The Cold Hand of War

In the grillroom of Washington's Metropolitan Club, a venerable institution once presided over by General William Tecumseh Sherman, the father of modern warfare, the diners grew silent last Wednesday when Secretary of State James Baker appeared on a television screen to declare that his talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz had failed.

The cold hand of war was once again claiming the capital. Next day a White House security man spotted a suspicious bundle, and suddenly the iron gates clanged shut. Pennsylvania Avenue and the sidewalks in front of the mansion were swept clear of people and traffic. Police cars,...

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