The Magazine

Lost in the Wilderness

Apr 22, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 31 • By ROBERT KAGAN and WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The Bush administration appears now to be operating on the theory that it must find some sort of Middle East settlement before it can make a move on Iraq. If that's the case, we should all learn to stop worrying and love Saddam's bomb. If President Bush wants to find his way out of the wilderness, he will have to drop this line of thinking. The Bush administration wanted to calm tensions in the region with the Cheney and Powell trips. Instead, they made things worse. It's time to let Israel take decisive action against terrorism, which would be consistent with the Bush Doctrine and would help clear the decks for us to go after Saddam. After three weeks of letting the Arabs shape the agenda, it is time for Bush to take charge again of his own destiny, and ours.

--Robert Kagan and William Kristol