- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 22, 2001

If he were as driven by polls as his predecessor, George Bush would be telling Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Meyers to be making plans to take on Iraq before sundown. The American people realize what many of our allies, and timid "experts" do not: There is no end to the war against terrorism unless Saddam Hussein is removed from the world scene. Months ago, Mr. Bush began using his trademark strategy on Saddam at the same time that he was working on the Taliban in Afghanistan. Knowing perfectly well that Saddam would not comply, Mr. Bush admonished the Iraqi dictator to obey the U.N. resolutions on unrestricted inspections of any site in Iraq where development of weapons is suspected. When asked what would happen if Iraq did not comply, Mr. Bush simply set his jaw and said, "They'll find out."
Mr. Bush knows very well that Saddam will never comply with the U.N. inspection regimen, for to do so would thwart his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. We know, from people who have been close to Saddam, such as Khidir Hamza (who ran Iraq's nuclear weapons program for almost 20 years) that he dreams of being the leader of the whole Aab world. Given the chance, he would not only destroy Israel, but conquer Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and all the rest. Another defector, Saeed al-Haideri, told the New York Times that there are more than 20 weapons-development sites in Iraq that the U.N. inspectors were never permitted to see because Saddam declared them his residences, and illegally, under the U.N. resolutions barred inspection of them. Saddam's ambitions and his ability to pursue them with weapons of mass destruction make him one of the greatest dangers to our security.
Saddam is the only leader now in power in the world who has used weapons of mass destruction. We know he will again, if he thinks it will help advance his claims to power. Now, there are new reports that the Iraqi dictator wants Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the world's headquarters for training and arming terrorists to attack the West.
It would be very easy for him to do so, and to conceal much of what he is doing. Over the past two years, Iraq has been helped principally by communist China to upgrade its defenses to protect it from an attack like the one we made in 1991. The Chinese have made Iraq's military command, control and communications network virtually immune to intelligence eavesdropping by converting them to fiber-optic underground lines. That also makes them much harder to disrupt in time of war. The Russians are building for Iraq and others a whole new generation of surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles which will have far greater range and capability than the ones the Iraqis have now. Clearly, this makes the model that worked in Afghanistan less likely to work against Iraq.
But Secretary of State Colin Powell, and others like Britain's Tony Blair, are wrong to say that Iraq is not the most obvious of the terrorist nations we must defeat in this war. When the time comes, it will be up to Mr. Bush let Iraq "find out" the consequences of preparing and using terrorism and even weapons of mass destruction to achieve his dreams of glory. The removal of Saddam Hussein is not a matter of "if," only a matter of "when."

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