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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of March 19 - 25, 2003


High Noon

It’s High Noon in Iraq.

President George W. Bush told the Butcher of Baghdad, Saddam Hussein, to get out of Iraq in 48 hours—or the troops would roll.

Saddam said no lily-livered two-timing spoiled Texas silver sidewinder scares him. It’s his town. They’re his oil wells and his missiles, and he won’t give them up. Besides, he said, he won the first Gulf War—so the second should be no problem.

The United Nations was still gasping for breath the day after Bush delivered the ultimatum Monday evening. All but a few of the members of the Security Council, who had told the sheriff they were with him, were scurrying for cover.

This looks like nothing so much as a plot from a grade-B Western. We only wish it were.

Last night, tonight, tomorrow—American troops and their British allies will begin the fight for Baghdad. Every American—even those with deep misgivings—supports them.

This doesn’t mean every American understands nor supports the move to Baghdad. Given contradictory evidence and the ham-handed brand of politics of the Bush Administration, it’s amazing a large majority of Americans favor overthrowing the Iraqi regime.

Some say it’s because Americans don’t really understand foreign policy. In a sense, they’re right. Machiavelli isn’t on the American bestseller list.

The world view of ordinary Americans was probably best described by former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. He said, "All politics are local." The phrase is key to understanding why Americans will fight and try to bring freedom to a people in chains.

In this small world, Saddam Hussein is like the guy who moves into a house down the street who keeps attack dogs in the front yard and stacks dynamite in the back.

For years, the neighbors take a live-and-let-live approach. They reason that as long as the dogs don’t get out, as long as no one is harmed, they will ignore the guy.

Then things begin to happen. Armed thugs go in and out of the house day and night. Shots and screams are heard.

Thugs threaten concerned neighbors with violence. Some neighbors disappear.

Someone calls a community meeting. Some argue that if the neighbors are nicer to the guy, he will change. Some want to send in the sheriff. The guy agrees to a property inspection—then balks.

The community bickers. The sheriff and his deputies go after the guy anyway.

Should the sheriff have waited for full consent? Was the sheriff reckless? Or was the community that chose bickering over action irresponsible?

Only history will tell.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.