Jewish World Review Feb. 4, 2003 / 2 Adar I, 5763
Here's why the U.S. can't wimp out on calling Hussein's bluff
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | It is not amusing that a debate is raging about whether we should enter a war that has been waged against us for more than a decade. Thousands have been killed, maimed, kidnapped and variously attacked, yet incredibly some still demand "evidence" before we fight back.
Maybe they should listen to James Woolsey, President Bill Clinton's first CIA director, who explained it all in a Nov. 16 speech at the National War College. Three groups are warring against us: The first, the ruling circles of the Islamist Shia, who seized our hostages in 1979, and blew up our embassy and our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. "They've conducted a wide range of terrorist acts against the United States for something now close to a quarter of a century."
Also warring against us are "the fascists," the Baathist parties of Iraq and Syria, modeled after the totalitarian, anti-Semitic fascist parties of the 1930s. "For Saddam [Hussein], the Gulf War never stopped. He says it never stopped. He behaves as if it never stopped," Woolsey said. Hussein tried to kill a former U.S. president and he regularly shoots at our planes. "He has various ties, not amounting to direction and control, but various associations with different terrorist groups over the years, including the Al Qaeda ... He has signed a cease-fire, which he's not observing, and so it's even clearer that he is at war. And he has been so for at least 11 years."
Finally, Woolsey said, some ruling circles of the Islamist Sunni have been warring against us at least since 1994, bombing the USS Cole and the East African embassies, and carrying out the Sept. 11 attacks. Finally, then we noticed.
But here we are, still demanding proof that someone is warring against us, and--if someone is--demanding that we must not protect ourselves until we get the approval of --who?--Germany and France?
The ironies here are too many to explore, except for one: War is being waged against us because we won't acknowledge that it is. When Iran took our embassy, we tied yellow ribbons around trees and made a single, feeble attempt at a military rescue. No wonder our enemies think they can get away with killing thousands without paying the price. As Woolsey said, "... [Y]ou have to admit, like the Japanese at the beginning of the 1940s, the Islamists, both Shia and Sunni and the fascist Baathists in the Middle East at the beginning of the 21st Century, had some rationale and some evidence for believing this rich, spoiled, feckless country would not fight."
President Bush made it clear in last week's State of the Union address why a state of war exists. This Wednesday, Secretary of State Colin Powell will present more evidence to the United Nations, where it will again fall on deaf ears. The cry will go up for even "more evidence" before we are "allowed" to defend ourselves. That's too bad, because every time the UN turns its back on the fact that Saddam Hussein is violating its own directives--in effect declaring war on the UN--this pitiful body becomes even more useless.
This will not be an easy war, quickly won. It could take longer than World Wars I and II, or even the Cold War, Woolsey warned. But he senses a certain inevitability about winning it, because of the continuing triumph of democracies, even where we once thought democracies would not work.
"If you look at the world of 1917, when this country entered World War I, there were about 10 or 12 democracies in the world. ... It was a world of empires, of kingdoms, of colonies and of various types of authoritarian regimes throughout the world." Today 120 of the world's 192 counties are democracies, including about half of the 24 Muslim-predominant non-Arab states. But outside of Israel and Turkey, the Middle East has no democracies, only "pathological predators and vulnerable autocrats" who repress their own people.
"I think we need to say to both the terrorists and the dictators and also to the autocrats who from time to time are friendly
with us, that ... we understand we are going to make you nervous," Woolsey concluded. "We want you to be nervous. We
want you to realize now for the fourth time in 100 years, this country is on the march and we are on the side of those whom
you most fear--your own people."
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12/24/02: Hussein's wacked Wonderland