Everyone fears the possibility that the US attack on Iraq will have a catastrophic outcome – an ecological disaster of gigantic proportions, high American casualties, a terrorist attack in the West. If the war is over quickly (perhaps even by the time this is published) and if Saddam’s regime disintegrates, there will be a general sigh of relief, even among many critics of US policy. It is tempting to consider the hypothesis that the US is deliberately fomenting the fear of impending catastrophe, in order to reap the benefits of the universal relief when it fails to be realised.
[Extract. Appeared in London Review of Books on April 3rd 2003.]