Linda Chavez
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The only way to bring any lasting peace to the Persian Gulf is to give war a chance. We've had 12 years of "peace" since the last Gulf war, which Saddam Hussein has used to rebuild his military infrastructure, stockpile weapons of mass destruction, and starve and oppress his people. Now, our feckless allies at the United Nations, France and Germany would like us to wait longer -- weeks, months, perhaps years -- while Saddam imports the raw materials to build even more horrifying weapons, some of it sold by our erstwhile "friends." Enough is enough. The French and Germans are more worried about American power than they are about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Nothing is likely to change their minds, save perhaps an Iraqi-built "dirty bomb" exploding in the Paris Metro or an Iraqi anthrax or nerve gas attack on Berlin. Of course, that's not going to happen. Saddam Hussein understands who his protectors are. But don't bet that a similar attack on Washington or New York would prompt a change of heart among our peacenik allies. We'd no doubt get an I-told-you-so lecture about the consequences of American bombast. Both France and Germany are has-beens on the stage of history. France hasn't been a great power since the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, despite strutting about like peacocks ready to lead the New Europe. Germany's claim to world-class power is of more recent vintage. But the last time Germany played out its ambition to lead the world, some 50 million people died. Neither nation would have survived intact into the 21st century were it not for the United States. Twenty-four thousand Americans shed their blood to liberate France in the 15-day battle that began on the beaches of Normandy. Trillions of American dollars rebuilt West Germany and defended it from Soviet aggression for more than 50 years. But like poor relatives who resent the charity of their wealthier family members, the French and Germans spend more time envying than thanking us for our generosity. Bloated welfare states have enervated both countries' economies. The populations of both nations are literally dying off, kept on life support by migrations from the Middle East and Africa. With birthrates plummeting among native stock Europeans, these newest immigrants may finally accomplish what the Ottomans couldn't at the Siege of Vienna: the Islamic conquest of Europe. In the wake of these demographic changes, relations between the United States and these putative allies can only get worse. So what do we possibly gain by allowing Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder to dictate our time schedule in dealing with the Iraqi threat? Chirac has already signaled that France will veto any new U.N. Security Council resolution that implies a deadline for Iraqi compliance. If we were to get some watered-down resolution through the Security Council -- by no means a sure bet even if France went along, since both Russia and China might veto it as well -- what assurance do we have that the French won't change their minds again, as they apparently have after voting in favor of previous resolutions calling on Saddam to disarm or face the consequences? The war in Iraq is likely to be short and decisive. The only unknown factor is whether Saddam will indeed use his weapons of mass destruction against U.S. troops. Even the quisling French would have a hard time explaining Saddam's supposed cooperation with UN weapons inspectors in that event. Whether Saddam uses them or not, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will be unearthed by a U.S. invasion. When that happens, not even Johnnie Cochran could convince the world that Saddam was the innocent party and President Bush the great threat to world peace. We may never get France or Germany to love us. If we destroy Saddam's weapons and liberate Iraq, however, it won't matter. Better that we earn the respect and fear of our enemies than the undying affection of our faint-hearted friends.
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Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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