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August 9, 2002

Removing Saddam

President George Bush kicked off his working “vacation” this week in Pittsburgh, where he signed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” which “ensures that every infant born alive – including an infant who survives an abortion procedure – is considered a person under federal law.” Mr. Bush further observed that the act is premised on our nation’s Founding ideals: “The history of our country is the story of a promise, a promise of life and liberty made at our founding and…affirming a culture of life.” Though only 3% of the electorate identify a candidate’s position on the issue of abortion as determinant in how they vote, the overarching issue in this debate is about an activist judiciary, which has eviscerated our Constitution.

It was Thomas Jefferson who protested most loudly, “Over the Judiciary department, the Constitution [has] deprived [the people] of their control. … The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” Of course, even Jefferson could hardly have imagined a judiciary so unbridled from their charge as to find a “wall of separation” in the First Amendment between public life and faith, or a “right to privacy” sufficient to support a “culture of death” with adherents who kill children even during birth.

While redressing such judicial folly is important, containing another “culture of death” – that imbuing Jihadistan terrorists – remains President Bush’s top priority. Gen. Tommy Franks, Commander-in-Chief of Central Command, delivered to the president a choice of war plans for neutralizing the greatest threat to our national security – Iraq. Mr. Bush remains steadfast in his hard-line stance against Iraq because Saddam Hussein is, without question, pursuing a nuclear weapons capability with a single target in mind – the United States.

Although members of Congress have called for consultations prior to any military action, the realization that Saddam’s nuclear WMD program has made great strides in the last decade led to growing bipartisan support in Congress to approve military action against Iraq. Of course, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Khidhir Hamza (former director of Saddam’s WMD program) helped solidify that bipartisan support. “Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has sharply accelerated his nuclear program and is in the final stages of creating a uranium-enrichment program that would enable him to build cores for nuclear bombs,” said Khidhir, adding “Iraq already has a workable bomb design and most of the needed components for a weapon.”

While the Constitution delegates the authority to declare war to Congress alone, one exception when the Executive ma y act apart from congressional approval is in the case of attack against the U.S. Linking Iraq to the September 11 attacks justifies such unilateral action, as does Congress’s September 14 resolution authorizing the use of “all necessary force” against those who “planned, committed or aided” in the attacks.

To that end, Mohammed Atta, leader of the September 11 attack, was tracked and photographed in Prague by Czech counterintelligence agents on two occasions in the months prior to 9-11. One of those meetings was with Ahmed al-Ani, consul at the Iraqi embassy in Prague – linking Atta directly with the Iraqi government. And Secretary Rumsfeld reconfirmed this week: “[A]re there al-Qa'ida in Iraq, the answer’s yes. There are. It’s a fact.” Other recent intelligence reports have uncovered ties between al-Qa'ida members scattered from the Afghan battlefront and now working in tandem with Hamas and Hezbollah.

And the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously support the removal of Saddam, following the lead of their civilian counterparts in the Defense Department. While no definitive plans have been set, the most likely scenarios would involve some 200,000 air, ground and naval personnel, a large-scale invasion preceded by a massive air campaign and deployment of special forces units. And the two members of our Editorial Board of advisors, who occupy large stations within the Pentagon, assure us that the lethality of our warfighting inventory and operations today is much superior to that used the last time we visited Iraq.

Predictably, Saddam responded with a tirade against the “forces of evil” this week – timed to exploit diplomatic and military divergences on Iraq in the Middle East and Europe – and just in time for today’s meeting between senior Bush administration officials and members of the Iraqi National Congress, the umbrella organization of Iraqi opposition groups calling for the ouster of Saddam’s regime.

Speaking of diplomatic divergences, the Defense Policy Board intentionally leaked the contents of a Rand Corp. briefing to give the Saudi government a little heartburn. The report claimed: “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader. … Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies…and is the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent in the Middle East.” The leak prompted Saudi diplomats to jump through a lot of hoops assuring the U.S. they were a strong ally.

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