Judging George

We listened to the “compelling evidence” President Bush put out on television last week regarding going to war with Iraq, and the first thing that came to mind was that Bush was lucky he wasn’t in court in America having to prove a criminal case against Saddam in front of a jury. Bush should have to prove his case because we are possibly giving him the authority to kill thousands of people in our names.

The Bush prosecution could not prove without a doubt that Saddam is about to kill Americans. Bush lacks substantial physical evidence that an attack is imminent. Although Saddam has committed terrible crimes in other regions, there is no indication that he is capable of striking this country by intercontinental missile, and he has no history of launching Al Qaeda-like attacks against the United States.

Anyone in a democracy should be leery of handing out a death sentence to a country for what its leader might do.

If you took out the maybes, mights, coulds and even the woulds of Bush’s oral arguments, you definitely would not have enough evidence to convict in the world court. It is all supposition, and that’s not enough when lives are at stake.

A Central Intelligence Agency report issued a few weeks ago with the intention of providing such evidence and bolstering Bush’s case against Iraq actually accomplished the opposite. The agency could produce no link to Osama bin Laden. Further, the report made it clear that there is no evidence Iraq has nuclear weapons and, in fact, that continued U.S. and British bombing of selected targets in Iraq have left that country far weaker, from a military standpoint, than ever before. Despite its intention, the CIA document turned out to be a ringing endorsement not for war, but for a policy of containment and disarmament—the same policy that the United Nations has promoted all these years.

We don’t believe a majority of Americans want to strike Iraq without evidence of a clear and present danger. Many people have a vague belief that Bush has the goods on Saddam, but we fear that what Bush has is a lingering hatred of a man his father didn’t defeat totally. This type of get-him-first, global-cowboy mentality only will justify the warmonger label being put on us by radical Muslims and others around the world who hope to bring down our just democracy.

Bush has said he does not have a quarrel with the Iraqi people, yet they are the people who will die. The millions living in Baghdad have not willingly helped Saddam with his evil plans, yet Bush is itching to carry out the sentence with men and women from our country who also will die.

We should work with the United Nations and our allies. If we are attacked, then we should retaliate.