Apocalypse Sooner Or Later? Bush, Iran, & the 'End-Times' Lobby
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Oct 10, 2006 at 01:28:48 PM EST
In the December 2004 edition of the Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows asked Will Iran Be Next ? While much US media attention is currently trained on the festering Foley scandal and, more recently, on North Korea's recent nuclear test, a simmering undercurrent of reporting [ April 2006, Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker ] and commentary weighs possibilities of a preemptive US attack on Iran [ Sept 2006, David Lindorf, The Nation ] , to thwart that country's attempt to develop a nuclear arsenal. A US carrier group including minesweepers, en route to the Straits of Hormuz, is the immediate focus of much discussion [ Time Magazine ], and Chris Hedges, former Middle East Bureau Chief for the New York Times weighs in:
It may be a bluff.  It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power.  But I doubt it. War with Iran--a war that would unleash an apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East--is probable by the end of the Bush administration.  It could begin in as little as three weeks.  This administration, claiming to be anointed by a Christian God to reshape the world, and especially the Middle East, defined three states at the start of its reign as "the Axis of Evil." They were Iraq, now occupied; North Korea, which, because it has nuclear weapons, is untouchable; and Iran.
Is the Bush Administration intent on provoking the "End Times" via an attack on Iran ? That is impossible to know, and former US House Majority leader Dick Armey denied it in a 2002 BBC interview, but why would The Bush Administration court Pastor John Hagee's new apocalypse-lobby, CUFI [ "Christians United For Israel" link to Media Transparency article on CUFI and John Hagee by Bill Berkowitz ], and  -by extension- the "End Times" voters Hagee reaches ? Sara Posner muses, in The American Prospect : "Could it be that the central requirement for their breathlessly anticipated Armageddon -- that the United States confront Iran -- happens to dovetail so nicely with the neoconservative war agenda?"  

The fallout from the Foley scandal - with the rising possibility of major GOP losses in the upcoming November elections,  Israeli preparations [ Dec. 2005 STRATFOR analysis ] for a possible strike against Iran's nuclear capabilities, and the political influence of the American Christian right on the Bush Administration all may tend to provide incentive for a US attack on Iran sooner rather than later : and, recent Bush Administration meetings John Hagee's recently formed pro-Israel lobbying group, CUFI raise the spectre that a decision to attack Iran would be in part a result of CUFI lobbying efforts to bring about actual "Armageddon".

In an August 8, 2006 post in the Nation, Max Blumenthal reported on summer meetings between the Bush Administration and CUFI representatives  who pressured the administration to take a more confrontational approach towards Iran. CUFI founder Hagee, writes Sara Posner for the American Prospect, "welcomes the coming confrontation. He argues that a strike against Iran will cause Arab nations to unite under Russia's leadership, as outlined in chapters 38 and 39 of the Book of Ezekiel, leading to an "inferno [that] will explode across the Middle East, plunging the world toward Armageddon." " Hagee's scenario also predicts the nuclear destruction of the east and west coasts of the United States. Posner quotes Hagee : "I believe that the president of Iran fully intends there to be a nuclear holocaust. The only way he will be stopped will be by a pre-emptive military strike in Iran""

Christian premillenialist influence within the Bush Administration is not a new thing ( see "The Jesus Landing Pad", a 2004 Village Voice piece by Rick Perlstein, about the influence of apocalyptic Pentacostals on Bush Administration policy towards Israel ) but CUFI's ties to the Bush Administration and the Israeli right raise troubling questions given the harmonic resonance between Hagee's translation of his end-time beliefs into geopolitics and American neoconservative visions for regime change and a redrawing of the political landscape of the Mideast ( as outlined in documents such as  Rebuilding America's Defenses, A Clean Break )

Former US CIA analyst Ray McGovern predicted a US strike against Iran during the summer of 2006 rather than during the lead up to the November 2006 election - "My thinking is that for it to be October that would be so crass and so transparent that even this crowd would shy away from making it so obvious" - but has the recent sag in the political fortunes of GOP candidates, in the lead up to the November elections lowered Bush Administration inhibitions against a pre-election strike that could raise accusations of "wagging the dog" ?

One part of the answer to that question involves possible reactions of premillenialist Christian supporters to a Bush Administration strike on Iran : would that motivate End-Times voters to make it to the polls, on November 7, in greater numbers ? Or, would they choose to stay at home and await the end of days ?

Given the dramatic escalation of hostilities in the Mideast region ( and even around the world ) that such an American gambit could provoke, one would assume that in the event the US bombs Iran,  End-Timers and right-leaning Christians in general would tend to rally around George W. Bush and in the fallout ( both literal and figurative ) from US strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities - if predictions on expected retaliation by Iran, Hezzbollah, and other powers against the US and the west prove accurate, and if the ensuing chaos is anything close to the scale some expect -  Christian leaders such as John Hagee who are given to viewing current geopolitical events as predicting coming apocalypse might simply reconfigure their timelines and trumpet a long term US war against Islam  or an expansion of US military presence in the Mideast at the least,  as simply more evidence - held up before believers - for the validity of their eschatological schemas.

On the balance, US strikes on Iran would tend to provide an electoral boost for the GOP in November, and the ensuing conflicts - perhaps global in scale - could float the political fortunes of the GOP for years to come. We may soon find out. As a September 17, 2006 Time Magazine feature story by Michael Duffy observes:

from the State Department to the White House to the highest reaches of the military command, there is a growing sense that a showdown with Iran--over its suspected quest for nuclear weapons, its threats against Israel and its bid for dominance of the world's richest oil region--may be impossible to avoid

In concurrence, Sam Gardiner - a former US Air Force Colonel - states in a report available from The Century Foundation as a PDF file, that plans to strike Iran have been set in motion.

Related Talk To Action stories:

Dick Armey Denies Bush Administration Trying To Provoke "End Times" by Bruce Wilson

Israel, the US, and the Christian Right: The Menage a Trois From Hell by Max Blumenthal

Christian Zionism all juiced up by Esther Kaplan

Have you cross-posted it at Big Orange?  While many of the likely scenarios for a coming conflict with Iran have been covered at dKos, how it would play with Hagee and his constituency has barely been explored.

by Rusty Pipes on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:30:03 PM EST

Thanks. I may do that.

I put all my effort into pulling together a compendium of material and then ran out of steam a bit on the analysis. I may add to it. Mainly, I was trying to pull the issue out of the realm of wild eyed speculation - there are a number of sober, reasoned voices that forecast a US attack on Iran within the next 2 years, maybe even very soon. I certainly hope they are wrong. But, the Bush Administration harassment of Iran ( military incursions, overflights, etc. ) has helped polarize Iranian politics : it's mich easier top make a case for a preemptive attack against Iran to prevent that country from obtaining nuclear weapons when Iranian leaders declare the Holocaust to be a myth and then threaten the destruction of Israel. The Bush Adm. policies towards North Korea seem to have accomplished a similar outcome, and I'd call the approach on the part of the Bush Adm. "manufacturing a manichean environment".

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 03:40:30 PM EST

Sign the petition: http://www.dontattackiran.org/

Tell your Senator/Representative: Should the U.S. Attack Iran? (at Democrats.com)

by anomalous4 on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 10:57:20 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (330 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (178 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (98 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (93 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (105 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (127 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (115 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (79 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (228 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (55 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (153 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (53 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (54 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (210 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (240 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (87 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (171 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (143 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (141 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (146 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (144 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (123 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (185 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (142 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (83 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (189 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (77 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (107 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (105 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.