Powell under burden of proof at U.N. today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Fair or not, the burden of proof is on the United States today. Secretary of State Colin Powell will appear before a public meeting of the U.N. Security Council this morning with evidence Iraq has hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction.

We, along with the rest of world, will be watching closely as Powell states the United States’ case, in part because we’re not yet convinced of the need to go to war.

Powell’s presentation comes in the same week that one poll showed that, on the Iraq war issue, Americans trust Powell &045; the administration official who has most pushed cooperation with the U.N. &045; over President Bush.

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If the U.S. goes to war against Iraq &045; with our allies’ help, we hope &045; we will stand behind our military. But to be honest, we hope we don’t have to see a war.

Do we think that the United Nations should once again give Saddam Hussein the free reign he apparently had under the last resolution? No. But we’re in a difficult position: The administration has already showed its muscle on this issue, pushing for military action when most other nations want a diplomatic solution. How would we back down gracefully?

We think our global reputation will be better off, in the long run, without a war in which few nations will stand behind us.

We don’t think President Bush, leader of the last superpower, is using the old adage &uot;might makes right.&uot; In this case, we honestly believe he thinks right makes might.

But if the evidence shows that Iraq still has these weapons, and especially if the evidence also ties Saddam to al-Qaida, we may have heard enough.