War Room is No Place for Bible Study

A Robert Draper article in Gentleman’s Quarterly revealed that some of the top-secret “World Wide Intelligence Briefings” that Rumsfeld provided to Bush were covered with photographs of Americans at war, and captions taken from Scripture. In one, above a huddle of GIs apparently at prayer, is the question famously put by God, “Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?” Over the soldiers is the answer from Isaiah: “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” Above a trooper hunched over a machine gun is this promise from Proverbs: “Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Another cover shows Isaiah-inspired US tanks: “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter.”

Sent by God. Protected by God. Sure to succeed. The righteous nation. A war defined not merely as just, but as holy. Such manifestations are one thing from eccentric religious groups operating on the fringe of the US military, in space guaranteed by freedom of religion. It is another when they show up at the peak of the chain of command – and from inside the intelligence community, which is charged with nothing less than defining the character of America’s wars.

James Carroll | CommonDreams.org

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