Maureen Dowd: Iran’s Next, As Bush Keeps Playing ‘Risk’

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By: E&P Staff

In her Saturday column for The New York Times, Maureen Dowd ties President Bush’s new Iraq policy to his love for the game “Risk” as young man.

“I feel good about the new war with Iran,” the column opens. “If a pre-emptive war in Iraq doesn?t work, why not try a pre-emptive war on Iran in Iraq? We?re trying to stanch a self-inflicted wound: our failed occupation gave Iran the opening in Iraq we?re now trying to shut down.”

She then wonders what the president was thinking as he “stiffly delivered his fantasy scheme in the White House library.” Perhaps: ?I?m hungry … I wonder what time the game starts on ESPN? …Has anybody read all these books??

Or maybe he was thinking of the board game “Risk”?

That wouldn’t surprise “some of his old classmates at Yale, who remember Junior as the riskiest Risk player of them all, known for dropping by the rooms of friends, especially when they were trying to study for exams, for extended bouts of ‘The Game of Global Domination.’

“Junior was known as an extremely aggressive player in the venerable Parker Brothers board game, a brutal contest that requires bluster and bluffing as you invade countries, all the while betraying alliances. Notably, it?s almost impossible to win Risk and conquer the world if you start the game in the Middle East, because you?re surrounded by enemies.

“His gamesmanship extended to sports ? he loved going into overtime and demanding that points be played over because he wasn?t quite ready….

“W.?s best friend when he was a teenager in Houston, Doug Hannah, told (writer Gail) Sheehy: ‘If you were playing basketball and you were playing to 11 and he was down, you went to 15.’

“Even if it was clear who was winning, W. wanted to go further to see what would happen. It was a technique that worked well in Tallahassee in 2000, but not so well in Tikrit.”

The full column can be found behind the pay wall at

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