Thomas Sowell
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The truly dangerous aspect of this temper tantrum politics is its undermining the government of the United States in its dealings with foreign powers and international terrorist networks.

There are nations and movements that respect only force or the threat of force. Regardless of anyone's politics, the President of the United States is the only one who can launch that force.

In the early days of the Iraq war, when it was clear to all that American military force would be unleashed against our enemies, Libya suddenly agreed to abandon its nuclear program and other countries backed off their hostile stances.

But when our domestic obstructionists began undermining the President and dividing the country, they were undermining the credibility of American power. North Korea's government-controlled media gave big play to Senator John Kerry's speeches against the U.S. hard line on the development of North Korean nuclear weapons.

Obviously this all-out attempt to damage the President at all costs makes any threat of the use of military force less credible with the country divided.

Whether President Bush will in fact use military force as a last resort to prevent an unending nightmare of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iranian fanatics and international terrorists is something only the future will tell.

It would be far better if the threat of force were credible enough that actual force would not have to be used. But divisive politics have undermined the credibility of any such threat. That can narrow the choices to killing people in Iran or leaving ourselves and our posterity at the mercy of hate-filled and suicidal fanatics with nukes.

That is the real crisis that is being overshadowed by the phony political crisis.

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate