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June 02, 2009



I know next-to-nothing about American fundamentalists. On the other hand, I do get the impression that lots of other people who know next-to-nothing about them either are preaching hatred of them.


Each year, one member of Skull and Bones is given the name Magog, after some sort of juvenile (but harmless) story of sexual exploits. It has no religious significance.

I know one fundamentalist. He bores me with his preaching, but the story of Gog and Magog never comes up. It is not important to them.

The Bush administration was far too religious for my liking. Dich Cheney, apparently, quoted the Bible on his memos. But I don't see this level of religious stupidity, and you're right, to mention it to the French would have been seen as wrong-headed.

I'm a little suspicious that the French alone seem to have heard this story. During the hostage crisis it was Giscard d'Estaing (and only him) who heard Carter say that American diplomats were better (or words to that effect) that other diplomats.

No Good Boyo

As for the "Palestinian foreign minister" canard, here's what Mahmoud Abbas had to say about it (via Associated Press):

Abbas denies Bush's 'mission from God' remark

AP 8 October 2008

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has denied an account by another Palestinian official of a meeting with US President George Bush in which Bush is cited as saying he believed that God told him to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A statement in Abbas's name released by his office said an excerpt from an interview with Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Shaath due to be broadcast by the BBC in which Shaath described a meeting with Bush in June 2003 gave a "completely false" account.

In the interview for the series, Israel and the Arabs, Shaath described the meeting, at which he said Abbas was present.

"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,'" Shaath said.

"This report is not true," the Abbas statement said today. "I have never heard President Bush talking about religion as a reason behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush has never mentioned that in front of me on any occasion and specifically not during my visit in 2003."

Shaath could not be reached for comment.



Mind boggling when Mahmoud Abbas can be held up as a modern day Diogenes.
Liars lying about liars lying...

Jim Miller

A clarification: Bush is not a "fundamentalist", though he could be considered an "evangelical". He is, as far as one can tell, a fairly conventional Methodist, just as his father is a fairly conventional Episcopalian.

Of course you are right to think this story absurd.

Oh, and one other much-neglected point: Saddam had agreed to a truce after the first Gulf War and was violating it regularly. Among other things, he was shooting at American planes. (And, if I recall correctly, had offered his anti-aircraft personnel a big prize if they actually hit one. So we were at war with Saddam. The only question was whether we wanted to win it, keep the status quo, or pull back and hope he would then honor the truce. None of the three were great choices

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