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Pull The Trigger

mr mahs

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March 13, 2003 -- It was six months ago yesterday that President Bush went before the United Nations and warned the world body that it would either "serve the purpose of its founding" by moving against Saddam Hussein or become "irrelevant."

Saddam remains in power.

And the United Nations has proven itself to be, if not irrelevant, then impotent. Clearly, the Security Council never meant to enforce fulfill the strict conditions of its Resolution 1441, passed unanimously last fall.

And it hasn't.

Instead, Bush finds himself in the humiliating position of begging nations like Angola, Guinea, Mexico and Chile to support yet another resolution.

To hell with it.

To hell with Jacques Chirac of France and Hans Schroeder of Germany and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Summer is arriving in the Persian Gulf - with a vengeance.

"Fierce winds swept across desert camps near the Iraqi border Wednesday," reported the Associated Press, "enveloping soldiers in blinding clouds of sand and rattling tents like a drum roll.

"Weatherwise, the worst is yet to come: A summer of stifling heat and choking sandstorms."

That's not the only reason why President Bush needs to quit groveling before self-important leaders of countries that once mattered and get on with the dispossession of Saddam Hussein.

But it's as good as any.

Every day that passes without decisive action allows Saddam's soldiers more time to get ready to kill Americans.

And every diplomatic sashay sows more confusion among America's allies - which America's enemies then seize upon further to weaken allied solidarity.

It's a vicious circle.

It has to end sometime.

Why not now?


Yesterday, the talk was of just a little slippage in the (supposed) March 17 deadline for action - either by Saddam or against him.

But 'til when?

'Til summer arrives in the Gulf in full blast-furnace ferocity?

Let's be clear: What's happening at the United Nations has nothing to do with avoiding war.

It doesn't even have anything to do with finding a non-violent way to genuinely disarm Iraq.

The charade is all about containing U.S. power and influence.

Pure and simple, it's envy and resentment over America's emergence as the world's lone post-Cold-War superpower.

There's a subtext, to be sure: A bid to create a new world order with Europe at its center. Though not all of Europe: Mostly just France and Germany and yappy little lapdogs like Belgium.

And, of course, a little cheap chiseling on the side: Chile, temporarily ensconced on the Security Council, is standing with its hand out looking for its payday - U.S. approval for NAFTA membership, perhaps.

What Chile needs - and should get straight away - is a cuff behind the ear.

That would serve Santiago right - and serve also as an example to all the other extortionists on the council.

They make Saddam look almost honorable in comparison.

But every time he successfully thumbs his nose at yet another U.N. resolution, America's ability to fight terrorism is diminished.

Four months ago, Bush warned that "the old game of cheat-and-retreat, tolerated at other times, will no longer be tolerated."

Yet that's exactly the game Saddam Hussein is managing to play.

He is a desperate man, who has nothing to lose - and everything to gain - from untoward delay.

Answer this question:

What will a new resolution - no matter how strictly worded or how tough the conditions - mean to a man who has so ignored all the others?

All 17 of them.

So far, successfully.

Dragging out the inevitable also demoralizes those, here and abroad, who have stood strong with America.

Yes, further compromise may achieve consensus on a new resolution.

But, again, so what?

France, all of a sudden, is going to abandon its agenda?

Germany is going to support war?

Saddam, after 12 long years of dissembling and defiance, is going to come clean?

Not a chance.

The time has come.

Pull the trigger, Mr. President.

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