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White House Denies Bush Said Invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan 'Driven by God'

06 October 2005

The White House says a report that President Bush believed God told him to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq is "absurd."

Spokesman Scott McClellan said Thursday that Mr. Bush has never made such comments.

He was responding to remarks made in a British Broadcasting Corp. television series called Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace which will begin airing Monday. In an excerpt of the program to be released Thursday, Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Shaath described his first meeting with President Bush in June 2003, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, when he was Palestinian foreign minister.

Mr. Shaath says President Bush told him and then-Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas that, "'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did.'"

Mr. Shaath goes on to quote Mr. Bush saying, "'And then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq." And I did.'" Mr. Shaath then recounts that Mr. Bush said, "'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East."'"

Some information in this report provided by AP and AFP.

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