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Ever since 9/11, President Bush's constant refrain has been an uncompromising effort at eliminating terror and its infrastructure around the world. Plainly, this has not been the product of a Pollyannish notion of refashioning the world in the American image, but rather of a hard-nosed evaluation of what it will take to minimize the threat from fundamentalists around the world bent on America's destruction.
There is growing evidence that now that success in Afghanistan is within reach, the President is serious about pursuing the war against terrorism to other venues. One senses an almost palpable effort to prepare the world community for the so-called Phase II. It will be recalled that Mr. Bush declared soon after September 11th that targeting Osama bin Laden and his Taliban protectors would be Phase I, and that neutralizing the terror network around the world would constitute Phase II. And it is fast emerging that Iraq will be the first step.