Bush fails to make case for pre-emptive attack

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2002

President Bush's speech ... seeking support for war against Iraq was a succinct reiteration of the reasons he thinks Saddam Hussein poses a threat to U.S. security. But once again, we think he failed to make the case that a unilateral, pre-emptive attack by the United States is necessary or even advisable. ...

The administration repeatedly has failed to discuss the potential ramifications of such a strike, how it would establish a friendly regime once Hussein is gone, how it would deal with instability in the region caused by a war and how it would pay for the war and rebuilding a decimated Iraq.

Bush's pose as the liberator of the Iraqi people rings hollow. ...

The president would do well to consider backing a plan advocated by some members of Congress, including Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C. ... Instead, he has called for ''coercive inspections'' of Iraqi weapons sites, conducted by a coalition of forces under United Nations auspices. This approach would have two advantages: 1. The president would make clear that the U.N. must enforce its own rules against Iraq; 2. The United States would make the obvious but seldom stated point that Iraqi weapons pose a greater threat to its neighbors and even much of Europe than they do to this country. ...

-- The Herald, Rock Hill, S.C.

Oct. 10

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