Saturday, August 08, 2009

Gog and Magog

Suspending My Disbelief!

I don't involve myself in fringe politics or conspiracy theories. You won't find me discussing the pros and cons of troofers, birthers, deathers, Holocaust deniers, UFO abductees, Atlantean Conspiracy theorists, and the like. So I'm not altogether feeling good about introducing this evening's column by saying I don't effing believe half of what follows. I've seen the words in Google headlines for the last week maybe, but never bit on reading anything beneath the headlines until I saw the always level-headed Juan Cole devoting a few column inches to it. Looking around further, I have finally decided I have to suspend my disbelief, and at least air this for the hysterical historical record.

Gog et Magog concerns a brief event alleged to have occurred leading up to Bush and Cheney's illegal invasion of Iraq. It seems that with less than a month before his invasion, in February 2003, George Bush phoned up French President Jacques Chirac in a last ditch effort to get the French to join the "Coalition of the Willing". In itself, that's not news to any one.

What's new and news, to me any how, was Bush's argument. According to an interview Chirac gave French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice and included Maurice's Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai published only this year, Bush argued that
Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins...
My Biblical literacy is less than most of my readers, or I would have recognized this reference from The Book of Revelations. Chirac, the story goes, did not give a thought about complying with Bush and joing in with the invasion. Instead he was stunned as to "how someone so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs" could be the head of a modern state. Apparently Chirac's Bibilical scholarship was challenged too, for he had his staff consult Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, who analyzed Bush's weird appeal.

In addition to the New Testament passage, Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly.

Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir in 2007. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.”

But the story has largely been hidden by the ever-discrete MSM, presumably as part of their code of silence which preserves professional secrets among statesmen. After all, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai translates as "if you repeat it, I will deny it."

In these pages, I have been accused of being afflicted with Bush Derangement. I'm not sure what exactly that means. Certainly it can be said that, in attributing responsibility for all of the calamities which have afflicted upon my once great country in this young 21st Century, I have never given George Bush the benefit of doubt.

But the thought that Bush was motivated to invade Iraq because he was stricken with a couple of Biblical passages, strains even my credulity. I guess you could say that, like Andrew Sullivan, I am left agog.

10 Moderated Comments:

Blogger MadMike said...

I believe this to be true. The Bushmaster was a religious nut. He was a man obsessed with the bible and the nonsense it contains. He was unable to separate fact from fiction. He was driven by what he firmly believed was the word of God, i.e. the words of the bible. He mentioned the "crusades" at more than one press conference. The former president is not unlike the millions of the Christian faithful who supported him in two elections and would no doubt support him again if given the opportunity. Dubya was seen as the Messiah of the New Age and "Jesus" in the White House. I'm not much of a God guy but we can thank "God" that he is gone.

8/09/2009 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger MacDaddy said...

The only conspiracies I've looked at were related to the late John Kennedy's assassination. I have steadfastly stayed away from all others. And when my friends emailed me and told me to talk about how George Bush and the Saudis conspired to commit 911, I simply refused to respond.

Now you come and tell me that Bush, whom we Americans voted in twice, was a religious zealot and wanted to get us into war in the Middle East as a part of some crusade to rid that region of enemy's of Israel before a new age came about...

What's bothering me so much about this is that my former president of just a year ago may well have been stupid enough to say this to the French.

Thanks for giving me another conspiracy I never wanted in the first place and for effing up my Sunday morning, Vigilante.

8/09/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

GOG & MAGOG!
This is soooo interesting... yet; I wonder, do you know of God and Magog, the Giants who protect the British realm? At least that's a part of the legend. If you take a short walk from the base of Glastonbury Tor (the top of which is old St. Michaels') towards the sea, you will come to Gog and Magog, the oldest oaks in Britain. Said to have been planted by the last of the old Druids, no one knows their actual age, they are protected by the townsfolk... They are the most knarled and knotted trees I've ever seen! It was the practice of Druids to foster saplings from the original tree to replant as old oaks died and they say God and Magog are from this kind of lineage. Magnificent! The Tor itself it the remaining point of land that was once thought to the island of Avalon... a large lake did at one time surround it. Apples are grown nearby Gog and Magog, you can smell them through the summer months. I just thought it was an interesting add on... I have a fallen small piece of Gog's bark, still. I've visited them a few times and I consider them old friends. Does this make me a part of the antichrist's league? I wonder... of course!

Good info!

8/09/2009 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

oh fer cryin out loud! YOu know I MEANT GOG not God. Geesh...Sunday morning coming down....LOL

8/09/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Yeah, just from the biblethumpers I'm around I have to give this story some credence.

8/09/2009 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

I'm with Chirac: a shallow and ignorant religious fanatic has no business being head of state. This same type of mindset was certain the world was ending when Haley's Comet appeared in 1910, and these same types will be convinced the end is near for the rest of time. Lesson number 1 for the American people: never again elect a dumb, pampered religious zealot President!

8/09/2009 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

LOL MacDaddy!! Your words made my Monday morning better. Thanks for the great laugh, bittersweet it may be:-)

8/10/2009 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I think that Frank Rich has the best assessment out there on President Bush. (I'm paraphrasing from Q & A on C-Span) Bush is/was basically an affable, not overly partisan serial bungler who got eaten up by the Machiavellians around him. He hits it on the head, I think.

8/10/2009 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cold War Vet said...

I don't believe a worrd of it Vig. They went to Iraq because Dick wanted the oil money.

8/10/2009 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger zeppo said...

Gog and Magog is also the name of a really dumb sci-fi movie. They are two little helpful robots running around some scientific joint, until the Russians come in with their robot mind control ray or something and they become murderous, out of control demons who start smashing up the joint.

Just thought I would throw that in... Seems relevant, somehow.

8/14/2009 01:56:00 PM  

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