War clock ticking; we hope timing is correct

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Tribune staff

President Bush erased any doubt Monday night - the war clock is ticking. Speaking to a global audience Bush clearly stated the United States' intent to remove Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein.

The President's words came as no surprise. However, for many Americans, particularly those with friends and loved ones serving in the armed forces, Bush's words made the worries and fears of recent days and months become much more real, more tangible.

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As the metallic taste of imminent war gives the world reason to consider the situation more in earnest, Americans will certainly react differently to the news.

The need for something to be done is evident. Most Americans will agree that Saddam Hussein is a bad man. Others will say he is pure evil.

The facts show the man is a murder - a murderer of his own people. Few people will argue that Saddam Hussein should be shown mercy.

If Hussein has weapons of mass destruction at his whim as many intelligence experts warn, he must be stopped. Period.

The only issue remaining is the timing and method necessary to stop him. Many of our global neighbors seek to solve the Saddam issue through simply diplomatic means and continued weapons inspections. Our leaders believe differently.

Due to these differences in approach, America is about to take a step out on the proverbial limb on its own. Our country is about to act differently than many United Nations feel necessary. It is, for many, a bit of a risk - a risk of alienating ourselves in the world community.

Bush cast the differences aside and pointed out the real issues in question.

"This is not a question of authority," he said. "It is a question of will. … The tyrant will soon be gone."

We pray that he is correct.

Yes, the clock is ticking; we just hope the timing is correct.