THE BORGIAS OF BAGHDAD

THE TRUSTED FAMILY CIRCLE IS SHRINKING, RIVALROUS AND VIOLENT

Why did the U.S. announce last week that it was starting a new buildup of military equipment and supplies in the Persian Gulf, as well as dispatching 1,400 troops to the Kuwaiti desert for war games? Largely, it would seem, to tout the Clinton Administration's alertness to any new military threat from Iraq--a threat that Iraq's neighbors, including Kuwait, could discern no sign of. Moreover, if Saddam Hussein did order any menacing maneuvers, he might only dramatize the last thing he wants to point out: the rapid decline of his strength as an international bogeyman.

Stories filtering out of Iraq in...

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