In some implausible political thriller the Washington sniper who is destroying America's last illusions of invulnerability would be on the payroll of the secret services of an Arab nation. The special assassin ''operates'' in the capital of the Empire giving his horrific acts the symbolism of a challenge. He ridicules an impotent United States which, with all its TV cameras and spy satellites, cannot catch him.
By monopolizing the media he distracts the American population from its obsession with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein -- an obsession which remains essential if President George W. Bush is to stir up the country's belligerent spirit.
An Arab connection is most improbable. Nevertheless, it's not more unlikely than the idea that the CIA was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, to provoke a war with Afghanistan and obtain control of that country's oil pipelines.
But no one could ever believe the U.S. Administration is implicated in the sniper affair, especially since the killings, even more than international diplomacy, are delaying a war against Iraq.
Probably, it's the first time that local crime news has influenced to such an extent America's foreign policy. However, this is all part of the Information Age, a network of events communicating with each other, but lacking mutual understanding.
-- La Stampa, Turin, Italy
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