Thursday, May 20, 2004

Be afraid. Be very afraid

Remember that scary Monbiot article last month about how US foreign policy was being driven by apocalyptic Christian fundamentalists who believe that they must start a world war so they can sit at the right hand of god? Well, Village Voice has more details on these people's influence on US foreign policy - for example, the way they were consulted before Bush's rejection of the "road map":

The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.

Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."

The Apostolic Congress claims credit for Bush's subsequent rejection of the roadmap and endorsement of a massive Israeli landgrab in the West Bank.

Why should we be worried? Simply put, these people are not interested in peace in the Middle East. The only thing they are interested in is their Biblical vision of the end of the world. If this requires a bit of war, carnage and death, then so be it. After all, isn't eternal life in heaven worth it?

In an ordinary person, these views would be insane, but mostly harmless. But when the most powerful man in the world is outsourcing his foreign policy to loonies like this, we should all be very, very afraid.