Camille Paglia presents her view on the upcoming war in Irag in this interview in Salon. I'm not the superstitious type but a lot of people in the world are and her following observation caught my attention:

As we speak, I have a terrible sense of foreboding, because last weekend a stunning omen occurred in this country. Anyone who thinks symbolically had to be shocked by the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, disintegrating in the air and strewing its parts and human remains over Texas -- the president's home state! So many times in antiquity, the emperors of Persia or other proud empires went to the oracles to ask for advice about going to war. Roman generals summoned soothsayers to read the entrails before a battle. If there was ever a sign for a president and his administration to rethink what they're doing, this was it. I mean, no sooner had Bush announced that the war was "weeks, not months" away and gone off for a peaceful weekend at Camp David than this catastrophe occurred in the skies over Texas.

From the point of view of the Muslim streets, surely it looks like the hand of Allah has intervened, as with the attack on the World Trade Center. No one in the Western world would have believed that those mighty towers could fall within an hour and a half -- two of the proudest constructions in American history. And neither would anyone have predicted this eerie coincidence -- that the president's own state would become the burial ground for the Columbia mission.

Including one small town where the debris fell called Palestine, Texas.

Yes, exactly! What weird irony with an Israeli astronaut onboard who had bombed Iraq 20 years ago. To me this dreadful accident is a graphic illustration of the limitations of modern technology -- of the smallest detail that can go wrong and end up thwarting the most fail-safe plan. So I think that history will look back on this as a key moment. Kings throughout history have been shaken by signals like this from beyond: Think twice about what you're doing. If a Roman general tripped on the threshold before a battle, he'd call it off.


The world weighs in on Powell's performance at the UN: did he make a convincing case? American papers say yes (mostly); other papers lean towards no.

The Independent has a lead article entitled "An impressive show; but Mr Powell failed to make the case for a war on Iraq".

Pravda takes a short but clearly skeptical view.

The Guardian sits on the fence, the author not convinced that we should go to war but not convinced that we shouldn't, either.

The New York Times says that Powell may not have produced the smoking gun "but ... left little question that Mr. Hussein had tried hard to conceal one."

Slate states baldly that Powell Delivered the Goods on Saddam.

The London Daily Telegraph sides with the American administration and chides the Europeans for not offering any viable alternative.

The Washington Post calls the evidence Irrefutable.

The Globe and Mail feels that Powell presented a strong case.

Arab News states that "most commentators who saw the speech remained unconvinced that there was need for a war against Iraq: and quotes Norman Solomon, co-author of the the book "Target Iraq" in support of that view.