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Jewish World Review Feb. 19, 2003 / 17 Adar I, 5763

Cal Thomas

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A time for war | If ever there was a "time for war" (Ecclesiastes 3:8), surely this is it. If the United Nations is to be taken seriously, the time is now for it to act. If the United Nations -- founded on the dubious premise that flawed humanity can be perfected by flawed human beings -- remains a toothless, clawless tiger, whose resolutions can be defied without consequence by the butcher of Baghdad, that body will implode in a chaotic downward spiral.

When President Woodrow Wilson sent his war message to Congress on April 2, 1917, he said "the right is more precious than peace. " Wilson, who would see his precious League of Nations crumble in the face of the reality of evil, was correct. Peace is a byproduct -- a benefit -- when evil is vanquished. The'90s were a peaceful dividend paid to the West from the defeat of the Soviet Union. Right defeated evil because there were those who were willing to risk a false "peace " for victory and real peace. Unfortunately, this nation was inattentive to new evils that are not only in the Middle East, but in our midst, and the threats we now face may be greater than those that confronted us during the Cold War.

If we must participate in the United Nations, which so often takes positions opposed to the United States and its interests, let us do so with open eyes. If Saddam Hussein is not a fit candidate for removal from power, who is? If his crimes against humanity are not sufficient grounds to try him before the court of world opinion, what crimes would be? Fearful nations simply embolden evil.

Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched worldwide against war with Iraq. British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a group of his fellow Labor Party members in Glasgow, Scotland, "If there are 500,000 on the march, that is less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for. If there (are) 1 million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started. " Forget the Queen. G-d save Tony Blair!

Do all of those demonstrating, including the Hollywood elitists, care nothing for the carnage visited on innocent women, children and men by Saddam Hussein? Where is their humanity? What is the difference between them and other morally obtuse people who pass by a crime victim lying in the street because they do not wish to be involved? As the most powerful nation on Earth, do we not have some responsibility to protect the lives of others?

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For a succinct indictment of what Saddam Hussein has wrought on this planet since he murdered his way to power in 1979, I recommend a new book by Lawrence F. Kaplan and William Kristol called "The War Over Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission " . The authors write: "(Saddam) has imprisoned, tortured, gassed, shot and bombed thousands upon thousands of his own subjects. He has launched wars of aggression against his neighbors and still seeks to dominate the Middle East. He has expended vast resources on the development of weapons of mass destruction. He is at once a tyrant, an aggressor and, in his own avowed objectives, a threat to civilization. "

With specificity reminiscent of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's chronicling of Soviet atrocities in "The Gulag Archipelago, " the authors detail the murder of children, the raping of women in front of their husbands and children, torture, dismemberment and inhuman prison conditions. They profile the maniacal dictator in ways that any sane person would say qualifies him as a blot on the human race and a candidate for extinction.

They indict nations and organizations that refuse to confront evil: "The debate over war with Iraq has shown that too many opinion makers, elected officials and others who guide the fortunes of the world's sole superpower have lost their capacity to identify evil and to act against it. Even when it stares them in the face. "

When evil is opposed, it can be defeated. This is history's lesson. But if the United Nations, France, Germany and those "peace activists " among us and overseas will "see no evil, " they are doomed to have history repeat itself in a new holocaust.

The time for debate is over. The time for Iraq's liberation is upon us. The time for more resolutions by the pathetic United Nations is long past. The time for war is now.

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JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.

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