Leading Article: Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein

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The Independent Online
THE United States has warned that it may again take military action against Iraq unless Iraq allows United Nations cameras to monitor its missile testing sites. Warren Christopher, Secretary of State, said on Friday that Saddam Hussein must follow UN directives, otherwise 'the use of force is entirely possible'. Two weeks ago, the US Navy fired 23 Tomahawk missiles at Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, in retaliation for an alleged assassination attempt on George Bush. Several civilians died, but Saddam endures. How come? Calvin Trillin, the American writer and wit, encapsulates and perhaps answers the problem in this poem published in the new issue of America's the Nation magazine. It is entitled 'Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein'.

Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein,

Upon whose head our missiles rain,

It's often said that you're a stain

And maybe just a tad insane

(You seem to think you're Charlemagne),

And therefore we should not refrain

From bombing part of your domain

Until it looks like beef chow mein.

And yet there is a question whether

We'd really like to send you nether.

When diplomatic talk turns plain,

It's said there's value in your reign.

You stabilise and you contain.

You keep some folks from raising Cain.

And we use you to show the pain

That those who challenge us obtain -

As you use us when under strain:

We're blamed for what you can't explain.

Although we're birds of different feather,

We may be in this thing together.