by Timothy Garton Ash
Coming to the hyperpower capital from peace-torn Europe, I find three things. Washington is at war. Washington is going to war. And Washington is starting to think about a peace to end both wars. People in Britain, and the world beyond, need to wake up to all three.
There is some confusion here between two wars. Sometimes when Washingtonians say "the war" they mean the war against terrorism, which they are still living intensely in everyday life. Sometimes they mean the coming war with Iraq. WT and WI, as a friend tags them.
The most pressing conclusion is that Washington is going to war against Saddam Hussein. Saddam's solemn claim that he has no more weapons of mass destruction is a blow to those who still hoped for a peaceful solution and a gift to those who think toppling him by force of arms is the only path to effective disarmament. My clear impression from talking to people inside and close to the Bush administration is that this war - WI - is now a matter of when and how rather than whether.
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