The best laid plans, battles and wars and Empires, Ñ the most dire necessities and graces of mankind Ñ have so often been defeated when they violated "The Rule of Too's":
Too little, too late Ñ too little will, too few resources, and action taken too late.
We need to apply this 'Rule of Toos' in relation to our prospective action in Iraq.
Honest answers to direct questions will cut through wartime fog and pettifog, ambiguity and angst, and will give clarity enabling us to navigate the treacherous shoals ahead.
1. Is Saddam a sociopath?
Yes, he is.
2. Is a sociopath with WMD a mortal threat?
Yes, of course.
3. Is Saddam the Sociopath inclined to use WMD?
Yes, in fact he already has.
4. Is a sociopath, armed with WMD, who is inclined to use WMD, intimidating to weaker neighbors?
Quite obviously. Especially if those neighbors are unsure of the decision and steadiness the American sword and shield.
5. Do these neighbors sit astride resources vital to millions of jobs and running the engines of the world economy?
Clearly, yes. This is a strategic threat.
6. Does Saddam support Terror?
Yes. Ruthlessly and barbarically. Against his own people and in support of international NGO Terror.
7. Should we fixate on a nuclear WMD threat?
No. A bio-threat (or chemical) may be more threatening. It is more easily concealed, less expensive, easier to deliver and almost impossible to trace to a source, as it has an incubation period.
State sponsored client terrorists could originate in Indonesia, enter through Canada (since we no longer have a borders we enforce), deliver agent to Chicago, and be sipping goat's milk in Karachi two weeks before the first of 100,000 smallpox deaths.
8. Does Saddam covet expansion?
Yes, historically so.
9. Are we safer to wait for the United Nations to act?
The UN supervises peace. The UN is inherently incapable of decisive, principled, focused, timely action. The UN specializes in bureaucratic waste, lumberous movement, and endless talk.
Too little . . . too late.
10. Can America, already hit hard on our home soil, afford the Hollywood Squares defense prescriptions of wanabee wonks Jayne Fonda, 'Little Woody' Harrelson, and that Shakespearian scholar, Ms. Baba Streisand, et. al.? [Hollywood Squares policy sings, 'I wanna buy the world a Coke' and 'Can't we all just get along?!!' They FEEL peace. Together. Then, they feel important. Together. And they all look so vacantly lovely. Dahling.]
Can we afford too little defense, too late?
War and terror is not a parlor game.
It is not pocket pool. Good men and women and innocents die in war.
State support for the asymmetrical warriors and weapons of NGO terror is an unprecedented threat to world order and peace. A brutal, rogue state, armed with WMD, inclined to use WMD, astride vital resources, led by a sociopath in support of terror, is utterly unacceptable.
Some things take a lot of thought. This does not.
If an arrow is flying toward your heart, you don't 'think about' moving. You don't 'feel' the arrow is misunderstood. You don't seek to 'speak with' the archer and negotiate a flight diversion.
Especially if he is nuts. Unless you are nuts.
President Bush has eloquently described the threat.
War on radical Islamic terror will not be easy.
We know. It requires wisdom and prudence and perseverance. . . It also requires action.
Faint hearts may falter. Faint allies may fall away. But there is no other way to security and peace but through decisive use of our strength; all our diplomatic skill Ñ and military might when we must.
We must not shrink or hide from the reality of the enemy.
We must not fail to clearly identify him.
We must not fear to call Evil by its name.
This war is to be fought on the moral as well as the physical plane.
Our technology will never trump their belief. Only belief trumps belief.
First, we must recapture what we believe, and reaffirm it.
This is, indeed, a Twilight of the Gods.
Our threat will not be brief. Our response must be steady and constant.
Our defense of life and way of life will be costly.
There will be pain and suffering and death.
Hell, we are unaccustomed to uncomfortability and inconvenience.
Get accustomed to it.
Before we see the dawn, if we live to see the dawn, we shall pass through a treacherously dark and stormy night. But to pretend it is not dark will insure we bump into things.
To pretend it is not rainy will cause us to get wet and grow cold. Cold and dead.
Regardless how fervently we humm and 'visualize peace'.
Bali has shown the world how ruthless men and heartless ideology may be twisted to the use of evil and terror. Civil society and civilized people are threatened not only in New York and Chicago and Paris and Moscow, but in idyllic Bali. Worldwide.
North Korea has again taught us the duplicity of tyrants and the value of paper treaties. We thought that lesson had been learned a generation ago, among Nazis and Communists, with high tuition paid in the blood tens of millions of good people who wanted only to live free. But we are slow learners. The lessons will keep repeating Ñ and the tuition rising Ñ until we get it right.
We will measure our delay in action by the Rule of Toos Ñ too little; too late.
Measure delay in action by the steady tick-ticking and filling of body bags with the blood of innocents, young boys and girls, soldiers and civilians, Christian, Moslem and Jew.
President Bush, our beloved Congress, our clever media, our gallant uniformed defenders of
America to whom we owe our very breath and on whom we daily presume and depend so much:
Act with wisdom and courage;
Act with principle and compassion;
Act with allies or stand alone . . .
Frederick Peterson is a former Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, Senior Military Analyst for GeoStrategy-Direct.com and a frequent commentator on Fox News Channel. He is a Senior Vice President at Xybernaut Corporation.