[...] Lebanon's English-language paper, The Daily Star, published a February 3, 2003 article on Walid Jumblatt, a Druze leader in Lebanon and parliamentary opposition member. [...] The following is the article in its entirety:
"Great Joy" for Destruction of Columbia Shuttle
Walid Jumblatt lashed out Sunday against Western politicians and 'the Jews,' calling on Arab leaders to hold popular referendums before allowing in foreign troops for a war against Iraq.
The Progressive Socialist Party leader also said he felt 'great joy' at Saturday's destruction of the United States space shuttle Columbia, because it carried an Israeli astronaut who had taken part in aggression against 'Lebanon and Iraq.'
'The true axis of evil that rules the world today is an axis of oil and Jews,' Jumblatt said at his family home of Mukhtara, Chouf.
Axis of Jews and Oil Leading "Oil-Colored" Rice
The oil axis is present in most of the U.S. administration, beginning with its president, vice-president and top advisers, including (Condoleezza) Rice, who is oil-colored, while the axis of Jews is present with Paul Wolfowitz, the leading hawk who is inciting (America) to occupy and destroy Iraq,' he continued.
The Druze leader described U.S. President George W. Bush, while delivering his State of the Union address last week, as someone who 'considers himself God's deputy on Earth, threatening and classifying the world (into different camps), and relying on his imperial power.'
President Bush: A Mad Emperor
'How dangerous emperors are when they go mad… in the same axis we have the trustworthy servant, the imperial servant… pleased with himself and his idiotic laugh, his peacock appearance, none other than Tony Blair,' Jumblatt said.
'Also joining this axis is the comprador Mussolini of the 21st century, the prime minister of Italy today, Silvio Berlusconi, who seems to want to renew the empire of the Caesars.'
'To complete the picture, we have Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, the Spanish neo-rightist, whom I could term a progressive Franco,' said Jumblatt.
He quipped that the Spanish leader had military ambitions in the Arab world, based on last year's Spanish-Moroccan dispute over an uninhabited island.
'And by the way, Aznar and Blair spend a lot of time in front of the mirror every morning, it seems, so that their hair is parted perfectly,' said Jumblatt.
'People who pay that much attention to their appearance are fascists by nature. Or they have psychological or sexual complexes. I think the best way to understand (them) would be to… read Freud," he said.
As for Russia's position on a war in Iraq, Jumblatt said the country had either 'drowned in the submarine Kursk or gotten lost in the alleyways of Grozny.'
Jumblatt urged Arab rulers to be 'frank' with their populations and drop 'verbal maneuverings that fool no one.'
'Their skies are American airplanes, their seas are American fleets, their bases are American bases, their regimes are U.S.-British regimes, their rivers are American boats, their mountains are American commandos, their plains are American tanks and their security is at the service of American interests.'
Jumblatt advised Arab countries to follow the Turkish example and allow their legislatures a say in allowing foreign troops basing rights as part of a war against Iraq.
'My Joy Was Great because One of Those Killed Was an Israeli Astronaut'
'In answer to the post-Sept. 11 question in America of 'why do they hate us?' … I would have liked to have felt sorry for the space shuttle that was destroyed (Saturday) but my joy was great because one of those killed was an Israeli astronaut [or a Jewish astronaut, there is no difference] who had previously been part of the Jewish criminal army, particularly against Lebanon and Iraq,' Jumblatt said, referring to Israeli Colonel Ilan Ramon, who participated in the mission that bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.