“End Times” theology has played a disturbingly prominent role in the religious right. The concept of an apocalyptic, divinely guided end of the world is a common feature in preaching by religious-right leaders like Tim LaHaye of the violent Left Behind series and San Antonio mega-pastor John Hagee. Even Peter Marshall, appointed by the Texas State Board of Education to a panel of so-called “experts” helping revise the public school social studies curriculum, dabbles in it.
Now we read that former President George W. Bush seemed to have the End Times in mind when he ordered the invasion of Iraq:
Incredibly, 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.”