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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 17, 2003

America, Islam and the Iraqi Threat

Paul Wolfowitz delivered a speech, so titled, which was published by on November 22, 2002. David Horowitz when introducing him had this to say,
During the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, Dr. Wolfowitz served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He was in charge of the 700-person policy team responsible to Secretary Cheney, tasked with reshaping strategy at the end of the Cold War.

Paul Wolfowitz has been one of the most powerful voices in government for mobilizing our nation to defend itself, and for taking the battle to the enemy camp. That is the real issue in these discussions over policy – whether we are going to fight this war on the enemy’s terrain or in the streets of Washington and New York.
I for one feel in good hands. George Orwell put it this way "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us."

It is important to look back on this seminal speech to help us maintain our course and purpose and not to get lost along the way.
September 11th has changed the way in which we must view the whole problem of terrorism. Since September 11th we have to understand that terrorism is an evil that we cannot afford to live with. Given how terrible not only September 11th was, but how much worse a September 11th with weapons of mass destruction could be. If it was horrible beyond imagining to lose 3,000 Americans in a single day then try to imagine what it would mean to lose 30,000 or 300,000, or God forbid three million.

Since September 11th, 2001, the Secretary said “the world is a more dangerous place. As a consequence of the terrorist attacks on that day a new reality was born. The world had to recognize that the potential connection between terrorists and weapons of mass destruction had moved terrorism to a new level of threat, a threat that could not be deterred because of this connection, between States developing weapons of mass destruction, and terrorist organizations willing to use them without any compunction and in an undeterable fashion.” That, I think, is a very clear statement of the strategic threat.

There are very few who would deny that the President of the Iraqi regime is an evil one and a dangerous one. And I think it would be difficult to find Americans who would not agree that the world would be safer, and the Iraqi people would be much better off if that regime no longer rules. That’s not the issue.

The issue is what means are appropriate to achieve that goal. The real issue that we face now is how to weigh the risks of using force should it come to that. But more precisely to weigh the risks of action against the risks of inaction. Both risks are real, and no one in our Administration, at least, is discounting the risks associated with the possible use of force. But I think the President has made clear his belief that the risks of inaction ultimately are greater.

So contrary to some of what I have read, the debate is not between those who desire peace and those who love war. I don’t know of anyone who loves war. The issue is how best to increase the odds of a peaceful outcome.

The answer to that is simple and powerful, “disarming Iraq and fighting the war on terror are not merely related, they are one in the same. If we can disarm or defeat a terrorist regime in Iraq it will be a defeat for terrorists globally. MORE
I recommend that you read this speech in its entirety. It is more relebant today than it was three months ago.