I keep hearing this droning whine from various "western" governments and organizations that force must be the absolute last option when dealing with world affairs. This often means that force is never an option because the fan dance of continual teasing and jawboning can go on forever. One last chance a thousand times is the cry from the "diplomats".
What costs are we paying for avoiding war? There are several onerous burdens, torture, murder, unjust government, international blackmail, to name a few however there is one cost that trumps all others; it is the lack of credibility when dealing with tyrants.
Tyrants like Saddam Hussein, the Iranian mullahs, the Pakistani madrases, and even ruthless nuts like Kim Jeng Il see our magnanimity as hesitation and weakness. Our western aversion to force is a sign of spinelessness. Our sensibilities regarding "collateral damage" provide military cover. We are often our own worst enemies.
I seriously think that it is time for the West to face up to the realities that the remainder of the world operates on a 7th Century set of moral codes (or lack thereof) and we cannot, without grave concequences to our civilization, continue to demonstrate such vapididity and timidity in the face of brutal thuggery.
I see that Jacque Chirac was moaning about how we need to increase the inspection regime, but is starting to equivocate… But like all Frenchmen, he will only hop on the bandwagon at the last minute and only long enough to get some goodies at the winners’ banquet table.
It is time, and President Bush seems to be aware of this fact, but not completely able to execute the change, yet, to strike first and talk later.
War is diplomacy by other means. The 7th Century mentality does not respond to modern "diplomacy". He responds to two motives, personal profit and self-preservation. Therefore we either bribe or kill him. Bribery is an insufficiently universal salve. It will always fail because the tribute becomes too high to pay.
So, the only answer for the West is to quit playing the patsy and start using the only option left to it, by such evil tyrants.
Solomon was correct in the first chapters of Ecclesiastes. There is a time for everything. Now, it is a time for war, and for the next few years, war must be the first option, not the last.
A special note to the British Foreign Minster: Sir, you are a valued friend and a staunch ally… bully for you. However you are mistaken, the French did not conquer the Anglo-Saxon’s in 1066, the Normans did. They were the sons of the Vikings who conquered northwestern France several decades before. The French were those haughty and overconfident men-at-arms who lost badly to forces of inferior English and Welch numbers at Crecy and again at Agincourt. However, you can be forgiven your diplomatic deference in not reminding de Villepin that he represents a perpetual loser.