Chilling discoveries silence Bush critics

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

Before the war with Iraq began - and shortly after it commenced - President George Bush was criticized for his characterization of the impending conflict.

Bush said the war is about terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Critics argued the war was about oil and a bit of a personal retribution for Bush, whose father was ridiculed by members of the Iraqi regime following the first Gulf War.

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Now that Baghdad, Iraq's capital, has fallen, more facts are coming to the surface. And the facts - at least in some respects - are silencing Bush's critics.

On Saturday, U.S. Marines made a chilling discovery. Inside a Baghdad school, the soldiers discovered more than 40 vests fitted with explosives and ready for distribution to would-be suicide bombers.

Perhaps more worrisome than the discovery of the vests was a number of empty hangers found nearby, a sign that a number of bomb-wearing people may be roaming Iraq.

As more proof of terrorist threats, U.S. forces stopped a bus filled with men near the Syrian border. Inside troops found more than $600,000 in cash and a letter offering a reward for killing American troops.

Also on Saturday, more hints and worries over the discovery of what may be chemical weapons. With each find, Bush's characterization is proven more correct. Unfortunately, many more areas must be secured and searched in Iraq before the world will know the true scope of Iraq's involvement in terrorism.

Truth can be like an onion at times. Each day that U.S. troops remain in Iraq and continue to peel away layers of Saddam Hussein's crumbling regime, we expect more chilling discoveries.

Unfortunately, with each discovery, our troops are at risk. We pray they can continue the quick eradication of Hussein's remaining forces and the discovery and removal of any and all weapons of mass destruction.