- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

In everything President Bush said since the attack on America, nothing moved his countrymen more, will last longer in their memory or stand taller for the United States in history's judgment of the lasting meaning of the war: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

Its strength was that Americans realized instantly that he was asking nothing material for them or their country. He was asking for help in sustaining freedom for all who wanted it enough to join us in preserving it where it existed and helping establish it where unspeakable cruelty, murder and hate were the methods of governance at home and of conduct with nations they could not control or enchain. He was telling us the world cannot endure half slave, half free.

Preceding that sentence was one just as important. It would make the choice between us or them a moral stance based on realistic feasibility, not a bluff to arouse hopes we could not carry out. He ordered no other suitable word every nation that harbored or aided terrorists to rid themselves of those elements or face pursuit and active hostile actions by the United States. And he told Americans plainly to expect to pay a price themselves, how heavy and enduring he could not say.

The American people are with him. That means they are not yet pressing him to take dramatic action against the Taliban Afghans, and countries and Islamic movements that strengthen the extremists with money, heavy weapons and terrorist action in tandem with the Afghans.

But it is now in the American national mind that terrorism is a world of itself, not one or two countries, and a few hundred suicide bombers, all together just some other country's problem, meaning Israel's. It is a hideous world of terrorist nations not just Afghanistan but also Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, and allies like Egypt, and Saudi Arabia whose terrorist passions and actions become more or less fierce depending on the fear of Iraq or Iran.

It will not be long before the president and the American people demand much tougher and more effective action against the terrorist world than the freeze on terrorist funds the money we know about, that is.

The importance of funds for the Taliban has been exaggerated. Terrorist operations are the least expensive of major warfare. The attack on America cost a few hundred thousand dollars to put together.

CNN has reported that U.S. officials say the Taliban's main source of revenue despite its vicious and self-serving piety is the drug trade- about $50 million a year. The freeze served as a mosquito bite to get world attention where the jaws of sharks are needed, soon.

The freeze will have almost no impact on countries that back terrorism, openly or not Syria, Libya, the Sudan, Algeria,Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Egypt and others and scores of terrorist organizations on every continent, perhaps excluding the Antarctic.

Terrorists must be crippled swiftly. Just one way is to cut off all their trade with the rest of the world.

Top executives of Western businesses should be tried and jailed if they traded with terrorist countries under any form of concealment.

Iraq. Iraq. Saddam Hussein, the executioner of his people, now devotes his life to planning the executions of nations Iran for regional power, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, for land and oil, Israel for the deep pleasure of killing Jews and the national home they built in the fantasy that the Arabs would allow them to live in peace.

Above all he lives for the death of America. His motive: He fears its freedom of thought and worship and its political, social and religious liberty. He knows if they contaminate Iraq, they will bring his death at the hands of the Iraqi people.

So after the U.N. members allowed him to end the Persian Gulf war defeated but with most of his army and his various Gestapos operating, Saddam returned to his life's joy making nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that could wipe out the countries he most fears and hates led by the United States.

The U.N., including America, allowed him to throw out all U.N. inspectors.

But before they left, and since, he moved Iraq ahead working on the weapons of mass destruction he never will surrender or stop producing.

One day, not too distant to see arriving, he will demonstrate the power of his weaponry in tests, but of course not in or near America unless we wait a little too long to kill him.

A.M. Rosenthal, former executive editor of the New York Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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