Caution called for in Iraq

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2003

It’s time for cool heads in our dealings with Iraq.

Over the weekend, dictator Saddam Hussein finally got around to destroying missiles after thumbing his nose at the world for more than a decade.

Nobody knows how many of the missiles he has in violation of U.N. resolutions and it’s highly likely, as Bush administration officials have suggested, that Saddam’s actions are merely token delaying tactics.


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Be that as it may, the fact remains that the U.S. needs as much world support as possible in fulfilling our ever-changing goal in attacking Iraq. First it was to prevent weapons of mass destruction from reaching the hands of terrorists; then it changed to regime change; and now it’s to promote the spread of democracy in the region.

While the nearly 300,000 troops the U.S. now has amassed in the area could likely make short order of changing the Iraqi regime – and be welcomed by the liberated citizenry – then what? It will take the cooperation of all countries in the region to see the president’s goals achieved.

In addition, world opposition to the imminent invasion will likely be greater now that Saddam has destroyed a few missiles, and those opponents likely will not even acknowledge that it’s the presents of U.S. troops and the threat they pose that has prompted Saddam to make the so far minor concessions.

Nonetheless, the best bet for this nation’s long-term interests is to keep applying pressure to Iraq as well as our allies and delay an invasion until it is clear to all that Saddam has no intentions of totally disarming.