The president has to make the case for attacking Iraq, and it has to be better than the case his subordinates have been making.

Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as far as I'm concerned, have made a case good enough to justify whatever means necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.

But their arguments are evidently not been good enough for a large number of Americans — a number so large, in fact, that the trend seems to indicate it could become a majority unless a big chunk of them are convinced.

They will have to be convinced by the president. And this better not be one of those Gulf of Tonkin deals — an alleged attack in the middle of the night, on seas so murky it was never really clear if the U.S. victim was on the high seas or in Vietnamese waters.

No... we had our Gulf of Tonkin incident on Sept. 11 of last year, for all the world to see.

Now we need evidence of a smoking gun coming from Saddam, and the president can no longer hold anything back.

This is the most important thing this president will do in his entire administration, because if he cannot convince the American people of the righteousness and correctness of his planned attack, he might not be able to go ahead with it.

Going ahead is the singular mission of this president. It will literally mean the difference between Americans being able to live without fear of a major terrorist incident, or simply sitting and waiting for one to happen.

Bush has a big job convincing America to end the Iraq threat once and for all, and history calls for him to rise to the task.

That's My Word.

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