of war grow stronger
President Bush in his State of the Union address Tuesday talked about
social issues and a war with Iraq. He talked about reviving the economy
and fighting terrorism. His economic message was more of the same: big
tax cuts for the wealthy are coming. But what he failed to do once again
Tuesday was make the case for attacking Iraq.
Mr. Bush essentially made it clear that he intends to attack Iraq, with
or without the support of the United Nations. The president said, The
course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others.
This position was also evident on Monday, when Secretary of State Colin
Powell said that time was running out, alluding to the U.N. weapons inspections
and Saddam Hussein.
That Saddam Hussein is evil is not in doubt. The world, and the Iraqi
people, would certainly be better off without Saddam. It is still not
clear, however, that the dictator and his country are an immediate threat
to the U.S. and the rest of the world. It is also not clear why the Bush
administration is hinting that its patience with or support of the inspection
program is waning. It seems that a war with Iraq is imminent.
Since 9/11, the president has at times argued successfully for increasing
security at home and the globe; he used our allies support after
the terrorist attacks to launch a war on terrorism; and he helped unify
the U.N. to call for Iraq to disarm its weapons programs.
Lately, however, the support the U.S. painfully gained has faded. Many
of our allies continue to question the administrations motives and
tactics in the Iraq debate. Instead of providing answers, the administration
dismisses its critics. This is no way to build coalitions. And the bigger
and stronger the coalition, the better chance the U.S. will have of finding
a peaceful solution to the crisis in Iraq.