March 21, 2003

World War III:
The Early Days

Last summer on a flight from Beijing to Tokyo I met a woman who had worked as a staff member of the first Bush White House and was still called upon by the State Department from time to time as a Middle Eastern consultant. Her picture appeared in Vanity Fair in early 2002 (the issue with Tom Cruise on the cover) in an article about how the Clinton administration botched its chance to get intelligence on Al Qaida from Sudan. She was essentially a Bush loyalist, generally of a Republican leaning, but more a pragmatist than an ideologue.

I asked her what she thought of the proposed attack on Iraq. She said it was "crazy" and that "it will be World War III." I asked her how she thought the alignments would fall in such a war. She said. "It will be us against everyone else. Who will support us? It will be Armageddon."

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