Donald Rumsfeld's holy war: How President Bush's Iraq briefings came with quotes from the Bible<quoted text>
Shaath later qualified his comments, saying that he and other world leaders at a Jordan summit two years ago "understood that he was illustrating [in his comments] his strong faith and his belief that this is what God wanted." Both the White House and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who was also present at the meeting, denies that Bush ever made such a statement.
It's Official: Bush Admin Saw Iraq As Religious War
We know that the Bush administration launched the war based on flimsy and false intelligence, and used torture to try to falsely link Iraq to 9/11. But, what we now know is that in the opening days of the war in Iraq, even the flimsy intelligence took a backseat to the idea that this was a Biblical fight between the forces of good (those who worship the God of the Old and New Testaments) against those who worship the God that is chronicled in the Koran.
It doesn't just offend me as a Jew that I was apparently fighting for the New Testament in the eyes of the Bush Administration. And it doesn't just offend me as an American that they thought it proper to engage our troops in what they obviously saw as a religious crusade.
As someone who still has friends over in Iraq and Afghanistan, it boils my blood to think that insurgents and terrorists now have something else to show around as "proof" that America is "fighting a war on Islam." Rumsfeld and those at the Pentagon (as well as the White House) had to know that there was a possibility that these would come out, and only exacerbate the religious and cultural misunderstandings about the United States in the region. And yet, they didn't care.
This kind of message from the top trickled down, allowing some troops to feel comfortable in presenting themselves as Holy Warriors, and expressing that in areas where that kind of message hurts more than helps. Earlier this month, it was revealed that some troops were handing out Bibles in Afghanistan, written in Pashto and Dari. A chaplain told some troops that their job was to "hunt people for Jesus."