""You just arrived," he said. "You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave."
"For a long time we've been saying: 'Let them come'," his wife, Zahara, said. "Last night we were afraid, but we said: 'Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem'." Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran.
"He was a farmer, he had a car, he sold tomatoes, and we had a life that we were satis fied with," said Khlis. "He was in prison for a whole year, and I raised 75m dinars in bribes. It didn't work. The money was gone, and he was gone. They sent me a telegram. They gave me the body."
The marines rolled into the border town after a bombardment which left up to a dozen people dead. Residents gave different figures. A farmer, Haider, who knew one of the men killed, Sharif Badoun, said: "Killing some is worth it, to end the injustice and suffering." The men around him gave a collective hysterical laugh.
The injustice of tyranny was merged in their minds with the effects of sanctions. "Look at the way we're dressed!" said Haider, and scores of men held up their stained, holed clothes. "We are isolated from the rest of the world.""
So, I have friends who ask me, why didn't we try diplomacy a little longer? Why not wait for UN approval of our actions.
Here's why. The UN has failed in every test in recent memory. They failed the Rwandans. They failed in Bosnia. They failed in Kosovo, I would argue. Too little, too late. And they most certainly were failing the people of Iraq.
Like I've said before, I'm not the biggest fan of George Bush, but perhaps he and Tony Blair have the balls to stand up to the countries who would have us do nothing but talk, while people die.
Friends ask me, "Is it our place to police the world?" I say, if not us, who? The world community isn't doing a great job of protecting the weak and powerless from tyrants and thugs. The UN lends an air of legitimacy to men who should be rotting in a jail cell, or dying in front of a firing squad. Yes, the US has made mistakes in the past. We have had our hands in all sorts of sordid affairs of state. Dirty tricks and all that. But show me what country hasn't.
If this administration has the courage to point to the hypocrisy of the rest of the world and to actually say "Stand aside. If you won't clean up this mess, WE WILL!" then I say good.
"A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head.""
Old Europe is full of such arrogance. Jacque Chirac told the Eastern European nations that are backing the US to "Shut up" if they knew what was good for them, and basically threatened their position in the EU. The French and the Germans think that they should lead Europe, and that all the other countries should fall into line with what they want. How's that for Hegemony?