U.S. cannot afford to take easy route

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2003

Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the United Nations and told the security council why the world must deal with Iraq.

Powell laid out a compelling case against Iraq. The case included satellite images, recorded conversations among Iraqi officials and other surveillance that points to an effort to hide weapons of mass destruction.

The United Nations long ago agreed it was not OK for Iraq to have such weapons. The U.N. went so far as to pass a resolution that demands Iraq declare such weapons to the U.N.

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That isn’t happening and that’s why Powell was laying out his case.

The Bush administration has gone the distance in trying to comply with U.N. procedures. If the United States takes military action against Iraq, then it can say it played by U.N. rules.

Whether or not the U.N. will support military action against Iraq remains to be seen. The thinking here is that the U.N. won’t get on board.

There is little to be risked if the U.N. allows Iraq to continue as a rogue nation. Members of the U.N. know that eventually the United States, and possibly Britain, will lead the charge into Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

The U.N. can sit back and do nothing, and the problem will be dealt with. That’s a pretty good deal for the U.N.

It’s not a good deal for the United States, but as the world’s lone super power, we cannot afford to be like the U.N. and take the easy route. Nothing is ever accomplished by taking the path of least resistance. That’s why the U.N. is an ineffective organization without vision or courage.

It is a bad situation that Americans may have to go to Iraq and die in order that the world can be a better place. It seems unfair that so many can sit on the sidelines in this conflict while the United States spends its resources to rid the world of a menace.

Being a super power and doing the right thing isn’t easy or cheap. But it is an investment in the world’s future. Powell was firm and believable in his presentation. He clearly represented what is right and true.

We can hope the rest of the world will see that, but it’s unlikely.