Assad And The Eschatologists

Tim Murphy notes that bestselling novelist Joel Rosenberg (see his rant below) thinks the Syrian conflict was foretold in the Bible. More troublingly, some politicians are listening:

On Saturday, Rosenberg will travel to Topeka, Kansas, at the invitation of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, to discuss the situation in the Middle East. The idea behind the prophecy is a fairly straightforward one. In Isaiah 17, the prophet explains that, in the run-up to Armageddon, “Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and will become a fallen ruin.” The implication is that it will be leveled by God on behalf of Israel as part of the last great struggle for mankind. How exactly that will happen is a bit less clear.

“The honest answer is that the Bible does not say,” Rosenberg wrote on his blog last June. But in Rosenberg’s Twelfth Imam series, he postulates that the emergence of the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, leads to the rise of a new Islamic caliphate in the Middle East that prepares to decapitate Israel by launching nuclear warheads from Damascus. As the top-rated Amazon review for the final book in the series, Damascus Countdown puts it, “This is a great read for anyone interested not only in the prophetical future of Israel but for Iran and Syria as well.”

Rosenberg may seem like a fringe figure, but he has a large base of support and friends in high places.

Damascus Countdown was, like the two preceding books in the series, Twelfth Imam and Tehran Initiative, a New York Times bestseller. He has been cited as an expert on nuclear policy by Fox News, where host Shannon Bream noted that he had been referred to as a “modern-day Nostradamus.” Former (and future) Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wrote a blurb for the hardcover edition of Damascus Countdown and brought the author onto his radio show, Patriot Voices, to discuss the book last spring. In March, Rosenberg met privately with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Louie Gohmert in Austin. Gohmert was such a big fan of the novelist he brought a copy of Damascus Countdown as a gift to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011.

They’re all out of their tiny minds.