Couldn't resist that little bit of danse macabre.
"Ever since the 1979 Iranian revolution, a Muslim Cold War has been raging within the Middle East - but is this how Mr Bush thinks one should fight for the soul of Islam?
Already by dusk last night, the US President's world was exploding in Beirut when a massive car bomb blew up next to a 4x4 vehicle carrying American embassy employees, killing four Lebanese and apparently badly wounding a US embassy driver. And while Mr Bush was relaxing in the Saudi royal ranch at Al Janadriyah, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, most of them members of Hamas, one of them the son of Mahmoud Zahar, a leader of the movement. He later claimed that Israel would not have staged the attack -- on the day an Israeli was also killed by a Palestinian rocket -- if it had not been encouraged to do so by George Bush.
The difference between reality and the dream-world of the US government could hardly have been more savagely illustrated. After promising the Palestinians a "sovereign and contiguous state" before the end of the year, and pledging "security" to Israel - though not, Arabs noted, security for "Palestine" -- Mr Bush had arrived in the Gulf to terrify the kings and oligarchs of the oil-soaked kingdoms of the danger of Iranian aggression. As usual, he came armed with the usual American offers of vast weapons sales to protect these largely undemocratic and police state regimes from potentially the most powerful nation in the " axis of evil."
It was a potent -- even weird -- example of the US President's perambulation of the Arab Middle East, a return to the "policy by fear" which Washington has regularly visited upon Gulf leaders. He agreed to furnish the Saudis with at least £41m of arms, a figure set to rise to more than £10bn in weaponry to the Gulf potentates under a deal announced last year - all of which is supposed to shield them from the supposed territorial ambitions of Iran's crackpot President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As usual, Washington promised the Israelis that their "qualitative edge" in advanced weapons would be maintained, just in case the Saudis -- who have never gone to war with anyone except Saddam Hussein after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait -- decided to launch a suicidal attack on America's only real ally in the Middle East.
This, of course, was not how the whole shooting match was presented to the Arabs. Mr Bush could be seen ostentatiously kissing the cheeks of King Abdullah and holding hands with the autocratic monarch whose Wahhabi Muslim state had only recently showed its "mercy" to a Saudi woman who was charged with adultery after being raped seven times in the desert outside Riyadh. The Saudis, needless to say, are well aware that Mr Bush's reign is ending amid chaos in Pakistan, a disastrous guerrilla war against Western forces in Afghanistan, fierce fighting in Gaza, near civil war in Lebanon and the hell-disaster of Iraq.".
"The West may have a short memory. The Arabs, who happen to live in the piece of real estate which we call the Middle East and who are not stupid, have not. They understand all too well what George W Bush now stands for. After advocating "democracy" in the region -- a policy which gained electoral victories for Shia in Iraq, for Hamas in Gaza and a substantial gain in political power for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt -- it seems to have dawned on Washington that something might be slightly wrong with Bush's priorities. Instead of advocating a "New Middle East," Mr Bush, lying amid his silken sheets in the Saudi king's palace, is now pursuing a return to the "Old Middle East," a place of secret policemen, torture chambers -- to which prisoners can be usefully "renditioned" -- and dictatorial "moderate" presidents and monarchs. And which of the Gulf despots is going to object to that?"