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Howard’s End – World Protests Irrelevant Says Bush


Howard’s End – World Protests Irrelevant Says Bush

Despite the UN and the Security Council resolutions, war with Iraq is definitely on because US President George Bush says the millions who protested globally last weekend were irrelevant to his duty to protect America, he is alluding more and more to the Bible, when Israel was formed by force in 1948 dispossessing 700,000 Palestinians its leaders said the "Bible is our Mandate", he has told Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon to form a coalition with Labour's Amram Mitzna for stability while guaranteeing $US 12 billion in military aid and loans and Colin Powell says the "Middle East will be reshaped." It adds up to war - ready or not! Maree Howard writes.

Expressions of faith are familiar ground to US Presidents but President Bush has gone beyond the broad-brush remarks of faith in general, to use language and ideas specific to Christianity. He is a born-again Christian from the 1980's after realising he was drinking too much.

"I welcome faith to help solve the nation's deepest problems," Bush told a convention of religious broadcasters last week. Referring to the September 11 terrorist attacks he said "We carried our grief to the Lord Almighty in prayer."

Bush told the Nashville audience that he praised Americans' "deep and diverse religious beliefs" but he also singled out a special place for Christianity calling the gospel that the broadcasters share over the airwaves "words of truth."

In the State of the Union address he referred to liberty as God's gift to humanity and spoke about the God behind all of life and all of history. "May he guide us now," he said.

Hours after the shuttle Columbia disintegrated Bush again turned to religion and a quote from Isaiah to console the nation.

His is a welcome message for some, particularly the evangelical Christian conservatives whom Bush is courting as he seeks a second term. Others are very uncomfortable.

"This President is using general references and, beyond that, terminology and vocabulary that comes straight out of the very particular religious tradition, which is evangelical Christianity, " said Rev. Welton Gaddy, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance Foundation.

Evangelical Christians seem to follow both the old and new Testament particularly the observance of the ancient statutes and commandments in the relevant passages of Deuteronomy and the Law of Return.

"When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land wither thou goest to possess it, and shall cast out....seven nations greater and mightier than thou....then thou shall utterly destroy them; thou shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them......." and the related passage, "thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, but thou shall utterly destroy them."

Each Arab state still has its share of refugees from the 9 April 1948 massacre at Deir Yasin when terrorists from the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern Gang forced partition of Palestine onto the UN after it passed a resolution for partition in November 1947, but then later wanted to reverse it following serious outbreaks of violence.

The meaning of Deir Yasin to the Arab residents in Palestine was so clear that they fled from Haifa, Tiberia, Jaffa and all other cities, and then from the entire country. Deir Yasin explains the fear and loathing of the surviving Arab states today as fully as it explains the flight of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948.

It took just eleven minutes from the announcement of the formation of new State of Israel for then-US President Truman to recognise the new provisional government. Other nations then quickly followed suit.

Mr Truman (in 1956) recorded the outcome of the "solution" (the UN partition recommendation) supported by him in November 1947: " .....every day now brought reports of new violence in the Holy Land." He said "The pressure on the White House did not diminish following the partition vote in the United Nations. Individuals and groups asked me, usually in rather quarrelsome and emotional ways, to stop the Arabs, to keep the British from supporting theArabs, to furnish American soldiers, to do this, that and the other."

But the deed had already been done - by force.

It is significant that more than 2000 Israeli's also protested last weekend against war with Iraq. And why should they not - after all, Arabs and Jews genetically, are both mostly semite peoples' so it is hard to reason how and why the hatred continues. It is mostly fomented by Western politicians like George Bush and Tony Blair who run their own political agenda's. But that seems to be back-firing with popularity polls turning, particularly for Tony Blair.

This coming weekend Bush will meet at his ranch in Texas with a European supporter, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain. Tony Blair is under enormous pressure to back away from conflict with Iraq.

Praising both men as courageous Bush said, " These are men of vision. They see the task at hand. And I'm proud to call them allies. And we'll work together for the sake of peace."

But whose version of peace will it be, and with whom?

Rest assured, if Bush is the evangelical religious man I think he is, he will ultimately get even with the UN, with France, with Germany and with Russia for leaving him in the lurch.

We can only hope that his vision, his peace, his fundamental evangelical conservative Christianity will not lead us all into a reshaped Middle East which will have even greater consequences for the rest of the world - Muslim, Jew and Christian alike.

But, as of today, I very much doubt it - the war is on!


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