Stranger still are new accounts emerging from France describing how former president Jacques Chirac was utterly baffled by a 2003 telephone conversation in which Bush reportedly invoked fanatical Old Testament prophecy – including the Earth-ending battle with forces of evil, Gog and Magog – in his arguments to enlist France in the Coalition of the Willing.
“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins,” Bush said to Chirac, according to Thomas Romer, a University of Lausanne theology professor who was later approached by French officials anxious to understand the biblical reference. Romer first revealed his account in a 2007 article for the university review, Allez savoir, which passed largely unnoticed.
Chirac, in a new book by French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, is quoted as confirming the surreal conversation, saying he was stupefied by Bush’s reference to biblical prophecy and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”
The internet changes the scale of the free sample. If Cory Doctorow or Seth Godin can give away millions of copies of their books, it means their ideas gain currency and some of those millions of readers will be interested enough to pay attention the next time Cory or Seth have something to say. That’s worth a lot. If they hadn’t given away their work, they’d just be a couple more guys expounding to their friends about the way the world works. Giving away work establishes their brand and creates a constituency for them.
Currently, the Navy inventory includes some 280 combatant, logistics, and support vessels, plus 3,700 aircraft. But-more important to many-We the People employ 340,000 active-duty Navy personnel and 68,000 reservists plus 175,000 active-duty Marines and 39,600 reservists. This is not to mention185,000 Navy Department civilians. (…)
No naval actions since 1945 have required combat fleets to protect sea lanes-the very reason navies exist. Instead, light forces have proved most useful, escorting tankers in the Persian Gulf and currently combating pirates off Africa. (…)