Jewish World Review March 5, 2003 / 1 Adar II, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
What about Osama bin Laden?
That's a question anti-war activists ask as an
argument against the use of force in Iraq. On "Meet
the Press" Sunday, activist Mike Farrell revealed that
"the real villain" in the war on terror is "Osama bin
Laden, who some now call Osama bin Forgotten."
Apparently the anti-war left -- as typified by groups
like moveon.org, for whom Farrell was speaking --
doesn't have a problem suggesting that President
Bush isn't doing enough about Osama bin Laden,
even though the anti-war left opposed U.S. military
action that targeted bin Laden, al Qaeda and the
Taliban in Afghanistan.
That said, I'll answer the question: The arrest of
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed shows that the Bush
administration is continuing to pursue bin Laden --
but methodically. This is an effort not conducted
through aerial bombing alone, as critics once
predicted. For that Bush deserves praise, not
Isn't North Korea more of a threat than Iraq?
Yes, North Korea does pose more of a threat to the
United States. Unlike Iraq, North Korea has nukes
which could reach the West Coast.
That said, if U.S.-led forces invade Iraq, it will be to
prevent Saddam Hussein from gaining the same
nuclear firepower that makes North Korea's threat so
Consider what North Korea's official newspaper
Rodong Sinmun warned Sunday: "If the U.S.
imperialists ignite a war on the Korean Peninsula, the
war will turn into a nuclear war. As a consequence,
the Koreans in the north and the south and the
people of Asia and the rest of the world will suffer
horrifying nuclear disasters."
Imagine what the world would be like if Hussein had
advanced long-range nuclear weapons and thus was
in a position to terrorize the world with a like- minded
Why not give the United Nations inspectors more
Because the inspections only count if Hussein
disarms, and he has not been disarming in any
Because time is not the issue. Hussein has had
plenty of time to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441.
Because more time is what Hussein wants -- not to
disarm but to stay armed. He'll run out the clock.
He'll fail to comply fully. Then some day when the
world has forgotten how Hussein has abused his own
people and the United Nations, some day when the
world is caught up with other things, Iraq will threaten
inspectors, and the inspectors will leave, as
happened in 1998. Then Hussein will be free to
resume the manufacture of weapons of mass
Worse, Hussein will be bolder than before. He'll be
sure that no one has the will to stop him.
It's possible that Bush did not have to target Iraq as
quickly as he did. But sooner or later, it would have
been inevitable. It is now clear that Hussein, after
having effectively kicked inspectors out of his country
Still, once the United Nations passed a resolution
giving Iraq one final chance to comply and disarm,
the cost of not acting became unthinkable. Backing
off will embolden Hussein and Kim Jong Il and every
other tin-pot dictator in this dangerous world.
Note how former President Clinton's decision to recall
American troops from a humanitarian mission in
Somalia -- after 18 soldiers were killed -- served to
encourage al Qaeda. Bin Laden later told Time
Magazine: "The youth were surprised at the low
morale of the American soldiers and realized more
than before that the American soldier was a paper
tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat."
If the West were to back off now, Hussein would see
only one thing: weakness. Fatal weakness.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate