Please, tell me this is wrong

You know, a lot was said about the last President. He was stupid. He was incompetent. He was partisan and lazy and unethical. I happen to think he was some combination of most of those qualities, but opinions may vary. However, I really didn't think he was crazy.

Perhaps I was wrong?

I see, via Andrew, that former French President Jacques Chirac has some interesting things to say about W.'s rationale for the invasion of Iraq. From the Council for Secular Humanism:
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.”


In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.” But other news media missed the amazing report.

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

Oddly, mainstream media are ignoring this alarming revelation that Bush may have been half-cracked when he started his Iraq war. My own paper, The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, is the only U.S. newspaper to report it so far. Canada’s Toronto Star recounted the story, calling it a “stranger-than-fiction disclosure … which suggests that apocalyptic fervor may have held sway within the walls of the White House.” Fortunately, online commentary sites are spreading the news, filling the press void.

Now, much was made of W.'s beliefs about himself and his role in God's Grand Plan during the last administration. I was inclined to discount a lot of it, perhaps because I just didn't want to believe it. And, frankly, I'm not actually sure how reliable a source Chirac is. (It wouldn't surprise me if he "remembered" things a bit more colorfully out of a sense of personal dislike or disdain for Bush.) However, having known my share of crazy evangelicals in my time, I know that the whole "Gog and Magog" prophecy is a particularly obsession with some, and it seems an odd thing for Chirac to have come up with on his own.

If this is true, then it makes me unbelievably depressed and scared. If (and that's still a big "if" as far as I'm concerned) the President of the United States actually believed that he was helping to bring about end-of-days prophecy and similar folderol, then that's abjectly terrifying, and deeply saddening. (I'm glad to know that the Republic was able to survive, and that apparently "the system" works well enough, no matter who's in charge.)

I'm curious to see if this gets any coverage in the mainstream press, or if a denial is ever issued.


  1. So good to see you return and your (as always) insight into the crazies of Politics and Health. I am not in the least surprised at W's take on the Middle East. I am also quite certain the media will not say anything. While he was in office the media were a bunch of lay-abouts who were deathly afraid to say anything bad about the administration in particular Bush and his own Darth Vador, Dick Cheney. We were all witnesses to what happens when the truth was spoken... I refer to the Valerie Plane episode among others. Jim

  2. OK, I'll tell you, the supposed Chirac story is probably wrong. AFAICT, it only appears from a single source, the author Jean-Claude Maurice and his new book. I wasn't able to find anything outside Mr. Maurice's book reviews on this. Maybe Mr. Chirac gave him an exclusive, but I'd really like more than a single source, especially for a claim that depends on GWB appealing to the religious sensibilities of a Roman Catholic Frenchman on the basis of fundamentalist Protestant eschatology. maybe there is a reason this hasn't been picked up by the MSM, and that it is a silly as Birtherism.
    I'm skeptical that Mr. Maurice's claim is true, but willing to be proven wrong.

    1. "In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir."

      This is a direct link to that article in "Allez Savoir" from the official site at Lausanne's University:

      > http://www2.unil.ch/unicom/allez_savoir/as39/pages/pdf/4_Gog_Magog.pdf

      "Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai"

      This is a direct link to the relevant page of that book, from Google Books:

      > https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I3Qz8iCh6t8C&pg=PT40

      This blog has translations in English of the French article above: