A half-serious paraody occurrs to me that the best way out of the mess in Iraq might be this: reinstate Saddam and the Baathist party to power, subject to the dicatates of a US High Commission. Of the hundreds of thousands of former Baathist military, police and administrative personnel there should easliy be enough to cement authority with US backing. We could set them up, and give them a green light to hang every dissident on the spot from the nearest lamp post. Order might well be attained within a few months. Of course in return for the favor of US sponsorship, our new Baathist friends might do us such favors as flooding the market with OPEC-undercutting oil. And on down the road we could back the new Iraqi army in a new invasion of Iran, siezing Irans oil-producing terrirtory, and rendering the Ayatollah crackpots too impoverished to proceed with their nuclear WMD schemes. I would hate giving up on the humanitarian aspect of our involvement in Iraq, but it simply is not working, so the best alternative is an iron boot. The parody above is half-serious in that it might eventually be necessary to adopt such policies and methods to cope with an intractible reality. The Third World has in the 40-50 years of its independence of the West given evidence of the literal truth of the words of the old imperialist Poet Laureate Rudyard Kipling: they are Half devil and half child. It would be better to impose a regime of neocolonialism on these devils children that to have them drag us down with them in the whirlwinds of fire forever issuing from their devils playground.