Monday, July 30, 2007

Armageddon – Bring It On

by Gordon Prather

Last week the Christians United For Israel organization held its annual show-of-force in our Nation’s Capital and Max Blumenthal recorded for posterity – if, God Willing, there is to be one – this most "politically extreme, outrageous" spectacle.

"Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain.

"In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC [America-Israel Public Affairs Committee] and elements of the Israeli government.

"But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. – must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation."

According to the Jewish Blumenthal, the typical CUFI member apparently believes "God" wants Bush to do what Lieberman and the Likudniks are urging him to do – nuke Tehran – to trigger an all-out nuke war to bring on Armageddon – the final climatic battle, waged here on the planet Earth, between God and Satan.

But the Russians and the Chinese evidently did not consider Bush’s premeditated war of aggression against Iraq to even be necessarily inimical to their national interests, much less a cause to wage all-out war with nukes.

And they were right. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq has done immense damage to America’s image, vis a vis theirs.

Nor does it appear the Russians – and perhaps even the Chinese – consider Bush’s upcoming war of aggression against Iran to be necessarily inimical to their national interests, even if Bush is crazy enough to nuke Tehran.

It seems likely, at present, that the Russians – and perhaps even the Chinese – would not object to Bush doing further incalculable damage to America’s image, to say nothing of America’s ability to influence – diplomatically and militarily – world events, especially in the Western Pacific.

Stranger still, it does not appear that even the Iranians consider Bush’s upcoming war against Iran to be necessarily inimical to their national interests. Even if he uses – or threatens to use – a few nukes.

And no one who knows anything about the effects of nuclear weapons – who has read Herman Kahn’s authoritative treatises On Thermonuclear War – could expect that even an all-out nuke war between Hagee and Russia/China, involving thousands of high-yield nukes, could result in the deaths of even half the world’s almost seven-billion inhabitants.

Of course, the percentage of deaths resulting from Hagee’s War would be higher in the United States than in Russia or China or in the Islamic World, because a higher percentage [75%] of Americans live in urbanized areas, prime H-Bomb targets.

But, what the hell – if you’ll pardon the expression. All the survivors are going to have to convert to Hagee’s "Jesus," anyway, or "suffer the torture of eternal damnation." Better to have died during Armaggedon. Or just before, like Jerry Falwell.

Historian Barbara Tuchman, when asked why she wrote A Distant Mirror, replied she wanted to examine the societal consequences of what the aftermath of an all-out nuke war might be. So she chose the 14th Century in Europe, when The Black Death quickly killed up to two-thirds the population. To her immense surprise, she was unable to detect any evidence of societal consequences.

Of course, we don’t have to worry. The Cheney Cabal, the Likudniks and AIPAC consider CUFI members to be useful idiots, holding naïve and foolish religious beliefs, useful to their program to remake – militarily, if necessary – the Middle East to their liking, politically and economically.

Surely neither President Bush or any of his close associates hold such naïve and foolish religious beliefs. Right?

Well, Michael Gerson – now a Washington Post columnist and until last year chief speech writer for President Bush – wrote a column last week in which he concluded that the mess that the Cheney Cabal has wrought in Iraq would probably be made worse by an outright attack on Iran. So, Gerson proposed, instead, a bank-shot – the "use of force" against Syria "to disrupt the trail of suicide bombers" Gerson claims are "passing through Syria" on their way to "murder" Americans.

But Gary Leupp, a Professor of History at Tufts University and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion, notes that Gerson was rated in 2005 by Time magazine to be one of the top 25 Christian evangelicals in America.

"As a member of the White House Iraq Group, tasked to disseminate frightening disinformation about Iraq preparatory to the attack on Iraq in March 2003, he proposed the "smoking gun turns into a mushroom cloud" metaphor used by Bush, Cheney and Rice in late 2002 to frighten the nation into war.

"Gerson wants to transform the Greater Middle East, that biblical prophecy might be fulfilled and Jesus comes back soon. According to the Book of Revelation, there must be a great war surrounding Israel before that happens, involving kings to the east of the Tigris and Euphrates. That implies war with Persia (Iran). So he wants the U.S. to provoke war with Iran, but if that's not doable just now, he wants an attack on Syria."

Now, Leupp does not charge that the fulfillment-of-biblical-prophecy convictions of speechwriter and propagandist Gerson are held by Bush, himself.

Of course not. The "God" Bush talks to every day – who tells him what to do, who assures him that he is doing the right thing in sending thousands of American servicemen to their deaths in Iraq, in collaterally ending the lives of many, many thousands of Muslims – is not Gerson’s "God." Is not Hagee’s "God."

Of course not.