TIME FOR ACTION: William Safire makes an eloquent case that the time has come to end the debate and get on with the business of toppling Saddam in today’s NYT column.

It is futile to try to reason with passionate marchers waving signs proclaiming that America’s motives are to conquer the world and expend blood for oil.

Nor should we waste more precious time trying to beg or buy moral approval from France or Russia, their U.N. veto threats largely driven by economic interests in Saddam’s continuance in power. Nor should we indulge in placing second thoughts first: How much will it cost? How many will be killed? How long will it take? Will it kill the snake of terror or only poke it? Will everybody thank us afterward? Where’s the guarantee of total success? Too cautious to oppose, these questioners delay action by demanding to know what they know is unknowable.

Indeed. It has become clear that both sides of the debate are talking past one another at this point. To the extent the US gets more votes in the UN by waiting longer, it will be votes that we achieved through bribery and arm twisting rather than moral suasion. No added legitimacy will derive from votes gained in that manner.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.