GEORGE W Bush is no longer friends with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder ever since the latter, who has just been narrowly re-elected, had the gall to oppose military action against Iraq. Meanwhile, the United States military machine is getting ready for yet another strike against a country that has already been pummeled many times over. In West Asia, a familiar scene presents itself – Israeli forces running riot through Palestinian towns and villages, and to top it all off, Yasser Arafat's headquarters being bulldozed to the ground.

It would be inaccurate to say that Gerhard Schroeder, or other Western European leaders who are opposing military action against Iraq or voicing even the slightest concern about state-sponsored terrorism in Israel, are the world's most prominent upholders of human rights. But nonetheless, they seem to have decided that absurdity must stop somewhere. If not, the 'war on terror' could go on indefinitely, and that augurs badly for the entire world, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Nevertheless, it is likely that Bush will have his way, and Chancellor Schroeder will just have to accept that.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian