I don’t have time to comment much right now, but I sure hope that Douglas Rushikoff is right.
It’s not ‘conspiracy theory,’ as some of my readers have accused me, to suggest that Bush may not actually want to spend the lives of Americans to invade Iraq. It is quite possible — no matter how evil or misguided you believe Bush to be — that he would rather not waste a few hundred or thousand American lives, or a few hundred thousand Iraqi lives, on pipelines and additional security against nuclear/chemical/germ threat. Bush would rather do it the easy way than the hard way. He’d stand a better chance of being re-elected if he could cow Iraq into true submission without a full-scale war.
In order to do this, though, he needs to convince Saddam Hussein that he’s coming in, and that he’s coming in no matter what Chirac, Putin, or any other more “reasonable” statesman advises. He needs to appear like a chicken without a head — a driver without a wheel — careeing inexorably towards invasion. He needs Saddam to believe that America doesn’t have the mechanisms to flinch.