Whenever I read an account of the lead-up to the Iraq war, I usually marvel over how much the critics of the war got right. We guessed Saddam was not lying about weapons of mass destruction. We knew from the beginning the Bushists were going to have the war no matter what anyone else said. We knew they had been planning it all along. We knew they were not going to topple Saddam and *poof* like magic a wonderful new Iraq would appear. We knew they had let the sectarian monster out of the labyrinth. We knew they didn’t give a shit about the members of the military they were using and reusing and reusing again and again to fight their war. We knew!
Now I find out, the truth was probably even weirder than we suspected.
Vanity Fair has a six-page excerpt from Kurt Eichenwald’s 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars up on its site and its an eye-opening read. Most of it confirms what critics suspected. I always did know Bush was an embarrassment, but if the following scene Eichenwald describes actually took place… well, there just are no words! This is alleged to have occurred in a phone call between the two world leaders as Bush was trolling for support for his Iraq policy from UN Security member nations, at the insistence of Tony Blair, in the late fall of 2003:
But before Chirac could elaborate on that point, Bush veered into another direction.
“Jacques,” he said, “You and I share a common faith. You’re Roman Catholic, I’m Methodist, but we are both Christians committed to the teachings of the Bible. We share one common Lord”
Chirac said nothing. He didn’t know where Bush was going with this.
“Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East,” Bush said. ‘’Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled.”
Gog and Magog? What was that?, thought Chirac.
“This confrontation,” Bush said, “is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a new age begins.”
Chirac was bewildered. The American president, he thought, sounded dangerously fanatical.
After the call ended, Chirac called together his senior staff members and relayed the conversation.
“He said, ‘Gog and Magog.’ Do any of you know what he is talking about?”
Blank faces and head shakes.
“Find out,” Chirac said.