Writing to the op-ed page of the New York Times, Germany's former minister of culture explains why Europe is so crazed about America not picking a fight with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Michael Naumann argues that Europeans have a healthy fear of getting into a war for the wrong reasons. Something like World War I results, where millions are killed and civilizations are laid to waste over stupid stuff that didn't really justify war in the first place.

Mr. Naumann is right to be wary of going into war for reasons that are not clear, not focused, and do not have a war-justifying purpose.

But he and his European friends are wearing blinders about Iraq. He as much as admits to this deep in his piece when he says German, English, French and Russian businesses are doing lucrative deals with Saddam that they don't want to lose, and that they are the ones pressuring their governments to get the Americans to stand down.

The blinders come in when the Europeans say with a straight face that Saddam Hussein's intentions to use weapons of mass destruction have not been proven.

It was proven years ago and by Saddam himself when he got into a nuclear program he didn't need for any other reason than to create weapons. Iraq has huge oil resources, plenty to produce all the electric power the country needs. Saddam was going nuke to make weapons plain and simple, and the Israelis stopped him in his tracks when they bombed the reactor.

Now we have plenty of good reason to think he is sniffing around other weapons of mass destruction possibilities. And frankly, we are tired of worrying about this stuff. It's time to exercise our veto power.

We don't have to put up with someone that dangerous running a country that dangerous if he won't agree to international rules that de-fang him. We really don't

It's a mystery to us why the Europeans are willing to live with that threat, why they are so willing to be in denial about that threat. But we don't have to, and evidently we are not going to.

Our government has made it as clear as it can be made. Saddam is going to heel or he is going to be gone. I've heard the secretary of state say it, I've heard the president say it, and I think the Europeans better get used to the idea. Don't you?

That's My Word.

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