IN 1981, WHEN Israel bombed Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor (which Jacques Chirac, whilst prime minister of France, had sold him, essentially in contravention of France's own rules), Vice-President of the United States George H W Bush urged his staunchly pro-Israeli boss, President Reagan, 'to punish Israel'. In 1986, when Hezbollah, the group of Lebanese militants sponsored by Iran, held a number of Americans hostage in Beirut dungeons, Bush strengthened Saddam's air force so that it could bomb Iran harder and (the part of the plan Saddam wasn't aware of) the Iranians might seek to buy American missiles, in return for which the Iranians would have to organise the release of Hezbollah's hostages in time for Bush's own presidential campaign in the summer of 1988. In the spring of that year, when Saddam used nerve gases to kill thousands of Kurdish civilians, the pentagon and the State Department blamed the gassings on the Iranians, even though there was no evidence that the Iranians had ever produced, let alone used, chemical weapons. Previous to those attacks, the Reagan-Bush administration had licensed the exportation to Baghdad of seventeen types of deadly germs, including bubonic plague, for 'medical research'.
When George W Bush became President in 2000, winning by the smallest of margins, 91 per cent of America's seven million Muslims were found to have voted for him, 8 per cent had preferred the Arab-American candidate Ralph Nader and only 1 per cent the Democrat, A1 Gore. The leader