Forget about what the CIA or the U. S. government knew, just from reading the U. N. report issued in March to the Security Council, U. N.

inspectors knew about but could not account for the whereabouts of a variety of WMD, tons of stuff." let us not forget who put saddam in power and supplied him with "tons of stuff" in the first place. but you made a few excellent points about the WWII strategies of Stalin, hitler, and the Allies. applying them to world military / political strategies of today is where you lose me. American foreign policy history is rife with saddam stories -- we, or our corporate powers have consistently established or backed "little dictatorships" in Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Belgian Congo, Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Bosnia, Sudan, Yugoslavia... did i leave any out? the CIA's covert ops to make "democratic elections" in some of these countries look credible is widely accepted, all with good intentions, mind you.

the argument goes that "eventually, the people there will be westernized sufficiently to take care of themselves in a democratic manner." this is a noble sentiment -- but not backed up by economic realities. we fix these countries with such massive national debt that any govt there has to tax the living sh! t out of the laborers, who work for what American labor wouldnt tolerate if hell froze over. the economic realities are related to what is happening in our beloved America today -- we have a plutocracy that is bankrupting us real bad! these wars are costly, in lives as well as money. yes, terrorism is a serious problem, but it pales in comparison to the toll of major war. some among us argue that terrorism is irrational and uncontrollable, that no matter what terrorists want, it will not be enough.

i tend to agree with that. but i dont discount that a certain percentage of terrorist groups move toward specific goals, that once obtained, would eliminate the need for the violence. i tend to think this percentage is negligible, and that hordes of weenies believe addressing the cause of terrorism will end the problem. yes, we have severe problems of inequity, world wide, but maniacs are maniacs, and should not be the motivation for our solving basic economic problems. "There never was a good war or a bad peace." i think Franklin included even the Revolution.

woulda been a lot less trauma, had King George III been of sound mind and body (porphyria probably made him crazy enuff to ignore what toll the French & Indian War had taken). we all want a safer world, gents. maybe if we stop fighting each other, we can figure out a workable way to, or at least a viable road toward, ending terrorism everywhere and forever.