Avoiding war would only make world far more dangerous place

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2003

Now, war is not only unavoidable but, in our view, necessary. It is necessary both to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and to preserve the credibility of the international order that set out to disarm Iraq in 1991. This task is made all the more urgent by the global war on terror.

Sept. 11, 2001, taught us the consequences of looking the other way when rogue governments give sanctuary to terrorists, as Iraq has done. We refer to the international order, rather than the United Nations, because the Security Council, at the critical moment of decision, surrendered its responsibility to enforce its own mandates.

French President Jacques Chirac's repeated vows to veto any enforcement resolution that authorized war effectively eviscerated the power and influence of the Security Council.

Sadly, the world body sits impotently on the sidelines as the United States, Britain and their allies prepare to impose the ''serious consequences'' promised by Security Council Resolution 1441. ...

In the face of Hussein's intransigence, it would have been far better for this conflict to be carried out under the auspices of a unified Security Council. But the council's abdication of its responsibility is surely no reason for the United States also to abandon its duty to disarm Iraq. With nearly 300,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines ... deployed in the region, the United States and its allies cannot back down. To retreat now would hand a strategic victory to Hussein and thereby make the future far less secure, not only for Iraq's neighbors but also for ourselves.

To shrink from this difficult mission would serve only to make the world a more dangerous place.

-- The San Diego Union-Tribune

March 18

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