10/08/2005 11:56 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

God Made Me Do It

Apparently it was God"s idea to invade Iraq. An idea that turned out to be a really, really bad call on the part of the Almighty.

At least that's what's being reported by Nabil Shaath, the former foreign minister for the Palestinian Authority, and Mahmoud Abbas. The White House denies having made the statement. Admittedly, the Palestinian Authority has not always been the most honest group. I've interviewed Palestinian Generals, I've been personally lied to by some very senior people in the PA while standing on a bluff overlooking a bombed out police station in Ramallah.

But I was also in Wisconsin with President Bush the day he said, "Thanks to our actions Saddam's torture chambers have been closed," exactly two days after pictures of Iraqis being tortured by American soldiers appeared in every major news magazine in the world. Was he looking at me when he said it? I believe he was. I'll include a picture of me at the event (needing a haircut). I remember turning to my sister who was posing as my photographer, and asking her, "did he just say that?"

More recently President Bush has continued to refer to weapons of mass destruction, like in his recent speech from New Orleans. So this is not a president with a track record of honesty. And anyway, the foreign minister and prime minister of Palestine have no reason to make this stuff up. Nor is it out of character for George Bush to quote God on important decisions, like when he said God told him to run for president. (note to George, he was kidding)

So there you have it. Just as George W. Bush was not responsible for there not being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, since everybody else thought there were weapons of mass destruction too. Now he's not even responsible for ordering the invasion. That was actually God who should get all the credit, and blame, for that COLOSSAL blunder.

God, if you're reading this, and I know you are, I'd like you to clarify your position on this war. I'm willing to accept that you didn't really tell George Bush to invade Iraq, he just thought you did. But maybe you could have a sit-down with the president, a little come-to-Jesus meeting as they say in the business. Let him know when you're talking to him and when it's just a little gas. Maybe you could set up a secure instant messenging system. Because, frankly, this is the kind of screwup that could make a man lose faith.

- Stephen Elliott