Wednesday, June 01, 2005

WSJ: "Nightline" needs an enemies list

(Picture credit
Excel-web sharing of spreadsheetsThe Wall Street Journal features an op-ed on Nightline's broadcast of the honor roll of American troops who died serving in the war on terror:

...Much energy has been spent on the debate over whether Saddam actually backed al Qaeda, or merely spent some of his billions purloined out of the United Nations Oil for Food relief program in supporting such folks as Palestinian suicide bombers and buying the kinds of conventional weapons used to kill the troops whose faces we just saw on "Nightline." The larger point is that nations export to our globalizing world whatever it is they specialize in. Saddam specialized in terror. His legacy includes a roster of Iraqi dead so vast that it would take weeks if not months to read the full list of names, if anybody even knew the list. That is the kind of rule, or grotesque misrule, he brought to the international table--corrosive to all, and dangerous even to the great American superpower. Which is why, after 17 failed U.N. resolutions, our troops had to go to Iraq.

Second on the list of who killed our troops would be those who abetted Saddam's regime and continue to help his successors today. Topping that list would be the Baathist regime of Syria's dictator, Bashar Assad, and the totalitarian ayatollahs of Iran--backing what is too often called an "insurgency" and would better be termed a fight for the resumption of tyranny.

Also on the list would be the corrupt and craven crew at the U.N., who hid the rebuilding of Saddam's resources, who preferred to give Saddam an 18th chance. It is important to understand that while the U.N.-approved investigation into Oil for Food, led by Paul Volcker, has focused narrowly on questions of whether anyone administering the program violated U.N. procedure, the deeper horror was the assurance of the U.N. that all was well--while Saddam skimmed billions... to buy weapons and restock the war chest [that] very likely funding terror in Iraq today.... [T]wo unnamed high-ranking UN officials [are] alleged to have taken bribes from Saddam; this is a matter not only of venal and corrupt behavior among those entrusted with serving the public good, but of U.N. officials with blood on their hands...

...In thinking about the context for the past year's honor roll, however, I found there was another American president who also came to mind: Abraham Lincoln, who, as America struggled to shed its own evil of slavery, commemorated the dead at Gettysburg with a statement that holds true today. These Americans died "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Claudia Rosett: Never Forget - "Nightline" needs an enemies list

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