Chuck Colson
President Bush, in his powerful speech Monday night, gave Saddam Hussein a final ultimatum. He and his family must leave Iraq in forty-eight hours and go into exile, or face war.

Saddam has already said that he will not leave, but Christians should be praying for just such a miracle—that justice and peace might yet prevail. But if war is inevitable, we should be asking God to protect our men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way. Pray for mercy for noncombatants and for wisdom for the president and our leaders.

The just war doctrine, in my opinion, applies most clearly to Iraq, provided that there is a connection drawn between the terrorists and the Iraqi regime. Any question about that connection was settled this weekend by Saddam Hussein.

Saddam told his commanders, "When the enemy starts a large-scale battle, he must realize that the battle between us will be open wherever there is sky, land, and water in the entire world." His threat assumes a connection to global terrorism.

The terrorist threat raises questions we have never faced before. Our enemy is not interested in conquest, but rather destabilizing civilization. That is why President Bush has adopted a strategy of confronting the axis of evil, nations that are producing weapons of mass destruction and that are willing to supply terrorists. We can’t find the two thousand or so terrorist cells that exist around the world, so what we have to do is go to the places where weapons of mass destruction are being made and eliminate them. Bush is right.

Civilized people could not live in an environment where terrorists are armed with weapons of mass destruction. It would quickly result in either a police state or anarchy. President Bush wisely recognizes this and is forging a bold, new foreign policy. As he said in his speech, "Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed."

Bush’s announcement Monday night marks a new era in another way. One of the useful functions of the United Nations (UN) over the years has been to give moral authority to measures restraining aggression. This was the case in Korea, Kuwait, and in the Balkans.

Well, the UN has now switched sides. By its inaction, it gives a cloak of moral authority to tyrants. After twelve years of trying to discipline Iraq, the time has come to act on UN resolutions, and the UN can do nothing more than debate endlessly. This war not only spells the end of Saddam Hussein, but perhaps of the United Nations as well. New alliances will have to be forged between nations that want to preserve order and live with decency and justice.


Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
 
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