"Balance" by Chicana Muralist Judy Baca (used by permission)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iran: The Unthinkable War : The Apocalypse Factor

Iran: The Unthinkable War

Part Five: The Apocalypse Factor

by Juan Santos

"We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of this great country and rid the world of evil."
- George W. Bush, quoted by Bob Woodward in Bush at War

The Apocalypse, The Revelation, The Uncovering, The Tribulation, The Affliction: these and similar terms comprise a fundamental underlying cultural script that weds Islam, Christianity and Judaism in a singular tale that explains history, human purpose and the development of current events for believers.

The veil of belief in Armaggedon hangs quietly behind developments in the region: the Jewish prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog and of the Third Temple; the apocalyptic visions of the Book of Revelations from the New Testament; and Islam’s Return of the Mahdi.

Newspapers across the globe carry the names of two leaders who have embraced the unfolding of Christian and Islamic prophecies, the doom and the “victory” they foretell: George Bush of the US and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. These men are believers. This is their lens, how they make sense of the world and of their actions on the world stage.

Biblical fundamentalist and “End Times” preacher Jack Van Impe writes that he “was contacted… by the Office of Public Liaison for the White House and by the National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to make an outline” for Bush on matters pertaining to the End Times. “And I’ve spent hours preparing it… it’s in his hands.”

Bush has remarked, "God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did..." He believes that he was “called” to be President.

Peter and Rochelle Schweizer, authors of The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty, say that Bush reads the Bible every morning and that it affects his decisions and the tone of his public comments.
Soon after Sept. 11, Bush woke up and read Proverbs 21:15: "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."

"For several weeks after the attacks, he referred to the terrorists and their sponsors as 'evildoers,' with that passage firmly fixed in his mind," the Schweizers report.
Max Blumenthal recently wrote in The Nation, “Over the past months, the White House has convened a series of off-the-record meetings about its policies in the Middle East with leaders of Christians United for Israel,” a new lobbying group headed by Texas televangelist John Hagee, author of Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World.

Hagee’s book urges the US to launch a first strike against Iran in order to bring about the onset of Armageddon.

According to Blumenthal, Haggee has said that the “only way to defeat the Iranian evildoers… is a full-scale military assault” and that a "coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," a biblical certainty.

High powered Republican Congress member Dick Armey recently admitted to the BBC that both Bush and he are believers in the End Times, but denied that they were trying to push the world toward an apocalyptic conflagration.

As a presidential candidate in 2000, Bush submitted to a grilling by Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic book series Left Behind, co-founder of the Moral Majority, and a prime mover of the Christian Right. The Left Behind series has sold over 60 million copies; as Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet have pointed out, “one in eight Americans” is “reading all these strange books about the end of the world.”

According to Richard Dreyfus in Rolling Stone, LaHaye believes Saddam Hussein “is ‘a servant of Satan,’ possessed by a demon, and that he could be ‘the forerunner of the Antichrist.’”

Bush passed muster with LaHaye, however, - no matter that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would later call Bush “The Devil” – and his approval by LaHaye was an utterly crucial step in consolidating the Christian Fascist movement behind his candidacy.

The Biblical Apocalypse is the Christian Fascist’s version of Hitler’s evocation of the ancient Nordic and Germanic mythos under the Third Reich, and it serves the same purpose.

It explains the chaos of the current world scene, creates an enemy that can be scapegoated for the chaos, and promises retribution to that enemy and the re-establishment of a strictly repressive “right way” of living. It projects and demands a world of sacrifice and war to achieve a new “normalcy.”

The Christian website Apocalypse Soon promises that there is a “purpose” and a “final destination awaiting all of us,” that can explain who we are, where we are going, where we are heading and what it’s all about.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all very explicit in telling us about the “final destination,” the Final Solution each envisions for the common civilization in which we are immersed.

In the Jewish story “the whole world is to be destroyed, but Israel will be delivered out of it.” In the Islamic story “the believers of Allah will be hidden with the prophet Mohammad, followed by a "wind of destruction" which will kill all the remaining people.” In the Christian version “the church will be raptured (snatched away) and taken to be with the Lord. God's judgment will be poured out on the wicked of the earth” (see Eschatology Comparison).

In each, god saves the “righteous,” grants them victory in this or that version of the battle of Armageddon, and commits genocide against their enemies. That’s the plan “god” has imparted to George Bush, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and to Jewish fundamentalists as well.

Iran’s Ahmadinejad is no less – and no more – a believer than Bush. He believes The Hour, as Muslims call the End Times, is very near. Ahmadinejad, reportedly told his cabinet that he expects the Mahdi – very roughly the Shi’ite equivalent of the Messiah - to arrive within two years, ushering in Armageddon and The Hour. Ahmadinejad prayed openly for the arrival of the Mahdi during his recent speech to the UN General Assembly.

The most dangerous of scripts is being played out – a coming war led by two opposing apocalyptic fundamentalists, each convinced that god and all the logic of a sick civilization is behind him, each believing god will initiate a global genocide on his behalf, and each believing that The Hour is near.

It is simple and obvious which of these two men is more dangerous.

Only one of them has a nuclear arsenal that can destroy all life on Earth.

Stopping the War

There is no justification for war against Iran. The coming war has nothing to do with Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism” or an Islamic state with nuclear weapons, but everything to do with US strategic plans to seize control of the vast energy resources of the region and military control of Central Asia and the Middle East.

The US intends to stay on top of the world and prevent the rise of a rival bloc that might threaten its global dominance and it means to do so at any price – including nuclear war and global economic depression.

Nothing is unthinkable in the pursuit of a consolidated world empire, not for Republicans, and not for Democrats. The sharpest expressions of this imperial strategy are to be found in the documents of the Republican’s Project for a New American Century and in Democrat Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard.

But the risks for the Empire are obviously huge. According to Martin Walker of UPI, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cold feet over the regime’s plan for striking Iran, while Vice President Dick Cheney is pushing all the harder for war. Walker writes, “This heralds the first important policy breech between the triumvirate of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, sometimes known in Washington as "the iron triangle," in almost six years of the Bush administration.”

There’s only one way to stop this war, and that’s to increase the global political price the Empire will pay if it carries through, and to deepen the emerging divisions within the Empire over its plans.

It’s up to us, and no one else.

End of Part Five.

Juan Santos is a Los Angeles based writer and editor. His essays from 2006 can be found at: http://the-fourth-world.blogspot.com/. He can be reached at: JuanSantos@Mexica.net.

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