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October 08, 2007

John Hagee: President Doesn't Need Congressional Declaration Of War To Attack Iran

Last Friday Charles Goyette of Antiwar Radio interviewed John Hagee, the slightly insane head of Christians United for Israel. More than five hilarious minutes of the eighteen minutes total was devoted to Goyette trying to get Hagee to say whether George Bush would need Congressional authorization if he wants to attack Iran. Hagee really, really didn't to answer the question, so much so you get the feeling he was considering hanging up the phone and fleeing to Peru. But he finally came out and said: no, Bush can do whatever he wants. Below are the relevant sections of the interview, stitched together.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain; his disciples came unto him
and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying:
never, ever give a straight answer about the U.S. Constitution if you can avoid it

—Matthew 5:1

GOYETTE: I know you are a champion of taking the war to Iran—I wonder if you are a champion of the United States Constitution.

HAGEE: I certainly am.

GOYETTE: So you think we need a declaration of war to expand this war to Iran?

[over four minutes of Hagee hemming and hawing deleted]

HAGEE: We do not have a war declaration for Iraq, and neither does the president need one to expand it into Iran.

CHARLES GOYETTE: Okay, that's the answer I was looking for. He can do it on his own authority.

HAGEE: He certainly can. We're in Iraq on his authority.

Posted at October 8, 2007 11:34 AM | TrackBack

I love Hagee. I love the way his facial features are clustered in the center of his huge, block-like head, and how they look like they might submerge into his sea of blubber at any moment, never to return. I also love the huge, lurid charts he uses when he explains geopolitics to his congregation. Many of them would look bitchin' airbrushed on the side of a van. Some would make great backdrops for a Dethklok concert.

Posted by: Chris E. at October 8, 2007 01:47 PM

Still Chris, on this occasion, Like ANY True Christian, in the face of an intimidating interviewer, he did NOT lie. When George says go, it's "bombs away".
Call Nancy Pelosi @1-202-225-0100, say IMPEACH. DON'T BOMB IRAN, call now, call later, call often!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 8, 2007 03:46 PM

Socrates never had it so tough

Posted by: graeme at October 8, 2007 04:47 PM

We're in Iraq on his authority.

He's absolutely right, of course.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at October 8, 2007 08:15 PM

Hey, Bush is only doing what The Man said to do. He talks to him, you know.

And Hagee should sell those giant posters on wraparound tees, make a few bucks.

Posted by: Randal Graves at October 8, 2007 09:27 PM

As you begin your commentary with an (adapted) quote from the Sermon on the Mount, you may be interested in an article from the August/September 2007 issue of Policy Review, published by the Hoover Institution.

"What The Beatitudes Teach: Jesus's community of goodwill", by Policy Review editor Tod Lindberg, is an excerpt from his new book ,The Political Teachings of Jesus. Lindberg goes through the Beautitudes point by point, and concludes

[Jesus's] ambitious political agenda is to rid the world of both persecuted and persecutors — opposite sides of the coin of persecution.

In the world, we will always have among us those in mourning and the gentle; we will always have need of those who desire righteousness, of those who are merciful, of those who act out of pure intentions, and of those who seek peace. But if or when the world is organized in accordance with the principles embedded in the lives of those Jesus here deems “blessed,” we will no longer have the persecuted and the unvalued, nor their persecutors and tormentors. The Jesusian political agenda is thus organized around the pursuit of righteousness by those who are able — at potential risk to their own lives — for the sake of a world in which the unvalued (including they themselves when they are persecuted) are at last fully valued as human beings.

How, then, does Jesus envision that the gentle will come to inherit the earth? Because the once-mighty, under pressure of precisely this kind, will die out as a type. They will change their minds about defending their privileges at the expense of others. And the world will be their dying bequest to the gentle.

Hmmm. The "once-mighty", currently "defending their privileges at the expense of others", may need help in changing their minds - help provided by their brothers and sisters, acting with common purpose, if you know what I mean. As just one example, it would please me if the Bush Gang received fair jury trials, with all the protections of the human rights written into the U.S. Constitution, and then punishment as decreed by law.

In proposing a fair trial, I am advocating not revenge - for there could never be enough revenge for the suffering inflicted on the world by the Bush Gang and those who do their bidding - but justice. Kurt Vonnegut, in a Commencement Address at Agnes Scott College, said of revenge:

What antidote can there be for an idea that popular and poisonous? Revenge provides revenge, which is sure to provide revenge, forming an endless chain of human misery.

Here's the antidote:

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.


Some of you may know that I am a Humanist, not a Christian. But I say of Jesus, as all Humanists do, ''If what he said was good and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what can it matter if he was God or not?'' If Christ hadn't delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn't want to be a human being. I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.

Obviously Kurt Vonnegut, who is in Heaven now, had different ideas about what Jesus would recommend to our Decider, George W. Bush, than the head of Christians United for Israel.

May the Creative Forces of the Universe have mercy on our souls, if any.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at October 9, 2007 10:15 AM

What Christianity seems to lack nowadays is Jesus. Just got away from Him, that's all. Can't do everything...

Posted by: rollingmyeyes at October 9, 2007 11:36 AM

I spent some time looking up available writings by Tod Lindberg, quoted in my previous message. Regrettably, I find a number of things that I regard as less reasonable than the article I cited. For example, that he has stated that he agrees with Sen. John McCain that the only thing worse than war with Iran would be Iran with a nuclear weapon.

My view differs. In my view, "Iran with a nuclear weapon" is BETTER than "war with Iran" - because Iran, if it were to join the nuclear club, may follow the behavior of the other members of the nuclear club - which is, with one exception, all of those countries have NEVER used an atomic weapon in a war to kill a city full of people. (As an exercise for the reader, I will avoid naming the country which is the exception to this generalization.)

On the other hand, as I evaluate the situation, war with Iran will NECESSARILY result in mass murder, along with various other bad outcomes.

This is my reasoning. I ask that you consider my difference with Lindberg on the merits of the argument, trying to set as immaterial the fact that Lindberg is a prominent member of the Commentariat, while I am only someone hiding behind a screen name who asserts (without documentation) that I have a Ph.D.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at October 9, 2007 11:45 AM

Do you mean "the Creative Forces of the Universe, if any" or "our souls, if any"? It looks like the latter and that always gives me a little laugh. We sure don't act like we have souls.

Posted by: StO at October 9, 2007 01:24 PM

Souls? I just wish we had commonsense.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at October 9, 2007 04:52 PM