U.N. MUST ENFORCE ITS IRAQ RESOLUTION
What will the world be like in one year, in two years, in three? Will the United Nations be continuing its efforts to rein in Saddam Hussein in 2005, trying to bring the heavy weapons collector under control? Or will the matter long be settled?
GEORGE W. BUSH and the rest of the world can hope that the situation will soon be resolved as a result of an Iraq resolution adopted unanimously Friday by the 15 members of the U.N.'s Security Council.
The resolution is tough, but does the Security Council have the will to enforce it either now or sometime in the future? Saddam must accept the terms of the directive by this coming Friday. (His parliament recommended against it this week.) If Saddam accepts, Iraq must share details of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs by Dec. 8 and provide inspectors with "immediate, unimpeded and unconditional" access to search any site in Iraq, including Saddam's presidential palaces.
SO WHAT IF the resolution misfires, and wonder of wonder Saddam does not comply? If inspectors report a serious violation, the Security Council will convene to "consider the situation and the need for full compliance." That wording appears weak.
The council should not use a violation by Saddam to kick off another two- or three-month-long process of developing a new resolution to send to Iraq, but should be prepared to immediately support a U.S.-led military effort to bring Saddam's little game of "catch-me-if-can" to a quick conclusion.
WHAT AMERICANS WANT
President Bush has a clear path in front of him now that Republicans control both the U.S. House and Senate.
Bush has two years to address some key issues. The results could propel him into another four years as president, or could cast him aside in much the same way that his father, George H.W. Bush, was swept from the White House in 1992 by a smiling, promise-making Democrat.
SO WHAT DO Americans want between now and election time in 2004? They want to know their land is secure from the threat of another terrorist attack. They want weapons-hungry Saddam Hussein subdued without sacrificing thousands of American lives in the process. And, as it's been said over and over again, "It's the economy stupid." Americans want to know the economy is on a roll, that business growth and job-development is up and that their 401-Ks are gaining value.
It's a tough assignment. President Bush and the Republican Congress can now show us if they are up to the task.