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Walking on thin ice

By Henry Lamb
web posted January 27, 2003

President Bush took a calculated risk when he went to the U.N. Security Council seeking support to end the threat of Saddam Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction. He had to know that engagement of the U.N. would mean delay after delay. He had to know that his political opponents would use the time to mount a vigorous campaign to discredit him, and his objective.

The world-wide anti-war protests last weekend demonstrate just how quickly the anti-Bush crowd can finance and mobilize demonstrations. They can only get more boisterous as time passes. Rest assured, the protests are not the spontaneous outpouring of ordinary citizens; they are the carefully choreographed dance of the anti-capitalism, anti-America, anti-Bush, anti-freedom folks, funded by huge foundations that have their own agenda.

STARC (Students Transforming And Resisting Corporations), organized students from 200 campuses to march on Washington to protest the war. Their money comes from the Youth Empowerment Center. YEC's money comes from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation, and others. STARC is now recruiting college students to attend an eight-week "activists" school this summer, to become more effective campus organizers for the "broader student movement for social justice."

Anti-war protesters only compound Bush's problems. Russia, France, and China are already talking publicly about giving Iraq more time, even before the January 27th report from the chief inspectors. The Security Council is not about eliminating the threat posed by Saddam; it is about delay and debate, debate and delay. Remember Rwanda? Hundreds of thousands of people died while the U.N. debated and did nothing. Remember Bosnia? NATO acted while the U.N. debated.

The U.N. will not, indeed, cannot, protect the United States. Nor should it.

Despite the whining of the anti-war, anti-America crowd, and despite the empty verbosity of Russia, France, and China, President Bush, alone, has the sole responsibility of protecting the citizens of the United States. By yielding to the cries for diplomacy from the international community, and allowing the United Nations to re-enter the U.S.-Iraq controversy, Mr. Bush chose a path toward an ever-thinning layer of ice.

Continuation on this path will be, in effect, yielding our sovereignty to the United Nations, allowing an external political power to dictate our foreign policy - and our future. What's worse, Saddam will continue his cat-and-mouse games until the perfect moment of opportunity to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. or its allies. Then, it will be too late. The whiners, and the so-called international statesmen will be the first to criticize the U.S. for allowing the tragedy to happen.

It is decision time.

Saddam responded to U.N. Resolution 1441 with a rehash of previous reports that all reviewers condemn as a failure to comply. A cache of unreported missiles has been explained as an "accounting error," by Scott Ritter, former U.N. inspector and Saddam apologist. The 2,000-pages of detailed information about development of nuclear weapons, found in the Scientist's home, produced only protests of invasion of privacy, and threats to sue the inspectors.

For 12 years, Saddam Hussein has played the U.N., and the U.S., like a fiddle, exporting his propaganda, financial support for Palestinian terrorists, and who knows what else, to wherever it will damage Americans.

More time for more inspections and more debate, simply forces the world to listen to more screeching on Saddam's fiddle.

Even while the U.N. has been practicing its delaying tactics, President Bush has been tightening the noose around Saddam's neck. Bush told the U.N. that its failure to act against Iraq would relegate the institution to irrelevancy, along the same road on which the League of Nations crashed.

Bush gave the U.N. its chance to step up to what it claims to be its responsibility - to keep peace in the world. The U.N. prefers to keep the peace by appeasing Saddam, in hopes that he will not invade his neighbors again, or use chemical weapons on his own citizens again.

The best hope for peace is to eliminate the threat presented by Saddam. Then the world will know he will not invade Kuwait or Iran or any other nations. Nor will he fill the warheads in the "accounting error," with chemicals not declared in his report to the U.N., and launch them toward Israel, or Saudi Arabia, or U.S. forces.

Regardless of his bluster, it is Saddam Hussein who is walking on thin ice; not President Bush.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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