Ross Mackenzie

Showtime. We are at war. Some of the most telling comments about it are by others. Here are some...

Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia: "A few weeks ago, we were doing some work on my back porch back home, tearing out a section of old stacked rocks, when all of a sudden I uncovered a nest of copperhead snakes.

A copperhead will kill you. It could kill one of my dogs. It could kill one of my grandchildren. It could kill any one of my four great-grandchildren. They play all the time where I found those killers. And you know, when I discovered these copperheads, I didn't call my wife Shirley for advice, as I do on most things. I didn't go before the city council. I didn't yell for help from my neighbors. I just took a hoe and knocked them in the head and killed them. Dead as a doorknob. I guess you could call it a unilateral action. Or preemptive.

Perhaps if you had been watching me you could have even called it bellicose and reactive. I took their poisonous heads off because they were a threat to me. And they were a threat to my home and my family. They were a threat to all I hold dear. And isn't that what this is all about?"

Ion Iliescu, president of Romania: "Romanians ... understand the need for the international community to act against the threat of weapons of mass destruction posed by a regime that endangers international peace and stability. As President Bush said in Bucharest, we 'know the difference between good and evil because we have seen evil's face.'... Some dictatorships decay over decades, some crumble in months. But some dictatorships disintegrate in hours when the people are aware of their right to live in freedom and wish to make their voices heard. This is what the recent history of Romania has shown. We are convinced that in their specific conditions, a rapid rejoining of the community of democratic and peace-loving nations can occur for the Iraqi people."

James Schlesinger, former CIA director and former secretary of both Energy and Defense: "Last summer the president was urged not to act 'unilaterally.' He was urged to go to Congress and the UN. He did both. He received a strong endorsement from Congress of recourse to force, if need be. He went to the UN. Through painstaking negotiations, the U.S. and the U.K. obtained Resolution 1441, approved unanimously by the Security Council. That resolution offered Saddam Hussein, already in material breach of 16 prior resolutions, a 'final opportunity' to come into compliance with UN resolutions. If he failed to do so, 'serious consequences' would ensue. Saddam has not come into compliance. He has grudgingly cooperated on process - but not on substance. His 1,200-page declaration of Feb. 7 was brazen, if not farcical."

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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