[extropy-chat] BBC Series

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Oct 8 03:53:01 UTC 2005

At 11:05 AM 10/6/2005 -0700, Olga url'd:


Bush God comments 'not literal'

A Palestinian official who said the US president had claimed God told him 
to invade Iraq and Afghanistan says he did not take George Bush's words 

Nabil Shaath said he and other world leaders at a Jordan summit two years 
ago did not believe Mr Bush thought God had given him a personal message.

Mr Bush's spokesman said the original allegation, which will appear in a 
BBC documentary next week, was absurd.

Scott McClellan said the comments had never been made.

The comments were attributed to Mr Bush by Mr Shaath, a Palestinian 
negotiator, in the upcoming TV series Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs.

Mr Shaath said that in a 2003 meeting with Mr Bush, the US president said 
he was "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."

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who attended the meeting in June 2003 
too, also appears on the documentary series to recount how Mr Bush told 
him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a 
Palestinian state."

'Strong faith'

But in an interview for the BBC Arabic service on Friday, he said the 
president - who had just announced an end to hostilities in Iraq, was 
merely expressing his heartfelt commitment to peace in the Middle East.

"President Bush said that God guided him in what he should do, and this 
guidance led him to go to Afghanistan to rid it of terrorism after 9/11 and 
led him to Iraq to fight tyranny," he said.

"We understood that he was illustrating [in his comments] his strong faith 
and his belief that this is what God wanted."

The TV series charts recent attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, 
from former US President Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999-2000 to 
Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this year.

It seeks to uncover what happened behind closed doors by speaking to 
presidents and prime ministers, along with their generals and ministers.

The BBC Two series, 
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/elusive_peace/>Israel and the Arabs: 
Elusive Peace will be broadcast on Mondays from 10 October at 2100 BST.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/10/07 18:09:54 GMT


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