Among a significant sub-set known as the ‘neo-cons’ was an idealistic belief that America had a moral imperative to try to remake the world, especially the Middle East. For too long, the US had prized ‘stablity’ in the region over ‘democracy’. That had meant allying themselves with tyrannies (as they once had with Iraq) or seeking to contain rogue states (as they had with Iraq since the Gulf War).

The neo-cons argued that America had a mission to spread democracy and by the force of arms where necessary. This would have the happy by-product, so they thought, of creating pro-Western governments in a region where so much of the world’s oil reserves were concentrated.

The revolution they proposed had a name: ‘The Project for the New American Century’. Several of the leading ‘revolutionaries’ now occupied key positions in the Bush administration. Their aims were crudely, but not inaccurately, summarised by one of their adherents:

If the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein next, it could create a reliable American ally in the potential super-power of the Arab world. With American troops so close, the Iranian people would be emboldened to rise against the mullahs. And as Iran and Iraq built moderate, representative pro-Western regimes, the pressure on the Saudis and other Arab states to liberalize and modernize would intensify.

It was a version of the domino theory. Once the dominos had fallen in the Middle East, so dreamed the neo-cons, the entire region would be under the sway of an even more hegemonic United States. ‘An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein….would put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe the Romans.’

Andrew Rawnsley, The End of the Party

The Golden Wheel

I left myself to journey into the ‘other’ world with full confidence that my meditations thus far would bear fruit and that I had sufficient protection from the force of my guardian angel and the others.

In what seemed to be no time at all I saw my ‘other self’ in the inky void of deep outer space, where I perceived no stars. In the far distance, below me and somewhat to the right, I almost immediately saw a round, golden ‘wheel’ or ‘seal’. I approached it rapidly and soon perceived that certain symbols and/or words/pictures were engraved on the round, golden wheel. At once it rolled to one side, revealing a black hole behind it.

In the next scene I was standing on a high and exceedingly pleasant mountain plateau in pale sunshine and fresh air. There was no sight of the golden wheel and the ‘black hole’, as I now could see, was the perfectly round entrance to a cave in the side of the mountain.

Logic dictated that there was a reason why this should be so. I do not know why – although it was very clear to me at the time – but I felt it was my mission to call forth whichever waiting souls there were therein. As soon as I arrived, therefore, I stood on the edge of the entrance to the cave (having been vehemently warned not to set foot inside) and shouted very loudly through cupped hands:


I do not recall whether I repeated this word but before very long – rushing from the very depths of the cave, out from the complete darkness – came a group of identically dressed men of Arab or Indian appearance. Indeed, not only were they identically dressed, in long, white robes with red sashes and red edges on their turbans, but they seemed to me identical in every particular of their appearance.

The body of them – each of slender build and even height with black beards of medium length – came all at once from the cave and rushed into the middle of the plateau. As I turned to follow them with my eyes I saw this to be the most breathtaking panorama, stretching out for what seemed an eternity, facing the gold-hued horizon.

They had each sat down cross-legged and begun to pray with perfect synchronicity. There seemed to be between 30 and 40 of them, arranged into a number of regular rows. I saw then that they were a river springing forth from the mouth of the cave within the sacred mountain.