had to assassinate an Israeli leader to stop a Palestinian state from emerging,” Lustick said. “The need to rely on spectacular violence is something they wanted to avoid relying on. They wanted to naturalize Israeli rule over the whole of Greater Israel and to trivialize the question of the Arabs. The intifada, the first and second one, has made it impossible for Israelis to not see the Arabs, to see the West Bank and Gaza as just extensions of Israel.”
Lustick called settlements the main reason for the failure of the Camp David negotiations.
“Barak was proposing at Camp David that all settlements and all roads leading to them would remain under Israeli sovereignty. That was the achievement of the settlers’ movement, that even a dovish prime minister would begin a peace conference with such a hawkish and unworkable proposal, therefore leading to the second intifada and the current disastrous circumstances we see today,” Lustick said.
A worldwide phenomenon
Reading the Bible as a set of predictions about the future sends chills through many mainstream theologians. “No reputable Catholic theologian or certainly no reputable mainline Protestant theologian would look at the Bible this way,” said Jesuit Fr. John R. Sachs, who teaches at Weston Jesuit School of Theology near Boston. Americans’ growing interest in the apocalypse forms part of a worldwide phenomenon, said Sachs, with conservative, literalistic, fundamentalistic movements in religion taking place in vast areas of the world today.
Decrying Christian fundamentalist theology and its influence on U.S. Mideast policy strikes Baylor University professor Marc Ellis as hypocritical, even though Ellis acknowledges he would like to see the political sway of fundamentalists curtailed.
“Most of the Christian and Jewish support for the state of Israel has come from liberal sources. Now liberal Christians are beginning to understand that something is wrong with those policies, but those policies have already had their effect,” said Ellis.
A professor of American and Jewish studies at Baylor, Ellis points out that if some fundamentalist Christians promote the state of Israel, so too in the past did prominent liberal theologians such as Reinhold Niebuhr and other Christians, if for different reasons.
“Liberal Christians supported Israel out of guilt over the Holocaust. Fundamentalist Christians have supported Israel because of biblical eschatology,” said Ellis.
“Jews were the vehicle through which Christians renewed their own theology after the Holocaust: the recovery of the Hebrew Bible that had been so denigrated in Christian theology, the recovery of the prophets, the Jewishness of Jesus. Jews were seen as carriers of those values that Christians needed to embrace,” Ellis said. “It’s about how Christianity renewed itself in the face of atrocities it was responsible for. Jews were elevated where once they were demeaned.”
What Ellis called “the political naiveté” of liberal Christians who saw Jews only as innocents has played a large role in contributing to a steady deterioration in the conditions Palestinians live in that he said threatens to get worse still if the United States invades Iraq.
“It’s been getting worse from the beginning, since 1948, and it’s been getting worse since 1993 when Oslo was signed. Everything that has been gained since 1993 has been wiped out in the last two years. Now there are three million Palestinians on the West Bank who are in virtual prison, or worse. They are under closure. No one delivers their food. You have an entire population in prison but without the perks of prison,” said Ellis.
Margot Patterson is NCR senior writer.
National Catholic Reporter, October 11, 2002
By Allan C. Brownfeld
The ties between Christian fundamentalism in the United States and Jewish fundamentalism in Israel are growing rapidly, with potentially serious consequences for U.S.-Middle East policy and for the people of that troubled region.
In 1978, Jerry Falwell traveled to Israel on a trip sponsored and paid for by the Israeli government. In 1979, the Israelis extended another free trip, during a period when Prime Minister Menachem Begin was in a rush to build Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank. The Rev. Falwell traveled the road toward the Palestinian town of Nablus and turned off the highway and stood at a cluster of prefabricated houses built by Jewish settlers. At that time, Falwell declared that God was kind to America only because "America has been kind to the Jews."
Few Americans understood the real reasons for the alliance between Christian fundamentalism and the most extreme segments of Israel political life. In an important new book, "Prophecy and Politics" by Grace Halsell (Lawrence Hill and Co.). She worked as a White House speechwriter during the administration of Lyndon Johnson and explores this growing relationship.
During two of Jerry Falwell’s Holy Land tours, the author interviewed fundamentalist members of the Moral Majority, all of whom believed that the biblical prophecy of fighting World War III must be fulfilled preparatory of the Second Coming of Christ.
The Christian Zionists Message
By By Grace Halsell
What is the message of the Christian Zionist? Simply stated it is this: Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us.
"Never mind what Israel does," say the Christian Zionists. "God wants this to happen." This includes the invasion of Lebanon, which killed or injured an estimated 100,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians; the bombing of sovereign nations such as Iraq; the deliberate, methodical brutalizing of the Palestinians-breaking bones, shooting children, and demolishing homes; and the expulsion of Palestinian Christians and Muslims from a land they have occupied for over 2,000 years.
My premise in Prophecy and Politics is that Christian Zionism is a dangerous and growing segment of Christianity, which was popularized by the 19th-century American Cyrus Scofield when he wrote into a Bible his interpretation of events in history. These events all centered around Israel-past, present, and future. His Scofield Bible is today the most popular of the reference Bibles.
Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God's chosen land for the Jews.
Christian Zionists and the Iran-Contra Scandal
Remarkably,it was this Christian cult of Israel that brought us the Iran contra scandal, perhaps the most self-destructive act in the history of the United States. Marine Col. Oliver North, the perpetrator of this misguided series of actions, is a Christian Zionist. A born-again charismatic figure, he endeared himself to the militant Israeli Zionists who plotted Iran-contra. "He is more Israeli," said one Jewish general, "than we Israelis." This is often the case. In his zealotry, the Christian Zionist can become more Zionist, more militant, than the Jewish Zionist.
In the Iran-contra hearings, Sen. James McClure (R-ID) explained to North that the US had a stated policy of neutrality in the Iran-Iraq war. That policy differed radically from Israel's policy of selling arms to Iran. Yes, agreed North, the two policies were not the same. The question, to which McClure's efforts yielded no response, then becomes: Why would the US forego its American policy to pursue Israeli policy?
The answer, unfortunately, lies in the belief system of Christian Zionists: They believe that what Israel wants is what God wants.
Grace Halsell's book, "Prophecy and Politics, The Secret Alliance Between Israel and the US Christian Right", Is available through the AET Book Club Catalog to readers of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
(This article was adapted by author Grace Halsell from her speech at the North American Regional Non-Governmental Symposium on the Question of Palestine held in June 1988 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.)
By John M. Swomley
There was a time, during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, when millions of Americans supported preparation for nuclear war - but only as a deterrent. Many of them would have been glad to engage in disarmament.
However, throughout the Cold War and to this day, the religious right wing has strongly opposed any disarmament measures. According to its Armageddon theology, war is not only inevitable but ordained by God.
Although the Jesus of the Gospels had a message of peace and repudiated the idea of a military messiah, right wing Christian broadcasters such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and, before them, Hal Lindsey (in his best selling book The Late Great Planet Earth and There's A New World Coming) have insisted that the Bible predicts the ending of the world in a fierce battle of Armageddon.
Those who predict the battle of Armageddon - which is mentioned only in Revelation 16:16 - also refer to other biblical passages as part of their prophecy. Ezekiel 38 and 39 refer to God of the country Magog, which is far to the north and is therefore assumed to be Russia. One passage, 38:15-16, speaks of many people, "all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army... [who] will come up against my people Israel." A few verses later, God says, "I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many people that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone." According to Armageddon theology, this is a description of a nuclear holocaust.
In Prophecy and Politics, author Grace Halsell describes the influence of Armageddon theology on Ronald Reagan. She quotes James Mill (former president pro tem of the California State Senate) who said of Reagan, "Certainly his attitudes relative to military spending, and his coolness to all proposals for nuclear disarmament, are consistent with such apocalyptic views. Armageddon, as foreseen in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation, cannot take place in a world that has been disarmed. Anyone who believes it will come to pass cannot expect that disarmament will ever come about. It is contrary to God's plan as set forth in His word."
John Swomley, former professor of social ethics at St. Paul School of Theology, lives in Kansas City, Missouri. This piece was adapted from his article published in Fellowship (July/August 1996).
The American "Christian Right" is firmly entrenched in the White House and the Pentagon. They have succeeded in creating hell on Earth by shaping world events to conform to their distorted and erroneous beliefs about the Bible, bringing about a self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon
The current conflict in the Middle East, and the "War on Terrorism", have their roots in British religious fanaticism:
BRITISH LITERALIST FOREIGN POLICY
The British Literalists--strong among the Anglican Evangelicals and in various Nonconformist churches--were not about to abandon their hopes of converting Jews and sending them to Palestine to meet their Messiah, especially not around 1840, when the current British policy of offering protection to Jews living in Palestine raised great expectations among the the premillennialists. Indeed, Literalist influence was unofficially helping to shape that policy. An ardent Literalist, Lord Ashley (later the Earl of Shaftesbury), was stepson- in-law and confidant of Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary. Ashley had private hopes of bringing about, through British action, the restoration of Israel to Palestine in preparation for the Second Advent. In 1840 he prodded Palmerston, by adducing political reasons, into seeking international backing for Jewish migration to Palestine, while he confided to his diary his own very different motives, which were distinctly religious:
Dined with Palmerston. After dinner left alone with him. Propounded my scheme, which seemed to strike his fancy . . . . Palmerston has already been chosen by God to be an instrument of good to His ancient people; to do homage, as it were, to their inheritance, and to recognise their rights without believing their destiny . . . . I am forced to argue politically, financially, commercially; these considerations strike him home; he weeps not like his Master over Jerusalem, nor prays that now, at last, she may put on her beautiful garments.
Ashley's influence was likewise behind the establishment of a consulate in Jerusalem in 1838, also the creating of an Anglican bishopric there in 1841 and the appointment to it of a Jewish Christian bishop. On October 16, 1841, he wrote in his diary: "Where would the Sultan's permission [to build the bishop's church] have been without Palmerston's vigour in consequence of my repeated and earnest representations?"
But Ashley's dream of a British-sponsored and treaty-protected Jewish migration to Palestine did not materialize. The four-power treaty of 1840 ignored the matter. Even the Jews themselves showed little interest; more than half a century passed before Zionism arose.
[p. 4] Nevertheless, 20th-century British policy in the Middle East owed something to the prophetic interpretation of the Literalists of the 1830s and 1840s.
As one recent writer has put it:
Lord Shaftesbury's adventure marks the point when events began leading logically toward the [Palestine] Mandate. . . .
Palmerston['s Middle Eastern policies] mark the beginning of official British intervention on behalf of the "Jewish nation" and of its resettlement in Palestine. . . .
Ashley had not labored in vain. . . . All these events centering in the Holy Land [including "the visionary prospects aroused by the Evangelical craze for conversion of the Jews and the Jerusalem bishopric"] combined to create almost a proprietary feeling about Palestine. The idea of a British annex there through the medium of a British-sponsored restoration of Israel began to appeal to other minds than Ashley's.
 Anthony Ashley, Earl of Shaftesbury, Diary entries, quoted in Edwin Hodder, The Life and Work of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, vol. 1, pp. 310, 311. Ashley was the one referred to, but not named (in London Times, Aug. 17, 1840, p. 3, col. 5), as the promoter of western-sponsored Jewish migration to Palestine.
 Hodder, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 377 (cf. pp. 370, 374). See also Harold Temperley, England and the Near East: The Crimea (1936), p. 443, note 275; Barbara W. Tuchman, Bible and Sword (1956, 1968), chap. 10.
 Tuchman, op. cit. (1968 ed.), pp. xi, 197, 208.
By Rayelan Allan, Publisher of Rumor Mill News
Several days ago I read an article called, THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT - HAS IT BEEN ENGINEERED BY EXTREMIST RIGHT WING CHRISTIANS AND ZIONISTS HOPING TO 'FORCE' THE RAPTURE?
When I decided to put the article on the front page of Rumor Mill News, I added a subtitle, "Does Armageddon really mean Genocide?"
With the situation in the Middle East rapidly moving to a point that it could easily pull the entire world into war, I remembered what I was doing 18 years ago! In 1984 I joined forces with Barbara Honegger, a former White House staffer, to warn the world that if Ronald Reagan was re-elected president, his Christian advisors would push him to create Armageddon in the Middle East. They believed that Jesus could only come again after Armageddon. It didn’t seem to matter that the fulfillment of their interpretation of religious prophecy meant genocide for the Jews and many other people living in the Middle East.
On Sunday, October 28, 1984, the New York times ran an article titled "Religious Debate Fueled by Politics" The subtitle was, 'Reagan’s Talk of Armageddon Focuses Attention on Split Over a ‘Day of Doom’.
The article stated,
"On a number of occasions over the years, President Reagan has referred to Armageddon, the place where, according to some religious teachings, the last, decisive battle between the forces of good and evil is to be fought before the Day of Judgement."
The New York Times quoted one of our paragraphs about Hal Lindsey, the author of the Late, Great Planet Earth.
"Mr. Lindsay holds that the Soviet Union is 'the beast' mentioned in Revelation and the force of 'the north,' the evil Gog and Magog on whom God rains destruction in the bible’s Book of Ezekiel (38-39)
"Citing the battle descriptions in Ezekiel, Revelation and Zechariah, he (Hal Lindsay) predicts Armageddon will begin with the annihilation of the Russians and their Arab allies. That, he asserts, will be followed by a war between the Western powers and the Chinese, which will culminate in the end of the world in a thermonuclear blast." (end of quote)
The San Francisco Examiner ran an article on October 25, 1984.
Right-wing religious leader Jim Robison, whom Reagan invited to deliver the opening prayer at the 1984 Republican National Convention, said on the eve of the 1980 Washington for Jesus Rally:
"Jesus said there will be wars and rumors of wars until the end, As for any attempt at man-made peace, Jesus said, "I didn’t come to being peace. I came to bring a sword."
"There’ll be no peace until Jesus comes. That’s what the Anti-Christ promises. Any teaching of peace prior to His return is heresy. It’s against the word of God! It’s anti-Christ!"
Still quoting the Examiner: "But in a recent radio documentary Falwell said, ‘There is not going to be any real peace in the Middle East until the day the Lord Jesus sits down upon the throne of David in Jerusalem. That day is coming, and, for sure, you and I are going to be a part of it.’
"In an interview published last March (1983) in the LA Times, Falwell predicted that the Soviet Union will invade the Middle East ’because it needs oil and hates Israel.’
In his famous "evil empire" speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1981, Reagan said, "There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.
In a television interview with televangelist Jim Baker during the 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan said, "We may be the generation that sees Armageddon."
Reagan told Jewish leaders in that same campaign, "Israel is the only stable democracy we can rely on in a spot where Armageddon could come."
In October 1981, the president reportedly discussed Armageddon with Sen. Howell Heflin, D-Ala, and said, "Russia is going to get involved in it."
Asked about his statements on Armageddon in last Sunday’s presidential debate, Reagan said he has had philosophical discussion with other interested in the subject. But he added that he has "never seriously warned and said we must plan according to Armageddon." [End of Examiner quotes]
I firmly believed that Ronald Reagan was being advised by his close personal friends, all of whom were fundamentalist Christian Armageddonists. These men and women convinced Reagan that in order for Jesus to return again, certain things had to be fulfilled, among them, a new temple had to be built, or at least started, and a war in Israel had to be started which would lead to Armageddon. These men believed that the creation of Israel in 1948 was God's way of telling them that Armageddon would happen in this century!
The men who advised Reagan believed that for Jesus to come a second time, that Armageddon would have to destroy Israel. Very few of these men ever discussed the huge number of lives that would be lost. Needless to say, most of these lives would be Israeli lives. From my point of view, it appears that what Hitler didn't finish during World War II would be finished by Christians who used their interpretation of Bliblical prophecy to start the "Final Holocaust - ARMAGEDDON!"
H. L. Wilmington, leader of Jerry Falwell's Liberty Home Bible Institute is one of the few men who laid it all out, including the fact that millions of Jews would perish in this Second Holocaust: "All hell will break loose and many of the Jews will lose their lives. In fact, there are some theologians that feel on the basis of reading Zachariah:14 that two-thirds of the Jews will be slaughtered. Wilmington put the number of Jews who would be slaughtered at 16 million. There aren’t 16 million Jews in Israel, which makes me wonder if he was talking about slaughtering all the Jews in the world!
What is very strange to me is that many loving and kind Christians eagerly look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus, all the while knowing that the Bible says he won’t come until after Armageddon. The current interpretation of Armageddon places Armageddon in Israel!
Is it any wonder that Rabbi Balfour Brickner said, "...if the president really believes in some facet of this Armageddon idea, it’s a very scary business."
© 2002 Rayelan Allan
Permission is given to copy and distribute this article as long as it is not changed, the author's name appears and a link to Rumor Mill News is included.
Cheryl's Daily Diatribe:
Wednesday, April 3, 2002
The Middle East Conflict - Has it Been Engineered by Extremist Rightwing Christians and Zionists Hoping to "Force" the "Rapture"?
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Bush and Sharon are colluding to force the Middle East into a massive, all-out war as a way to stay in power. But Bush plans to have the last laugh. By encouraging Sharon to escalating excesses, Bush hopes to bait Arabs everywhere — including Iraq — into taking aggressive action, even all-out war. This would of course give Bush the pretext he's sought for launching an attack on Iraq and embroiling America in a war guaranteed to last through election day 2004. But the other part of Bush's plan is just as vicious. By encouraging the bloodthirsty egomaniac Sharon, he may succeed in destroying Israel without ever lifting a finger himself.
It seems insane that Sharon has staked his country's security on an alliance with Bush — a man who describes himself as a fundamentalist Christian (which by definition means anti-Semitic), whose mentor Billy Graham was blatantly anti-Semitic, whose family actively traded with the Nazis in WWII and who has himself made anti-Semitic comments. This is like getting into bed with a rattlesnake and assuming you won't get bitten.
But, there is another dimension to the Middle East insanity very, very few know about: the unholy alliance between the Christian right and their Jewish counterparts, the Zionists. While sane people around the world view the Middle East conflict as "mere" political wrangling with religious undertones, the rightwing Christians and Zionists see the conflict as a prelude to the final chapter in the fulfillment of Biblical scriptures - at least as interpreted by paranoid schizophrenics with religious delusions such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and their Rabbinical counterparts in Israel and America . These people welcome the current bloodbath with "rapturously" open arms — it means the "final Chapter" is imminent, at the conclusion of which the faithful will ascend to heaven and the rest of us heathens will die a horrible death. (These people are such great human beings, eh?).
I did not know about this wacked out movement until very recently. I thought this type was confined to small, relatively powerless cults such as the Jim Jones or Hale-Bopp folks. But it seems that the rightwing Judeo-Christian "coalition" is not only just as whacked out as these cults, it is far, far larger and has friends in very high political places — including, it is very likely, Bush himself and most certainly John Ashcroft. Ashcroft is a Pentecostal, and the Pentecostals are the most rabidly fixated on the "coming rapture" and the significance of events in the Middle East.
First, I will give you some background, which was provided to me by a very reliable source.Cheryl,My source also included the following excerpt:
The reason why the Christian right has been funneling money into the West Bank is because they are trying to force the Rapture.
According to Evangelical Christian beliefs, the Jews will rebuild the Temple Mount. When that happens the Lord will take all Born Again Christians up into heaven with him where they will live at his right hand for ever and ever Amen.
But the Jews will not rebuild the Temple Mount because they are all impure from having stepped upon the earth which has dead people buried in it. In order for them to be pure, they must get a pure red heifer that was born in Israel and burn it. The ashes will be mixed with water and this will be used to purify the builders and priests of the temple.
Reverend Clyde Lott , an Evangelical cattle breeder, has been working with American-Born Rabbi Richman and West Bank settlers to genetically create a perfect red cow. The West Bank is currently populated with Palestinian Muslims who are sworn to protect the Al Aqsa Mosque which must be destroyed because it currently sits exactly where they intend to build the Temple Mount. They also need a male who has taken his bar mitzvah (he would be at least 13 years old) who has been raised "in a bubble" never touching the earth or anything that has become ritually unclean.
According to the Jews, the Messiah will come once the temple is built.
According to the Christians, the Jews will almost all die once the Temple is built and an antichrist immediately moves into it. According to the Muslims, both the Christians and the Jews will die violent and bloody deaths if they attempt to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque.
No, I am not hallucinating!
We are about to see the biggest mass suicide ever.
Furthermore, if you listen to the Christians, there also has to be a war with Persia around this same time.["According to Clyde Lott, the intent of many Evangelical Christians who are helping Israel today is to speed along the time when they will be raptured into Heaven, leaving behind a world in chaos and flames. "It's very sad, but I would say the interest in the Christian world is to see the Temple rebuilt from the Antichrist perspective, for the rapture of the Church, and that's a very selfish point of view," Lott says, "The very people who are advocating this are the ones that are very Semitic in their feelings". Although Evangelical theology forecasts the destruction of the Jews in the Last Days, Lott believes that the Jews are God's Chosen People and that the Bible clearly states that God favors those who help Israel."Now that you have digested at least some of this, consider Bush's actions for the past several months. Without even needing to invoke a conspiracy theory, his behavior suddenly makes sense — in a bizarro world way. Thus you have his constant use of the words "evildoers" and his passage of judgment on other nations as "evil," his obsession with attacking Iraq and, if he had his way, also Iran (the modern-day counterparts to "Persia" — at least close enough for government work!), his willingness to use nuclear weaponry (after all, Armageddon is part of the plan), his creation of a shadow government, his seemingly inexplicable refusal to make any effort to restrain Sharon, his surrounding himself with fundies, regardless of their qualifications (only the "pure" can participate in the "glory" of the final hours!), his determination to knock down the wall between church and state, his encouragement of Ashcroft's prayer meetings in the Justice Building, etc.
Most Israelis understand the subtext of this alliance, but they are loathe to disclaim it. "Basically, we're a doormat for them to get to their own eschatological culmination," Rabbi Richman says, "It's a pretty scary thing, because the whole rapture thing that is popular in some Evangelical circles, which calls for a fulfillment of the hard times for Jacob, is essentially an invitation to genocide."
And yet, knowing this Rabbi Richman and the others happily accept the support of those who would destroy them."]
So, simply put, we may well have a pack of religious nutcases running the U.S. government as well as in control of Israel. Is it any wonder that the situation in the Middle East has reached the current level of insanity? Sharon has intentionally provoked the current showdown, exhibiting a flagrant lack of concern for human life, be it Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. Yes there are Palestinian suicide bombers, but, as R. D. Laing once said, some forms of insanity are in fact just sane reactions to an insane situation.
I have no doubt that, with Bush and Sharon at the helm, the insanity will get much, much worse before it gets better — which it never will as long as these two madmen remain in power.
Meanwhile, as these extremists use the "Holy Land" as a playground for acting out their delusions, the Palestinians are paying the heaviest price: Here are journal entries from those trapped in Ramallah.
© 2002, Cheryl Seal
Update: As of July 1st, 2002, the red heifer born in Israel this past April remains unblemished.
April 8th, 2002
It can now be revealed that less than one month ago, a red heifer was born in Israel. After the heifer's owner contacted the Temple Institute, on Friday, April 5th, 2002, Rabbi Menachem Makover and Rabbi Chaim Richman traveled to the farm where the heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status. The rabbis found her to be kosher and were satisfied that this heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of purification described in the book of Numbers, chapter 19. This is an important development towards the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
As you can see in the photo below, they want to build where the mosque now stands.
Where were the First and Second Jewish Temples Located?
Highlighting the Research of Tel Aviv Architect Tuvia Sagiv
Aerial photo of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem showing the Proposed Northern, Central and Southern Sites for the First and Second Temples.
A Few Important Links
America, Israel, and Radical Islam
Who are the Terrorists? What are their goals?
Why is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so key?
How does America fit in this new war?
For years the Middle East conflict has seemed a distant problem, no closer than the newspaper headlines. But the attack on America on 9/11 changed that. Now this once faraway conflict has spread to America. Why did this happen?
World of the Bible Ministries, Inc. is an non-profit Christian organization that functions as a ministry resource to local churches, Christian organizations, and the general public. by producing products and providing instruction for proper biblical interpretation, prophetic awareness, and spiritual growth.
We believe in the total verbal, plenary, unlimited, and inerrant inspiration of Scripture (Old and Testaments), and in it's complete sufficiency and authority for faith and practice.
We believe that there is only one God, eternally existing as the triune Being: Father, Son and Holy Spirit- each Person equally sharing the same divine nature, attributes, and glory.
We believe that eternal salvation is the gift of God, brought to men apart from their human works, by his grace and received by faith alone in Jesus Christ who was punished in the place of sinners, died, and rose to life, and is coming again. We understand this future coming to be pretribulational and premillenial.
We believe that the Church is composed of all believers in Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile.
We believe that the Jewish people are the people of God by an unconditional covenant, that they have a divine right to the Land promised to the Patriarchs, that they must believe in Jesus as there Messiah to be saved, and that Jewish believers in this age become part of the Church while remaining a part of Israel.
Dr. J. Randall Price serves as our Director and traveling representative. He is a Th.M. graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Our Board of Reference
Dr. John Walvoord-Chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. H. Willmington- Vice President, Liberty University (The Chancellor of Liberty University is Jerry Falwell)
Israeli tanks preparing the way for the Lord.
TBN began with a dream. A vision. To build a Christian television network that spans the whole world.
Three Reasons Why Viewers Choose TBN:
Faith in God.
Love of family.
Preface to the Prophecy of Lance Lambert
In 1986, Dr. Oral Roberts gave TBN a prophecy concerning the 100 stations God was going to give TBN.
This prophecy was given in 1986 in a Prophetic Conference in Jerusalem, Israel. 153 prophets from 30 to 40 nations had gathered to wait upon and to hear from the Lord. The highlights of this prophecy to the entire body of Christ are as follows:
"And hear this! Do not fear the power of the Kremlin, nor the power of the Islamic Revolution, for I plan to break both of them through Israel. I will bring down their pride and their arrogance, and shatter them because they have blasphemed my name. In that day I will avenge the blood of all the martyrs and of the innocent ones whom they have slaughtered."
Paul Crouch, President of TBN, Meets Attorney General John Ashcroft
God is opening many wonderful new doors in America, too! I had the joy of greeting ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT, at the inauguration of our President last January. We actually attended the same church as boys, in Springfield, Missouri! Please especially keep the Attorney General and the President in your prayers during this difficult time in our nation’s history. As God’s people, we are commissioned to "PRAY for kings and ALL OTHERS who are in authority, so we can LIVE IN PEACE and in quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for He wants EVERYONE to be SAVED and understand the TRUTH"
"They gathered the armies near "MEGIDDO"
When the world was asking, "WHY?," TBN's "Megiddo" hit the BIG SCREEN, in theatres nationwide (Sept. 21st, 2001) with its POWERFUL Bible-based message! Megiddo’s dramatic portrayal of the last days and the Antichrist, is based on the Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel. The response was overwhelming.
"Megiddo" is a supernatural ride into a world teetering on the edge of the Apocalypse. It follows the rise of a Machiavellian leader bent on amassing the armies of the world for the battle of Armageddon while calamities of Biblical proportion pummel the Earth. He is the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation, the embodiment of Satan himself.
What is your destiny? Just call on JESUS!
Franklin Graham, playboy-turned-preacher son of the Reverend Billy Graham made headlines when he was quoted in an interview saying, the war on terrorism should not be limited to the battlefield. He says it needs to expand to include a war on Islam, the religion. Franklin Graham was chosen to deliver the invocation sermon at George W. Bush Inaugural Prayer Service , and selected to lead the first officially declared National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving.
Graham's comments are causing quite a stir, especially among American Muslims on the first day of Ramadan.
"We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us," Graham said. "The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the Son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."
Graham says his beliefs are based on what he has read in the Kur'an, the Islamic holy book, and suggests that America's war on terrorism is also a war on Islam.
"I think we better take a hard look, though, at Islam. I don't believe this is this wonderful, peaceful religion."
The addled clerics' ill-advised remarks were broadcast all across America on NBC TV on Friday, Nov. 16, 2001. By some weird coincidence, that was the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. By another weird concidence, the U.S. accidentally bombed a mosque on that same day:
November 16, 2001
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A bomb dropped Friday as two U.S. Air Force aircraft targeted an al Qaeda facility damaged a mosque in Khowst, Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command officials said.
Armageddon Lobby, Sharon's "Christian" Muscle
Trying to hurry up God.
In Eisenhower's Presidential Farewell speech, he warned the nation about the "Military/Industrial Complex".
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted." - Listen to the speech in it's entirety.
America didn't listen, and now the "Military/Industrial Complex" is firmly in control of America, and the world.
Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of General Electric (whom Truman had just appointed to head the Office of Defense Mobilization), in a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association in 1950:
"If the people were not convinced that the free world is in danger it would be impossible for Congress to vote for the vast sums now being spent to avert this danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshalled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our job - yours and mine - to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might."
On January 24, 1997 GE was identified as the world's biggest company, heading the Financial Times Global 500 list. GE was also named the most profitable U.S. company, with after-tax profits of $7.28 billion, as sales grew 13% to $79 billion. Financial Times, January 24, 1997, p. 17. GE has an estimated 250,000 employees and is ranked number ninety-six out of the top one hundred U.S. defense contractors. Aviation Week and Space Technology, vol. 146, no. 2, January 13, 1997, p. 235.
Read Human Rights Watch's The Case Against General Electric
By far the most recognizable name on the list of landmine component producers is General Electric - the U.S. multinational that says it "brings good things to life." For more than a dozen years these "good things" included parts for deadly antipersonnel landmines.
General Electric's involvement in the landmines business first came to Human Rights Watch's attention when GE showed up on a 1994 Pentagon list of suppliers of landmines and mine components.
Nancy Davis, later Nancy Reagan, helped land Ronald Reagan a job for General Electric as their spokesman. Reagan not only appeared every week on TV as the host of General Electric Theater, he also traveled extensively, visiting all 135 of G.E.'s plants and speaking to 250,000 employees. At each stop he made what became to be known as "The Speech." It was a patriotic, anti-communism, and pro-business speech that eventually became the ideology for Reagan in politics in the years to come.
From CNN's "Reagan Years
By the mid-1950s, Ronald Reagan had made the full transformation from liberal to Republican and his acting career had taken a backseat to his political aspirations. In September 1954, he agreed to host television's "General Electric Theater" -- a move that helped speed his transition from actor to full-time politician.
While serving as a corporate ambassador for GE, appearing at functions across America, Reagan developed what came to be known as "The Speech" -- a sentimental, anti-big government paean to a romantic America of a bygone era. In 1964, he delivered a rousing address on behalf of Barry Goldwater, the ultra-conservative Republican presidential candidate, running against President Lyndon B. Johnson. While the speech did not salvage Goldwater's campaign, the former GE host electrified the audience, effectively launching his own political career.
Confronting the Military-Corporate Complex,
Presented at the Hague Appeal for Peace, The Hague, May 12th 1999.
by Steven Staples
I'd like to begin today by revisiting Eisenhower's famous warning to the people of the United States in his last speech as President. Eisenhower told citizens to beware of the growing influence and power of what he called "the military-industrial complex," the collusion between the military and defence contractors to subvert the democratic process.
This term has become a part of the lexicon of the second half of the twentieth century. However, I'd like to propose that today we need to reconsider our understanding of the military-industrial complex. The end of the Cold War and the advent of globalization have transformed Eisenhower's military-industrial complex into a new beast - the military-corporate complex.
A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'
The PNAC document supports a 'blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests'.
This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future as possible', the report says. It also calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'.
The report describes American armed forces abroad as 'the cavalry on the new American frontier'. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'.
The PNAC report also:
l refers to key allies such as the UK as 'the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership';
l describes peace-keeping missions as 'demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations';
l reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA;
l says 'even should Saddam pass from the scene' bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently -- despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops -- as 'Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has';
l spotlights China for 'regime change' saying 'it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia'. This, it says, may lead to 'American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratisation in China';
l calls for the creation of 'US Space Forces', to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent 'enemies' using the internet against the US;
l hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons -- which the nation has banned -- in decades to come. It says: 'New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available ... combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes ... advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool';
l and pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a 'world-wide command-and-control system'.
Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP, father of the House of Commons and one of the leading rebel voices against war with Iraq, said: 'This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks -- men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war.
'This is a blueprint for US world domination -- a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing.'
Bush and Yale's Skull and Bones
On NBC's Today Show, Sept. 4, 2002 - Inside a cold, foreboding structure of brown sandstone in New Haven, Conn., lives one of the most heavily shrouded secret societies in American history. Yale’s super-elite Skull and Bones, a 200-year-old organization whose roster is stocked with some of the country’s most prominent families: Bush, Harriman, Phelps, Rockefeller, Taft, and Whitney. Journalist Alexandra Robbins, herself a member of another of Yale’s secret societies, interviewed more than a hundred Bonesmen and writes about the rituals that make up the organization.
In SECRETS OF THE TOMB, acclaimed journalist Alexandra Robbins accomplishes what no one before her ever has. She has managed to get scores of Bonesmen to talk about what really happens inside the Tomb, and exactly what influence the organization really wields. She reveals for the first time who has been a member, and what that membership has meant. Robbins takes us inside the Tomb, and on to Skull and Bones's private island. She reveals the organization's secret initiation rites, and dissects their true impact on world affairs.
A spectacular feat of investigative reporting, SECRETS OF THE TOMB is more than the definitive book on the most secret society in the world. It is also a provocative exploration of our need for conspiracy and connection.
Formerly on the staff of The New Yorker, Alexandra Robbins has written for numerous magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, where she has written on George W. Bush's Skull and Bones experiences. She is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller QUARTERLIFE CRISIS and a 1998 graduate of Yale.
Skull and Bones has curled its tentacles into every reach of American society. This tiny club has set up networks that have thrust three members to the most powerful political position in the world. And its power is only increasing - the 2004 Presidential election might showcase the first time each ticket has been led by a Bonesman. The secret society now, as one historian admonishes, is "'an international mafia' . . . unregulated and all but unknown." In its quest to create a New World Order that restricts individual freedoms and places ultimate power solely in the hands of a small cult of wealthy, prominent families, Skull and Bones has already succeeded in infiltrating nearly every major research, policy, financial, media, and government institution in the country. Skull and Bones, in fact, has been running the United States for years.
Skull and Bones has been dominated by approximately two dozen of the country.s most prominent families - Bush, Bundy, Harriman, Lord, Phelps, Rockefeller, Taft, and Whitney, among them - who are encouraged by the society to inter-marry so that the society.s power is consolidated. In fact, the society forces members to confess their entire sexual histories so that Skull and Bones, as a eugenics overlord, can determine whether a new Bonesman will be fit to carry on the bloodlines of the powerful Skull and Bones dynasties. A rebel will not make Skull and Bones; nor will anyone whose background in any way indicates that he will not sacrifice for the greater good of the larger organization.
The influence of the cabal begins at Yale, where Skull and Bones has appropriated university funds for its own use, leaving the school virtually impoverished. Skull and Bones. corporate shell, the Russell Trust Association, owns nearly all of the university.s real estate, as well as most of the land in Connecticut. Skull and Bones has controlled Yale's faculty and campus publications so that students cannot speak openly about the secret society. "Year by year," the campus' only anti-society publication stated during its brief tenure in 1873, "the deadly evil is growing."
The knights (as the student members are called) learn quickly that their allegiance to the society must supercede all else - family, friendships, country, God. They are taught that once they get out into the world, they are expected to reach positions of prominence so that they can further elevate the society.s status and help promote the standing of their fellow Bonesmen.
This purpose has driven Bonesmen to ascend to the top levels of so many fields that, as one historian observes, "at any one time The Order can call on members in any area of American society to do what has to be done." Several Bonesmen have been senators, congressmen, Supreme Court justices, and cabinet officials. There is a Bones cell in the CIA, which uses Skull and Bones as a recruiting ground because the members are so obviously adept at keeping secrets. Society members dominate financial institutions such as J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, and Brown Brothers Harriman, where at one time more than a third of the partners were Bonesmen. Through these companies, Skull and Bones provided financial backing to Adolf Hitler because the society then followed a Nazi - and now follows a neo-Nazi - doctrine. At least one dozen Bonesmen have been linked to the Federal Reserve, including the first Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. Skull and Bones members control the wealth of the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford families.
Skull and Bones has also taken steps to control the American media. Two of its members founded the law firm that represents the New York Times. Plans for both Time and Newsweek magazines were hatched in the Skull and Bones tomb. The society has controlled publishing houses such as Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. In the 1880s, Skull and Bones created the American Historical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Economic Association so that the society could ensure that history would be written under its terms and promote its objectives. The society then installed its own members as the presidents of these associations.
Under the society's direction, Bonesmen developed and dropped the nuclear bomb and navigated the Bay of Pigs invasion. Skull and Bones members had ties to Watergate and the Kennedy assassination. They control the Council of Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission so that they can push their own political agenda. Skull and Bones government officials have used the number 322 as codes for highly classified diplomatic assignments.
Skull and Bones, particularly in recent years, has managed to pervade both popular and political culture. In the 1992 race for the Republican presidential nomination, Pat Buchanan accused President George Bush of running "a Skull and Bones presidency." In 1993, during Jeb Bush's Florida gubernatorial campaign, one of his constituents asked him, "You're familiar with the Skull and Crossbones Society?" When Bush responded, "Yeah, I've heard about it," the constituent persisted, "Well, can you tell the people here what your family membership in that is? Isn't your aim to take control of the United States?" In January 2001, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd used Skull and Bones in a simile: "When W. met the press with his choice for attorney general, John Ashcroft, before Christmas," Dowd wrote, "he vividly showed how important it is to him that his White House be as leak-proof as the Skull & Bones 'tomb.'" - More
The Mormon church and evangelical faiths grew during the past decade while more liberal Protestant denominations shrank, according to a new census of U.S. religions conducted by a Roman Catholic research group.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew at the fastest rate, with the Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God following closely behind, the 2000 Religious Congregations & Membership study found.
The Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God is John Ashcroft's church, and Trinity Broadcasting Network founder Paul Crouch's church. Ashcroft and Crouch even attended the SAME church in Missouri when they were boys.
By BLAINE HARDEN
LAKE CHARLES, La., Sept. 13 - The Rev. Don Wildmon, founding chairman of a mushrooming network of Christian radio stations, does not like National Public Radio.
"He detests the news that the public gets through NPR and believes it is slanted from a distinctly liberal and secular perspective," said Patrick Vaughn, general counsel for Mr. Wildmon's American Family Radio.
Here in Lake Charles, American Family Radio has silenced what its boss detests.
It knocked two NPR affiliate stations off the local airwaves last year, transforming this southwest Louisiana community of 95,000 people into the most populous place in the country where "All Things Considered" cannot be heard.
In place of that program - and "Morning Edition," "Car Talk" and a local Cajun program called "Bonjour Louisiana" - listeners now find "Home School Heartbeat," "The Phyllis Schlafly Report" and the conservative evangelical musings of Mr. Wildmon, whose network broadcasts from Tupelo, Miss.
The Christian stations routed NPR in Lake Charles under a federal law that allows noncommercial broadcasters with licenses for full-power stations to push out those with weaker signals - the equivalent of the varsity team kicking the freshmen out of the gym.
This is happening all over the country. The losers are so-called translator stations, low-budget operations that retransmit the signals of bigger, distant stations. The Federal Communications Commission considers them squatters on the far left side of the FM dial, and anyone who is granted a full-power license can legally run them out of town.
Religious broadcasters have done this to public radio stations in Oregon and Indiana, too, and many large-market public radio stations, like WBEZ in Chicago, complain that new noncommercial stations, most of them religious, are stepping on the signal at the edge of their transmission areas.
Stations are scrambling for these frequencies at a time of rapid growth in the national NPR audience and even faster growth in religious networks like American Family Radio. It owns 194 stations, has 18 affiliates and has applications for hundreds more pending with the F.C.C.
"Faith Based" education:Study: Charter Students Score Poorly
Tue Sep 3, 2002
By GREG TOPPO, AP Education Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Students in charter schools, often seen as an alternative to failing neighborhood schools, are scoring significantly below public school pupils in basic reading and math skills, a new study shows.
Charter school students were anywhere from a half year to a full year behind their public school peers, researchers at the Brookings Institution concluded after reviewing 1999-2000 reading and math achievement test scores of 376 charter schools in 10 states.
The study, the first independent snapshot of charter school performance across the nation, found that 59 percent of students at traditional public schools scored better than charter school students during the period studied. Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, a Washington organization that advocates for charter schools, said more information is needed on how much students learn after they've spent a few years in a charter school.
Jeanne Allan is listed among the resources at Education and the Christian Worldview , along with Cotton Mather, of the Salem "Witch Trials" fame.
"Although the accusations of witchcraft at Salem described by Cotton Mather in The Wonders of the Invisible World have become the most notorious example of the hysteria about witches,.."
Charter Schools - Information on how to start a Charter School
The Center for Education Reform - Jeanne Allen, President
Sermons, Addresses and Tracts
"Where [Godly] Schools are not vigorously and Honourable Encouraged, whole Colonies will sink apace; into a Degenerate and Contemptible Condition, and at last become horribly Barbarous: And the first Instance of their Barbarity will be, that they will be undone for want of men, but not see and own what it was that undid them." You will therefore pardon my Freedom with you, if I Address you, in the words of Luther:
"If ever there be any Considerable Blow given to the Devil's Kingdom, it must be, by Youth Excellently Educated. It is a serious Thing, a weighty Thing, and a thing that hath much of the Interest of Christ, and of Christianity in it, that Youth be well-trained up, and that Schools, and School-Masters be maintained. Learning is an unwelcome guest to the Devil, and therefore he would fain starve it out."
In the autumn of 1671 a case of so-called witchcraft occurred at Groton, and the Reverend Samuel Willard, at that time the minister of the town, gave much attention and study to it. He wrote a long letter to Cotton Mather, giving the minutest details of the case, and Dr. Mather refers to it in his "Magnalia Christi Americana" (book vi. chapter vii. page 67).
"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation," the leader of another country once wrote. "We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland." - Adoph Hitler, writing about creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.
The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those who have not got it. - G. B. Shaw
In 1919 Joseph Schumpteter described ancient Rome in a way that sounds eerily like the United States in 2002."There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies, the allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest -- why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbours...The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, it was manifestly Rome's duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs."
The ancient Roman Empire appointed proconsuls, military commanders, to rule the lands it had conquered. It's no surprise that a country that has troops flung wide across the globe that have a habit of "digging in for the long haul" should have proconsuls itself, the name the Pentagon confers on US generals who head the US military commands Washington has carved the world into.
Consider this quote from Hermann Goering, president of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief:"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
U.S. military spending ($343 billion in the year 2000) is 69 percent greater than that of the next five highest nations combined. Russia, which has the second largest military budget, spends less than one-sixth what the United States does. Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Iran, and Syria spend $14.4 billion combined; Iran accounts for 52 percent of this total.
A Conservative/Libertarian coalition opposed to the bombing which brings retaliation from enemies that we ourselves create, turning our free Republic into a military empire.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins." - H.L. Mencken
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