Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviewed evangelical pastor John Hagee regarding the recent United Nations-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, but Cavuto made no mention of the apocalyptic vision Hagee presented in his recent book, which foreshadows a nuclear showdown with Iran that “could ... be the beginning of the end.” Cavuto also failed to note that Hagee has led an intense lobbying effort on Capitol Hill to present government officials with his message of Armageddon, or that Hagee's efforts have been praised by President Bush and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
On the August 15 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto interviewed evangelical pastor John Hagee regarding the recent United Nations-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, providing him with a platform to advocate for a U.S. foreign policy strategy consistent with the apocalyptic vision -- which went unmentioned -- illustrated in his book Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World (Frontline, January 2006), which foreshadows a nuclear showdown with Iran that “could ... be the beginning of the end.” During the interview, Hagee argued that “the moment they feel that Iran has a nuclear device, [the United States and Israel] need to take out the nuclear capabilities of that country.” Hagee also predicted that Israel “will bomb the nuclear facilities in Iran” if they acquire nuclear capabilities and even asserted that “Iran will use nuclear weapons against Israel and ... against the United States of America.” In addition, Cavuto failed to note that Hagee has led an intense lobbying effort on Capitol Hill to present government officials with his message of Armageddon, or that Hagee's efforts have been praised by President Bush and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX).
Wall Street Journal correspondent Andrew Higgins reported (subscription required) July 27 that a group of evangelical Christians “mobilized” by Hagee undertook “a lobbying blitz through the Capitol,” and “peppered” members of Congress with “arguments for Israel and against its enemies, particularly Iran.” Noting that Hagee is a leading proponent of the belief that “Israel's struggles signal a prelude to Armageddon,” Higgins reported that Hagee's July 16-18 Christians United for Israel event in Washington featured a speech by DeLay and that “President Bush sent a message” to those attending, “praising Mr. Hagee and his supporters for 'spreading the hope of God's love and the universal gift of freedom' ”:
Mr. Hagee is a leading figure in the so-called Christian-Zionist movement. This evangelical political philosophy is rooted in biblical prophecies and a belief that Israel's struggles signal a prelude to Armageddon. Its followers staunchly support the Bush administration's unequivocal backing of Israel in its current battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
President Bush sent a message to the gathering praising Mr. Hagee and his supporters for “spreading the hope of God's love and the universal gift of freedom.”
Higgins's article also documented other “close ties” Hagee maintained with Bush and DeLay. Higgins wrote that Hagee met President Bush “several times while he was Texas governor and solidly supported his push for the White House” but that Hagee “was closer” to DeLay, who delivered “the keynote speech at Mr. Hagee's 2002 pro-Israel gathering in San Antonio.” Hagee's website notes the attendance of several prominent Republicans and leaders of the Religious Right at the Christians United for Israel event, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX), Rev. Jerry Falwell, and Gary Bauer, who served as undersecretary of education and domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan before heading the Family Research Council from 1988 to 2000. Following the conference, Higgins reported, Hagee “mobilized evangelicals representing all 50 states” for the Capitol Hill “lobbying blitz.”
As Media Matters for America has noted, Christian author Joel C. Rosenberg -- another prominent backer of the theory that Armageddon is approaching -- claims that he was invited to the White House, Capitol Hill, and the CIA to discuss the Rapture and the Middle East.
From the August 15 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, with Cavuto, Hagee, and Brigitte Gabriel, president and founder of the American Congress for Truth:
CAVUTO: Pastor, what do you think of that? That, that as you indicated before -- it's -- this is just a teaser?
HAGEE: I think Bridget's [sic] right on target. Hezbollah has every reason to feel that they've won. They have a new-found confidence. They have faced the mighty IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] and have survived for more than 30 days, and they now have the right to feel that they're the kingpins of terrorism. Iran will re-supply them through Syria. Whenever they're rested, whenever they have new supplies, they will re-attack Israel. Israel will come back, and I believe that this next round will be more severe, more aggressive, and the moment that Israel determines that Iran has nuclear capability or buys a nuclear weapon from North Korea that they will bomb the nuclear facilities in Iran or go after Iran. And then it is really going to become intense in the Middle East.
CAVUTO: Pastor, what do we do if that is the case? If we know something big is afoot, if we suspect that Syria and Iran will cheat and funnel weapons to a still-armed but less-armed Hezbollah, then what do we do?
HAGEE: I think the United States and Israel should keep their ear to the ground, and the moment that they feel that Iran has a nuclear device that they need to take out the nuclear capabilities of that country. Make no mistake, Iran will use nuclear weapons against Israel and use nuclear weapons against the United States of America. Even if it's a nuclear suitcase bomb, they will do everything in their power to get it in the hands of sleeper cells that are already in the United States of America.
CAVUTO: Let me raise that point, Brigitte. [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, in an interview with [CBS correspondent] Mike Wallace, and I'm paraphrasing here, had said to the effect: “Even with this nuclear capability, if we were to get it” -- and he argued that they don't have it -- “it would be self-destructive for us to use it.” What do you make of that, Brigitte?
HAGEE: The reason I --
GABRIEL: That is absolute nonsense.
GABRIEL: He is speaking to the West, trying to earn brownie points with the West. If he got -- the minute he gets his hand on the nuclear bomb, he will use it and he will become the hero of the Islamic world.