Bush should cut our losses in the UN and attack Iraq. Instead he is giving our enemies more time in a forum where we are at a disadvantage. If we have to fight without the UK, so be it. The costs of delay will soon exceed, if they do not already, the benefits of having Britain on board. The costs of appearing weak because we are over committed to the UN process, and thus seem (probably inaccurately) unwilling to fight, could be even higher.
Our enemies are militarily weak but effective with rhetoric and propaganda. It’s time to put them on the defensive militarily. Further negotiation — which by now consists mainly of bribery and incremental abandonment of our principles — is not likely to be effective and weakens us by making us seem afraid to fight. Bush’s hyped announcement of a supposed breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians makes the situation even worse, because it comes across, at best, as a transparent attempt to distract from our faltering efforts in the UN. (Why, now, do we propose to rescue Saddam Hussein’s ally Arafat from his political grave?) At worst, this latest “peace process” gambit is a weak-minded attempt to buy the love of our Arab non-allies. Such tactics have never worked; they merely encourage our enemies.
I hope that Bush decides to attack soon, with allies or without, because we are frittering away our advantage. It’s time to turn the game around.
David Warren is on the case.