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High Noon
[February 5, 2003]

By Nicholas Provenzo

In his address this morning before the United Nations Security Council, US Secretary of State Colin Powell made it absolutely clear: instead of dismantling its weapons of mass destruction in plain sight of the world, Iraq has engaged in a deliberate program of deceit and obfuscation. Powell provided damming communications intercepts, catching Iraqi leaders red-handed working to preserve Iraqi’s weapons capabilities, and intelligence information that clearly links Iraq to Al Qaeda. Powell’s indictment of Iraq provided a picture of a regime that is a frightening threat to the security of the world.

The anti-war position did not have much to stand on, but it is all the more tottering now. When the US and former Soviet Union agreed to eliminate intermediate nuclear weapons from the European continent in the 1980’s, this disarmament was conducted in clear view of all. All that Iraq has evidenced under the promise to disarm is continued intransigence. 

Powell warned the Security Council that if it failed to respond to Iraq’s contempt of its resolutions calling on Iraq to disarm, it would forfeit all credibility with the world. "We wrote (resolution) 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraq is not so far taking that one last chance. We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail in our duty and responsibility to the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body," Powell said.

Forget the UN—if the US does not act soon to destroy Iraq’s ability to project force and once and for all remove Saddam Hussein from power, it will fail in its duty and responsibility to its own citizens.

Yet I suspect the UN will yet again confirm what most of us have known for years—that it is a morally bankrupt body incapable of acting appropriately when the stakes are high. As I write, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepinn is calling for more inspections of Iraq. China and Germany have already said as much in response to Powell’s indictment. That premise implies that Iraq is willing to disarm, and that somehow the onus is on the rest of the world to grant Iraq leave. The French position is blatant appeasement. Who are these people kidding?

 The US must have the honesty to accept that its rivals use the UN as a check on our interests. One can not have a body dedicated to peace and freedom that allows dictatorships to serve in its ranks, nor can one allow any world body to serve as a check on a free state’s right to self defense against a tyrant. The pretense of genuflecting toward world opinion via the UN must either reap clear, immediate dividends, or it's time the US and its allies topple Iraq alone. High Noon with Iraq is upon us. President Bush has already pledged weeks, not months. Perhaps it is time to pledge days, if not hours.

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