- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 14, 2002

A spokesbluffer for the Arab League, in the kind of measured, temperate statement that long has characterized pronouncements from that quarter, now has warned that any attack against Iraq's Saddam Hussein would "open the gates of hell in the Middle East."
Uh huh. Here's some news for Secretary-General Amr Moussa of said League: The gates of hell have already opened, and not in the Middle East. They opened on the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City. At Ground Zero. And that fiery scene was matched by one at the Pentagon and another in a lonely field in Pennsylvania, where American heroes went down fighting.
And all of those real-life nightmares may prove only a foretaste of the hell in store if Saddam Hussein achieves his ambition and adds nuclear weapons to his fast-developing arsenal. Or are we naive Americans supposed to believe that, given nukes, Saddam wouldn't use them?
Of course he would do so surreptitiously, assigning blame to some shadowy terrorist group, the way the Taliban claimed they didn't know nothin' about any Osama bin Laden. But the mushroom cloud would be just as high, the suffering just as intense.
Can you imagine how the Gulf war might have ended a decade ago if Saddam Hussein had had nuclear weapons at the time? It's not something anybody sane wants to imagine, but doubtless the possibility has crossed Saddam's regretful mind many a time since. ("Oh, if only I had waited till my scientists had developed the Bomb before going into Kuwait. I won't make that mistake again. And any day now .")
An AP dispatch last week only added to well-grounded suspicions that every day brings Saddam Hussein closer to having his very own nukes: "VIENNA, Austria The head of a U.N. weapons inspection team banned by Baghdad said Friday that satellite photos of Iraq show unexplained construction at sites the team used to visit in its search for evidence that Saddam Hussein was trying to develop nuclear arms. "
And if you still believe all that suspicious construction in Iraq is just another milk factory, note this week's report from the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. It estimates Saddam could develop a nuclear weapon of his own within months if he can just get his hands on weapons-grade nuclear material.
Nobody can say we weren't warned.
Last time out, in 1991, Saddam's huffers-and-puffers threatened the free world with the Mother of All Battles if any attempt was made to wrest Kuwait from his brutal grasp. Now we're warned the gates of hell will open. The rhetoric doesn't seem to have changed much.
Let's hope our response will much be the same, too, but that this time we'll finish the job and Saddam Hussein.
Again and again, the West has waited till the gates of hell were opened and the flames were at our doorstep before taking action against a clear and all too present danger. In the '30s, Adolf Hitler marched into the Rhineland, and the West shrank back, only emboldening him for further forays. Not until Pearl Harbor was turned into an inferno did the United States enter that war. Could we please just this once act in time?
We're told to hold back and not take any action against Iraq until it's proven Saddam Hussein has his chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in place, or maybe until he actually uses them. As if he hasn't been violating his parole for some 10 years now, making a mockery of the terms he agreed to at the end of the Gulf war. Just last Thursday, British and American fliers completed their 35th air strike this year alone against an Iraqi threat to Allied aircraft carrying out their perfectly legal and U.N.-approved patrols.
And now all hell is going to break loose if America and her allies (read Britain) dare take pre-emptive action against the source of this increasing danger.
On the contrary, overthrowing this little Hitler would be the most direct way to close the gates of hell. And there's no time to waste. So with all due consultation, coordination and above all acceleration let's roll.

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