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Jewish World Review March 21, 2003 / 17 Adar II, 5763

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald
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America's ready for war ... and peace | The Big 2 1/2 newsweeklies - Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report - sure hope the war in Iraq Wednesday last night.

If they really get lucky, by the time they put their March 31 editions to bed this weekend, Saddam already might be dead, our super-soldiers will be handing out Hershey bars and Christiane Amanpour will be drinking a beer in Baghdad and explaining how she captured 30,000 Iraqis with a satellite phone and a hatpin.

No one gives Saddam's crippled military machine a chance of defeating Earth's only hyper-power or holding out for long. But he's expected to make his toppling as bloody, nasty and protracted as he can.

According to Newsweek, Saddam probably will hold out with about 70,000 elite troops in Baghdad, a 2,000-square mile labyrinth he hopes will become "the Mesopotamian Stalingrad."

Newsweek says Saddam, who wants to make sure he's in the history books 500 years from now, plans to go to his death as apocalyptically and memorably as possible.

Torching the oil fields is a given. But some experts fear he'll unleash a huge poison-gas cloud on Baghdad or pull something with those weapons of mass destruction he may or may not have.

Time, meanwhile, offers a long cover feature on husband-wife military teams, plus "Enter the Cleanup Crew," a piece about the second wave of U.S. troops, whose job is to befriend locals Iraqis with gifts of food and cash for rebuilding the stuff we break on our way in.

It's a nice PR touch for an imperial power that antiwar warrior Pat Buchanan warns in his American Conservative magazine is engaged in the first of "a series of wars" in the Middle East that could ignite a Clash of Civilizations that will prove to be "a tragedy and a disaster for this Republic."

Buchanan says in his cover-tirade that the War on Iraq is the handiwork of an arrogant, bellicose "cabal of polemicists" and administration officials who are more concerned about Israel's interests than America's.

Anti-Semitic conspiratorial hooey as usual, hints columnist Gloria Borger in U.S. News. Her dated cover package, "Ready to Go," notes that it was British commanders who persuaded the U.S. military to invade delicately - i.e., to inflict as little damage as possible on Iraq's people and infrastructure, which we'll be paying to rebuild anyway.

Speaking of the faithful Brits, The Economist says there's no need to worry that a war without United Nations approval would undermine its authority.

Only three wars since 1945 have gotten the OK of the U.N., an organization historian Paul Johnson says with painful accuracy on is "a theater of hypocrisy where mass-murdering heads of state can stand tall and where crimes against humanity are rewarded."

You find no tears for the U.N. at the Weekly Standard, headquarters of the crusading neo-conservative intellectuals who've been urging the Bush administration to do everything Buchanan rails against in the Middle East.

The Standard's cover story cheers the collapse of the U.N., and another suggests the United States should drop out of it and form a "Big Three" alliance with Britain and Russia to provide international cover for our future entanglements in foreign swamps.

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JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.

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03/14/03: Vanity Fair gets us ready for month's big event
03/11/03: A road map for Iraq's liberation devised by James Madison? 10 minutes with James S. Robbins
03/06/03: Iraq war will come and go before we know it
02/28/03: America takes time out for swimsuits
02/26/03: 'We shall be seen as liberators' .... 10 minutes with noted Brit commentator David Pryce-Jones
02/21/03: Terrorism one of many losing battles
02/14/03: Editors planning for the day after Gulf War II
02/12/03: The 'religiosity' of Ronald Reagan 10 minutes with author Paul Kengor
02/10/03: Should the shuttle crash be the end of NASA?
02/06/03: Dear Joan ...
01/31/03: Newsweek, Nation ponder pros, cons of Gulf War II
01/24/03: 'Original' ideas follow New Deal philosophy
01/22/03: When handicapping 2004, watch the economy: Ten minutes with Charlie Cook
01/17/03: New Republic fans hatred for SUVs
01/14/03: 10 minutes with Santorum on ... taxes, steel and Lott
01/10/03: Newsweeklies move on to latest menace
01/07/03: The best of the Q&As
12/30/02: Rosie's demise tops list of 2002 highlights
12/23/02: GOP must stick to its principles: 10 questions for ... Bill Kristol
12/20/02: Lott fiasco uncovers bigger problem
12/18/02: Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with . Donald Boudreaux
12/13/02: Corruption of Indian casinos no surprise
12/06/02: Giving credit to young philanthropists
12/02/02: Ten minutes with . Chris Matthews
11/26/02: It's critical to memorialize communism's victims: 10 minutes with Lee Edwards
11/22/02: JFK's secret health woes are revealed
11/19/02: “It's best to contain Saddam”: Ten minutes with Col. David Hackworth
11/15/02: Brushing up on the affairs of a wild world
11/12/02: Make Dems filibuster 10 minutes with Robert L. Bartley
11/08/02: National Geographic: Urban overpopulation is good
11/05/02: The bloody consequences of a broken INS: Ten minutes with Michelle Malkin
11/01/02: Going to pot; thank heaven for media overkill
10/29/02: It's all about federalism: Ten minutes with Jonah Goldberg
10/25/02: Frank Sinatra, Kurt Cobain, Mad Magazine will never die
10/22/02: Here's why Orwell matters: Ten minutes with Christopher Hitchens
10/18/02: The sniper knocks Iraq off the covers
10/15/02: Iraq, oil and war: 10 minutes with ... economist/historian Daniel Yergin
10/11/02: England's gun-control experiment has backfired
10/04/02: Buchanan the media baron?
09/27/02: Analyzing Esquire, GQ is not for the squeamish
09/20/02: CEOs: The rise and fall of American heroes
09/13/02: Skeptics remind U.S. to calm down
09/10/02: 'A failure to recognize a failure': 15 minutes with ... Bill Gertz
09/06/02: Rating the 9-11 mags
08/30/02: Bad trains, bad planes, and bad automobiles
08/28/02: Baseball, broken, can be fixed: 15 minutes with George Will
08/16/02: 9-11 overload has already begun
08/13/02: Tell us what you really think, Ann Coulter
08/09/02: A funny take on a new kind of suburb
08/02/02: It's not the humidity, it's the (media) heat wave; the death of American cities
07/12/02: Colombia's drug lords are all business
07/09/02: If capitalism is 'soulless' then show me something better: 10 minutes with Alan Reynolds
06/25/02: Origins of a scandal: 10 minutes with Michael Rose
06/21/02: 9/11 report unearths good, bad and ugly
06/18/02: The FBI is rebounding 10 Minutes with Ronald Kessler
06/14/02: U.S. News opens closet of Secret Service
06/11/02: 10 minutes with William Lind: Can America survive in this 'fourth-generation' world?
06/07/02: America, warts and all
05/30/02: FBI saga gets more depressing
05/13/02: The magazine industry's annual exercise in self-puffery
04/30/02: 10 Minutes with ... The New York Sun's Seth Lipsky
04/26/02: Will the American Taliban go free?
04/23/02: 10 minutes with ... Dinesh D'Souza
04/19/02: Saddam starting to show his age
04/12/02: Newsweek puts suicide bombing in perspective
04/09/02: How polls distort the news, change the outcome of elections and encourage legislation that undermines the foundations of the republic
04/05/02: Looking into the state of American greatness
03/25/02: The American President and the Peruvian Shoeshine Boys
03/22/02: Troublemaking intellectual puts Churchill in spotlight
03/20/02: 10 minutes with ... Bill Bennett
03/18/02: Suddenly, it's cool again to be a man
03/12/02: 10 minutes with Ken Adelman
03/08/02: TIME asks the nation a scary question
03/05/02: 10 minutes with ... Rich Lowry
02/26/02: 10 minutes with ... Tony Snow
02/12/02: Has Soldier of Fortune gone soft?

© 2002, Bill Steigerwald