As Colin Powell, the last addition to the White House hawks and, for a change, one that didn’t dodge Vietnam, gave “crucial” evidence to the United Nations to support a war on Iraq, I feel inclined to inform you of the predictable value of such evidence.

Before the last Gulf War, Powell lied to the U.N. to justify a war on Iraq. He supposedly had a few photos that showed that over 250,000 Iraqi soldiers were concentrating on the Saudi Arabian border, ready to invade, proving that Saddam Hussein had to be stopped by war and not diplomacy. Of course, the photos were classified and couldn’t be shown. Also, no other satellite that photographed the area spotted any border activity, but hey, that only came to light after the war. Just ask Jean Heller, five-time Pullitzer Prize nominee from the Florida based St. Petersburg Times, who exposed the lie.

And remember Nayirah al-Sabah? No? Not surprising. She was the hysterical girl who gave crucial evidence to Congress before the 1990 vote on war, describing how she saw Iraqi soldiers kill babies in the maternity ward of the Al Adnan hospital in Kuwait City. What you might not know, though, because it only surfaced after the war, was that the young lady was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., that she never set foot in that hospital and that the nurses who worked there deny anything of the kind ever happened. Want to thank someone for such a brilliant public relations plot? Well, thank Hill & Knowlton, the company who got the fat contract to stage the entire thing and readily admits to it.

So, please, forgive me if I don’t take what Powell has to say very seriously this time round. Might al-Qaeda and Saddam be plotting together? I don’t think so. Al-Qaeda is a religious-based web that hates secular dictators such as Saddam. He is a tyrannical, brutal murder, but he is not stupid and wouldn’t plot against himself. The existence of weapons of mass destruction has yet to be proven, although the U.S. is showing the world that to avoid attack you must stockpile them – and fast. Expect countries such as North Korea, Iran and many more to follow suit, bringing back the once dormant ghost of nuclear holocaust.

What Saddam did do in the past was kill 200,000 Iranian Shiites and many more at home with the U.S. government’s support. The Iraqi population is two-thirds Shiite, probably with Iranian sympathies, and it’s unlikely that they can expect a democracy after the war. The U.S. government has already explained that the Iraqi people are too traumatized from the long years of dictatorship to be able to choose rationally.

Oh, dear, dear. I do wonder if the Bush administration really believes in God. Are they not aware that greed, false testimony and killing of people – over 100,000 civilians are expected to die if war does happen, added to the over 500,000 that died prematurely because of U.S. led sanctions – are serious offenses in most religions? Apparently oil is thicker than holy water.

Outcome: Expect another Saudi Arabia or Pakistan type tyranny, the submissive ones the United States of America has always been more than happy to support.

Pedro Lerias is an I.V. resident.