Friday, December 29, 2006

"God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq"

The Jeremiah 50-51 prophecy of calamity upon "Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans" (Jer. 50:1) includes a "great nation and many kings (being) aroused from the remote parts of the earth (who) seize their bow and javelin; (men who) are cruel and have no mercy... marshalled like a man for the battle against (the) daughter of Babylon" (Jer. 50:41-42).

The passage continues: "Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I shall make them run away from it, and whoever is chosen I shall appoint over it..." (Jer. 50:44).

So, according to the prophecy, the leader of the "great nation" and its coalition of "many kings" which are aroused from the remote parts of the earth -- "foreigners (dispatched) to Babylon that they may winnow her and may devastate her land... in the day of her calamity" (Jer. 51:2) -- had been "chosen" by God himself to perform this deed.

One would think if God himself had actually chosen someone for some special assignment of that magnitude, that someone might have been let in on the special commission, as if having been given a word directly out of the heavens. That would be my thought, anyway.

And so we read the headline in the Guardian Unlimited (UK) of Friday, October 7, 2005: "George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'". This article cites a senior Palestinian politician who claims when President Bush met with a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, he told them, "I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

The Palestinian official who recounted this was Nabil Shaath, who was the Palestinian foreign minister at the time. According to the report in the Guardian, the BBC persuaded Mr. Shaath to go on the record for a television series on Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy.

The Jewish newspaper, Haaretz, reported Bush's words on their web site, Haaretz.com, this way: "According to [Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud] Abbas, [...] 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[...]'"


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