March 14, 2003
The New York City Council decided to place itself on the wrong side of history. This week members voted 31 to 17 against the liberation of the Iraqi people and against the protection of the American people from Saddam Hussein's deadly stew of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons.
They have used their votes as weapons of mass delusion, and will live as buffoonish footnotes in the story of a free, prosperous and peaceful Iraq. At home, the questions will be tougher. Could New York's own representatives have forgotten the horrors they visited upon us on 9/11?
"Dear Osama," reads the Council's invitation, "do what you please." "Dear Saddam," they continue, "hand him the nukes and the nerve gas, if you wish." America's enemies hear the message from New York's neo-Neville Chamberlain's loud and clear. But the Council Cowards are barely a sideshow to the real action over on the FDR Drive.
The hallowed heels of the United Nations have once again aligned themselves against the United States in their usually perfidious plays for pride and payoffs. A quarter of a million soldiers wait in the sand, ready to liberate an oppressed people, a people yearning to be freed.
Meanwhile America waits hand and foot on the Security Council president, Guinea, an obscure African nation of fewer than 10 million people. Guinea, not to be confused with their even tinier neighbor to the north, Guinea-Bissau, is both Muslim and French-speaking, the fairest possible choice for this historic moment.
Guinea has taken the favored dodge of all obstructionists on Iraq, asking for more inspections. That ignores a crucial fact: The weapons inspections are a joke. The fact that these inspectors can't find any WMDs proves beyond a shadow of a doubt their incompetence and that their continued presence is a waste of money and precious time. The fast encroaching heat of the Iraqi spring plays into Saddam's hands and against his suffering people.
We expect no less from the likes of France and Guinea. From Americans, and especially New Yorkers, we expect a lot more. For shame, council members. We will not forget.