THE OLD DOMINION is now fully exposed as America's Iraq.
No longer content with its crusade to gobble up the sovereign state of West Virginia, it now seeks territorial aggrandizement at the expense of its two other peace-loving neighbors, Maryland and North Carolina.
When Virginia's land lust first appeared in print on the pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I was inclined to give Edward Grimsley, my fellow editorial-page editor, the benefit of the doubt. I figured Ed had had a bad day in the former capital of the former confederacy when he ventured the opinion that because West Germany had absorbed East Germany the time had come for (East) Virginia to annex West Virginia.
And so I charitably rebuffed any notion that ''Brother Grimsley is in intellectual cahoots with old Saddam.'' I was wrong. Just as Iraq's Mr. Hussein delves into spurious land claims associated with the Ottoman Empire to justify his absorption of Kuwait, so the Old Dominion's Mr. Grimsley is willing to rely on the whims of an English queen to subjugate a good part of the North American continent.
Is this exaggeration? According to Ed, who is (outwardly) an unassuming gentleman, Elizabeth I's grant to Virginia colony ''reached from present-day Pennsylvania to South Carolina and extended westward indefinitely.'' In other words, everything from the 40th Parallel to the 35th Parallel, including parts or all of Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California!
All this suggests that my previous proposal for a Three-State Treaty Organization (Maryland, West Virginia and North Carolina) to contain East Virginia was too modest. The entire country must unite to stop this aggression. Unabashed Saddamism in Richmond must be eliminated. In anticipation that Editor Grimsley will surrender with the good sense and grace Robert E. Lee displayed at Appomattox, this senseless debate is unilaterally terminated.