Middle East Diplomacy: Continuities and Changes

The answer to the first question is clear enough. The Bush administration desperately needs a foreign policy success to obscure the outcome of its war in the Gulf: hundreds of thousands killed and the toll mounting as a long-term consequence of the devastating attack on the civilian society; the Gulf tyrannies safeguarded from any democratic pressures; Saddam Hussein firmly in power, having demolished popular rebellions with tacit US support. US government interests and goals are hardly concealed. Washington seeks "the best of all worlds," New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent Thomas Friedman explains: "an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein," a return to the days when Saddam's "iron fist held Iraq together, much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia," along with the Reagan-Bush administrations, which gave unwavering support to their murderous ally. These images, however, cannot be left in the public memory in the United States or elsewhere. The reality can be effaced by what the press describes as the.
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