By Eric Margolis
Once the United States overthrows Saddam Hussein and "liberates" Iraq, it will then proceed to spread democracy, human rights, and enlightenment throughout the Mideast. So vows the Bush administration's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, an academic expert on Soviet affairs.
One hopes her preposterous assertion is simply part of the administration's propaganda buildup before invading oil-rich Iraq.
Truth is indeed the first casualty of war. Recall in 1990 the famous tearjerker about Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators by evil Iraqi soldiers, a canard that ignited war fever across America, but turned out to be a total fabrication. Or White House claims to have photographic evidence of an impending Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia. These claims were also phony, but they succeeded in stampeding the petrified Saudis into allowing the U.S. to permanently station military forces in the kingdom, where they remain to this day.
If Rice really believes the U.S. will bring democracy to the Mideast, she must also believe in the tooth fairy. Such naivete is unacceptable in a senior policy maker.