Tags: Can't | Find | Him?

Can't Find Him?

Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM

This vexing question was raised by an unnamed Arab diplomat this week when asked about the 'hunt for Osama bin Laden'.

Indeed, the Bush administration has put all its eggs in the bin Laden basket. By purposely back-burnering Saddam Hussein's obvious involvement in the September 11 attacks, Team Bush has raised the ante on capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. Now comes the hard part: finding him.

Frankly, I am amazed that we have not already killed him. On September 11 when the administration leaked that they were "90 percent certain bin Laden was behind the attacks" it seemed likely that they were poised to go get him.

Now, 16 days later, it seems that the administration not only does not know where he is, they also do not yet have a plan to fight this War on Terrorism. The scariest quotation in the current issue of Newsweek is that the administration's policy is "evolving."

And, as reported here last week, it is more apparent than ever that Colin Powell is resisting all efforts to focus this war where it belongs: on the murderous regime in Baghdad. Powell – along with Vice President Cheney and former President Bush – does not want to have to answer an awful question: "Did you make a fatal mistake 10 years ago when you allowed Saddam to remain in power? Did that decision not contribute to the September 11 attacks – and to the fear of possible chemical and biological attacks?"

We have already heard the timeworn – and erroneous – excuse: The U.N. coalition and the U.S. Congress only authorized the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Any intrusion into Iraq would have fractured the coalition – and would have violated the Declaration of War passed by the U.S. Congress.

What nonsense!

Beginning immediately after the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, then-President Bush drew the analogy of Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler.

Bush compared the German invasion of Poland to Saddam's taking of Kuwait. This was Bush's way of getting the American people to understand the murky world of the Arab peninsula – and to rally them against the evil Iraqi leader.

One must remain intellectually honest. In comparing Saddam to Hitler, one key question needs to be asked: Would we have ever allowed Hitler to remain in power in Germany at the end of the war?

Of course not!

And we made a

If our intelligence agencies told the American people the truth – an unlikely event – it would be clear that Saddam has had a direct involvement in

Powell now tells people that if we begin this War on Terror by attacking Iraq, the coalition will fall apart.

So what?

What good is a 'coalition' if maintaining it overrides the initial purpose: to defeat terror?

The Bush administration seems divided – and undecided – over how to proceed.

Until and unless they admit that the No. 1 enemy is in Baghdad, this so-called War on Terror is going to be a massive failure.

And if the administration wants to target Osama bin Laden, then they better damn well find him – and soon.

Much more delay – or a failure to find him – will further erode America's belief in our Intel community, in our military capability and in our political leadership.

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This vexing question was raised by an unnamed Arab diplomat this week when asked about the 'hunt for Osama bin Laden'. Indeed, the Bush administration has put all its eggs in the bin Laden basket. By purposely back-burnering Saddam Hussein's obvious involvement in the...
Can't,Find,Him?
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2001-00-28
Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM
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