Doug points this one out, and if true, well, no wonder France took a pass on backing us in Iraq.

French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice recounts the tale in his book release in March, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny).

From Secular Humanism:

President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “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.”

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”

Again, if true, I think it speaks for itself.

And given Bush’s insistence on saying he was chosen by God, etc., we have every reason to believe that something like this is not only plausible, but also highly likely.


  • Would you also object to Democrats if they use biblical references to try to push health care reform, or are your objections only to Republicans that try such things?

  • If Bush was actually leading last war against Satan he would (be definition) be Christ Reborn. In that case opposing him on anything would also be immoral, Bush is infallible, etc.

    All the left is saying is that they read the Bible, and they think they know what it means. They are not claiming that anyone else is evil, that any single leftist is literally the Messiah, that every word they say must be correct by definition, etc.

  • Jason,

    What does health care reform have anything to do with this story?

    I object to the POTUS using nonsensical and unprovable biblical references when speaking to an ally about why they should support us in pre-emptive war.

  • Mike A.

    A faithful friend is the medicine of life.
    Bible, Ecclesiasticus 6:16

    There, I linked them….

  • Chris

    I would oppose that. I oppose all religion in government, including politicians using religion as a reason for policy.

  • Justin,

    I am trying to nail you down on whether you object to using religion as an attempted tool of persuasive in politics generally, or only to advance causes that you disagree with.

  • Jason,

    Yes, I realize that’s what you’re doing. And, as always, I don’t appreciate it. Mainly because I didn’t say that religion itself is bad, and yet you’re characterizing my opinion as such. Nice try.

    To answer your question, I think many of the moral teachings in the Bible are worthwhile and I don’t object to politicians citing stories like The Good Samaritan, etc. However, if a Democrat used nonsensical prophecy as a device for persuasion, yes, I would have a problem with that.

  • Jason,

    The issue isn’t his use of religion. It’s that he thought was he was the Messiah. Whenever a guy starts talking like that you send him to the funny farm. You do not give him 150,000 troops to fight the Anti-Christ.

    A major secondary issue is the stupidity of using these arguments against a Gaulist. Gaulists are the ultimate purveyors of realpolitik. You remember that genocide in Rwanda that everyone says we should have sent troops to stop? The French did send troops. To protect the pro-French genocidaires from the Anglophile, Uganda aligned, anti-genocide forces. It was called Operation Torqouise. The Prime Minister of France who did that? Chirac.

    To this day the French consistently claim that a) the RPF provoked the genocide by assassinating a guy they had just made peace with, and that b) they should be punished for this crime. But the thousands of French-aligned troops who hacked random people to death should get off scot-free.

    So Bush probably got have gotten the French aboard if he offered them a nice big slice of the Iraqi pie. But instead he calls possibly the least moral Democraticly elected leader in the world, and makes an argument based on a batshit insane interpretation of Biblical morality.

    Is anybody surprised it didn’t work?

  • TerenceC

    Gog and Magog……sounds like Bush and Cheney.

  • Yes, I realize that’s what you’re doing. And, as always, I don’t appreciate it.

    Wow, Justin. Given the standards you use to criticize others, it is surprising and disappointing that you get so resentful from a very simple and obviously easily-answered question.

  • Redbus

    First of all, it should be acknowledged that there are multiple views of prophecy, and not just the one that Bush (apparently) espouses. In fact, one view of end times (post-millenialism) actually is healthy, in that it encourages Christians to work for a better, more just society, as a way of preparing the earth for the return of Christ. So, let’s be careful not to paint with too broad a brush.

    Secondly, the U.S. has always been of two minds on this whole thing of faith in office. How is the President sworn in? On a Bible, right? And the Ten Commandments are engraved on the walls of the Supreme Court. So to think that a leader can (or even should) check their views at the door to the Oval Office is unrealisitc.

    BTW, Chirac was a jerk. I like Sarkozy much bette.

  • Nick,

    You know the rules about cursing. However, hadn’t heard that about French involvement in Rwanda. Will definitely take a look.


    Let’s just put our cards on the table, okay? You’re neither surprised nor disappointed. Do you think I or the readers of this blog will forget when you come in here and try to discredit the entire site and me as a fair broker? So why you’re acting as if we don’t have a LENGTHY history on this is beyond me.

    And, by the way, I answered your question. Yet you focus on the part that paints yourself as the victim. Again, this is a pattern with you and it’s why I really have no interest debating you any more.

  • mw

    At risk of being accused of threadjacking – It strikes me there is a legitimate question of whether Nick’s choice of adjective actually constitutes “cursing”. Since the FCC decided “it” was good enough for broadcast on ABC’s NYPD Blue, and it was ok for broadcast on South Park… well…

    just sayin…

  • There is a lake near my house called Chargoggagogg-manchauggagogg-chabunagungamaugg.

  • Mike, this is a politics blog, not a television show.

    So, according to the JPG, it’s cursing.

  • Chris

    I cursed and Justin deleted it. But that’s ok, hopefully jason got a peek at it before it disappeared.

  • I’m not a Bush supporter, and I don’t defend his presidency. I’m also not religious. But this article is ringing my BS detector. Specifically:

    –Bush never claimed he was chosen by God. That’s a distortion of things he actually did say.

    –People who claim not to know why we went to war in Iraq simply lack information. The reasons were clear and are readily available, e.g., in the congressional resolution approving it.

    –On the specific issue of WMD, the intelligence arm of every major western nation believed that Iraq had them, with good reason. Ergo, Bush believed it, as did Kennedy, Clinton, Kerry, and other Democrats. Just look up their quotes on the subject, some of them just before the war.

    –The French, including Chirac, make a claim that makes America look very bad. Bush-bashers accept it at face value and reject Bush Administration claims that it didn’t happen. Nothing new here.

    –Anyone inclined to accept all this should do a little reading on the Council for Secular Humanism. No doubt where their biases lie.

    Believe it if you wish. But when something is as oddball as this, it deserves a little reflection and some research.

  • However, hadn’t heard that about French involvement in Rwanda. Will definitely take a look.

    Of course you hadn’t. By the time the French arrived the Tutsis had already been exterminated, so de facto they only helped kill a handful of Rwandans.

    What they did do is cover the genocidal Interahamwe’s retreat to the DR Congo, and when the international community finally decided to do something to help the poor Rwandan genocide victims the only Rwandans in need of help were the Interehamwe.

    The Interahamwe subsequently became a major pillar of support for the government in Kinshasa, and Rwandan attempts to remedy this situation resulted in two major wars.

    Since this is Africa nobody important was disinterested in the situation. They were mostly strong anti-Imperialists, in which case they strongly opposed Rwanda’s intervention in the DR Congo because it worked; but excused genocidaire intervention in Rwanda because a) the genocidaires were Rwandan and b) it didn’t work.

    Strong Imperialists (aka: France) supported the Interahamwe because it suited their needs. And nobody else cared enough to find out what was going on.

    BTW, the problem has been mostly solved. The new problem is slightly smaller. The new ethnic Rwandan militia supporting the government is anti-genocide, but it’s leader (Ntaganda) has massacred more than 100 innocent people, uses child-soldiers, and tolerates rape. Which is not good, but is a hell of a lot better than having actual genocidaires on the government payroll.

  • Let’s just put our cards on the table, okay? You’re neither surprised nor disappointed. Do you think I or the readers of this blog will forget when you come in here and try to discredit the entire site and me as a fair broker? So why you’re acting as if we don’t have a LENGTHY history on this is beyond me.

    Since you apparently are taking that conflict as determinant of all future interactions and since you are obviously closed to even the mere possibility that we might have any potential for common ground or even useful disagreement as a result (in spite of the many times I’ve linked to you in a positive way), I will accept your decision and remove your sites from my reader.

    I’m not a victim. But you are a bully.

  • Jason,

    Bully? Hmmm…

    Let’s take a walk down the Jason Arvak commenting memory lane…

    “The bottom line is that a lot of those who claim to be centrists, including Justin, made some commitments to be as tough and critical of Obama as they were of Bush. And so far I frankly don’t think that many of them, including Justin, are living up to their promise.”

    “But all that aside, this kind of car is now going to be MANDATORY and Justin endorses it. Don’t you just love how our moral and intellectual superiors know what is really good for us?”

    “Of course, I predict that there will be no response to this criticism. Self-righteousness rarely feels compelled to actually debate. :)”

    You comment here infrequently and you link even more infrequently. In fact, when you do link you usually do so to question my credibility. That type of behavior will not be missed.

    Take it easy.

  • mw

    Boys, boys, boys. Can’t we all get along?

    Jason, You are being more than a little thin skinned here. I’ve been called out much worse by almost everyone here, including Justin. Something about my tone. I’ve never quite figured it out.

    Anyway, it is not Justin’s job to hold Obama’s feet to the fire. There are plenty of voices here. He gives his opinion, I give mine, you give yours. If is important for Justin to maintain the illusion that he is even handed, even if everything he says is through bolshevik colored glasses, well we need to humor him. This is quite a nice little blogging platform he has created and he lets a diversity of opinions post here. What more do you want?