- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

By the numbers
"Seven out of 10: That's the proportion of Americans supporting the president's ultimatum to Saddam, according to The Washington Post's poll," Andrew Sullivan writes at his Web site (www.andrewsullivan.com).
"Seventy-five percent: That's the proportion disapproving of the way in which the United Nations has behaved with regard to this matter. Seventy-one percent support going to war with Iraq. Seventy-two percent believe that the administration has 'done enough to try to win support from other countries for taking military action against Iraq.'
"Those are stunning figures. There may be less public division about this war than any war in recent history. That's worth remembering as you read the front-page editorializing put out under the guise of 'news analysis,' by the New York Times," Mr. Sullivan said.
Bush backs Bush
Former President George Bush told ABC News that he supports his son "without reservation" and pledged to maintain a low profile as the younger Mr. Bush prepares to start war on Iraq.
"My wonderful state of mind is to support the president without reservation, stay out of his way," the 78-year-old Mr. Bush said in an interview aired yesterday.
"It's very easy for us to be supportive, totally supportive, but it's better to stay off the stage," the former president said in an interview taped Monday, before his son gave Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave the country or face a U.S.-led invasion.
The elder Mr. Bush said he would "do nothing that is going to give somebody a chance to say there's a nuance of a difference, and be there for him when he needs us."
Asked about Washington's supposed international isolation in the crisis, Mr. Bush said: "I've been around. I'm old enough to know that what seems like the crisis of today might not be tomorrow. So the president has to do what he thinks is right.
"Sometimes you got to do things that people overseas might not think is great. You know, to some degree we went through that in Desert Storm," he said, referring to the U.S.-led operation to evict Iraqi invasion forces from neighboring Kuwait.
Goodbye, France
"This is not your father's George Bush," Jed Babbin writes at www.americanprowler.org.
"As he prepared to throw the most-telegraphed punch in American military history, George W. was calm and determined. Unlike his father, this president will not be deterred by Saudi blandishments or U.N. pleas to stop short of removing Saddam once and for all. Dubya is going downtown. Decisive action is what is required to win the war against terror. Thank heaven we have a president who understands this," Mr. Babbin said.
"Monday will be remembered as the day the French killed the United Nations. The U.N. had been dying since it was born, its basic premise a false one. Any organization that makes Burkina Faso the equal of the United Kingdom is, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, a theater of the absurd.
"As Monday dawned, Libya took over as chairman of the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission and Wacky Jacky Chirac thinking hard about the President's Monday deadline for the U.N. to act called for a meeting on Tuesday to talk about continuing the absurd U.N. inspections. The Human Rights Commission began its session by considering sanctions against the U.S. for our treatment of Taliban prisoners held at Camp X-Ray in Cuba.
"At about 10 a.m., Colin Powell announced that the time for diplomacy had passed, and that we wouldn't even seek a U.N. vote on the 18th U.N. 'disarm Saddam' resolution. We will speak no more of the French, except to exclude them from the global conversation, or to boycott their goods. Their day has passed."
The Iraq connection
"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, is a Pakistani Baluch," Laurie Mylroie writes at www.opinionjournal.com.
"So is Ramzi Yousef, who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1995, together with a third Baluch, Abdul Hakam Murad, the two collaborated in an unsuccessful plot to bomb 12 U.S. airplanes. Years later, as head of al Qaeda's military committee, Mohammed reportedly planned the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000," said Ms. Mylroie, author of "The War Against America."
"Why should the Baluch seek to kill Americans? Sunni Muslims, they live in the desert regions of eastern Iran and western Pakistan. The U.S. has little to do with them; there is no evident motive for this murderous obsession. The Baluch do, however, have long-standing ties to Iraqi intelligence, reflecting their militant opposition to the Shi'ite regime in Tehran. Wafiq Samarrai, former chief of Iraqi military intelligence, explains that Iraqi intelligence worked with the Baluch during the Iran-Iraq war. Mr. Samarrai says Iraqi intelligence has well-established contacts with the Baluch in Iran and Pakistan.
"Mohammed, Yousef and Murad said to have been born and raised in Kuwait are part of a tight circle. Mohammed is said to be Yousef's maternal uncle; Murad is said to be Yousef's childhood friend. And U.S. authorities have identified as major al Qaeda figures three other Baluch: two brothers of Yousef and a cousin. The official position is thus that a single family is at the center of almost all the major terrorist attacks against U.S. targets since 1993. The existence of intelligence ties between Iraq and the Baluch is scarcely noted. These Baluch terrorists began attacking the United States long before al Qaeda did.
"Notably, this Baluch family is from Kuwait. Their identities are based on documents from Kuwaiti files that predate Kuwait's liberation from Iraqi occupation and are, therefore, unreliable. While in Kuwait, Iraqi intelligence could have tampered with files to create false identities (or "legends") for its agents. So, rather than one family, these terrorists are, quite plausibly, elements of Iraq's Baluch network, given legends by Iraqi intelligence."
Thompson's new ad
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, Tennessee Republican and a star on the TV series "Law & Order," has made a second TV ad to counter the Hollywood left and other anti-war protesters.
The 30-second spot, sponsored by Citizens United, is called "Freedom's Source." Here is the script:
"Read something recently worth thinking about.
"It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who's given us freedom to demonstrate.
"It's the soldier, not the reporter, who's given us freedom of the press.
"It's the soldier, not the poet, who's given us freedom of speech.
"It's the soldier, who serves under the flag, who defends the protesters' right to burn the flag.
"Isn't it time now to demonstrate that we support our troops?
"Were it not for the brave, there'd be no land of the free."
Important to Georgians
Sixty-seven percent of Georgians think a vote to decide which state flag should fly is either very or somewhat important, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The poll, commissioned by the newspaper, found that a month after Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, made his flag-referendum proposal public, no consensus has emerged on which banner should represent the state.
Mr. Perdue has proposed a nonbinding referendum for March 2004, under which voters would be asked to approve or reject the current state flag, then, as a second choice, whether they prefer the previous flag with its large Confederate battle emblem or the flag that flew before 1956. The governor has said he believes that the debate will help heal emotional wounds on both sides.
But about 34 percent of the 500 likely Georgia voters polled by Zogby International from March 12 to 14 said the debate is negative and aggravates racial tension. Thirty-five percent said they believe that the discussion is a waste of time.

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