The Somoza dynasty, set on the throne by the Marines, lasted
half a century before being swept away by popular fury in 1979.
Then, president Ronald Reagan got on his horse and set out to
rescue the country from the threat of the Sandinista revolution.
Among the poorest of the poor, Nicaragua was a country with all
of five elevators, and one escalator that didn't work.
Nevertheless, Reagan proclaimed that Nicaragua was a menace; and
as he spoke, TV screens showed a map of the United States with a
red stain spreading from the south to illustrate the course of
the imminent invasion. Can president Bush be copying the
panic-rousing speeches of his predecessor? Can Bush be saying
Iraq where Reagan said Nicaragua?
* * *
Newspaper headlines in the run-up to war: "The United States is
prepared to resist attack".
Record sales of insulating tape, gas masks, radiation pills ...
Why is the executioner more afraid than the victim? Is it only
this climate of collective hysteria? Or does it tremble at the
foreseeable consequences of its actions? And what if Iraqi oil
sets fire to the world? Will this war not be just the vitamin
shot that international terrorism was looking for?
* * *
We are told that Saddam Hussein succours the fanatics of Al
Qaeda. What is this - his very own viper's nest? Islamic
fundamentalists loathe him. Can we say that a country is satanic
where people watch Hollywood movies, many schools teach English,
the Muslim majority do nothing to prevent Christians walking
about sporting crucifixes and it is not uncommon to see women
wearing trousers and daring blouses?
There were no Iraqis among the terrorists who demolished the
twin towers of New York. Almost all of them were from Saudi
Arabia, the US's number one client in the world. Another Saudi
is Bin Laden, the villain that the satellites track as he flees
on horseback across the desert and the first to step forward
whenever Bush requires his services as professional ogre.
* * *
Did you know that in 1953 president Dwight D. Eisenhower said
that "preventive war" was invented by Adolf Hitler? He said:
"...frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that
came in and talked about such a thing".
* * *
The United States makes and sells more arms than any other
country in the world. It is also the only nation to have dropped
atomic bombs on civilian populations. And traditionally it has
always been at war with somebody. Who is it that threatens world
* * *
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