chapter  4
Saddam, slow decline and rapid fall
Pages 11

Thus far, accounts of this vexatious episode have kept the Saddam regime centre stage as the plot has unfolded from interminable containment to terminal erasure. Yet it could all almost as well be depicted as a dialectic between the world at large and what many now see as its first hyperpower, the USA. Throughout, the vision the latter has had of the end game has been catalytic to its own arousal. America was generating the overarching moral purpose, much as in every big crunch since 1776: the Declaration of Independence, the Freedom of the Seas, Manifest Destiny, Fifty-four Forty, Abolition, the Fourteen Points, Prohibition, Arsenal of Democracy, the Four Freedoms, Unconditional Surrender, the United Nations, the Free World, the New Frontier, SDI … So now, Regime Change.