President Bush has evidently ordered the CIA to topple Saddam Hussein. I say good. What do we have a CIA for if not for that?

Frankly, I was getting kind of tired of hearing about CIA Director George Tenet shuttling back and forth between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the Israelis. That's not the proper use of a CIA director.

The CIA should be an agency of spies, spooks and agents provocateur... and now Bush has decided to stick them on Saddam.

The spies are empowered to spend money to build the opposition. They are empowered to sneak in and spy. They are empowered to make deals with people unhappy with Saddam so they turn against him at a precise moment.

They are empowered to capture Saddam — that's a good one. That's going to look like a Tom Cruise movie... guys in black outfits making night drops into Baghdad, skulking around separating the decoy Saddams from the real Saddam.

They are also empowered to kill him, if they do so in self-defense. So if Saddam pulls out that pearl-handled revolver he sometimes carries, our spooks can shoot and shoot to kill.

Now all of this is good and it says that the president is thinking correctly here. He is not letting the bad old days of the CIA keep him from acting. He is paying attention to the real threat Saddam poses to his country and ours.

The Europeans are going to be shocked by this. They are going to opine in the next few days that Bush is back to his cowboy past, and they are going to wring their collective hands over all the trouble this is going to cause them and the deals they make in the Arab world.

They are going to run around for the next few months, if not years, saying... We are French, we are Swedes, we are Germans, we are Brits, we are Dutch... We are not Americans, so please Arab world, don't be mad at us.

But Bush is right. Press ahead, knowing America is the target. America must be defended.

That's My Word.

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