Mona Charen

The Left's criticism of President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq makes no sense historically, strategically or morally.

Democrats like John Kerry insist that the president has done everything wrong since Congress voted to authorize war (Kerry's vote in the affirmative has dogged his campaign for the nomination of a dovish party). All of the Democratic candidates insist that Bush should not have taken the nation to war without the full participation of the United Nations.

What they never address is this: President Bush sought the support and participation of the United Nations, returning again and again to that body virtually begging it to uphold its own resolutions. France, Germany and sometimes Russia -- nations that were only too happy to trade with Saddam Hussein's Iraq -- declined to agree. Without France's OK, the U.N. Security Council could not pass a final resolution endorsing the use of force. If Kerry or Dean or Sharpton had been president at the time, would they have permitted France to dictate U.S. foreign policy?

The answer may be yes, if the Clinton administration is any guide. As Rich Lowry reminds us in "Legacy," the Clinton administration sought European support for a strong stand against Serbia in 1993. The Europeans balked. Clinton backed down. The resulting massacres took the lives of tens of thousands.

Have the enthusiasts for United Nations action noticed that the U.N. has pulled out of Baghdad at the first sign of trouble?

Democrats further argue that our failure to find weapons of mass destruction proves that the war was illegitimate. In fact, not satisfied to say that Bush erred, they insist -- against logic -- that Bush purposely deceived the world about the presence of the WMDs so as to drag us into an unnecessary war.

Have they thought this through? In the first place, Bush was hardly alone in believing Iraq possessed WMDs. All of the Democratic candidates thought so, too. As did the U.N., the British, the French (yes, the French should know, they built Saddam's first reactor back in 1981), the Russians and even Scott Ritter. He certainly possessed them in the past, and used them on the Kurds and the Iranians. And why would Bush lie about something that would so rapidly be revealed?

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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