New York, NY —WNYC's Brian Lehrer fell asleep Thursday night listening to Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio talk about all the terrible things that could happen as a result of going to war, then announcing he would vote yes on the war resolution. When Brian woke up, he was having a nightmare about Saddam Hussein.
Brian Lehrer: Saddam was pacing in my dream, in a huge room with a lot of plush red furniture. But he was alone, and talking to himself. He was saying
Hmmmm So they've approved a pre-emptive unilateral strike, eh
Now let's see, what are my options?
I could avoid war and let the weapons inspectors come and disarm my little toys. But then, what fun would it be to be president? Just to manage this stinkin' economy, keep those stupid Kurds and Shi'ites at bay, and be remembered forever as a coward? Forget that one, baby. Not THIS dictator.
Now: If I defy the weapons inspectors, then wait for the US or UN to attack ME no that won't work. Then I'm one dead Iraqi.
So here's what I better do. Attack Israel right away. Yeah, that's it, attack Israel now. I can say, "Iraq has decided to pre-empt a pre-emptive strike, which according to the Bush Doctrine, is well within my rights." Ha! The media will love that. And it may be my only chance to survive. Israel, not the US, will have to strike back, or Sharon will look weak. And he's as stubborn as me when it comes to that. And once Israel retaliates - I'll call it aggression, of course - then we don't have the so-called international community against me, the so-called rogue dictator. We have an old-fashioned Arab-Israeli war. Then, I can rally the boys to my side. Assad of Syria will be tickled pink. He's been waiting for something like this since 73. Crown Prince Fahd is a little skittish after 9/11, what with Osama coming from his country and all, but he can't stand Sharon, he'll get in. Even Kameini won't be able to resist this one. Oh baby this is good.
But we still need more weapons. Let's see. I've got it! General Musharraf was weakened by the elections in Pakistan last week. And the fundamentalist party was strengthened. I'll pretend I've got religion, ally with them, and we might even be able to overthrow Musharraf and get control of the Pakistani military. Then we've got some real guns to fire, or should I say, buttons to push, and we've got ourselves a ballgame. If that rotten son of a Bush wants to take down Saddam Hussein, he's taking World War Three with him. Pre-empt the pre-emptive strike! Pre-empt the pre-emptive strike! Pre-empt the pre-emptive strike!
Well, That's about where I woke up. Crazy dream, right? We've left Saddam with some better options than that. Right?