Meeks Condemns Saudi Terrorism
In the ruins of the Al Hamra housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, terrorism claimed at least 34 more innocent victims, including 7 Americans. More than 200 others were wounded, many seriously. The number of fatalities is certain to increase as rescue crews search the rubble.
I condemn this bloodletting and any ideological proposition, which may be used to justify it. The terrorists acted in the name of hate, not faith.
During the debate last fall on the resolution giving President Bush authority to use military action against Saddam Hussein and in the subsequent months leading up to the war against Iraq, I repeatedly expressed concern that a war for regime change in Iraq would distract and divert us from the war against terrorism. On more than one occasion I stressed that terrorism, not Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, constituted an imminent threat to US national security. After expending extraordinary military resources and spending tens of billions of dollars to oust Saddam Hussein’s regime, the still unaccounted for Osama bin Laden and the still-intact and regenerated Al Qaeda network still poses the most imminent threat to Americans and American interests.
The Riyadh bombing demonstrates that an occupied Iraq has not produced Middle Eastern stability. Indeed, the attack underscores the need for the entire international community to focus laser-like on intensifying cooperation in a global campaign to root out terrorism. The administration needs to undertake urgent steps to reconstitute and broaden the global coalition against terrorism that its unilateralism in Iraq undermined. The United Nations could be especially relevant to accomplishing this task.