Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nabil Shaath: Bush God comments 'not literal'

BBC News reports that Nabil Shaath, the 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 literally and that 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". He said he believed the President was merely expressing his heartfelt commitment to peace in the Middle East.

Nabil Shaath's comments made huge headlines all over the world a few days ago when, in a BBC 2 TV documentary "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs" which will air next week, he 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."

Later, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the original allegations were absurd and that the comments had never been made.

Note: Literal or not, I'm sure mullahs are dying to know if Iran also is part of President Bush's "mission".