On Iraq, don’t wait for the world

For the past weeks it has been impossible to read a newspaper without being overrun by constant calls for the United States to await U.N. permission to act against Iraq. I have read countless editorials, articles and analyses expressing outrage that the United States would even consider acting in the interest of its national security. I recognize our global responsibility as the lone superpower, but the U.S. government’s first and foremost responsibility must always be to act in the best interest of its citizens. Consequently, what President George W. Bush needs to act isn’t a U.N. resolution but an act of Congress.

And they’ve already passed one. A joint resolution passed on Sept. 14, 2001, stated in part that, “the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.”

A myriad of evidence linking Iraq to al-Qaida has already been presented, and Congress has placed the timing and nature of that action at the discretion of our commander in chief. Multilateralism is an admirable goal when it can be quickly and prudently achieved, but to wait for world permission when national security is at stake is blatantly irresponsible.