The president of the United States strolled to the podium like an Old West sheriff walking up the town’s main street to gun down a lawless renegade.
The only thing missing was the pearl-handled six-shooters, but the president still shot from the hip.
“Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq in 48 hours or face war,” said the chief executive of the world’s only remaining superpower.
He then went on to cite a litany of the Mideast nation’s transgression in an attempt to justify his intent to drop thousands of smart bombs, guided by lasers, in the first 24 hours of a war whose primary purpose is to exact revenge from “-the man who tried to kill my dad,” as the president claimed in a speech late last year.
When George W. Bush’s dad, George Herbert Walker Bush, was president, he gave orders to attack Iraq and the carpet bombing that followed killed a thousand or more Iraqi civilians.
The military action by Bush the son resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands Iraqi civilians, many of whom were women, old men and children.
Children make up about 50 percent of Iraq’s population, so it is likely they will be the leaders in the casualty category.
The president’s actions and words led some listeners to conjure up visions of the Old West during an era when it was not uncommon for the sheriff to tell the bad guys, “Git out of town before sundown.”
It called to mind Gary Cooper walking down the dusty main street of the town depicted in the movie “High Noon.”
Sheriff Cooper, of course, won the gunfight. Bush, too, has won his firefight.
But, unlike the movie, Bush’s self-declared war has not left a few desperados lying in the street with their lives oozing from gunshot wounds.
Instead, more than a hundred “coalition forces,” many of whom were Americas, have died in a war protested by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
More than a thousand Iraqis, a large number of them civilians-including women and children – had their lives snuffed out during the five-week war.