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February 21, 2003
Pass the Caviar
Don't Cut the Cheese!
By Paul Rush, Contributor

     WILLIAMSBURG, VA -- Remember that slogan, "It's the economy, stupid"? I couldn't agree more. Oui, oui, mon ami - the green stuff is center stage once again. Only this time, the forum is the indebted and oil-rich nation of Iraq.
     Of late, Germany, France, and Russia have led the anti-war movement on the international stage. Of particular interest are France and Russia. What, indeed, are their motives for promoting such an agenda with regard to Iraq? Is it true pacifism, or is it something else? Could it be a coincidence that the French company TotalFinaElf has several massive oil contracts with the Demented Dictator which are worth 65-80 billion dollars?
     Coincidence also that Russia's company Lukoil has oil contracts with Iraq worth 20 billion dollars? Coincidence also that Iraq still owes Russia some 7 billion dollars for weapons purchased during the cold war? That's a lot of billions. And also a lot of coincidences.
     Exactly how blind do they think we are? Pretending issues of morality and principle, France and Russia have adamantly refused to offer their oil-soaked itching palms in assisting the growing number of countries who have come to realize that the Mustachioed Madman of Iraq is, indeed, a threat to peace and human rights in the Middle East.
    Having prostituted the lives of the people of Iraq for Oil Contracts and Loan Repayments, France and Russia have shown their true colors. They don't stand on principles of peace, but rather on the throats of those that the Dictator and his minions have and will torture, rape, and murder. And by doing so, they have cheapened the notion of Human Rights so as to render it virtually unrecognizable.
     What, exactly, is the acceptable quotient of raped children to barrels of oil produced these days? Whatever the magic number is, it doesn't seemed to have been affected by the fact that the parents were forced to witness the ruthless violation of their enfants before their very eyes.
     Indeed, this Deceitful Dyad has made much ado of the Bush Administration's admittedly Hawkish stance against Iraq. Saber-Rattlers? Warmongers? Yes. And No.
     This isn't quantum physics, folks. Every petty hood, criminal mastermind, and American prime-time television viewer has one thing in common - they all know the value of "good-cop, bad-cop." Barney stands to the left of the prisoner, his trigger finger "itchin' for Ol' Betsy." Andy, on the other side, cajoles and ribs the prisoner.
     Barney barks, foams, rants, raves, and threatens; while Andy coaxes, pleads, and leans in and whispers, "I don't know, but if I were you, I'd tell him what he wants to know. Barney's always been a hothead, but I've never seen him this shade of purple before."
     It really is that simple. Who can deny that if the Dictator does disarm it will be because the United States stood where Barney stands, ready and willing to put a boot in the teeth of a certain mustachioed mouth. For twelve years, no one has threatened.
     For twelve years, the Russians and the French have wooed and spoon-fed the Dictator his caviar and fromage. In return, the Dictator signed oil contracts and agreed to pay back loans. How touching. But he never did love them enough to change his spots, or to disarm.
   It is high time for the French and the Russians to quit bemoaning the loss of their lover who has left them jilted at the brink of war. They can't buy his heart with reactors wrapped in ribbons, loads of loans, crude oil contracts, or all of the cheese and caviar in the world.
     They are quickly losing credibility on the international scene as more and more countries are realizing that the purposes behind the pacifism are really payments and profit.

    [Editor's Note: The writer may be contacted at]

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