|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
3 - 9 September 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
The sword of Lewinsky
It is lucky that those who planned the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam planned them simultaneously. This gave the US the chance to respond in kind, by striking at two different countries simultaneously. Had the terrorists not confined their operations to two countries, perhaps another country would also have shared the fate of Afghanistan and Sudan.
Clinton was accused of responding so violently in order to improve his ratings and distract US public opinion from his embarrassing situation. References to Wag the Dog (the story of a US president who gets involved in a sex scandal and the spin-doctors who plan a US invasion of Albania in order to distract the public) abounded.
Clinton's problem is that, if he sees out his term in office, a highly unlikely event, he will always face public resentment over the Monica debacle.
When he attacked Afghanistan and Sudan, some said he had done so to prove he was still a strong president, unaffected by private scandals. Had he not ordered the strikes, he inevitably would have been accused of being too affected by the Lewinsky case to lead the US and stand up to terrorism. From now on, Monica Lewinsky will hang like the sword of Damocles over Clinton's head.
Clinton's position is deteriorating rapidly. It is clear he lied, and wasted eight months before finally admitting the truth. The world's most powerful leader has been brought to his knees by an intern. Why should Americans accept that he remain in office?
*This week's Soapbox speaker is a columnist for the daily Al-Ahram.