Congressman Bachus says U.S. should Go after Iraq

The question is not whether we can afford to go into Iraq, said Congressman Spencer Bachus.

&uot;We can’t afford not to.&uot;

&uot;Is the cost going to be a city like Columbiana? A city of 6,000, or 15-20,000 American lives?&uot; Bachus said. &uot;We need to take action against Iraq and Saddam Hussein now.&uot;

Bachus joined members of the community at the South Shelby County Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday, where he addressed the war on terrorism and the American economy.

&uot;(Saddam Hussein) has never developed a weapon he has not used,&uot; Bachus warned, indicating he expected the United States military to go into Iraq before the end of the year.

He reported that among other weapons developed by Iraq was VX, &uot;the most dangerous poison ever known to man.&uot;

&uot;He may drop it in our water supply at any time and kill half the population while making the other half sick. Do we wait until that happens?&uot;

Aside from Iraq, Bachus said threats also come from Iran and North Korea and according to some, Syria and Sudan.

&uot;If we take out Iraq, maybe that will take care of Iran and North Korea,&uot; he said.

&uot;There are some who worry about cost, but the debate is over for me. It’s got to be done.

&uot;We will address Saddam Hussein. He is a clear and present danger, and he will be until he draws his last breath,&uot; Bachus said.

During his talk, Bachus also addressed what he determined were three different areas of corporate misconduct.

The first is evident, he said, &uot;old-fashioned greed.&uot;

This refers to the top echelon of certain companies, like ENRON and WorldCom, and their &uot;shocking&uot; behavior, defrauding their investors of millions of dollars.

The second, he said, was &uot;people cooking the books,&uot; referring to those who have been accused of misrepresenting a company’s assets and liabilities.

&uot;The most shocking to me is the fraud by investment bankers and brokerage firms. This just turns your stomach,&uot; he said, refering to brokers promoting what they know is a bad investment for personal gain.

Bachus predicted a number of lawsuits against investment companies during the upcoming months.

&uot;There may even be 1,000 to 3,000 victims of this type of fraud right here in Shelby County,&uot; he said.

Although the U.S. is faced with these types of corporate misconduct, Bachus said he believes the economy is strong and will recover from recent woes.

&uot;American workers &045; that’s why you ought to feel good about the economy. They’re gonna pull us through,&uot; he said.

He also said although workers are being laid off in the U.S., 97 percent of those laid off are hired right away.

&uot;This is a corporate recession &045; different from what we’ve seen before. Unemployment is really low.

&uot;It all boils down to confidence. We’ll pull out of it if the consumers have confidence. That’s why it’s so important to jail these CEOs who have damaged our economy.&uot;

Bachus and his wife, Linda, joined members of the chamber for its monthly luncheon at the Old Courthouse in Columbiana.

Among those recognized by Congressman Bachus were State Rep. Mike Hill, County Commissioner Larry Dillard, State Rep.-Elect Cam Ward and Republican candidate for State Auditor Beth Chapman.

Also in attendance were Judge Al Crowson, Bachus’ former law partner; Judge Patti Smith; Judge Hub Harrington; District Attorney Robby Owen; Sheriff James Jones; and Columbiana Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Seale