The Jamaica Observer Tuesday, March 11th, 2003.


"Vastly More Important Than Regime Change in Iraq "


Those who tell us we are witnessing a game of geopolitical chicken between George Bush and Saddam Hussein may have nailed the wrong bird.   By stooping to Saddam Hussein's own kind of games, President Bush is showing himself to be just as big a turkey as the Iraqi dictator.

What's astounding, and what the rest of the world is struggling to find a way to fathom, is that the President of the United States of America is and has been systematically throwing away his country's leadership of the free world and turning the world's greatest democracy into an evil empire that acts only out of narrow self interest [global warming, tobacco trafficking, and now Iraqi oil].  Call it what you will, such behavior is not leadership.

The world wants America to see the light and draw back from the lunacy of single-handedly turning the new global order into "I'm biggest so I'll do whatever I want, no matter what the rest of you think."

By all means, the world needs to be rid of Saddam Hussein.  But much more than that, the world needs American leadership.  That is vastly more important than regime change in Iraq.

The pundits have it wrong.   This isn't an issue of who blinks first, Bush or Hussein.   It's not chicken for America to listen to the majority and back off, even at this late hour.  It's democracy.  It's what America's about.  It's what the world wants the superpower to be about.

There is all this talk of saving face.   The "face" George Bush will save by going to war is his own, not America's.

Today we have two leaders facing off for a costly, deadly and destructive conflict, each more concerned about himself than his nation.  It's a sad day when it's harder to tell which is the bigger turkey.

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