Tuesday, March 10, 2009

apocalyptic adventures...,

Palestine Chronicle | Although George W. Bush is universally recognized for his right-wing leaning, he is not so well-known, at least publicly, for upholding some of the most fundamentalist apocalyptic thoughts underpinning the spiritual beliefs of some of his ideological brethren.

A recent book to be published soon in France by Plon may help shed some light, if the allegations therein contained were to be independently verified, on this, perhaps, mysterious side of the ex-republican president of the United States. The book whose French title is Si vous le répétez, je démentirai (If you repeat it, I will deny) is written by the journalist Jean Claude Maurice who served as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche between 1999 and 2003. It consists of a combination of interviews with three prominent French politicians, the ex-foreign minister Dominique de Villepin, the current president Nicolas Sarkozy and most importantly the ex-president, Jacque Chirac. It is one portion of the interviews devoted to Mr. Jacque Chirac that we will try to briefly analyze here.

During those private interviews, Jacque Chirac had purportedly confessed to the journalist some personal remarks regarding the faith of George W. Bush that seemed quite daunting. He told the journalist that the latter called him twice beseeching him basically, in the name of their common “spiritual faith”, i.e., “Christianity”, to join the collective effort of the coalition being formed to wage a preemptive war against Iraq. In his first telephonic call he reportedly said to Jacque Chirac: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East” and then added that “the biblical prophecies are being fulfilled”. Bewildered, Jacque Chirac did not react immediately. He knew that Bush was somehow religious but could never have thought that the president of the world only superpower was as mysteriously warmhearted to the complex intricacies of the Scriptures as he seemed to be. When a day later George W. Bush pronounced the mysterious words in a conference about the “axis of evil” (the word “evil” was inserted by the evangelical speechwriter Michael Gerson, the original term coined by another staff writer, the Canadian Jew David Frum, was “axis of hatred”), the Elysée decided secretly to consult an expert or biblical scholar about the issue.

In order to avoid any possible leak in France, they decided to outsource or solicit the service of a discreet and prominent outsider instead of a local expert more prone to indiscretion. It was Thomas Römer, professor of Theology at the University of Lausanne, who was called upon to clarify, for the occasion, the biblical mystery at stake. His report was chilling: Gog, prince of Magog, is merely the Apocalypse.

Indeed, the character appeared in Genesis and mainly the last most obscure chapters of the book of Ezekiel. It underpins the fulfillment of a prophecy, i.e., a last victory against the enemy of the “chosen people” or children of Israel following their return to the “Promised land”. The announcement of this parable of Armageddon to illustrate a mysterious biblical prophecy was not as laughable as it might appear to the French, according to Jacque Chirac who appeared quite disturbed and tormented because of what he just heard. He then wondered how come one be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs, according to the journalist.