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The Path to Credibility
February 13, 2003
By Kurt Kurowski

Secretary of State Colin Powell gave us a convincing argument against Iraq, or so goes the thinking in some quarters. And just for the record, many of us once gave ample heed to the words of Mr. Powell. Unfortunately, within days of his lengthy presentation to the United Nations a dossier he referred to from Britain on the Iraqi threat was found to be cobbled together from a variety of outdated sources and contained nothing new. Yet this report was given enormous praise.

On Feb. 11, we heard a tape alleged to be the voice of Osama bin Laden saying that he stands with the Iraqi people while also excoriating Hussein and his party as "infidels." Again, Powell calls this tape important evidence of a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, despite the fact that bin Laden condemning Hussein would indicate a very poor relationship indeed. It seems unlikely that the secular Iraqis will care for the support of yet another murderous lunatic with even more repressive and ostensibly religious ideas than those of Hussein. Of course, if the Iraqi people do accept bin Laden's offer, this would most definitely deflate the already ironic conceit that the Bush administration will be bringing democracy to Iraq along with the death, destruction, disability and disease.

Mr. Powell , along with Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the current administration worked with President George H. W. Bush for the first, and hopefully last Iraq war. At that time emotionally charged evidence was presented to Congress that Iraq was taking babies from incubators and leaving them to die on the floor. The story was later proved false.

It is clear that we have a crisis in this nation wherein we are supporting an Iraq war based on misinformation. We are told the secular, egomaniacal Saddam Hussein is connected to the war on terrorism when he clearly is not. The Pew Research Center recently found that 66 percent of respondents believed Saddam Hussein was connected to the attacks of Sept. 11. The reality is that American and worldwide intelligence agencies admit there is no such connection.

A recent newspaper poll revealed that 50 percent thought that the hijackers were Iraqi nationals. The truth is that 80 percent of the Sept. 11 perpetrators were from Saudi Arabia, and none were from Iraq. Will these respondents now insist we attack Saudi Arabia?

We were told a shipment of aluminum tubes was proof that Hussein is building an atomic bomb, again, disproved. The Bush administration keeps grasping at straws, and with the enormous power of the United States and around-the-clock public relations behind it, turns those straws into bludgeons. There may be a case for war with Iraq, but this administration - crippled from the start by its secretive and untrustworthy nature - is not the one to make it. It is difficult to fully trust those who obstructed and then hobbled the Sept. 11 investigations, out-maneuvered the democratic process in Election 2000, slandered their opponents even when those opponents are war veterans and genuine heroes, denied their deep, longtime working relationship with the corrupt and immoral Enron Corp., and arrogantly dismissed treaties with the rest of the world.

It's time for Bush to display the humble attitude he so duplicitously promised us in his dealings with the rest of the world. Our government's only way to now gain credibility is to move forward under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, and with the support of our major allies. George W. Bush's father was skilled enough to do this, and Bush Jr. must do the same. The terrorists will never forget that George W. Bush early on called the war on terrorism a "crusade." To enter into an unjust war will do nothing to convince the extremist Muslim world that it is not a continuation of the Crusades, and will be antithetic to the stated goal of protecting Americans from further attack.

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