December 19, 2002 (Ira Pilgrim)
The world is a comedy for those who think, but a tragedy for those who feel.
When I heard that Iraq, in response to a United Nations' mandate that they disclose their weapons of mass destruction, responded with a 12,000 page document, I laughed, and laughed and laughed. It really made my day.
I decided to keep my own personal score card on the battle of words between US and Iraqi politicians:
The first round of the conflict clearly goes to Bush (With considerable help from Colin Powell). By threatening invasion, he got Iraq to agree to the return of the weapons inspectors and their unconditional access to everything in Iraq, including the presidential palaces. He did it by convincing the world that the US was ready to invade Iraq on any pretext whatever. That was a bloodless victory, which is the only kind of victory that is worth a damn. Bloody victories represent a defeat for all of the parties involved. The victims of collateral damage are just as dead or injured as the legitimate(?) victims of a war.
The second round goes to Saadam. He has the US and the UN scrambling to decipher those 12,000 pages. I didn't believe that anyone was better than our politicians and bureaucrats at the art of obfuscation, but now it seems obvious that there are people in the Iraqi government who have our own paperhangers beat.
Hearing about our people scrambling for access to copying machines and hearing of them arguing about who will get to read those 12,000 pages was enough to brighten my day. Talk about funny!
I am concerned about the possibility that some of our bureaucrats might lack a sense of humor and will take the Iraqi papers seriously. That could result in a shooting war in which a hellofalot of people will be killed and even more will be maimed. Vice President Cheney does not seems to be well endowed with a sense of humor. Fortunately, as vice president, he has no real power. The whole world has a large stake in keeping George W. Bush alive.
What will round three bring? The whole affair could end without a shot being fired, or in a very destructive war. We will just have to wait and see. Those of you who believe in the efficacy of prayer, by all means pray your heads off. Those of you who believe in the efficacy of protest, get out your placards and megaphones.
What will I do? I will continue to go on living as usual. I won't hold my breath.
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