The debate is gearing up on Iraq...

In Washington, the debate is between two groups: the cake walkers, those who think it's going to be easy, and the coalitionists, those who think we've got to have partners to take some of the difficulty and pain out of the war.

Many, many of you have accused me of being a cakewalker… thinking it's going to be easy, that nobody's going to sweat or bleed, and that — in the end — we'll knock Saddam Hussein out of power.

I'm not a cakewalker, but I'm not a coalitionist either. I don't think we should wait for the approval of Jordan and Syria to go ahead with an attack because if that's what we think we need, we're never going to get it.

And I'm not a cakewalker in the sense that I think it's going to be especially hard for our brass to figure out a way to do this without getting a lot of Americans killed in combat.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do think some military brainpower has to be put to work to make a good plan and carry it off well.

There's also a group of people out there who do not buy my contention that Saddam has been our biggest threat for a number of years, and that we should end that threat now.

Those people think Iran is a bigger threat, for instance. And they ask, "What has Saddam done?"

Ramzi Yousef was an Iraqi agent, according to some experts. He masterminded the plot to blow up almost a dozen airliners at once, and he had his fingers in the first World Trade Center bombing.

Mohammed Atta, despite official denials of late, did meet with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague just before Sept. 11.

And we think Saddam is cooking up a bomb to make our lives miserable. What more do we need? Should we just wait until he actually sets one off in Times Square?

I'm not a cakewalker, but I do think we have to walk the walk sooner rather than later.

That's My Word.

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