Time to Support President, Troops

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Let there be no argument -- Saddam Hussein is a menace.

Despite numerous resolutions and economic sanctions, he has repeatedly defied the United Nations, played games with inspectors and continued to pursue weapons of mass destruction. He is a despot who has committed countless human rights violations, mostly against his own people.

No doubt the world will be a better, safer place if and when there is regime change in Iraq.

Not that we don't have reservations about the pending war. While Hussein's conduct over the course of the last 12 years is to blame for the situation he and his country now face, it is fair to ask, "why the current sense of urgency?" And he is certainly not the only frightening tyrant out there. Osama bin Laden remains at large, and it's not hard to make the argument that North Korea poses an even greater threat than Iraq.

There is no evidence that Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. President Bush said he is confident that, following military action, we will uncover the chemical and biological weapons Hussein has been hiding and that we likely will find evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program. Unfortunately, such evidence has been scant so far.

It would be preferable if our military objectives in Iraq had the support of the United Nations Security Council, chances for which now seem hopelessly lost.

There are concerns that an attack on Iraq could provoke future terrorist responses in the U.S. Hussein threatened as much Sunday, saying he would take this war anywhere necessary if his country is attacked.

There is the cost of fighting a war and re-establishing a government in Iraq.

Finally, as with any war, there is the potential human cost that gnaws at us all.

But whatever our concerns, now is the time for Americans to unite. We have crossed a line from which there appears little opportunity to turn back, except in the unlikely event that Hussein and his family voluntarily leave Iraq before 6 p.m. today.

The arguments against war have been weighed. Decisions have been made. Hussein must go; Iraq must be stabilized.

Now is the time to place faith and trust in our president and our military. Now is the time to offer our men and women in the armed services our undivided support, our greatest gratitude and our fervent prayers.

The Gulf War in 1991 went quickly. Once on the ground, American forces met with little resistance from Iraqi troops and there were minimal casualties. Many assume history will repeat itself, that this war will go as quickly and with fewer casualties.

We can only pray that will be the case.

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