Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2002 / 14 Tishrei, 5763
Debra J. Saunders
Why don't they fear us?
Lefties love to pose this question: Why do they
hate us? "They" being not only Islamist terrorists, but
citizens and leaders of countries such as Iraq.
The real question is: Why don't they fear us?
Saddam Hussein doesn't fear us because, even in
defeat, Hussein found victory. He learned that U.N.
and U.S. troops could flatten his front line in a matter
of days, bring him to the brink of defeat -- and then,
when any other army would haved crushed him, invite
him cry uncle and let him save his sorry skin.
Months after Hussein lost the Persian Gulf War in
1991 and agreed to U.N. demands that he
"unconditionally accept" giving up weapons of mass
destruction and allowing U.N. weapons inspections,
Hussein began playing games and slamming doors.
He understood that he could break his word, with the
mild downside being that he'd have to watch bombs
drop on Iraqi civilians (not him),
and with the pleasing upside of increasing his
How he must have laughed at the world's major
powers -- right up until the moment when he kicked
U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq in 1998.
Now, Hussein's at it again. After President Bush
made a compelling appearance before the United
Nations, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri wrote to the
United Nations announcing that Hussein would agree
to allow inspectors to return to Iraq "without
Note: The letter didn't say the U.N. investigators
could inspect without conditions. London's Evening
Standard reported Tuesday that the London
ambassador of the Arab League noted that Iraq's
civilian sites would not be open to the inspectors.
Lucky for the world, Hussein would never hide a
weapons cache in a school or hospital. (That was a
So, why don't they fear us?
Because President George H.W. Bush withdrew
troops in the Persian Gulf War prematurely, and then
failed to support Hussein's enemies.
In his book, The
War Against the Terror Masters,
Michael A. Ledeen laments Bush pere's decision.
Ledeen also writes of the decades of U.S.
intelligence failures that occurred because
Washington didn't want to know when our enemies
were plotting against us. "America has a bad history
of leaving too soon, and leaving things incomplete,"
You have to commend Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld for not laughing out loud when
demonstrators interrupted his testimony before the
House with their shouts for U.N. inspections, not war.
As if inspections will work and make the threat of
Hussein go away.
If there is no muscle behind the inspections, they are
worthless. If there is no certainty of military retaliation
if Hussein toys with the inspectors again (and he
will), the inspections are worthless.
Or as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., quipped last week,
"Saddam Hussein is as likely to allow a robust and
effective weapons-inspection regime as I am to be
the next astronaut."
Other senators have been wringing their hands,
worrying about what burdensome commitments the
United States might have to make after invading Iraq.
The real worry -- au contraire -- should be that there
won't be enough follow-through -- enough real
commitment -- after invading Iraq.
Americans should be worrying that Washington and
international politicians will keep America from
finishing the job that began with the Persian Gulf
War. We shouldn't be afraid of commitment. We
should be afraid that history will record that we were
too happy, or self-confident, or both, to get the job
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate