Powell the right voice in the case for war

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

If nothing else, Secretary of State Colin Powell proved Wednesday why Americans, according to one poll, trust him on the Iraq issue more than President Bush.

But Powell, calmly and methodically, also proved that Iraq is still being deceptive with U.N. weapons inspectors.

Using a wide array of evidence &045; and audio-visual aids &045; Powell laid out the United States’ case.

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He offered taped conversations between Iraqi military leaders who spoke of hiding things and moving evidence around.

He showed slides of satellite photos and maps,

Most of all, though, he delivered the speech with authority &045; and a sense of credibility.

And it was the messenger &045; rather than the message &045; that had the most impact on Wednesday.

The administration’s choice of allowing Powell to give voice to the argument was perfect. He has been among the slowest in Washington to agree that military action is the best option in dealing with Iraq.

We know now that we are poised for war. Even France, with its objections to military action, is quietly preparing its troops of the possibility of combat.

Perhaps a peaceful solution can be reached, but that solution is clearly now in the hands of Saddam Hussein. He must cooperate with U.N. inspectors and admit to the evidence Powell showed.

Still, we do not want to see our nation’s sons and daughters sent into combat without &uot;rules for engagement,&uot; said Sen. Ted Kennedy said Wednesday.

But if a war strategy is laid out as clearly as the case for it was, then we are in good hands.