Bring on Armageddon, George!
The sabre rattling about Iran is unnerving enough, and just the thought that the Bush junta could usher us into another war adventure whilst getting battered in Afghanistan and Iraq every day is mind-boggling. But Syria is an altogether different story.
Both Islam and Christianity share the end-time predictions of Armageddon (the Palestinian town of Al Megido), and both know this to be the final battle between those who believe and those who don’t. Their definitions of who is a believer differ, of course.
Secularists, too, are warning of the coming of the end, although they prefer to blame global warming. You don’t have to be a Muslim to relate to the prophetic description of those times: “the wide earth will shrink before them and the earth will become full of oppression and injustice, and the believer will find no shelter from harm.”
So back to Syria: Syria is the place, according to prophecy, where the tide will turn - it is the people of Syria and a group of the people of Iraq who will be the first to pledge allegiance to the Mahdi, the awaited saviour of the Muslims who will re-unite them after their defeat. With the help of the arch-angels Gabriel and Michael he will move towards Syria where he will decisively beat the allied armies of the disbelievers and establish Muslim rule until Jesus, the Messiah, returns for his second coming, also in Damascus.
The coming rounds of neo-conservative, neo-imperialist wars, therefore, are not just proxy wars for Israel. They are the beginning of the end. Commentators have pointed out with a measure of derision that George Bush sees himself inspired by God to do the needful. Indeed he is driven to act out the inevitable. His right-wing pro-Zionist fundamentalist Christian constituencies are Biblical fatalists. They believe that after Armageddon they will be the winners. They might be in for a big surprise!
There is no escaping history. What is inevitable must come to pass. The world is set on a grand collision course. America, the waning empire, is playing the end game. The result will not be to their liking. Bring it on George!