Dear Sir,

Today, March the twelfth in the year of grace 2003 there sits in one of a dozen nuclear–proof pleasure domes in the Republic of Iraq a bloodstained monster whose crimes against humanity are smaller than those of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin only because a much smaller portion of humanity is within his reach. His use of chemical and bacteriological weapons against his own people as well as those he designates as enemies are documented without a scintilla of doubt. The black–berets and moustachioed look–alikes who make up his inner council know that if they disagree with his decrees or indeed are late to salute his arrival at the head of the table they are likely to be taken into an ante–room and rewarded with a bullet in the back of the neck. The actions of Saddam Hussein have, in a nutshell, been so horrific that almost all the rest of the world (excluding only a few sympathetically –inclined dictatorships) has been moved to express disapproval of his actions. Nothing too unequivocal you understand. More of a mild “tut–tut, please pay some attention to the resolutions we are are passing between our expense account lunches and fact–finding trips to Outer Mongolia.” But Saddam Hussein, when he is not counting the diamonds which he is buying to facilitate the export of his country's wealth to some bullet–proof sanctuary abroad must be laughing his head off. And well he might, for look what the man has achieved. He has done something that Hitler and Stalin could not bring about – the disintegration of the Western Alliance which secured peace in Europe for half a century. He has hoodwinked France once again into sticking to historical precedent and backing the wrong horse. He has taken the first steps towards pushing the US towards a policy of isolation and he has exposed the United Nations as the modern day equivalent of the League of Nations with about as much prestige as the Chorlton–cum–Hardy Fur and Feather Club. What country ever again will pay any attention to the UN? Who, if not the US, will deal with Saddam Hussein? Who, if not the US,will grapple with the threat of North Korea and its nuclear weapons? For all his faults President Bush has given Saddam Hussein more leeway than most people thought likely and has shown more patience than could be expected with the undignified wrigglings of so–called world statesmen. Tony Blair has shown considerable courage in facing up to the realities of the situation and courage is a rare quality in today's leaders. He will survive the resignation of that professioinal resigner Clair Short and the others who will follow. As for France, Germany and Russia (and many eminent journalists) I predict that in a few weeks time they will be re–assessing their position. And lining up with the winners.

Mike Kernahan,

Portals Nous

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