Hess: The Poisoned Chalice
The big time cultivation of opium was developed in China by our British soulmates, who waged war on the natives when they tried to suppress it. Another form of chemical warfare was used in the Middle East by none other than Winston Churchill. As a war minister, he dropped mustard gas on natives of what was then called Mesopotamia. Lawrence of Arabia described it as a betrayal of promises he had made to sheiks of Araby to serve the British cause against Turkey. The upshot was a deal that put the French in control of Syria and Lebanon, the British in control of Iraq and Palestine, and Royal Dutch-Shell in control of the oil.
Now Americans have taken charge. And still, you know, it reads like Scheherezade. Ali Baba -- do we have thieves right here at home. Here’s a new page about Marc Rich and his secret pardon and his deals with Saddam Hussein. Here’s our Bernie Kerik and his secret harem downtown. He was at table last night with Bush, can you imagine? Anyway, these next four years are not starting out dull.