Bush, Blair and the Bible



In an ideal world, fearless journalists would put this question to our Prime Minister: "Mr Blair, did George Bush give any indication that his reading of the Book of Revelations led him to believe that God may require him to use nuclear weapons in this conflict, or did he in any other way indicate that his political judgement was directly influenced by his reading of the book of Revelations?" Unfortunately the world is not that ideal.

Bush has authorised the US military to use nuclear weapons if US forces are attacked by chemical or biological weapons during any assault on Iraq.


He is playing the deterrence gambit: Saddam Hussein has to be made to believe that the USA (and presumably UK too) will go nuclear if Saddam Hussein uses his WMD; so Saddam is inhibited from using his CBW against US/UK forces.

The problem is that classical deterrence theory assumes that both the deterree (to coin a phrase, in this case Saddam Hussein) and the deterrorist (to coin another phrase, in this case Bush), have a rational approach toreality.

In the present case, both parties, each in their own way, may be considered to fall short of a 100% pass mark in the mental stability department. Saddam Hussein has many traits consistent with a of sociopathic personality disorder, and his record record of cruelty and lack of empathy is well documented. It would not be safe to assume that the painful death of hundreds of thousands of people would carry much weight in his consideration of military options.

George W Bush on the other hand, has been succinctly described Richard Dawkins as a "deeply stupid little oil spiv". Expressed more objectively he could be characterised as a scion of a family of hugely rich oil men whose grandfather was not averse to dealing with Nazis, a past history suggestive of a borderline character disorder, and, disturbingly, an unquestioning faith in the tenets of Christian fundamentalists who believe that the history of the present time is mapped out for us in some detail in God's Holy Word, the infallible Bible. They believe that we are living in the "End Times". The key story is that of the Battle of Armageddon, a gathering of all the nations at the mount of Megiddo. It is considered by Christian fundamentalists to be the scene of the final conflict between Christ and Antichrist. The full text is given below.

It is difficult for people have not had the experience of Bible studies of the kind that are conducted every morning in the White House to imagine the combination of awe, reverence and excitement with which George Bush would read this passage. We can only speculate on his thought processes, but they may well include the following prayer: "Thank you Lord, for choosing my unworthy self to be the instrument of your wrath. May I be given the steadfastness and courage to carry out your Divine Will."

One person who should be able to give us some insight on this important aspect of Bush's thinking is Tony Blair. Luckily, we are blessed with many fearless journalists who will be ready to put this question to our honest and decent Prime Minister: "Mr Blair, did George Bush give any indication that his reading of the Book of Revelations led him to believe that God may lead him to use nuclear weapons in this conflict, or in any other way indicate that his political judgement was directly influenced by his reading of the book of Revelations?"

Whatever light Blair may shed on Bush's state of mind, the overall situation remains deeply worrying. Of course we may have a short war in which Iraq collapses with the same obliging promptness shown by the Taleban. It may, or may not, be easy to win the war: but the peace process in the whole of the Middle East area is going to be far more difficult to win, especially if Bush goes it alone.

The situation even in a best case conflict scenario, is that we have a fundamentalist Christian who has seized the reins of power in the USA, fighting a war against one fundamentalist Muslim and erstwhile client, Osama Bin Laden, but who has confusingly diverted into a war against another erstwhile client, Saddam Hussein. Muslim instincts to regard the war on terror as a war on Islam may in fact reflect what is going on at the deepest level of George W Bush's mind.

In face of the magnitude of all these interrelated factors, it is easy to fall back into a position of powerlessness. However, well directed peace activity is worthwhile (a) because at least it makes us feel better (there is solid evidence for this) and (b) because if everyone who takes the view that peace is better than war stopped working and started walking, we could get regime change not just in Iraq, but also in the USA and maybe even the UK.





Appendix

This is what George W is reading. Remember, he takes every word as literal truth:



Revelation Ch 16
v13: I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;
14: for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.
15: "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame."
16: He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.
17: The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
18: There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.
19: The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20: Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21: Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on men. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.

More Bible studies with George Bush

Rev. Stephen Sizer on Christian Zionism

 
© 2001 R. Lawson This page was last updated on 13.11.04