- Exposing the truth THEY don't want you to know

The World Must Stop This Madman
by Maureen Dowd - 19th Sep 2002
from The New York Times

No, not Saddam. That other gun-toting, tough-talking cowboy in the Oval

The trap is sprung. The name of the game is containment. Contain the wild 
man, the leader with the messianic and relentless glint who is scaring the 
world. Surround him, throw Lilliputian nets on him, tie him up with a lot  of
United Nations inspection demands, humour him long enough to stop him  from
using his weapons and blowing up the Middle East.

But this time, the object of the containment strategy is not Saddam  Hussein,
but George Bush, the president with real bombs, not the predator  with plans
to make them.

America's European and Arab allies now act more nervously about the cowboy 
in the Oval Office who likes to brag of America as "the greatest nation on 
the face of the Earth" than the thug in the Baghdad bunker.

"We don't want another war in this region," says an adviser to the Saudi 
royal family. "When Afghanistan is bombed, they just hit rocks. When  there's
bombing in our neighbourhood, they hit oil fields."

Gerhard Schroeder's campaign prospects soared when he started running 
against Bush. "Many Germans," wrote The Times' Steven Erlanger, "seem to 
fear American military action in Iraq more than they fear Mr Hussein."

With assistance from the rump cabinet of internationalists, including the 
Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the former national security adviser 
Brent Scowcroft, America's allies have been engaged in a benevolent 
conspiracy to ensnare the President in the web of UN rules for war and 

The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, insists that the Iraqi 
threat must be taken care of without "the firing of a single shot or the 
loss of a single soldier". He added a big sweetener, promising that  American
bombers could use Saudi bases if Bush would work through the UN.

Privately, Saudi officials say they are alarmed by the Bush team's military 
strutting, and think it would have been much better to get rid of Saddam 
with a covert operation. They agree with the President that Saddam is a 
monster who not only eliminates his enemies, real and perceived, but also 
their wives, children and friends. But if he has nothing to lose, they 
worry, he might fire his chemical and biological weapons at the Saudis or 
the Israelis or give them to terrorists to use on the United States.

By wrapping Bush in a warm embrace, the Persian Gulf allies hope to waltz 
him closer to where they want him to be. Meanwhile, the Egyptians and the 
Jordanians pinned Saddam to the mat and told him that if he had any chance 
of avoiding Armageddon, he should open up his country to inspectors.

Thus, in just a few days, the Iraq crisis went from Saddam having a noose 
around his neck to W. being bound by multilateral macrame.

"All the reasons for an attack have been eliminated," crowed Tariq Aziz, 
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister.

But the allies - and especially Aziz - should not underestimate the zeal of 
the Bush warriors. Saddam can admit a legion of inspectors, but that may  not
stop Bush from wriggling out of the UN restraints and declaring the  despot's
compliance a sham.

The Arabs tut-tut that America should focus on rebuilding Afghanistan, 
getting a state for the Palestinians and pursuing the war on terrorism.

But the Bushies have got a taste of empire building in Afghanistan and they 
like it. The White House adviser, Karl Rove, is building a Republican 
empire. The Defence secretary adviser, Richard Perle, the Deputy Defence 
Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, and Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, 
Scooter Libby, are building an ideological empire. Cheney is building a 
unilateral empire. And the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, is building  a
military empire.

As Henry Kissinger told Newsweek, Rummy wants "to beat back the attitudes  of
the Vietnam generation that was focused on American imperfection and 

Besides, why should former CEOs Cheney and Rummy settle for mere Jack 
Welch-style perks when they can have the perks of empire?

They can restore civilisation to the cradle of civilisation. Lemon fizzes, 
cribbage and cricket by the Tower of Babel. A 36-hole golf course on the 
banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. ArabDisney in the hanging gardens of 
Babylon. Oil on tap at the Baghdad Hilton. Huge contracts for buddies in  the
defence and oil industries. Halliburton's Brown & Root construction  company
building a six-lane highway from Baghdad to Tel Aviv.

How long can it be before the empire strikes back?