“GOD TOLD ME TO INVADE IRAQ”: THE DANGERS OF FAITH
By Harold Williams
Published in Malawi's Sunday Times of 27th February 2011
The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives. Mahatma Gandhi
The man sitting next to me in the Western Union office picked up a magazine. “That’s the best American President ever,” – pointing to a photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt. “That man was good, too”, pointing to Abraham Lincoln, “but that man, George W. Bush, is a Devil.”
I will not discuss the rights and wrongs of two ongoing wars or make any judgment on the Bush Presidency. Iraq a once almost secular state, is now deeply divided by faith. Sunni Muslims are killing Shia. Muslim ‘fundamentalists’ attack Christians. Afghanistan looks set to fail. Al Quaeda, the real enemy, has moved on to the Mahgreb, Yemen and the Horn of Africa.
Hundreds of thousands have died in Iraq and Afghanistan both at the hands of the ‘Allied’ troops and by religious factions. Many are guided by faith and the invisible hand of ‘god’.
In Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, a three-part series on BBC, Abu Mazen, Palestinian Prime Minister, and Nabil Shaath, his Foreign Minister, describe their first meeting with President Bush in June 2003.
"President Bush said: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Bruce Bartlett a former policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, reported
''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush (Jr): that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.''
Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who was a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say:
''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all; they can't be persuaded; that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . . This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts. He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. But you can't run the world on faith.''