Regions / Middle East & North Africa
The axis of Evil, Iraq and North Korea
Only in the most direct sense is the Bush administration's Iraq policy directed against Saddam Hussein.
Regimes may loudly proclaim their fears of a war, yet privately allow the U.S. some leeway, and even give tentative support for its war plans.
The al Qaeda phenomenon is best seen as an association of like-minded groups operating in many countries with some loose coordination, with more centralized training, financing, and technical expertise available when required.
All of the political signals coming out of Washington indicate a conflict within the next three months, and there are numerous indications that the final phase of the build-up of military forces is imminent.
By the December 8 deadline for reporting on its weapons of mass destruction, the Iraqi government makes an extensive declaration of activities and materials that might be used to make such weapons but also might have other purposes.
What began as an apparent humanitarian effort has turned into another excuse for continuing a low-level war against Iraq and perhaps now even as an excuse for a full-scale invasion of that country.
The new Turkish government, led by the moderately Islamist Justice and Development Party, finds itself almost quite literally between Iraq and a hard place.
The UN Security Council has been unwilling to authorize the U.S. attack on Iraq--which makes it illegal under international law.
With congressional support safely tucked away, it is now just a matter of time before the Bush administration invades Iraq.