Myers: Iraq Clearly
a Present Danger to America
By Gerry J.
The specter of terrorists allied with democracy-hating
regimes – like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – seeking weapons
of mass destruction presents a danger America cannot afford to
ignore, the U.S. military’s top officer said Feb. 26.
"It’s this combination that makes Iraq such
a threat to our nation," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a group of business
people in New York City.
Today, bloodthirsty terrorists and aggressive
nations hostile to the American way of life "both desire
indiscriminate weapons of mass murder," Myers said, noting
this makes for the most dangerous situation the United States
has faced in 50 years.
Myers noted that U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell laid out the facts about Iraq’s arsenal of chemical and
biological weapons, and described how Hussein has used them against
his neighbors and Iraqis, too.
"The point is that the Iraqi regime has
demonstrated a willingness to use weapons of mass murder against
the innocent," Myers said.
Terrorists and rogue regimes like Saddam’s willing
to murder so many innocents make today’s war on terror a much
different conflict from the Cold War waged against the now- defunct
Soviet Union, Myers remarked.
The Soviets, he pointed out, wanted to rule America;
they didn’t want to destroy its people.
Al Qaeda would like nothing more than to obtain
a nuclear bomb, or containers of VX nerve agent, anthrax, or ricin
and "kill thousands of innocent civilians," Myers said.
Saddam has consorted with known terrorists sworn
to destroy the United States, the general pointed out. "This
includes help in making explosives and poisons, such as ricin,"
The United States and more than 40 other nations
are ready to participate in a military operation to remove Saddam
"if the president so orders," the JCS chairman noted.
U.S. and coalition military forces "achieved
a tremendous victory" against terrorists in Afghanistan,
Myers said, adding that 90 nations have united against terror
and more than 100 key terrorist operatives have been apprehended
Yet, he said, the war against terrorism continues,
and will do so "for a long, long time."
The United States and its allies will win that
war, Myers declared, noting that the struggle will take patience
Terrorists can’t be persuaded by diplomacy or
contained like past foes, since they "will use these weapons
of mass murder, if they can get them," the general noted.
So rather than wait till terrorists such as Iraq
act, "Is it acceptable to assume such risks when the next
blow could mean the deaths of thousands of men, women and children?"