- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2001

The United States is now the target of opportunity for eight countries. At the head of what is in effect a loose alliance are Russia and China. The other six are Libya, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. To this cabal add two criminal syndicates that have targeted the United States as well the Osama bin Laden terrorist network and the transnational drug cartels. Their object is to bring down in any way they can America the superpower, with the world's biggest economy, highest GNP, highest per capita income, most advanced military technology, world leader in space sciences and cyberspace and a culture that has become an admired model for large population sectors in parts of Europe, Asia and Latin America.

This ambition of the non-democracies to bring the United States to ruin is the unspoken reality of the 21st century. The driving ideology, if we can call it that, of the anti-American gang of dictators and criminals is not socialism, communism, Marxism or Leninism but an even older "ism" anti-Americanism.

America's existence as the leading capitalist democracy threatens the legitimacy of every dictatorship, including the mock democracy of Vladimir Putin's Russia, which has yet to establish a rule of law. And without U.S. leadership in the drug war, the drug lords would have an even greater field day than they have today.

Because sovereign governments help and encourage terrorism against the United States, it is difficult for police and intelligence agencies to stop the campaign. These governments fund the terrorist bands; they supply the infrastructure passports, visas, plane tickets, safe houses, bonuses to families of suicide bombers and, above all, training in terrorist disciplines.

What we're good at is not preventing terrorist acts but in finding the culprits after the damage has been done. We can seek out and arrest and perhaps convict terrorists by offering huge cash awards but, unfortunately, there are always replacements.

And now the worst news of all: an Iraqi defector's report in the London Sunday Times that Iraq has already tested an atomic bomb with the help of Russia, Brazil and France. France? Yes, let's say it: French elites have always been anti-American and their government has quietly allied itself with Iraq and Iran against the United States.

According to the Iraqi defector, a scientist, Russia helped Iraq by supplying the movement schedules of U.S. satellites that might have detected preparations for the test in a tunnel under Lake Rezzaza, about 90 miles southwest of Baghdad. Brazil purchased highly enriched uranium from South Africa and delivered it to Iraq. France has supplied Iraq with enriched uranium.

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait but in the light of what's happened since that supposed victory, British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is absolutely right in saying, according to the London Daily Telegraph, that allied forces should have pressed on into Iraq to crush Saddam Hussein for good. Then, at least, there might have been one less enemy state.

When the history of the 20th century is written, I believe, the writers will note that the biggest diplomatic boner of the century was Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler and that the century's biggest military boner was then-Gen. Colin Powell's stopping the Persian Gulf war and allowing Saddam Hussein to stay in power. Chamberlain's policies led to World War II. We have not yet paid the price for having allowed the survival of Saddam, front man of the anti-American conspiracy. The ganging up on the United States that I've described is the price we are paying for having allowed Saddam a regional freedom of action that each day brings nearer a Middle East war.

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