Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons - 2006-10-12
Outside the low-rise office building that houses Canada Christian College, security was tight. Yellow police tape blocked the driveway, and plainclothes rcmp officers eyed the crowd for threats to two visitors inside: Canada's ambassador to Israel, Alan Baker, and Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, chief of Israel's military intelligence. Still, neither was the night's main draw. Taking their seats on the stage of the college's ground-floor auditorium, they were mere warm-up acts for the undisputed star of the show: Reverend John Hagee, the Texas televangelist who packs eighteen thousand born-again Christians into his Cornerstone Church in San Antonio every Sunday and whose fire-and-brimstone broadcasts reach an estimated ninety-three million homes around the globe.
Seated onstage, Hagee hardly looked capable of mustering such charisma. A squat fire plug in a brown shirt, brown suit, and beige striped tie, he stared out from behind owlish wire rims, no hint of a smile creasing his jowls. But the moment he strode to the mike, he had the audience in thrall. "As we sit here in safety and security, a nuclear time bomb is ticking in the Middle East," Hagee intoned, his drawl gathering decibels as he rhymed off the litany of threats against Israel from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including his vow to see the nation wiped off the map. "In the twenty-first century, the president of Iran is the new Hitler of the Middle East," Hagee thundered. "I believe Israel is in the greatest hour of danger it has known since statehood."
In his latest book, Jerusalem Countdown—on sale for $14 in the college lobby—Hagee had already spelled out the implications of that scenario, complete with supporting arguments from top intelligence sources and the Biblical prophet Ezekiel. "We are facing a countdown in the Middle East," he wrote with urgent certitude. "It is a countdown that will usher in the end of this world."