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Bush needs to stand firm

President Bush has given Saddam Hussein another ultimatum. Bush announced Monday night, that Hussein, his sons and key military leaders had 48 hours to leave Iraq or face military action.

“The day of your liberation is near,” Bush told the Iraqi people. “The tyrant will soon be gone.”

While this latest threat may be sincere, the doubting public has to wonder. War with Iraq has long been accepted as a reality but its imminence has grown questionable.

Bush claims to be hardliner but all the lines he’s drawn thus far have been in the sand, sand easily blown by winds of opposition.

“I cannot imagine the threat in not holding Saddam Hussein accountable,” Bush commented to Tony Blair, April 6, 2002.

Despite the firmness of that statement, Bush passed the year yielding to the United Nations and Hussein.

Again on Feb. 20, Bush declared that, “denial and endless delay in the face of growing danger is not an option.”

Yet he stalled another month.

Of course, Bush’s latest words do seem particularly forceful, but when compared to his previous threats and his subsequent inaction, doubts linger.

For every hard word, there has been an easy out. For every last chance, there has been a second opportunity. And with each cry of wolf, there has been a loss of credibility.

America’s hesitant approach to war has been facilitated by the administration’s own caution. Bush’s literally immovable stance has moved beyond the realms of diplomacy and close to cowardice.

This ultimatum must be the last — no further lines, no extension of deadlines, no compromise.

We are not warmongers, the prospect of an armed conflict involving our own citizens and neighbors is disturbing.

But if war is as inevitable as Bush says, he must stop avoiding it.

This last line must be drawn in stone.

University Wire — Brigham Young U.