Notes: George W. Bush has made it clear that he is not fond of Saddam Hussein. , "'I've made up my mind that Saddam needs to go,'" Christopher Newton of the Associated Press wrote of Bush on April 6th. But, building allies for this proposition, an idea difficult at the inception, has grown more difficult with the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Newton continues, "'It is absolutely not viable in the near future,' for America to launch an attack on Iraq, said retired Rear Adm. Eugene Carroll, now an independent analyst in Washington. 'The small region simply cannot contain two conflicts at the same time.'" Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. had this take in his April 2nd column, "The president and his diplomats are wary of taking too hard a line against the Palestinians, because their basic objective is to push the Israeli-Palestinian struggle off the side. Then they can get on with the business of winning allies for a war against Iraq." Within a couple of days the conflict became so intense that it could not be pushed aside and Bush is sending Colin Powell to the region.

Hussein has upped his payment to the families of suicide bombers -- called "homicide bombers" in Israeli circles --
to $25,000. He's also joining Iran in calling for an oil embargo on countries that support Israel and has said that Iraq will cut its flow of oil. An Iraq-Iran alliance was unexpected by the first Bush administration. I'm reading a review of "War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals" by David Halbersam in the March 28, 2002 issue of The New York Review of Books. There, reviewer James Chace writes of America's defeat of Iraq that it was the decision of then President George H. W. Bush and James Baker "to leave Iraq intact as a counterweight to Iranian power in the region."

Over the weekend there was a meeting between George W. Bush and British leader Tony Blair. Of that meeting, Newton writes that "Blair was expected to press for diplomatic rather than military action" against Iraq. Speaking at the Bush library at Texas A&M on Sunday, Blair called on Iraq to allow foreign inspection of weapons.

Hussein is clearly gleeful over the angry conflict in the Middle East. It allows him to draw allies from Arabs unified against Israel and to meddle in the conflict. Moreover, it provides him a shield from United States action him -- whether military or diplomatic sanctions. The guy must have feline blood running through his veins for all of the many lives he seems to have.
04.07.02 (edited 04.08.02)