news from ekklesia

By staff writers
March 23, 2004

Adviser talks of US messianic approach to Middle East

-23/3/04

Richard Clarke, a military and counter terrorism adviser to four presidents who has criticised George Bush and his top aides for obsession with Iraq, has supported claims by church leaders made before the Iraq war about the administration's "messianic" approach.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme Clarke talked about the people around President Bush such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. He said; "I think there was a 'messianic view' that many of these people held that the US now that it was the world's only remaining super power should and could try to transform the Middle East. That's what they said at the time and that is what they are still saying."

In the run up to the invasion of Iraq a delegation of church leaders from the US criticised George Bush as "messianic" in his attitude, after he sidelined churches in the US who were opposed to the war.

At a press conference following a meeting with the Prime Minister, the delegation led by Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in Washington DC made clear their unhappiness with the way that the President was ignoring US churches. When asked why this was the case, Dan Weiss, the immediate past president of the US Baptist Churches, said: "He listens to religious voices but not the voices of moderation. I guess if you have a messianic complex you don't like religious people saying you are wrong."

The latest comments by Richard Clarke, come after his 291-page memoir that sharply criticises the White House's terrorism strategy.

Clarke, who was Bush's cyber-terrorism czar until March 2003, charged in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" that the president and his top aides obsessed about going to war against Iraq afterward the attacks of September 11th 2001.

Clarke's critique is particularly brutal coming from someone who served within the White House and helped lead Bush's initial response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

In his book, "Against All Enemies," he claimed Bush failed to act against al Qaeda despite repeated warnings from intelligence officials about a looming terrorist attack. He also criticised the president for starting "an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq that strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic terrorist movement worldwide."

Clarke retired in March 2003 after three decades of government service. An expert in nuclear weapons and European security issues, he was named President Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence. Clarke served as an assistant secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, overseeing arms control and nonproliferation efforts, before being appointed by Clinton to the then-newly created post of national coordinator for counter terrorism.

Clarke stayed on when the current administration took office in January 2001, urged by Rice to continue his counter terrorism efforts. But he was later demoted to a lesser position overseeing cyber-terrorism, reflecting a growing split between Clarke and other Bush advisors over counter terrorism efforts.

Adviser talks of US messianic approach to Middle East

-23/3/04

Richard Clarke, a military and counter terrorism adviser to four presidents who has criticised George Bush and his top aides for obsession with Iraq, has supported claims by church leaders made before the Iraq war about the administration's "messianic" approach.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme Clarke talked about the people around President Bush such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. He said; "I think there was a 'messianic view' that many of these people held that the US now that it was the world's only remaining super power should and could try to transform the Middle East. That's what they said at the time and that is what they are still saying."

In the run up to the invasion of Iraq a delegation of church leaders from the US criticised George Bush as "messianic" in his attitude, after he sidelined churches in the US who were opposed to the war.

At a press conference following a meeting with the Prime Minister, the delegation led by Jim Wallis of the Sojourners community in Washington DC made clear their unhappiness with the way that the President was ignoring US churches. When asked why this was the case, Dan Weiss, the immediate past president of the US Baptist Churches, said: "He listens to religious voices but not the voices of moderation. I guess if you have a messianic complex you don't like religious people saying you are wrong."

The latest comments by Richard Clarke, come after his 291-page memoir that sharply criticises the White House's terrorism strategy.

Clarke, who was Bush's cyber-terrorism czar until March 2003, charged in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" that the president and his top aides obsessed about going to war against Iraq afterward the attacks of September 11th 2001.

Clarke's critique is particularly brutal coming from someone who served within the White House and helped lead Bush's initial response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

In his book, "Against All Enemies," he claimed Bush failed to act against al Qaeda despite repeated warnings from intelligence officials about a looming terrorist attack. He also criticised the president for starting "an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq that strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic terrorist movement worldwide."

Clarke retired in March 2003 after three decades of government service. An expert in nuclear weapons and European security issues, he was named President Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence. Clarke served as an assistant secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, overseeing arms control and nonproliferation efforts, before being appointed by Clinton to the then-newly created post of national coordinator for counter terrorism.

Clarke stayed on when the current administration took office in January 2001, urged by Rice to continue his counter terrorism efforts. But he was later demoted to a lesser position overseeing cyber-terrorism, reflecting a growing split between Clarke and other Bush advisors over counter terrorism efforts.

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