Terrorists are wreaking havoc all around the globe, and it is obvious that Al Qaeda is alive and deadly, if not well. Thus, the Bush administration is faced with a stark choice: Focus on protecting Americans by continuing the fight against terrorism, or risk American lives by setting the world further aflame with an unnecessary war against Iraq.
The world has become a very ugly place. A murderous bombing in Bali, Indonesia. Plans to hit U.S. embassies in Southeast Asia and Europe. An attack on a French oil tanker off of Yemen. A failed plot against Saudi oil facilities. Shootings of American soldiers in Kuwait. Bombings in the Philippines. And the arrest of terrorist wannabes in Portland, Oregon, and Buffalo, New York. CIA Director George Tenet warns: “You must make the assumption that al-Qaeda is in an execution phase and intends to strike us both here and overseas.”
Throughout the Muslim world, hatred for the West continues to grow. Palestinians and Israelis are at war. Fundamentalists made dramatic electoral gains in Pakistan and Turkey, both American allies. A new report by the Council on Foreign Relations charges that Saudi Arabia, another ally, has done little to stop the funding of Al Qaeda.
In such a world, attacking Iraq would be like sloshing gasoline from the Mid-east to Southeast Asia. It would not take much...