February 27, 2003 (Ira Pilgrim)

I Had a Dream

It is all for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

Dr. Pangloss (Voltaire)

February 19, 2003

When I woke up this morning, all of the hopes and dreams that I have had for the past month were crystallized into the happy ending that everyone would like to see to every story; real or fictitious.

Things happened in my dream much as they have been happening for months. The United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq continued with their inspections. Saddam Hussein tried to get away with as much as he could, but, at the same time, gave just enough to stall an invasion by US forces. He insisted that Iraq would resist an invasion and that America would pay with many lives for an invasion. The United States continued to ship arms, aircraft and men to the Middle East. President Bush continued with his rhetoric in which he stressed the fundamental evil of Saddam and that he is a great danger to the whole world. Tony Blair continued the support for the US and continued sending troops, planes and munitions to the Middle East. The French, German and Russian presidents continued to insist that the inspectors needed more time, at the same time that Bush said that enough time has been spent and it is time to invade Iraq, get rid of Saddam Hussein and install a democracy. Protests against a war continued with increasing vigor in many major cities of the world. In the US, people went from their small towns to the major cities where they carried banners, placards and signs, listened to speeches, shouted slogans and sang. The demonstrations received intense coverage from the radio and television news services.

Information was leaked to the press that the invasion of Iraq would take place on either March 3, April 1 or May 1; all days when there would be no moonlight. April 1 seemed unlikely, because it would be the April fool joke of the century.

My dream didn't specify when the following events happened:

The weapons inspectors reported to the UN that they could now assure the world that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. They would keep inspectors in Iraq for the foreseeable future, to insure that such weapons would not be developed, and that Iraq had agreed to this.

On the following day, President Bush, flanked by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, declared that, "Our objectives have been achieved; Iraq has been freed of weapons of mass destruction and the world can breath easy." He stated that some troops would remain in the Middle East to insure that Saadam didn't resume his aggressiveness.

With the exception of a few gung-ho marines and paratroopers, every soldier and marine breathed a sigh of relief, as did their spouses at home, their parents and good friends. Everyone in Iraq breathed an even bigger sigh of relief, and many a celebration took place in Baghdad and in every town and village in Iraq.

In every country in the world, every single person who had taken part in an anti-war demonstration said to himself/herself, "I have done it! I have helped to make the world a better and more peaceful place."

My dream ended. I thought of my country and its president and Lewis Carroll's immortal words rang in my head:

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogroves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

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