February 10, 2003


US must use its sword, or else... (FAREED ZAKARIA, FEB 11, 2003, NEWSWEEK)
IF IT turns out the American President is bluffing about 'serious consequences', what will happen the next time the United States makes threats?

When a policy-maker says we should do something 'to maintain our credibility', it conjures up a tragic event - Vietnam. The experts all agree we foolishly bloodied ourselves and slaughtered others just to prove we wouldn't back down.

But with Iraq, the need to maintain resolve seems obvious. I cannot see how America can back down without damaging its, well, credibility. [...]

A senior Asian diplomat told me recently that before this month, he had never fully understood the saying: 'When you have drawn your sword, you must use it.' He added: 'But watching the current confrontation between the US and Iraq, it's clear. You've drawn your sword. Now you must use it.'

One odd thing about this column is that Mr. Zakaria doesn't even mention that it would represent another win for the Islamicists, in a long series of wins against the West that they date back to at least the Kahane assassination and maybe to the Marine barracks attack in Lebanon. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2003 7:34 PM

Every day that passes makes the eventual victory -- if it comes -- that much less valuable. Some of us have been saying this for well over 250 days now.

Pardon my impatience, but promises kill no Muslims.

Posted by: Harry at February 11, 2003 5:03 PM

Yes, we know Harry, you'd have begun bombing on 9/10/01. So would every other hawk who doesn't have a Free World to run.

Posted by: oj at February 11, 2003 8:18 PM

I'd have allowed 6 weeks to get the heavy equipment in.

Of vourse, if it had really been up to me, we'd have been fighting hot war against our sworn enemies years before Sept. 11, 2001.

Posted by: Harry at February 11, 2003 10:13 PM