[Marxism] Re: Iranian invasion\attack plans?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 26 09:36:54 MST 2006

>That is, unless they start WW IV.  In which case, all bets are off.

Bush's Armageddon Obsession
By Michael Ortiz Hill, AlterNet
Posted on October 23, 2002, Printed on January 26, 2006

Editor's Note: Mr. Hill has asked AlterNet to provide this story for open 
distribution to any website or publication. He also encourages our readers 
to see his accompanying story, "Overcoming Terrorism: a Twelve-Step 
Approach" on his Web site, Gathering In.

I'd become accustomed to George W. Bush's use of the word "evil" until he 
told the nation this last spring, "The evil one is among us."

Anyone with a passing understanding of the evangelical world of Bush' faith 
knows he was referring to the Antichrist. The implications of this are 
grave beyond telling and yet scarcely ever noted in the public discourse. 
On the eve of a misguided war the Commander in Chief of the most powerful 
military force in human history has located American foreign policy within 
a Biblical narrative that leads inexorably towards the plains of Megiddo, 
roughly fifty five miles northwest of Jerusalem: the battle of Armageddon. 
Two essential questions, as impertinent as they are imperative, need to be 
asked: Mr. President, as a born-again Christian is it not true that you 
regard this as the end times prophesied in the Bible? In what way does your 
religious understanding of apocalypse inform American policy in the Mideast?

There are many aspects to the fundamentalist understanding of the end of 
days not the least being the conversion of the Jews to the true Messiah 
before the final battle. In Bush' political autobiography ("A Charge to 
Keep") he places himself squarely in the mainstream of evangelical thought. 
Recounting his pilgrimage to the Holy Land Bush writes of entering into the 
waters of Galilee in the apparent baptism of "a Jewish friend." It was then 
that the hymn came to his mind:

"Now the time is approaching /By prophets long foretold /When all shall 
dwell together /One Shepherd and one fold /Now Jew and Gentile meeting 
/From many a distant shore /Around an altar kneeling /One common Lord adore"

I don't know if the president has read Hal Lindsey, but much of what he 
says shows a similar perspective. Having sold 15 million copies, Lindseys' 
book "The Late Great Planet Earth" remains the most influential text 
shaping fundamentalist thought on apocalyptic matters.

Written within the geopolitical fantasies of the Cold War Lindsey writes, 
"As Armageddon begins with the invasion of Israel by the Arabs and the 
Russian confederacy, and their consequent swift destruction, the greatest 
period of Jewish conversion to their true Messiah will begin." I'd rather 
not believe that Bush is moving according to Lindsey's game plan, but the 
simple fact is that we don't know. The administration systematic alienation 
of our Arab allies (soon leaving Israel as our only viable ally in the 
Mideast) raises disturbing questions.

Lindsey's book influenced not only American fundamentalist culture but had 
a pervasive effect on fundamentalist Islam's apocalyptic worldview. 
According to David Cook, the American expert on Islamic apocalyptic 
literature, until the late eighties this element of Muslim culture had been 
fairly static for centuries.

"The contemporary Muslim," says Cook, "sees the present world turned upside 
down by Christian millennialism ... In defense, Muslims make heavy use of 
the Bible, or one might say the Bible as seen through the eyes of Hal 
Lindsey. There are Muslim readings of the book of Daniel, Ezekial and 
Revelation. The only difference is the 'good guys' are Muslims, not 
Christians." This strange cross-fertilization between cultures has placed 
us in the situation in which the current administration and Radical Islam 
share a common worldview in which peace descends after Evil is defeated in 
an apocalyptic battle. Both parties sing the same song: God will lead our 
warriors to victory against the forces of darkness.

We are at an extraordinary and critical historical moment. When Bush was in 
Germany trying to garner support for invading Iraq the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff of the Pentagon leaked its unanimous objection. More recently Brent 
Scowcroft, the elder statesman of the Republican foreign policy 
establishment declared that Bush' plans could unleash "an Armageddon in the 
Middle East."

"The comments of Mr. Scowcroft and others in the Republican foreign policy 
establishment," writes the New York Times, "appears to be a loosely 
coordinated effort." On the domestic front it seems that both the Pentagon 
and significant figures in the Republican party (Scowcroft, Kissinger, 
House majority leader Dick Armey) are attempting to rein in a rogue 
president before American men and women begin coming home in body bags.

On the foreign front the U.S. is facing near universal opposition by our 
European allies and complete opposition from the Arab world, including 
Kuwait and the Iraqi Kurds who have suffered so much under Saddam Hussein. 
The religious underpinnings of Bush's war against evil are evident as is 
the absolutist theology he shares with Radical Islam. Both of them see such 
wars as we may be facing right now as righteous, good and necessary. It is 
clear, we should be afraid for we are profoundly endangered by the passions 
of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalisms.

Michael Ortiz Hill encourages readers to reproduce and circulate this essay 



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