Anyone amazed by the current wave of spontaneous Islamic uprisings against the crazy anti-Islam film should realize America has a deeper problem than trying to explain the First Amendment to the Muslim street. Wait until millions of people read the 2003 statement by President George Bush calling for a Christian war against Iraq and the Middle East.
In a stunning statement, President George Bush told the president of France, Jacques Chirac, that the Iraq “confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a new age begins,” according to a new book by Kurt Eichenwald, former New York Times reporter.
So far there has been complete silence and denial about the Bush statement. But the fuse is lit. Bush will be under pressure to explain himself.
Bush, in an early 2003 phone call to President Chirac, according to Eichenwald, said, “Jacques, you and I share a common faith. You’re Roman Catholic, I’m Methodist, but we are both Christians committed to the teachings of the Bible. We share one common Lord." Bush continued, "Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East. Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled. This confrontation is being willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a new age begins.”
Seen through this disclosure, US attacks on Islamic fundamentalists are partly a projection of a deep American Christian fundamentalism rooted in the Crusades. Bush used the term “crusader” early in his administration, but later withdrew the comments as a mistake.
When the Iraq invasion began, nine evangelical churches were opened, 150 Christian missionaries flooded in, and one million Arabic-language leaflets proclaimed the “good news.” The End-timers waited for the prophecies to be fulfilled. The president’s Pentagon point person on intelligence, Gen. William Boyklin, claimed that God, who incidentally was the “real God” as opposed to the satanic Allah, appointed Bush.
Then there was the Pentagon’s inspector general, Joseph Schmitz, who seemed more interested in demonic forces than corrupt contractors – the hierarchy of Blackwater, after all, was dominated by fundamentalist Christians. Schmitz’ website described his association with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an 11th century Crusader group whose mission was to “defend territories that the Crusaders had conquered from the Moslems."
Rational officials, like Air Force Academy Chaplain Capt. MeLinda Morton and Guantanamo Chaplain James Yee, were forced to resign after they complained of extreme Christian proselytizing.
For more information, see also by Tom Hayden, "Billy Graham’s Legacy: A Crusade in Iraq," in Writings for a Democratic Society, "For Franklin Graham, The Crusades Never End," and "Ryan a Pawn in Neo-Con Return."