Speaking to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday (Feb. 5), Secretary of State Colin Powell made so strong a case that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is in material breach of U.N. resolutions that only the duped, the dumb and the desperate could ignore it. Which is what the French ambassador did, calling for three times the number of inspectors currently in the country.
One wonders if the French would be persuaded even if the inspectors became detectives and produced on the ground what Powell showed from the air and in intercepted telephone conversations between Iraqi military officers. Powell's evidence demonstrated for anyone not infected with terminal denial disease that Iraq has been secretly working on chemical and biological agents and seeking to acquire nuclear weapons for many years. In a bow to the Israelis, who bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, Powell said, "If Saddam had not been stopped, Iraq could have produced a nuclear bomb by 1993, years earlier than the worst-case assessments that had been made before the war. "
Powell's bill of particulars was detailed, powerful and frightening. Holding up a small tube, he said if it were filled with dried anthrax and let loose in a city, tens of thousands would be killed. And, he said, Saddam has tons of anthrax, along with tons of other agents. We know he has these things. What we don't know is what he has done with them. The clear conclusion must be that he still has these agents and, given the opportunity, would use them and not only in his neighborhood, but to bring the world to its knees, if not its grave.
Powell worried about the millions who might die if Saddam is not removed and he decides to use his weapons of mass destruction. It ought to have sent chills up the spines of every U.N. member - and it might have, if the United Nations had a spine. This is a body that wrings its hands over resolutions, carefully crafting each word, and then ignores numerous violations of those resolutions, even when they threaten "serious consequences. " As Powell - and President Bush before him - have said, the United Nations will be irrelevant if it fails to follow up on its resolutions and put teeth where only gums have been so far.
"Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three key components needed to build a nuclear bomb, " said Powell. "He has a cadre of nuclear scientists with the expertise, and he has a bomb design. " He has also demonstrated the will to kill anybody and everybody he thinks is standing in his way.
What is with this lily-livered bunch of diplomats who eat and live well in New York City? If New York is hit again, anthrax and various gases won't spare these gasbags.
Powell also made a strong case for linkage between Iraq and Al Qaeda terror operations, noting that some followers of a senior associate of Osama bin Laden are currently in the Iraqi capital, with Saddam's approval.
Even Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was impressed by Powell's presentation. Powell, said Biden, had a "tougher jury " than a prosecutor would have faced. But he said the secretary of State's case against Iraq was "very powerful and I think irrefutable. "
Irrefutable to him and many others, but not to the Russians, Germans and French, who are on a diet of logic-free appeasement.
Like the fictitious Superman, who was the only power capable of taking on the crooks in Metropolis, "superpower America " is the only nation able to lead a "coalition of the willing, " as President Bush has called those who are with us, to uproot the poison plant that is Saddam Hussein. Let's do it quickly and effectively, but let's do it now while the blabbermouths flap their lips and Saddam plays them not only for fools but also for more time.