the suffering of the I r a q i s ,rnidiich Clinton absiardly boastsrnare h i s goals. . . . In anotherrntime, under a differentrnpresident, we might have supportedrnsuch an e f f o r t . But atrnt h i s time, under t h i s p r e s i ­dent,rnt h i s l i a r , philandererrnand draft-dodger? Please.rnOn December 24, the restrained voicernof the Canadian estabUshment, the Globernand Mail, took the country’s prime ministerrnto task for supporting the air strikes:rnI t was s t a r t l i n g to see PrimernMinister Jean Chretien hop onrnboard so quickly—one of thernf i r s t , and the few, worldrnleaders to support the use ofrnforce.rnM. Chretien’s problems were minor,rnhowever, compared to those faced byrnClinton’s closest ally in the latest Baghdadrnepisode. According to the Independentrnof London (December 22), even beforernthe raids were called off, Tony Blairrnwas under fire lk)m all sides for supportingrnCUnton without a clear set of objectivesrnto be achieved by the bombing:rnThe “success” claimed by Mr.rnB l a i r vdien he announced thernending of the bombing wasrnturning i n t o a public r e l a ­trni o n s fiasco as RAF p i l o t s , arnLabour peer, and the Toriesrnc r i t i c i s e d the canpaign.rnOn December 20, the BBC’s defenserncorrespondent, Jonathan Marcus, reportedrnthat, contrary to the claims from thernWhite House and 10 Downing Street,rnDesert Fox has soured t i e srnwith Moscow, caused unease atrnthe United Nations, and angeredrnmuch of the Arab world.rnI r a q has already s t a t e d thatrni t does not want t o see UNrnweapons inspectors back. . . .rnPresident Clinton i s l e f trnwith l i t t l e choice but to pursuernthe m i l i t a r y containmentrnof Iraq. . . . The Americansrnsay t h a t they intend to intensrni f y t h e i r e f f o r t s to b o l s t e rrnthe Iraqi opposition t o SaddamrnHussein. Many experts belrni e v e that t h i s i s an aspiratrni o n or hope, rather than arnv i a b l e policy.rnIn an interview on BBC’s Radio FivernLive, Lord Healey, the former chancellorrnof the exchequer, argued that the diplomaticrnmission should have started beforernthe bombing:rnWhat they have done i s veryrndangerous to the Western posrni t i o n in the Middle East becauserni t strengthens a l l thernextremist groups wdio want tornoverthrow a l l the regimesrnvAiich have been friendly tornus. We a r e seen very much asrnMr. C l i n t o n ‘ s poodle.rnThe same sense of embarrassment pervadedrna commentary by Rachel Sylvesterrnin the Independent on December 20:rnThere were no B r i t i s h forcesrninvolved in the f i r s t s t r i k esrnagainst Iraq on Wednesdayrnnight—American c r u i s e missrni l e s were launched from USrnships in the Persian Gulf.rnBut i t was Tony Blair, notrnB i l l Clinton, vAio f i r s t wentrnon t e l e v i s i o n to announcernt h a t Saddam Hussein was underrnf i r e . . . . It was as if thernAmerican President, himselfrnbeing showered with the missrni l e s of p o t e n t i a l inpeachment,rnwas giving the B r i t i s hrnPrime Minister a reward forrnh i s loyal and unswerving supprno r t . . . . During h i s Commonsrnstatement, [Blair] seemedrns t r a n g e l y ambiguous aboutrnt h i s r o l e , one moment s t a r i n grnahead i n Churchill-likernsolemnity, the next stumblingrnover h i s words.rnSo much for our strongest ally in thernproceedings. East of Calais, things onlyrngot worse. In the leading dailies in Paris,rnAthens, and Madrid, the link between thernbombing and the impeachment proceedingsrnwas taken for granted. As a Bulgarianrncommentator asked in the Sofia dailyrnDuma (December 19):rnNaturally, the m i s s i l e s didrnnot h i t Saddam and did not decreasernh i s d i c t a t o r i a l power.rnEvery sane thinking personrnunderstands that in eightrnyears, the Americans andrnt h e i r CIA could have removedrnSaddam any number of times.rnOn a Ughter note, sometimes we need arnforeign source to alert us to the noteworthyrntrends at home. On December 13, thernSunday Times of London breathlessly reportedrnthat “Hollywood celebrities andrnnew age gurus” have become enamoredrnof “an ancient Indian doctrine that promotesrnprolonged bouts of love-making.”rnThe erotic marathon advocated byrnTantrism—an ancient branch of Hinduismrnand Buddhism that regards sex as arnform of worship—may seem an unlikelyrnpursuit for a society that prefers microwaverndinners to the real, time-consumingrnthing. Yet, according to the Britishrnweekly, Tantrismrni s fast becoming one of thernchief a t t r a c t i o n s in Americrna ‘ s raulti-billion-dollarrnself-itiprovement industry.rnUntil recently, “Tantric sex”rni n the West had been the preservernof a few i n i t i a t e s ,rnamong them Hollywood c e l e b r i ­trni e s f l i r t i n g with Buddhismrni n t h e i r search for a mysticalrnbond with the universe. Arnform of sexual yoga meant tornencourage sexual awakening,rnTantrism i s now c a t e r i n g to arnmass market as people shedrnt h e i r i n h i b i t i o n s and beginrnt r e a t i n g t h e i r sex l i v e s l i k erng o l f – a s something t o bernworked on with the help ofrnp r o f e s s i o n a l s .rnAnd so, in yet another sign of the times,rncenters are springing up all over the UnitedrnStates, offering courses, seminars, andrn”sacred sex weekends.”rnThe doctrine has even enteredrnthe corporate realm with onernguru claiming that h i s progranmernt o inprove the sexrnl i v e s of executives i s thernbest way of increasing t h e i rrnp r o d u c t i v i t y . Among h i s t i p srni s the transformation of thernbed i n t o a “sacred shrine”rnvihere ” e c s t a t i c music, ” incensernand aromatic o i l s encouragerne r o t i c endurance.rnIt appears Bill Clinton was ahead of hisrntime. And we thought he had simply beenrncaught »dth his pants dovra.rnMARCH 1999/27rnrnrn