The Devil Made Me Do It
Apparently, the ever-delusional Mahmoud Abbas (let's not forget he's on record as a Holocaust denier) is convinced that God personally implored George Bush to create a Palestinian state. Putting aside the fact that God probably doesn't micro-manage the universe, what does this say about the prospects for a resolution of one of history's most intractible conflicts when one party to the conflict is convinced that God is on their side?
White House Denies "God Told Me" Claims
October 6, 2005
The White House flatly denies Palestinian claims trumpeted by a BBC television program that Pres. Bush confided to PA leaders that God personally instructed him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and create a Palestinian state.
The BBC issued a press release today highlighting remarks by Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath from a three-part series that began airing in the UK, "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs."
White House press secretary Scott McClellan responded today to a reporter who asked if the claims about the June 2003 summit meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, were true. "No, that's absurd," said Mc Clellan, who pointed out he's been in meetings between Bush and Abbas. "He's never made such comments." The spokesman was not at that particular meeting, he acknowledged, but said he checked out the report.
In the BBC report, Shaath described the first meeting with Bush in 2003.
"President Bush said to all of us: '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."
Abbas was at the same meeting and claimed Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."
In 2003, the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, reported Abbas said Bush promised to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon about the siege on PA leader Yasser Arafat and asserted nobody can speak to or pressure Sharon except the Americans.
Bush, according to Abbas, then said: "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instsructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."
While the White House denies the remarks, much has been made of Bush's evangelical Christian faith and its relationship to his governing. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a close friend of the president, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, said Bush believed he was called by God to lead the national at that critical time.
One of the things that struck me is why is Abbas saying that God wanted Bush to "end the tyranny in Iraq" when the Palestinian Authority under Arafat was one of the leading supporters of Saddam Hussein. I guess the PA was on the wrong side of God that time. And while I have to admit that I don't believe there are people who have a hotline to God, I think there's a big difference between Bush saying that, after 9/11, he was called by God to lead the nation and saying God told him to create a terrorist state within shooting distance of the Promised Land.