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BUSH VICTORY IN THE UNITED NATIONS COULD COST US BOTH LIVES AND MONEY

The president won a diplomatic victory in the United Nations that was also a masterful stroke of domestic politics. What price will we be paying for his victory? Does the U.N. resolution really put new pressure on Saddam Hussein, or does it mainly put pressure on the people of the United States and on Congress to abstain from publicly opposing a policy in the development of which they had no say?

How come foreign powers, including some very unsavory ones, were lobbied extensively for their endorsement of a policy about which we the people were practically kept in the dark until after it already began to be implemented?

Is it a coincidence that the "offensive capability" measures were taken suddenly, just after Congress had recessed?

The U.N. resolution tells Saddam that he need not much fear military action against him until after Jan. 15, while before the resolution he could not be sure what might happen.

As for muzzling opposition to the administration's course, it is predictable that anyone opposing offensive military action against Iraq will be told, "We cannot default now on our international obligations -- the commitment we made to the U.N."

Bush's "victory" has already been at the expense of the democratic process and may well unnecessarily cost us not only a lot of money but innumerable American lives!

JOHN J. HOFFMAN
Snyder

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