News - Should Saddam Hussein be America's next target?"

Yes. Bush has good reason to turn up the heat on Iraq, and he knows it

Bill Clinton took the same approach to both brutes: He sat back and watched. When forced, he tossed off a few cruise missiles. But he never, ever did anything serious about it either.

George W. Bush is, mirabile dictu, no Bill Clinton. Matching tough talk with action, Bush is destroying bin Laden's terror network, utterly confident in the righteousness of our cause. Still clueless, Clinton has explained the September attacks as some sort of cosmic payback for slavery.

Bush has good reason to turn up the heat on Iraq, and he knows it. At the end of the Gulf War, Saddam agreed to 1) abandon efforts to build weapons of mass destruction 2) and allow the U.N. to verify his compliance. After years of obstruction, Saddam gave U.N. inspectors the boot in 1998. Chances are, he has plenty to hide.

In 1993, Saddam plotted to assassinate former President Bush and authorities believe he was complicit in that year's World Trade Center bombing. Even so, a lot of pencil pushers in Washington don't think America should move against Saddam. They urge caution, insisting there is no "proof" Saddam played a role in the September attacks.

The doubters have a point, but there is some evidence: Kamikaze killer Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence last spring, and recent Iraqi defectors say knife-wielding trainees practiced hijackings at a terrorist camp near Baghdad.

The official handwringers at the State Department, meanwhile, warn that the anti-terror coalition will splinter if we take on Iraq. Here, the coalition fetishists have it backward. Coalitions, after all, should serve missions, not the other way around.

Putting the coalition before the mission was the mistake Bush's father made when he left Saddam in power 10 years ago. Don't expect W. to do the same.

All of which doesn't mean that America must re-fight Desert Storm. Foggy Bottom naysayers aside, there is a good chance we could dispose of Saddam with a combination of U.S. air power and (mostly) surrogate ground troops, just as we are doing with the Taliban.

Don't look for Bush to attack Saddam tomorrow, but expect him to act sooner rather than later. And expect the American people to cheer him on.

Luke Boggs wants Santa to drop bombs in Baghdad — and a DVD player in Alpharetta.

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