When I signed up to serve in the United States Army, I did so because I wanted to serve my country. I wanted to - if called - put my life on the line to defend her, and all she stands for. We who served take an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As a Jew, one of the most important principles to me in our Constitution is religious freedom. Steeped in the history of colonization of America by those who were persecuted for their worship, tolerance of all religions and not putting one ahead of another, is a core principle I would die for.
Little did I know that while I was preparing to go to Iraq, the Bush administration was using Bible passages (both Old and New Testaments) on cover sheets of security reports, emblazoned on top of pictures of our armed forces. The implication was clear - this was a religious war, and our troops were fighting for the God of the Bible.
GQ has a bunch of these cover sheets, hand delivered by Donald Rumsfeld to the White House.
We know that the Bush administration launched the war based on flimsy and false intelligence, and used torture to try to falsely link Iraq to 9/11. But, what we now know is that in the opening days of the war in Iraq, even the flimsy intelligence took a backseat to the idea that this was a Biblical fight between the forces of good (those who worship the God of the Old and New Testaments) against those who worship the God that is chronicled in the Koran.
It doesn't just offend me as a Jew that I was apparently fighting for the New Testament in the eyes of the Bush Administration. And it doesn't just offend me as an American that they thought it proper to engage our troops in what they obviously saw as a religious crusade.Read his full piece.