So the United Nations weapons inspector comes out and says he has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Our NATO allies are threatening to leave the nearly 60-year-old alliance over President Bush"s decision to go ahead with war. Virtually the entire world, except for right-wing talk show hosts, thinks that a war of aggression against Iraq is a bad idea. Oh, how times have changed. During the first Bush War, in 1991, other nations wanted to help us out. Bush I assembled a very impressive coalition of states who wanted to turn back Saddam"s annexation of Kuwait. Now, it"s just the opposite. We"re seen as reckless cowboys who want to control the world"s oil, and Saddam is being portrayed as a hero for standing up to America. Where did everything go wrong? In the weeks immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, we had the sympathy of the entire world. Never before had we had such a window of opportunity to actually do something about terrorism and terrorist states. Instead, we clamped down on freedoms at home and instituted a policy of imperialism abroad. The America that Bush and Ashcroft are advocating is nothing like the America of Jefferson, Lincoln or even Reagan. We"ve opened a book that reads remarkably like Orwell"s 1984: a state of permanent war with an ever-changing list of enemies; suppression of free speech; the suggestion that anyone not slavishly following the leader is a traitor. With a situation such as this, what can the average citizen like you or I do? As it turns out, not a whole hell of a lot. Despite my sympathy with the antiwar protests taking place, I don"t think protests are going to make any difference whatsoever. The current war plans have been drawn up since January 2001 or so, and they"re not going to change. Face it: The business of America is big business, and big business is demanding full and cheap access to oil. So if Saddam didn"t exist, we would have had to invent him. I"m no fan of the oppression going on in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter. But this war isn"t about Saddam"s dictatorship; it"s not about weapons of mass destruction; it"s not even about the U.N. resolutions. It"s about making sure Bush"s big business buddies have access to Iraq"s oil. Throughout the years, America has always stood for truth and democracy. Even when someone I didn"t like occupied the White House, like Reagan, I never questioned his patriotism or devotion to his job. But with this guy, I don"t know. Did you ever see the film The Manchurian Candidate? It"s an old Sinatra film where Ol" Blue Eyes is tracking down a war hero who"d been brainwashed in Korea. Has anyone investigated the possibility that our current president may have been brainwashed during his days hanging out in Texas strip bars and coke parties in the 1970s and 1980s? Does he periodically receive phone calls instructing him to pass the time with a game of solitaire? Would that explain the recent foreign policy decisions out of the White House? The president"s glassy expression and lack of emotion would be two indicators that this is the case. Forget about that for a second. I think I"ve found a solution to all of this assassination business. If we"re serious about going into Baghdad and taking out Saddam, don"t send soldiers to do it. Remember that 40 years ago, the U.S. spent millions and millions to kill Fidel Castro. We didn"t even succeed in giving him VD. And Osama bin Laden appears to be thriving under a United States death sentence. Instead of sending our troops to kill Saddam, why not outfit a platoon made up of our country"s finest gangsta rappers? I"ve heard the new album from Eminem"s protege, 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Trying; it sounds like an issue of Guns & Ammo set to beats. Since he knows so much about gunplay and claims to have killed dozens of people, why not put him in charge of getting Saddam? Make Death Row Records president Marion "Suge" Knight the lead general in charge of the war, and the war would be over in a week. Ice Cube, P. Diddy and Nas could head up other divisions of rappers. Send them into Iraq and I guarantee you that Saddam would be dead quicker than you can say Tupac Amaru Shakur. We could save plenty of money and time this way, as well as guaranteeing the rappers enough great material for 10 new albums. We"d also save money on entertaining the troops; no need to send Marie Osmond or Bob Hope to the front when Gen. 50 Cent or Gen. Cube could bust a freestyle rhyme at a moment"s notice. If Scarface or Master P were put in charge of military tactics, we"d have plenty of dead enemy troops, enough to satisfy even the most staunch Republican. The elite forces of Iraq"s army would not stand a chance against the No Limit Soldiers, fortified with the gunpower of Mobb Deep and the Flipmode Squad. Seriously, though, it"s not a bad idea. An even better idea would be to avoid war altogether, eliminate the record budget deficits and elect a real president in 2004. Don"t hold your breath on any of those things happening.