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Snow/Hume vs. Levin
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First I watched Colin Powell solidy the case for action against Iraq on Meet the Press. Then I switched over and watched the last half-hour of Fox News Sunday.

Brit Hume and Tony Snow were tag-teaming Michigan Senator Carl Levin. The guys interviewed Levin extremely aggressively (possibly too much so), but honestly, the answers he was giving were incredibly weak.

See if you can follow this line of thinking:

1. Levin believes Iraq has weapons of mass destruction
2. He does not believe Iraq is complying with U.N. resolution 1441, thereby putting them in material breach


3. He doesn't think this justifies the use of force
4. The "serious consequences" mentioned in 1441 apparently mean "go back to the Security Council and issue another resolution"
5. When asked how the U.S. was acting "unilaterally" with the support of 18 European countries, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Australia, etc., Levin defined "unilateral" as "without U.N. approval". Um...maybe I need to check my Latin roots, but I thought "uni" meant "one", and "multi" meant "many".

He acknowledged that 1441 would not have been passed without America forcing the issue. He acknowledged that the U.S. show of force in the region was crucial in getting inspectors into the country in the first place.

But then when asked if inspections could work without Iraqi compliance, he said something like, "But we knew they weren't going to comply."

And here's the disconnect: What was the purpose of Resolution 1441? To give Iraq one last chance to comply.

They haven't. Diplomacy, resolutions, sanctions, and pleading have all failed. Regrettably, the last resort, the use of force, must be used.

All other objections to the use of military force focus on the consequences: angry Arab sentiment, increased risk of terrorism, the difficulty of rebuilding and democratizing Iraq. But as was pointed out on the show, these things aren't going to lessen with the passage of time.

We've waited almost a dozen years. We've given Iraq 17 chances to comply. How many more do they deserve? How many more years are we going to let Saddam stay in power while defying international will, ruling with torture and fear, and continuing to develop the most dangerous weapons on the planet?

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