' Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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Jewish World Review Jan. 28, 2003 / 25 Shevat, 5763

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

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Bush's finest hour

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | President Bush has been getting a lot of free advice lately about what he should say in his State of the Union address tonight. Here is the Center for Security Policy's contribution:

My fellow Americans: Tonight, it is my solemn responsibility to describe for you an unacceptably grave risk to our national security -- and what we are going to do about it.

For seventeen months, we have been waging a war on terror, a defensive response to a scurrilous attack that caused the premeditated death of thousands of our countrymen. We have struck at the al Qaeda network that was most immediately involved in carrying out the September 11th hijackings. All over the world, operatives of this Islamist terror organization are today being sought, apprehended or killed in the hope of preventing further, and possibly far more destructive, attacks upon us, our allies or our vital interests.

Indispensable to that effort has been our campaign to deny al Qaeda the logistical support, training facilities and safe haven they once enjoyed in Afghanistan. In the process, thanks to the skill, courage and sacrifice of our armed forces and intelligence services, we have helped to liberate the Afghan people and to offer them an opportunity rarely known to their long-suffering nation for representative self-governance, political freedom and economic opportunity.

We have reason to believe, however, that another government played an indispensable role in planning, facilitating and executing the September 11th attacks: Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Unfortunately, at the moment the evidence of this involvement is circumstantial and less than clear-cut.

The case for implicating Saddam and his operatives in the latest and most deadly attack upon us is even more compelling, though, when added to evidence that points to his complicity in earlier terrorist acts -- the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the 1996 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Tonight, sitting with the First Lady, are two intrepid women who have done pioneering work ferreting out and calling attention to this evidence: an internationally recognized specialist on Iraq and best-selling author, Dr. Laurie Mylroie, and television-reporter-turned-independent investigator, Jayna Davis of Oklahoma City. I would ask you to join me in saluting them for pursuing leads that neither the federal government, prosecutors or the media have done enough to date to investigate.

My administration is working to correct this shortfall and to learn all we can -- to connect the dots -- between Saddam's sponsorship of terror, his oft-stated desire for revenge and the actions of others, be they followers of a blind sheik, disaffected American "militiamen" or al Qaeda operatives. We will probably not know the full truth about the Iraqi connection, however, until Iraq is liberated as Afghanistan has been, and the secrets of the former's brutal regime are brought to light.

What we do know already is that it would be irresponsible to afford Saddam Hussein an opportunity to attack again, either directly or through cut-outs. This is particularly true since the next attack may well involve the use of weapons of mass destruction on our soil or overseas. This danger exists because Saddam has assiduously pursued the production and stockpiling of such weapons and continues to violate international commitments and UN Security Council resolutions requiring him to disarm.

We also know that the only effective way to ensure such disarmament -- and the only hope that it will not be followed by a covert Iraqi rearmament -- is to liberate Iraq from Saddam's brutal misrule. Affording more time for inspections that are not disarming Iraq and that, even if they were, would not in and of themselves preclude Saddam from subsequently rearming, would do nothing to prevent him from engaging in further acts of terror against us. To the contrary, additional weeks or months may well provide just the opportunity he needs to exercise a monstrously lethal strike.

In the hope of preventing such a possibility, with the intention of advancing regional and world peace and with a determination to liberate the Iraqi people, I have ordered the United States military at this hour to launch operations aimed at removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. As they do so, they will be accompanied and facilitated in their campaign by a number of other nations' combat units joining ours in operating from foreign bases and, with permission, through foreign airspace.

The speed and cost of this operation will ultimately be decided by the help we receive from those who have at least as much interest as we in ending Saddam's malevolence -- his own people -- as by the skillful employment of our weaponry. We will work with the opposition to build a new, free and prosperous Iraq, a model for the region and the world.

My report to you tonight is that we have acted, as we must, to defend our vital interests. We are doing so in a way that will minimize the threats now confronting us, that holds out hope for a more peaceful and secure world and that will enhance the state of our Union. G-d bless America.

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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


01/14/03: North Korean scorecard
01/07/03: Nuclear meltdown
12/17/02: Serious about defending America
12/03/02: Defining 'regime change'
11/26/02: With friends like the Saudis...
11/19/02: The Jayna Davis files
11/12/02: Could Israel die of thirst?
11/04/02: Against us
10/22/02: Too clever by half?
10/17/02: 'Drain the swamps'
10/08/02: The temptations of George Bush
10/01/02: Return of the San Francisco Dems
09/24/02: The next crusader?
09/17/02: It is no accident that advocates of coercive inspections have opposed prez's goal of regime change
09/10/02: A model for Iraq
08/27/02: Beware 'consensus leadership'
08/20/02: To Iraq or not to Iraq?
08/13/02: Trading with the 'enemy'
07/30/02: Who's trashing Ashcroft?
07/23/02: Wall Street's 'poisoned apples'
07/16/02: Back on the China front
07/09/02: See no evil?
07/02/02: Rethinking peacekeeping
06/25/02: Political moment of truth on defense
06/19/02: Inviting losses on two fronts
06/12/02: Make missile defense happen
06/04/02: The next 'Day of Infamy'?
05/29/02: Bush's Russian gamble
05/21/02: The 'next war'
05/15/02: Ex-presidential misconduct
05/07/02: When 'what if' is no game
05/02/02: Careful what we wish for
04/24/02: The real 'root cause' of terror
04/02/02: First principles in the Mideast
03/26/02: 'Renounce this map'
03/20/02: The inconvenient ally
03/12/02: Adults address the 'unthinkable'
03/05/02: The Saudi scam
02/26/02: Rumsfeld's 'now hear this'
02/19/02: Where's the outrage?
02/12/02: Post-mortem on 'Pearl Harbor II'
02/05/02: Spinning on the 'Evil Axis'
01/29/02: A challenge for the history books
01/22/02: Who pulled the plug on the Chinese 'bugs'?
01/15/02: No 'need to know'
01/08/02: Sentenced to de-nuclearize?
12/18/01: Missile defense mismanagement?
12/11/01: Is the Cold War 'over'?
12/04/01: A moment for truth
11/29/01: Send in the marines -- with the planes they need
11/27/01: 'Now Hear This': Does the President Mean What He Says?
11/20/01: Mideast 'vision thing'
11/13/01: The leitmotif of the next three days
11/06/01: Bush's Reykjavik Moment
10/30/01: Say it ain't true, 'W.
10/23/01: Getting history, and the future, right
10/16/01: Farewell to arms control
10/05/01: A time to choose
09/25/01: Don't drink the 'lemonade'
09/11/01: Sudan envoy an exercise in futility?
09/05/01: Strategy of a thousand cuts
08/28/01: Rummy's back
08/21/01: Prepare for 'two wars'
08/14/01: Why does the Bush Administration make a moral equivalence between terrorist attacks and Israel's restrained defensive responses?
08/07/01: A New bipartisanship in security policy?
07/31/01: Don't go there
07/17/01: The 'end of the beginning'
07/10/01: Testing President Bush
07/03/01: Market transparency works
06/27/01: Which Bush will it be on missile defense?
06/19/01: Don't politicize military matters
06/05/01: It's called leadership
06/05/01: With friends like these ...
05/31/01: Which way on missile defense?
05/23/01: Pearl Harbor, all over again
05/15/01: A tale of two Horatios
05/08/01: The real debate about missile defense
04/24/01: Sell aegis ships to Taiwan
04/17/01: The 'hi-tech for China' bill
04/10/01: Deal on China's hostages -- then what?
04/03/01: Defense fire sale redux
03/28/01: The defense we need
03/21/01: Critical mass
03/13/01: The Bush doctrine
03/08/01: Self-Deterred from Defending America
02/27/01: Truth and consequences for Saddam
02/21/01: Defense fire sale
02/13/01: Dubya's Marshall Plan
02/05/01: Doing the right thing on an 'Arab-Arab dispute'
01/30/01: The missile defense decision
01/23/01: The Osprey as Phoenix
01/17/01: Clinton's Parting Shot at Religious Freedom
01/09/01: Wake-up call on space
01/02/01: Secretary Rumsfeld
12/27/00: Redefining our Ukraine policy
12/19/00: Deploy missile defense now
12/12/00: Sabotaging space power
12/05/00: Preempting Bush
11/28/00: What Clinton hath wrought
11/21/00: HE'S BAAAACK
11/14/00: The world won't wait

© 2001, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.