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The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)

Hillary's 'Dr. Strangelove' Shtick

Robert Weitzel

During an April 22 interview with ABC's Chris Cuomo, Hillary Clinton vowed to attack Iran and "totally obliterate" the majority of the Persian race in a furnace of primordial fire should the Iranian government attack Israel with nuclear weapons, which they do not now possess.

Missing in Clinton's campaign trail pandering to America's pro-Israel lobbies and the mushrooming evangelical Christian Zionist movement is the "inconvenient truth" that Israel has the most modern and most deadly military in the Middle East thanks to an annual $3.5 billion in American aid -- one third of the U.S. aid budget.

Israel is a major nuclear power in the region, with up to 200 nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them. Israel can and will "pre-emptively defend" itself against Iran, the country that a February International Atomic Energy Agency report concluded has not diverted nuclear material to non-peaceful purposes.

So the real truth behind Hillary Clinton's "Dr. Strangelove" shtick or John McCain's "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran" off-key hyperbole is a cynical exploitation of the unholy marriage of convenience between fanatical Jewish Zionists and fanatical Christian Zionists. The former want a Muslim-free Israel in order to fulfill Old Testament prophecy and bring about the first coming of their Messiah, and the latter want the entire Mideast in flames to fulfill New Testament prophecy and bring about the Second Coming of their Messiah.

Jewish Zionists need the money and the political clout of the Christian Zionists. Christian Zionists need the Semitism and the chutzpah of the Jewish Zionists. Politicians need the votes and campaign contributions that both groups can deliver, which in religion-drenched America is a hefty consignment.

Depending on which poll is the most accurate, there are between 105 million and 135 million evangelical and born-again Christians in the U.S. Of these, a 2004 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews poll found that 31 percent identified U.S. support for Israel as their "primary consideration" in selecting a presidential candidate, while 64 percent cited it as an "important factor."

Predictably then, when Hillary Clinton and John McCain threaten to obliterate Iran with nuclear weapons, their primary audience is not the Muslim "evildoers" but is, instead, the pro-Israel lobby and the Christian Zionist muscle in America, which are willing to see the "ultimate evil" committed to further their ideological agendas.

Nowhere does the "ultimate evil" play a more prominent role than in the machinations of two well-connected Christian Zionists, Tim LaHaye and John Hagee.

Tim LaHaye is best known as the co-author of the blockbuster Left Behind series, which is based on apocalyptic prophecy in the Book of Revelation. He is least known as the founder and first president of the secretive Council for National Policy. Formed in 1981, the CNP was described by the New York Times as consisting of "a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country" who meet "behind closed doors at undisclosed locations to strategize about how to turn the country to the right."

Though the membership of the CNP is a guarded secret, a list of those known to have been associated with it reads like a who's who of Christian Zionists and neocon ideologues whose passion is to see the Mideast in flames and in chains.

John Hagee, televangelist and pastor of the 19,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, is the founder of Christians United for Israel. Hagee formed CUFI in 2005 following the publication of his book, "The Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World," which sports a mushroom cloud on its cover and argues for a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West.

Christians United for Israel is the evangelical equivalent of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby courted by every American politician who has national aspirations. John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama have each pledged their fealty to AIPAC.

When Christian Zionists with the stature of LaHaye and Hagee shill for Jewish Zionists who are promoting the ethnic cleansing of Israel or the pre-emptive "defensive" nuking of Iran, politicians with the stature of Hillary Clinton and John McCain, along with a hefty consignment of the electorate, are their willing dupes. It's just the politics of religion as usual in America.

But Jewish Zionists should never forget that Christian Zionists have no intention of being around when the sands of the Mideast are turned to glass in a furnace of primordial fire. They will have been Raptured and out of harm's way in Paradise. Their Bible tells them so.

Robert Weitzel of Middleton writes frequently for newspapers, magazines and Web sites. He is a contributing editor to Media with a Conscience.

© 2008 Capital Newspapers

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