Notes: George W. Bush is an obsessed man. Agree with him or not, you're bound to have noticed that he works Iraq into nearly every public appearance. Five or six times. Ann Richards who ran against W. for governor has said that once Bush is on message he'll repeat it over and over and over again. You can ask him what time it is and instead of giving you the time, he'll tell you about Iraq.

I recognize that Saddam Hussein is not going to win a Nobel Prize for peace -- not that W. is either. But columnist Thomas Friedman asked the rhetorical questions: is Saddam how he is because he is Saddam? Or is Saddam like he is because of Iraq. The country is tribal with feuding regions and peoples that are hard to keep together as one country. Saddam runs Iraq similar to how to the Mafia conducts its affairs -- reward your allies and destroy and intimidate your enemies. It's an ugly scene. (Aside: Why do TV viewers admire Tony Soprano? Beats me.)

I don't like Saddam. I'd be in prison being tortured for doing satirical cartoons if I were in Iraq.

Columnist Maureen Dowd seems convinced that a part of the Iraq matter is a personal grudge that W. has against Saddam. Others say it's about oil. W. says it's about weapons of mass destruction, or hiding them, or lying about them. Regardless, Iraq is a third-rate power that doesn't militarily threaten the United States. Our weapons of mass destruction are bigger than their weapons of mass destruction. Way bigger. Somebody get W. some Paxil.
02.02.03