Blogs > Liberty and Power > The Children's Crusade

Apr 16, 2004 6:47 pm

The Children's Crusade

Yes, David Beito and Jonathan Dresner, our Volokh Conspiracy colleagues are way behind the times. I too presented the possibility of the three-state solution on November 26, 2003. At this point, I doubt that anything will solve the mess that the U.S. has created.

I do like the fact, however, that a number of people who supported this fiasco of a war, are now grasping the insanity of it all. Perhaps someday the Volokh people will take their heads out of the Iraqi sand and come up for a much-need dosage of Liberty (& Power). Richard Cohen, whose essays I've cited here a number of times, once supported this war too. He writes in today's NY Daily News that this desire to use Iraq to" change the world" (something that has led Justin Raimondo to call the President, the"Neocon Napoleon") is Bush's Pipe Dream. Cohen writes:

Like a kid who has been told otherwise, Bush persists in believing in his own version of Santa Claus. The weapons are there, somewhere - in a North Pole of his mind. What matters more, is the phrase Bush used five times in one way or another:"We're changing the world." He used it always in reference to the war in Iraq and in ways that would make even Woodrow Wilson, that personification of naive morality, shake his head in bemusement. In Bush's rhetoric, a war to rid Saddam of his WMD, a war to ensure that Condoleezza Rice's"mushroom cloud" did not appear over an American city, has mutated into an effort to reorder the world."I also know that there's a historic opportunity here to change the world," Bush said of the effort in Iraq. The next sentence was even more disquieting."And it's very important for the loved ones of our troops to understand that the mission is an important, vital mission for the security of America and for the ability to change the world for the better." It is one thing to die to defend your country. It is quite another to do that for one man's impossible dream. What Bush wants is admirable. It is not, however, attainable.

Cohen concludes:"This is Bush's cause, a noble but irrational effort much like the one that set off for Jerusalem in 1212. It was known as the Children's Crusade."

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Jonathan Dresner - 4/17/2004

That's the scariest connection I've ever read. G.W. Bush, evangelical Christian, is making policy based not on biblical principles (which is bad enough, the way he does it) but on biblical prophecies? As interpreted by 19th century eschatologists? Ugh.

On the other hand, whoever gets to be President of Iraq (now that we're going that way) is a shoo-in for Anti-Christ, especially if the UN takes a more leading role in the redevelopment....

Chris Matthew Sciabarra - 4/17/2004

Interesting piece by David Brooks, Jonathan. Very true.

I note that Brooks concludes his essay with these words: "We hawks were wrong about many things. But in opening up the possibility for a slow trudge toward democracy, we were still right about the big thing."

Yeah, it's a "slow trudge" alright... but until or unless the cultural prerequisites for a free society exist, it will be a "slow trudge" toward nothing but Armageddon.

How appropriate! With the culmination of the LEFT BEHIND series, I'd like to quote from an essay by David D. Kirkpatrick (reprinted here: )

"Bible scholars holding this view [that Jesus returns in a final apocalyptic battle to overthrow the Antichrist] have often sought to apply Biblical prophecy to current events, frequently taking the creation of the state of Israel as a welcome sign that history is nearing a close. Dr. LaHaye's 'Left Behind' series starts when all the born-again are summoned to heaven in the Rapture. Then the Antichrist uses the United Nations to create a single world government, world currency and world religion - all signposts on the road to Armageddon, in Dr. LaHaye's view. The Antichrist establishes his global capital at the Biblical Babylon, now known as Baghdad."

Nice, huh? I guess this Iraq war is moving us toward Armageddon after all... now that we are in Baghdad, it should simplify things considerably.

Jonathan Dresner - 4/17/2004

is having to invoke a perspective of decades because he can tell that the last few years, and the next year, are lost causes:

I particularly liked his litany of "good advice" from the right which the administration ignored, and which is now biting them back....