When the U.S. and its principal ally Great Britain invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2001 and 2003 respectively, both President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair believed they were fulfilling “God’s Will.”
This has been rumored for years after fundamentalist Bush was quoted six years ago as saying that he launched the invasions because he was “on a mission from God.” But new evidence establishes both former leaders were convinced that the Christian deity supported their attacks on the two Islamic countries.
Former French Premier Jacques Chirac, in a book published in March, revealed that Bush said he was fulfilling Biblical prophesy in starting each of his unjust, illegal wars. In late May, John Burton, one of Blair’s closest political associates for a quarter-century and often described as his mentor, told the press that the British leader’s support of the wars was “all part of the Christian battle; good should triumph over evil.”
An account of Bush’s religious motivations appeared May 24 in CounterPunch under the byline of Clive Hamilton, a visiting professor at Yale.
“In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac,” Hamilton wrote. “Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated. In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped.
“The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy: ‘And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.’”
“Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac: ‘This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.’”
The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and ‘wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.’”
Blair’s support for wars of aggression was likewise justified by religious beliefs, which is hardly a new phenomenon in either the ancient or modern world. Has there ever been a war when God wasn’t on America’s, or Great Britain’s side?
The London Daily Telegraph of May 23 published an interview with Blair’s friend Burton who revealed that the ex-Prime Minister was frustrated because British politics — as opposed to the politics of godly America — frowned upon expressions of religious zeal by the country’s top leaders. Now that he’s out of office, Blair has established the “Tony Blair Faith Foundation” and has been interviewed numerous times about his religious views.
According to the Telegraph, “The former Prime Minister’s faith is claimed to have influenced all his key policy decisions and to have given him an unshakeable conviction that he was right.” Burton said “It’s very simple to explain the idea of Blair the Warrior. It was part of Tony living out his faith. While he was at Number 10, Tony was virtually gagged on the whole question of religion. But Tony’s Christian faith is part of him, down to his cotton socks. He believed strongly at the time, that intervention in Kosovo, Sierra Leone — Iraq too — was all part of the Christian battle; good should triumph over evil, making lives better.”
The newspaper continued: Burton’s “comments will add to the suspicions of Mr. Blair’s critics, who fear he saw the Iraq war in a similar light to Bush, who used religious rhetoric in talking about the conflict, as well as the war in Afghanistan, describing them as ‘a crusade.’”
The BBC reported Bush’s “mission from God” statement following the U.S. president’s June 2003 meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath. They disclosed that “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, “George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.” And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq.’ And I did.”
A year later, the Commander in Chief of the most deadly war machine in history confessed that, in effect, his is the voice of a supernatural being: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was a skillful manipulator of Bush’s delusional religious beliefs. It was revealed in May by GQ magazine that Rumsfeld adorned the covers of his top secret war intelligence reports to the president with biblical quotations along with photos of American
soldiers and battle equipment. One such report, a few days after the invasion, showed a U.S. tank in the desert and a paragraph from Ephesians 6:13, declaring: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (3)
On March 22, 2003, Rumsfeld announced in a worldwide broadcast that his threatened “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad had just commenced. The dark sky over the Iraqi capital was illuminated throughout the long night by Washington’s bombs bursting in air like Fourth of July firecrackers, accompanied by the “ohs” and “ahs” of a huge American television audience. The screaming and pain were off camera. Over the course of six years more than a million Iraqis have been slain so far in carrying out Bush’s mission from God to “liberate” the country and confiscate all its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.
To Bush, Rumsfeld’s “shock and awe” terror bombing was the equivalent of a vengeful God’s threat against Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38:22: “And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.”
How many poor, innocent peasant families will be killed in destitute Afghanistan now that the successor to a Christian religious fanatic has decided to hurl his own “hailstones, fire, and brimstone” against the Islamic religious fanaticism of the Taliban?
But of course “you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side.” Onward Christian soldiers, Onward as to war!